Chicago O’Hare International Airport (known locally as O'Hare) lies 27km north-west of downtown Chicago and is the busiest airport in the world in terms of take-offs and landings. It has four terminals:
Each terminal is divided into:
Terminal 2 also has a mezzanine level between the two upper levels, with a multi-faith prayer area and the United Service Organization (USO) waiting areas.
Travelling between terminals
Passengers can walk between Terminals 1-3 both landside and airside. United Airlines runs an airside shuttle bus between its gates in Terminals 1 and 2.
The airport offers a free Airport Transit System (ATS) before security, between all four terminals, parking facilities, the Kiss 'n' Fly drop-off point, and the PACE bus stop. The journey takes nine minutes and trains run every 3-20 minutes, 24 hours daily.
Unless you have a lot of luggage or are travelling in a big group, the public transport rail system, known as the 'L' (short for 'elevated'), is the most convenient and affordable route into the city.
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Blue Line L-train takes you into the city in 30-40 minutes. You can either walk to Terminal 2 to reach the station or take the ATS people mover.
Location: O'Hare Blue Line Station, lower level of the parking garage, follow the "Trains to City" signs at the pedestrian tunnel of each domestic terminal
Cost: USD 5
A taxi will take you into the Loop area, downtown, in around 35 minutes.
Location: All terminals, outside arrivals, ground level, curb front outside Baggage Claim
Cost: USD 30-40 to downtown, depending on traffic (plus 15-20% tip and USD 2 airport tax)
PACE buses take you to different parts of Chicago. Pace Route 250 stops at Des Plaines Metra station, Evanston and Lutheran General Hospital. Pace Route 330 stops at Arche Ave/Harlem Ave in Summit and Countryside Plaza.
Location: All terminals, outside arrivals, ground level, Kiss 'n' Fly/ATS Station
Cost: USD 2.25
Available to both members and non-members:
Located across from the main terminals, the Hilton O'Hare Athletic Club has cardiovascular machines and weight equipment, plus an indoor swimming pool and whirlpool.
If you're not a guest at the Hilton, entry to the club costs USD 22.40 for a day pass (plus tax).
Hilton, landside, across from the main terminals, accessible via underground walkways from Terminals 1, 2 and 3, and by the ATS from Terminal 5
Hours: 05:00-22:00 Mon-Fri, 06:00-22:00 Sat
There's a yoga room in the airport where you can meditate, exercise or simply relax and enjoy some peace and quiet. Free to everybody and mats are available.
Terminal 3, airside, mezzanine level, just after the security check, near the Urban Garden
Opening hours: 06:00-22:00 daily
Spa, massage and beauty treatments are available at several locations in the airport:
- In the main building of Terminal 3, airside, near Gate H1
- In Concourse B of Terminal 1, airside, near Gate B12.
- In the H/K Corridor, airside, near the American Airlines Admirals Club
These locations are open daily from 06:30-21:30.
O’Hare’s Eco Farm is a great place to grab a seat, nap, and read book. The garden grows herbs and vegetables vertically, supplying some of the airport restaurants with their produce.
Location: Terminal 3, after security, over the corridor to Concourse G
The O'Hare Hilton hotel has a traditional gentleman's barber shop where you can get a haircut, shampoo or hot shave.
Most standard services cost around USD 20. For enquiries or bookings call +1773-686-9000.
Opening hours: 08:00 - 19:00 Mon-Fri, 07:00 - 19:00 Sat, 12:00 - 17:00 Sun.
If you've got some time to spare, there's an impressive work of public art in Terminal 1. It's a mile-long kinetic light sculpture composed of 466 neon tubes, reflected by 23,600 square feet of mirror.
The exhibition is located airside in the tunnel connecting Concourses B & C.
Each car rental agency serving the airport offers a 24-hour courtesy shuttle service. These will pick you up outside baggage claim on the Arrivals lower level of Terminals 1, 2 and 3. In Terminal 5, call the courtesy telephones on the lower level.
Rental agencies operating at O'Hare are:
The dinosaur museum has many impressive exhibits, including a skeleton model of a Brachiosaurus dinosaur excavated in 1900. The model stands four stories high and 72 feet long.
The museum is located Concourse B, airside, near the tunnel to Concourse C.
You can freshen up at these locations:
You'll find 'Power Stations' in all terminals. These provide seated workstations and electrical sockets in which you can charge your devices for free, and are located here:
You may also find sockets at your seat in the waiting areas.
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