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AA Guide: PHX / Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport - MCT, Connection, etc.

AA Guide: PHX / Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport - MCT, Connection, etc.

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Old Dec 6, 19, 3:38 pm   -   Wikipost
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Quick Links

PHX Links

Official Website of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

PHX Sky Harbor: Frequently Asked Questions pages
(Dining, shops, parking, art, museum)

Link to archived posts 2009-2013.

This is to give travelers an idea how to navigate through PHX (locals call it "Sky Harbor").

NOTE: There are an increasing number of flights arriving at Phoenix/Mesa Gateway airport (the former Williams Air Force Base). This is NOT PHX/Sky Harbor. Typically Allegiant and charter flights will arrive/depart from Gateway. Official Website of Phoenix-Mesa/Gateway Airport.

General Info


PHX Terminal 4 - AA uses the four concourses shown as "A" and "B"

AA in PHX

AA operates flights out of Terminal 4 (also called the Barry Goldwater Terminal), concourses A and B (basically the North side of T4). There are four concourses on the north side of terminal 4. The west two are the A concourses, and the east two are the B concourses. They are served by the A and B security checkpoints respectively.

The A and B concourses are divided into low and high, based on the gate numbers. The low A and B gates are directly across from the the security checkpoints. The high A and B require a trip down a walkway.
  • Low A: Gates A1-A14
  • High A: Gates A15-A30
  • Low B: Gates B1-B14
  • High B: Gates B15-B28

General Rules for Gates

  • International flights (from Mexico and SJD) will arrive in the High B's area, as do other carrier international flights (BA from LHR) and depart ~B25
  • While international flights (from other than YVR/YYC/YEG/YYZ) park at the high B gates, pax will pass through customs underneath the concourse and must exit outside the B security checkpoint and re-clear security for further flights.
  • Flights from Mexico and Costa Rica will arrive at gates B23-B28 (Gate B22 is about to become an international arrival gate as well) and go down two levels to go through customs, et al, and will deposit outside security checkpoint B. Giving yourself an average of 45 min just to get from off the plane to the checkpoint is a good estimate. If your flight arrived at the same time as British Airways add another 30 min to that estimate.
  • Eagle operated flights will depart only from Gates B1, B3, B5, B7, B9, B15, B16, B17, B18, B19, B20, B21, B22, and sometimes B24.
  • 757 Gates: (flights to Hawai’i and elsewhere) A20, A22, A24, A27, A11, A13, A14, B13, B14, B11, B28, B27, B25, & B23, and very rarely B6
  • Early and late night flights (first bank in the AM and red eyes to PHL, CLT, JFK, BOS, etc), usually leave from the low A concourse, gates 1-14 (more likely the end of that 10-14)
  • Note some gates are close to each other and announcements can be confusing due to their proximity.

The terminal map website is PHX T4 Map It includes terminal maps plus shops and restaurants by terminal.

Check-in


At PHX, you must be checked in:
  • At least 45 minutes before scheduled departure, for flights within the United States
  • At least 60 minutes before scheduled departure, for flights to airports outside of the United States
American Airlines has check-in on the North side of the check-in level of T4 (across from Southwest).
  • AA Executive Platinum / oneworld Emeralds Elites can use the First Class check-in, located towards the middle of the check-in level (note: it is sometimes faster to use the non-elite kiosk area)
  • Non-elites have options of the main full-service ticketing line, or using one of the many kiosks towards the West end of the ticketing level (under the A concourse)
  • If you've done online check-in, there is a desk on the right side of the kiosks that can do bags only (however, I've found it sometimes easier to just use a regular kiosk)
  • International travel has its own check-in, toward the East side of the check-in level, marked by balloons
  • Group travel also has its own marked check-in at the far East side of the check-in level
  • There are also kiosks by every security check point (very convenient for checked baggage free travelers)

Security

Security wait times can vary widely both by time/day and by concourse. Generally, wait times seem to be longer at the B gates, but that is my personal experience.
AA has priority lines at both of the A and B security checkpoints in T4. Some days, it could be a wash or even longer, while others it can save a considerable amount of time. Personally, as a AA elite, I've never had to wait more than 5 minutes.
If non-elite, waits vary considerably. Ig is possible to wait for 45+ minutes.

Connection Times

Domestic Connections

  • MCT Domestic AA to AA is 0:25, AAdomestic to AA or AY is 0:25. A reasonable 45 minute scheduled connection time should be sufficient for domestic connections (ie: SFO-PHX-BOS or ORD-PHX-MRY)
  • STANDARD.D/D...D/I...I/D...I/I.
    ONLINE 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00
    OFFLINE 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00
    ** OR * ARE ALL
    AA-AA ID 1.30 FLT 6100 - 6779 - FLT 1 - 6099
    AA-AA ID .25 CANADA - ALL
    AA-AA ID 1.00
    AA-** ID 2.30

Connecting flight info monitors can be found at the start of each concourse, except for the High B concourse, then also at the following locations -
High A concourse: in front of gates A19, A23 & A24;
Low A concourse: in front of gates A3, A5, above the payphones between A8 & A10;
Low B concourse: in front of gates B3, B5, B10;
High B concourse: across from the Cinnabon, in front of gates B19 & B21.

It takes an average of 5 minutes to walk the length of a concourse, ie: from Gate A17 down to Gate A30, etc. If you are going from one concourse to another it takes 5 minutes if you just sit on the moving sidewalks and let the machine haul you (sometimes out for repair). So to get from Gate A30 to: Gate A13 would take about 15 min; to Gate B13 - 20 min and to Gate B28 - 30 min. Walking on the moving sidewalks will cut the time down by about 40%. Just remember - when on the moving sidewalks, in the USA we stand on the right, walk on the left and if you look down on the start platform of each one you will see images reminding you that NO strollers, wheelchairs or baggage trollies are allowed on the moving sidewalks.

Passenger Assistance Counters can be found next to Gates A19, A4, B4 and B19.

International Connections

Reader input would be helpful for domestic-to-international, and international-to-international connections

Baggage Storage

"Unfortunately, due to federal security restrictions imposed by the Transportation Security Administration, we do not offer any storage at the airport. We recommend that you check with the airline you are flying to see how early you can check in your luggage or other items.”

Transportation

Parking

PHX-Sky Harbor Airport operates long-term parking (East and West economy lots) as well as in-terminal parking. More info here
However, it is becoming more common to use off-airport parking. There are several companies including (but not limited to): PreFlight, FastTrack, and Parking Spot. Discounts abound, and it can be less for covered parking off-airport than non-covered in an economy lot.

Rental Cars

PHX Airport Rental Cars
There is a single airport rental car center located about 3 miles West of the airport. A single shuttle makes rounds from the terminals to the center.
Note: you may save some money (could be rather significant) if you rent from an off-airport location. With the Phoenix light rail, it may be possible to take the rail and/or have them pick you up. Alternatively, some hotels (especially resorts) have a car rental desk on-site.

Taxi

Taxi – a minimum $15 to leave the airport (others, help me out).

Public Transportation

Bus & Light Rail information and Schedules
PHX Sky Train connects the terminals, economy parking, the rental car center, and the light rail.

Food, Drinks & Lounges

Where to Eat

Inside Security

Low A Concourse has Modern Burger, Olive & Ivy and Panda Express; table service is at Blanco Tacos & Tequila.
High A Concourse has Delux, Humble Pie Pizza and Pei Wei; table service is at Four Peaks Brewery.
Low B Concourse has Burger King, Carvel, Pizza Hut, Quizzno's, and Starbucks; table service at The Roadhouse 66.
High B Concourse has Cinabonn, Kokopelli Deli, TCBY, Pretzel Yetzel, Pizza Hut; table service at the Home Turf.

Outside Security

If one has sufficient time between connecting flights or before a flight, the food selection, variety and quality is far superior outside of security than inside it. The area outside of security at gate level has undergone major renovations over the past few years.

Coffee

There is one Starbucks in PHX AA Terminal area, in High B. Peets is just off of the moving walkway as you approach the High A side.
Any other recommendations?

Lounges

Admirals Club

There are three lounges in PHX, one each in the low A and low B, and one in the high A area. Unless you have a flight from nearby, I would recommend NOT using the High A lounge; it is small and can get extremely crowded. From personal experience, the B lounge is generally not as busy as the others. (Note: check the LOUNGE DASHBOARD for information about lounge closures for refurbishment.)

Other Lounges

The Club at PHX has been closed.

Shower Facilities

"We do have very limited shower facilities. In Terminal 4 on the east end of Level 1 (baggage claim), the ladies and men's restrooms each have one shower stall. There is no fee for the use of these stalls. These are the only public showers in the Airport. All of our family restrooms have showers, but they are not intended for use by the general public. They are for people with special needs or passengers who are traveling with small children who have an unexpected need for shower facilities."

The "family restroom" with shower in T4 is located next to the men's room across from Gate A17; as mentioned, this restroom is not intended for general public use other than as noted.

Miscellaneous

Services

  • There is a Currency Exchange cart near Cinnabon, next to Gate B15, on the high B concourse. It has limited hours.
    • Shoe Shine Stand are located next to Gates A17 and B15.
      • The Duty Free store can be found next to Gate B17.

Other Airlines/Changing Terminals

Southwest, British Airways, AeroMexico all share T4 with American Airlines. It can be challenging getting from a high A gate to the new WN D gates behind security; there is a bridge from the high B area that connects with C (Southwest's area).
Other airlines/terminals:
Terminal 2: United (with a United Club) and others are in the 'old' terminal (there is no longer a T1).
T2 info
Terminal 3: T3 info
Getting between the terminals can be a chore. You must first exit security, then take the Sky Train between Terminals 3 and 4. There is a walkway between Terminals 2 and 3. Just follow the signs.

Wireless Internet

"Free Wi-Fi is provided in all terminals on both sides of security, in retail and restaurant areas and near the gates. Laptops or other devices configured to operate in a wireless mode will automatically connect to the Internet when powered up near the shops and gates."

Layover Q&A

Do I have time to go into town?

If your layover is more than three hours (and I’m sure this is debatable), you may have time for a quick trip into the city.

What to do in town? How do I get there?

Downtown Tempe/Mill Ave

See: US Airways HQ (company store open to public), Tempe Town Lake (boat rentals, fishing, walk/run paths), 'A' Mountain (an easy climb), as well as a multitude of restaurants, bars, shops....oh and don't forget ASU, including Sun Devil Stadium
Eat: House of Tricks, Culinary Dropout
Go: Easy via PHX Sky Train to light rail, rail to either Mill Ave or Stadium stops. Rail cost is currently $2.00 each way/$4.00 for All-Day pass.

Downtown Phoenix

See: The Arizona Center, Chase Field (where the Diamondbacks play, but most locals still call it, "BOB"), Talking Stick Resort Arena (where the Phoenix Suns play, but most locals still call it, "AWA" or, "America West Arena")
Eat: Pizzaria Bianco (the 'best' pizza in the USA), Hard Rock Cafe, Alice Cooperstown, Arrogant Butcher, Durant's
Go: Although it is possible to take the rail, the easiest way is cab. Bus also goes, depending on day of week/time of day.

Old Town Scottsdale

See: Fashion Square Mall, art galleries, restaurants, shops
Go: Easiest by cab. Possible by bus (with connection).

Phoenix Zoo/Botanical Gardens

Possible via PHX Sky Train to rail (stop Priest/Washington) to bus or about a mile walk from rail. Easiest via cab.

Biltmore Shopping Center

Outdoor shopping mall, many shops and restaurants. Possible via bus (with connection), easiest by cab.

Is the Phoenix area safe?

In a word, yes. If you are going during daylight hours and are headed to any of the tourist locations you’ll be fine. Areas such as South Phoenix “may” be risky.

If you are going at night, the same areas that are safe during the day should be okay at night.

Can I get from PHX to Tucson? How long will it take and how expensive will it be?

With no traffic, driving from PHX to Tucson is roughly 2 hours. Although you will be traveling on a heavily used section of I-10, traffic usually moves. That said, if there is an accident, chaos and scrambling for any alternate (of which there are few) will happen. Rush hour will also impact this drive. The two cities seem to be growing closer and closer together. There is a rest stop about 15 miles past the Phoenix area. Casa Grande and Eloy also make good pit stops along the route.
{anyone have info on public transit}

Can I get from PHX to Sedona/Flagstaff/the Grand Canyon? How long will it take?

With no traffic, driving from PHX to points north is an extremely scenic drive. The I-17 has some nice climbs/downhills and it should be about 1-1/2 hour to Camp Verde (Verde Valley), a great place to stop. From there--
Flagstaff, another hour (about 2-1/2 to 3 hours total).
Sedona, around 30-45 minutes (the AZ-179 has been under construction for years it seems), about 2 to 2-1/2 hours total
Grand Canyon--you have 2 choices, go through Flagstaff or take the I-40 West and through Williams. Nothing against Williams, but I find the Flagstaff route nicer (and more options for stopping). Plan for 4-5 hours from PHX to the South Entrance, or 5-6 hours to the East Entrance (a bit further but worth the effort during busy periods).
{anyone have info on public transit}

Can I get from PHX to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego? What are my options?

While it certainly is possible to drive between PHX and these areas (many in the PHX area do it daily), once outside the PHX area, drives can be long, through vast stretches of nothingness. Flights from PHX to these areas are usually about 1 hour (-v- 5+ hours driving) and rather reasonable in price. For trips to Vegas, Hoover Dam crossing can add 30+ minutes to the drive.

-----------

If you have other ideas for this kind of thread, please let me know or please add your information or updates.
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Old Jun 2, 09, 6:01 pm
  #1  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, Travel Safety/Security & Texas
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AA Guide: PHX / Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport - MCT, Connection, etc.

The original post content has been updated and moved to the wiki post.

The original post can be read in the archive of 2013 and prior years' posts here:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/us-ai...l-airport.html

Our thanks to Moderator aztimm for starting this important thread and contributing the extensive seminal information.

American Airlines | AAdvantage forum moderation team

Last edited by JDiver; Dec 8, 15 at 4:14 pm Reason: latest updates / update showers from PHX FAQ
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Old Jan 19, 14, 9:10 pm
  #2  
 
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What's the closest you would go on a clt to Hnl flight connecting at sky harbor?
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Old Jan 20, 14, 1:14 pm
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Originally Posted by beachbrew View Post
What's the closest you would go on a clt to Hnl flight connecting at sky harbor?
It'll be less than 10 minutes from gate to gate so it really depends on your level of tolerance and if you are connecting to the last PHX-HNL flight of the day, etc.

What are your options for connect times?
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Old Jan 21, 14, 8:37 am
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options are coming out of myr through clt, arriving in PHX at 12:17 and departing 2:55 or arriving at PHX at 2:15 and departing at 2:55. I know its tight but there is a two hour difference in flights leaving home on top of a really long travel day and time change.
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Old Jan 21, 14, 8:51 am
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Originally Posted by beachbrew View Post
options are coming out of myr through clt, arriving in PHX at 12:17 and departing 2:55 or arriving at PHX at 2:15 and departing at 2:55. I know its tight but there is a two hour difference in flights leaving home on top of a really long travel day and time change.
I personally wouldn't do less than an hour layover at PHX.

With your 2nd option, the HNL flight will be boarding around the time you land. Even if your flight is on time, you're among the first off the plane, and a close gate, you're talking ~20 min before they close the doors.
If there are any conditions that don't work in your favor (late, problems getting a gate, getting off the flight, a long trek between gates), you'll be spending the night in PHX hoping to get on the flight the next day.
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Old Jan 21, 14, 1:35 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by aztimm View Post
I personally wouldn't do less than an hour layover at PHX.

With your 2nd option, the HNL flight will be boarding around the time you land. Even if your flight is on time, you're among the first off the plane, and a close gate, you're talking ~20 min before they close the doors.
If there are any conditions that don't work in your favor (late, problems getting a gate, getting off the flight, a long trek between gates), you'll be spending the night in PHX hoping to get on the flight the next day.
Exactly. Plus, it's nice having enough time between planes to use the bathroom, get something to eat, charge your phone etc. as well as the buffer room you mention.
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Old Jan 21, 14, 3:01 pm
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Originally Posted by beachbrew View Post
options are coming out of myr through clt, arriving in PHX at 12:17 and departing 2:55 or arriving at PHX at 2:15 and departing at 2:55. I know its tight but there is a two hour difference in flights leaving home on top of a really long travel day and time change.
I think that's the last PHX-HNL flight of the day so missing it would mean problems. If this is for vacation then leaving home a little earlier and a longer travel day isn't that big of a deal compared to losing a day of vacation IMHO.

For this situation, I definitely agree with aztimm and CMK10 and would not take a chance. And that's coming from someone who wouldn't hesitate to book a 40 minute connection in many circumstances.
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Old Jan 22, 14, 1:57 pm
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I don't think 2.5 hrs is a bad layover. By the time you get off the plane, find a bathroom, get lunch and maybe visit the lounge, it'll be time to board. Plus, I do like to have a little bit of time on the ground between two flights that long.
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Old Jan 23, 14, 10:21 pm
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Thanks the layovers not the concern it's Turning a long travel day into a super long travel day with the extra time in the am.
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Old Jan 23, 14, 10:50 pm
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Originally Posted by beachbrew View Post
Thanks the layovers not the concern it's Turning a long travel day into a super long travel day with the extra time in the am.
And how long is your travel day going to be if you miss the connecting flight? I think you need to weigh that against leaving for the airport a couple of hours early.
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Old Feb 15, 14, 9:01 pm
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I will be arriving in PHX on AA from ORD, so I presume that I will be arriving in Terminal 3. I would like to go to the US Airways clubs in Terminal 4 to wait for a friend to arrive at the airport, but I notice the clubs are air-side after security. I don't have a connecting flight, as PHX is my final destination.

Is it possible to go through security and enter these lounges without another departing flight?
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Old Feb 15, 14, 9:23 pm
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You will be arriving Terminal 3 if it is prior to February 26th. After that AA will have moved to Terminal 4 with US.

You would need a boarding pass to get through security if you arrive at T3. There are of lots of good places to wait pre-security in Terminal 4.

Is it possible to go through security and enter these lounges without another departing flight?[/QUOTE]

Last edited by tucsnaz; Feb 15, 14 at 9:25 pm Reason: Additional information
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Old May 30, 14, 10:54 am
  #13  
 
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PHX Sky Harbor the worst line and signage

I have traveled the world and I have to say US Airways/American baggage check and check in signage is the worst I have ever seen. Further the cattle feed lines for economy are just visually dreadful. Improvements would be so easy. Currently they have big colored squares with no clear line designation written. Customers are forced to ask for the correct line. A customer should not be forced to ask a representative what line. I could fix this problem so quick it is silly and sad considering USAir/American called PHX home not long ago.
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Old May 30, 14, 1:29 pm
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Everything about PHX is pretty sad. Besides the light rail and T4 shops area, the rest of the airport is stuck in the America West era.
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Old May 30, 14, 2:57 pm
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I agree, PHX feels dated and looks like it's still stuck in the late 80s/early 90s-era. Then again, parts of AA's DFW terminals are also the same way.
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