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Repatriating through ORD – what to expect?

Repatriating through ORD – what to expect?

Old Mar 25, 20, 3:55 am
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Repatriating through ORD – what to expect?

Hi everyone,

Hope you're well and healthy. I'm moving back to the US with my whole family this Friday so we're close to our parents and extended family. We're flying AMS-ORD on KLM (using miles) and then on to a domestic AA flight. I would love to hear your experiences and any tips you might have so we can navigate the airport with the least amount of risk possible. Here are my questions:

1. How are immigration lines? We have Global Entry, but some of the pictures when the travel ban first came in make are worrying to say the least.

2. If I remember correctly, AA has a check-in counter for connections after we clear customs, correct? Will we be able to use it even though we're on separate tickets for international/domestic?

3. What's the best way of getting to terminal 3 right now? Does the airside bus still exist on T5?

4. If you have any other tips, please let me know. We're pretty stressed out about doing this (and living in quarantine after that), so anything helps.

Thank you so much (and stay healthy!).
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Old Mar 25, 20, 4:16 am
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ORD lines to deal with CBP are very short as of late, at least most of the day there. But the processing time per person is slower. GE won’t do as much to speed things up as usual since you’ll be dealing with the medical screening-related processes that are slower and can still at times drag out. But things are now way smoother than they were last week. They may let you wait on the plane after landing before letting you off the plane with the CDC health forms. These health forms are to be given on the plane (if not earlier) and passengers told to fill out on the plane when possible.

Even with a separate ticket for flights originating out of ORD, ordinarily checking in and dropping off newly tagged bags with AA at the T5 post-customs area is possible before you go into the public area and head for the landside bus to go from T5 to T3. I don’t know if that has been shut down by AA at this point, but be ready for maybe having to do the check-in at T3 instead.

There is no airside bus for AMS-ORD passengers to use to get from T5 to T3. It will be the land-side bus to get from T5 to T3 — that is outside of the building, after you exit baggage claim, customs and the transfer baggage station.

Things will work out fine at ORD with getting into the US, if the flight goes ahead and you have had no symptoms on landing nor in recent days.

My sincere suggestion is to try to not to get too worked up about the US arrival part of the situation, as that is working out ok in the main.

Last edited by GUWonder; Mar 25, 20 at 4:22 am
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Old Mar 25, 20, 12:24 pm
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Originally Posted by GiantVulture View Post
3. What's the best way of getting to terminal 3 right now? Does the airside bus still exist on T5?
From the ORD T1, T2, T3 to T5 busing being looked at for connecting pax thread:

Originally Posted by ords View Post
Please be advised that effect Wednesday 25Mar theairside inter-terminal transfer bus service between T1, T3 and T5 will be temporarily suspended. The last day of operation will be Tuesday 24Mar.
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Old Mar 25, 20, 2:08 pm
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The airside inter-terminal transfer bus at ORD has always been useless for AMS-ORD arrivals when having onward domestic flight connections. The OP’s kind of transfer has to always be done via land-side transfer of some sort.
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Old Mar 25, 20, 2:44 pm
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
The airside inter-terminal transfer bus at ORD has always been useless for AMS-ORD arrivals when having onward domestic flight connections. The OP’s kind of transfer has to always be done via land-side transfer of some sort.
Actually:

Originally Posted by threeoh View Post
This website has been updated and now reads:

"If you arrive at O'Hare on an international flight and have a connecting domestic flight, you will arrive at Terminal 5. You may only use the TTB if you have rechecked your luggage and if you have a boarding pass for your connection. Proceed through Terminal 5 security to Gate M1. If you are arriving internationally and mush check -in for your connecting flight, you may not use this service. "
​​​​​​​
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Old Mar 25, 20, 3:05 pm
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Isn’t that “a land-side transfer of some sort”, since for AMS-ORD it continues to involve going land-side and clearing security so as to get back airside at T5?

Either way, given the airside bus seems to previously have been scheduled to run way less frequently than the land-side buses to get from T5 to T3, it’s not a big loss for AMS-ORD passengers like myself. Especially not when the regular land-side road way back from T5 to T1-3 is as empty as it is nowadays.

Maybe with Precheck at T5, the airside bus for this kind of trip will be less useless than it used to be when they decide it makes sense to have it again.

Last edited by GUWonder; Mar 25, 20 at 3:12 pm
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Old Mar 30, 20, 7:24 pm
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Thanks everyone for all the info. If you're looking for more info on how things are at ORD in the middle of this whole mess, this was our experience:

We were all given medical forms before landing and health-screened after CBP (there's no Global Entry, but there are very few travelers anyway). T5 is mostly empty. With the exception of the McDonald's that was full of teenagers (don't ask). Got the curbside bus to T3 and got through TSA Precheck in no time. There are still a lot of food vendors open at T3. Other than the lack of crowds, you can't really tell there's a global pandemic—staff didn't have any special equipment, there was nothing shielding them from the general public (in AMS they put up flexible acrylic sheets at every counter). A lot of passengers were keeping their distance, but there were also a lot that didn't care.

We're now in complete quarantine for the recommended 14 days. Stay safe, everyone. We only traveled because we truly had to.
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Old Mar 31, 20, 6:39 am
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Originally Posted by GiantVulture View Post
Thanks everyone for all the info. If you're looking for more info on how things are at ORD in the middle of this whole mess, this was our experience:

We were all given medical forms before landing and health-screened after CBP (there's no Global Entry, but there are very few travelers anyway). T5 is mostly empty. With the exception of the McDonald's that was full of teenagers (don't ask). Got the curbside bus to T3 and got through TSA Precheck in no time. There are still a lot of food vendors open at T3. Other than the lack of crowds, you can't really tell there's a global pandemic—staff didn't have any special equipment, there was nothing shielding them from the general public (in AMS they put up flexible acrylic sheets at every counter). A lot of passengers were keeping their distance, but there were also a lot that didn't care.

We're now in complete quarantine for the recommended 14 days. Stay safe, everyone. We only traveled because we truly had to.
Glad you're through and had little issue via ORD.

Just for those reading this, there are still some scheduled flights between Europe and the U.S. To make things easier and safer for screening, all European flights are gated to the east side of Terminal 5. Lets say after that first day of hell, the mindset quickly shifted and the light bulb moment arrived.

Non European flights are gated on the west side of Terminal 5, so there's a effort to segregate and will be for the foreseeable future.

For those departing, only two food services are open on the departures side. Goddess and the Grocer (departure hall) and Burger King by M7. Hub51's bar is still open within the main food court area.
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Old Apr 1, 20, 2:56 pm
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Originally Posted by ords View Post
Glad you're through and had little issue via ORD.

Just for those reading this, there are still some scheduled flights between Europe and the U.S. To make things easier and safer for screening, all European flights are gated to the east side of Terminal 5. Lets say after that first day of hell, the mindset quickly shifted and the light bulb moment arrived.

Non European flights are gated on the west side of Terminal 5, so there's a effort to segregate and will be for the foreseeable future.

For those departing, only two food services are open on the departures side. Goddess and the Grocer (departure hall) and Burger King by M7. Hub51's bar is still open within the main food court area.
The medical screening by CDC/CDC-cooperating health screeners at ORD is still done in substantial part in the baggage claim area?

When our embassies are contacted in Europe, AMS and FRA are the primary Schengen gateway referrals for Americans seeking repatriation travel to the US using scheduled commercial carriers.
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Old Apr 3, 20, 11:15 am
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
The medical screening by CDC/CDC-cooperating health screeners at ORD is still done in substantial part in the baggage claim area?

When our embassies are contacted in Europe, AMS and FRA are the primary Schengen gateway referrals for Americans seeking repatriation travel to the US using scheduled commercial carriers.
CDC screening is still being done by Carousel 9.

That sounds about right. KL has 2 trips a week and LH has 3.

I'm surprised DUB isn't listed, EI has one daily trip running.
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