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Going Via Chicago

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by The Stig, Oct 15, 2012.

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  1. The Stig

    The Stig VIP Whale

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    Having previously flown into the US via Philly with US Airways a couple of times before connecting onto Vegas with no real problems, this time though we flew into Chicago with American.
    Took 1 and a half hours to get through imigration because of the lack of staff on the booths, missed connecting flight and ended up arriving in Vegas 3 hours late.
    A member of security staff told us that it was like this most times, has anyone had problems going via Chicago.
     
  2. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    No, but I do know from flying thru O'Hare domestically that it can be a real cluster-{f-bomb}! They understaff about everything and a delay here and there can start a chain reaction where everything is crowded and late. :( The re-booking process is a nightmare in itself.
     
  3. xmarksx

    xmarksx VIP Whale

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    I was a bit surprised at how slow things went at O'Hare when we came back from Asia a couple of years ago. It was a pretty early arrival too, not a huge rush of people waiting.
     
  4. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

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    Great song (Via Chicago)!

    But sorry about you ordeal.
     
    Number 50!
  5. The Stig

    The Stig VIP Whale

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    Was nearly routed via Houston from Chicago, but they then managed to find a direct flight with United which was the only flight that we had on time travelling there and back.
     
  6. Buddha

    Buddha VIP Whale

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    We live much closer to O'Hare than to Chicago Midway (more than twice as far) ... but we use Midway almost exclusively, partially because of Southwest, and partially because O'Hare can be an absolute zoo.
    One time, we flew a charter out of O'Hare down to Tunica, MS, and as we tried to go through the normal TSA security screening, one of the TSA agents looked at our boarding passes, and instructed us to go to the international terminal. We politely explained to him that Tunica was in Mississippi, and he got very apologetic.
     
  7. dbueler

    dbueler High-Roller

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    I have also had very slow immigration going through Chicago. Twice from China was enough for me to look at a different route.

    I flew RT to Germany from D.C. this year and it was very fast.
    Happy travels,
    Diane
     
  8. gilly from philly

    gilly from philly Low-Roller

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    To be fair, most charters that run out of O'Hare use terminal 5 (the international teminal) regardless if they are flights that leave the country or not. As for us, we live in NW Indiana, and drive past Midway to get to O'Hare. Midway is too much of a dump and Southwest is too much of Greyhound in the sky for us. I have never connected from customs in Chicago, as it is my destination, and do not think they are any slower than anywhere else I have gone through them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2012
  9. Buddha

    Buddha VIP Whale

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    >>> Well, to be very clear, we were in Terminal 3 ... NOT Terminal 5.

    >>> How many years has it been since you were at Midway ? A few years back, Midway Airport and all its terminals were completely rebuilt from the ground up, and is actually in newer condition than O'Hare. And ... Southwest has a better track record than most of the airlines at O'Hare.
     
  10. gilly from philly

    gilly from philly Low-Roller

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    I flew on Airtran out of Midway over the summer, I just don't like Midway. As for track record, I have not had a delayed flight on United in years, and they have 1st class, which makes the hour longer drive worth it.
     
  11. sailboat310

    sailboat310 Low-Roller

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    Being the second/third busiest airport in the US on top of the lacadasical attitude of most airport employees in immigration and/or TSA can pretty much guarantee slower than average wait for most.

    For those of you that can qualify for Global Entry program, it can shave at least 30 min at immigration. I do quite a bit of travel for work domestically and internationally and the last 4 trips back in it took me an average of 3 minutes to clear immigration.

    With the Global entry program, you can also qualify for the TSA pre approved program letting you skip some of those tiresome tasks such as removing shoes, jackets, and notebooks. Also the lines are shorter. However, that being said, it is not guaranteed as the computer will decide that day to let you through. I thought I was blacklisted as my first 14 flights being pre approved were denied. I found out that my passport has my full middle name instead of initial. Must be EXACT.

    Also having status on an airline will also help you get into the priority lines, but for those who travel for purely pleasure it may be tough to get that status.
     
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