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Delta to switch to Chicago O’Hare’s Terminal 5 on Wednesday


The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) has confirmed that Delta Air Lines will move its operations at O’Hare International Airport from the carrier’s long-time home in Terminal 2 to newly renovated gates in Terminal 5 on Wednesday, October 12.

“Delta’s move is the next big step in the $1 billion expansion and renovation project nearing completion at Terminal 5, where we have already opened seven new permanent gates since June,” says CDA Commissioner, Jamie Rhee.

“In the coming months, we look forward to opening additional building elements and passenger amenities that will transform Terminal 5 into a state-of-the-art facility that will serve a mix of domestic and international passengers.”

Delta will utilise gates M2 to M11 in Terminal 5’s western concourse. Its eight gates in Concourse E at Terminal 2 will be reallocated to United Airlines, which will take Gates E7 to E14, and to Alaska Airlines, which will occupy gates E15 and E17.

The existing Delta Sky Club near Gate E6 will close on Tuesday, October 11, the last day of Delta service in Terminal 2.

The airline’s new Delta Sky Club, located in Terminal 5 between Gates M11 and M14, will hold nearly 400 customers, approximately four times the capacity of the club in Terminal 2.

New signage and Delta staff will be posted at Terminal 2 to direct regular Delta passengers to the airline’s new home in Terminal 5, which is accessible from the Main Terminal complex by taking a short ride on the recently revamped Airport Transit System (ATS).

CDA customer service staff and volunteers will also provide way-finding assistance, and there will be live entertainment in Terminal 5 from Wednesday to Friday this week to celebrate the move.

When complete, the Terminal 5 expansion will increase the terminal’s gate capacity by 25%, increase passenger amenity space by approximately 85%, replace the nearly 30-year-old baggage handling system, provide reconfigured and more efficient customs and immigration facilities, and increase the total number of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint lanes to 13.

“The expanded Terminal 5 checkpoint will allow TSA officers to process travellers more efficiently than previous space limitations allowed,” noted the TSA’s federal security director for illinois, Dereck Starks.

“During this time of increasing passenger volume, coupled with long-term improvements to the airport infrastructure, we ask travellers to arrive early and leave prohibited items out of their carry-on bags.

“Our responsibility remains keeping passengers safe while also providing security screening as efficiently as possible, and we appreciate everyone’s patience and co-operation.”

This summer, the CDA also broke ground on a new, six-story parking garage for Terminal 5 that will more than double the number of spaces available onsite.

When completed in 2024, the new garage will replace the current surface Lot D and expand capacity to offer a mix of short- and long-term parking options, like those available at the airport’s main terminals.

Earlier this year, the Chicago City Council approved the largest set of concessions agreements at O’Hare in more than a decade. Local favourites like Butcher and the Burger, Sparrow Coffee, Bar Siena, Hampton Social and more are coming to the expanded amenity spaces in Terminal 5.

Mobile ordering from food and retail concessions with the option for gate-side delivery will also soon be available throughout the terminal.

The approved agreements, which also included retail offerings in Terminal 5 and Terminal 3, will achieve an Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (ACDBE) participation rate of 40%, exceeding the CDA’s goal of 32% and the nationwide goal of 10% set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The Terminal 5 renovation and expansion work will continue to open in phases through 2023.

The development is part of O’Hare 21, Chicago’s vision for a modern airport to meet the needs of the travelling public through the 21st Century and beyond.

The larger Terminal Area Plan, which will construct a new O’Hare Global Terminal to replace the existing Terminal 2 along with two new Satellite Concourses, remains under regulatory review by the FAA, with final approval anticipated later this year.

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