Chicago O'Hare Airport Guide
In this section you will find traveller airport reviews as well as our Chicago O'Hare Airport Guide with info on WiFi, lounges, facilities and services....and yes, even the names of some airport hotels in case you decide that sleeping in the airport is not for you!
My flight got canceled and I had to spend the night at the airport. That's how most O'Hare stories begin. - hozomeen
by a traveller
I am a young woman traveling on my own. I read all the reviews on sleepinginairports before deciding to intentionally forgo hotel arrangements and stay the night here. I was apprehensive at first because all the reviews seemed to be written by solo males but I took the advice of an earlier reviewer and am sleeping at terminal 1. Apart from the bright lights , this area is perfect for sleep because it is secluded with plenty of comfortable benches and very quiet. There are maintenance workers walking by every ten to twenty minutes so I don't feel overly concerned about being entirely alone, and as luck would have it, the only other two sleepers here are also two young solo females. I feel very safe and very comfortable because I brought a pillow and am using a coat as a jacket (it would definitely be chilly otherwise). I am very happy with this experience and am so grateful to this website for the advice! Bringing food in advance turned out to be the best suggestion as I arrived here at 10:20, famished, and everything was closed. Foreseeing that, I brought food purchased from my departure airport and kept it in my carry on to eat here. Thanks again and I hope this review was as helpful as all the others were for me. I hope that in particular, this was useful for any women contemplating sleeping in airports alone because my experience was definitely a safe and pleasant one!
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In this guide we may refer to locations as "landside" and "airside". Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.
If you are an economy class traveller, you can enter these lounges at Chicago O'Hare airport either by purchasing a day pass or through a membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details (ie. facilities, hours, pass and membership information):
- American Admirals Club - Location: Terminal 3, Airside, Concourse G, Gate G8. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (US$ 50.00) • Admiral's Club Membership.
- American Admirals Club - Location: Terminal 3, Airside, between Gates H6 and K6. Showers are available. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (US$ 50.00) • Admiral's Club Membership.
- Delta Sky Club - Location: Terminal 2, Airside, Concourse E, across from Gate E4. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (US$50.00) • Delta Sky Club Membership.
- United Club -Location: Terminal 1, Airside, Concourse B North, near Gate B18. Hours: 430am - 930pm. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (US$ 50.00) • United Club Membership.
- United Club - Location:Terminal 1, Airside, Concourse B South, near Gate B6. Hours: 430pm - 930pm. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (US$ 50.00) • United Club Membership.
- United Club - Location:Terminal 1, Airside, Concourse C, airside, near Gate C16. Hours: 430am - 930pm. This location has a shower. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (US$ 50.00) • United Club Membership.
- United Club - Location: Terminal 2, Airside, Concourse F, near Gate F3. Hours: 430am - 10pm. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (US$ 50.00) • United Club Membership.
Day passes and memberships are also available at these lounges:
- Air France VIP Lounge - Location: Terminal 5, Airside, Gate M7. Hours: 10am - 8pm. Lounge Access: Book Online (£25.00) • Priority Pass.
- Swiss Lounge - Terminal 5, airside, between Gates M8. Lounge Access: Priority Pass.
Additionally these lounges are available, but there are no day passes (that I am aware of):
- British Airways First Lounge and Terrace Lounge - Terminal 5, Airside, Gate M12
- Lufthansa/Japan Airlines/Korean Air Lounge - Location: Terminal 5, Airside, near Gate M7
USO Lounge - The USO offers a lounge to members of the military and their families. Amenities: computers, child care area, sleeping area, and a library. Location: Terminal 2, Mezzanine Level above Northwest Ticket Counter, landside. Hours: open 24 hours • Location: Terminal 3, Rotunda, Mezzanine Level. Hours: 6:00AM - 10:30PM.
Free WiFi is available at Chicago O'Hare Airport for 30 minutes. A premium, uninterrupted and commercial free, service is also available for 1 hour or 24 hours. Rates are unknown.
If sleeping at the Chicago O'Hare Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels near the airport:
- Hilton Chicago O'Hare Airport Hotel - Located across from Terminal 2 and connected to all domestic terminals via underground walkway. Also connected via underground walkway to downtown Chicago train. Free shuttle to Terminal 5.
- Aloft Chicago O’Hare - (5 min from the airport) Free airport shuttle runs every 30 minutes, from 5am to Midnight. For airport pick-up after hours, call (847) 671-4444. Pick-up is at Door 3 in the Shuttle Bus Center, located between Terminals 1, 2, and 3.
- DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Chicago O’Hare Airport Rosemont - (5 min from the airport) Free 24-hr airport shuttle drops off at Departures (Domestic Terminal) and picks up at Hotel Bus Shuttle Center Door 3. Shuttle does not automatically go to International Terminal, so for airport pick-up, call 847-678-4000 and wait at Gate 5E.
- Embassy Suites Chicago O’Hare Rosemont - (5 min from the airport) Free 24-hr scheduled airport shuttle service available.
- Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel & Conference Center - (5 min from the airport) Free 24-hr airport shuttle service available. The shuttle picks up at Door 2 of the Bus & Shuttle center (domestic terminal). Must call hotel directly for pick up from the international terminal (Door 5E).
To find a cheap room, there is a list of hotels near O'Hare Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price.
- ATMs / Cash Machines - Available throughout the airport (landside and airside).
- Barber Shop - Location:Hilton Chicago O’Hare. Location: Terminal 2. Hours: Vary.
- Chapel: Location: Terminal 2, Mezzanine
- Children's Play Area - Location: Terminal 2, Landside, Ticketing Level.
- Children's Museum - Terminal 2, Upper Level, Departures
- Cots - In the event of flight cancellations/major snow storms, the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) will provide cots, pillows and blankets and toiletry kit. You must check with your airline to see if the program is available. In Sep 2013, Mary sent me a message to let me know "there are 30 or so, mostly unoccupied tonight. Just past Gate K1."
- Currency Exchange - Locations: Terminal 1 (Gates B10 • C20) Terminal 3 (Gate K11) • Terminal 5 (Concourse M, Baggage and Ticketing Levels).
- Food & Drinks - There are 24-hour food and beverage concessions at O'Hare: Dunkin Donuts (Terminal 3, Concourse H, Gate H6) • Fresh Market on the Go (Terminal 1, Concourse C, Near Gate C23) • Brioche Doree (Terminal 1, Concourse C, Near Gate C21) • Kofe bz Intelligentsia (Terminal 5, Concourse M, near Gate M8) • Starbucks (Terminal 1, Baggage Claim • Terminal 1, Concourse B, Near Gate B9 • Terminal 2, Concourse E, Near Gate E1 • Terminal 2, Baggage Claim • Terminal 3, Baggage Claim • Terminal 3, Concourse K, Near Gate K4).
- Health Club - Non-Guests can pay a small fee for a day pass to use the Hilton Athletic Club [ see airport hotels above ]. The facilities have a steam room, sauna, lap pool, Jacuzzi and full service locker rooms. The Hilton Chicago O'Hare is located directly across from Terminals 1, 2 and 3. Rate: the non-guest rate is $20.
- Information Desk - Locations: Terminal 1 (Gate B7 • C18) • Terminal 2 (Gate F1D) • Terminal 3 (Gate K2) • Terminal 5 (Upper/Ticketing Level • Lower/Arrivals Level)
- Luggage Storage & Lockers - not available
- Medical Center - Location: Terminal 2, Ticketing Level. Hours: 8:00AM - 5:00PM (Mon - Fri) and 9:00AM - 5:00PM on weekends and Holidays.
- Mobile Charging - Seated workstations with counter space and AC outlets can be found in Terminal 1 (B4 • B11 • B19 •B14 •B15 • C7 •C15 • C21 • C28 ) • Terminal 2 (E7 • B11 • F2B) • Terminal 3 (G9 • G19 • H12 • K9 • K12 •L10) • Terminal 5 (M9 • M11 • M12 •M13).
- Showers - Freshen up at the Hilton Athletic Club [ see Health Club above ], the American Airlines Admirals Club (Terminal 3, Concourse H) or United Club (Terminal 1, Concourse C) [ see Airport Lounges above ].
- Spas - Gateway and Express Spa have 4 locations throughout the airport.
- Traveler's Aid - Travelers Aid Chicago is a social service agency located at Chicago O'Hare Airport. It provides guidance, support and advocacy services for passengers during travel. The staff in both the booths and the main office can assist with crisis intervention information as well as social services for travelers and visitors. Locations: Terminal 1, Airside, near Gate B7 • Terminal 1, Airside, near Gate C18 • Terminal 2, Airside, Upper Level next to Children's Museum • Terminal 2, Airside, near Gate F1D • Terminal 3, Airside, near Gate K2 • Terminal 5, Landside, Upper/Ticketing Level • Terminal 5, Landside, Lower/Arrivals Level • Terminal 5, Airside, near Gate M19. Hours: vary.
- Yoga Room - Travellers can get their downward dog on in this 15x16ft yoga room. A wall-mounted tv displays yoga poses to follow. There is no change room, but there is a nearby bathroom on the Mezzanine where you can change clothes. Location: Terminal 3, Mezzanine Level, Airside. Hours: 6am - 10pm.
The airport is open 24 hours.
Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport
Two suburban bus routes service O’Hare. Routes serving O'Hare are Route 250 Dempster Direct service to Airport Transit Route 330 Mannheim System Station.
Route 250 provides a daily service from the O'Hare station at remote Parking Lot E to the Des Plaines Metra station and east to downtown Evanston via Dempster Avenue.
Route 330 provides weekday and Saturday service extending from the O'Hare in remote Parking Lot E south to Archer Ave/Harlem Ave in Summit.
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) offers both train and bus service throughout the city and suburbs. The trains in Chicago are well known as the "L," and the Blue Line trains are the easiest and most affordable way to get to the airport from downtown.
The Blue Line offers 24 hour service with more frequent service during weekday morning and evening rush hours.
You can also connect to most other CTA lines through the Blue Line. To see the most up-to-date schedule and timetable, visit the CTA website. The O'Hare Blue Line station is on the lower level of Terminal 2.
Metra’s North Central Service Line connects downtown Chicago to O’Hare and to the north central suburbs. The station is located adjacent to Parking Lot F on the northeast side of O’Hare. For more details on routes, schedules and fares: www.metrarail.com
Travelers coming from the airport terminals can use the O'Hare Transfer Station to access Metra's North Central Service trains to downtown or the suburbs. The station is adjacent to Parking Lot F on the northeast side of O'Hare. You can reach the station from the terminals by taking the Airport Transit System to the remote parking lots.
Tickets can be purchased from the conductor on the train. Metra fares are based on travel between zones
Getting to and from the airport by taxi is both easy and convenient. There are Taxi Stands at the lower-level curb front (outside of baggage claim) at each terminal.
Taxi service is to the city and suburbs. Fares are metered based on time and mileage. An average fare from O'Hare to downtown Chicago is $30-40.
There is a variety of options for vehicle rentals at the airport. Car rental companies include: Advantage • Alamo • Avis • Budget • Dollar • Enterprise • Hertz • National • Thrifty. Location: on the lower level near the baggage claim areas of Terminals 1, 2, and 3. From Terminal 5, rental car agencies are available by courtesy telephones located on the lower level.
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Other Useful Resources
- Official Airport Web Site
- Tripadvisor - search Chicago hotel deals, check availability and read traveller reviews.
- Chicago Sightseeing Tours & Activities - If you are would like to book sightseeing tours, activities or airport transfers in Chicago our partner site has all the booking info, rates and traveller reviews.
Last Updated: 04 June 2015
The information in this Airport Guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airport's and their web sites. The information above is subject to change without notice. Use it for informational purposes only to help you during your stay. To report errors, or to add/change any items quoted in the guide, email me.