I am flying United Airlines to Melbourne from O'Hare (same ticket). There is a 1 hour 10 minute layover between my ORD-LAX and LAX-MEL flights.

Is this enough?

My research so far on this:

  • My ORD-LAX flight is United. So, I guess it should arrive at Terminal 8. I checked FlightAware and it seems that my LAX-MEL flight also takes off from Terminal 7 (Not TBIT).
  • Terminal 7 and 8 seem to be connected
  • I have no checked baggage. Just a backpack.
  • Since ORD seems to be weather sensitive, this trip is in first week of May so hopefully, weather-related delays shouldn't occur (?).

2 Answers 2


70 minutes is plenty of time - if your inbound flight is on time.

Almost all United flights - including ALL domestic flights - arrive into terminal 7 or 8, and all departing United flights leave from those same terminals. These terminals are connected airside, and there is no additional security or outbound immigration you need to pass through. Worst case your two gates will be about a 10 minute walk apart. Boarding for international flights closes 15 minutes before departure, so you've got 40+ minutes from landing which is plenty.

However, personally I would never book this connection. The issues isn't how easy the connection is to make, it's the impact if you don't make it - such as if your inbound flight is delayed. United only runs one flight to Melbourne each day, so if you mis-connect they will book you on the same flight the next day. There's no chance of getting on another airline, as they all leave around the same time so you'll have missed those as well!

If the cause of the delay was their fault (eg, mechanical issue) then they will provide a hotel, but if it was outside of their control (weather, ATC delays, etc) then you (or your travel insurance?) be up for the cost of the hotel.

If you want to risk a 24 hour delay, book this connection. If not, book an earlier flight from Chicago - one with at least 2 hours between flights.


Fortunately you won't have to worry much since it's all on the same ticket. If you can't make it they should rebook you.

However, from my experience through the hell that is LAX (albeit different terminals), you may need to move fast. It's certainly possible, but if there's a bunch of planes at the same time that need to go through some line, that may slow you down.

Checked luggage likely wouldn't matter anyway as it'd be checked through to MEL.

  • "you may need to run and ask to skip past people in security lines.".. Why would I have to go through security again? Couldn't I transfer terminals "securely"?
    – australia
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 0:09
  • 1
    @australia my memory last few times was that I literally had to exit the terminal, walk down the pavement to the next terminal, and re-enter. However, even in say transit in Bangkok or HongKong, they walk you off the plane, through security again and onto the next plane. Always. So I'm quite sure that even if there's a transit tunnel or something, you'll still go through security again.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 0:32
  • But if you don't, please do let us know, out of interest.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 0:33
  • 2
    Definitely no security, no walking outside (T4-T8 are all connected airside now!). United do NOT use TBIT other than for a very small number of early-morning international arrivals before their own immigration hall in T7 opens. The return MEL-LAX IS one of the flights that uses TBIT 6 days a week, but not on the outbound.
    – Doc
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 0:54
  • @Doc, sweet, I'll update
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 1:13

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