Chicago, enough time?

Nov 8th, 2007, 04:25 PM
  #1  
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Chicago, enough time?

Will be arriving at Chicago o'hare (T5) from Manchester UK at 1.30pm local time for a connecting flight on United (T1) to Denver.

Our UK airline (BMI) has allowed us 1 1/2 hours (90 mins) for this, is this enough time for us to get through customs (what are they like at this airport) and make our way to T1 for our next flight.

AnnRiley is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 04:36 PM
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You will arrive in terminal 5. Immigration/pick up any checked luggage/customs, (this part of the transfer is unpredictable), I have done it in few minutes and couple of times it took up to an hour. Anyways, right outside customs exit door you will drop off your checked luggage. (The average for me is about 40 minutes from the time the doors open and I'm sitting in an airline club in terminal 3).

Take the escalator up to the train. Transfer to terminal 1. You will need to go through security and get to your connecting gate.

I would guess that you will make it, but in case you don't, it's good to know that UA has many more flights to DEN so they will put you on a later flight if necessary.

Have a great trip!

AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Nov 9th, 2007, 07:36 AM
  #3  
 
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Assuming your BMI flight is on time, I think you should have enough time. We've had several 90 min layovers, and (fortunately so far) not had a problem with connections to UA (in our case from LH).

AA's outlined the procedures and also noted that there are some subsequent flights to DEN in case you miss your scheduled flight.
dfr4848 is offline  
Nov 9th, 2007, 03:35 PM
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Fortunately your arrival in Chicago is early in the afternoon. Lately my flights to Chicago which arrive in the late afternoon or early evening get delayed at the originating airport because of congestion at O'Hare. If there is any weather issue at all at O'Hare, you will likely experience some sort of delay.
Brian is offline  
Nov 9th, 2007, 04:51 PM
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Thanks all,

We are on a through ticket so i think if we decide to do Check in luggage it goes straight from Manchester UK to Denver, i don't think we have to collect it a chicago, is this wrong? do they off load our luggage anyway.

Am toying with going light anyway and taking hand luggage only..
AnnRiley is offline  
Nov 9th, 2007, 05:05 PM
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Your luggage will be checked all the way through, but in US you go through immigration and customs at the first port of entry.

Thet's why I explained to you earlier that you will collect your luggage after passport control but before customs. Once ou are done with customs UA reps will be waiting right outside the customs exit door to collect your luggage before you change terminals.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Nov 9th, 2007, 05:19 PM
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Just a little warning but AFAIK, the one carry on rule is still in effect in UK. BA said that the government is getting ready to relax this rule in few weeks but no definite date has been announced.

Pack smart.

Purse = 1 carry on.

Have a great trip!
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Nov 9th, 2007, 05:49 PM
  #8  
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I misunderstood what through luggage meant, i thought it meant we would not need to see it so to speak till we got to denver i just thought it carried on and we just had to do customs and then make our way to check in for UA flight.

But if we still have to get luggage and do customs at Chicago then not sure 90 mins will be enough, so hand luggage it will be. luckily its hot in denver so can pack lightly.
AnnRiley is offline  
Nov 9th, 2007, 05:56 PM
  #9  
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am being a bit dim here, but i thought passport control and customs were same things.

I'm sure when we got to JFK we queued for a while then they checked passport and took eye scan etc thats all i remember doing.

It sounds like 2 separate things?
AnnRiley is offline  
Nov 9th, 2007, 06:10 PM
  #10  
 
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You do immgration and customs everytime you go to a foreign country. Shengen member countries do it differently. When I fly to Germany through France, I have to go through passport control in France and customs in my final destination, which would be Germany, but I still have to do it. The reason being is that they are still independent countries and since my final destination is Germany, Germany is the one that may have concerns on somebody bringing something illegal, not France. US is one country and that's why it's all done at once at the first point of entry.

Customs wants all the passengers to have posession of their luggage when going through customs. That works the same way in Europe.

If you didn't have your luggage in your posession, you could always deny it's yours if they happen to find something illegal, but since you claimed it, and approached the customs officer with it, and they find something, then it's pretty hard to deny it's yours.

AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Nov 9th, 2007, 06:59 PM
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For visitors entering US, you will fill two forms before landing. One I-94 card per traveler, and one customs declaration PER FAMILY.

At immigration, you hand the officer your passport and all the forms. He/she will keep the top part of the I-94 and write/circle something on the customs form before giving back to you.

After you claim your luggage, you'll head to the customs exit. You'll hand that officer the customs declaration form. He/she will look at what's marked, and look at you, and even wave you through or send you to secondary check by customs and/or agriculture.

But back to your luggage. The tag on them will show DEN as final destination when you check-in at MAN. Make sure the tag is still there when you hand them back to UA when you exit customs and they still say DEN on them.
rkkwan is offline  
Nov 9th, 2007, 07:00 PM
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Sorry, I mean:

"either wave you through or send you to secondary screen"
rkkwan is offline  
Nov 10th, 2007, 02:06 AM
  #13  
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Thanks all,
Funny isn't it how you forget things (must be tiredness from travelling!!) that's my excuse anyway lol!!!!

I have travelled to lots of places (US about 10 times) and europe too many to remember.

But can only remember waiting in line to go through passport control..
Must be having another 'Senior moment'!

Anyway, think i will pack lightly and take hand luggage, always find i don't use about 1/3rd of stuff i take anyway, so will be a challenge.

Thanks for imput.
AnnRiley is offline  
Nov 10th, 2007, 06:35 AM
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AnnRiley - You didn't forget anything. There's generally no formal lines and no formal booths at the customs. Just a couple of officers standing there collecting your customs declaration form. Unless you get picked for secondary screening, most visitors don't recall going through that.

You don't even need to break your pace in most cases. Just have your customs form ready in your hand, sticking out towards the officer.
rkkwan is offline  
Nov 10th, 2007, 07:19 AM
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I've done this connection many times in Chicago, and I'd choose a later flight unless you have 1K or greater status with United.

You will wait in line at immigration, and then you may have to wait more time for your baggage. You may then have to wait in a customs line or have one or more bags checked by a customs officer. Rechecking your bag is always quick, but you'll then have to take a train to the United terminal. Once there, you get to wait in a security line. Once through the security line, you may have to walk to the more remote terminal (C), which can easily add 10-15 minutes. And finally, United closes their flights 10 minutes before the scheduled departure time.

Now it's true that you would get the next available seat on a flight to Denver. However, it sounds like the OP will travel in summer, and many of United's flights were known to be completely full this past summer. Which means that the next flight to Denver, and maybe the next 2 after that, might be full. And if there are multiple people on the waiting list for the flight, those with status in United FF program will get the seat before the OP will.

To me, especially with carry-on only, it makes much more sense to reserve the later flight and then stand by for the earlier flight if time allows. (You can't stand by for the earlier flight if you've got checked luggage, though.)
DonTopaz is offline  
Nov 10th, 2007, 07:49 AM
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I don't fly ORD-DEN, but I won't worry too much about getting on the next flight if you miss the connection. In the past summer, UA had a 767-300 for the 4:55p and then a 777-200 for the 5:45p.

My experience on the similar hub-to-hub route of Newark to Houston on Continental is that while these flights are always booked full, there will always passengers that no-show, who miss their own connection, or who have stood-by to get on earlier flights. So, they clear a lot of standbys or people who've misconnected.

Having said that, I don't disagree with rizzuto that you should consider booking the later flight (~4:55p), and have a 3:30 connection rather than having do deal to rebooking, standing by, or have delayed luggage with a 1:30 connection. Especially if you're no US citizen and have to use the longer "visitor" line through immigration.

Again, my own example. On Continental through Newark, they'll allow a 1:30 connection from Hong Kong or Europe to Houston. But in recent years, I always book myself and all my relatives on a longer connection with 2:30 to 3 hours. Why make myself worry all day about missing a connection?
rkkwan is offline  
Nov 10th, 2007, 11:46 AM
  #17  
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Am a bit confused whats a 1K? also, i have paid in full for this flight from UK, with the 90 min layover, so if i booked a later flight i would have to pay for that as well so either way i would be out of pocket whether i get 1st flight or 2nd?

Will definately be taking only Hand luggage so this should help with amount of time we have to get from plane to immigration/customs, onto train to take us to T1 and through Security etc, Phew knackered just writing about it!!

I will just have to run like the clappers when i get of the plane to be in the front of immigration eh..

Don't really want to get a later flight (though will if we have no choice) as it gets us into Denver later as it is we will arrive about 4.30 and will still have a good few hours to get our car, find our hotel (possibly in Golden) and go out for a nice meal before collasping into bed...
AnnRiley is offline  
Nov 10th, 2007, 11:55 AM
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1K is a elite level with United's FF program.

Since you already have things all booked, then don't worry about it. If you miss your connection, then UA will get you on next flight.

Next time, maybe you can ask us first, then book the tickets.
rkkwan is offline  

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