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Chicago Ohare Airport Guide (ORD)

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Located just 17 miles northwest of Chicago’s central business district is O’Hare International Airport. Built during World War II, the airport was named to honor Edward O'Hare, a U.S. Navy flying ace and Medal of Honor recipient. O'Hare is the 5th busiest airport in the world, with 66,633,503 passengers passing through the airport in 2012. That same year, the Global Traveler Award for the Best Airport in North America crowned O’Hare International Airport with the honor for the 13th consecutive year.

Transfer between Terminals

O'Hare’s 183 aircraft gates are housed in four separate passenger terminals. Terminal 1 houses the United Airlines hub. Lufthansa, All Nippon Airways, and United's international departures operate in Terminal 1. Terminal 2 houses US Airways, Air Canada, and Delta Air Lines domestic flights. Terminal 3 houses the American Airlines hub and departing flights for Air Berlin, Iberia, Japan Airlines, and Qatar Airways. Terminal 5 processes all international arrivals.

Terminal 2 is divided into two separate Concourses which are connected by a pedestrian tunnel. United Airlines operates a post-security shuttle between Concourse C and Concourses E and F in Terminal 2. O'Hare's Airport Transit System (ATS) makes traveling from one terminal to another easy. The automated people mover system operates 24 hours a day, is over 2.5 miles long, and connects all four terminals as well as the remote parking lots.

Nearby Airport Hotels

There are dozens of hotels within easy distance of O’Hare. Conveniently located in Terminal 2, The Hilton Chicago O'Hare Airport Hotel offers great amenities for weary travelers. Four eateries, a gym, an indoor swimming pool, and all within walking distance of domestic departure terminals.

Located less than four miles from O’Hare, Aloft Chicago O’Hare is a hip take on the typical airport hotel. This Starwood hotel offers free wireless internet, a bar, pool, and 24/7 gym access. Catering to its jet setting clientele, Aloft provides 24 hour, complimentary airport shuttle service. The shuttle runs every 30 minutes starting at 5 AM - 11 PM—special requests are needed for late night and early morning rides.

Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites - Chicago O’Hare is perfectly located just 4 miles from the airport. This family-friendly hotel offers guests wireless internet, free parking, a fitness center, and a 24-hour shuttle to and from O’Hare.

Transport into Town

Rail: O'Hare International Airport is a station stop for Chicago Transit Authority’s 'L' train. Trains run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and depart O'Hare approximately every 2-7 minutes during rush-hour. The ‘L’ takes about 40 minutes to travel to the Loop—Chicago’s central business district. The ‘L’ train station is accessible via pedestrian tunnels from Terminals 1, 2, and 3. Taxi: Transportation to and from Chicago O'Hare Airport is also available by taxi or limousine service. Fares vary based on traffic, but the average fare from O'Hare to the Loop is $30-$40. Pace Suburban Bus provides a cheaper, but more time consuming option. Pace offers 17 routes that serve both O'Hare International and Midway airports.

Airport Lounges

O’Hare houses ten different lounges belonging to various airline clubs. These lounges are available to airline club members, but day passes can often be purchased. United Club is located in Terminal 1, Delta’s Sky Club is located in Terminal 2, and the Admiral’s Club and American Flagship Lounge are located in Terminal 3. For international departures, Terminal 5 houses lounges that belong to Air France, British Airways, SAS, and Swiss International.

The United Service Organizations (U.S.O.) also offers a variety of services to active-duty military personnel and their dependents. These services includes free refreshments, information, and referrals.

Major Airlines

Around fifty different airlines operate out of O’Hare International Airport. United Airlines carries over 45% of O’Hare’s passengers and is the largest airline at the airport. The second largest operation belongs to American Airlines which carries 37% of O’Hare’s passengers.

Airport Facilities

O’Hare International Airport has dedicated itself to bringing beauty to air travel by staging art exhibits and special events. When traveling between concourses B and C of Terminal 1, passengers can enjoy a neon light and music show while moving through the pedestrian tunnel. Along with art, O’Hare also provides a Zen experience for its passengers with a newly opened yoga room in Terminal 3. Adjacent to an indoor garden, the yoga room features bamboo wood floor, exercise mats, and a video monitor that displays yoga poses.

Car Parking

Short Term and Daily Parking can be found in a six-story garage and two outdoor lots located near the Domestic Terminals. Short term parking is available for $2 and up. Daily parking in the Main Parking Garage ranges from $34 to $60 depending on the day of week and the level on which you park. The outdoor lots (Lots B and C) are $35 on weekdays and $34 on weekends.

For long-term parking, Economy Lots E and F are recommended. Economy Lot F costs $9 a day and Economy Lot E costs $17 a day. The Airport Transit System (ATS) offers easy and free transportation between the Economy Lots and the airport. This bus shuttle runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For those in a hurry, valet parking is available in the Main Parking Garage. The daily rate for Valet Parking is $53. The International Parking Lot D costs $60 a day and is for all passengers arriving from or departing to many international destinations.

Upon exiting the lots, parking payments are made with a cashier. Cash, MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Diners Club, and Carte Blanche are all accepted forms of payment.

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