Holiday Travel 2021: What PHL Guests Need to Know

Making a list and checking it twice pertains to more than gift giving. Passengers planning to fly from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) this holiday season need to start preparing—and checking items off—their travel lists now to stay ahead of the holiday hustle and bustle. Planning to arrive at least three hours before boarding time and making arrangements to avoid parking onsite should be at the top of PHL passengers' lists.    

PHL anticipates approximately 925,700 passengers will pass through its terminals between December 22, 2021-January 4, 2022. Many of these guests are taking their first trips in about two years and much has changed at the airport. Here’s what you need to know.  

Getting to PHL: Parking and Other Transportation Options  
Parking onsite at PHL will be significantly limited this holiday season. The airport’s Economy Lot has been permanently closed. PHL’s onsite garages offer approximately 12,000 parking spots and PHL's nine offsite parking partners have more than a combined 8,700 parking spots. PHL’s garage rate is $16 per day when parking for 72 hours or more.

Passengers are strongly encouraged to use offsite parking, ride share, public transportation or have a friend or family member drive them to the airport. Those who intend to park at the airport should plan on arriving at least three hours early to ensure enough time to look for garage parking or find an offsite location, while still having time to pass through security and board their flights.   

Prior to heading to the airport, guests should check the local traffic and transit reports to avoid delays en route to PHL.  

Face masks are required by all passengers ages two and over inside PHL and on all planes. This federal mandate is enforced by the TSA and in effect until March 18, 2022. Before heading to the airport, travelers need to check with their airlines on which face coverings are acceptable. Gaiters, bandanas, masks with valves and wearing a face shield without a mask are not permitted by most airlines. Some foreign carriers will not allow passengers to use cloth masks. 

COVID-19 Testing and Quarantine Requirements  
Travel restrictions vary by destination. Anyone planning a trip must know the COVID-19 test, vaccination and quarantine regulations for their desired destination in advance of booking trips. PHL’s COVID-19 resource page provides tools and helpful information for guests arriving at or departing from PHL, whether traveling domestically or internationally. The Jefferson Health Testing Facility at PHL offers Standard PCR (polymerase chain reaction), RT-PCR (Expedited) and rapid antigen tests. Click here for more details.   

Flight Check-In  
For the convenience of passengers, many airlines offer contactless and paperless check-in. Guests should visit their airline’s website for details.   

TSA Security Checks  
The TSA has implemented new health and safety regulations in the past year, including allowing one 12-ounce container of liquid hand sanitizer per passenger and sanitizing wipes in carry-on bags. Details on the new regulations and tips for being prepared for the screening process can be found here and via the free MyTSA app.   

New checkpoint policies and increased passenger volume could mean longer checkpoint wait times. TSA advises all guests to arrive at the airport three hours before their boarding times to avoid the risk of missing their flights. Guests can also enroll in TSA Pre-Check to access expedited security checks.  

Some additional reminders for passengers:  

  • Empty water bottles in the liquid recycling receptacles before entering security.  PHL offers water bottle refill stations in all terminals once inside security checkpoints.
  • Passengers can access all PHL terminals through any TSA checkpoint.  

What’s Open?   
Once through security, guests will find more than 120 PHL Food & Shops food and retail concessions in all terminals open and ready to serve them. A list of open concessionaires and operating hours can be found here. Guests can also enjoy contactless ordering from select PHL Food & Shops merchants through Orders can be picked up from the merchant or delivered directly to passengers’ locations throughout the airport (guests might even have a surprise delivery from Jawnbot).     

Guests traveling between November 21-December 24 can receive a free gift with purchase with same day receipts totaling $100 or more.  When traveling between December 1-24, guests can take have purchases wrapped free of charge between 7 a.m.-7 p.m. at the gift wrap booth in the B-C Connector.  

Arriving Passengers  
All of PHL’s baggage claims are now opened to serve arriving passengers. Guests needing transportation after retrieving their luggage, should note the following: 

Passengers should not accept rides from drivers outside of the designated pick-up zones, or those that approach them inside the airport or cannot be identified as an authorized rideshare or taxi driver. Certified rideshare and taxi drivers will not enter PHL and approach travelers in need of transportation.   

Drivers meeting arriving passengers should take advantage of PHL’s free Cell Phone Waiting Lot, conveniently located one minute from the baggage claim areas or park in the short term parking lots across from the baggage claims.


Media Contacts

Heather Redfern
Public Affairs Manager
[email protected]
Shawn Hawes
Public Relations Supervisor
[email protected]

Social Links

Twitter Logo FaceBook Logo Flickr Logo Instagram Logo
Notice of Privacy Practices