CHICAGO – The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) today launched a new transportation service in partnership with American Airlines to eliminate the need for connecting passengers to be re-screened before boarding international flights. Beginning on June 19, CDA will operate a Terminal Transfer Bus (TTB) service to transport ticketed passengers connecting from American Airlines domestic arrivals in Terminal 3 to international departures at International Terminal 5 via the secure side of the airport.
The new program strengthens O’Hare International Airport’s position as a leading international gateway by offering 60 percent of passengers connecting from flights at domestic gates a more direct path to international flights departing Terminal 5.
In addition to the direct benefit for connecting passengers, the Terminal Transfer Bus is expected to benefit Chicago international travelers through a daily reduction of passengers at the TSA checkpoint in Terminal 5. The volume of passengers using the T5 security checkpoint could be decreased by as many as 1,000 passengers per day, which will in turn shorten security lines and wait times for passengers during peak periods.
Prior to implementation of this service, all connecting passengers who arrived at domestic terminals would be required to exit security and then be re-screened at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security checkpoint in Terminal 5 in order to board an international flight. Passengers who use the new service do not need to be re-screened because they will remain on the secure side of the airport as they travel from Terminal 3 to Terminal 5.
In addition to the elimination of double screenings, the TTB will reduce in-airport travel time by about five minutes for passengers connecting from Terminal 3 to international flights. Two buses will run from 10:30 am to 8 pm daily, with buses operating continuously on secure routes from Terminal 3 to Terminal 5. Passengers will be picked up from two locations near Gate G17 and Gate K20 in Terminal 3. The bus will drop passengers off at the M Concourse of Terminal 5. The buses and bus stops are ADA compliant. Initially, the Terminal Transfer Bus will be offered seasonally during spring, summer and early fall, when connecting traffic is at peak levels.