Philadelphia International Airport

Cool collections on display at PHL Airport

Do you collect anything? (Or a lot of things?)

Here at the Seattle headquarters of Stuck at the Airport, we share space with Space Needle souvenirs, cowgirl memorabilia, and other collections. (Not counting that pile of unread New Yorker magazines).

So we’re delighted to see the Philadelphia International Airport’s (PHL) exhibition program kicking off the new year with a fun show titled “Private Collections: Personal Obsessions.”

On view in Terminal D, the exhibition is a festival of collections on loan from Philadelphia-area residents, including a few people who work at PHL.

The cases include a sampling of collections dedicated to architectural salvage, brooches, cable cars, beer bottles, hearts, masks, magnets, mail art, wind-up toys, and lots more.

“Most [of the collections] have been gathered primarily as a hobby for the collector’s own enjoyment or handed down from one family member to another,” says Leah Douglas, PHL Director of Guest Experience and Chief Curator.

“While the activity of collecting is a universal experience, each collection is personal and unique as each object often represents a specific remembrance or story,” she adds.

The beer bottles on display are courtesy of David Rosenblum, PHL’s photographer/videographer, whose late father collected more than 4000 bottles. “His most prized bottles were always the older bottles from Philadelphia-area brewers,” says Rosenblum.

The refrigerator magnets in the exhibit are on loan from the collection of PHL’s public affairs manager, Heather Redfern.

“[M]agnets are inexpensive trinkets that tell the story of where I have traveled, favorite trips, and great experiences I have had along the way,” says Redfern. “I am reminded of where I have been and where I would still like to go every time I walk past the refrigerator.”

Do you have a collection you have put together from your travels? We’d love to hear about it and see some snaps.

All photos courtesy of PHL Airport and David Rosenblum.

Stuck at the Airport: PHL +PIT, & some scary galaxies

At PHL: Grab and At Your Gate now partners

It is officially called an ‘integrated food service.’ And it is part of the growing trend of digital food delivery in airports.

But we say it is a ‘this makes perfect sense’ amenity that is one part convenience and two parts sign of the social distance times.

Grab, the e-commerce platform for pre-ordering meals for pick-up from airport food outlets is partnering with AtYourGate, the in-airport food delivery service.

The service rolls out at other airports soon, but the first airport to offer it is Philadephia International Airport (PHL).

Here’s how it works:

Passengers can order food through the Grab app, a special section of the PHL website, or scan Grab QR codes in the terminals. Merchants are searchable by food type and terminal. And orders can be delivered to wherever you are in the terminal.

Convenient, right?

Participating restaurants at PHL include Auntie Anne’s, Bar Symon, Bud & Marilyn’s, California Pizza Kitchen, Chickie’s & Pete’s, Dunkin’, Gachi, Geno’s Steaks, Jack Duggan’s, Jamba, Piattino Pizza, Smashburger, and Vino Volo. 

More merchants will be added soon.

There is a small charge for delivery. But first-time users can use the promo code ‘RUSH’ to save 20% – up to $5 – off their first order.

Roving robots at PIT cuter than ever

In May 2020, Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) introduced its team of autonomous cleaning robots with ultraviolet (UV) light technology.

Since then, other U.S. airports have rolled out cleaning robots. But PIT was the first.

Now PIT is making the hard-working robots even more endearing by giving them eyes.

The robots also have names:

Amelia is named for Amelia Earhart, the famed pilot and female aviation trailblazer.

Orville and Wilbur are named after the Wright brothers.

And the fourth PIT robot is named Rosa. She’s named after Rosa Mae Willis Alford, the sole female mechanic to work on the planes of the famed Tuskegee Airmen.

Travel to a scary galaxy

In the spirit of the Halloween season and the scary, bizarro times, we’re printing out frameable copies of these science-inspired Galaxy of Horrors “travel” posters from NASA’s Exoplanet Travel Bureau.  

The posters look like vintage horror movie advertisements, but they are really out of this world.

Gamma -Ray-Ghouls features a “dead” galaxy. Galactic Graveyard is inspired by an explosive gamma-ray burst caused by colliding stellar corpses. And the third, Dark Matter, is a voyage to the unknown via ever-elusive dark matter.

Bonus: the posters are also available in Spanish: Cementerio GalácticoMateria Oscura, and Demonions de Rayos Gamma.

The posters are free to download and are produced by NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program Office, which is located at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.

Stuck at the Airport is marking Mask Monday

Wearing a face mask – and having an assortment of masks to choose from is now the new normal.

And Stuck at The Airport is gathering examples of what airports are doing to put their mark on their masks and their efforts to remind travelers to wear their masks.

To kick off the ‘collection,’ we have these nice reminders:

At Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), the iconic Rocky Balboa statue is enlisted to help remind passengers to mask up.

And we see that Dulles International Airport (IAD) recently sent out this tweet to help travelers remember what days they are required to wear a mask at the airport.

Spoiler: that would be everyday.

Now we’re looking for examples of branded masks from airports. Let us know if you have one to show off – or to share.

More way to celebrate books at airports

More airport book options

We celebrated National Book Lovers Day over the weekend with mention of some airport book stores we love and will miss.

We’re not done celebrating the creative ways airports help travelers find books.

In Houston, there are Little Libraries, the kind you may see around your neighborhood, filled with free books at both William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) and at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH).

At IAH, you’ll find Little Libraries in Terminal A, near Gate A3 and in Terminal D, near Gate D9. In HOU, find the Little Libraries near Gates 44, 4 and 23.

You’ll also find a fun Little Library-style book swap at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)

PHL’s book exchange box and the seating area in Terminal A are made of reclaimed wooden pallets. The books are “take one, leave one” and come from passengers and from airlines that donate books left onboard airplanes.

Do you have a favorite airport bookstore or book exchange? Share you tips in the comments section below.

PHL: 5 Things We Love About Philadelphia International Airport

Our 5 Things We Love About series of airport guides celebrating some of the features and amenities at airports around the country and the world is growing longer.

And today we add another airport to the list: Philadelphia International Airport (PHL).

PHL, just seven miles from downtown Philadelphia, first opened in 1940. Back then it was known then as Philadelphia Municipal Airport. Today PHL serves more than 32 million passengers a year with 25 airlines making 500 departures to more than 140 destinations worldwide.

Keep in mind that some of the amenities featured here may be temporarily unavailable due to health concerns. We are confident they will come back.

5 Things We Love About Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)

1. Art and exhibitions at PHL

PHL’s award-winning art and exhibitions program is celebrating its 22nd year and you’ll find art at just about every turn.

We love the wall filled with posters of movies made in Philadelphia, such as Rocky (and the sequels), starring Sylvester Stallone; Dressed to Kill, with Michael Caine and Angie Dickinson, Blow Out, with John Travolta; Trading Places, Witness and more.

And we really love the temporary exhibitions PHL hosts as well as the permanent artwork, such as King Saladeen’s “Create Your Gold” (between Terminals C and D).


2.  PHL ARTPORT LOUNGE


The ARTport Lounge in Terminal F is a colorful place for passengers to relax while waiting for a flight. The area features the artwork of Kyle Confehr, Martha Rich, Alloyius Mcilwaine and Lauren Cat West. There’s a popular sticker wall here as well as cornhole game boards.

3. PHL WAGGING TAILS BRIGADE


PHL’s Wagging Tails Brigade of therapy dogs launched in April 2019. The program includes 12 teams of volunteer dogs and handlers who walk the terminals to interact with passengers and reduce stress.

Each dog has its own trading card as well.

4. The PHL Book Exchange

Everything in PHL’s book exchange and seating area in Terminal A is recycled. The book exchange and seats are made of reclaimed wooden pallets, the plants are in recycled aluminum cans and water bottles, and the backdrop tiles are made from broken skateboard decks.

The books are “take one, leave one” and come from passengers and from the airlines, which donate books left onboard airplanes.

5.  THE PHL POP-UP THEATER


The pop-up theater in Baggage Claim B showcases media/video by Philadelphia area youth who participate in various nonprofit programs.

Right now the features “Symphony for a Broken Orchestra,” an exhibition with broken musical instruments from the School District of Philadelphia, emphasizing the importance of music education in schools.

Broken Orchestra from Topic on Vimeo.

Did we miss an amenity you love at PHL airport? The rocking chairs? Perhaps the fact that you can order a cheesesteak in any terminal? The Philadelphia Zoo at PHL program? Or the on-property Marriott hotel connected via a skywalk to Terminal B?

Let us know in the comments section below. Which airport should we visit next?