Customs/Connecting through ORD vice MIA ?

Old Aug 27, 19, 3:18 am
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Customs/Connecting through ORD vice MIA ?

I typically connect through MIA coming out of the Caribbean and know the drill there. Any substantial differences, pain points, etc., clearing customs and connecting through ORD? Layover/Connecting times of 2-3 hours to DCA for both options.

I don't have Global Entry / TSA Precheck. Will fly in F so should be quickly off the plane. I will have one very large and heavy (but not over-weight) checked bag and a couple small carry-ons. (so the less I have to do in terms of distance - both baggage recheck/drop and walking to most likely terminal connection - the much better). Lounges not a factor.

Any preferences on connecting/clearing customs at either airport in my situation?

Thanks! Booking my flight to get out of the potential weather ahead of Dorian.
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Old Aug 27, 19, 3:37 am
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Sometimes it depends on the time of day.. having use both ORD and MIA coming off international flights, I actually found MIA quicker.
Now also keep in mind the weather in both places, right now with bad weather south of MIA , a ORD connection might be a wiser option.
On a side note, if you bags even though you are in F, might be the last ones off
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Old Aug 27, 19, 7:14 am
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Iíd skip ORD while the people mover is shut down. Youíll have to bus back landside from T5 to T3 with the throngs of people making domestic connections
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Old Aug 27, 19, 7:24 am
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Originally Posted by DataPlumber View Post
Iíd skip ORD while the people mover is shut down. Youíll have to bus back landside from T5 to T3 with the throngs of people making domestic connections
This.
The ORD customs hall seems to be a zoo no matter when I go through. It's convenient enough for me as I live in Chicago, but I would not want to hazard an I -> D connection there with less than 4 hours to spare. As the previous poster mentioned, the people mover is shut down (new update: it'll be open in December, we promise!) which means a bus transfer from T5 to T3 and reclearing security in T3 (which for non-TSA Pre, is also a zoo most times of the day). Traffic out of T5 and back onto the airport approach road to T1 - T3 is frequently backed up.
I'd go MIA, or, if looking for a new experience, DFW.
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Old Aug 27, 19, 7:49 am
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ORD would have to provide some massive luxury experience in order to get me to fly that far out of the way for some perceived CBP benefit. It doesn't.
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Old Aug 27, 19, 8:04 am
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Ugh. Well, done is done. I have the flight ticketed and am within the 48 hour window. Not sure I have any options now unless there's a flight change or I burn another $200 of my ticket credit to try to make another change?

The pickings are very slim. There was nothing but coach today and tomorrow and the F tickets through Miami were $1000+ tickets or 11-12 hour flight time.

Guess at this point I should just be happy I have a scheduled flight off the island pre Tropical Storm Dorian's anticipated landfall as possibly a hurricane based on current predicts. Assuming Dorian doesn't materialize stronger and faster than expected and flights are cancelled Thursday.

Do I have to take the checked bag back on the Bus and through Security? Please tell me at least "no" on that.
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Old Aug 27, 19, 8:06 am
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Originally Posted by cmtlatitudes View Post
Do I have to take the checked bag back on the Bus and through Security? Please tell me at least "no" on that.
There is a bag drop post customs so no you don't have to take the checked bag on the bus.
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Old Aug 27, 19, 9:22 am
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Originally Posted by cmtlatitudes View Post
Ugh. Well, done is done. I have the flight ticketed and am within the 48 hour window. Not sure I have any options now unless there's a flight change or I burn another $200 of my ticket credit to try to make another change?

The pickings are very slim. There was nothing but coach today and tomorrow and the F tickets through Miami were $1000+ tickets or 11-12 hour flight time.

Guess at this point I should just be happy I have a scheduled flight off the island pre Tropical Storm Dorian's anticipated landfall as possibly a hurricane based on current predicts. Assuming Dorian doesn't materialize stronger and faster than expected and flights are cancelled Thursday.

Do I have to take the checked bag back on the Bus and through Security? Please tell me at least "no" on that.
At ORD, taking the bus from T5 to T3 after you clear immigration/customs is slight pain, yes, but not the end of the world and certainly not something I'd burn even more money to avoid if you've already booked your ticket. As you mentioned the pickings will get real slim this week with the storm approaching, flight cancellations, and everyone else trying to do the same thing. I flew through ORD twice this year connecting Int'l to Domestic and both times the wait for the bus was no more than 5 mins, really not a huge deal.
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Old Aug 27, 19, 1:24 pm
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The last time I flew through ORD and had to take a bus was Oct of last year. I have GE so can't comment on how long it will take to get through. I also don't ever check bags so don't have to wait. OP mentioned 2-3 hours. If 3 hours there should be no issue. If 2 it could be tight. The bus for me did not take long to get on and leave although there wasn't a line. I hopped right on and off we went. That being said the traffic was pretty awful. It was late afternoon so it did take about 20 minutes to get to the terminals. One suggestion if traffic is congested is to just get off a the first stop - Terminal 1 and walk to terminal 3. I made this decision and it was a great choice. Again, can't speak to your bags but something to consider.
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Old Aug 27, 19, 1:30 pm
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In the subject line, does "vice MIA" refer to Miami Vice?
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Old Aug 27, 19, 7:07 pm
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Originally Posted by SeeBuyFly View Post
In the subject line, does "vice MIA" refer to Miami Vice?


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Old Aug 27, 19, 7:44 pm
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There is a new option for connecting customers to reclear T5 at a new checkpoint, as detailed by our resident insider ords here:

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/show...&postcount=203

Summary: If you're not offered one, ask the agent meeting your plane for an orange Express Connections pass. Walk back upstairs after exiting customs and clear security at the new checkpoint for connecting passengers. Walk down to M1 to catch the airside bus back to T3. No need for long outdoor waits in the (admittedly beautiful at the moment) Chicago weather, and you won't be stuck in landside traffic between terminals.
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Old Aug 27, 19, 8:52 pm
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Immigration at MIA as always been a complete cluster in D and I've waited up to 5 hrs in line. Taking ORD any day even if the train is bust.
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Old Aug 27, 19, 8:54 pm
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Originally Posted by linglingfool View Post
There is a new option for connecting customers to reclear T5 at a new checkpoint, as detailed by our resident insider ords here:

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/show...&postcount=203

Summary: If you're not offered one, ask the agent meeting your plane for an orange Express Connections pass. Walk back upstairs after exiting customs and clear security at the new checkpoint for connecting passengers. Walk down to M1 to catch the airside bus back to T3. No need for long outdoor waits in the (admittedly beautiful at the moment) Chicago weather, and you won't be stuck in landside traffic between terminals.
Can one use the bus without an Express pass? Seems useful if coming off a pre cleared flight and want to stay airside.
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Old Aug 27, 19, 8:56 pm
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Originally Posted by dantheflyingman View Post
This.
The ORD customs hall seems to be a zoo no matter when I go through. It's convenient enough for me as I live in Chicago, but I would not want to hazard an I -> D connection there with less than 4 hours to spare. As the previous poster mentioned, the people mover is shut down (new update: it'll be open in December, we promise!) which means a bus transfer from T5 to T3 and reclearing security in T3 (which for non-TSA Pre, is also a zoo most times of the day). Traffic out of T5 and back onto the airport approach road to T1 - T3 is frequently backed up.
I'd go MIA, or, if looking for a new experience, DFW.
Chicago customs are better than DFW cuz you donít want in line if you have global entry. Also mobile passport line rarely have any people in it. I think itís way better than MIA. And reclearing security in T3 with precheck is a breeze. Never waited more than 5-7 minutes even during peak hours.
However I waited 20-30 min in MIA in precheck line. That was a real zoo
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