Anonymous
Anonymous asked in TravelAir Travel · 1 decade ago

Leaving the airport during a layover?

I have a 5 hour lay over in Chicago, and I want to be able to leave the airport to see a friend... I have to go through customs there... but after Im done, am I allowed to leave the airport, and come back to catch my flight home?

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    You are allowed to leave the airport but when you come back you will have to go through security again, and customs if your flight is international. Also, I'm not sure if this is a common occurance but I'll share my story: This summer, returning to Washingtom D.C. from India with my family with a layover in London, we chose to leave the airport since we had a long wait. We did, and when we came back to the gate, we checked (as we usually do) to ensure our baggage was on the plane. It wasn't. This was apparently because there was a tracking system and since we had left the airport, in accordance with new security measures, our bags had been placed in the "Red Zone" (I'm not exactly sure of what this is, but I think it's where they put "suspicious" bags, maybe?). Because the flight was due to take off shortly, the airline personnel explained that they couldn't put the bags into the plane, as it would cause a delay, and so we could either choose not to fly or take the flight and the bags would arrive later. We decided to fly, and our suitcases arrived two days later. So if you decided to leave, I would advise that you come back with at least an hour to spare, in case something similar happens to you, so you can at least have time to try to get your suitcases on the plane. Good luck =]

  • 4 years ago

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    RE:

    Leaving the airport during a layover?

    I have a 5 hour lay over in Chicago, and I want to be able to leave the airport to see a friend... I have to go through customs there... but after Im done, am I allowed to leave the airport, and come back to catch my flight home?

    Source(s): leaving airport layover: https://tinyurl.im/4HP8f
  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, technically. But 5 hours doesnt seem like TOO much time.

    It takes about an hour to get off your first plane, go through customs/baggage claim, and then however much time it takes you to get to wherever your friend is.

    Then remember you have to be back at the airport a couple of hours before the flight leaves. You have to go through security again, then you have to be at the gate up to an hour before the flight leaves... so, all in all, you're going to have about a 10-minute reunion with your friend if you do decide to go.

  • Lydia
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    This is possible. After leaving bags in locker take shuttle train at underground level. Alight at the end of the line : Bruxelles Central. (Underground station) You are now at 5 minutes walking of min square, city hall, Brussels museum, mannken pis and the medieval peatonal area. You should now have 6 hours to visit all this, and have lunch (moules -frites) and sample one or two Belgian beers, and buy chocolates and lace. Enjoy your stay.

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  • KeithK
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    If you leave the airport, you will have to go back through security to get back to your gate for your flight(and if it's an international through customs), but yes, you can leave the airport.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It depends on your nationality. If you are from a visa waiver country and therefore do not need a visa to visit the U.S., you may. If you are from a country whose citizens do require a visa to visit the U.S., then no. There are no longer "transit" visas in the U.S. and international travellers are required to wait in a special waiting room after going through customs...they may not leave. If you check the visa waiver list ( below) and see that you do not need a visa to visit the U.S., you will still have very little time...why not have your friend meet you at the airport for a meal and short visit?

  • billy
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I think so, yes.

  • 1 decade ago

    I think that you can... call to make sure!

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