O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

Airport in Chicago, United States

Introduction

Chicago O'Hare International Airport , also known as O'Hare Airport, or simply O'Hare, is an international airport located on the Far Northwest Side of Chicago, Illinois, 17 miles (27 km) northwest of the Loop. O'Hare International Airport (IATA: ORD) is one of the biggest and busiest airports in the world. It serves the city of Chicago and the rest of the Chicagoland area, with connecting flights to smaller cities throughout the Midwest.

As of January 2017, O'Hare has direct service to 208 destinations, including 153 domestic destinations in the United States and 55 international ones in North America, South America, Asia, and Europe, making it an international gateway to much of the American midwest.  It is among a select group of airports worldwide with the distinction of serving more than 200 destinations, along with Heathrow, Frankfurt, Atatürk, Amsterdam, Charles de Gaulle, Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Munich, and Dubai.

O'Hare serves a major hub for United Airlines and American Airlines, as well as a hub for regional carrier Air Choice One, and a focus city for Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines.

Airlines & Destinations

O'Hare has four passenger terminals. Terminals 1-3 handle domestic traffic (and some international departures); Terminal 5 handles all international arrivals and international departures that are not covered by Terminals 1-3. (Terminal 4 is something of a fnord, its temporary space since re-appropriated as the shuttle bus depot; the name has been set aside for potential future expansion).

United Airlines has a significant presence at O'Hare, since its corporate offices are located in downtown Chicago. O'Hare is also a major hub for American Airlines. As such, a rule of thumb is that Terminals 1 and 2 are dominated by United and its alliance partners; Terminal 3 is given over to American and its partners, and only Concourse L of Terminal 3 and several gates in Concourse E of Terminal 2 are for everybody else. More precisely at:

  • Terminal 1
  • Concourse B: United
  • Concourse C: United, All Nippon Airways (departures), Lufthansa (departures)
  • Terminal 2
  • Concourse E: Delta, Air Canada, United Express
  • Concourse F: United Express
  • Terminal 3
  • Concourse G: American Eagle
  • Concourse H: American Airlines
  • Concourse K: American Airlines, Japan Airlines (departures), Air Berlin (departures), Iberia (departures)
  • Concourse L: American, Air Choice One, Alaska Airlines, Frontier, JetBlue, Spirit, Virgin America
  • Terminal 5/Concourse M Aer Lingus, Aeroméxico, Air Berlin (arrivals only), Air France, Air India, Alitalia, C.A.I., American Airlines (international arrivals), Asiana Airlines, Avianca, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Cayman Airways, China Eastern Airlines, Copa Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Finnair, Frontier Airlines - (Int'l Arrivals Only), Hainan Airlines, Iberia Airlines (arrivals), Icelandair, Japan Airlines (JAL) (arrivals), KLM Royal Dutch, Korean Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa (arrivals), Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, Scandinavian Arlines, SWISS, Turkish Airlines, Volaris Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Westjet Airlines, United (international arrivals), Delta (international arrivals)

With the exception of flights from airports with US border preclearance, such as those from major Canadian airports, all international arrivals are processed at Terminal 5 regardless of the departure terminal of the airline.

Arrive

For passengers arriving on international flights, Immigration and Customs formalities typically take 15-30 minutes, but can can take up to 2 hours at peak times. The busiest times are in the afternoon, and the full statistics can be seen here.

Transfer

Passengers transferring between international flights should note that there are no special transit facilities, which means that even if you have an immediate connecting flight, you have to pass through Customs and Immigration.  Passengers arriving on international flights and transferring to another international or domestic flight will have to go through security again.

AirlinesDestinations
Aer LingusDublin
AeroméxicoGuadalajara, Mexico City
Air BerlinBerlin–Tegel
Air CanadaToronto–Pearson, Vancouver
Seasonal: Montréal–Trudeau
Air Canada ExpressMontréal–Trudeau, Toronto–Pearson
Air Choice OneBurlington (IA), Decatur, Ironwood, Mason City
Air FranceSeasonal: Paris–Charles de Gaulle
Air IndiaDelhi, Hyderabad
Alaska AirlinesAnchorage, Portland (OR), Seattle/Tacoma
AlitaliaSeasonal: Rome–Fiumicino
All Nippon AirwaysTokyo–Haneda, Tokyo–Narita
American AirlinesAtlanta, Austin, Beijing–Capital, Boston, Cancún, Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Hartford, Kansas City, Las Vegas, London–Heathrow, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New Orleans, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia, Newark, Orange County (CA), Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Pittsburgh, Portland (OR), Raleigh/Durham, Reno/Tahoe, Sacramento, St. Louis, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (CA), San Juan, Seattle/Tacoma, Shanghai–Pudong, Tampa, Tokyo–Narita, Tucson, Tulsa, Washington–National, West Palm Beach
Seasonal: Albuquerque (resumes August 21, 2017), Baltimore, Barcelona, Bozeman (resumes August 26, 2017), Cozumel, Dublin, Eagle/Vail, Guatemala City, Houston–Intercontinental, Jackson Hole, Jacksonville (FL), Louisville, Manchester (UK), Montego Bay, Norfolk (resumes August 22, 2017), Ontario, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Palm Springs, Puerto Vallarta, Punta Cana, Rome–Fiumicino, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San José del Cabo
American EagleAkron/Canton, Albany, Albuquerque, Appleton, Atlanta, Baltimore, Birmingham (AL), Bismarck, Bloomington/Normal, Boise, Buffalo, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, Champaign/Urbana, Charlottesville, Chattanooga, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Colorado Springs, Columbia (MO), Columbus–Glenn, Dayton, Denver, Des Moines, Detroit, Dubuque, El Paso, Evansville, Fargo, Flint, Fayetteville (AR), Fort Wayne, Grand Rapids, Green Bay, Greensboro, Greenville/Spartanburg, Harrisburg, Hartford, Hattiesburg/Laurel, Houston–Intercontinental, Huntsville, Indianapolis, Jacksonville (FL), Kalamazoo, Kansas City, Knoxville, La Crosse, Lansing, Lexington, Little Rock, Louisville, Madison, Manhattan (KS), Marquette, Memphis, Meridian (MS), Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Moline–Quad City, Montréal–Trudeau, Mosinee, Nashville, New Orleans, Newark, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Peoria, Pittsburgh, Providence, Richmond, Rochester (MN), Rochester (NY), St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, Sioux City, Sioux Falls, Springfield/Branson, Syracuse, Toledo, Toronto–Pearson, Traverse City, Tulsa, Washington–National, Waterloo (IA), White Plains, Wichita
Seasonal: Aspen, Bozeman, Hayden/Steamboat Springs, Montrose, Rapid City
Asiana AirlinesSeoul–Incheon
Austrian AirlinesVienna
Avianca El SalvadorSan Salvador
British AirwaysLondon–Heathrow
Cathay PacificHong Kong
Cayman AirwaysSeasonal: Grand Cayman
China Eastern AirlinesShanghai–Pudong
Copa AirlinesPanama City
Delta Air LinesAtlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Salt Lake City, Seattle/Tacoma
Seasonal: Paris–Charles de Gaulle
Delta ConnectionCincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–JFK, Salt Lake City
Delta ShuttleNew York–LaGuardia
EmiratesDubai–International
Etihad AirwaysAbu Dhabi
EVA AirTaipei–Taoyuan
FinnairSeasonal: Helsinki
Frontier AirlinesCancún, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Ontario (begins October 12, 2017), Orlando, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Punta Cana, San Antonio, San Francisco
Seasonal: Austin, Charlotte, Colorado Springs, Puerto Vallarta, Portland (OR), Punta Gorda (FL), Raleigh/Durham, San José del Cabo, Seattle/Tacoma, Tampa, St. Augustine, Washington–Dulles, West Palm Beach
Hainan AirlinesBeijing–Capital
IberiaMadrid
IcelandairReykjavík–Keflavík
InterjetMexico City
Japan AirlinesTokyo–Narita
JetBlue AirwaysBoston, Fort Lauderdale, New York–JFK
KLMAmsterdam
Korean AirSeoul–Incheon
LOT Polish AirlinesBudapest (begins May 5, 2018), Kraków, Warsaw–Chopin
LufthansaFrankfurt, Munich
Norwegian Air Shuttle operated by Norwegian Long HaulLondon–Gatwick (begins March 25, 2018)
Qatar AirwaysDoha
Royal JordanianAmman–Queen Alia
Scandinavian AirlinesCopenhagen, Stockholm–Arlanda
Spirit AirlinesAtlanta, Baltimore, Cancún (begins November 9, 2017), Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Houston–Intercontinental, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New Orleans, New York–LaGuardia, Orlando, San Diego, Tampa
Seasonal: Boston, Myrtle Beach, Oakland, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Portland (OR)
Swiss International Air LinesZürich
Turkish AirlinesIstanbul–Atatürk
United AirlinesAlbany, Amsterdam, Aruba, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Beijing–Capital, Belize City, Boston, Brussels, Buffalo, Calgary, Cancún, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus–Glenn, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Des Moines, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Frankfurt, Grand Rapids, Harrisburg, Hartford, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Houston–Intercontinental, Indianapolis, Kahului, Kansas City, Las Vegas, London–Heathrow, Los Angeles, Madison, Memphis, Mexico City, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Munich, Nashville, New Orleans, New York–LaGuardia, Newark, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Orange County (CA), Orlando, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Philadelphia, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Pittsburgh, Portland (OR), Raleigh/Durham, Richmond, Rochester (NY), Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (CA), San Juan, São Paulo–Guarulhos, Seattle/Tacoma, Shanghai–Pudong, Singapore (ends October 27, 2017), Spokane, Syracuse, Tampa, Tokyo–Narita, Toronto–Pearson, Vancouver, Washington–Dulles, Washington–National, Wichita
Seasonal: Albuquerque, Anchorage, Boise, Bozeman, Burlington (VT), Charleston (SC), Cozumel, Dublin, Edinburgh, Fairbanks, Grand Cayman, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Jackson Hole, Jacksonville (FL), Liberia, Missoula, Montego Bay, Montrose, Myrtle Beach, Nassau, Palm Springs, Portland (ME), Providence, Providenciales, Puerto Vallarta, Punta Cana, Reno-Tahoe, Rome–Fiumicino, Sarasota, Shannon, Saint Lucia–Hewanorra, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, San José del Cabo, San Jose de Costa Rica, Savannah, Vail/Eagle, West Palm Beach
United ExpressAkron/Canton, Albany, Albuquerque, Allentown, Appleton, Asheville, Aspen, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Birmingham (AL), Boise, Boston, Buffalo, Burlington (VT), Calgary, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, Champaign/Urbana, Charleston (SC), Charleston (WV), Charlotte, Charlottesville, Chattanooga, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Colorado Springs, Columbia (MO) (begins August 1, 2017), Columbia (SC), Columbus–Glenn, Dallas/Fort Worth, Dayton, Des Moines, Detroit, Duluth, Eau Claire, Erie, Evansville, Flint, Fargo, Fayetteville/Bentonville, Fort Wayne, Grand Rapids, Green Bay, Greensboro, Greenville/Spartanburg, Houghton/Hancock, Harrisburg, Hartford, Houston–Intercontinental, Huntsville, Indianapolis, Jackson (MS), Jacksonville (FL), Kalamazoo, Kansas City, Knoxville, Lansing, Lexington, Lincoln, Little Rock, Louisville, Madison, Manchester (NH), Memphis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Mobile, Moline–Quad City, Monterrey, Montréal–Trudeau, Mosinee, Muskegon, Nashville, New Orleans, New York–LaGuardia, Newark, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Ottawa, Paducah, Peoria, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland (ME), Providence, Raleigh/Durham, Richmond, Roanoke, Rochester (MN), Rochester (NY), St. Louis, Saginaw, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, Savannah, Sioux Falls, South Bend, Springfield (IL), Springfield/Branson, State College, Syracuse, Toronto–Pearson, Traverse City, Tucson, Tulsa, Washington–Dulles, Washington–National, White Plains, Wichita, Wilkes–Barre/Scranton, Winnipeg
Seasonal: Bangor, Billings, Bozeman, Cody, Fort Myers, Great Falls, Gunnison/Crested Butte, Hayden/Steamboat Springs, Jackson Hole, Kalispell, Key West, Miami, Missoula, Montrose, Myrtle Beach, Nassau, Québec City, Palm Springs, Pensacola, Rapid City, Sarasota
Virgin AmericaLos Angeles, San Francisco
VolarisGuadalajara, Huatulco (begins November 18, 2017), Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo (begins November 19, 2017), Mexico City, Monterrey
WestJetSeasonal: Calgary
WOW airSeasonal: Reykjavík–Keflavík

Transportation

By train

The CTA Blue Line terminates at the space-age station for O'Hare, designed by the firm of architect Helmut Jahn. Trains run 24 hours a day, as frequently as every six minutes during peak periods and as infrequently as every half-hour overnight. The trip to the Loop should take about 48 minutes, but never cut things close with the CTA. The station is located beneath the Bus/Shuttle Center, closest to Terminal 2 but easily accessible by underground passages, with moving walkways, from Terminals 1 and 3. Those arriving at or departing from Terminal 5 (international) must take the automated Airport Transit System between Terminals 2 and 5. Keep in mind that the cost of the train from O'Hare is $5 instead of the regular $2.25 anywhere else in the city.

Metra North Central Service trains stop at the "O'Hare transfer" station, located adjacent to parking lot F (with shuttle bus service connecting to the ATS). The train reaches Chicago's Union Station in approximately 30 minutes, but service is infrequent, operates only on weekdays and is concentrated in the peak commute direction.

By bus

Pace routes 250 (Dempster Street for Evanston and Skokie) and 330 (Mannheim/La Grange) stop at the terminus of the Airport Transit System in parking lot E.

Several bus companies run scheduled and charter services to other communities; these usually drop passengers off at the departure-level curb and pick passengers up at the Bus/Shuttle Center.

By taxi

Chicago taxis charge a metered rate based on time and distance. Expect to pay around $45 (plus tip) from O'Hare to the Loop. It is illegal for Chicago taxis to charge a non-metered flat rate except for special shared-ride services. Taxi drivers rarely participate in shared-ride services.

Except for a few suburbs immediately adjacent to the airport, Chicago taxis charge one and a half times the meter rate for non-Chicago destinations. Most suburban taxi companies have flat-rate taxi service to their respective suburbs. It is illegal for a suburban taxi to take you from O'Hare to a point within the City of Chicago. American TaxiUniversal Taxi and 303 Taxi are three large suburban taxi associations that have taxis stationed near the airport. But the suburban taxis cannot come to the airport unless you call them after you arrive.

Of the many shuttle/limo services, Go Airport Express vans are the most commonly seen doing the rounds of downtown hotel pick-ups. Fares to the downtown business district are $32/46/54 (plus tip) for a party of one/two/three persons, with a discount for a return ticket if bought in advance and lower fares for children under 14.

By plane

The Omega Airport Shuttle provides transfer service to Midway Airport for $45 (plus tip), with hourly departures from Door 4 of the Bus/Shuttle Center and at the outer curb at Door 5E at Terminal 5. Service is offered daily 7:50AM-11:50PM. Chicago taxis' metered rates for the Midway/O'Hare trip are in the vicinity of $65.

If time is not of the essence, the O'Hare to Midway trip can be made via CTA 'L' lines for $5 (and only $2.25 from Midway to O'Hare). Take the CTA Blue Line from the lower level of the domestic terminals to the Clark/Lake stop and follow the signs on the platform to go upstairs to the CTA Orange Line which goes to Midway. There is no charge for changing trains at Clark/Lake. The typical time is about an hour and a half, although extra time should be allowed for delays.

By car

Access to O'Hare's terminals is via I-190, which originates near the interchange between I-294 (the Tri-State Tollway) and I-90 (the Northwest Tollway to the northwest and the Kennedy Expressway to the east). From downtown Chicago, follow I-90/94 northwest, continue on I-90 when I-94 splits off, then follow I-190 into the airport, which splits eventually into arrival (lower-level) and departure (upper-level) roadways serving Terminals 1, 2, and 3 in turn. For Terminal 5, exit on Bessie Coleman Drive. This exit also serves numerous rental car companies and the economy parking lots. To drop off a passenger without the harrowing experience of navigating the departures roadway, try Kiss n'Fly: follow signs for remote lot E where you can leave your friend at the terminus of the Airport Transit System, just a short ride away from the terminals.

Most major car rental companies have gigantic lots at O'Hare and offer complimentary shuttle buses to and from the passenger terminals.

Parking

O'Hare runs a parking hotline (+1-773-686-7530) and broadcasts parking information on 800 AM radio within two and a half miles of the airport. Needless to say, then, parking at O'Hare is no simple affair. If you're the sort of person who likes to meet friends at baggage claim with a cordial "Come on, run with those bags!" you'll be glad to know that parking in the main garage is free for stays of under 10 minutes. For the rest of us...

Short-term
  • Level one of the main garage (lot A) is designated for short-term parking, charging $2 for the first hour, and $4 for stays of up to three hours. But keep an eye on the clock, as a fourth hour sees the rate jump to $21, and it doesn't take long to reach the $50/day maximum. Other lots (under long-term, below) also charge $2 for the first hour, but rates increase faster, and as they are further away from the terminals, this option really only benefits you if the hourly parking area is full.
  • Lot D, adjacent to Terminal 5, also offers short-term parking: $2 for an hour, $6 for two hours.
  • A portion of remote lot F is now the cell phone lot where you can park for free and wait in your carfor an arriving passenger to call your cell phone, at which point you can pick up your friend curbside without circling endlessly. Shuttle buses run from lot F to E.
Long-term

If leaving a vehicle at the airport during a trip, numerous options are available.

  • The upper levels of the main garage (lot A) and the adjacent surface lots (lots B and C) charge $40/day.
  • International Lot D charges $74/day.
  • Remote economy lot E charges $17/day, remote lot G charges $10/day. A shuttle takes you between lots G and the ATS terminus in lot E.
  • And if money is no object, valet parking is available at $26 for up to 9 hours and $61 for the day.

Visitors are advised to notify the parking hotline if they plan to park for longer than thirty days.


Get around

On foot

Passengers may walk between Terminals 1, 2, and 3 both land-side (prior to clearing security) and air-side. The distance can be considerable; make sure to allow adequate time for layovers between different terminals. United Airlines also runs an air-side shuttle bus between Gate E2A in Terminal 2 and Gate C9 in Terminal 1.

Airport Transit System

O'Hare has an automated, land-side, transit system cleverly called Airport Transit System or ATS. Stops are made at all four terminals as well as at remote parking lot E. This is the only way to reach the three domestic terminals and the Blue Line station from the international terminal, which means that passengers connecting to or from a Terminal 5 flight should allow abundant time for border formalities, inter-terminal transit, and a second security screening. There is no charge for the use of the ATS.

Terminals

O'Hare has four numbered passenger terminals with nine lettered concourses and a total of 182 gates. Two or more additional terminal buildings are envisioned; there is the possibility of a large terminal complex for the west side of the field, with access from I-90 and/or the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway, if the runway reconfiguration is completed and passenger numbers require additional terminals.

With the exception of flights from destinations with U.S. Customs and Border Protection preclearance, all inbound international flights arrive at Terminal 5, as the other terminals do not have screening facilities. Several carriers, such as American, Iberia, Lufthansa and United, with outbound international flights depart from Terminals 1 and 3. This arrangement requires that passengers disembark at Terminal 5 and then, crews tow the empty plane to another terminal for boarding. This is done, in part to make connections for passengers transferring from domestic flights to international flights easier, since while Terminals 1, 2, and 3 allow airside connections, Terminal 5 is separated from the other terminals by a set of taxiways that cross over the airport's access road, requiring passengers to exit security, ride the Airport Transit System, then reclear security in either direction.

Terminal 1

Terminal 1 is used for United Airlines flights, including all mainline flights and some United Express operations, as well as flights for Star Alliance partners Lufthansa and All Nippon Airways. Terminal 1 has 50 gates on two concourses:

  • Concourse B – 22 gates
  • Concourse C – 28 gates

Concourses B and C are linear concourses located in separate buildings parallel to each other. Concourse B is adjacent to the airport roadway and houses passenger Check-ins, baggage claims, and security screenings on its landside and aircraft gates on its airside. Concourse C is a satellite terminal with gates on all sides, in the middle of the ramp, and is connected to Concourse B via an underground pedestrian tunnel under the ramp. The tunnel originates between gates B8 and B9 in Concourse B, and ends on Concourse C between gates C17 and C19. The tunnel is illuminated with a neon installation titled Sky's the Limit (1987) by Canadian artist Michael Hayden, which plays an airy and very slow-tempo version of "Rhapsody in Blue".

United also runs a post-security shuttle bus service between Concourse C (at gate C9) in Terminal 1 and Concourses E & F (at gate E4) in Terminal 2. It operates three United Clubs in Terminal 1: one on Concourse B near gate B6, one located near gate B16, and one on Concourse C near gate C16. There is also a United First International Lounge and United Arrivals Suite in Concourse C near gate C18.

Concourse B features an extension at its northern end (gates B18-B22) commonly called the "banana gates" due to the extension's narrow curved shape. The final gate, B22, branches off into three separate jetways for three regional jet parking positions.

Terminal 1 houses All Nippon Airways's Chicago office.

Terminal 2

Terminal 2 houses Air Canada, Delta Air Lines and Delta Connection domestic flights, and most United Express operations (Check-in for all United flights is done in Terminal 1). Terminal 2 has 43 gates on two concourses.

  • Concourse E – 17 gates
  • Concourse F – 26 gates

Delta's wintertime international service between O'Hare and Paris operates from Terminal 5 as the gates in Terminal 2 do not accommodate the Boeing 767-300ER normally assigned to that route. There is a United Club in Concourse F near gate F8, and a Delta Sky Club in Concourse E near gate E6. United Continental Holdings, United's parent company, is currently upgrading its facilities at Terminal 2, including constructing 10 new jet bridges for the regional flights, reconfiguring the holding rooms, and constructing a United Club to replace the current lounge. US Airways operated out of Terminal 2 until it moved operations to Terminal 3 in July 2014, to be co-located with its merger partner American Airlines. Check-in for US Airways remained at Terminal 2 until September 16, 2014, when ticket counters relocated to Terminal 3.Terminal 2 has 43 gates on two concourses.

Terminal 3

Terminal 3 houses all American Airlines flights, as well as departures for select Oneworld carriers including Iberia and Japan Airlines, plus unaffiliated low-cost carriers. Terminal 3 has 75 gates (5 to be added) on four concourses:

  • Concourse G – 25 gates
  • Concourse H – 17 gates
  • Concourse K – 16 gates
  • Concourse L – 17 gates (5 to be added)

Concourses G and L house most American Eagle operations, while Concourses H and K house American's mainline operations. American's Oneworld partners Japan Airlines, and Iberia depart from K19 and non-affiliated Alaska Airlines operates from H4. Concourse L is used also for flights operated by Frontier Airlines, Spirit Airlines, JetBlue, Virgin America, and Air Choice One. The City of Chicago and American Airlines have agreed to an extension of the L Concourse to add five new gates. The gates are expected to be used primarily for American Eagle's Embraer E-175 fleet. American has agreed to pay roughly $55 to $75 million and the gates are expected to be completed by 2018. The airline operates three Admirals Clubs in Terminal 3: one located in the crosswalk area between gates H6 and K6, one after security before Gate L1, and one in Concourse G across from gate G8. American also has a Flagship Lounge (currently branded as International First Class Lounge) located near gate K19. The Flagship Lounge is scheduled to move underdeath the Admirals Club located in the crosswalk area between gates H6 and K6 in late 2017.

Terminal 5 (International)

Terminal 5 houses all of O'Hare's international arrivals (excluding flights from American Airlinesand United Airlines from destinations with U.S. border preclearance.) Other destinations with U.S. border preclearance, including flights operated by Aer Lingus and Etihad Airways, arrive at Terminal 5, but are treated as domestic arrivals. With the exception of select Star Alliance and Oneworld carriers that board from Terminal 1 or Terminal 3 respectively, all non-U.S. carriers except Air Canada depart from Terminal 5 (Delta is the only major U.S. carrier that uses Terminal 5 [its winter seasonal flight to Paris, as Terminal 2 can not handle the Boeing 767]). Terminal 5 has 21 gates (9 to be added) on one concourse:

  • Concourse M – 21 gates (9 to be added)

Terminal 5 has several airline lounges, including the Air France - KLM Lounge, British Airways First Class Galleries and Business Class Terraces Lounges, Korean Air Lounge, Scandinavian Airlines Lounge, Swissport Lounge, and Swiss International Air Lines First Class Lounge and Business Class Lounge. The airport's U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility is located at the arrival (lower) level.

Terminal 5 underwent a $26 million renovation designed by A. Epstein and Sons International, Inc., which began in July 2012, which involved adding dining and retail post-security, including many Chicago-based restaurants and brands, updated design, and a re-engineered layout. The project was completed on April 4, 2014. Terminal 5 is run by Westfield Management.

O'Hare recently developed a gate capable of accommodating the world's largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380. On February 10, 2016, the Chicago Department of Aviation approved the construction to build out a gate that could handle the Airbus aircraft. The new gate, M11a is the only gate capable of handling the Airbus A380 and, like other gates in Terminal 5, is designated as "common use," meaning no specific airline has exclusive control over it. Emirates and British Airways expressed interest in using their A380s on routes involving O'Hare. The gate became operational on July 19, 2016, with Emirates being the first airline to use it.

Accommodation & Hotels

Many hotels serving O'Hare are actually located in the nearby suburbs of Schiller Park, Elk Grove Village, Mount Prospect, Des Plaines, and most of all in Rosemont. Amenities are fairly standard, with an eye toward business travelers. The area's upscale hotels are all located in Rosemont, with the lone exception of the Hilton at the airport itself:

  • Chicago Hilton O'Hare (Terminal 2 (close to the CTA Blue Line)),  +1-773-686-8000. More than 850 rooms and sound-resistant windows. Rooms from $299.


All hotels run shuttles to and from the airport. Some run on a schedule and do regular pick-ups, while others have to be called from the airport concierge. Shuttle stops are clearly sign-posted. Make sure the shuttle is going to your specific hotel — Marriott, for example, runs separate shuttles for each of its brands. A taxi should cost $10-15 at the most.

O'Hare is well known for weather issues that cause flights to be canceled, particularly in the winter and summer months. If you get stuck at O'Hare and need a hotel room for the night there is a service, Airport Accommodations, that provides discounted rates at full service hotels in the airport area that provide free shuttle service. Call their 24/7 customer service center at  +1-800-935-5995 and they will help you find a room in the airport area. They do not charge for their services.

If you're driving to a hotel, get on I-190, the small expressway that operates to/from the airport. Most hotels are clustered on Mannheim Road or River Road, which have exits from the expressway, or off roads that connect with Mannheim going north (Higgins, Touhy) or south (Irving Park). I-190 merges with I-90/94, which heads to the center of Chicago.

Budget

Cheap hotels near O'Hare tend to be cheap for a reason — don't be shy about asking to see the room first.

 

 

  • Quality Inn O'Hare Airport3801 N Mannheim Rd, Schiller Park,  +1-847-678-0670. About two miles from the airport. This building used to be a Holiday Inn, and it was here that Murph and the Magic Tones played in the movie The Blues Brothers. Rooms from $60.

Mid-range

  • Aloft O'Hare9700 Balmoral Ave, Rosemont,  +1-847-671-4444. Newer budget-minded imprint of the W. Styled to be young and trendy, the hotel actually offers a ton of the same great amenities of the pricier Starwood properties. Swanky bar, cool design, and great entertainment set-up in each room. Rooms from $89.

 

  • Best Western At O'Hare10300 W Higgins Rd, Rosemont,  +1-847-296-4471. The rooms are a little dingy and the internet was spotty at last check, but it's not bad. Has a sports bar and a diner on-site. Rooms from $130.

 

 

 

  • Four Points by Sheraton10249 W Irving Park Rd, Schiller Park, toll-free: +1-800-323-1239. Lounge, restaurant, pool, and the rest. For travelers who like to cut it close, shuttles run to O'Hare every 20 minutes, 24 hours per day. Rooms from $155.

 

 

  • Hyatt Regency O'Hare9300 W Bryn Mawr Ave,  +1-847-696 1234. Contemporary facility with newly renovated guest rooms and meeting space. Rooms from $159.

 

 

  • Renaissance Chicago O'Hare Suites Hotel8500 W Bryn Mawr Ave,  +1-773-380-9600. Indoor swimming pool. Free 24-hour shuttle service to O'Hare Airport, located by the L stop. Rooms from $179.

 

  • Sheraton Suites Elk Grove Village121 Northwest Point Blvd, Elk Grove Village,  +1-847-290-1600. 253 suites with separate living rooms and bedrooms. Rooms from $159.


Splurge

If you're going to spend a lot of money on a hotel and you plan to be in town for more than one night, you'll have a much better time in downtown Chicago. That said, these hotels are big and do a lot of business.

  • Chicago Marriott Suites O'Hare6155 N River Rd, Rosemont+1-847-696-4400, toll-free: +1-866-614-8410. Just five minutes from the airport. Rooms from $269.

 

  • Crowne Plaza Hotel5440 N River Rd, Rosemont,  +1-847-671-6350. Giant hotel about 1.5 miles from the airport, with copious meeting space. Rooms from $188.

 

 

 

  • The Westin O'Hare6100 N River Rd, Rosemont,  +1-847-698-6000. More than 500 pretty rooms with a long list of amenities. Rooms from $329.

Coffee & Restaurants

Eat

O'Hare has plenty of places to eat, most of which won't provide you with an experience beyond keeping you alive through your upcoming flight. You'll pay more than you should for meals you won't remember anything about, save for the grease. There are a few, though, that stand out enough to be worth hunting down, namely The Berghoff and Tortas Frontera, which are good enough to make a delayed flight seem like a good opportunity.

The Publican Tavern

The Publican at O'Hare is an offshoot of the popular West Loop beer-focused meatery. Their kitchen, led by Erik Bates, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner along with grab and go options like sandwiches and salads. An homage to oysters, pork and beer, its eclectic menu is inspired by simple farmhouse fare in a space evocative of a European beer hall.

Location
Terminal 3, Gate K1

Wicker Park Sushi Bar

Wicker Park Sushi Bar has always been a passenger favorite. Watch the professional sushi chef make each sushi roll to order or enjoy traditional miso soup, raw bar, nigiri and rolls. Full bar service is available.

Location
Terminal 2, Main Hall

Billy Goat Tavern

"Cheezburger! Cheezburger! Cheezburger! No Pepsi; Coke. No fries; cheeps." This infamous line from the Saturday Night Live skit is said to be inspired from the Billy Goat Tavern. Aside from just cheeseburgers, the menu also includes a rib-eye steak sandwich.

Location
Terminal 1, Gate C19

Budget

  • Garrett's PopcornTerminal 1 B and Terminal 3 H6AM-10PM. Oprah's taste in popcorn perhaps exceeds even her taste in books, and her favorite Chicago popcorn shop has two locations in the airport. Drench those little guys in caramel, cheese, etc., and toss in some macadamias, cashews, and almonds, and you have yourself a meal. S/M/L $3-5-7.
  • Gold Coast Dogs, 6AM-8PM, serves airport versions of Chicago-style hot dogs in Terminal 3. It would be a crime against taste if this was your only encounter with a Chicago-style hot dog, with Superdawg only a short distance away on the Far Northwest Side!
  • McDonald's, 5AM-11PM, has its greasy claws in all four terminals and is notable mainly for being open later than anyone else.
  • Nuts on Clark. 6AM-10PM in Terminals 1, 2, and 3, has tasty popcorn & nuts for a takeaway salty fix.
  • Sky Bridge, 5AM-9PM daily, is run by Greeks and serves gyros, kebabs, and some other Greek fare along with the basic burger and dog. A step up for the usual fast food joint, most meats here aren't cooked until you order. The omelets are good, the hash browns greasy. Terminal 2, near F7.

Mid-range

  • Berghoff Café. 5:30AM-9:30PM, lives on in Terminal 1 C26, outlasting the original nineteenth century location in the Loop. Bratwurst loyalists will have to take the classic German food wherever they can get it! Of course, you'd miss this, thinking it was just another shoddy airport sandwich shop, but for the lines. The Berghoffés beer or root beer goes just right with a signature Berghoff reuben. $8-12
  • Billy Goat Tavern & Grill, 6AM-9:30PM, serves beer, steaks, and cheeseburgers in Terminal 1. For the sake of any locals who might be around, travelers should take it as a given that everyone has already heard their John Belushi impression, thanks.
  • Chili's, 5:30AM-9PM, serves a limited version of their burgers-and-pasta menu in Terminals 1, 2, and 3.
  • Johnny Rockets, 6AM-9:30PM, airport version of the retro-diner/soda fountain hamburger chain in Terminal 2. Mixed reviews compared to a real standalone JR, but it's a change of pace from a fast-food burger.
  • Pizzeria UNO, 5:15AM-9:30PM, slums it in Terminals 1, 2, and 5, pushing watery versions of Chicago's hallmark deep dish pizza, while Reggio's does the same in Terminals 1 and 3.
  • Tortas Frontera. Rick Bayless of the very highly acclaimed Frontera Grill & Topolobampo downtown has just recently opened what is almost certainly the only airport sandwich shop that lists the local farms from which it gets its produce and meat! The tortas (Mexican sandwiches) are of a high enough quality to land this place in top ten lists of the best airport restaurants worldwide, and it's just a sandwich shop! The Bloody Marys are there waiting for you in the morning after an overnight. Locations at Terminal 1 B10 and Terminal 3 K3, open roughly from 6AM-9:30PM, depending on the day's flight schedules. $8-14.

Splurge

  • Romano's Macaroni Grill, 8AM-8PM, Terminal 3 gate K3, has entrées priced mostly in the $10-$16 range, topping out at $28 for high-end steak meals. Food is of good quality, comparable to the standalone Macaroni Grill restaurants, though is a little more oily than standard Italian fare.
  • Wolfgang Puck, 5AM-10PM, in Terminals 1 and 3 has an extremely limited menu to compensate for demand and limited preparation space. It's overpriced and not tasty enough to justify the price, but if you're on an expense account, go for it.

Drink

There are a few options for booze in O'Hare. Some restaurants, including Billy Goat and The Berghoff, also have liquor licenses. As with food, options are more limited in the international terminal.

  • Goose Island Brewing Company (Terminal 1, Concourse C, Gate C10 and Terminal 3, Concourse L, Gate L10). 5AM-9PM daily. A bar with beer from a local Chicago brewery. Paninis, salads and sandwiches available. $11-$30.
  • Praire Tap (Terminal 3, Concourse K, Gate K4),  +1-773-686-61806AM-9:30PM daily. A cocktail lounge and bar. $11-30.

Shopping

  • Chicago Historical Society Gift Shop, 8AM-9PM daily, has a better class of Chicago Souvenir than most. They're in Terminal 3.
  • Field Museum Store, daily 8AM-8PM, takes the gift shop from the great museum to Terminals 1 and 3.
  • Hudson's Booksellers, daily 7AM-9:30PM, has a good selection of magazines as well as other items in Terminals 1, 2, 3, and 5.
  • Barbara's Bookstore, daily 6AM-10PM, has a reasonable selection of books, in Terminals 1, 2, and 3.

Duty free

For passengers departing on international flights there are some somewhat limited duty free shopping possibilities:

  • Liberty Duty FreeTerminal 1 Gate B9; Terminal 1 Gate C17; Terminal 2 Gate F1; Terminal 3 Gate K5. Four shops selling alcohol, perfume and tobacco.
  • DufryTerminal 5, Concourse M,  +1-773-686-0726. Three kiosks, by gates M8, M10 and M14.

Car parks

O'Hare offers 285 accessible parking spaces in its parking facilities. All spaces are located adjacent to elevator centers, sidewalks, bus stops and the Airport Transit System (ATS) platform in Economy Lot E. Below is a breakdown of the number of spaces and height restrictions for each lot.

Garage: Level 1 (17), Level 2 (18), Level 3 (18), Level 4 (19), Level 5 (17) Level 6 (19) // Height Restriction 6'6"
Lot B: 9 spaces // Height Restriction 9'
Lot C: 11 spaces // Height Restriction 8'5"
Lot D (International Lot): 18 spaces // Height Restriction - NA
Lot E: 118 spaces // Main Entrance - Height Restriction 10', Side Entrance - NA
Lot G: 39 spaces // Height Restriction10'

All shuttle busses from the ATS Platform to the Remote Parking Lots are fully accessible.
For more information, please call the Parking Information Hotline at (773) 686-7530

Internet, Comunication

  • Wi-Fi is available throughout O'Hare Airport from Boingo. After a 20-minute free trial period, day passes cost $6.95, while monthly rates are $4.98 for the first three months and $21.95 thereafter.
  • Free access is also available to a very limited selection of websites including USA Today, Fly Chicago, and Amazon.

Follow these simple steps to acccess the Wi-FI network:

  1. Make sure the “Wi-Fi” function on device is turned ON.
    Devices supported include laptops, tablets and smartphones.
  2. Select “Boingo Hotspot” from your 'Settings' or 'Network Preference' menu.
  3. Launch an Internet browser (Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Chrome, etc.)
    Note: You may need to load a new URL to prompt the Wi-Fi access page to load. You can do this by simply browsing to your favorite website.
  4. ​Select “Get Online Now” from the Wi-Fi service page.
  5. Choose either a Free or Paid Wi-Fi access offer.
    - Free Access: 30 minutes of complimentary service in exchange for watching an advertisement from one of our sponsors.
    - Premium Access: For those who prefer an uninterrupted, commercial-free experience or a session with greater bandwidth and four times the speed, a premium service is available.
    Includes 1 hour, 24 hour, and monthly access plans.

If you are having difficulties accessing the O’Hare network with these instructions, please reach out to Boingo Wireless Customer Care at (800) 880-4117.

Things to know

  • There are three family/companion restrooms in Terminal 2, and one in Terminal 3. There is a mother's room in Terminal 3 on the mezzanine level of the rotunda, in between G and H gates.
  • Interfaith ChapelTerminal 2,+1-773-686-2636The chapel is open 24 hours. If flight delays are making you question your faith, then head right over. There are chaplains for Catholics, Protestants, and Muslims during office hours, M-F 8AM-2:30PM.
  • Travelers and Immigrants AidTerminal 2, upper level+1-773-894-2427M-F 8:30AM-9PM, Sa-Su 10AM-9PM. Provides information, directions, and assistance for travelers. There are also information booths in all three terminals staffed from 10am - 7pm Mon-Fri and Sun 3-7Pm.
  • UIC Medical CenterTerminal 2+1-773-894-5100M-F 8AM-5PM, Sa-Su 9AM-5PM. Operated by the University of Illinois at Chicago. They can provide emergency treatment/urgent care, X-rays, immunizations, and other services.
  • If you just can't wait, there are HeartSave defibrillators (+1-773-462-7283) in all four terminals, intended to be within a minute's reach from any point in the airport.
  • The U.S.O. has a center in front of security for active, reserve, and retired military personnel in Terminal 2, above the Delta Ticket Counter, on the Mezzanine level (Open 24 hours) For more information call +1-773-686-7396. Navy recruits reporting to Recruit Training Command go here.

Relax

O'Hare Hilton Health Club

Keep fit in the fitness center, which features cardiovascular machines and weight equipment. You can also plunge into the indoor swimming pool, and relax in the whirlpool.

Between Terminal 2 and Parking Garage

M-F: 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Sa-S: 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Non-hotel guests can purchase a day pass to the fitness center for $20, plus tax.

Website

Terminal Getaway Spa

Relax, un-wind and rejuvenate at this elegant spa. Standard and deluxe manicures and pedicures, polish changes and soak off services are available. Chair massage, hand, leg and foot massage treatments are truly a treat! And full body Swedish and deep tissue massage services, waxing services, reflexology and facial treatments are available too. The spa designed with the traveler in mind.

Terminal 3, Concourse H, Gate H6  (773) 686-4836

6:00 a.m to 9:00 p.m.

Website

Yoga Room

The Yoga Room at O'Hare International Airport is located on the Mezzanine Level of Terminal 3 Rotunda, adjacent to the O'Hare Urban Garden.

Terminal 3, Rotunda Mezzanine

6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Website


Banking

Seaway National Bank

Seaway National Bank offers full banking services including foreign currency exchange services from two locations within O'Hare International Airport.

Locations
Main Hall of Terminal 2: open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Lower Level of Terminal 5: open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Services
The following services are available at both locations:

  • Money orders
  • Credit card advances
  • Phone cards
  • Faxes and copies
  • Checking Accounts
  • Loans
  • Commercial Deposits
  • Payroll cashing (airport employees only)

Foreign Currency Exchange

Seaway National Bank provides foreign currency exchange services in each terminal at O'Hare. Seaway helps travelers prepare for foreign destinations by enabling them to obtain foreign currency before they leave home and exchange funds when they return. More than 200 currencies are bought and sold (no coins), including from:

  • Aruba (florin)
  • Bahamas (dollar)
  • Costa Rica (colones)
  • Jamaica (dollar)
  • Korea (won)
  • Australia (dollar)
  • Canada (dollar)
  • Europe (euro)
  • Japan (yen)
  • Mexico (peso)
  • United Kingdom (pound)

​​To inquire about additional currencies, please call (773) 462-9972.
Major credit or debit cards accepted.


The locations and hours of operations for these services are listed below:​

Service and TerminalHours
Terminal 1 [Gates B9 | C18]
Foreign Currency Exchange
8:00 am to 8:00 pm
Terminal 2 [Main]
Full Banking Services, Foreign Currency Exchange
7:00 am to 5:00 pm
Terminal 3 [Gate K11]
Foreign Currency Exchange
8:00 am to 8:00 pm
Terminal 5
Foreign Currency Exchange (Upper Level)
Foreign Currency Exchange (Lower Level)
8:00 am to 8:30 pm
8:00 am to 8:00pm

Traveling with Children

"Kids on the Fly Exhibit"

The "Kids on the Fly" (KOTF) exhibit is a fun-filled space where little travelers can play and parents and caregivers can unwind before or after a flight. Children of all ages can enjoy the interactive, educational play area. They can explore an airplane, control tower and helicopter model. Each year the play area is updated with new inventive and fun activities for children to enjoy.

Location
Terminal 2, past the security checkpoint.
The exhibit is accessible to people with disabilities.

Come and see why Nickelodeon Magazine named KOTF the "Most Awesome Airport Play Area!"

Mothers Rooms

​​Our Mother's Rooms were created specifically for traveling, nursing mothers. The rooms offers a tranquil space for mothers who are breastfeeding their children and would prefer to do so in a private setting. They feature comfortable seating along with a sink and wash area.

Terminal 1: B Concourse across from Gate B10
Terminal 2: F Concourse, Crossover Between Gates E5 and F8
Terminal 3: Rotunda, next to the Yoga Room and Urban Garden
Terminal 5: Near Gate M14​

Unisex / Family Restrooms

Changing stations for young children are located in most restrooms throughout the terminals. Unisex family restrooms are also available in each terminal. For assistance, please ask our Public Service Representatives located at the information booths.

Family Restroom Locations:
Terminal 1 - B4 (2), B10 (2), C20(2), Baggage Claim (2)
Terminal 2 - Across from the Children's Museum (2), E5, Baggage Claim
Terminal 3 - G11, H14, H3, K1 (2), L5, Rotunda, Baggage Claim
Terminal 5 - Near Security Checkpoint, Food Court Area

Airport Restaurants

Child-friendly restaurants are easy to find at O'Hare. Most restaurants provide high chairs and children's menus. If your child(ren) like to watch the airplanes, a number of cafés and restaurants offer a fantastic window of the airfield. Take a look below to see which restaurants at O'Hare offer these great views:

Restaurants where you can see airplanes landing and taking off:
Berghoff Cafe: Terminal 1 | Gate C26
Food Court seating area: Terminal 1 | Gate C26
Chili's Too: Terminal 3 | Gate G10

Restaurants where you can see airplanes on the ground:
Tuscany Restaurant: Terminal 1 | Gate B18
Goose Island Beer Company: Terminal 1 | Gate C10, Terminal 3 | Gate K4
Argo Tea: Terminal 2 | Gate E5
Wicker Park Seafood & Sushi: Terminal 2 Main Hall
Starbuck's: Terminal 2 Main Hall, Terminal 3 | Gate H1
Chicago Cubs Bar & Grill: Terminal 3 Rotunda
Macaroni Grill: Terminal 3 | Gate K2


Chapel

The O'Hare International Airport Chapel is a peaceful oasis in a busy airport; a place for lent prayer, as well as a place for worship and liturgies. It is also a place to bow your head in prayer while lifting up your heart and spirit. Prayer books, rugs, rosaries, worship materials and Juma' ablution (wudu) facilities are also available.

Location
Mezzanine level of Terminal 2, above the Delta Air Lines ticket counters and next door to the USO.
Pre-security.


Wheelchair Accessibility

All outside sidewalks at O'Hare have sloping curb cuts for easy wheelchair access. Throughout the airport restrooms, elevators, signage, telephones, restaurants, drinking fountains and diaper changing facilities are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Travelers requiring wheelchair assistance from curb to gate, or gate to curb, should contact their airline in advance of travel. When arriving at the airport, travelers with a wheelchair or other special requests should approach an airline representative for assistance.

All domestic terminal (1, 2 and 3) airline staff can be found curbside and in the ticketing areas. At the International Terminal 5 you will need to visit your airline's​ assigned ticketing counter.

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