Before Leaving

What NOT to Pack

Before packing a suitcase or carry-on bag, there are a few things to keep in mind. Most flammable and/or potentially explosive material is prohibited, while federal regulations apply to food products, firearms, athletic equipment, liquids, and various sharp objects.

Please visit the official TSA website for a full list of restricted items.

How early to arrive at the airport

To allow enough time to pass through the mandatory airport security screening, it’s recommended that travelers plan to arrive at the airport at least two hours before the flight’s scheduled departure time (not including transportation time to the airport).

To make the travel experience as pleasurable as possible, O’Hare Terminal 5 has many wonderful restaurants, shops, and places to relax before your trip.

Things to Know Before You Go

Do you know the proper protocol for locking luggage? The procedure for motorists to pick up passengers at baggage claim? With new and changing airport regulations, the amount of information can be overwhelming.

The official TSA website has the answer to most questions, but for a quick guide, print out a cheat sheet for airport and travel tips.

Getting Here

Chicago O’Hare International Airport is conveniently located approximately 30 minutes from downtown Chicago. From taxi services and limousines, to bus lines and long-distance vans, getting to the airport has never been easier. To find the best option for you, choose from one of the alternatives below.



By Car

The airport is accessible by most major interstates and state highways.

By Taxi

Many taxi companies offer service to ORD. Contact one of the operators below or click here for more information.

  • American United Cab Assocation               773.327.6161
  • Blue Ribbon Association, Inc.                       773.508.9100

Each terminal has a taxi stand located curbside on the arrival levels.

By Limousine

Several companies provide limousine and town car service to the airport. Many will offer to arrange for drivers to meet passengers at baggage claim and assist with luggage. Special livery parking is designated across from the terminal.

By Long Distance Van

SuperShuttle and other long-distance companies provide services that operate out of ORD and serve all surrounding areas. Arrange a pick up at your home or another location by using the contact links below.

  • SuperShuttle                        800.258.3826
  • Go Airport Express             888.284.3826

For those departing the airport, visit the Bus/Shuttle Center located on the main level of the parking garage between Elevator Centers 3 and 4.

By Hotel Shuttle

Most nearby hotels and motels offer complimentary airport transportation via courtesy vans. Those who are arriving at ORD and staying in a nearby hotel or motel are welcome to use the courtesy telephones in the baggage claim area to request a pick up. Contact the hotel concierge for schedule and information.

For those departing the airport, visit the Bus/Shuttle Center located on the main level of the parking garage between Elevator Centers 3 and 4.

By Regional Bus

For those traveling to or from an area outside of Chicago proper and its surrounding suburbs, many long-distance regional buses offer coach service to the airport. Click here for a list of operators and schedules.

For those departing the airport, visit the Bus/Shuttle Center located on the main level of the parking garage between Elevator Centers 3 and 4.

By Public Transportation

Multiple subway and public bus lines conveniently provide service to the airport. Contact the Regional Transportation Authority to determine the route that’s right for you, using their innovative trip planning guide.

By Rental Car

Several rental car companies, including Hertz, Enterprise, and Avis, are conveniently located near the airport and can be accessed via complimentary shuttles. Those arriving at ORD can drop off rental vehicles and take a shuttle directly to the terminal, while those departing can find the shuttle pick up outside of baggage claim.

By Bicycle

Chicago is one of the most eco-friendly cities in the nation, with more than 220 miles of street- protected bike lanes. Travelers are encouraged to secure bicycles at the CTA Blue Line station which provides direct service to the airport, or secure bicycles at the airport’s Remote Parking Lot E and ride the complimentary shuttle to the terminal.




Central Terminal Area (Main Lots A, B, and C)

For hourly parking and close terminal access, a covered garage and two outdoor lots are located adjacent to the domestic terminals, outside of baggage claim. Electric charging outlets are also available.

Economy Lots E and G

For long-term parking, the economy lots are located just minutes from the terminals. These lots can accommodate all vehicles, including larger trucks and campers, available for extended stays and overnights, for daily flat or hourly rates. Complimentary shuttle service is available to transport travelers to the terminals.

International Parking Lot D

For international travelers, this lot is designated for specifically for access to the international terminals.

In the Airport



Checking in

Upon arriving at the terminal, travelers can check any luggage and get a boarding pass with gate number and flight information. Many airlines also offer online check-in, and self-check-in kiosks to make transit smoother. Please note, additional luggage fees and weight limits may apply.

Passport Control

In addition to showing a valid passport to cross national borders, international travelers will need to pass through customs upon arrival at foreign airports, and then again upon returning to the United States. Visit the official TSA website for more information about procedures and items to declare.

Security Control

Passing through the mandatory security screening can take longer than expected. Be sure to become familiar with security protocol before arriving to make the process as smooth as possible. Visit the official TSA website to find the answers to common security questions.

Getting to your gate

Use O’Hare Terminal 5’s convenient airport guides, along with this mobile-friendly website, to find the perfect place to grab a bite, pick up last-minute gifts, or use the extra time to unwind.

Passenger Pick Up

Greeting travelers at the gate is no longer allowed in any U.S. airport, due to federal regulations, but you can meet your loved ones in the baggage claim area or outside of the terminal on the arrivals level. Immediate passenger loading is allowed curbside, but drivers are not permitted to park or wait outside the terminal, they must park in the nearby parking lots.

Baggage Claim

Once you’ve exited the aircraft, follow signs to Baggage Claim to reunite with your luggage. Located on the lower level of each terminal, find the baggage carousel marked with the name of your departing city. Once you’ve retrieved your bags, a variety of options, including car rentals, bus lines, taxi stands, and the train station are conveniently available to help you leave the airport easily and reach your final destination.

Leaving the Airport

Once you’ve found your luggage, there are several convenient ways to exit the airport. From rental car services to bus lines and taxi stands or the train station, information is readily available to help you reach your final destination.

Connecting Passengers

After exiting customs, follow the signs to Airport Transit Shuttle which provides complimentary transportation to Terminals 1, 2, and 3.

Airport Amenities and Services

To help facilitate your experience, a variety of services are available to accommodate any special travel needs, from nursing mother stations to convenient Wi-Fi access. Browse below to learn more.

Business Center

Conference and meeting rooms are available within the Hilton Chicago O’Hare Airport Hotel, directly across from Terminals 1, 2, and 3. Other business services, including faxing, copying, and shipping are also available.

Currency Exchange and ATMs

For arriving and departing international travelers needing to exchange foreign currencies into US dollars, currency exchange booths are conveniently located in each terminal and can easily transfer bills and coins in a one-stop transaction.

Seaway National bank, located in Terminal 5, is equipped to assist travelers with a full range of banking needs, including loans and credit card advances. ATM cash machines are also located in each terminal, available to customers of all banking institutions (additional fees may apply).


Chicago O’Hare makes every effort to accommodate the needs of all travelers. Contacting the airport in advance is recommended to make arrangements for any special assistance for those with disabilities. Also, every terminal is wheelchair accessible.


Membership to the Hilton Athletic Club offers access to a full exercise facility, including a steam room, sauna, Jacuzzi, and lap pool, located in the on-site Hilton Chicago O’Hare Airport Hotel.

Information Services

Don’t get lost trying to navigate the airport. Dedicated volunteers are stationed at the Travelers Aid Services booths throughout the airport to assist travelers with directions and information.

Lost and Found

Losing luggage is never an ideal situation, but it can happen. Please notify your airline of any items missing on the aircraft, while anything misplaced in the airport can be reported to the TSA or the local police department for insurance purposes.


For emergency medical care, call 911 for an ambulance, or ask an airline employee for assistance. The University of Illinois at Chicago has a clinic in the airport for urgent care and medical services located in Terminal 2.


Caring for newborns can be difficult in a busy airport. To alleviate the strain of finding secluded areas, a private nursing room is available to provide a peaceful environment for new mothers and babies in Terminal 5, near Gate 14.

Public Charging

For those looking to recharge devices, several power stations are located throughout the airport. These stations include eight seated workspaces, equipped with several electrical outlets and USB ports to offer convenient charging at no cost.


For those wishing to observe religious customs or just want a peaceful place to reflect, the O’Hare International Airport Chapel is a non-denominational place of worship located in Terminal 2 pre-security. Prayer books, rugs, rosaries, and worship materials are also available.


Smoking is prohibited in all areas of the airport, there are no designated smoking areas. Smokers must exit the terminals and smoke outside.

United Service Organization

As a service to give back to the country’s dedicated military personnel, Chicago O’Hare has a USO lounge which offers a variety of amenities for active members and their families, including refreshments and information services.


Wi-Fi is available throughout the airport. The first 30 minutes of service are complimentary, additional fees will apply for premium services.

Discover more at ORD




Have a pleasant flight!