At Start of Busy Travel Season, Airport Seeks to Ease Travelers’ Experience
As the bustling summer vacation season unofficially kicks off with the Memorial Day weekend holiday, Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is pleased to provide the following tips to assist air travelers:
CHECK IN AND SECURITY SCREENING
Before Coming to the Airport:
- Check the status of your flight by contacting your airline directly, or call the Airport at 800-PHL-GATE, or visit the Airport’s website (www.phl.org) and click on “Flight Information.” Please have your flight number handy.
- Extra time may be needed for checking-in and security screening, so it is recommended that you arrive at the Airport 2 hours prior to a domestic departure and 3 hours prior to an international departure.
- If you are 18 or older, make sure you have a valid, government-issued photo ID (driver’s license, passport, military ID, or government employee ID).
- Most airlines charge fees for checked bags and bags that are overweight. Check your airline’s baggage policies before packing for your trip.
- If you are not checking any bags, you may not have to wait in line at the ticket counter to obtain a boarding pass. Most airlines now allow passengers to check in and print boarding passes from their websites up to 24 hours prior to scheduled departure, and most airlines have check-in kiosks at the Airport. Check with your airline prior to arriving at the Airport.
- When packing, keep in mind that liquids, gels and aerosols in 3-ounce or smaller containers may be carried onto the aircraft in only one re-sealable, one-quart, clear plastic bag. Liquids, gels and aerosols in containers larger than 3 ounces must be placed in your checked baggage. Exceptions are made for prescription and over-the-counter medicines, baby formula, and breast milk.
For additional information on permitted and prohibited items, consult the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website www.tsa.gov, e-mail the TSA at TSA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov or call the TSA Consumer Response Center toll-free at 1-866-289-9673. Check the TSA website often, since regulations can change at anytime.
Check – In:
- Airline ticket counter personnel handle wheelchair and electric cart service requests. If you require these services, advise your airline when making your reservation and confirm the request prior to the day of departure.
- Carry-on baggage is limited to one piece of luggage and one personal item such as a purse or briefcase. The personal item must fit under your seat and the luggage must fit into the overhead bin on the aircraft or it will not be permitted on board. Check with your airline for specific carry-on baggage allowances.
- Passengers must obtain boarding passes before entering the security checkpoint. At the checkpoint, have boarding passes and photo ID ready for inspection by TSA personnel and keep these documents handy until you exit the checkpoint.
- To expedite your passage through the checkpoint, place personal items like cell phones, pagers, PDAs, keys, loose change and other metallic items into your carry-on bag or use one of the free re-sealable bags available at the Information Counters. At the checkpoint, the TSA provides bins in which to place these personal items along with shoes, coats, jackets and belts, which must be passed through the X-ray machine.
- Liquids, gels and aerosols in 3-ounce or smaller containers that are in carry-on bags must be in one re-sealable, one-quart, clear plastic bag. The bag must be removed from your carry-on and placed in the plastic bin at the X-ray machine.
- Drinks may not be taken through the checkpoint. Consider picking up a carry-on meal and beverage for your flight once you have passed through the checkpoint. Most airlines now charge for in-flight meals; some offer no food at all.
- Remove laptops and video cameras with cassettes from their cases and place them in a bin to be X-rayed. Video games with consoles must also be removed from bags and placed in a separate bin for screening.
- Equipment used to screen checked baggage will damage undeveloped film. Pack undeveloped film in your carry-on bag. Remove undeveloped high-speed and specialty film from canisters and place in a clear plastic bag. Screening equipment will not affect digital cameras or electronic image storage cards.
- All checked baggage is subject to hand inspection. The TSA recommends using locks that screeners can open and re-lock. Some recommended locks are listed on its website.
Long-term parking is available in the Garages and in the Economy Lot; parking in the Short-Term lot is recommended for visits of less than one hour.
Parking Rates are as follows:
- Economy Lot: $11.00 daily
- Garage Parking: $20.00 daily
- Short-Term Lot: $38 daily (6,300 spaces*) (10,800 spaces) $5.00 up to 1 hr (800 spaces) $5.00 up to 1 hr $15.00 up to 3 hrs $20.00 up to 4 hrs
It is anticipated that an additional 1,122 spaces will become available in the Economy Parking Lot this summer.
For more information on Airport parking, contact the Philadelphia Parking Authority at 215-683-9840 or consult their website, www.philapark.org
A free “Cell Phone/Park & Ride Lot” is available for motorists to wait, with their vehicles, until their party is ready to be picked up. The lot is located on Bartram Avenue adjacent to the Southbound I-95 exit ramp for Cargo City. Directions are available at www.phl.org
SEPTA R-1 Rail Line:
As an alternative, travelers can use the SEPTA R-1 Airport Line. Convenient and accessible, trains run every 30 minutes and stop at all terminals. The one-way fare is $7.00 to and from Center City. For more information on schedules and fares, contact SEPTA at 215-580-7800 or visit SEPTA’s Web site at www.septa.com
TERMINAL D/E CONNECTOR
Opened in December 2008, the Terminal D/E Connector features a 14-lane security checkpoint and 10 food, beverage and retail shops. With the combined security checkpoint, passengers can now access all 7 terminals at the Airport without having to go through security screening a second time.
Philly International offers a variety of conveniences to make travelers’ stay more relaxing and pleasant.
Free Wireless Internet Access:
Everyone can log on free of charge on weekends, and college students can obtain free WiFi every day. To obtain an authorization code, college students present a school ID at any Airport Information Counter. During the week, non-students can obtain 24-hour wireless access for $7.95. In addition, Internet access is available for a reasonable fee at Laptop Lane on the A/B Connector, and more than 100 semi-private work units with electrical outlets, pay phones and work surfaces are located in boarding gates areas.
Children’s Play Areas:
Located in Terminal A-East near Gate A-1 and in Concourse D near Gate D-8, the Children’s Play Area offers aviation-themed, interactive activities for young travelers.
Special Services, etc.:
- The Hospitality Program, activated during weather and other emergencies, provides disposable blankets and pillows as well as refreshments to stranded travelers. Area hotel and travel information is available at Airport Information Counters.
- Interpretype devices that connect the non-signing hearing community with the deaf, hard of hearing and speech-disabled community are located at the Information Counters in Terminal B past the security checkpoint and in Terminal D pre-security.
- The Aero Clinic on the Terminal A/B walkway offers a variety of acute care services including treatment for respiratory, digestive and urinary illnesses, skin conditions and minor injuries, vaccinations and health screenings. The Clinic is open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Some medical insurance is accepted.
- The popular Exhibitions Program presents 15 fascinating permanent and rotating works of art through the complex.
- The exciting Performing Arts Program offers a variety of live entertainment on Friday across from the B/C Food Court.
- Active duty service men and women are welcome at the USO in Terminal A-East near Gate A-11.
- Pet Relief Areas are located on the Departures Road between Terminals A-West and A-East; between Terminal B/C Ticketing and the Airport Communications Center; adjacent to Terminal E and Terminal F; on the Arrivals Road adjacent to Terminal A-East bag claim; on the Commercial Vehicle Road (south side of bag claim nearest SEPTA train platform) at Terminal B and Terminal E bag claim.
“Air travel can sometimes be stressful and challenging, especially for those who do not travel often by plane,” acknowledged Acting Director of Aviation Mark Gale. “The best way to ensure a less stressful airport experience is to be prepared. In addition to providing travel trips, the Airport will have additional staff assisting passengers during peak travel times. I wish safe travels and a comfortable airport experience to all of our customers.”
Ranked “Highest in Customer Service for Large Airports” in J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Airport Customer Satisfaction Study, Philadelphia International Airport is owned and operated by the City of Philadelphia. The Airport is a self-sustaining entity that operates without the use of local tax dollars. It is one of the largest economic engines in Pennsylvania, generating an estimated $14.2 billion in spending to the regional economy and employing a workforce of nearly 42,000.