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layover Chicago how long do we need

suffolk
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191 posts
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layover Chicago how long do we need

I'm looking into best flights this September from HR to St Louis, stop there 3 days, then on to Phoenix, and then back to UK from San Francisco. Best flights for these destinations are United, and I realise I have to check to make sure they haven't altered any flights.

Never done this before so want to get it right and could do with your expertise.

One flight I like goes into Chicago terminal 5 and arrive 10 32am. Onward flight goes from Terminal 2 at 12 43.

My questions -

is this enough time to get bags, get to new terminal, ?

and what happens if first plane is late and I miss connection? Will they put me on next available plane at no extra cost?

Also I'm not registered for airmiles, is it worth doing for this journey?

Any advice please? Thanks

UK
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1. Re: layover Chicago how long do we need

<<One flight I like goes into Chicago terminal 5 and arrive 10 32am. Onward flight goes from Terminal 2 at 12 43.

My questions -

is this enough time to get bags, get to new terminal>>

==== It might be. It might not. Its probably OK, all things being equal which they rarely are.

<<and what happens if first plane is late and I miss connection? Will they put me on next available plane at no extra cost?>>

=== Yes assuming you are buying this as one flight.

<<Also I'm not registered for airmiles, is it worth doing for this journey?>>

Just for this journey alone? No. However, its free, who knows when you'll next fly, maybe they will come in useful should you fly a few more times, take the 3 minutes it will take to sign up.

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
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2. Re: layover Chicago how long do we need

HI there,

It is not just a question of getting your bags and going to the next terminal.

You'll go through customs/immigration in Chicaco! In the USA you do that at your FIRST stop in our country. THEN you'd usually drop your bags back with United and go to the next terminal.

At other airports it is often suggested that one leave 3hrs. to be able to do this with no worries just in case your first flight is late or there are many other international flights arriving at the same time. 2hrs. is possible BUT nothing is guaranteed. IF you miss your 2nd light United will put you on the next AVAILABLE flight which means the next one that has a seat open. It could be that day or the next day depending on how crowded things are.

Bay Village, Ohio
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876 posts
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3. Re: layover Chicago how long do we need

For me I would not count on it, I avoid Chicago O'Hare airport whenever possible, over 21% flight delays, for me It seems higher. Longest waits I every have had in customs of any city. Maybe It's just me.

Liverpool, UK
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4. Re: layover Chicago how long do we need

You have a connection time of 2hrs 11mins and I personally wouldn't risk it - it can be done but you have no room for manouvre if there are any problems such as a delay to your incoming flight or queues at immigration. (I normally work on a minimum time of 3hrs to make a connection)

I note from the United website that there is a later flight to St Louis leaving Chicago at 3.03 pm which would give you a layover of 4hrs 31mins which you should make comfortably.

You might spend a bit more time sitting at Chicago but personally I would find this less stressful than a tight connection and the implications if you miss that connection for any reason.

South Pole
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5. Re: layover Chicago how long do we need

i have done ORD international to t1/t2 in 40 mins. other times 3 hours .seems to depend on when u land. around lunchtime never seems to be busy. i always plan on 3 hours but in your case 2 may be ok.

if there are more flights after your scheduled one i would take the risk.

once u get off the plane move quickly down the concourse. every person u pass can theoretically save u 2-3 minutes at immigration.

suffolk
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191 posts
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6. Re: layover Chicago how long do we need

Thanks all of you, really glad I asked. I'd rather not be stressed any more than we can help at start of a holiday, so will take a later flight onwards. If we get thro early, can always have something to eat and chill!

However, there are alternatives, to change at Dulles Washington with 3hrs 10 mins layover, or 4 hrs 18 OR

change at Newark Libertywith 3hrs 58 min

Which of these places would you prefer as a layover?

I was also apprehensive about using United having read some of the threads here. They do seem to have so many flights on the day, - but its the only one that goes where we want on direct flights. Will keep my fingers crossed. Thank again.

Palmetto, Florida
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7. Re: layover Chicago how long do we need

Dulles is the calmest of the three probably and 3 hrs is sufficient. Don't be afraid of using United. It will get you there safely, and personally I have found it improved in the last 3-4 years.

8. Re: layover Chicago how long do we need

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