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Is 1 hour enough to clear customs and connect in O'Hare?

Is 1 hour enough to clear customs and connect in O'Hare?

May 5th, 2010, 11:43 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 472
Is 1 hour enough to clear customs and connect in O'Hare?

I am about to pull the trigger on purchasing plane tickets to India that go through Chicago O'Hare. On the return, the schedule is such that we would land in Chicago at 12:55pm and our connecting flight back to Atlanta leaves at 2:10pm (all on same ticket). Is this enough time to clear customs and immigration and get to the next flight?

I'm thinking we should take the return that goes through JFK with 3.5 hours in between flights. Thoughts?
sessa is offline  
May 5th, 2010, 11:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Check the schedule for flights after 12:55. If you miss the connection, you'd be rebooked on a later flight.

Airlines do not usually schedule impossible connections, but if your first flight lands late, all bets are off.

And, your bags, if you recheck them, may not make the flight, but since you're on your way home, would you care?

After such a long haul, I think I'd chance O'Hare if there are subsequent flights that afternoon, rather than spend 3.5 hours at JFK, if that could be avoided.
djkbooks is offline  
May 5th, 2010, 01:01 PM
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It's about your own personal threshold. No, would never take a 1-hour transfer when immigration and customs is involved. Not at any airport. But that's just me. I'd much prefer to have to sit around a for couple hours, but keep my stress level to a minimum.
suze is offline  
May 5th, 2010, 01:10 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
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One time, coming through O'Hare from Paris connecting to a domestic flight, we got through Customs and Immigration in just a few minutes, but had an enormous line going back through security when we had to transfer terminals (you'd probably have to too.) We almost missed our flight because of it - my husband had to run down the concourse in his socks because he didn't have time to put on his shoes! I'd say only an hour is risky.
tekwriter is offline  
May 5th, 2010, 01:12 PM
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Boy, that has got to be about the tightest international > domestic connecting time I've seen at ORD. What airline(s)? Since it would almost certainly entail a terminal change, I'd personally wouldn't risk it, but if there's another flight an hour or two later, and it's all on one ticket, I'd feel better.
Gardyloo is offline  
May 5th, 2010, 02:15 PM
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You will certainly have to change terminals. All international arrivals come into T5 and then you have to take the train to whatever terminal you're leaving from and clear security with everyone else.

Frankly, it's a very tenuous connection. Unless your arrival is early (which happens frequently), it'll be difficult to make it. But, if there are subsequent flights that afternoon, I'd go for it.
EricH is offline  
May 5th, 2010, 02:36 PM
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What day of the week and what time?

ORD is our home airport and getting through customs is most often brutal. We waited an hour to get through this past fall and well as for a trip in the spring. It seems way too close.
Gina817 is offline  
May 5th, 2010, 02:57 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
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I would say do not risk it and book a later flight. The airport is huge and just walking down one concourse can be far and time consuming, worse if you have to change concourse. Take the 3.5 hour wait instead. Less stress and worry, especially after a long international flight.

If it was just a matter of transferring between domestic flights using the same airline, it probably would be ok.
offlady is offline  
May 5th, 2010, 03:01 PM
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I'd only do it if the flight was significantly cheaper than the alternatives AND there were more flights to my destination later in the day. Then I would just about count on not making my connection.
november_moon is offline  
May 5th, 2010, 03:59 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Even if there are later flights, who;s to say there will be seats available on it. the last 5 domestic flight I've been on have been booked solid. Frankly I think the chance of making that connection is almost nil - esp if any other international flights land at the same time.

I know landing at JFK it often takes an hour from wheels down to the curb - never mind checking in to another flight and going through security again.
nytraveler is offline  
May 5th, 2010, 04:00 PM
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No, period.
SAnParis2 is offline  
May 6th, 2010, 07:11 AM
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Thanks for all of the quick responses. I decided to go with the later flight since they were the same price. We'll have a 4 hour layover but that beats worrying the whole time we're trying to get through customs and then not knowing what time we'll get home if we miss the flight.

Seems weird that the airline (American Airlines) would even book such a tight connection.
sessa is offline  
May 6th, 2010, 08:59 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I was given a similar connection coming from NRT and going on to LGA - AA said it was a legal connection and that if I missed the plane, they would put me on a later flight. However at NRT I was able to change my flight to a direct one to JFK for about $150 - since it was a ff ticket it was worth it to me. I had looked at the ORD layout and saw the terminals were far apart.....didn't want a hassle after being on a plane for ten hours...
Mara is offline  
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