In need of information about Chicago O'Hare Airport

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by Disbabe, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. Disbabe

    Disbabe DIS Veteran

    Apr 9, 2001
    Have finally booked our flights - flying with United from LHR to MCO through Chicago O'Hare. This is our 3rd DIY Holday and the 3rd time we've been through a different airport! We've done Washington Dulles with United and through Philly with US Airways.
    We're landing at Terminal 5 at O'Hare and take off from Terminal 1.

    Have done a search and looking at the maps of the airport and can see they are connected with an ATS system.

    What is the proceedure when you land with baggage? Do you pick it up and drop it off again in terminal 5 and it makes its way to terminal 1 or do we have to pick up and take with us across the ATS and drop it off in terminal 1? How long does it take to go through customs? How long to get from terminal 5 to 1? We've got a 3hr 55min stopover. I know this is going to be long enough but I remember going through different terminals at philly airport that were next door to each other and it was a mad rush with 2 1/2 hours. O'Hare's terminals are further apart and are actually completely seperate.

    Any info greatfully received :coffee:
  2. erincon23

    erincon23 <font color=blue>Everyone must have gotten a life

    Sep 25, 2008
    I can't really address the luggage issue -- I had typed something else and then rethought it, so if you checked one minute ago, ignore whatever you saw there. I THINK that United will take care of the luggage, but since you have to go through customs, I'm sure someone else will have better info. Customs at O'Hare is pretty well organized -- it's a major airport, but it will depend on what day and time you're arriving.

    I've only taken that ATS once, but it's a pretty short trip. Don't spend any longer in T5 than you need to -- get right over to T1, because that's a much more spread out terminal, and it can take a bit to get to your gate once you're there (and I'm assuming you'll have to go through security again, so be prepared by organizing your carry-on correctly -- look at the website for info -- they have a pretty good guide to how to pack a carry-on for the greatest speed in getting through security). There are lots of food and shopping places in the terminal so try to save any of those needs for after you're through the security screening. Have a great trip!
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  4. Hannathy

    Hannathy <font color=darkorchid>When I stop laughing I will

    Jan 24, 2006
    You should post this question on the transportation board. There are folks over there that fly out of O'Hare every week and are experts! I used to fly thru there a lot but not recently but O'hare terminals are very well connected and there is transportation between them. I know there is a train between the international terminal and the other ones. But as I said one of the frequent fliers over there can give you specifics.

    As far as I know once you check your luggage with United it will arrive at your final destination without you doing anything with it, I don't believe this changes with international flights. Unless it is something new that it doesn't! I know last year it did, so you would only deal with your carry on.

    Someone over there will also be able to give you good info on how long customs takes at O'Hare.

    You will get the best possible and most accurate info on the transportation board.
  5. Allison

    Allison DIS Veteran

    Oct 27, 2005
    Use the transportation board.
  6. danny1649

    danny1649 <font color=green>Will be wearing some lime green< Moderator

    Aug 18, 1999
    Where I think you will get some good information.:thumbsup2:)
  7. juliebug1997

    juliebug1997 DIS Veteran

    Jan 19, 2011
    When I came back through O'Hare from Europe, we had to get our bags, go through customs, re-check our bags and then get to the next leg of the journey home. This is what you will have to do as well if your first stop is in the US.
  8. backyardponder

    backyardponder DIS Veteran

    Feb 10, 2008
    When you check your bags at LHR, your bags should show a final destination of MCO on them with the intermediate stop at ORD.

    On exiting customs at ORD, there will be a United counter where you re-check your bags. They will be taken to your next flight. There is no need to lug them on the train to terminal 1.

    Depending on the time of the day, the train runs to Terminal 1 every few minutes. It is no more than a 5 minute ride. The train stops at Terminal 3, then Terminal 2, and finally Terminal 1.

    When you get to Terminal 1, you will have to go through security, so make sure you have your passports handy.

    You will have lots of extra time before your flight.
  9. Horace Horsecollar

    Horace Horsecollar DIS Veteran

    Feb 10, 2002
    First, I can confirm that the other replies about being able to recheck your bags with United right after going through U.S. Customs and Border Protection in the International Terminal (5) are correct.

    You'll take the ATS train (which is outside of the secure area) with just your carry-on items to the United Terminal (1) and go through a TSA checkpoint. The amount of time to go through security is unpredictable, and lines can quickly grow. (The last few times that I went through a TSA checkpoint for a United flight, there was no line at all, but you might not be that lucky.)

    One thing that I really like about Chicago-OHare Airport is the all terminal restaurants (except for a few of its many Starbucks coffee stands) are after security. That includes table service, counter service, food courts, and carry-out. Because you've already completed security, you'll know exactly how much time you have until boarding. That means you can enjoy a meal without having to allow a "worst case" amount of time to go through security after eating.

    If you have a lot of time, as you will if your inbound flight is on time, you should know that you can walk between Terminals 1, 2, and 3 without leaving the secure side. So if you see a restaurant that looks appealing to you on the Chicago-OHare Airport website in one of those terminals, you can walk there. It's a big airport, but it feels good to walk around after a long flight.

    Have a good trip!

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