Minimum time needed at Chicago (Ord)

Old Mar 17, 20, 1:36 am
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Minimum time needed at Chicago (Ord)

Hi all,

New to Flyertalk so sorry if this is in wrong section.

Ive just used my 2-1 companion voucher for flights to Chicago (Ord) next year in First. Itís been a good few years since Iíve been America and Iím looking at booking a separate flight onto Memphis. I land at 18:30 on BA297 but Iím unsure how much time I should give myself to get through security at Ord and get bags and recheck back in? Any advice would be great.

Thanks
Gary
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Old Mar 17, 20, 1:45 am
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Probably best to stay overnight and fly out the next morning. On separate tickets I would want a minimum four hour cushion. Welcome to FT!
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Old Mar 17, 20, 1:55 am
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Welcome to FT, Gary82!
Originally Posted by Gary82 View Post
Ive just used my 2-1 companion voucher for flights to Chicago (Ord) next year in First. Itís been a good few years since Iíve been America and Iím looking at booking a separate flight onto Memphis. I land at 18:30 on BA297 but Iím unsure how much time I should give myself to get through security at Ord and get bags and recheck back in? Any advice would be great.
I'm about to say the same thing that I see that LondonElite has just posted!

You don't say the exact date that you're travelling, but it looks likely that the last flight from ORD to MEM is a UA at 2105, which would give you 2:35 between flights. For myself, that would be far too tight on separate tickets because you'd have no protection if the inbound BA flight is (say) 90 minutes late (which is relatively trivial) and there is then simply insufficient time to clear immigration, collect your bag, clear customs, go to UA check-in and then check in and drop your bag. BA policy is not to through-check bags, and if that's adhered to you might have to do a full check-in/bag drop from scratch with UA.

There might be a slightly earlier flight on AA, but that would simply makes the whole trip even more problematic. For what it's worth, on the days that I can see that earlier AA flight in the schedules, the connection is too tight to be "legal" even if you were travelling on a single ticket, which you're not.
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Old Mar 17, 20, 2:04 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
Probably best to stay overnight and fly out the next morning. On separate tickets I would want a minimum four hour cushion. Welcome to FT!
Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
Welcome to FT, Gary82!I'm about to say the same thing that I see that LondonElite has just posted!

You don't say the exact date that you're travelling, but it looks likely that the last flight from ORD to MEM is a UA at 2105, which would give you 2:35 between flights. For myself, that would be far too tight on separate tickets because you'd have no protection if the inbound BA flight is (say) 90 minutes late (which is relatively trivial) and there is then simply insufficient time to clear immigration, collect your bag, clear customs, go to UA check-in and then check in and drop your bag. BA policy is not to through-check bags, and if that's adhered to you might have to do a full check-in/bag drop from scratch with UA.

There might be a slightly earlier flight on AA, but that would simply makes the whole trip even more problematic. For what it's worth, on the days that I can see that earlier AA flight in the schedules, the connection is too tight to be "legal" even if you were travelling on a single ticket, which you're not.
Thanks for the replies. Sorry, forgot to put travel date. I fly on 11th February 21

From my last visit to America (BOS) , I did think the better option might be staying overnight and travelling on in the morning.
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Old Mar 17, 20, 2:34 am
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I would strongly echo the advice of London Elite and Globaliser to stay overnight then fly the next day and would save any unnecessary hassle of being on separate tickets.

Welcome to Flyertalk and here on the BA Board Gary82, an excellent and helpful place to be if you need travel advice! The BA Forum Dashboard is full of information for all your BA and oneworld related questions as well as the many other forums available
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Old Mar 17, 20, 3:23 am
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Originally Posted by Gary82 View Post
Thanks for the replies. Sorry, forgot to put travel date. I fly on 11th February 21
OK, this helps. We can assume that the current situation will be in our rear view mirrors by then. If this was happening this week, there's not a chance you'd make it.

The thing is though, we don't know what the domestic schedules will be like in February 2021. If the latest flight to Memphis is 2h 35m later like it is now, I personally would book it and hope for the best. I have done things like this a number of times, and never had issues. But I've had close calls! One time many years ago my BA flight from LGW touched down at ATL one hour before my NW flight to MSP was scheduled to depart. I made it.

Of course, it depends on how much you're willing to risk. I have Global Entry, and most times I can waltz through immigration, costing me a few minutes at the most.
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Old Mar 17, 20, 3:24 am
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Just a note: There is a Hilton Hotel right in the airport, outside security, but an easy walk. I did this once on an overnight from an incoming international, and it was worth every penny. In February, the rates will be low.
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Old Mar 17, 20, 4:43 am
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February in Chicago. Think about that for a minute. I would opt for no stress and stay overnight. Have a meal and a few drinks and get some rest.
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Old Mar 17, 20, 8:26 am
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There is no realistic means of knowing what either BA or AA will be operating next year and thus not worth being overly concerned just now. I would book the BA flight because it at least will give you a rebooking option if it is cancelled or the schedule changed.

At the present time, AA still protects transfers on separate tickets from other OW carriers, but there appear to be cracks in that policy and it is far too easy to speculate whether the policy survives the current onslaught. Once things steady, you can then evaluate onwards travel to MEM.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 9:48 am
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Thanks for the replies.

One more question if itís ok? As my journey starts from Leeds via Heathrow to Chicago on the same ticket, with BA, do I have to request them to put my bags through or is it automatically done? Iíve always done separate tickets with Airlines, so Iím unsure.


Thanks
Gary
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Old Mar 18, 20, 9:53 am
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Originally Posted by Gary82 View Post
Thanks for the replies.

One more question if itís ok? As my journey starts from Leeds via Heathrow to Chicago on the same ticket, with BA, do I have to request them to put my bags through or is it automatically done? Iíve always done separate tickets with Airlines, so Iím unsure.


Thanks
Gary
Ask as much as you like! Yes, your bags will be checked through on a single ticket. Separate tickets with BA, not.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 10:00 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
Ask as much as you like! Yes, your bags will be checked through on a single ticket. Separate tickets with BA, not.
Thanks. Just wasnít sure if I had to request them to do it.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 3:04 pm
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
Ask as much as you like! Yes, your bags will be checked through on a single ticket. Separate tickets with BA, not.
If they arrive is another thing!
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