Accessibility and Title VI
Many of the services provided to guests are provided directly by the airlines and other agencies this includes services such as skycaps, sighted guides, electric carts and wheelchairs. If assistance is necessary, advance notice may be given to the appropriate airline. This can be done by calling your airline directly or by contacting your travel agent. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is responsible for transitioning passengers through the airport's security checkpoints. Learn more about TSA procedures for people with special needs at: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/specialneeds/index.shtm or toll free at 855-787-2227.
Travelers with hearing or speech impairments can call the Pennsylvania Relay Service at:
TSA Cares is a helpline available to assist travelers with disabilities, medical conditions and other special circumstances as well as their traveling companion prepare for the screening process prior to flying. For more information about this program or questions about the policies or procedures at security checkpoints please call TSA Cares:
- 855-787-2227 for the TSA Help line
When making an airline reservation, advise your airline that this service will be needed at the Airport. It is advisable to confirm this request prior to your departure day.
Complaints dealing with wheelchair availability or those alleging discriminatory treatment by air carrier personnel can be directed to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division, (Monday – Friday, 9:00 am through 5:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time).
E-mail: [email protected]
Aviation Consumer Protection Division (C-75-D))
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, D.C. 2059
AIRA (Eye-ra) is a service provided by the Airport to connect blind and low-vision people to remote agents. The agent provides wayfinding and access through the Airport.
Tap one of the buttons below to download the free app to your phone.
Or contact: 1-800-835-1934
In early 2021, the Airport launched the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard to raise awareness and increase accessibility for people with non-visible disabilities. This program helps others identify when support may be needed for those with disabilities such as memory loss, anxiety, or other conditions that may not be immediately obvious to other people. With its roots in the UK, the “sunflower scheme” is starting to be recognized in various airports in the United States. Moving forward, people may be able to take the lanyards from one destination to the next to continue to raise awareness.
Sorenson BuzzCards App
Sorenson BuzzCards is available on the App Store from Sorenson Communications, Inc. and is used to enhance communication. The app allows people to type a message and show it to the person with whom they are communicating.
The Airport has installed 171, large, easy-to-read LCD monitors throughout the terminals that visually convey information broadcast over the public address system. Callers wishing to page someone in the Airport can call (215) 937-6937 (TDD/TTY: 215-937-6755), or 6937 from a white courtesy phone inside the Airport.
Access for All Guide
The Access for All program includes an in-depth, 65-page guide that can be used to assist passengers when flying to or from PHL by helping them understand what is available at the airport. The goal of this document is to provide a guide for anyone with a disability who has never flown before, or flies infrequently, specifically from or to PHL. You may print the entire PDF or select the section that is most helpful to your situation.
This guide is divided into five sections so that someone traveling with a disability can get to the information they want based on travel stage:
- Preparing for Travel and Getting to the Airport
- Ticketing and Security
- The Secure Side of the Airport
- Ending Your Travels at PHL
This guide covers multiple types of disabilities, such people who use wheelchairs, those with psychiatric or mental health impairments, people who are blind or have vision impairments, people on the autism spectrum, and those who are deaf or hearing impaired. It is also intended to provide information about concerns related to flying with medical conditions, like bowel and bladder issues, breathing conditions, and other conditions. If you have never flown before, the guide may answer many of your questions, but it will probably not answer all of them. If you need an alternative format, please contact the Director of Access and Accessible Programs via our contact form.
Access for All Program Short Stories
The Access for All program also includes multiple easy-to-read short stories with pictures to help people prepare for their trip. The stories can be used to assist you when you are flying to or from PHL. The goal of the stories are to provide easy-to-read, quick guides, with pictures for anyone with a disability who has never flown before, or flies infrequently, specifically from or to PHL.
The stories cover each step of the travel journey. They are written so the reader can select the one that is most relevant to their situation, or they can go through each one and enjoy the set from beginning to end.
- Planning for a Flight
- Programs Provided by PHL
- Going Through Security at PHL
- After Security/The Secure Side of PHL
- Going to Your Gate at PHL
- Baggage Services at the Airport
- Service Animals in the Airport
- Animals on Airplanes
- Wheelchair Services
- Hidden Disabilities
- Physical Disabilities
- Hearing, Vision, Communication
- PHL Self Tour
- International Travel
You may print a PDF if desired. If you need an alternative format, please contact the Director of Access and Accessible Programs via our contact form.
To read the US Department of Transportation's Airline Passengers with Disabilities Bill of Rights, click here.
Accessibility Assistance at Security Checkpoints
TSA Cares provides travelers with disabilities, medical conditions and other special circumstances additional assistance during the security screening process. You may contact TSA Cares prior to traveling to request personal assistance through security or to ask questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint. Please call if there is less than 72 hours before your flight, otherwise you may use their online form. For more information, call (855) 787-2227 or online at Request for TSA Cares Assistance | Transportation Security Administration.
Airport Accessible Parking Options
The Philadelphia Parking Authority operates Short-Term, Garage and Economy parking facilities at the Airport. Accessible parking spaces are located close to the elevators in the garages, bus stops in the Economy Parking lot and bag claims in Short-Term (ground level of the garages) lots.
- Short-Term (ground level of the garages) parking is recommended for brief visits of up to 1 hour.
- Garage parking is less expensive than Short-Term parking for visits of more than 3 and 1/2 hours. Height limit of this garage is 6 ft. Oversize wheelchair equipped vans that are unable to enter the garages due to the height limit (6 feet) can park in Short-Term (ground level of the garages) and will be charged the less-expensive Garage rate for visits less than 24 hours. These vehicles must have Accessible license plates or placard displayed. For visits longer than 24 hours, oversize vehicles that cannot enter the garages can park in the Economy Lot.
- The Airport operates a free shuttle bus that is wheelchair accessible and has “kneeling” capability to and from parking facilities.
For more information on the Airport's parking facilities, contact the Philadelphia Parking Authority at:
Your comments and suggestions can also be sent to [email protected]. The mailing address is: One Main Toll Plaza, Philadelphia International Airport, Philadelphia, PA 19153
Airport Information Counters
Airport information counters are in every terminal.
Animal Relief Areas
Animal Relief Areas are located on the exterior of the buildings and inside the terminals. These areas provide appropriate facilities for service animals as well as pets and other animals that are visiting the Airport. Learn more HERE.
Title V Notice of Non-Discrimination
The Philadelphia International Airport (“Airport”) does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, creed or disability in public services or employment opportunities. PHL complies with all applicable laws including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794), Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (28 CFR Part 35) and the Air Carrier Access Act (Title 14 CFR Part 382) to ensure that Airport facilities are accessible to individuals with disabilities. Additionally, PHL Complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 (PL 100.259), Section 520 of the Airport and Airway Improvement Act of 1982, and related authorities, known as “Title VI and related requirements”.
The Airport does not discriminate in hiring or employment practices and complies with all Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requirements. The Airport provides effective communication and reasonable modifications for qualified persons with disabilities, so they can take part in programs, services, and activities. The ADA does not require the Airport to take action that would impose an undue financial or administrative burden or fundamentally alter the nature of its programs or services. Complaints, questions, and feedback can be submitted to the Title VI and ADA Coordinators at [email protected].
The Airport recognizes that the population eligible for services includes Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals. It is Airport policy to grant access to services or programs to every person even when the person has a limited ability to speak, understand, read, or write English. The Airport intends to take reasonable steps to provide LEP persons with meaningful access to services and programs.
The PHL website (www.phl.org) contains information about the range of programs and activities at PHL. The website can be translated in more than 150 languages.
PHL does not and will not undertake any program, project, or activity that has a disparate impact based on race, color, or national origin (including limited English proficiency), or disability without eliminating or minimizing the impact to the extent possible and without a substantial legitimate nondiscriminatory justification for the program, project, or activity.
Any person who believes that he or she has been subjected to discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin (including LEP), sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), creed, or age has the right to file a complaint with the Department of Aviation. Alternatively, they can file a formal complaint with an outside agency, such as the U.S. Departments of Justice or Transportation, or the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), or seek other legal remedies.
Receipt of Complaint
The coordinator will log in the complaint and promptly send copies of the complaint to any office named in the complaint, the City’s Law Department, and the Airport CEO. Complaints must be filed within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory event, must be in writing, and must be delivered to the physical or email address below:
Denise Bailey, Deputy Director of Aviation for Business Diversity and Accessibility
Department of Aviation – Office of Business Diversity
2 International Plaza, Suite 400
Philadelphia, PA 19113
Email: [email protected]
If a complaint is initially made by phone, it must be supplemented with a written complaint before 180 days after the discriminatory event has passed. If a verbal complaint is received, the complainant should be given a copy of the Airport Discrimination Complaint Procedures and instructed to submit a written complaint. Accommodation will be provided upon request to individuals unable to file a written complaint due to a disability.
The coordinator may meet with the complainant to clarify the issues, obtain additional information, and determine if informal resolution might be possible in lieu of an investigation. If successfully resolved, the coordinator will issue a closure letter to the complainant, record the disposition in the complaints log, and report the resolution to FAA.
Discrimination Complaint Referral Procedure
Internal Complaint Referral
All Title VI complaints must be promptly forwarded to the coordinator within one day of receipt.
Initial FAA Notification
A copy of each Title VI complaint will be forwarded to the FAA within 15 days of initial receipt (not the date that the coordinator was notified). The coordinator will forward a copy of the complaint and a statement describing all actions taken to resolve the matter, and the results thereof to the FAA Civil Rights staff, if available at that time. If not available at that time, results thereof will be forwarded once complete. (Note: complaints based on disability do not have to be forwarded to FAA.) To transmit complaint information to the FAA, the Coordinator will upload it to the FAA Civil Rights Connect System and confirm receipt via email. The coordinator will also seek technical assistance from FAA, as needed, throughout complaint intake, investigation and resolution process.
Assignment of Investigator
The coordinator will immediately begin the investigation or designate an investigator.
Cooperation with FAA
The coordinator will promptly investigate all Title VI complaints, including those referred by the FAA for investigation. If the FAA is investigating a complaint against the Department of Aviation, the Coordinator will avoid interfering with the FAA investigation, cooperate with the FAA when needed, and share factual information with the FAA.
The coordinator will make every effort to complete discrimination complaint investigations within 60 calendar days after the complaint is received. Some investigations may take longer with a justification for the delay and assurance that the investigation is being completed as quickly as possible.
Contact with Complainant
The coordinator will meet with the complainant to clarify the issues and obtain additional information, and speak with community members and potential witnesses, as appropriate.
After completing the investigation, the coordinator will prepare a written report.
Consultation with Legal Counsel
In each case, the coordinator will consult with Legal Counsel regarding the investigation and the report. Airport Legal Counsel will ensure that the report is consistent with the DOT and FAA Title VI nondiscrimination requirements.
Prompt Resolution of Disputes
The coordinator will emphasize voluntary compliance and quickly and fairly resolve disputes with complainants, or with contractors, tenants, or other persons, through mediation with the complainant and contractor/tenants/other persons involved in the dispute.
Forwarding Report and Response to Complainant
At the completion of the investigation, the complainant and respondent will receive a letter of findings and determination of the investigation and any applicable resolution. The letter transmitting the findings and any applicable resolution will state the Department of Aviation’s conclusion regarding whether unlawful discrimination occurred and will describe the complainant’s appeal rights. A summary of the investigation report, any appeal, or follow-up actions will be sent to the FAA via the FAA Civil Rights Connect System.
The complainant must be notified of their right to appeal the findings or determinations, and of the procedures and requirements for an appeal:
- The complainant may appeal in writing to the Airport CEO.
- The written appeal must be received within 30 business days after receipt of the written decision.
- The written appeal must contain all arguments, evidence, and documents supporting the basis for the appeal.
- The CEO will issue a final written decision in response to the appeal.
Avoiding Future Discrimination
In addition to acting with respect to any specific instances of discrimination, the Airport will identify and implement measures to reduce the chances of similar discrimination in the future.
Intimidation and Retaliation Prohibited
Airport employees, contractors, and tenants will not intimidate or retaliate against a person who has filed a complaint alleging discrimination.
For information on filing a complaint with DOT/FAA, please contact Denise Bailey, Deputy Director of Aviation, Business Diversity and Accessibility.
To contact the ADA Coordinator, learn more here.