Travel Light, Exit Faster at O'Hare

business travelerWilliam Hageman, The Chicago Tribune, June 7, 2013

Here's another benefit of traveling light: Passengers who arrive at O'Hare International Airport from overseas without checked luggage now can get around what had been unavoidable delays, thanks to a new streamlined entry process.

Arriving international travelers with just carry-ons and proper documentation can stop at a booth staffed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer, then proceed to an express lane that bypasses baggage claim and CBP exit inspection areas, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation. Signs direct travelers.

"This initiative will greatly enhance the experience for travelers entering the U.S. at O'Hare by creating a faster, more efficient process for passengers who are traveling light and by helping to reduce wait times for all other arriving passengers," Department of Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie S. Andolino said in a statement.

On a typical day, 14,500 passengers arrive at O'Hare's International Terminal 5, and an estimated 10 percent of them travel without checked luggage. The new system, inaugurated May 31, is among the first of its kind in the nation.

"Arriving passengers can now look forward to a quicker exit from O'Hare and on to their next destination," said Milton G. Uribe, an official of Iberia Airlines of Spain and chairman of the O'Hare Airline Managers Association. ___