A guide to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)


Chicago O’Hare Airport is the gateway to and from the American Midwest for most of the world. When you’re making a connection or waiting for a delayed flight at O’Hare, this comprehensive guide can help you feel at home.

Aerial view of Chicago O'Hare Airport. Image credit: jmsilva/iStock
Aerial view of Chicago O’Hare Airport. Image credit: jmsilva/iStock

Chicago O’Hare Airport is one of the busiest in the country, with more than 500 daily flights. United Airlines and American Airlines use the Chicago airport as a transport hub, with 85 million passengers a year working their way through the airport. Whether you’re looking for a lounge to relax in, a place to grab a bite to eat, or an airport hotel to spend a night in, this guide can help you find what you need.

Which terminal do you need? – airlines at Chicago Airport

Chicago O’Hare Airport has four passenger terminals, numbered 1, 2, 3 and 5 (the former Terminal 4 is now a bus depot for the airport). If you’re changing airlines, you may need to shift from one terminal to another. Unlike many other airports, at O’Hare, some airlines operate out of multiple terminals. This list of which airlines operate out of the various terminals should help.

Terminal 1

Terminal 1 operates on three levels, and Concourses B and C connect passengers to their planes. The airlines operating out of Terminal 1, which include several air taxi services, are:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Air Canada
  • Air China
  • Air India (departures)
  • Air New Zealand
  • All Nippon Airways
  • Asiana
  • Austrian Airlines
  • Avianca
  • Avianca Brazil
  • Azul
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Copa
  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • EVA Air
  • ExpressJet
  • GoJet
  • Lufthansa
  • LOT Polish Airlines
  • NetJets
  • Republic Airlines
  • SAS Scandinavian
  • Singapore Airlines (departures
  • SkyWest
  • South African Airways
  • SWISS
  • TAP Portugal
  • TransState Airlines
  • Turkish Airlines
  • United Airlines

Terminal 2

Here you’ll find Concourses E and F, plus four levels of shops, airport services, waiting areas, and prayer rooms. Airlines flying out of Terminal 2 are:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Aeroflot
  • Aerolineas Argentinas
  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada
  • Air Canada Jazz
  • Air Europa
  • Air France
  • Air New Zealand
  • Air Wisconsin
  • Alitalia
  • All Nippon Airways
  • Asiana
  • Austrian Airlines
  • Avianca
  • Brussels Airlines
  • China Airlines
  • China Eastern Airlines
  • China Southern Airlines
  • Copa Airlines
  • Delta Airlines
  • Endeavor Air
  • ExpressJet
  • GoJet
  • Jet Airways
  • Kenya Airways
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
  • Korean Air
  • LOT Polish Airlines
  • Lufthansa
  • Republic Airlines
  • SAS Scandinavian Airlines
  • Sky Regional
  • SkyWest
  • SWISS (Arrivals only)
  • United Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • WestJet

Terminal 3

You’ll find Concourses G, H, K and L in Terminal 3, which takes up three levels. Here are the airlines operating out of Terminal 3:

  • Aeromexico (arrivals only)
  • Air Choice One
  • Air Tahiti Nui
  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cape Air
  • Cathay Pacific
  • China Southern Airlines
  • Delta Airlines (arrivals only)
  • El Al Israel Airlines
  • Emirates
  • Envoy Air
  • Fiji Airways
  • Finnair
  • Gulf Air
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Iberia
  • Icelandair
  • JAL Japan Airlines
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Korean Air
  • LATAM Airlines
  • LATAM Airlines Argentina
  • LATAM Airlines Brasil
  • LATAM Airlines Ecuador
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • PSA Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Royal Jordanian
  • Singapore Airlines
  • SkyWest Airlines
  • South African Airways (arrivals only)
  • Spirit
  • TAP Portugal

Terminal 5

While international flights arrive and depart from all the other O’Hare terminals, Terminal 5, which contains only one concourse, Concourse M, is mostly devoted to international flights. Take a look at the airlines flying out of Terminal 5:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada (arrivals only)
  • Air China (arrivals only)
  • Air France
  • Air India
  • Air Seychelles
  • Alitalia
  • All Nippon Airways (arrivals only)
  • American Airlines (arrivals only)
  • Asiana (arrivals only)
  • Austrian Airlines
  • Avianca
  • Avianca Costa Rica
  • Azul Airlines (arrivals only)
  • British Airways
  • Brussels Airlines (arrivals only)
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Cayman Airways
  • China Eastern Airlines
  • Copa Airlines
  • Delta Airlines
  • El Al Israel Airlines (arrivals only)
  • Emirates
  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • Etihad Airlines
  • EVA Airlines
  • Finnair
  • Frontier Airlines
  • Gulf Air (arrivals only)
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Iberia
  • Icelandair
  • Interjet
  • JAL Japan Airways (arrivals only)
  • Jet Airlines
  • JetBlue Airways
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
  • Korean Air
  • LOT Polish Airlines
  • Lufthansa (arrivals only)
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Norwegian Air UK
  • Qatar Airlines
  • Royal Jordanian Airlines
  • SAS Scandinavian Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines
  • SkyWest Airlines (arrivals only)
  • Spirit (arrivals only)
  • SriLankan Airlines
  • Sun Country Airlines
  • SWISS
  • TACA
  • Thai Airways International
  • Turkish Airlines
  • United Airlines (arrivals only)
  • Uzbekistan Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic

Chicago Airport Lounges – Relax before you fly

Even in the middle of one of the busiest airports in the world, you can find a place to relax, thanks to the Chicago airport lounges that populate each of O’Hare’s four terminals. Holding a first-class or business-class ticket on certain airlines opens the door to many of these lounges.

Finding a quiet place to relax is important on any airport layover. Image credit: Tempura/iStock
Finding a quiet place to relax is important on any airport layover. Image credit: Tempura/iStock

Terminal 1 Lounges

If you’re flying on United, this is the terminal where you’ll find your lounges. United Club members may use the United Club lounges at Gates B6, B18, and C16. Other United travelers may be able to purchase a one-day pass, if space is available. Star Alliance Gold members also have access to this lounge, which offers food and drink, free Wi-Fi, and printers.

The United Polaris Lounge at Gate C18 is open to international first-class and business-class passengers. Multi-course meals are available, and rest pods and shower facilities give you a chance to freshen up before your flight.

Terminal 2 Lounges

You’ll find another United Club lounge in Terminal 2, with much the same amenities as those in Terminal 1. Head to Gate F9 to relax in this lounge.

Delta also offers its Sky Club at Gate E6. Delta Sky Club members and their guests can take advantage of this spacious lounge, and one-day passes are also available. While Sky Club doesn’t offer much in the way of business services, complementary food and drink can help you prep for your flight.

Terminal 3 Lounges

If you’re an Admirals Club member flying American Airlines, JAL or Iberia, the Admirals Clubs in Terminal 3 are available to you. Look for them at Gates G8, L1, H6, and K6. You’ll find complementary food and drinks across each lounge, while some locations also offer business services, made-to-order meals, and shower facilities.

Those flying first-class and business-class on American, as well as qualifying elite AAdvantage members and oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members can relax at the American Flagship Lounges at Gates H6 and K6. Premium wines, specialty cocktails and personalized meal service await you here, along with shower suites and plenty of space to spread out.

Terminal 5 Lounges

Since Terminal 5 is the international terminal at O’Hare, it’s not surprising to see high-end lounges from several international carriers. The Air France/KLM lounge provides free Wi-Fi and international newspapers to guests not only of these two airlines but also those flying Air India, Alitalia, Royal Jordanian, Etihad Airways, and LOT Polish Airlines. Priority Pass customers also have access to this lounge.

British Airways has a couple of Terminal 5 lounges. Its First Lounge, open to first-class passengers, has separate business and entertainment areas and offers pre-flight, waiter-service dining. The Terraces lounge, for business-class passengers, offers free Wi-Fi, charging stations, and pre-flight dining. Both lounges are near Gate M12, and both are also open to eligible Cathay Pacific passengers.

Other airlines offering lounges in Terminal 5 include SAS, SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Emirates, and Finnair. Priority Pass members may use the Swissport Lounge at Gate M7.

Chicago O’Hare shopping – from practical to luxurious

Shopping at O’Hare ranges from the last-minute things you forgot to pack to high-end luxury items for yourself or someone special. Terminal 5 houses most of the designer labels, and Terminal 3 is where you’ll find the greatest number of shops. Take a look at where you can find necessities and a little decadence at O’Hare.

Terminal 1

Pick up something to read on the flight at Barbara’s Bookstore, CNN Newstand Chicago or Hudson News, or update your in-flight electronics at InMotion. Hoypoloi features the work of local artists as well as popular favorites, making it a great place to pick up a gift, or stop in at the Field Museum Store to choose something unique to Chicago. If you need sunglasses for your trip to the tropics, Oakley and Sunglass Hut have you covered.

Terminal 2

Headphone Hub can take care of you if your earbuds have stopped functioning. Treat yourself to some of Sarah’s Candies if you want to add a sweet touch to your airline meal, or update your toiletries kit when you stop in at MAC Cosmetics.

Terminal 3

Should you need to sharpen up your look for a big meeting at the end of your flight, Brooks Brothers stands ready to help. On the more casual side, Chicago Sports features merchandise celebrating the Bears, Bulls, Cubs and more — or stop at the Harley-Davidson store to proclaim a different kind of allegiance. You’ll be delighted by the fine silverwork at Talie, and Erwin Pearl expands your jewelry options in the terminal.

Terminal 5

High-end designers abound at Terminal 5, so go ahead and browse through Emporio Armani, Michael Kors, and Salvatore Ferragamo. If you’re in the market for a new watch, or just the right gift, stop in at Swatch or Luxury Watches. Gadget lovers will have a hard time tearing themselves away from Brookstone.

Chicago O’Hare hotels – full-service accommodations

Right inside Chicago O’Hare airport, walking distance from all the domestic terminals, is the Hilton Chicago O’Hare Airport Hotel. All the hotel’s rooms feature noise-resistant windows and Wi-Fi, and allergy-friendly rooms are available.

The Hilton is a full-service hotel, with a spacious, well-equipped fitness center, a barber shop, several restaurants and bars, and a business center, as well as 43 meeting rooms of various sizes.

Chicago O’Hare dining – from hot dogs to fine dining

At every terminal at O’Hare, you can find a range of food and beverage options to keep you happy until it’s time to board your plane. Choose from classic Chicago hot dogs and pizzas, pick up a picnic lunch for the plane, or sit down at a table-service restaurant to relax with a drink and a memorable meal. Plenty of Chicago’s most popular restaurants have spin-offs here. Take a look at some of your top choices across the terminals.

Chicago Airport offers up a range of delicious options, including the classic hot dog. Image credit: kajakiki/iStock
Chicago Airport offers up a range of delicious options, including the classic hot dog. Image credit: kajakiki/iStock

Terminal 1

Enjoy dining at a wide range of quick-serve and more upscale choices in Terminal 1, including:

  • Tortas Frontera. Order your tortas ahead of time to have them waiting as soon as you clear security — or do it the other way, and call in your order as soon as the pilot says you can turn your phone on as you land. (Also in Terminals 3 and 5)
  • Berghoff Cafe. Those from Chicagoland will recognize this iconic German restaurant. They line up for it in the city, and flock to it here for its popular Reuben, corned beef, and other deli sandwiches.
  • Beaudevin. Stop by for a glass of wine at this European-style bar — or ask for a flight to try an interesting sampling. Nibbles and sandwiches are available, too.
  • Goose Island Beer Co. Craft brews from one of Chicago’s favorite breweries bring thirsty travelers to this bar, which also serves breakfast and lunch sandwiches.

Terminal 2

Terminal 2 keeps you well-fed as you wait to make your connection. Choose your favorite cuisine from the following:

  • Wicker Park Seafood and Sushi Bar. Pull up to the sushi bar to enjoy fresh rolls, nigiri and sashimi, or pick up some sushi for the plane. (Also in Terminal 1)
  • La Tapenade. Dining is fast and delicious at this quick-serve spot that serves up wraps and panini — and it has a full bar as well. (Also in Terminal 3)
  • Summer House Santa Monica. If you enjoy Chicago’s Lincoln Park restaurant, you’ll like this airport version. California-style salads and tacos bring a light, flavorful flair to your travel — and make sure to pick up a cookie for the road.

Terminal 3

Whether you prefer a good beer or a solid meal before eating, Terminal 3 can take care of you at the following eateries:

  • Publican Tavern. Choose from about a dozen beers on tap, including craft beers, and add a little pub grub to your order as part of your in-flight dining treat.
  • Bubbles Wine Bar. You’ll feel like you’re in a jazz club when you order a rejuvenating glass of sparkling wine here. Relax to the sound of that grand piano.
  • Garrett Popcorn. Want just a snack? A little something salty for the plane? Pick up a bag of your favorite flavor. (Also in Terminal 1)
  • Gold Coast Dogs. How can you pass through Chicago without a classic hot dog? Just remember not to ask for ketchup.

Terminal 5

Here at the international terminal, it’s not surprising to find plenty of international cuisine to choose from:

  • Tocco. Wood-fired pizzas pair with tasty pastas to let you sample Italy before you even board your plane to Rome.
  • Big Bowl. Noodles? Potstickers? All the Asian comfort food you can think of awaits you here, along with wine and beer.
  • Goddess and Grocer. This is a great little cafe for grabbing a takeaway meal to carry on your plane, or stop in for your favorite coffee drink.

Getting from Chicago O’Hare into the city, or heading to the airport with plenty of time to catch your flight, shouldn’t be a hassle. Keep your business trip serene and focused when you book a reliable Blacklane car service to travel to the airport in comfort and style.