Sleeping in Airports

Chicago O’Hare Airport Guide

Whether you have a layover, overnight sleepover or you are just quickly passing through, our Chicago O’Hare Airport Guide is a great place to start planning your visit.  Here, you’ll find information on services and facilities available inside the airport – including details about airport lounges, WiFi, mobile charging points, lockers, 24-hour food options, nearby hotels, and everything in between.

My flight got canceled and I had to spend the night at the airport. That’s how most O’Hare stories begin. – hozomeen

Airport Overview

To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, we are here to give you the low-down on what travellers have reported back to us about their time at Chicago O’Hare Airport.

What to Expect

Chicago O’Hare is made up of 4 terminals (Terminals 1, 2, 3 and 5) and 9 concourses (B,C, E, F, G, H, K, L and M).  Terminals 1, 2 and 3 are in the same building, while Terminal 5 is across a taxiway. An automated train connects all four terminals together.

Overall the airport is loud, busy, crowded and in dire need of a makeover. Reviews are mixed on the cleanliness of the airport terminals, but there are many complaints of filthy restrooms. Bring hand sanitizer!  Amenities are fairly limited for an airport this size, but you will find a number of affordable eateries, some of which are open 24-hours a day. O’Hare also has a few unique amenities, including a yoga room and an urban garden. WiFi is available and mobile charging is available near the gates.   Travellers looking for a little added comfort, can pay to access one of the first class lounges, some of which have showers.   See Airport Lounges in the airport guide below for locations and access information.

Where to Sleep

In general, while there’s very little sleep-friendly furniture, a few worthwhile sleep spots have been reported.   There are a few S-shaped couches in the connecting hallway between concourses K and H (near Gate K6), and K and L;  just past security in Concourse K; and lounge chairs in T3, airside between Gates H and T.   As an airport that sees its fair share of weather cancellations, it should be comforting to know that there are cots and toiletry kits available for stranded passengers. Check with your airline to see if your flight is eligible.   For uninterrupted sleep, there is a hotel outside of Terminal 2 and many nearby hotels that offer a free airport shuttle. See Airport Hotels below for more info.

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.

Pay-per-use, Single Visit Passes & Lounge Memberships

Regardless of what class of service you are flying, there are lounges that you can enter by paying at the door, purchasing a lounge pass or through a lounge membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details about the lounge itself and to also find out how you can gain lounge access with just an economy class ticket!

Passes  Air France VIP Lounge – Location: Terminal 5, Airside, Gate M7. Lounge Access: Prepaid lounge passes • Lounge membership programs. [ more lounge info ]

American Airlines Admirals Club – Multiple Locations – (1) Concourse G, (1) Concourse H and (1) Concourse L. [ more lounge info ]

Delta Sky Club – Location: Terminal 2, Airside, Concourse E, Gate E6. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door with proof of Delta ticket • Lounge membership programs. [ more lounge info ]

Swissport Lounge – Location: Terminal 5, airside, between Gates M7 and M8. Lounge Access: Lounge membership programs. [ more lounge info ]

United Club – Multiple Locations – (2) Concourse B, (1) Concourse C and (1) Concourse F. [ more lounge info ]

Military Lounges

USO Lounges – The USO offers two lounges that are free of charge to active members of the US military and their families. Locations: Terminal 2, Mezzanine Level above Northwest Ticket Counter, landside and Terminal 3, Rotunda, Mezzanine Level.  [ more info ]

If sleeping at the Chicago O’Hare Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels near the airport:

At 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. » Check Rates

Near Airport Aloft Chicago O’Hare – (5 minutes from the airport) Free airport shuttle runs every 30 minutes, from 5:00AM to Midnight. For airport pick-up after hours, contact the hotel. Pick-up is at Door 3 in the Shuttle Bus Center, located between Terminals 1, 2, and 3. » Check Rates

Near Airport DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Chicago O’Hare Airport Rosemont – (5 minutes from the airport) Free 24-hour 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 the hotel and wait at Gate 5E. » Check Rates

Near Airport Embassy Suites Chicago O’Hare Rosemont – (5 minutes from the airport) Free 24-hour scheduled airport shuttle is available. » Check Rates

Near Airport Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel & Conference Center – (5 minutes from the airport) Free 24-hour airport shuttle is 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). » Check Rates

Near Airport Sheraton Chicago O’Hare – (3 minutes from airport) Free 24-hour airport shuttle. » Check Rates

To see more options there is a list of hotels near O’Hare Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.

Free unlimited WiFi is available at Chicago O’Hare Airport. Connect to the “Boingo Hotspot” network. For uninterrupted, commercial-free access, a premium high-speed service is also available for a fee. 1 hour, 24 hour and 1 month plans available.

Communications

Family Services

  • Baby Care Facilities – Feed and change your baby in comfort and privacy in the Mother’s Room. Flat Screen TV, sink, power outlets, changing table, and more are available. Location: T1, airside, Gate B10 • T2, airside, walkway between Gates E5 and F8 • T3 Rotunda, airside, near Yoga Room and Urban Garden • T5, airside, near Gate M14. Hours: Open 24 hours.
  • Children’s Play Area – The Kids On The Fly (KOTF) exhibit offers a fun, colorful, and educational aviation-themed indoor playground for little ones, named by Nickelodeon Magazine as the “Most Awesome Airport Play Area!”. Location: T2, airside.
  • Family Services – Changing stations for small children are available in most of the airport’s restrooms. Family restrooms are available in these locations:
    » Terminal 1 – B4 • B10 • C20 • Baggage Claim.
    » Terminal 2 – E5 • Across from the Kids On The Fly exhibit • Baggage Claim.
    » Terminal 3 – G11 • H3 • H14 • K1 • L5 • Rotunda • Baggage Claim.
    » Terminal 5 – Near security checkpoint • Food Court.

Fitness

  • 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. Location: Between Terminal 2 and the parking garage Rate: the non-guest rate is $20 plus tax.
  • Yoga Room – Relax or stretch in between flights at the airport’s yoga room. The room comes equipped with a wall-mounted TV that 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 Rotunda, airside, Mezzanine Level, near the Urban Garden. Hours: 6:00AM – 10:00PM.

Food & Drinks

  • Food & Drinks – Most food concessions throughout the airport operate with varying schedules. These options are open 24 hours:
    • Terminal 1 – Brioche Doree (Airside, Concourse C, Gate C22) • Fresh Market on the Go (Airside, Concourse C, Gate C23) • McDonald’s (Airside, Concourse B, Gate B11) • Starbucks (Airside, Concourse B, Gate B9 and Landside, Baggage Claim).
    • Terminal 2 – Dunkin’ Donuts (Airside, Gate F9) • McDonald’s (Airside, Concourse F, Gate F7) • Starbucks (Airside, Concourse E, Gate E2 and Landside, Baggage Claim).
    • Terminal 3 – Dunkin’ Donuts (Airside, Gate H5) • McDonald’s (Airside, Concourse L, Gate L4 and Airside, Concourse H, Gate H5 • Starbucks (Airside, Concourse K, Gate K4 and Landside, Baggage Claim).
    • Terminal 5 – Kofe by Intelligentsia (Airside, Concourse M, Gate M8).

Pro-Tip: Watch planes land and take-off from one of these airside restaurants: Berghoff Cafe (T1, Gate C26) • Food Court (T1, Gate C26) • Chili’s Too (T3, Gate G10) Watch planes on the ground from one of these restaurants: Tuscany Restaurant (T1, Gate B18) • Goose Island Beer Company (T1, C10) • Tortas Fronteras by Rick Bayless (T1, Gate B10 and T3, Gate K4) • Argo Tea (T2, Gate E3) • Wicker Park Seafood & Sushi (T2, Main) • Starbucks (T2, Main and T3, Gate H1) • Chicago Cubs Bar & Grill (T3, Rotunda) • Macaroni Grill (T3, Gate K2).

Information

  • Information Desk – Locations: Terminal 1 (Gate B7 • C18) • Terminal 2 (Gate F1D) • Terminal 3 (Gate K2) • Terminal 5 (Upper/Ticketing Level • Lower/Arrivals Level).
  • Traveler’s Aid – This is a non-profit organization that assists stranded and distressed passengers. Volunteers assist passengers with general airport and destination queries to assisting with situations such as transportation assistance, lost or stolen money, wiring money, emergency housing, etc. The staff in both the info booths and the main office can assist with crisis intervention information as well as social services for travelers and visitors. Info Desk Hours: 9:00AM – 8:00PM (Mon – Fri) 10:00AM – 8:00PM (Sat – Sun). Locations:
    • Main Office – Location: Terminal 2, Airside next to Children’s Museum. Hours: 8:30AM – 9PM (Mon – Fri) 10:00AM – 9:00PM (Sat – Sun).
    • Terminal 1 – Airside, near Gate B7 • Airside, near Gate C18
    • Terminal 2 – Airside, near Gate F4
    • Terminal 3 – Airside, near Gate K2
    • Terminal 5 – – Landside, Upper/Ticketing Level • Landside, Lower/Arrivals Level.

Luggage

  • Luggage Storage & Lockers – Not available.
  • Luggage Wrapping – Information not available.
  • Luggage Trolleys – Available to use for a $5 fee.

Medical Services

  • Medical Services – Urgent and emergency medical care is available at the O’Hare Urgent Care Clinic. Flu shots are available seasonally. No appointment necessary, and most medical insurance is accepted. Location: Terminal 2, airside, Ticketing Level, near the “Kids On The Fly” exhibit and the Travelers Aid Office. Hours: 8:00AM – 5:00PM (Mon-Fri) 9:00AM – 5:00PM (Sat&Sun).

Mobile Charging

  • Mobile Charging – Charge your laptops and other electronic devices for free while seated at “Power Stations” located throughout the airport. Locations:
    • Terminal 1 – B4 • B11 • B12 • B14 • B19 • C7 • C15 • C21 • C28.
    • Terminal 2 – E8 • F2.
    • Terminal 3 – G9 • G19 • H12 • K9 • K12 • L10
    • Terminal 5 – M3 • M4 • M5 • M7 • M13.
    • Individual seats with built-in power outlets are available airside at some airline waiting areas.

Money

  • ATMs / Cash Machines – Need cash? ATMs are available. Fees may apply, so be sure to check your bank’s fee schedule and your daily withdrawal limit if you are travelling internationally. You may also want to notify your bank of your travel plans. Locations: Landside and Airside.
  • Banking Services – Full-service banking, as well as faxing and photocopies, is available at Seaway National Bank in two locations: T2, landside, Main Hall (Hours: 7:00AM – 5:00PM) • T5, landside, Lower Level (Hours: 8:00AM – 8:00PM).
  • Currency Exchange – More than 200 currencies are available for exchange (paper currency only) at Seaway National Bank in these six locations:
    • Terminal 1 – Airside, near Gate B9 (Hours: 7:00AM – 8:00PM) • Airside, near Gate C18 (Hours: 7:00AM – 8:00PM)
    • Terminal 2 – Landside, Main Hall (Hours: 7:00AM – 5:00PM)
    • Terminal 3 – Airside, Gate K11 (Hours: 7:00AM – 8:00PM)
    • Terminal 5 – Landside, Upper Level (Hours: 8:00AM – 8:00PM) • Landside, Lower Level (Hours: 8:00AM – 8:00PM).

Prayer

  • Chapel – If you need a quiet place for prayer or meditation, visit the interfaith O’Hare International Airport Chapel. Prayer rugs, religious books, rosaries, and Juma ablution (wudu) facilities are available for use. Location: T2, landside, Mezzanine Level, near the USO Lounge and above the Delta ticket counters.

Rest & Relaxation

  • 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 us message to let me know “there are 30 or so, mostly unoccupied tonight. Just past Gate K1.” The wake-up call is at 4:00AM, so they can put away the cots before the airport gets busy again.
  • Hotels – see “Airport Hotels” above.
  • Lounges – see “Airport Lounges” above.
  • Rest Zones – Not available.

Shopping

  • Duty Free & Shopping – Duty-free shopping is available airside in Terminals 1, 2, and 3. In addition, a wide variety of retail shops and newsstands are available throughout the airport complex. The Hudson News in Terminal 5, Gate M10 is open 24 hours.

Showers, Salon & Spa

  • Barber – Location: Stop by the Hilton Chicago O’Hare for a $20 Haircut or $20 shave. Location: Between Terminal 2 and the parking garage.
  • 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 ]
  • Spa & Salon Services – Manicures, pedicures, facials, massages and more are available at Terminal Getaway Spa. Three locations: T1, airside, Gate B12 (Hours: 6:30AM – 9:30PM) • T3, airside, Gate H1 (Hours: 6:30AM – 9:30PM) • T3, airside, Gate H6 (Hours: 7:00AM – 9:00PM). You can also pamper yourself with express beauty services and massage at XpresSpa. Location: T5, airside, Gate M11. Hours: 9:00AM – 9:00PM.

Things to do & see

  • Art in the Airport – Beautiful sculptures, murals, paintings, and exhibits are on display throughout the airport.
  • Urban Garden – An exhibit of over 26 different plants showcasing the sustainability of aeroponic gardening.

The airport is open 24 hours.

Keep in mind that airline check-in and baggage drop hours vary according the flight schedule. Check these hours with your airline. If you are in the public area of the terminal (landside) you will not be able to get through to the secure area of the terminal (airside) until the morning. The TSA security screening checkpoint hours vary according to location:

Checkpoint 1 (Terminal 1): 3:45AM – 10:45PM

Checkpoint 2 (Terminal 1): 4:15AM – 7:45PM

Checkpoint 3 (Terminal 1): 4:15AM – 7:45PM

Checkpoint 4 (Terminal 2): 4:15AM – 8:15PM

Checkpoint 5 (Terminal 3): 4:45AM – 6:45PM

Checkpoint 6 (Terminal 3): 3:45AM – 8:15AM

Checkpoint 7 (Terminal 3): 4:15AM – 10:45PM

Checkpoint 8 (Terminal 3): 4:45AM – 8:30PM

Checkpoint 9 (Terminal 3): 4:00AM – 7:45AM

Checkpoint 10 (Terminal 5): open 24 hours

Times are subject to change without notice.

As of November 2018, Chicago O’Hare airport is served by the following airlines: Aer Lingus • AeroMexico • Air Canada • Air Choice One • Air France • Air India • Alaska Airlines • Alitalia • ANA • American Airlines • Asiana Airlines • Austrian Airlines • Avianca Airlines • British Airways • Cape Air • Cathay Pacific • Cayman Airways • China Eastern • Copa • Delta • EVA Air • Emirates • Etihad Airways • Finnair • Frontier Airlines • Hainan Airlines • Iberia Airlines • Icelandair • Interjet Airlines • Japan Airlines • Jetblue • KLM • Korean Air • LOT • Lufthansa • Norwegian • Qatar Airways • Royal Jordanian • Swiss • SAS • Spirit Airlines • Turkish Airlines • United Airlines • Volaris • WOW Air • Westjet.

Amtrak Connections

A taxi is the quickest option to reach the Amtrak Station from the airport (be sure to use a taxi from the designated taxi stand). Allow about 40 minutes for travel time.

There are connections using the Blue Line route on the “L” train or Bus 56; they are not the most convenient as both involve walking (half a mile if you take the L train) and take approximately one hour of total travel time.

Bus

Several CTA public bus routes serve O’Hare Airport from points all over the city of Chicago. For more information on routes and fares, visit the Chicago Transit Authority website.

PACE suburban public bus system serves the Chicago area suburbs. Two PACE bus routes serve the airport directly: Routes 250 and 330. Other PACE bus routes connect to the airport via stops at Blue Line train stations. For fares and information, go to the PACE bus website.

O’Hare Airport is served by several regional bus companies, transporting passengers between the airport and destinations in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Indiana. Contact your service provider of choice for further information.

Car Rentals

The following car rental agencies serve O’Hare: Ace • Advantage • Alamo • Avis • Budget • Dollar • Enterprise • Firefly • Hertz • National • Payless • Thrifty. Each agency offers its own 24-hour courtesy shuttle service, picking up passengers at designated areas outside of baggage claim on the Arrivals lower level.

Hotel Shuttles

Several area hotels offer free airport shuttle service as a convenience for their guests. Shuttles depart from the “Bus/Shuttle Center”, located on the main level of the parking garage between elevator centers 3 and 4. Contact your hotel of choice for shuttle service availability and information. Here are a few hotels that offer airport shuttle: Aloft Chicago O’Hare   •   Best Western at O’Hare   •   Candlewood Suites Chicago O’Hare   •   Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare   •   Doubletree Hotel Chicago O’Hare Airport – Rosemont   •   Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago – O’Hare/Rosemont   •   Hampton Inn Chicago-O’Hare International Airport   •   Hilton Chicago O’Hare Airport   •   Hilton Rosemont / Chicago O’Hare   •   Holiday Inn & Suites Chicago O’Hare Rosemont   •   Motel 6 Elk Grove Village – O’Hare   •   Quality Inn O’Hare Airport   •   Radisson Hotel Chicago O’Hare   •   Residence Inn Chicago O’Hare   •   Super 8 Chicago O’Hare Airport.

Inter-Terminal Transportation

Updated 14-Nov-2018: The Inter-Terminal Train will not be operating Monday – Friday during the winter season due to construction. The airport will be providing shuttle buses during the renovation project.

Passengers can get around the airport complex by using the ATS, a 24-hour automated train service. Trains run as frequently as every 3 minutes during peak times, and travel a 9-minute circuit between all terminals, all airport parking lots, the PACE bus stop and the Kiss ‘N Fly drop-off point. Trains and stations are wheelchair-accessible.

Shared Ride Shuttle

Go Airport Express provides door-to-door shared ride or exclusive ride service between the airport and the Chicago metropolitan area and the Chicago Midway Airport. Shuttles depart every 15 minutes from Arrivals, Lower Level outside of all Terminals. Wheelchair-accessible shuttles are available, but advanced reservation is strongly suggested.

Coach USA Tri State/United Limo offers hourly shuttle service between O’Hare and Midway airports. Total trip time is about 1 hour. Shuttles leave from Level 1 of the Main Parking Garage.

Taxi

O’Hare Airport is served by licensed, metered taxis, with an average fare of $30 – $40 (November 2018) to downtown Chicago. Taxi stands are located curb front on the lower level of the terminals. Wheelchair-accessible taxis (WAV) can be requested by calling Open Taxis central dispatch. For safety reasons, please do not accept rides from the airport from a taxi that is not operating from the designated taxi stands.

Trains

The CTA Blue Line, or “L” train, offers 24 hour train service between O’Hare Blue Line station and the Forest Park terminal in downtown Chicago. O’Hare Blue Line station is located on the lower level of Terminal 2, and can be reached on foot or by ATS (Airport Transit System). Fares can be purchased with cash or credit card from the vending machines located outside of the station. For information on schedules and fares, go to the CTA website.

Last updated: 2018-11-14

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning.  All information, including rates and hours, are subject to change at any time without notice.   The information in this airport guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports, lounges, hotels, transportation providers and their web sites. We are not representatives of any of the above mentioned service providers. To report errors or to add/update any items mentioned in the guide, write a review or send an email to [email protected] and we will update this guide.