Known as the birthplace of modern American architecture, Chicago is not only the chief metropolis of the Midwest, but also an epic destination for deep dish pizza, North Avenue Beach (yes, a beach...on a lake!) and shopping on the famed Magnificent Mile.
Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) is located 15 miles from downtown Chicago. With non-stop flights to 165+ U.S. cities and international flights to over 60 countries, it's considered one of the busiest airports in the U.S.
In this article, we'll share all you need to know about ORD airport as well as how to access the lounge available to Priority Pass™ members.
What to know about Chicago O'Hare airport
When navigating the airport, you can easily walk between the domestic terminals (1, 2 and 3), which are all connected. The International Terminal 5 is not connected and you'll need to access it via the Airport Transit System, which is a train shuttle. From the first stop at Terminal 1 to the last stop at rental cars and parking, it takes about 10 minutes, with stops at Terminals 1, 2, and 3 in between.
This airport features a wide variety of dining options, including some of Chicago's classics, as well as plenty of shopping in each terminal. You can also find napping pods, a yoga room, a health club, a 4-story field museum and even a garden that features 1,100 plants and vegetables, many of which are used in the airport's restaurants.
What to know about the Priority Pass network of lounges at ORD
To get access to any lounge in the Priority Pass network, you'll need a membership. Priority Pass is a membership program that provides over 1,300 airport experiences around the world, from spacious lounges with diverse amenities to attractive spas and restaurants. There are several ways to get a Priority Pass membership, including as a benefit of a credit card, and we explain them below.
Can I access a lounge in the Priority Pass network with a Priority Pass membership?
There is only one lounge available to Priority Pass members at ORD. It's located in the International Terminal 5. You must have a boarding pass for an outgoing international flight to board the transport bus to this terminal.
If you do find yourself in the international terminal at Chicago O'Hare, here are some key things to know about the lounge you can find there:
Swissport Lounge – International Terminal 5
Priority Pass members can access this location three hours prior to their scheduled flight departure, as capacity allows. The lounge features several food options, spacious seating and quiet areas. Children under 4 are admitted free.
- Location: Terminal 5, between gates M8 and M7
- Hours: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
- Amenities include: Wi-Fi, refreshments (including alcohol), hot and cold buffet in the evening, TV room, flight monitors
What are the airline-specific lounges I can find at ORD?
ORD has over a dozen lounges operated by specific airlines. To access these lounges, you may need a certain level of ticket (a first-class ticket, for instance), a certain loyalty status with that airline, a paid membership to the lounge or, in some cases, by purchasing a day pass.
Accessibility for each lounge is different, so you'll want to review the airline's website for their entry rules. Here is a list of several lounges organized by terminal:
- United Club (near gate B6)
- United Club (near gate B18)
- United Club (near gate C16)
- United Polaris Lounge (near gate C18)
- United Club
- USO Lounge
- American Airlines Admirals Club (near gate G8)
- American Airlines Admirals Club (near gate L1)
- American Airlines Admirals Club (near gate H6/K6)
- American Airlines Flagship Lounge
- USO Lounge
Terminal 5 (International Terminal)
- British Airways First Lounge
- British Airways Terraces Lounge
- Delta Sky Club
- SAS Lounge
- Swissport Lounge
How do I get access to lounges in the Priority Pass network at Chicago O'Hare?
There are several ways to get airport lounge access, including:
Purchase a membership
When you sign up for a membership with Priority Pass, you can choose between three annual plans that start at $99. The membership levels suit different travel needs. For instance, if you want access to lounges without paying visit fees, consider the Prestige membership plan. The Club airport lounges participate in the Priority Pass network, so membership will provide access to those locations.
Get a day pass
A single-use pass is a great way to enjoy a lounge in a city you might not frequently visit, without paying for a full membership. Day-passers enjoy all the same benefits as members.
Complimentary Priority Pass Select membership with Chase Sapphire Reserve
Did you know that certain credit cards offer their cardmembers complimentary access to the Priority Pass network of lounges? Many popular travel credit cards come with Priority Pass membership as one of the benefits. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® credit card is one of them. Here's how it works. So once you get approved for the credit card, you can register for your Priority Pass Select membership and start taking advantage of it right away.
The associated rewards, discounts and annual fees will vary from card to card. But many cardmembers find that the welcome bonus (which is often tens of thousands of points) and the long list of travel benefits are worth the annual fee. For example, with most travel credit cards, including Chase Sapphire Reserve, you're able to earn points for every purchase you make, even on weekly staples like gas and groceries. If you use the card to pay for your travel-related expenses, you earn even more points.
You'll want to do some math to see if this option makes sense with your lifestyle and spending habits. In some cases, applying for one of these cards could be more economical than buying the top-tier Priority Pass membership directly.
Nicknamed the “windy city" and the “city of neighborhoods," Chicago attracts millions of visitors a year, and with good reason. There are endless ways to be entertained in this city. Serving as an international stop for many, Chicago O'Hare remains a bustling airport located just a short drive from downtown. Priority Pass members will find the Swissport Lounge is a nice break from the stress of international travel.