Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is located to the southwest of downtown Philadelphia, and is the busiest airport in the state of Pennsylvania. It has passenger traffic that exceeds thirty million every year, and is therefore also one of the busiest airports in the United States of America. Philadelphia International Airport departures are offered by twenty-nine airline companies to local and international destinations. About 4.3 million of the airport’s passengers travel on international flights. This American airport is well equipped for all its passengers, and is accessible by several forms of ground transportation.
PHL is the only major airport serving one of the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S.A, although it does have a reliever airport known as the Northeast Philadelphia Airport. It is owned and operated by the City of Philadelphia, and is about seven miles from the city centre. This large airport is also considered as one of the main economic hubs for the region, generating in excess of $14.4 billion. It is used as a hub location for US Airways and UPS Airways. It is the third largest hub for US Airways, and this airline company occupies two of the airport’s terminals (B and C). Departures handled by US Airways fly to many local cities, such as Denver, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Houston and Phoenix, as well as to international destinations, such as Amsterdam, Munich, Madrid, Manchester, Frankfurt, Rome, Tel Aviv, Paris and London.
The airport consists of seven terminals for passengers facilities, all referred to by letters of the alphabet. Terminals B and C are for US Airways’ domestic departures, and were recently renovated at a cost of $135 million. Both terminals have sixteen gates and modern facilities. Between these two terminals as well, there is a large area known as the Philadelphia Marketplace, where many of the airport’s shops and restaurants can be found. It is the ideal location to spend some time whilst waiting for a departure flight. There are more than 160 national and local retailers and eateries available for passengers and visitors of PHL. A few of these stores include The Gap, Brooks Brothers, Pennsylvania Market, Philadelphia’s Famous Chickie’s and Pete’s, Au Bon Pain and Legal Sea Foods. There are free Wi-Fi connections throughout all the airport terminals as well.
The international flights of the airport depart from Terminal A-West. It is one of the newest airport buildings, having been completed in 2003, and offers passengers a wide range of facilities. It has thirteen gates and is home to the airline companies of British Airways, Lufthansa, Frontier Airlines, Delta Air Lines and US Airways. US Airways has a few domestic flights from this terminal as well. Flights to and from Canada don’t use this terminal, as they are considered as domestic. Many of Canada’s main airports have US border preclearance facilities. The top international destinations served from Philadelphia Airport include Frankfurt, London, Cancun, Toronto, Paris, Rome, Madrid and Manchester. Terminal A-East was the former international terminal, and holds thirteen gates. American Airlines and American Eagle are present at this terminal.
The Terminals D, E and F are the other three main buildings for domestic departures, and are served by a number of airline companies, although US Airways Express dominates Terminal F, with flights to Cleveland, Indianapolis, Newark, Washington, Long Island, Louisville, Kansas City, Boston, Charlotte, Atlanta and many other destinations. The airline companies of Terminals D and E include Virgin America, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Airlines, AirTran Airways and Air Canada. The busiest domestic routes from Philadelphia are to Atlanta, Chicago, Orlando, Boston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Charlotte, Phoenix, Denver and Los Angeles. Both Terminals D and E were upgraded in 2008, and now have a connecting concourse with passenger facilities. The Philadelphia Marketplace can be reached through a post-security walkway from Terminal D. There are sixteen gates in this terminal, seventeen in Terminal E and thirty-nine in Terminal F. Terminal D also features the Aviation Play Station for the amusement of the younger generation.
The majority of the airport terminals are connected by moving walkways and conventional walkways, however, there is a shuttle service between Terminal F and the Terminals A, B and C, as this terminal is located at a further distance from the rest of the airport’s facilities. The shuttles are available on the secure-side of the airport, and are free of charge. All areas of the airport are accessible to disabled passengers. Wheelchairs and further assistance can be arranged from the airline company concerned, and suitable restroom facilities are found throughout the terminal buildings.
At the airport, departing passengers should ensure that they have all the necessary documents to check-in for their flight, which will include a government-issued ID. Passengers over the age of eighteen will need a photo ID. International passengers will need to show a passport document that is not expired. For domestic flights, passengers should arrive two hours in advance, and for international departures, about three hours in advance. Extra time should also be allowed if travelling with small children, a person with reduced mobility challenges or if any other special services are required. Always inform your airline company if you are flying with an infant, or if there will be an unaccompanied minor onboard. Keep in mind that the regulations surrounding the carrying of liquids in hand luggage are applicable to passengers.
Getting to the airport is quite simple. The Interstate 95 is the main access road for vehicles, and there are parking garages for each of the terminal buildings, as well as an Economy Car Park. Public buses and trains serve the airport, and various private shuttle services can be arranged. A taxi is always a convenient form of transport as well.
Further details regarding Philadelphia International departure flights can be viewed online, or the airport can be contacted at 215-937-6937.
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