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Travel time from Chicago to Denver



Chicago to Denver airports and flights

How long does it really take to fly from Chicago to Denver? Here's a sample itinerary for a commercial flight plan. If you want to know the total travel time to reach Denver, you need to include time at the airports. Eventually, you'll be able to customize this itinerary to select other nearby airports and choose your preferred airline.


Thursday, 7:32 am:  start in Chicago
drive for about 48 minutes
most airlines recommend you get to the airport at least 90 minutes before your flight, so arrive by 9:15 am at the latest

8:20 am:  Chicago O'Hare International (ORD)
if you need to check luggage, make sure you do it at least 30-60 minutes before departure, or in this case, by 9:45 am

8:50 am:  get your boarding pass and go through TSA security
allow enough time for long security lines during busy travel seasons or holidays, and prepare for the wait time

9:50 am:  arrive at the gate
once you're ready to board, you can get something to eat in the airport or just relax near the gate

10:20 am:  prepare for boarding
check your boarding pass for your group number or listen to the gate agent as they announce boarding, some airlines require you to be in the boarding area 10-15 minutes before departure or risk losing your seat

10:35 am:  board United Air Lines Inc. flight
you can scroll down to view other airlines that fly this route

10:45 am:  this is your scheduled departure time
but this flight is usually delayed by an average of 16 minutes

11:01 am:  so this is your actual departure time
it takes the plane an average of 22 minutes to taxi to the runway

11:23 am:  wheels up! take-off from ORD
fly for about 2 hours in the air

12:33 pm (local time):  Denver International (DEN)
Denver is 1 hour behind Chicago
so the time in Chicago is actually 1:33 pm
taxi on the runway for an average of 9 minutes to the gate

12:42 pm (local time):  arrive at the gate at DEN
deboard the plane, and claim any baggage
if you're renting a car, check if you need to take a shuttle to car rental agency, otherwise you can ride in a cab, limo, or Uber for about 55 minutes to your destination

1:36 pm (local time):  arrive in Denver

Total travel time: 7 hours




Flying non-stop from Chicago to Denver

How far is Denver from Chicago? Here's the quick answer if you have a private jet and you can fly in the fastest possible straight line.

Flight distance: 920 miles or 1481 km

Flight time: 2 hours, 13 minutes

Compare this to a whole day of commercial travel with the airports and waiting in line for security, which ends up taking a total of 7 hours, 4 minutes.

Flying private is roughly 3.5x faster, and saves you about 5 hours in your total travel time.

Because of the curvature of the Earth, the shortest distance is actually the "great circle" distance, or "as the crow flies" which is calculated using an iterative Vincenty formula. For a long distance, this appears as a curve on the map, and this is often the route that commercial airlines will take so it's a good estimate of the frequent flyer miles you'll accumulate as well.

This is a medium length flight, so unless you have a nice private jet, you might be booking a commercial flight. In that case, your travel time would really need to include how many minutes to get to your local airport, wait for security, board and taxi on the runway, land at the other airport, and get to your destination. The flight itinerary at the top of the page takes into account all these factors to get a more accurate estimate of your actual flight time.



Best day of the week to fly to Denver

Looking at flights on United Air Lines Inc. from ORD to DEN, here's a breakdown of the number of flights available each day:

  • Sunday
  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Saturday

Based on these statistical results, we chose Thursday for the flight itinerary above.




Alternate flights from Chicago to Denver

The most common route is ORD to DEN, so that's what we used in the sample itinerary. However, you may want to explore travel alternatives, you could try one of these routes:

  1. ORD to DEN
    Chicago O'Hare International to Denver International
  2. MDW to DEN
    Chicago Midway International to Denver International




Airlines that fly to Denver

We picked United Air Lines Inc. for your main flight, but there are other airlines that you should check if you're looking for the cheapest flight, or you need a different schedule. Check the websites of these airlines:

  1. United Air Lines Inc. (UA)
  2. American Airlines Inc. (AA)
  3. Frontier Airlines Inc. (F9)
  4. Spirit Air Lines (NK)
  5. SkyWest Airlines Inc. (OO)




Plan a trip to Denver

Trippy has a ton of information that can help you plan your trip to Denver, Colorado. Start by reading the Trippy page on where to stay in Denver. Trippy has an entire Q&A community where you can post questions and get answers from expert travelers or locals who know the area. For instance, you might be interested in the answers to this question: Driving from Chicago to Denver on I-90, what are sites to see on the way?. If you're looking for a place to stay, you might want to check out The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa in Denver. A great place to eat might be Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen. Trippy members can suggest things to do in Denver like Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Check out some of the questions people have asked about Denver like Short, scenic drives from Denver? . Click the button below to explore Denver in detail.






What about the return flight?

The distance is the same either way if you're flying a straight line. But for a real trip, there can be plenty of differences so go ahead and check the reverse flight itinerary to fly from Denver to Chicago, or go to the main page to calculate other flight times.

You can also compare the travel time if you were to drive instead. Get the full itinerary for a Chicago to Denver road trip. Or if you're more interested in the distance, How far is it from Chicago to Denver?

If you happen to know Chicago, don't forget to help other travelers and answer some questions about Chicago!






Return to top of page
At a Glance
without making any stops
flight distance is 920 miles
flight time of 2 hours, 13 minutes
Denver is 1 hour behind Chicago
260 Chicago travel answers
149 Denver travel answers

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Denver Airports
  1. Denver International Airport



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