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O'Hare Offers Fast-Lane Customs for Fliers Traveling Light

Photo: Paul J. Richards | Getty Images

Globe-trotting travelers arriving with only carry-on baggage now have an express lane through customs processing at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

The "1-Stop" program, which launched Monday, provides arriving passengers without checked baggage access to fast-track lanes for customs processing.

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The program is designed to streamline the entry process and to minimize customs wait times for the estimated 10 percent of O'Hare's 14,500 daily international passengers who arrive with just carry-ons.

1-Stop information is posted in six languages in the corridor leading to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) passport control area, and instructs those eligible to enter designated lanes.

Travelers are processed at a booth with a CBP officer, and then move on to an express corridor that bypasses baggage claim and CBP exit control inspection areas.

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"This initiative will greatly enhance the experience for travelers entering the U.S. at O'Hare by creating a faster, more efficient process for passengers who are traveling light, and by helping to reduce wait times for all other arriving passengers," said Rosemarie Andolino, commissioner for the Chicago Department of Aviation, in a statement.

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O'Hare also will be the first U.S. airport to implement Automated Passport Control (APC), a program to help U.S. passport holders move more quickly through customs by entering information at a self-service kiosk. APC is scheduled to begin this summer.

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