Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is anticipating a very busy Spring Break season throughout its terminals. With changes to where and how people work, some travelers are finding it easier to get away for long weekends.
“Not only are our passengers heading to sun and sand destinations for vacation, but we are also beginning to see the return of business travelers,” said PHL Deputy Director of Strategic Partnerships Kate Sullivan. “And, on March 26, the airlines’ summer schedules began, which means more transatlantic service for PHL.”
American Airlines will serve 11 transatlantic destinations daily this summer, including Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Dublin, Lisbon, London (twice a day), Madrid, Paris, Rome, Venice and Zurich. Lufthansa returns to PHL on March 28 with seasonal nonstop service to Frankfurt five times a week through October 29 and Aer Lingus is back for the first time in two years, with nonstop service from PHL to Dublin beginning April 7.
What do travelers need to know before heading to the airport?
“Parking on-site at the airport may be a challenge, depending on when you are flying. The airport’s garages will fill up rapidly during Spring Break, heading into weekends, and we strongly encourage passengers to use offsite parking, ride share, public transportation or have a friend or family member drive them to the airport,” said Sullivan. “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.”
PHL Parking and Ground Transportation Options
Onsite Garages: Airport garages fill up rapidly, so make sure to plan alternate parking options.
Public Transportation: SEPTA provides convenient train and bus options.
Rideshare: With Uber and Lyft, schedule a ride up to seven days before your flight.
Taxis and Limos: Taxicabs are readily available and provide service from the Philadelphia metro area and surrounding counties.
Drop Off by Friends/Family: Departing passengers should arrive 3 hours early for domestic flights, 3 hours for international.
Offsite parking: Nine private short and long-term lots are located in close proximity to PHL.
Good news for passengers: While PHL officials are evaluating options to replace airport parking capacity, approximately 1,850 spaces in the former economy lot will be opened in time for the summer travel season. Details are currently being finalized on the portion of the parking lot that is not immediately needed for aeronautical development.
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 April 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.
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.
Once through security, guests will find more than 130 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 OrderAtPHL.com. 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).