Although the idea of going on vacation or traveling to see family for the holidays is always exciting, the thought of the actual journey can be stressful and tiresome. The Philadelphia Airport (PHL) is one of the largest international airports in the country. It can be quite a challenge getting around any airport, especially one that serves international airlines and millions of passengers like Philadelphia. We comprised a guide to help you navigate PHL that will provide useful information on parking, airport services, security and more.

Philadelphia International Airport
8000 Essington Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19153
(215) 937-6937

Parking And Ground Transportation

If you are being dropped off at the Philadelphia International Airport, there are designated spots that are clearly marked at each terminal in both the departing and arriving flight locations outside of the baggage claim areas. The airport offers short-term (less than 24 hrs.) parking lots on the ground level close to the drop-off areas. For parking that is longer than 24 hours, there is the economy lot. Oversized vehicles must also park in the economy lot. For more information on parking at Philadelphia International Airport, visit The Philadelphia Parking Authority. Be sure to arrive ninety minutes before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight.

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The main services that PHL offers include skycaps, sighted guides or electric carts and wheelchairs. For passengers with disabilities, medical conditions and other special needs, the TSA Cares helpline will provide you with assistance. Passengers need to call 72 hours prior to their departure for information and procedures. For further information, visit the TSA website or call (866) 289-9673.

You can find more than just the basics at PHL. The international airport offers delicious food choices, shopping and more. The marketplace at the airport is known for its award-winning concession program. There are over 160 retail, food, beverage and service shops inside the airport. There is a rotating exhibit of art as well as 26 permanent works on display. The airport also offers free high-speed internet access in every terminal. There are also children’s play areas that include aviation-play with interactive components. The play areas are located in terminal D near gate D-8 and in terminal A-East near gate A-1.


Airline rules say you can only have one cost-free piece of luggage to check and a small carry-on. To avoid extra fees, make sure your checked bag is under 50 pounds and no bigger than 62 inches total. Liquid items that you have in your carry-on must be 3 oz. or less and kept in a Ziploc bag. If you’d like to check more than one bag, find the check-in counter at the departing terminal of the airline you will be flying with. Keep ID at the ready. Once you reach the counter, your bag will be tagged and sent on its way to your plane. You will then be handed your boarding pass.


The security checkpoint will be found at your departure gate. A security worker will check both your boarding pass and ID. Bags, electronics, metal objects and shoes will be placed in a plastic container and sent through the x-ray machine. Liquids in Ziploc bags will be screened separately as well as laptops, iPads or game systems. If you have any medical devices such as an insulin pump, it should NOT be sent through an x-ray machine. Items of that nature should be hand inspected. Follow the security worker’s direction and gather your belongings. Once you are passed the security checkpoint, you will be in a secure section of the airport. Follow the arrows to the gate for your flight which is indicated on your boarding pass. There will be several monitors along your journey listing all the flights that are arriving and departing that day. Once you find your gate, have a seat and wait til you start hearing the announcement that your plan is boarding. Bon Voyage!

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Christina Thompson is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia. She reports on various topics such as: Social Media, Local Events, Entertainment, Food and Drink and more. Her work can be found at