I will be traveling and arriving ORD later in the day around dinner. Because I will be going straight to a hotel by taxi that has no restaurant, I want to eat at ORD. If I do not go down immediately to claim my bad and eat upstairs what will happen to my checked bag? Assuming no other passenger takes it, will the airline just take it and put it in the office, or will this be a TSA issue? If this varies by airline, than I would like to know for American. Can I tell them when I land to hold my bag in the baggage office since I will be going to eat?

  • 2
    Perhaps you could claim your bag, then take one of the free shuttles to a hotel that does have a restaurant to eat there. You could have your taxi pick you up there or return to the airport. You'll be spending money at that hotel, so I see no ethical issues about taking the shuttle, and the driver doesn't care one way or the other.
    – choster
    Jul 29, 2014 at 13:55
  • as to airport shuttles, used them plenty of time as attendant to meetings in rented conference space. They're not just for hotel guests, they're for all hotel customers (and staff).
    – jwenting
    Jul 29, 2014 at 14:58
  • This is a possibility, the Hilton is walkable from the terminal (nothing else is near by) and has a restaurant. I can then still get my airport cab pickup after. Taking the shuttles back and forth would probably put in too much time ( would be better ordering delivery from required hotel at that point). If I can't figure out a way to ensure my bags will be retrievable, I'd do this - I would recommend migrating from comments to a full answer.
    – HelpEric
    Jul 29, 2014 at 16:26
  • If all else fails I would consider getting something premade and take it with me, but ultimately the main question is if there are procedures for holding a bag to accommodate this type of request.
    – HelpEric
    Jul 29, 2014 at 16:34
  • Arriving from where? If you're arriving from an international flight then you need to collect your bags before you go through customs and there's nowhere to eat before customs. Apr 21, 2016 at 5:41

2 Answers 2


If you don't pick up your bag, it will be left on or by the belt for a little while, then taken to the baggage desk as an unclaimed bag. Eventually they will send it off to their storage area, but as long as you get there to claim it within an hour or so of landing it likely will still be at the desk.


Unclaimed bags typically are collected and go to a special handling area where they're stored for a while before being seized and eventually either destroyed or auctioned off.
That's not specific to ORD, it's common practice all over.

But why do things like that in the first place? Why not get your luggage and then go get something to eat? There are no doubt many places at the airport to get a bite. No need to risk losing your luggage and/or getting stuck on the wrong side of a security barrier from it.

  • 2
    Been through ORD plenty of times in the past...in Terminal 3 (For AA) the only real food down there is starbucks, everything else is behind security.
    – HelpEric
    Jul 29, 2014 at 13:15

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