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Travel time from Chicago to Memphis

Chicago to Memphis airports and flights

How long does it really take to fly from Chicago to Memphis? Here's a sample itinerary for a commercial flight plan. If you want to know the total travel time to reach Memphis, 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.

Sunday, 12:27 pm:  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 2:10 pm at the latest

1:15 pm:  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 2:40 pm

1:45 pm:  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

2:45 pm:  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

3:15 pm:  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

3:30 pm:  board SkyWest Airlines Inc. flight
you can scroll down to view other airlines that fly this route

3:40 pm:  this is your scheduled departure time
but this flight is usually delayed by an average of 6 minutes

3:46 pm:  so this is your actual departure time
it takes the plane an average of 17 minutes to taxi to the runway

4:03 pm:  wheels up! take-off from ORD
fly for about 1.5 hours in the air

5:24 pm (local time):  Memphis International (MEM)
Memphis is the same time as Chicago
taxi on the runway for an average of 6 minutes to the gate

5:30 pm (local time):  arrive at the gate at MEM
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 25 minutes to your destination

5:55 pm (local time):  arrive in Memphis

Total travel time: 5 hours

Flying non-stop from Chicago to Memphis

How far is Memphis 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: 482 miles or 776 km

Flight time: 1 hour, 19 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 5 hours, 28 minutes.

Flying private is roughly 5.5x faster, and saves you about 4.5 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.

This is a relatively short flight in a private plane, but you might be planning to book 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 Memphis

Looking at flights on SkyWest Airlines Inc. from ORD to MEM, 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 Sunday for the flight itinerary above.

Alternate flights from Chicago to Memphis

The most common route is ORD to MEM, 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. MDW to MEM
    Chicago Midway International to Memphis International
  2. ORD to MEM
    Chicago O'Hare International to Memphis International

Airlines that fly to Memphis

We picked SkyWest Airlines 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. SkyWest Airlines Inc. (OO)
  2. ExpressJet Airlines Inc. (EV)
  3. Envoy Air (MQ)
  4. United Air Lines Inc. (UA)

Plan a trip to Memphis

Trippy has a ton of information that can help you plan your trip to Memphis, Tennessee. Start by reading the Trippy page on where to stay in Memphis. If you're looking for a place to stay, you might want to check out Peabody Hotel. A great place to eat might be Central BBQ. Trippy members can suggest things to do in Memphis like Beale Street. Check out some of the questions people have asked about Memphis like What are the musts of Memphis, y'all? Click the button below to explore Memphis 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 Memphis 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 Memphis road trip. Or if you're more interested in the distance, How far is it from Chicago to Memphis?

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 482 miles
flight time of 1 hour, 19 minutes
268 Chicago travel answers
95 Memphis travel answers


Memphis Airports
  1. Memphis International Airport

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