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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 Aug 14, 18, 6:20 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) are always in A-West.
  • 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 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. However, if you have a very early departure (before 6:30) or a somewhat late arrival (after 10:00) you may be out of luck as the restaurants are either just opening or just closing.

The Au Bon Pain in Terminal C is open 24 hours. Starbucks is located in the B/C Food Court. Other coffee options are located throughout the airport. See this link for the current directory.

Note: Terminal B is undergoing extensive refurbishment in the near future (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 Iím 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, University City and three Center City stops. This train runs every half-hour 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.
  • 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 23, 18, 3:48 am
  #1231  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: PHL
Programs: AA ExP, Marriott Plat, National EAEE, Hilton Diamond, SPG Plat, US CP (RIP)
Posts: 1,420
Originally Posted by perseus11 View Post
Huh?? Luggage will be returned after Customs in "A". How is this discussion about anything but Airside? The inter-terminal Bus is All Airside; the entire walk from "A" to "F" is All Airside.
Will WN allow initial check-in of luggage after Customs from another airline or will OP have to go to terminal E ticketing counter? If yes, then airside transit via inter-terminal bus. If not, then must go to terminal E to check luggage. WN has a very limited international footprint and doesnít inter-line with AA.

My my point was a 2 hour transfer from international to domestic on separate tickets is very tight if WN requires OP to exit landside and get to terminal E.
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Old Apr 23, 18, 5:14 am
  #1232  
 
Join Date: May 2013
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Originally Posted by perseus11 View Post
Huh?? Luggage will be returned after Customs in "A". How is this discussion about anything but Airside? The inter-terminal Bus is All Airside; the entire walk from "A" to "F" is All Airside.
But how do you get the WN bag tag in the first place to return the luggage back? You'd have to get the luggage to Terminal E to check it in.
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Old Apr 26, 18, 12:09 pm
  #1233  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: PHL
Programs: AA EXP / HH Diamond
Posts: 529
Lounge updates: A-East is open, Flagship lounge construction has not started.

The USO lounge has moved again, now lives in Terminal E. For long-time PHL flyers, the old NWA Lounge has been converted. http://www.phl.org/Press%20Releases/...ss_Release.pdf
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Old Apr 26, 18, 5:34 pm
  #1234  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: PIT
Posts: 663
The Airport Interactive Map (PHL Maps) has very recently been significantly updated/improved and appears to include just about every detail. How do I know it's very recent - The new USO in E (see previous post) and several other recent adds are included. The Map is also available via the airport web site: phl.org/Terminal Information/Navigate PHL Interactive Map. It's fun to play with.

Last edited by perseus11; Apr 26, 18 at 10:29 pm
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Old Apr 29, 18, 8:38 am
  #1235  
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
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Originally Posted by perseus11 View Post
There is a Free, frequent inter-terminal Shuttle Bus that runs between Terminal AEast - Gate A1 (Closest to International Arrivals/Customs/Immigration), Terminal C - Gate C-16 and Terminal F - Gate F14 (Closest to your Southwest flight in Terminal E). The Bus runs inside the secure area, so you never actually leave the airport. Check with American for directions after your arrival. Walking (without the Bus) should take no more than 20 minutes, without luggage.
I'm flying MAN - PHL - CLE. All flights are operated by AA and all on one ticket. The MAN flight lands at PHL Terminal A and the CLE flight departs PHL Terminal F.

After clearing immigration and re-checking bags in PHL Terminal A, I'm assuming I need to re-clear security in Terminal A and then make my way over to Terminal F on the airside bus. Am I correct? If I were feeling adventurous, is it possible to walk A to F airside?

It's my first time connecting in PHL, so I'd be most grateful for any advice. Thanks.
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Old Apr 29, 18, 9:03 am
  #1236  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: PHL
Programs: AA Plat, HH Diamond, Owner of 2,000 TWA shares
Posts: 297
Originally Posted by frank_poulankh View Post
I'm flying MAN - PHL - CLE. All flights are operated by AA and all on one ticket. The MAN flight lands at PHL Terminal A and the CLE flight departs PHL Terminal F.

After clearing immigration and re-checking bags in PHL Terminal A, I'm assuming I need to re-clear security in Terminal A and then make my way over to Terminal F on the airside bus. Am I correct? If I were feeling adventurous, is it possible to walk A to F airside?

It's my first time connecting in PHL, so I'd be most grateful for any advice. Thanks.
If you have the time then the walk is very pleasant. Lot's of airside shops and food along the way between A-F.
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Last edited by Uncle Nonny; Apr 29, 18 at 10:05 am
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Old Apr 29, 18, 11:04 am
  #1237  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Warren Buffet country
Programs: AA Life Plat 4mm, Hilton Diamond
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I got lucky, was able to get a June flight landing at 6:30 pm out at 6:20 pm the next day to Budapest, will take the train downtown to stay at the DT. My question is what time should we plan to leave the city to catch the train back? We of course would like to spend as much time downtown as feasible, flying J with carry on - thinking 4 pm but don’t want to feel rushed we can hang at the lounge a bit.
Thanks
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Old Apr 29, 18, 2:58 pm
  #1238  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: PHL
Programs: IHG Spire Ambassador, AAdvantage Gold, Marriott/SPG Gold, Hilton Gold
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Originally Posted by kmandrew View Post
I got lucky, was able to get a June flight landing at 6:30 pm out at 6:20 pm the next day to Budapest, will take the train downtown to stay at the DT. My question is what time should we plan to leave the city to catch the train back? We of course would like to spend as much time downtown as feasible, flying J with carry on - thinking 4 pm but donít want to feel rushed we can hang at the lounge a bit.
Thanks
I've never taken the train to the airport, but wanted to give my two cents about where to stay in Philly for an overnight layover. Center City Philadelphia can basically be broken into 4 sections (listed from west to east):
  1. Rittenhouse Square: The snobbiest part of town (snobby by Philly standards, at least). High-end restaurants, some nightlife, closest to the museums (the Barnes Museum is incredible). As a Hilton elite, I would recommend The Logan (Hilton Curio), which was formerly a Four Seasons and they treat elites very well.
  2. Around City Hall - This is mostly office buildings, theaters, and the convention center (not even many restaurants). The biggest attraction here is Love Park (recently renovated). There are TONS of hotels around here (including the Doubletree you plan on staying at).
  3. Old City - As the name suggests, it's the oldest part of the city (some cobblestone streets, not many high-rises). This is where Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell are, along with a hopping nightlife scene and trendy restaurants. There aren't any Hilton properties around here, but Hotel Monaco (Kimpton / IHG) is the place to be and The Franklin (Marriott Renaissance) is a good fallback.
  4. Penn's Landing - This is Philly's waterfront district, but it's cut-off from the rest of the city by I-95, and is underdeveloped because of this. Penn's Landing in the summer seems tempting, but there's slim pickings of stuff to actually do there. There is a Hilton located here for what it's worth.
Of these 4 options, I would recommend option #4 the least and #2 the 2nd-least. I consider #1 and #3 to be a tie, and would go with whatever fits your interests/personality more.
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Old Apr 29, 18, 4:33 pm
  #1239  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: PHL
Programs: American Ex Plat, Avis Presidents, Hertz - Preidents Circle, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Gold
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Originally Posted by kmandrew View Post
I got lucky, was able to get a June flight landing at 6:30 pm out at 6:20 pm the next day to Budapest, will take the train downtown to stay at the DT. My question is what time should we plan to leave the city to catch the train back? We of course would like to spend as much time downtown as feasible, flying J with carry on - thinking 4 pm but donít want to feel rushed we can hang at the lounge a bit.
Thanks
You can plan the train ride back by using the Septa website (SEPTA | Airport Line Regional Rail Schedule | Weekday | to Philadelphia International Airport). This link should get you directly to the airport line. The trains leave every 30 minutes and take just under 30 minutes. Uber is always a great alternative if there are 2 or more also ..... Enjoy the city!!!!
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Old Apr 29, 18, 5:02 pm
  #1240  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: PHL
Programs: AA Plat, HH Diamond, Owner of 2,000 TWA shares
Posts: 297
Really is a great city. Hit the Reading Market for lunch, it's a must. The Parkway is nice, great photo ops and museums (Rocky steps). Rittenhouse Square area has nice restaurants and upscale shopping. South Street has a quirky nightlife. Comcast building has a unique video display/show in it's lobby. Eastern State Penitentiary gives tours (see Al Capone's humble abode). There's a great zoo a few minutes from downtown (Zoo Balloon is another great photo op). Great jogging/biking along the Schuylkill River. Independence Hall, the Constitution Center, Betsy Ross house, the US Mint, and Elfreth's Alley are highlights of Olde City. You'll have no problem filling your time.
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Old Apr 29, 18, 5:23 pm
  #1241  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: PHL
Programs: HH Diamond, AA EXP
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Kinda off topic of the thread, but i'll add another vote for the Barnes. If someone only has 4-6 hours - it is easily the #1 attraction that i recommend.
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Old May 1, 18, 7:39 am
  #1242  
 
Join Date: May 2018
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Dear Flyertalk community,

I will be flying MUC>>PHL>>LAX>>HNL in august with AA. After an itinerary change the connection time in PHL is now only 1 hour 50 minutes. I am really worried to make the connection flight to LAX as we (wife, 1-year old) have to make it through immigration and customs, re-check my baggage and make it through security again. Therefore, I would like to know if there is a dedicated family/stroller lane to make it through immigration? Can you help me with that information?

Cheers,
Bjarn
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Old May 1, 18, 9:51 am
  #1243  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
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Originally Posted by perseus11 View Post
The Airport Interactive Map (PHL Maps) has very recently been significantly updated/improved and appears to include just about every detail. How do I know it's very recent - The new USO in E (see previous post) and several other recent adds are included. The Map is also available via the airport web site: phl.org/Terminal Information/Navigate PHL Interactive Map. It's fun to play with.
Now if they will just update the hard signage! I found out about the USO move here. and I am in and out of PHL several times a month including the 25th and 28th.
An I do love the construction notices! Not! Maybe they can add the construction zones to the map and show the closed restrooms, restaurants, and sidewalks!

Last edited by Dublin_rfk; May 1, 18 at 9:57 am
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Old May 1, 18, 10:04 am
  #1244  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: PHL
Programs: AA Plat, HH Diamond, Owner of 2,000 TWA shares
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Originally Posted by bja23 View Post
Dear Flyertalk community,

I will be flying MUC>>PHL>>LAX>>HNL in august with AA. After an itinerary change the connection time in PHL is now only 1 hour 50 minutes. I am really worried to make the connection flight to LAX as we (wife, 1-year old) have to make it through immigration and customs, re-check my baggage and make it through security again. Therefore, I would like to know if there is a dedicated family/stroller lane to make it through immigration? Can you help me with that information?

Cheers,
Bjarn
If it's AA all the way through then you'll just have to drop your bag on the belt after customs. The Arrivals hall is Terminal A. Go back through security there, way better than B. It's not a hard walk once airside to A, B or C.
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Old May 1, 18, 12:40 pm
  #1245  
 
Join Date: May 2018
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Originally Posted by Uncle Nonny View Post
If it's AA all the way through then you'll just have to drop your bag on the belt after customs. The Arrivals hall is Terminal A. Go back through security there, way better than B. It's not a hard walk once airside to A, B or C.
I am indeed flying with AA. So just to get this right: There is a family/stroller lane for immigration?
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