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Connection at Chicago O'Hare

Ireland
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Connection at Chicago O'Hare

I am planning a trip with my family this June. I am considering booking a flight on United Airlines from Dublin to Kansas City, via Chicago. I am American, and my wife and sons are Irish, so unfortunately we have to go through the slow queue at Immigration. I know I can check us in all the way to Kansas City, and I have been assured that the United flight (operated by Aer Lingus) will preclear U.S. Immigration in Dublin, so the only holdups once I get to Chicago will be be customs, security and changing terminals (from Terminal 5 to Terminal 1 at O'Hare)

The plane from Dublin is scheduled to land at 3:10pm - My connecting flight to K.C. is at 4:55. At first that seemed like an adequate connection time, but now I'm starting to worry that it's cutting it a bit close. The last time I flew back home we missed our connecting flight because of the nightmare immigration line at Newark. Even though we will avoid the Immigration chaos in Chicago, I am very keen not to leave anything to chance this time. There is a distinct chance that the flight from Dublin to Chicago might be delayed, and if it is, that 100 minutes might dwindle down to an hour or less. There is also the concern of delays due to whatever security measures have been added since last Christmas.

I just need to know how long it should take us (assuming we're precleared by Immigration), to pick up our bags, carry them through customs, put them back on the belt, get through security, and take the airport link to Terminal 1. Is 1 hour 45 minutes enough of a buffer?

If anyone has any experience with a similar situation, I would like to hear it.

Iowa City, Iowa
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1. Re: Connection at Chicago O'Hare

I think it is a bit too tight-I would want at least 3 hrs.

Houston, Texas
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for Air Travel, Business Travel
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2. Re: Connection at Chicago O'Hare

I'm of the opposite opinion to alumnus. I think that you will have enough time. The biggest delay you will have is waiting for your bags to appear. Other than that, it is just getting to the other terminal and clearing security. I personally would take the 1:45 as adequate; certainly not excessive, but adequate.

Chester, United...
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3. Re: Connection at Chicago O'Hare

I agree with GeoMedic on this. I've changed flights and terminals in Chicago many times. Flying in from the UK I have to clear immigration at Chicago but once through that, customs is typically just a walk through with no queues. Then just drop your bags at T5 - no recheck and no lines, just drop them on the belt. Then go straight to the train and to your new terminal and gate without loitering.

The only "watch outs" though are if your flight from Dublin is delayed. But who knows when and if that might happen. Plus maybe the extra security at your domestic terminal might causes a hold up. But overall I'd say 1hr 45mins is OK.

Good luck.

Iowa City, Iowa
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4. Re: Connection at Chicago O'Hare

Then go straight to the train and to your new terminal and gate without loitering.

You are missing one-perhaps the biggest probable delay-another security check-yes, I have been held up in that mess a few times. You may be able to do it, it is what you are willing to face-I would much rather wait for a different flight that miss a flight.

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Connection at Chicago O'Hare

It should be OK. If the incoming flight is delayed, or you miss the connection, then United will just book you onto a later flight, since this is all on one ticket.

South Pole
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6. Re: Connection at Chicago O'Hare

i have found it's quicker to go thru security at terminal 2 rather than terminal 1 and walk to t1 within the secure area.

unless they have changed the system lately, of course.

Edited: 15 January 2010, 04:52
7. Re: Connection at Chicago O'Hare

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