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changing from international to domestic in Chicago ORD

San Francisco...
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changing from international to domestic in Chicago ORD

Hi,

Since I am unable to get any booking online from MAA(Chennai India) to MKE(Milwaukee), I am planning on booking 2 seperate tickets (maa to chicago and then from chicago to mke).

The flight(qatar or cathay land around 2pm ). Do I need to change terminals to get to domestic at Chicago?

I will be having 2 big bags and would have liked a thru checkin, but I dont see that option online.

aalst, belgium
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1. Re: changing from international to domestic in Chicago ORD

Had a transfer in Ord recently. Even when flying UA intl and domestic i needed to change terminal and lost an hour mostly due to queueing for security. This was without luggage and i did not waste one minute. Suggest you foresee 2hrs.

Mount Dora, Florida
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2. Re: changing from international to domestic in Chicago ORD

Yes. You will have to change terminals for a domestic flight. You will have to clear customs and immigration when you make your first landing in the US. You will be required to claim your luggage in Chicago, but you can re-check it as soon as it clears customs.

I generally manage this transfer in less than two hours, but I allow much longer when I develop my itinerary. When you fly with two different airlines, and especially when you travel with two different tickets, you create an unusually high risk situation for yourself.

There are many things that can alter schedules. Your arriving plane can be delayed for a variety of factors. Last year we arrived in Chicago seven hours behind our scheduled arrival time because we sat on the tarmac in Amsterdam waiting to be de-iced for four hours, and we boarded two hours late because the assigned flight crew had timed out do to some other event with some other flight.

I almost always fly under one ticket, so when we arrived so late and missed our connecting flight it was not a crisis. The Delta ground staff met the plane with boarding passes for the new flights they had arranged for us as we flew across the Atlantic, and there was, of course, no charge.

However, if I had purchased two unrelated tickets, and given myself six and 1/2 hours to make my connecting flight in Chicago I would have still missed the flight. If I had not been on that plane the airline would have absolutely no obligation to me, and they would not care why I missed the flight. I would then be forced to purchase a new ticket for a new flight, and I would probably receive no credit for the ticket I did not use. I would also have to pay whatever the fare was for a walk-up, same day flight.

So, on those very rare occasions when I find myself in this situation I almost always plan to spend the night in my connecting city so I will have time to catch my connecting flight even if I have a catastrophic delay. Spending a night in an economical hotel near ORD is always less expensive than purchasing a new ticket at walk-up fares.

Under many conditions you can make the transfer in less than 2 hours. Certainly 95% of passengers can make a connection with a 4 hour layover. If you can manage a bit of risk in your life and your budget will permit you to purchase a replacement ticket if you miss your connecting flight you can develop an itinerary with a four hour layover. I cannot be comfortable with even the low risk involved in this itinerary, so we spend the night.

UK
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3. Re: changing from international to domestic in Chicago ORD

I would not book this with under 5 hours connection and as above depending upon timing over night would be preferable. Are you really sure you cannot get a through ticket?

Reasons for 5 hours minimum:

- Even on a normal day it could >>>easily<< take 3 hours.

- Your incoming flight be be late.

- One or both flights could be rescheduled. Suppose you book 3 hours thinking thats OK, then the first flight is rescheduled to be one hour later and the second one, one hour earlier? Now you have an impossible 1 hour "connection".

Two or three of the above could happen. Hence overnight as a buffer.

Edited: 01 May 2014, 08:41
Portland, Oregon
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4. Re: changing from international to domestic in Chicago ORD

Separate tickets - tripadvisor.com/Travel-g41707-c207311/Newton…

Romford, United...
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5. Re: changing from international to domestic in Chicago ORD

BA/AA offer a service via LHR/ORD which takes out the inherent risks as outlined by USBT's excellent summary in post 4

Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: changing from international to domestic in Chicago ORD

You might consider driving or a bus to get from ohare to Milwaukee. It's only a 90 minute drive so faster than transferring to another flight.

San Francisco...
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7. Re: changing from international to domestic in Chicago ORD

thank you so much for the replies. I need to find an agent to see if they can get me one ticket for the entire route as do not seem to get much help online .

I was initially planning a 3 and half hr at Chicago but based on the responses I do not think its a good idea.

90min drive option also seems interesting. Need to check on the cab fare for this.

San Francisco...
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8. Re: changing from international to domestic in Chicago ORD

Cab fare to go across state lines ? Are you sure ? A ticket from home to Milwaukee would be best and BA would be a good option with connections in LHR and ORD

Your profile says New York ? I presume you can drive in the US ? Why not rent a car

Chicago
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9. Re: changing from international to domestic in Chicago ORD

If you don't want to drive and can't find a good flight, the Coachusa bus would be a much better option than a cab. You can catch it at Terminal 5 and it goes to both Mitchell Field or downtown Milwaukee.

Chicago, Illinois
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10. Re: changing from international to domestic in Chicago ORD

If you post in the Wisconsin and Milwaukee forums, I'm sure you'll find people there that can give you an idea how to get to Milwaukee via ground transportation depending exactly where you are going if you do not want a rental car. You'd need a bus or pre-arranged ride and not a taxi. Picking up a taxi from the cab stand at O'Hare would cost a fortune.