Air India flight AI126: Long-haul service from Chicago O’ Hare to Delhi

Air India, the flagship airline of the Republic of India, has a presence in key international markets in the US, including San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Newark, Washington Dulles, etc. The Tata Group-owned carrier offers long-haul services between India and the US to accommodate ever-increasing Indian communities in the USA and connect the technological and leisure hubs of the two nations for business and holiday travelers. One of Air India’s key US destinations is Chicago, which hosts the second-largest Indian-American community in America. The airline operates a nonstop Delhi-Chicago route daily using its state-of-the-art Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. This article will look closely at Air India flight AI126: the flag carrier’s long-haul international service from Chicago O’Hare to Indira Gandhi International Airport. Let’s take off.

Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) is the major hub of the Indian flag carrier, with a strong international presence in several countries. Air India’s flight in the Delhi-Chicago originates from this airport and arrives at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Illinois. While AI127 operates the nonstop service from DEL to ORD, the return flight from ORD to DEL is operated by AI 126.


AI 126 flight information

  • Departing airport: Chicago O’ Hare International Airport, Illinois
  • Arriving airport: Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi
  • Flight departure time: 12:30 CST
  • Flight arrival time: 2:20 IST (+1day)
  • Flight duration: 14 hours 20 minutes
  • Flight distance covered: 12,034km (7,428 miles)
  • Aircraft used: Boeing 777-300ER
  • Operator: Air India

AI 126 departure airport details

Air India flight number AI126 departs from O’Hare International Airport (ORD), the primary international gateway of Chicago. ORD airport is the world’s most connected airport and the busiest facility measured by airline operations. Serving as a hub for American Airlines and United Airlines, the airport features routes throughout North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East to over 240 destinations worldwide.

Air India Boeing 777 taking off to Delhi from Chicago O’Hare.

Air India inaugurated the first-ever long-haul service on the Chicago-Delhi route 12 years ago on 31 October 2011. The carrier operates its Chicago flights (both departure and arrivals) from ORD-Terminal 5 as it is the only terminal comprising the airport’s sole US Customs and Border Protection facility. The AI 126 passengers flying from Chicago to Delhi must check in on departure level at ORD Terminal Number 5.

The AI check-in counter opens 4 hours before departure and closes 1 hour before the flight. Terminal 5 of Chicago O’ Hare Airport consists of 40 gates on one concourse and is separated from other terminals by a set of taxiways. An airport lounge (Air France/KLM lounge) is available for international departing passengers on Terminal 5, Departure level, and operates from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. The flyers on AI 126 can use unlimited free Wi-FI internet access, wheelchair facilities (in case), power stations (at no charge), banking services (upper and lower level), etc.

Passengers looking to satisfy their appetites can explore 20+ eateries offering quick-grab snacks to sit-down dining options. Some prominent ORD T5 restaurants include Big Bowl, Brookstone, Burger King, Dufry, Dunkin Donuts, Garrett Popcorn Cart, Goddess & Grocer, Hudson; I Love Chicago, Nuts on Clark, etc.

AI126 arrival airport details

Air India’s Chicago-Delhi service, operated by AI126, lands at Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi. Air India is the anchor airline of DEL Airport and concentrates its domestic and international traffic flow from this hub. Indira Gandhi Airport is a renowned international aviation center serving Delhi, the capital of India, and the National Capital Region.

All AI 126 passengers arriving at DEL Airport will land at state-of-the-art Terminal 3. Spread over 20 acres of land, the modern Terminal 3 hosts all AI flights with seamless transfers from domestic, domestic to International, international to domestic, and between two international flights. The new facility is a two-tier building with upper and lower levels handling departures and arrivals operations.


T3 is a world-class facility with 168 check-in counters, 15 X-ray screening areas, shorter waiting times, 95 immigration counters, 78 passenger boarding bridges, 14 baggage carousels, and automated parking management in the form of a multi-level car park, etc. It can handle 34 million passengers annually and offer them a memorable experience with passenger-focused amenities and facilities.

The Delhi-bound Air India passengers should go to T3 lower levels for international arrival formalities. There are 14 baggage reclaim belts, 46 immigration counters, and a multi-level car park that can accommodate 4,300 vehicles. Other facilities include money exchange, wheelchairs, ambulifts for physically challenged passengers, food courts and bards, duty-free shops, etc. Some notable shops at T3 international arrivals include Delhi Duty-Free, Karachi Bakery, Blue Takai, etc.

Aircraft used for Air India AI126 service

The flag carrier of India, Air India, uses Boeing 777-300ER to operate the AI126 flight from Chicago to Delhi. Boeing 777-300ER is a long-range passenger aircraft featuring a unique combination of superior range, outstanding fuel efficiency, and passenger-preferred comfort. Air India’s B777-300ER operates nonstop Chicago-Delhi service for 14 hours and 20 minutes, covering a distance of over 12000 km.

Boeing 777-300ER is the backbone of Air India’s long-haul fleet and strengthens the carrier’s presence in the international arena. Air India has 13 Boeing 777-300ER fleets serving the airline’s international destinations.

Boeing 777-300ER operating the flight AI126 has a seating capacity of 342 passengers in the three-class configuration: 4 first-class seats, 35 business-class seats, and 303 standard-economy seats. The aircraft has in-flight entertainment options to enhance the passenger experience onboard. The fares for AI126 passengers are different according to their class of service.


The Flexible First fare is the highest fare class, offering maximum passenger benefits to elevate the traveler experience. The first-class passengers on the AI126 flight will get a baggage allowance of up to 12kg (cabin) and 32kg each for two pieces of checked luggage. They will get two major meals and 01 minor meal, complimentary seat selection, 300% of base point earnings, complimentary online check-in service, airport priority check-in, lounge access, and priority boarding. The first-class seats have a 1x2x1 layout and feature 80″ inches seat pitch, 23″ inches seat width, and 180-degree total recline.

The Flexible Business fare applies to business-class passengers. It comes up with benefits like 12kg cabin baggage and 2PC (32kg) check-in baggage allowance, two major meals and a 01minor meal, complimentary seat selection, 175%-200% of base points earning, complimentary online check-in, airport priority check-in, and priority boarding. Business-class seats on the AI’s Chicago-Delhi route are configured in a 2x3x2 layout and feature 76″ inches seat pitch, 19.50″ inch seat width between armrests, and 180 degrees total recline.

There are 303 standard-economy seats on the AI126 flight arranged in a 3x3x3 configuration. The seat pitch measures 33″ inches, and the width between the armrest is 18″ inches. The seat can be reclined to 6 degrees only. The economy class service is the least expensive and has standard passenger facilities like 8kg cabin baggage, 2PC (23kg each) check-in luggage, complimentary meal, limited free seats, a chargeable seat selection facility, etc. The airport priority check-in, lounge, and priority boarding facility are limited to GE, TMC, STAR, and Gold members only.

Air India Chicago flight frequency

Air India operates 1xdaily nonstop flights on the DelhiChicago route. Flight AI126 connects India’s innovation center to the most populous city in the US state of Illinois. Delhi, the capital city of India, is the largest metropolitan area in the country and a significant commercial hub. Likewise, Chicago is the global leader in business productivity and an international hub for finance, culture, technology, telecommunications, and transportation. Air India’s Chicago-Delhi flight will provide an easy link between two thriving hotspots and aid those conducting business there. On the other hand, the direct long-haul service benefits Chicago’s large South Asian population and deepens cultural and economic ties between the United States and India.

Other airlines operating the Chicago-Delhi route

Apart from Air India, the Chicago-based United Airlines also operates a once-daily flight between Chicago and Delhi using Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The UA 712 operates the ORD-DEL service departing from Chicago O’Hare at 6:10 pm and arriving in Delhi at 9:25 pm (the next day). The advanced, environmental-friendly Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner operates a 15hour 45 minutes-long flight between Chicago and Delhi carrying 179 passengers. The UA 712 flight takes off from terminal 1 of ORD and touches down at terminal 3 of DEL Airport.

About Air India

Air India is the Tata Group-owned airline carrying India’s flag worldwide. It is the largest international carrier out of India, with flights to over 60 overseas destinations across four continents. It is a Star Alliance member and 25 other partner airlines such as Air Canada, United Airlines, Turkish Airlines, etc. Headquartered in Delhi, the carrier has a secondary hub in Mumbai (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport ) alongside several focus cities across India like Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, and Thiruvananthapuram.

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