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).


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.


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.


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?

Spend Mother’s Day at the airport

Airports around the country are rolling out the red carpet for Mother’s Day with special events, free gifts and shopping discounts. Here’s a round-up:

Keeping with their tradition, Volunteer Airport Ambassadors at Florida’s Jacksonville International Airport will have about 1000 carnations to hand out to moms passing through the airport on Mother’s Day.

At Miami International Airport they’re celebrating Mother’s Day Friday through Sunday with discounts, gifts-with-purchase and freebies in the shops, foil-wrapped chocolate roses for moms and events that include live music, a pick-a-pearl game with real oysters and a chance to make last-minute Mother’s Day cards and photo postcards.
(Find the coupons and event locations here.)

At Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway Airports, food and retail concessions posting the sign above will be handing out free flower seed packets (zinnias) to moms from Friday, May 11 through Sunday, May 13, 2012. (While supplies last).

There are also special Mother’s Day sales and gift-with-purchase offers going on at Philadelphia International Airport , at New York’s LaGuardia Airport, at the Swatch stores in JFK International Airport, Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport and at Boston’s Logan Airport.

Chillin’ Zone at PHL

Philadelphia International Airport is working hard to entertain travelers this summer with the Just Plane Fun program.

There’s the Chillin’ Zone – a living-room style set-up with cushioned chairs and sofas at the Terminal C intersection.

During this holiday weekend – through July 5th – many shops in the B/C and D/E Connectors will be holding sales.

Participating merchants include: Afaze, Brooks Brothers, PA Market, PGA Tour, Radio Road, XspresSpa, Jack Georges, Bose, Brookstone, Harley Davidson, Borders, The Body Shop, Crocs, Taxco Sterling, Tech Showcase, In Motion, Hallmark and Lids.

And there’s a week’s worth of entertainment planned including music by the Patriotic Players, a “chowder fishing” contest, art projects with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a golf putting competition, make-overs and product demonstrations.

See the full list at the PHL website.

Philadelphia Int’l Airport: Private Collections/Personal Obsessions exhibit

Do you collect anything? Baseball cards, stuffed monkeys, or small soaps from hotels?

If you’ve got three or more of something – or 3000 of anything – then you’ll be especially interested in the fun new exhibit at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL).

PHL - Patti Dougherty - enamel pins
(Enamel Pins – collected by Patti Dougherty)

Private Collections: Personal Obsessions includes selections from eighteen private collections borrowed from residents of the Philadelphia area.

Some collections, such as antique doorknobs, walking canes, and vintage postcards, are nostalgic.  Others are all about popular culture – Smurfs, Beanie Babies, and Bobbleheads – or everyday objects such as key chains, brushes, and olive oil cans.

Still other collections represent souvenirs from the collector’s travels. Things like snow globes, matchbooks, and floaty pens.

PHL Hands, Collection of Susan Moore
(From Susan Moore’s hand collection)

Private Collections: Personal Obsessions can be seen in the corridor between Terminal A-East and Terminal B through February of 2010.

PHL Snowglobes, Collection of Gabriel Martinez and Lee Shirley
(Snowglobes, Collection of Gabriel Martinez and Lee Shirley)