Yes, Philadelphia’s Airport Is as Bad as You Think It Is

Plus, stop mourning the Melrose. It was never as good as you remember it being.

a closed TSA screening line at Philadelphia International Airport, which is one of the worst airports in the country

A closed TSA screening line at Philadelphia International Airport, which is one of the worst airports in the country (Getty Images)

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Yes, Philadelphia’s Airport Is as Bad as You Think It Is

With summer almost officially behind us (you can say goodbye at 2:49 a.m. on Saturday), you may, like many Philadelphians, be thinking about winter travel. Perhaps a warm, breezy island. Perhaps a quick trip to Miami. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? Well, all except for the fact that your voyage is likely to begin at that den of discontent, the Philadelphia International Airport.

J.D. Power and Associates just came out with its annual North America Airport Satisfaction Study and, well, the Philadelphia airport didn’t exactly come out on top. Quite the opposite.

J.D. Power and Associates breaks the airports down by size, with Philadelphia International Airport falling in the “large airport” category, under “mega airport” but above “medium airport.” The large airport category allows for 10 million to 32.9 million passengers per year. And Philadelphia International Airport comes in at around 25 million. In this large airport category, Philadelphia’s ranks the worst of the worst.

That’s right. Out of the 27 large airports on the list, Philadelphia International Airport comes in at 27, followed by Honolulu International Airport, Montreal’s airport, Oakland International Airport, and San Diego International Airport. The best large airports? Tampa International, John Wayne Airport in California, Salt Lake City International Airport, Dallas Love Field, and Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

The folks at J.D. Power talked to tens of thousands of passengers to come up with its findings. And the criteria they asked about, in order of importance, were as follows: terminal facilities; airport arrival/departure; baggage claim; security check, check-in/baggage check; and food, beverage and retail.

Naturally, the airport’s CEO was quick to emphasize that our numbers are up over last year, saying, “This score shows the work we are doing is a step in the right direction.” Kind of like your son coming home and saying, “Look, ma: Remember when I got that F-minus on my last chem test? Well, guess who just got an F?!?! Let’s go out for ice cream.”

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Surely LaGuardia Airport has to be even worse than Philly’s airport, right? It used to be. But thanks to a recent overhaul, LaGuardia went from last place among large airports to somewhere near the middle of the rankings.

To read the full airport report, go here.

Everybody Who Knows Goes … Somewhere Else, at Least for Now

The historic and thoroughly beloved (but also thoroughly overrated and past-its-prime) Melrose Diner is no more. Demolition is well underway on the South Philly institution. In its place, the owner of the property plans to build a multi-story apartment building with a roof deck. He has repeatedly said he hoped to bring the Melrose back in one form or another on the ground floor. A lot of people think he’s full of it. But, hey, we can all hope and dream for the return of bad food and bad service, right?

The Case of the Missing Guns

A gun isn’t the kind of thing you’re supposed to let go missing. (Note: You’re also not supposed to leave one propped up in your open garage, particularly while there’s an escaped murdered roaming around, but I digress!) But according to a new report from the City Controller, the Sheriff’s Department can’t account for close to 200 guns.

Maybe Their Google Was Broken

Wendy Ruderman and Ryan Briggs over at the Inquirer have a fun one today about a recent hire at Penn whom Penn lauded in a staff email as having a “long, successful career in health care.” If only Penn had googled him. I won’t give more away than that, because you should really read “Federal Prosecutors Called Him a ‘Con Man’; Penn Medicine Hired Him for a Top Job at Pennsylvania Hospital” for yourself.

Local Talent

The New York Times recently unveiled its “Restaurant List 2023” which the publication describes as “The 50 places in the United States that we’re most excited about right now.” And Philly pops up on the list not once, not twice, but thrice. And the winners are: El Chingon in South Philly (if you want to get really hungry, read our review); My Loup in Rittenhouse Square; and, because what list of awards and accolades about Philadelphia restaurants would be complete without it, Kalaya, a.k.a. the restaurant that has finally convinced suburbanites to travel north of Cecil B. Moore Avenue. Okay, a hair north. But still.

For insight into what makes Kalaya tick, don’t miss Jason Sheehan’s award-winning 2022 profile of owner Nok Suntaranon.

And from the department of you can’t please anyone, Vancouverites are none too happy with Philly comedian/endorsement honcho Kevin Hart. He was billed as the headliner for a big comedy festival in Vancouver. But when it came his time to take the stage, he only performed for what one fan said was as little as 15 minutes. (No one is exactly sure how long the set was, because it was a phone-free performance and apparently nobody wears a watch anymore.) Fans have demanded refunds of their hundreds of dollars spent. But promoters say no refunds are coming.

Reader Mail

Recently, I told you that SEPTA had plans to slash its bus routes. And I thought about so many ways that these bus route changes could impact riders. But Rachel Segal, a professional violinist, brought me one angle I hadn’t considered:

I’m writing because SEPTA is planning to cancel the 32 bus route, which starts in East Falls and goes down Broad Street to Christian Street, and which brings many people, including myself, to the theaters.

Each time I take the bus to perform at the Academy of Music or Kimmel Center I ride with several older Philadelphians who get on near me, and I always love hearing them discuss the upcoming concert, Yannick, more recently the Orchestra contract negotiations, and the like. The 32 bus is their lifeline to the arts. If it is eliminated, the next best option will be the 48, which only goes as far as the Clothespin, and that’s too far of a walk for many of these older, committed concert-goers. They will be left out to dry. It will also make it more difficult for students at the University of the Arts, The Rock School of Dance, and The High School for the Creative and Performing Arts to get to school.

I’m hoping that you can find a minute to contact SEPTA and let them know the impact this will have on the lives of the Philadelphians they claim to be “getting there.” I find it to be unconscionable to cancel a bus line that was a factor in the choice of housing location for so many people like my family, who have relied on the 32 bus for the past 40+ years to get us where we need to go and back home safely and economically.

If you have concerns about SEPTA’s plans, be sure to attend one of the upcoming public meetings on the subject.

By the Numbers: Multiples of 10 Edition

10 feet: Forecasted height of some breaking waves at the Jersey Shore on Saturday thanks to a coastal storm that’s headed our way. Expect winds down the shore of up to 50 mph. The good news: High winds mean you probably won’t encounter any of those biting flies. Hey, I’m a silver lining kind of guy.

100%: Amount of credibility Eagles star Jason Kelce puts in the rumors that his brother is dating Taylor Swift.

1,000: Trees the City of Philadelphia is giving away. Sign up here!

And from the Oooh-A-Squeaker Sports Desk …

Yesterday afternoon in Atlanta, against Bryce Elder, the Phils got things started in the first with a run off walks by Kyle Schwarber and Trea Turner and an Alec Bohm single; Nick Castellanos’s solo homer to start the second made it 2-0. And he whacked another in the third after a Brandon Marsh walk.

Aaron Nola, meanwhile, was rollin’, with three straight clean innings. Elder came out for Jesse Chavez with two outs in the fourth, and inevitably, in the bottom half, Ron Acuña Jr., Ozzie Albies and Matt Olson all got singles off Nola to make it 4-1.

Michael Harris doubled in the fifth, then scored on a Nicky Lopez single. Jose Alvarado came in for the seventh and did fine, but in the eighth, Jeff Hoffman gave up an Albies double and an Austin Riley single to bring it to 4-3, and Gregory Soto pitched up an Ozuna double to tie the game. Craig Kimbrel made it through the ninth unscathed thanks to a great throw by Castellanos (despite a conniption by John Kruk):

And in the top of the 10th, against A.J. Minter, Schwarbs walked, Bryce Harper walked with two outs, Bohm was walked on purpose … and Bryson Stott doubled: 6-4! Could Matt Strahm get it done? Oh hell, an Albies sac fly brought home one. But that was it — we win! Woo-hoo! There’s a game at CBP tonight to start a four-game series with the Mets. First pitch at 7:15!

And in Doop News …

For some reason, the Union, playing last night on the ugly gray faux turf of Charlotte FC’s Bank of America stadium, was sluggish at the start, with play concentrated (nervously) in front of Andre Blake in our goal. This despite the fact that Charlotte stood at 12th on the table, at 7-and-12, and we were at fourth (14-and-6). Though shots on goal were just about equal, the trepidation wasn’t. But there was no score through the first half.

José Martínez picked up — surprise! — a yellow in the 52nd minute, and two minutes later, Charlotte’s Justin Meram blasted one past Blake. Jim Curtin sent in some subs — Julián Carranza and Mikael Uhre, who’d been getting breathers — in hopes of lighting some fire, but no dice. Instead, Charlotte struck again in the 61st on a header by Karol Swiderski.  Curtin brought on Jack McGlynn and Quinn Sullivan, for Martínez and Alejandro Bedoya, and Sullivan finally got one in, on a pass from Carranza. Alrighty! Charlotte damn near scored again in the 79th but were foiled again. The refs tacked on seven minutes of stoppage, and miracle of miracles, a foul on Olivier Mbaizo in the box brought a PK by Dániel Gazdag, who hadn’t missed on them to that point — and didn’t now.

“Parity restored!” the announcer declared. One last yellow card on Charlotte, and the game was officially a draw. Boy, were we lucky; the tie clinched a playoff spot for the team. They play again on Saturday, at home vs. Los Angeles. Doop!

All Philly Today sports coverage is provided by Sandy Hingston.