I searched flights, but the transfer times seem pretty short. I want to go from Hamburg, Germany, to St. Louis, MO. The itinerary for the flight I want to take is:

Hamburg -> London
1h 5m transfer time
London -> Chicago
1h 50m transfer time
Chicago -> St. Louis

I've never been to the USA before but have got an approved ESTA application. Another point worth considering is that I'm 16 (I don't know if this affects anything). 1h in London should be enough, but I think 1h50m could be too short for entering the USA.

How much time do I need to enter the USA at Chicago O'Hare?

If I miss my flight because I had to wait at CBP, will I get booked to another flight at no cost?

The flight is operated by British Airways in cooperation with American Airlines.

  • 1
    Those transfer times seem too short to me also. For some reason, it seems that in recent years airlines have been cutting transfer times finer and finer. Do you have an option to select longer transfer times? Having said that, if it's all on one ticket, then they should get you to your destination eventually, without it hurting you financially. (It might cost you some time, though.)
    – TonyK
    Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 19:46

2 Answers 2


You normally should be able to make your connection in Chicago with about an hour, so with 1:50, you have plenty.

However, there is always a chance that your flight is late, or the lines are longer than usual, or something else happening, so you cannot avoid a small chance of not making the connection. Typically, the airline will rebook you on a later flight for free. AA also has multiple later flights to STL (last at 9:15 pm).

If your incoming flight is late, make sure to tell the personnel (on the flight already!) that you are having that connection. They can call ahead and might fast track you through immigration to help you make it.


1:05 transit time should not be a problem if your ORD flight departs from Terminal 5. If you have to transfer to Terminal 3, because the ORD flight is on American, just keep moving and you should make it fine.

At ORD, you will have to transit from Terminal 5, International Arrivals, to Terminal 3. 1:50 should be plenty of time. Terminal 3 is the first stop on the train.

If CBP is way backed up or the ORD flight is late, AA will put you on the next available flight. There's probably 2-4 STL flights after you arrival. If you do miss the flight you're booked on, find the Rebooking Center inside the terminal or go directly to the gate for the next STL flight.

To clarify, even if you're late, go through the TSA line into the terminal. Don't stop at the counter. Your STL flight might be delayed also.

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