United Airlines at Chicago O'Hare - A Guide to Terminal One

As one of the busiest airports in the world, ORD is often very congested and overwhelming. Terminal One mainly serves United Airlines (based locally in Chicago) and is the busiest of the four active passenger terminals at O’Hare. This guide will help you navigate Terminal One.

Concourses and Gates in Chicago O’Hare Terminal One

Terminal One primarily serves domestic flights, though it does process some international departures as well. Currently, it includes Concourses B and C with 55 different gates. Concourse B contains the passenger check-in, baggage claim, and security screening areas.

Once you're processed in Concourse B, you move to Concourse C, which includes all departure and arrival gates for Terminal One. It connects to Concourse B by an underground pedestrian tunnel and includes moving walkways to ease your tired feet.

The Light Sculpture in the underground walkway between Concourse B and Concourse C in Terminal One of O'Hare International airport

The upper level includes a direct connection to the roadway and all departures, as well as the Airport Transit System. The lower level includes car rental, taxi, limousine, and charter bus rental stations. Throughout each level are restaurants, shopping centers, lounges, and toilets.

Supported Airlines Chicago O’Hare Terminal One

Chicago O’Hare Terminal One currently works with three airlines. United Airlines is the main domestic team operating out of Terminal One. Terminals Two and Five also handle United Airlines arrivals, while Terminals One and Two process departures.

For All Nippon Airways - Ana and Lufthansa passengers, Terminal One ensures a seamless transition. Departures are managed here, while all international arrivals from these carriers are smoothly handled at Terminal Five. This setup keeps Terminal One primarily domestic and helps minimize confusion while flying.

ORD also provides three other terminals to handle its flights: Terminals 2, 3, and 5. You can travel easily between all four using the ATS train to streamline your flight experience. Chicago O’Hare also provides buses and shuttles to nearby hotels in downtown Chicago.

Service & Help Desks in ORD's Terminal One

Primarily located on the upper level, service and help desk stations include ticket counters, TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry desks, travelers assistant stations, service animal support, and wheelchair assistance.

There are also parking management desks in Terminal One on the upper level, where you can reserve a parking spot before your next flight. You can call ahead of time to reserve a spot that works well for you. 

Departing from Midway Airport? You can book with The Parking Spot to get many amenities and service benefits, such as:

  • Reasonable prices that can save you money
  • Free shuttle transportation to the airport
  • Securely guarded lots that keep your vehicle safe
  • 24/7 booking and payment using the online app
  • Spot Club membership for discounted booking
  • The ability to reserve a parking spot on the go
  • Coupons and deals to cut back on your expenses
  • Complimentary water for your travel

Lost and Found Centers Available at Chicago O’Hare Terminal One

If you lose anything while traveling through Chicago O’Hare Terminal One, it's important to know who to contact because the lost and found process varies depending on where you misplaced your belongings. Here are a few contact numbers you should call to get started:

  • Public Areas: Call the Chicago Police at +1-773-686-2385
  • Security Checkpoints: Contact the TSA at +1-773-377-1210 or visit TSA offices in Terminal 2
  • ATS Train: Talk to ATS by calling +1-773-601-1817
  • Car Parks: Call Standard Parking at +1-773-686-7532
  • Restaurants: contact Standard Parking by calling +1-773-686-6148
  • United Airlines: call the Baggage Recovery Center 1-800-335-2247

If you think you lost something on the plane or if you can't find it by calling those numbers, contact your airline directly to get help. You can also visit the main airport baggage claim office in Terminal Two. Lost luggage is often sent here for easier processing and management.

Accessibility/ADA in ORD Terminal One

Chicago O’Hare International Airport provides multiple accessibility options for people who need extra support. Terminal One has wheelchair-accessible bathrooms at Gates B1, B10, C19, and near the Baggage Claim. These include large and easy-to-use stalls for people in wheelchairs.

Currently, Chicago O’Hare offers one changing station for ADA fliers. Located in Terminal Two near Gate F3, this room includes motorized passenger lift systems, restrooms, showers, two emergency pull chords, grab bars, LED lighting fixtures, and an automatic opening door for easier use.

Furthermore, there are elevators throughout the facility that make travel easier. Each elevator is large enough for two wheelchairs, making it more comfortable for travelers. Furthermore, signs throughout the airport use Braille for people with vision impairments.

United Airlines porter service ushers wheelchair users through security all the way to your seat if needed. Contact the airline when you book your flight.

If needed, you can also rent wheelchairs directly from your airline while traveling through Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Call them instead of the airport to book your reservation. To improve your chances, it's best to get a hold of them at least two weeks ahead of time.

How to Spend Your Time Chicago O’Hare Terminal One

It’s always best to show up at least two hours (or more) before your departure so that you can properly process your tickets and find your gates. O’Hare is a major transit hub, so even with mild Midwest weather, storms and delays in other parts of the country will impact Terminal one departure times. While you wait, you can try out some tasty dining options to avoid getting too bored:

  • America’s Dog: Located near Concourse C, Gate C17, this hot dog restaurant provides fun variations on this American favorite. Tasty options include Buffalo, Green Bay, San Francisco, and Atlanta dogs that use regional ingredients and fresh toppings. It’s surprisingly inexpensive compared to other places.
  • Auntie Anne’s: Looking for a quick and tasty snack while waiting to take off? Auntie Annie’s offers soft pretzels with cheese, fresh soda, and other dishes that can keep your belly full. It’s a particular kid’s favorite because each meal is simple and yummy.
  • Farmer’s Fridge: Trying to eat healthy while traveling and can’t seem to avoid burgers and pizza? Farmer’s Fridge uses fresh ingredients to produce healthy and surprisingly delicious meals that kids and adults will love. Try out their salads, sandwiches, and fresh bowls to stay healthy.
  • Garrett’s Popcorn: On Concourse B near Gate B7 just outside of security.

You can also go shopping in stores like Barbara’s Bookstore (Concourse B, Gate B10), Brookstone (Concourse C, Gate C11, Duty-Free Store (Concourse C, Gate C17, Hudson Gifts and News (Concourse B, Gate B4), and InMotion (Concourse B, Gate B7) to kill a little time.

Things to Do at O’Hare Terminal 1 With Kids

When traveling with little ones through O’Hare Terminal One, make sure you plan ahead. Kids can get bored very easily, and finding things to do at every stage is critical. One thing you might not read in a typical Chicago O’Hare Terminal One guide is ORD’s kid-friendly status!

The Parking Spot has a guide on the best airports for children and highlights several reasons why O’Hare is such a kid-friendly airport. First, it has a great play destination that kids love. This area focuses mostly on very young children, so teens might be out of luck. The spa center located in Terminal One in Concourse B, Gate B12, might be a good choice for your teens (or even yourself).

But if you only have young ones, you can take them to Kids on the Fly instead. This is a fun airport museum located in Terminal Two that includes interactive screens and other activities that can keep little ones engaged. It also includes an F4F Wildcat fighter plane from World War II with a fully restored exterior and interior that kids will love checking out.

If you don’t feel like leaving Terminal One (your kids are grumpy, there’s not a lot of time between flights, etc.), you can also visit the “largest light sculpture in the world.” Located between Concourses B and C, the 800 feet of neon lighting here will dazzle both children and adults alike.

You can also visit Terminal Five (which is quite a hike but worth it if you have a long wait) to check out its massive art exhibit. Costing $3.5 million, this display will capture your children’s attention with beautiful art. Even parents will find themselves dazzled by this international art display.

Service Animal Relief Stations in ORD Terminal One

Once you’ve run out of things to do at O’Hare Terminal 1, make sure you investigate other amenities. For example, if you’re traveling with a service animal (such as a blind assistant or emotional support dog), locate the relief stations (aka bathrooms) where your little buddy can do his or her business.

There are three primary relief stations for animals in Terminal One. The first includes a post-security spot next to Gate C10. Find the hallway that goes towards C12 and look for the SARA destination on the right. Here, there’s a sink, an area for your pet to “go,” and other amenities for your pup.

If you’re outside security and your pup has to “go,” there are a few options in Terminal One. The first is located outside arrivals near the lower level, Door 1A. Look for this spot on the right. It includes amenities similar to the previously mentioned SARA destination, including toys for your pup.

You can also find a SARA area in Terminal One’s main hall just past security. Look for the Lotto booth near Gate K1. Follow the hall towards Concourse L, about 75 steps down. You should find it on the left wall. Similar spots are located throughout other terminals if you move beyond Terminal One.

Make sure you visit these spots so that your pet feels comfortable traveling with you. Keeping them happy and cozy can ensure they’re ready to support you if you fear flying and need a soft, furry buddy to hug to calm your nerves. 

Airport Shuttle Systems Servicing Chicago O’Hare Terminal One

No Chicago O’Hare Terminal One guide would be complete without details about shuttles. Multiple lines serve ORD and help keep travelers moving smoothly through the city. The El Train moves people between O’Hare and Midway airports and other destinations in downtown Chicago.

For example, the CTA "El" Train can easily get you closer to The United Center, where the Chicago Blackhawks play championship-caliber hockey. It’s one of the most popular hockey rinks in the world, and traveling to and from it is made easier with the L train available.

Furthermore, SuperShuttle Express also provides quick and easy transportation from Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Once you’ve exhausted all things to do at O’Hare Terminal 1 and want to get out into the city, call them to get easy transportation to your hotel or other areas in the city.

Go Airport Express also offers ORD shuttle-based transportation to move throughout Chicago wherever you want. These options have varying rates and stops, so make sure you research very carefully to identify a team that makes sense for your budget and your family’s travel needs.

Terminal One (as well as Terminals Two, Three and International Terminal Five,) has a quickly moving taxi stand just outside the baggage claim doors. Do not accept rides from touts inside the terminal as they are not authorized to provide transportation.

Long Layover Activities Near or Just Outside O’Hare Terminal One

So you’ve taken the time to reserve a parking spot with The Parking Spot, booked your fast-tracked security option, and feel like you’re ready to go. However, you forgot about your layover in Chicago O’Hare Terminal One. Thankfully, there’s a lot you can do while you’re here to stay entertained.

For instance, you can relax in cozy lounges in Terminal One and enjoy fresh drinks, delicious foods, and a little relaxation. These lounges also include convenient work centers, perfect for catching up on anything you need. There are three United Club locations (Gate B6, Gate B18, and Gate C10), as well as one United Polaris Lounge Location at Gate C18 for international travelers.

If you run out of things to do at O’Hare Terminal One, you can travel to the rotunda in Terminals Two and Three. Here, there’s a relaxing area where you can read, try to catch some sleep, or even meet some new friends. There’s plenty of seating here, which makes it a great place to calm down.

Even if you stay in Terminal One, there’s much to do! Do your kids love dinosaurs? Well, visit the four-story brachiosaurus to get a staggering look at the sheer scope of these beautiful creatures. You can also visit the field museum while you’re here to learn more about natural history.

Navigating Chicago O'Hare's Terminal One can be a breeze, thanks to its focus on domestic flights and fewer airlines. The organized layout, with Concourses B and C, makes everything from check-in to boarding straightforward. Plus, the range of amenities—including dining options, shops, and lounges—ensures you have a comfortable wait. Whether you're traveling with kids, need accessibility support, or have a service animal, Terminal One has you covered. Efficient shuttle services and easy inter-terminal travel make getting around a snap. With a bit of planning and using the available amenities, your time at Terminal One can be smooth and enjoyable.