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AA Guide: ORD / Chicago O'Hare International Airport - MCT, Connection, etc.

AA Guide: ORD / Chicago O'Hare International Airport - MCT, Connection, etc.

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Old Jul 12, 20, 12:43 am   -   Wikipost
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At Chicago O’Hare (ORD), American Airlines operates out of Terminal 3



AA Ticket counters Open daily: 3:30am to 10:00pm
Flagship Check-in: Yes
Five Star Service: Yes
Curbside check-in: International only


Check-in times
In most locations, you must be checked in:
At least 45 minutes before scheduled departure, for flights within the United States
At least 60 minutes before scheduled departure, for flights to or from airports outside of the United States


Peculiarities:
ORD can be affected by winter storms or very heavy air traffic; ground holds even at incoming flights' departures airports, are not uncommon at these times. Knock-on effects during lengthy IROPS can manifest themselves systemwide.

NOTE: AA has 66 gates at Terminal 3, and has added five more at Concourse. Alaska, Iberia, and Japan Airlines all depart AA T-3. All international arrivals are at Terminal 5, many international departures as well. AB, BA, CX, QR, RJ depart T-5.

International arrivals from Canada airports without USCBP pre-clearance are sometimes listed as arriving at "IAB" - International Arrivals Building. These aircraft's passengers will not arrive at T-3 as domestic passengers; by Federal law, they must be cleared by USCBP, and that facility is at T-5.

There is no airside connection T-3 <--> T-5; one must go landslide and use the free "ATS" airport train. Flyers connecting to BA departing T-5 may use the airside shuttle bus departing near gates G17 and K20. Every half hour 11 am - 9 pm. Sign with orange dot.


Operating terminals and gates
Terminal 1 is used by United, Lufthansa, All Nippon Airlines

Terminal 2 is used by Air Canada, Delta, and previously US Airways, along with many United Express flights.

Terminal 3 is used by Alaska Airlines, American Airlines and for departures only by Iberia and Japan Airlines (exception: arriving international flights that have been USCBP cleared, e.g. originating in Canada or DUB, arrive at Terminal 3 as domestic flights). Other airlines flying domestically and not mentioned above are also handled in Terminal 3.

Concourse G is used mostly for American Eagle flights
Concourse H and K are used for mainline flights
Concourse K gates 12-20 are typically used for international flights
Concourse L is used mostly for American Eagle flights (as well as non-oneworld carriers)

Terminal 5 is the international terminal; British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, and Royal Jordanian flights depart and arrive here; arriving international American Airlines, Iberia and Japan Airlines flights all arrive here as well. In fact, all arriving international passengers from places without pre-clearance will arrive


Getting from terminal to terminal
Landside transfers are normally done by using the Airport Transit System train, which also connects to the airport car parks. The ATS is currently out of service with substitute buses operating at present

Terminals are connected by frequent landside buses, and AA T3 - International T5 are connected by an airside Terminal Transit Bus (TTB). If you have a boarding pass for your connection (or a printed itinerary of flight confirmation), you can use this bus, boarding at G17 or K20 and arriving airside at T5 Gate M1. The TTB runs 7 days a week, 1100 / 11 am to 2100 / 9 pm while the ATS is shut down, but seasonally and with shorter hours when it is. At other times you must exit landside and use the landside bus.

If you arrive at O'Hare on an international flight you will arrive at Terminal 5. If you have a connecting domestic flight from T1-2-3. You must use the landside bus to T3 after you process Immigration and exit Customs. You will be required to pass through security at T3. Landside busses are frequent.


Airside:
walking corridors connect Terminals 1, 2 and 3 between terminals. (ATS landslide train must be used to connect to or from Terminal 5 outside of shuttle bus operating times.)

For those holding boarding passes on same day flights out of Terminal 5 (International Terminal), a shuttle bus will operate from T-3 to T-5 between 11 am and 9 pm.


Walking between terminals
Walking airside between terminals airside is possible (other than Terminal 5). There are no short cuts and it can take significant time.


Arrival at the airport:
Within the U.S. as well as flights to Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, check in:
At least 30 minutes prior to departure (if not checking bags)
At least 45 minutes prior to departure when checking bags

For flights to international destinations check in:
At least two hours prior to departure to complete all necessary international requirements


Minimum time for checking in and arriving at the gate
To better ensure an on-time departure, our goal is to close the jetbridge door 10 minutes before departure time. This allows all customers to board and stow their belongings. (AA may release your seat if you show up at your gates less than fifteen minutes prior to scheduled departure.)

To retain your pre-reserved seat on a confirmed flight, make sure to follow the minimum check in and gate arrival times.*


Time to baggage delivery:
minimum 20 minutes


Security at ORD
May 2016: security queues have been quite lengthy at times, requiring up to an hour to pass through security, even at PreCheck queues. Options include:

If you have Flagship Check-In privileges, they will place you at the head of the security queue next to that check-in area.

You may choose to process security at Delta / Terminal 2 and walk airside to the AA gates (UA is only slightly better than AA).

The mid-terminal Pre-Check line tends to be better than the one at priority security.

Note: coming out from International Terminal Arrivals immigration and customs, you are land side and may find yourself with two options: leave the building land side, or take the escalators or lifts to the ATS train platform to proceed to the other terminals or remote parking lot. To access the other terminals, you will have to process through TSA security.


What is the domestic to domestic or to international Minimum Connection Time (MCT)?
The minimum connect time at ORD, domestic to domestic or international, is 0:40 minutes. Domestic to international is easy if your international flight departs the AA terminal, but domestic to International terminal is comfortably done in 2:00 (not the official MCT, 1:15), because of the lack of connectedness between terminals. International arrival at Terminal 5 with flight departing Terminal 3, Global Entry is likely to allow 2:00 or even less, but non-U.S. or Canadian passport holders with checked baggage might use 3:00 as a better guideline.

If I am making an international to international connection, what is the process?
There is no international transit process in nearly all airports in the USA (MIA has a baggage exception for international to international). Arriving internationally, unless you have been pre-cleared, you must proceed through U. S. immigration (there are kiosks and a fast channel for Global Entry approved passengers), recover your baggage from the baggage carousel and proceed through U. S. Customs. There is a "green line" shortcut for passengers traveling only with carry-on baggage (no checked luggage) which is called "1 Stop" and there are Global Entry kiosks and there have fairly recently been dedicated Global Entry customs lines added, which ORD lacked for a very long time. Global Entry kiosks are located both in the central part of the main immigration hall area, as well as in the hall next to the 1-Stop exit.

Upon exiting Customs there is a bag drop facility; drop your checked baggage, exit to the landside arrivals area. Proceed to the the AA terminal on the ATS train, to counters or kiosks to get boarding passes for your ongoing travel, then proceed through TSA security to airside.
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Old Jun 1, 07, 3:24 pm
  #1  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, TAP, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
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Arrow AA Guide: ORD / Chicago O'Hare International Airport - MCT, Connection, etc.

This is a thread developed as part of the American Airlines (now including US Airways) hub airport guides.

Last edited by JDiver; Oct 18, 15 at 7:38 pm Reason: Update
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Old Feb 3, 14, 2:11 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Hi all,

I am looking at booking an itinerary that involves a 1hr 40min connection @ORD.

Arr: 3:55pm AA131 HEL-ORD
Dep: 5:35pm AA2343 ORD-DFW

Is 1hr 40min enough? How busy will CBP be at that time? Will be my first time doing a INTL connection @ORD.
B747forever is offline  
Old Feb 3, 14, 2:41 pm
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by B747forever View Post
Hi all,

I am looking at booking an itinerary that involves a 1hr 40min connection @ORD.

Arr: 3:55pm AA131 HEL-ORD
Dep: 5:35pm AA2343 ORD-DFW

Is 1hr 40min enough? How busy will CBP be at that time? Will be my first time doing a INTL connection @ORD.
Last year, I had a connection that was almost identical to yours. I-D, 1:40 connection at about mid-day in ORD. I am a US Citizen and have Global Entry.

I decided that was too close for my own comfort, so changed to another flight 2 hours later.

On the day of the flight, following an on-time arrival, I got through CBP quickly with my Global Entry, but noticed a long line of others in the normal line. I then got on the train and entered the terminal, where TSA security was fast due to my Pre-Check eligibility.

Once in the terminal, I looked at the Departures board and, out of curiosity, checked out my original flight. It was "Boarding". I could have made that flight, had I run through the terminal, but instead I found a nice comfy spot and read my book for a couple of hours.

Without Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check eligibility, there would have been no way to make that flight.
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Old Feb 4, 14, 6:17 pm
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by QueenOfCoach View Post
Last year, I had a connection that was almost identical to yours. I-D, 1:40 connection at about mid-day in ORD. I am a US Citizen and have Global Entry.

I decided that was too close for my own comfort, so changed to another flight 2 hours later.

On the day of the flight, following an on-time arrival, I got through CBP quickly with my Global Entry, but noticed a long line of others in the normal line. I then got on the train and entered the terminal, where TSA security was fast due to my Pre-Check eligibility.

Once in the terminal, I looked at the Departures board and, out of curiosity, checked out my original flight. It was "Boarding". I could have made that flight, had I run through the terminal, but instead I found a nice comfy spot and read my book for a couple of hours.

Without Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check eligibility, there would have been no way to make that flight.
Thank you for replying. There is a flight about two hours later (3h layover), might be better to book on that one instead.
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Old Feb 4, 14, 10:10 pm
  #5  
 
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You are making the same decision I did.
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Old Feb 27, 14, 9:52 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
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International Arrival in ORD Question

Hello -

My wife-to-be and I are going to Jamaica for our honeymoon in July. On our return, we are scheduled to fly from Montego Bay (MBJ) to ORD on a Saturday arriving at 6:00pm and having an overnight layover there. Then in the morning, we fly from ORD to MSP.

My question is, once we go through Customs, will we be able to keep our checked luggage overnight or will we have to give our luggage back to AA immediately after the customs process? This will be our first time having an overnight layover.

Thank you!
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Old Feb 27, 14, 10:05 am
  #7  
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You can keep it.
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Old Feb 27, 14, 7:04 pm
  #8  
 
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Yup. You can stop at the recheck desk or continue right on our the doors to the arrivals area, doesn't matter.
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Old Feb 28, 14, 2:41 pm
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Originally Posted by B747forever View Post
Thank you for replying. There is a flight about two hours later (3h layover), might be better to book on that one instead.
Without Global Entry your 1.40 hour lay over is very short. OTOH depending on weather, ORD can have large delays and flight cancellations, and since you are incoming on an international flight AA will do its best to get you to final destination on the next flight, so you may try to go for the short connection knowing you may miss it and end up at the later connection.

If for some reason the later connection gets cancelled, you may be stuck in ORD, especially since you may find out too late to catch the earlier flight.
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Old Mar 2, 14, 7:17 pm
  #10  
 
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Has anyone tried taking duty free liquids through in their carry-on since the rule change? http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/3-1-1-carry-ons

I'm wondering how much time I'll lose in ORD if I get a bottle of Scotch, I'm eligible for Pre-Check but don't always get it re-entering the country. I'm not too worried about missing the connection, but I do worry about not having time to visit the FL lounge.
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Old Mar 2, 14, 8:16 pm
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by Ambraciot View Post
Has anyone tried taking duty free liquids through in their carry-on since the rule change? http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/3-1-1-carry-ons

I'm wondering how much time I'll lose in ORD if I get a bottle of Scotch, I'm eligible for Pre-Check but don't always get it re-entering the country. I'm not too worried about missing the connection, but I do worry about not having time to visit the FL lounge.
I just returned from LHR today on AA87 then AA4244 to DCA. No problem with a duty free bottle of booze in my carry-on backpack. Arrived about 1300, and about 10 minutes later after deplaning and the hike to Global Entry was on the way to T3 Pre. Another guy from the flight had booze and some skin care products behind me in Pre and sailed right through also.

They didn’t even look at the bottle packaging.

I was sipping a Sapporo in the Flagship Lounge by 1345 or so, and had about an hour there before heading for my 1530 connection (it was late). As an aside, for about the last year I have not had a Pre fail on reentry thru ORD, DFW or JFK - 100%!.

Last edited by AATrout; Mar 2, 14 at 8:22 pm
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Old Mar 5, 14, 2:29 am
  #12  
 
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ORD BA to AA connection / check in

I have a connection in ORD between a BA flight and an AA domestic. My BA flight arrives Terminal 5 at about 2pm and the onward domestic is not until about 10pm.

When I arrive at Terminal 5 I assume I need to collect luggage and go through immigration, but then can I go directly to Terminal 3 and check my luggage in for my domestic flight even though it is around five hours before departure?
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Old Mar 5, 14, 2:37 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by DG55 View Post
I have a connection in ORD between a BA flight and an AA domestic. My BA flight arrives Terminal 5 at about 2pm and the onward domestic is not until about 10pm.

When I arrive at Terminal 5 I assume I need to collect luggage and go through immigration, but then can I go directly to Terminal 3 and check my luggage in for my domestic flight even though it is around five hours before departure?
As American Airlines is still operating as a distinct entity, this question is being moved over to the relevant thread in the pre-merger American Airlines forum.

Please note the sticky at the top of the consolidated thread which is titled Welcome to the New American Airlines Forum! PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING. With all of the changes about, it is important to know where to post, and reading that thread before posting (as the title suggests ) will help get you in the right place.

~Moderator
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Old Mar 5, 14, 6:51 am
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Originally Posted by DG55 View Post
I have a connection in ORD between a BA flight and an AA domestic. My BA flight arrives Terminal 5 at about 2pm and the onward domestic is not until about 10pm.

When I arrive at Terminal 5 I assume I need to collect luggage and go through immigration, but then can I go directly to Terminal 3 and check my luggage in for my domestic flight even though it is around five hours before departure?
I was going to ask the same question - except I have a considerably shorter connection time. Arriving from LHR on BA and connecting through to LAX on AA.

BA told me this morning that bags didn't need to be collected and cleared through customs because the alliance enables them to transfer bags directly. This was never my understanding, so I wouldn't take this as gospel. If any others have more concrete information, I'd be keen to hear it.
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Old Mar 5, 14, 6:54 am
  #15  
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Originally Posted by TheSuitableBoy View Post
BA told me this morning that bags didn't need to be collected and cleared through customs because the alliance enables them to transfer bags directly. This was never my understanding, so I wouldn't take this as gospel. If any others have more concrete information, I'd be keen to hear it.
This is a BA agent who has no idea how things go in the US. Arriving on BA to ORD and transferring to AA domestic, 100% of the time will go like this:

- Clear passport control
- Collect bags
- Clear customs (provide the landing form or GE printout) and exit the baggage hall
- Re-check baggage as soon as you leave the customs/baggage area
- Take the inter-terminal train to T3
- Enter the terminal like any originating passenger by going through security

What the agent was either intending to say (or should have said) is that BA will tag the bags through to the final destination, so all that will have to be done after clearing customs is to drop the bag on the belt (or hand it to the agent who will do the same) and head to the train.
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