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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
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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 Apr 6, 14, 2:59 pm
  #61  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: PHL
Programs: AA - Plat, HHonors - Diamond, IHG - Plat, Marriott - Gold, National - Exec, Amtrak - Select, NEXUS
Posts: 1,075
I definitely saw people going IN and the "saloon door" said PLEASE WAIT HERE (not DO NOT ENTER) on that third lane.

I'd say maybe they change it during off-peak times, but that gives way too much credit to the TSA.
pa3lsvt is offline  
Old Apr 6, 14, 4:44 pm
  #62  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: PHL
Programs: AA EXP, Marriott Lifetime Plat, SPG Plat, AMEX Plat, Hertz PC, Travels too Much Platinum
Posts: 3,290
Originally Posted by pa3lsvt View Post
I definitely saw people going IN and the "saloon door" said PLEASE WAIT HERE (not DO NOT ENTER) on that third lane.
Interesting. I could see that giving a little more line capacity, at the expense of blocking those doing the walk of non-Pre shame away, but I'm not sure what else it would be useful for.

Originally Posted by pa3lsvt View Post
I'd say maybe they change it during off-peak times, but that gives way too much credit to the TSA.
Indeed it does.
phlwookie is offline  
Old Apr 18, 14, 9:31 am
  #63  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: PHL
Programs: AA - Plat, HHonors - Diamond, IHG - Plat, Marriott - Gold, National - Exec, Amtrak - Select, NEXUS
Posts: 1,075
Originally Posted by pa3lsvt View Post
I noticed a little hidden gem at the C Security checkpoint: A "Preferred" lane feeding the Pre-check checkpoint!

If you take what appears to be the "regular" Preferred lane - sort of between "regular security" and the Pre-check lane, you just keep going straight (stay left of the concrete wall) and you end up at the Pre-check ID station. Going right at the junction sends you to regular security (to the right of the concrete wall).
Originally Posted by phlwookie View Post
I took at look at that when using the C Pre line last week. It was being used only to send folks ineligible for Pre back to the regular lines. It had a "do not enter" symbol on the entry gate. This is line with what I've seen there before - are you saying they were letting people in there? Normally, the Pre area to the left of the concrete pillar has three lines: crew only on the left feeding a metal detector, Pre in the middle feeding a separate metal detector, and this lane we're talking about to the right.
Originally Posted by pa3lsvt View Post
I definitely saw people going IN and the "saloon door" said PLEASE WAIT HERE (not DO NOT ENTER) on that third lane.

I'd say maybe they change it during off-peak times, but that gives way too much credit to the TSA.
I checked yesterday and figured out what is going on there - the TSA actually reconfigures that checkpoint!

At 5:30 AM yesterday, it was as phlwookie described (and as I've seen it many times): the "flexible lane" was for the Precheck rejection walk of shame, with the DO NOT ENTER facing out. Far left was "Known Crewmember" and middle was Precheck.

When I returned home at 10 PM (same day), I checked on the way out. I noticed the "flexible lane" was showing PLEASE WAIT HERE and was signed for "Known Crewmember". There was a second set of saloon doors off to the side against the wall (the DO NOT ENTER used there in the AM) and the fabric ropes were reconfigured. The only other lane was Precheck at that time.
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Old Apr 18, 14, 10:56 am
  #64  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: PHL
Programs: AA EXP / HH Diamond
Posts: 568
In the last week, I have noticed the B checkpoint has been reconfigured somewhat, the Pre line is now checked on the left-hand side of the ID-brigade, and you walk in an outer chute to the Pre lanes. The rest is setup for normal and elite lanes. Did they hire someone to review the line setup? (Can't say this is any better or worse - just different.)
Flyer78 is offline  
Old May 4, 14, 8:49 pm
  #65  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 10
Is there some kind of a priority security line in A-East or B that includes US Airways first class passengers?
slllll is offline  
Old May 4, 14, 9:33 pm
  #66  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: PHL
Programs: AA EXP, Marriott Lifetime Plat, SPG Plat, AMEX Plat, Hertz PC, Travels too Much Platinum
Posts: 3,290
Originally Posted by slllll View Post
Is there some kind of a priority security line in A-East or B that includes US Airways first class passengers?
B and C, yes, A-East, not in my experience. They may occasionally close the elite/first class lines if traffic is low during off peak times. There is TSA PreCheck at each checkpoint if you qualify.
phlwookie is offline  
Old May 5, 14, 6:16 am
  #67  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: PHL
Programs: BA Silver, AA Gold
Posts: 3,112
Originally Posted by phlwookie View Post
B and C, yes, A-East, not in my experience. They may occasionally close the elite/first class lines if traffic is low during off peak times. There is TSA PreCheck at each checkpoint if you qualify.
A-East has had a first-class/priority line the last several times I have been through that checkpoint, though it has been a couple of months since the last time I was there.

A-West, on the other hand, has no priority lines.
Phudnik is offline  
Old May 5, 14, 8:07 am
  #68  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: PHL
Programs: AA EXP, Marriott Lifetime Plat, SPG Plat, AMEX Plat, Hertz PC, Travels too Much Platinum
Posts: 3,290
Originally Posted by Phudnik View Post
A-East has had a first-class/priority line the last several times I have been through that checkpoint, though it has been a couple of months since the last time I was there.

A-West, on the other hand, has no priority lines.
You are correct - I went past A-East security a bit ago and there appeared to be a security line for elites & first class that was essentially a shortcut to the ID checker.

At least at 7:45am, there were literally 2 people in the whole checkpoint. No doubt that's due to the first main outbound flight bank leaving between 7:30-8am, but for a Monday morning it's good to note how empty it was.
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Old May 5, 14, 11:46 am
  #69  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 10
Thank you for the replies.

I am trying to provide detailed instructions to a non-US, non-English speaking passenger arriving from Europe at 4pm midweek with no checked luggage, and continuing on to SAN 2 hours later (last direct flight of the day).

Is the priority line clearly marked? Is it easier to find in B?

After the customs, is there clear signage for B?

I am not finding options to be rebooked on the same day. For the worst case scenario of having to stay overnight, is the airport open overnight? (She is not comfortable with going to a hotel because of the language barrier)
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Old May 5, 14, 8:43 pm
  #70  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Philadelphia
Programs: US CP, SPG Plat., HH Gold
Posts: 342
Originally Posted by slllll View Post
Thank you for the replies.

I am trying to provide detailed instructions to a non-US, non-English speaking passenger arriving from Europe at 4pm midweek with no checked luggage, and continuing on to SAN 2 hours later (last direct flight of the day).

Is the priority line clearly marked? Is it easier to find in B?

After the customs, is there clear signage for B?

I am not finding options to be rebooked on the same day. For the worst case scenario of having to stay overnight, is the airport open overnight? (She is not comfortable with going to a hotel because of the language barrier)
Everything is clearly marked - in English. What language does this woman speak?
Not sure if you get kicked out in the early hours of the night (think not), but should this happen there is a Marriott just outside terminal B security. It's pretty self-explanatory if you show a credit card at the hotel front desk...

Last edited by Speedracer2; May 5, 14 at 8:49 pm
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Old May 5, 14, 10:05 pm
  #71  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: PHL
Programs: AA EXP, Marriott Lifetime Plat, SPG Plat, AMEX Plat, Hertz PC, Travels too Much Platinum
Posts: 3,290
If a misconnect happens, I would be much more comfortable with a friend or family member in the Marriott than marooned in the airport. I really don't think they want people sleeping there overnight, even though they will roll out cots in the event of mass cancellations. And I definitely would not suggest her sleeping outside of security.

For those family members and acquaintances who don't speak English and in some cases don't read the same character set, the Mrs and I have provided a "cheat sheet" for common phrases that they can read in their native language and show someone the English translation of to get some help. For instance, this could be a way to get help her being directed to the first class security line. It's not perfect - people will respond in English - but at least they'll know what she's asking. You could also put some phrases on there such as "I missed my flight and need to be rebooked", etc.

It would also be good if she can have a phone on her where she can call someone who can potentially translate if she gets into a jam or rebooking is not going well.
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Old May 5, 14, 11:41 pm
  #72  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 10
I am not as worried about rebooking process, as airlines can call a number and provide translation over the phone.

She does know the alphabet and a few very basic words (when not in a sentence). But she does not have a credit card or a phone.

Are there pay phones in PHL?

Is Marriott walkable to? Wonder if they'd take cash or let me pay over the phone.
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Old May 6, 14, 8:11 am
  #73  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: PHL
Programs: BA Silver, AA Gold
Posts: 3,112
Originally Posted by slllll View Post
Thank you for the replies.

I am trying to provide detailed instructions to a non-US, non-English speaking passenger arriving from Europe at 4pm midweek with no checked luggage, and continuing on to SAN 2 hours later (last direct flight of the day).

Is the priority line clearly marked? Is it easier to find in B?

After the customs, is there clear signage for B?

I am not finding options to be rebooked on the same day. For the worst case scenario of having to stay overnight, is the airport open overnight? (She is not comfortable with going to a hotel because of the language barrier)
PHL is my home airport, and thus I don't connect there, but it seems to me that it would be a lot easier, especially for someone who doesn't speak or read English well, to reclear security just after customs. As you exit the customs hall, stay to the right towards the baggage recheck area. There is a security checkpoint there that puts passengers in A-West. I have no idea whether there is a priority line there. At that point it is a 5-10 minute walk to the B and C gates. There are moving walkways between A-East and B and between B and C behind the stores in the mall on the right as you walk from B to C.

It is somewhat complicated to try to find security at A-East or A-West from customs -- this would involve going through the arrivals hall, following the signs to A-East baggage claim, taking the escalators and a long hallway to A-East baggage claim, and then going back up an escalator towards the A-East security checkpoint.

I don't think it is possible to get from international arrivals to B without walking outside, and I think one would have to go through A-East baggage claim to the A-East ticket counters even to get to the sidewalk outside to get to B. I wouldn't recommend this to someone unfamiliar with the airport, let alone someone who doesn't speak English and thus couldn't ask for directions easily.
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Old May 6, 14, 11:28 pm
  #74  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: High Point, NC
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Posts: 9,171
Getting from A-west international arrivals to B/C is no problem. As previously mentioned, take a right after leaving customs/immigration to a security checkpoint then you can walk inside security to B/C.

I haven't done the A-east to B/C connection after arriving on an international flight so don't know about that. Unfortunately the PHL site doesn't show detailed info on clearing ICE and then rechecking bags and making a connection - it seems mainly aimed at people arriving or departing PHL. And unfortunately in this day of cell phones, pay phones are sometimes hard to find. So your friend may have difficulty calling you if having problems in PHL. The suggestion of having a list of phrases in English and native tongue is a good one. The good side of our cell phone age is that seemingly everyone has unlimited talk with no roaming once in the U.S. so maybe a phrase or two concerning calling you if your friend is having trouble would be helpful.

Jim

Last edited by BoeingBoy; May 6, 14 at 11:39 pm
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Old May 7, 14, 12:09 pm
  #75  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: PHL
Programs: AA EXP, Marriott Lifetime Plat, SPG Plat, AMEX Plat, Hertz PC, Travels too Much Platinum
Posts: 3,290
I happened upon what appears to be a working pay phone just now between A15 and A16 in A-West, right next to the Lego Liberty Bell and the elevator up to the US Club. It is however behind security there of course.
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