It’s not hard at all to find the best deals on flights to Chicago from Ireland. The relative short duration of flight (about 8 hours) makes the route popular and you can choose between three airlines if you prefer a direct flight. If you are a not a US citizen you’ll need a round trip ticket to show at customs as proof that you’ll return within three months of arriving in the States. And don’t forget to obtain your visa before departing (it can be done online or directly from the US embassy in Dublin).
You’ll most likely land on the Chicago O’Hare International Airport. O’Hare . O’Hare – as it’s commonly known – is located just 17 miles from downtown Chicago and serves as the largest hub for United Airlines. It’s also the second largest hub for American Airlines. The airport is very busy so you shouldn’t have troubles finding a flight into Chicago no matter where you arrive from.
In Ireland you can choose among several airports, depending on which is closest to you. The busiest airport is Dublin Airport, where the majority of international flights depart from. But Shannon and Cork also receive quite a lot of international traffic. The airports are well connected to the cities they serve and all offer a variety of passenger services.
Best airline choices
If you prefer a direct flight to Chicago from Ireland, the only option is to fly from Dublin. Three airlines offer directly flights to Chicago from Dublin:
- American Airlines
- Aer Lingus
- United Airlines
If you fly from either Shannon or Cork, you’ll be making at least one stop along the way.
Prices for airplane tickets to Chicago from Ireland tend to be quite seasonal, so expect to pay more during the peak season (summer, winter holidays). During spring and fall the prices are lower. Booking your flight in advance is a good idea.
As fall approaches, the prices tend to be lower. Out of the three airlines offering direct flights to Chicago from Dublin, American Airlines and Aer Lingus seem to have the best airfares. For example, if you choose American Airlines, a round trip ticket averages $800 per person in early September and the prices drop during the next months. By early October the prices average $745-775 per person for a round trip flight.
Money saving tips
Since Chicago is a major hub for both United Airlines and American Airlines, it only makes sense to start your search with those. Also, Aer Lingus has a hub in Dublin so they also offer good fares (on the continent they actually compete with the low cost carriers’ fares). As there aren’t direct flights from Shannon or Cork into Chicago you might want to skip checking those routes.
Plan to fly mid-week if possible. Book your flight at most 2 months in advance and definitely check discount websites such as Expedia, Priceline or Travelocity. Make sure to check the airlines’ websites as well since they might run special offers which are not available elsewhere.