Philadelphia International Airport

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?



Airports: “We’re open”

Restaurants, shops, bars, schools and offices in many communities are closed.

But airports? For now, they’re open.

Although activities in and around the terminals are different, with far fewer passengers and flights than normal.

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) has opened its garages to free parking. And posting a list of which dining, shopping and service locations are open.

Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) has shifted its dining options to take-out and in-terminal delivery service from At Your Gate.

At San Francisco International Airport (SFO), all restaurants are open for now, but many with reduced hours. Bars are closed. And, as with restaurants in many cities, service is take-out only.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) is sharing a list of which restaurants remain open for grab-n-go food options.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) have closed the North and South terminal checkpoints.

Here are recent messages from other airports.

As with everything else in the world right now, situations are changing. So if you’re headed to an airport, check ahead.

And, on Wednesday morning, not long after an earthquake was reported near Salt Lake City, the airport tweeted this:

At the Airport: Summer camp at PHL Airport

It may seem as if Philadelphia International Airport has a summer camp.

The Just Plane Fun program at PHL is the airport’s summer-long entertainment program that includes live performances, beauty care demonstrations, educational and informational displays, artist demonstrations, interactive arts and crafts activities for kids and adult, historical impersonators, caricaturists, food sampling and more.

Here’s some of what’s on the menu this week:

Today, July 23, there will be free tastings at Legal Sea Foods in the B/C connector from 11 am to noon.

Tomorow, July 24, you can pick up a free food samples at Noobar in Concourse B from noon to 2 p.m.

On July 25, there will be a story-time and coloring at the airport library in the D/E Connector from noon to 1 p.m. The library is also home to a fun, free short dispenser as well.

PHL short story dispenser
Courtesy PHL Airport

Later that afternoon, from 1 to 3 p.m. there will be complimentary summer drink samples at Chickie’s & Pete’s on Concourse E and Gatorade Zero sampling at the B/C connector stage from 4 to 6 p.m.

Not heading through PHL this week? Don’t worry. There are fresh ‘summer camp’ activities popping up each week. Many are listed ahead of time in the “Happenings” section of the PHL SHOP DINE page but many activities just pop up.

PHL Airport has a short story dispenser

Here’s a great contender for Airport Amenity of the Week: Philadelphia International Airport has a short story dispenser.

PHL short story dispenser

Courtesy PHL Airport

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)’s newest amenity is a Short Story Dispenser.

The five-foot tall, screen-less, translucent glass kiosk is now in the airport’s ‘Virtual Library’ (in the D/E Connector) and prints a free fiction story that can be read in one, three or five minutes.

To get a story, users press one of three buttons indicating which length of story they prefer and then  the machine delivers a story printed on eco-friendly paper.

The stories are drawn from a catalog of stories submitted to and edited by Short Édition, a French community publisher that developed the dispenser. Some stories dispensed are short works by classic authors such as Shakespeare and Virginia Woolf, but Short Edition says it has work submitted by 9,000 authors in its database and pay royalities to authors every time their work is accessed in a Short Story Dispenser.

PHL is the first US airport to get a Short Edition Story Dispenser, although the machines debuted a year or so ago at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris and are also installed at Canada’s Edmonton International Airport and about 150 other non-airport locations out in the world.

courtesy Short Edition
PHL has had a Virtual Library since 2014 that is designed to bring the city’s Free Library’s vast electronic resources to passengers. In addition to the short story dispener, travelers can log on to PHL’s free Wi-Fi to access the Library’s e-books, nearly 1,200 author podcasts, and other digital content.

A great airport amenity!

Fresh art at Philadelphia Int’l Airport

To mark the 20th anniversary of its locally-curated art program, Philadelphia International Airport asked 20 local artists to transform one previously art-free area of the airport into a colorful installation.

 PHL_Jay Walker, taped walkway glass; Miriam Singer ceiling tiles.jpg

Courtesy PHL: Jay Walker, taped walkway glass; Miriam Singer ceiling tiles

The artists used used yarn, fabric, felt, found objects, tape, paint and vinyl and applied their work to the  ceiling tiles, columns, rocking chairs, walls, walkway and windows. Now this part of Terminal A-East is an immersive and experiential art-filled passageway.

“The artists responded to the existing architectural elements  – even the furnishings and planters – to create an unexpected visual experience and an engaging space for people to pass through,” said Leah Douglas, PHL’s director of exhibtions. “It is a form of urban interventionism where art activates the built environment with the intention to see a public space in a new and creative way.”

It’s a Wrap: 20 for 20” will remain on site through February 2019.

Find out more about the wide array of art exhibits at PHL Airport  online and take a look a some of the other art pieces created just for this art installation below.

Courtesy_PHL Airport. Artist: Kay Healy


Courtesy_PHL Airport. Artist: Kay Healy

 

Courtesy PHL. Rocker by Angela McQuillan

Courtesy PHL. Rocker by Angela McQuillan

 

Courtesy PHL Airport. Artwork by Eurhi Jones

Courtesy PHL Airport. Artwork by Eurhi Jones