Philadelphia International Airport handled over 30 million passengers in 2018 and ranked as the 22nd largest in North America. This is the main international airport servicing the Philadelphia metro area and southern New Jersey.
Airport Code, Location, and Contact Information
The Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is right on the Delaware River, which divides Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Know Before You Go
The airport serves as a hub for American Airlines, but other carriers with a large presence at the airport include Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines. It has seven terminals with 126 gates along with four runways and serves domestic and international destinations. All the terminals are connected, so although there is a shuttle you can take, it's also possible to walk.
Philadelphia International Airport has spent more than $2 billion in capital improvements since 2000, including a $45 million expansion of Terminal E; a $12.5 million renovation of Terminal A-East; $550 million to build Terminal A-West. The airport is in a state of constant renovation, but you can check out some of the latest project updates.
The Philadelphia International Airport has six parking garages, one Economy Lot, and also the AAdvantage Aviator Lot, which offers discounted parking rates exclusively for American Airlines members with a certain level of status. The Economy Lot is cheaper and further away from the terminals than the airport's garages, but a complimentary shuttle is available to bring you to the terminal and operates 24/7. If you are just picking someone up from the airport and don't plan on getting out of your car, you can wait for free in the Cellphone Waiting Lot until you get a call or text from your passenger.
There are also a number of private companies, like Winner Parking or Pacifico Airport Valet, that offer valet services if you'd rather not deal with the shuttle buses at the airport.
From the city center, Philadelphia International Airport is conveniently accessible by I-95, I-76 and Route 291. If coming from the New Jersey Turnpike, take Exit 3 to the Walt Whitman Bridge and follow signs for the airport. From the Pennsylvania Turnpike, take Route 476 to I-95 North until you reach the airport exit.
Public Transportation and Taxis
Taxi services can be accessed at Zone 5 on the Commercial Transportation Roadway. Taxi rates are based per trip, not per person. Sedan and Limousine services can be accessed at Zone 6 and shared-ride van services can be accessed at Zone 7 on the Commercial Transportation Roadway.
To travel by public transportation to Downtown Philadelphia, you can take the SEPTA Airport Regional by accessing the platform via a pedestrian walkway from the terminal. Trains leave every 30 minutes and make stops at Terminals E, C/D, and A-East before continuing to Eastwick, University City, 30th Street Station, Suburban Station, and Jefferson (Market East).
You can also take bus routes 37 (to/from South Philadelphia), 108 (to/from 69th Street Transportation Center) and 115 (to/from Suburban Square in Ardmore). SEPTA buses board at Zone 1 outside the baggage claim at Terminals A-East, B, C, D and E (Terminal F passengers can access buses at Terminal E).
Rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft are also available from the Philadelphia Airport. There is no designated pick-up area for rideshare services, so you can meet your driver at the general passenger pick-up and drop-off area.
Where to Eat and Drink
If you arrive at PHL hungry, you can count on the airport's plentiful food options from the quick snack at the Philly Pretzel Factory to your favorite coffee order at La Colombe. For a sit-down meal, you'll find the best choices in Terminal B at restaurants like Boule Cafe and Noobar. Here, you can also try some brews at Germantown Biergarten or the hometown favorite Yards Brewing Company. For something different, check out the retro-inspired Bud & Marilyns, the airport outpost of Philadelphia's favorite Midwestern restaurants.
In Terminal D, you can grab a drink at Bar Symon, try a healthy acai bowl at Red Mango, or go for the classic Philly cheesesteak at Tony Luke's.
Where to Shop
For those forgotten items you might need for your flight such as travel pillows, gum, and snacks, PHL has plenty of Hudson News stores, as well as the Duty-Free shops located in Terminals A and D for any last-minute gifts. The airport also offers clothing stores like Gap, Johnston & Murphy, Pandora, Finish Line, Brooks Brothers, Sunglass Hut, Kiehls, Furla, plus stores for purchasing merchandise from Philadelphia sports teams and souvenirs.
How to Spend Your Layover
If you have a layover of seven hours or longer, that's just enough time to get out of the airport and enjoy some sights in Philadelphia. You can take the SEPTA Airline train to the city center and explore some of the city's most famous landmarks on foot. All within walking distance of the train station, you can make stops at the Liberty Bell, the Museum of the American Revolution, and still have time to run up the 72 steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, also known as "The Rocky Steps." Unfortunately, there are no luggage storage facilities available at the airport, so you'll need to bring your carry-on with you.
If you have an overnight layover, there are no hotels available inside the airport, but you could take a cab to one of the nearby airports like the Philadelphia Airport Marriott or the Extended Stay America Philadelphia Airport.
There are some lounges at the Philadelphia Airport that are members-only, like the Centurion Lounge and Delta Sky Club. However, if you are flying on American Airlines or United, you might be able to buy a day pass into one of those lounges. For active and retired military (and their traveling companions), there is a free USO Lounge located in Terminal A near Gate A6.
Just want some peace and quiet? Minute Room is available between terminals A and B. These private suites can be rented by the hour, perfect for squeezing a quick nap before your flight.
Wi-Fi and Charging Stations
Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the airport and at the gates, you'll find charging stations to plug in your devices. You could also take a visit to the food court in Terminal B where there are tables with tablets for ordering food and an outlet at every seat.
Airport Tips and Tidbits
- Among the unusual services offered at Philadelphia International Airport include Art at the Airport. The art program features a series of rotating exhibits including posters of movies made in Philadelphia, Young Artists - Making a Real Difference and 75 Years of Commercial Air Service at PHL Since 1940.
- A partnership with Autism Inclusion Resources LLC, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), The Gray Center, and participating airlines to help families with autistic children become familiar and comfortable with traveling through Philadelphia International Airport.
- Pet relief areas, also called "Pet Ports," can be found in every terminal.
- Take advantage of the airport's Virtual Library, accessible by a Wi-Fi hot spot in Terminals D and E. Simple connect to the free Wi-Fi signal and use it to access e-books and podcasts courtesy of the Free Library of Philadelphia.