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AA Guide: PHL / Philadelphia International Airport - MCT, Connection, MCT, etc.

AA Guide: PHL / Philadelphia International Airport - MCT, Connection, MCT, etc.

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Old Oct 17, 22, 1:25 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
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AA in PHL

Link to downloadable PDF PHL airport map

Philadelphia International Airport

This is a snapshot of post 1 of this thread, and has been revised over time. Feel free to add/modify what is here as needed. This thread originated in the legacy US Airways Dividend Miles forum. Link to older archived posts.


General Information

The airport is located at:
8000 Essington Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19153


Note: The baggage claim for terminal F has relocated to its own building on the arrivals roadway.

Passenger Information Guide: https://www.phl.org/Documents/Passen.../InfoGuide.pdf

Main airport website: http://www.phl.org

Link to contact phone numbers and email addresses for paging, parking, airport police, etc.

Check-In Times
Last confirmed 26 June 2017 (Click for link to source)

The following are recommended by AA:
  • For flights within the United States: 45 minutes before scheduled departure
  • For all other flights: At least 60 minutes before scheduled departure


Terminals

At PHL, AA operates from five terminals:
  • A-West for Gates A14 to A26
  • A-East for Gates A2 to A13
  • B for Gates B1 to B16
  • C for Gates C16 to C30
  • F for Gates F1 to F39

It is a good idea to verify which gate your flight is operating from before arriving. Generally you can assume the following:
  • Most flights in A-West and A-East are transatlantic (TATL) but there will be mainline domestic arrivals/departures and Republic regional flights, especially throughout the morning and early afternoon. If your flight is on an A330 or B767, it will almost certainly be at these gates.
  • B and C are mainline domestic, Caribbean, and Canadian flights and also include E-170/E175 and E190 flights. Before the merger, international flights served by B757s would depart from either concourse.
  • F is for regional flights (RJs with 50 seats or fewer as well as CRJ-700 and -900s and turboprops operate out of F) both domestic and Canadian.
  • oneworld partners (British Airways and Qatar) check-in and gates are in A-West.
  • AerLingus check-in and gate is in A-East.
  • Alaska Airlines (and Virgin America) use terminal D.

Ticket Counter Locations, Hours, and Kiosks
Last confirmed 15 January 2018 (Click for link to source)

Ticket Counters are staffed daily:
  • Terminal A-West: 4:30 AM - 9:00 PM
  • Terminal A-East: 3:30 AM - 8:30 PM
  • Terminals B and C: 3:30 AM - 9:00 PM
  • Terminal F: 4:00 AM - 10:30 PM

Kiosks are provided in the connector bridges between the parking garages and TSA Checkpoints at A-East, B, C, and F. There are also kiosks available by most AA gates. Mobile boarding passes for AA are accepted at all checkpoints.

Note: It is possible to use any AA ticket counter to check in and drop baggage, regardless of your flight's departure terminal.

Security at PHL
Last confirmed 7 October 2017 (Click for link to source)

TSA staffs checkpoints at all PHL terminals. All gates are connected airside, so it may be faster to use a checkpoint that is not associated with your gates.

PreCheck is only available at Terminal A-East, C, and D/E checkpoints.
  • Terminal A West: 5:15 am - 9:25 pm
  • Terminal A East: 3:30 am - 8:25 pm (PreCheck 3:30 am - 8:00 pm)
  • Terminal B: Open 24 hours
  • Terminal C: 4:15 am - 8:15 pm PreCheck ONLY
  • Terminal D/E: 3:45 am - 9:25 pm (PreCheck 3:45 am - 8:00 pm)
  • Terminal F: 4:15 am - 8:55 pm


Notes: International Arrivals following the connecting flights path will be directed to the A-East Checkpoint. If you have PreCheck, you may need to exit that queue and proceed to the far left, as you face the checkpoint, for TSA PreCheck access. Generally, if a checkpoint does not have full PreCheck available, you will get PreCheck Light, meaning you will have to remove liquids and laptops from your bag but will be able to pass through the metal detectors with shoes on as in a PreCheck checkpoint.

In the evening and overnight (observed after 11 PM), not all exits may be available. Looks for the visual paging displays (located by most Flight Info Displays and throughout the terminals) for exit closing announcements! Exit B is always open.

How to Change Terminals

Shuttle: AA offers the following shuttle routes:
  • Gate A1 (located between Terminal A-East and Terminal B) to Gate F10
  • Gate C16 (located between Terminal C and Terminal D) to Gate F10
  • Gate F10 (located in the Terminal F Food Hub) to Gate A1
  • Gate F10 (located in the Terminal F Food Hub) to Gate C16


Note: The shuttles at A1 and C16 only serve Terminal F. It is not necessary to reclear TSA when using shuttles.

Walking
  • Airside: It is possible to walk between all gates in all terminals. There are some moving walkways. "Normal" able-bodied adults can walk between almost any two gates in A, B, or C in about 15 minutes or less and between any two gates in F in about 5 minutes. Walking from F to A/B/C is longer; the distance from the furthest reaches of A-West to F is more than a mile.
  • Landside: You must leave the parking garages/ticketing halls to move between terminals before security. An option is to use the SEPTA rail platforms to move between terminals, which are accessible on the walkways to each terminal from the garages, about half-way between TSA and baggage claim.
  • Landside: It is also possible to use the Economy Parking Shuttle between terminals


ATMs
Bank of America provides 17 ATMs at the airport. A current list may be found here.

Prepaid SIM cards
You can buy prepaid SIM cards in the Airport Wireless stores. Those are airside. Not sure what is available landside as the only "retail" store is a newsstand in the International Arrivals hall.

Parking at PHL

On-site parking is managed by the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA).
Link to current rates.
Estimated parking availability in the garages is available from the Airport's homepage, www.phl.org.

NEW in June 2017: AAdvantage Aviator Cardholders (Barclay's) now have access to reserved parking. See this link for more info.

For off-airport parking lot information,
see this thread...

Where to eat and drink in the airport

There are all manner of restaurants in PHL, from wine bar to bistro to Asian to fast food. In addition to the establishments in each terminal, there is a food court between terminals B and C.

Food options vary throughout the airport, but there is a wide selection. Many open as early as 5:00 am, most are closed by 11:00pm. Due to renovations, there is no longer a 24/7 restaurant behind security. Philadelphia's beverage tax must be collected in city limits, which comprises of everything except Terminal A-West. Pepsi appears to be the preferred soda vendor throughout most of the airport, including Chick-Fil-A and Smashburger in the B/C food court. Coke products are still sold in some parts of the airport, but it may take some searching.

See this link for the current directory.

Terminal B was renovated in 2017-2018 to add iPads to most seats in the gate areas to allow ordering at the gate. A similar arrangement is used in some portions of Terminal F. (link to FT thread)

Admirals Clubs and Other Lounges
Last confirmed 15 January 2018 (Click for link to source)

Admirals Club: Terminal A-East, Lower Level, between gates A4 and A6A.
Open Daily 4:00 am - 9:30 pm

Admirals Club: Terminal A-West, Mezzanine Level, between gates A15 and A16.
Open Daily 5:00 am - 9:30 pm

Admirals Club: Terminals B and C, Third Floor over Food Court
Open Daily 4:00 am - 9:30 pm

Admirals Club: Terminal F, Upper Level Food Court in the Central Hub
Open Daily 5:00 am - 9:30 pm


Future Flagship Lounge: scheduled to be built in terminal A-West. No concrete start date has been announced, but speculation is the entire A-West club will close for reconstruction. As of 4/24/2018, construction has not yet started.

British Airways Galleries Club Lounge / First Lounge:Terminal A-West, Gate Level by A14.
Open Daily 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Also serves Qatar Airways customers daily from 6:30 am to 10:30 am.
Note: This lounge has been known to disallow non BA passengers, regardless of OW entry rules.


American Express Centurion Lounge: Terminal A-West, Second Level by A14 (Over the BA Club).
Open daily 5:00 am to 9:00 pm.
This is currently the only premium lounge at PHL with a shower facility. Shower is back in operation as of 25 May 2018.

The USO lounge is now (late April 2018) located in Terminal E. Showers are said to be available in this lounge as well.

Minute Suites is available airside in the A-East/B connector, and is a Priority Pass lounge. There are no showers.
First 30 minutes free for use by nursing mothers.
Open daily 24 hours.


Wireless in PHL

Airport Wifi was recently upgraded and is free for all passengers.

Where can I smoke at the airport?

Only in designated smoking areas on the pick up roadways outside baggage claim. There is no smoking airside at the airport.

Do I have time to go into Philadelphia?
If your layover is more than three hours (and Im sure this is debatable), you may have time for a quick trip into the city.

Ground Transportation/How to Visit Philadelphia

The zones mentioned below refer to areas on either side of the baggage claims for each terminal. If you have hired a private car, or meeting with group transportation, it is common they will be waiting at the bottom of the escalators from your terminal. Zones 1-4 are typically on the Arrivals Roadway, Zones 5 through 8 are on the Commercial Roadway, adjacent to the railroad tracks.

It is against airport rules for any driver to solicit you from inside the terminal, but this is difficult to enforce.
  • Rental Cars: Both On- and Off-Airport agencies use company shuttle busses to their respective lots. Pickup is outside baggage claim, Zone 2.
  • SEPTA Regional Rail's Airport Line travels between each of the PHL terminals, Penn Medicine (formerly University City) and three Center City stops. This train runs every half-hour (currently every hour on weekends due to pandemic related service reductions) and takes about 20 minutes to get to 30th Street Station. Train fare is $6.50 from Quick Trip machines at the airport stations or Ticket offices at Center City stations (cash or credit/debit card) or $8 cash only (change is available) on board to Center City. Fare is $8.50 from machines or ticket offices or $9 cash on board to all other Regional Rail stations. If you are traveling to one of the three Center City stops, be sure to hold on to your ticket as you now need it to exit through the kiosks at those stations.
  • SEPTA Bus: Two city buses also serve the airport ($2.25 cash fare; exact change only). Bus berths are at Zone 1.
  • Center City Taxi: Accessed at Zone 5. A base flat-rate $28.50 + up to $3 in passenger charges (based on number of passengers 12+) is in effect for all fares to and from the airport and the Center City area. This area encompasses: Fairmount Ave (North), South Street (South) Delaware River (East) and University City/ 38th Street (West).All cabs are supposed to accept Credit Cards, verify with your driver at the start of the trip.
  • Metered Taxi: Metered rates are in effect for all destinations not in the Center City zone. Tolls and other surcharges may apply. All cabs are supposed to accept Credit Cards, verify with your driver at the start of the trip.
  • Uber and Lyft both operate at the airport, follow their directions provided to request a ride.
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Old Oct 26, 22, 11:56 am
  #1831  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: RDU <|> MMX
Programs: AA EXP 2MM, SK EBS
Posts: 9,451
Originally Posted by jiffer21225 View Post
I remember someone mentioning in a post that the BA lounge might give some push back and not let us use that lounge. My husband is the type of person that doesn't like dealing with any conflicts and he would rather just make the walk to the admirals lounge. That is why I haven't considered using the BA lounge. If that's not the case with the BA lounge we will use it.
It is definitely that way with the BA lounge, even though you have access by the oneworld rules they will frequently turn away any pax not departing on BA metal due to "capacity" or other reasons.
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JJeffrey is offline  
Old Oct 26, 22, 12:01 pm
  #1832  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 195
Originally Posted by JJeffrey View Post
It is definitely that way with the BA lounge, even though you have access by the oneworld rules they will frequently turn away any pax not departing on BA metal due to "capacity" or other reasons.
Thank you for the update. I think we will make the walk to the B/C lounge. No need to start off the trip stressed.
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Old Oct 26, 22, 12:09 pm
  #1833  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: RDU <|> MMX
Programs: AA EXP 2MM, SK EBS
Posts: 9,451
Originally Posted by jiffer21225 View Post
Thank you for the update. I think we will make the walk to the B/C lounge. No need to start off the trip stressed.
Well there really isn't anything to get stressed over, worst case they just say "sorry, we're only allowing in BA pax now" at which point you can walk down to the B/C AC.
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Old Oct 26, 22, 1:44 pm
  #1834  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: PHL
Programs: AA ExP, DL, HH Diamond, WoH Globalist
Posts: 26
Originally Posted by JJeffrey View Post
Well there really isn't anything to get stressed over, worst case they just say "sorry, we're only allowing in BA pax now" at which point you can walk down to the B/C AC.
I'd give the BA lounge a shot too. By OW rules you are entitled to entry. The food and drink options are going to be much better than the AC.
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shellyphl is offline  
Old Oct 26, 22, 1:53 pm
  #1835  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: LAX/PHL
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 231
Originally Posted by shellyphl View Post
I'd give the BA lounge a shot too. By OW rules you are entitled to entry. The food and drink options are going to be much better than the AC.
1000% this, worth getting into BA lounge with small chance of being told "no capacity" instead of going straight to AC lounge, just a significantly better lounge. Have your husband check out the local art display across the walkway (is it still shopping cart seat art?) while you speak to the BA host.
Raralith is offline  
Old Nov 17, 22, 10:29 am
  #1836  
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: PHL
Programs: AA Gold, Amex Platinum
Posts: 5
Flying out of PHL on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving for the first time in a while this year - flight leaves at 1:30. Anyone have insight on how crazy the lines might be? I do have priority and Precheck, so that should help either way, and I usually like to get there early to have some time in the Centurion Lounge, but I'm just not sure what to expect for such a busy day. Any input is helpful - thanks!
JCDenton is offline  
Old Nov 17, 22, 10:52 am
  #1837  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: PHL
Programs: AA ExP, DL, HH Diamond, WoH Globalist
Posts: 26
Originally Posted by JCDenton View Post
Flying out of PHL on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving for the first time in a while this year - flight leaves at 1:30. Anyone have insight on how crazy the lines might be? I do have priority and Precheck, so that should help either way, and I usually like to get there early to have some time in the Centurion Lounge, but I'm just not sure what to expect for such a busy day. Any input is helpful - thanks!
As long as you go through one of the "real" PreCheck lines at C or D/E, it shouldn't be too bad. Even if the line is longer it usually moves fast; especially at C where it seems like every 3rd person gets kicked out of line for not reading the signs and not having PreCheck. I'm flying out that evening and I plan to use C (then I'll walk to A to see if the BA lounge is feeling like following OneWorld rules that day).

Now the Centurion Lounge is another story. I can't remember the last time I tried to enter because it's always at capacity. I don't even bother and go straight to the AC these days.

Last edited by shellyphl; Nov 17, 22 at 10:53 am Reason: typo
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Old Nov 17, 22, 11:02 am
  #1838  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: LAX/PHL
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 231
As above poster states, go through terminal C (likely closer to your AA gate) for the dedicated PreCheck, and it won't take you long to get past security even if there are a lot of people; I think my longest wait was for 20 minutes when the rope queue was full around 25 people. As for CL or any lounge during heavy days of travel, go in expecting to be disappointed.
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Raralith is offline  
Old Nov 17, 22, 1:40 pm
  #1839  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Phoenix/Columbus
Programs: Delta Silver Medallion, United Gold, US Airways silver
Posts: 1,656
Originally Posted by shellyphl View Post
As long as you go through one of the "real" PreCheck lines at C or D/E, it shouldn't be too bad. Even if the line is longer it usually moves fast; especially at C where it seems like every 3rd person gets kicked out of line for not reading the signs and not having PreCheck. I'm flying out that evening and I plan to use C (then I'll walk to A to see if the BA lounge is feeling like following OneWorld rules that day).

Now the Centurion Lounge is another story. I can't remember the last time I tried to enter because it's always at capacity. I don't even bother and go straight to the AC these days.
Good luck with that! Snarky group in there.
remedy is offline  
Old Nov 23, 22, 3:04 pm
  #1840  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: PHL
Programs: AA ExP, DL, HH Diamond, WoH Globalist
Posts: 26
Originally Posted by remedy View Post
Good luck with that! Snarky group in there.
Welcomed in with zero fuss (OW Emerald)! Came expecting a battle, but was watching World Cup with a flute of Moet in minutes.
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