11 Insider Tips for Making Your Next Trip Through PHL a Breeze

Our airport is only lame if you’re a lousy navigator.

philadelphia international airport

Consider this your Philadelphia International Airport cheat sheet. Illustration by Sunny Eckerle

Our airport is only lame if you’re a lousy navigator. Here’s your Best of PHL cheat sheet.

1. Lounge to Insta-Brag About: The Centurion Lounge

AmEx holders can kick back on the funky wave couch, eat from a menu designed by Michael Solomonov, and even shower. Rumor has it this is Carson Wentz’s lounge of choice. Terminal A.

2. Secret Nursing Spot: Minute Suites

If all the lactation suites are taken, pop over to the serene and soundproof nap rooms at Minute Suites. If there’s space available, it’s yours — for free! — for up to 30 minutes so you can pump in private. A/B Connector.

3. Actually Decent Deal at the Airport: Read & Return Program at Heritage Books

You can get a 50 percent refund on the paperback you picked up by returning it to this bookstore (or any of the other 850-plus Paradies Lagardère-owned airport shops throughout North America) within six months of purchase. B/C Connector.

4. Tiny Indulgence: Wine to Go from Vino Volo

For those who want nothing more than to sip on a healthy pour of pinot grigio while thumbing through Us Weekly at their gate, we’re happy to report that your wish has been granted. B/C Connector and D/E Connector.

5. Airport Parking: Winner Airport Parking

Winner’s kind attendants take you to your terminal in your own car, then bring it back to you when you return. No shuttles. No car-seat shuffles. No now-where-the-hell-did-I-park-again. And it’s only $2 more per day than the long-term lot. 6717 Essington Avenue, South Philly.

6. Security Lines: Terminal F

Flying JetBlue, Frontier or Southwest out of Terminal E? Walk five minutes to oft- forgotten Terminal F (home to only one airline, American Eagle) for shorter TSA lines.

7. Bathroom for Post-Flight Primping: Women’s Restroom Next to Gate E13

Gorgeous natural light spills across the sinks, all of the stalls are spacious enough for an outfit change, and there’s even a separate makeup ledge and two full-length mirrors, so you can primp without pissing off the people who just want to wash their hands. Terminal E.

8. Lounge for Peace and Quiet: United Club

It’s not the biggest or the newest, but wood-paneled walls and other clubby touches make it feel more private. And because PHL isn’t a United hub, it doesn’t fill up as fast as all of the American options. C/D Connector.

9. Way to Wait Out a Morning Delay: Avo Toast at La Colombe

The fact that you can drink Corsica instead of settling for too-bitter Starbucks is already a big win. Add La Colombe’s more-than-generous avocado toast to your order, and you might not care if your flight ever takes off. Terminals A, B and E and B/C Connector.

10. Place to Ball Out on a Business Trip: Independence Prime

Go ahead and put that $45 filet mignon on the company card. For once, the airport upcharge might actually be worth it. Terminal B.

11. Way to Wait Out an Evening Delay: Terminal B

Masterminded by Rick Blatstein’s OTG, this $40 million terminal revamp added eight glitzy eateries to the heart of PHL. You’ll also find more than 1,000 iPads where you can play games, catch up on the news, and order a meal from any of said glitzy eateries and have it delivered right to you.

Published as “Friendly Skies” in the August 2019 issue of Philadelphia magazine.