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, 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)
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.