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Sarasota to Rome Connect thru EWR or ORD

Will be traveling SRQ to Rome on United, I could go thru EWR or ORD. EWR has 2:30 connection, ORD has 1:30
It looks like the EWR option is continually plagued with delays due to weather and traffic that impact the connection time. I think ORD would be better even with shorter connection time. Anyone have any comments or opinions?

Posted by
23 posts

Honestly, if at all possible, I'd take the trip up to TPA. I'd bet flights are much cheaper out of there and provide more options.

Posted by
7 posts

Trip will be October 5. Tampa is not convenient, but could be an option to add more connection time. It seems the Eastern corridor is too crowded to be reliable, thanks for the responses.

Posted by
674 posts

I travel through ORD frequently and the important thing is which terminal you are arriving and which one you are leaving from because terminals 1, 2 & 3 are all accesible from the plane side but most arriving international flights come in through terminal 5 which is quite a ways from the other terminals and you have to go through customs, recheck any checked luggage, then catch a bus to the other terminals, then get a new boarding pass (if you don't use your iPhone), go through TSA security and then on to your gate. I always allow a minimum of 2 hrs when coming back into the US at ORD. Sometimes, when departing to go over to Europe you will leave from terminals 1, 2 or 3 and then it's like any other airport and is usually no problem.

I like ORD because they have so many non-stop flights to European cities, plus the United flights I take usually have Boeing 777's which are roomy and comfortable.

Posted by
15625 posts

Most recent indication is the United Chicago-Rome flight departing from Terminal 1, so that is a good thing. But what about the return flight? If return is through Chicago, you will land at Terminal 5 because that is where Customs and Border Protection is located, then you have to transfer to Terminal 1 for flight to Sarasota, taking the train and going through TSA security again. That takes time.

Posted by
7 posts

Yes, United will arrive and depart from Terminal 1. I will be returning by ship, so no problem there. Looks like ORD is the best choice right now. Thanks all.

Posted by
6543 posts

I had no idea that United Airways had such poor service to the southeast U.S. They just fly to 5 or 6 domestic airports from all the Florida airports and Atlanta. And they have no international flights to anywhere.
The flights United has domestically are not to airports that I would want to connect through to Europe--with relatively short time on the ground.
If I had my druthers, I wouldn't choose to fly on United from Florida to Europe. Atlanta, Orlando and the South Florida airports have plenty of European flights without having to go to the Northeast or Chicago for connections.

Posted by
609 posts

90 minutes in ORD is cutting it close. ORD also has traffic and weather issues. Keep in mind you have to deplane and walk to your next gate and you will have to show your passport again at the check-in desk. You are really flying domestic SRQ TO ORD and on to Rome. United has two terminal 1 sections and they are far apart. This could possibly be a long, long walk, so keep that in mind. It is hard to predict delays, but I would rather have an extra hour in EWR. I flew in and out of ORD for over 30 years, anything can happen!

Posted by
1109 posts

I’m a Chicagoan and I’d take Ohare Terminal 1 over anything at EWR any day, I despise that airport.

Posted by
3144 posts

I hate Newark Airport too.

The only concern I have for you about ORD is the 90 minute window. Your trans-Atlantic flight from ORD could close 30 to 45 minutes before departure so you really won’t have 90 minutes. What if your inbound to ORD is late? Delays can always happen. You may not get on another flight until the next day. I would never take that risk.

So I would look for an earlier inbound flight to Chicago that gives you more connection time.