With over a dozen trans-Atlantic flights departing from Philadelphia (PHL), I think it’s no secret that Philly is a big connection point for many travelers around the United States. Lately, I’ve been seeing more questions about connection times in Philly. As a Philly native, let me help.

  • Can I travel downtown for a cheesesteak?
  • Will I make my flight if I have to travel from Terminal A to Terminal F?
  • Can I get to the airport from 30th Street Station in time for my flight?

All of these are questions I’ve seen and hopefully, this post will clear some of these up.

Do you have time to go into town and grab a cheesesteak?

With no traffic, it will take you 20 minutes by taxi/rideshare to get from the airport to my favorite cheesesteak spot — John’s Roast Pork — located in South Philly. You’ll need a solid 30-45 minutes to order and consume your meal. As such, I’d budget two or more hours if you’d like to venture away from the airport.

You DO NOT need to go into Center City for a cheesesteak. Those places are a waste of your time. Oh, and in case your wondering, Philly natives don’t go to Pat’s or Geno’s, but if you really want to know — Pat’s is better.

If you can’t leave the airport, Terminal F has a Geno’s Steaks for your convenience.

How long is the walk to Terminal A from Terminals B/C/D/E/F?

Rule of thumb is to allow 10 minutes walking time between each terminal. It will take you less, but better to be safe. An airside shuttle is also available to Terminal F from all of the other terminals. The signs in the airport are surprisingly easy to follow so just look out for them.

Which lounges are available for Amex Platinum and Priority Pass cardholders?

Unfortunately not many. There is a Centurion Lounge for Amex Platinum cardholders located in Terminal A-West. Other than that there are Minute Suites available for Priority Pass cardholders and a Delta Sky Club located in Terminal D (but only if you are flying Delta that day).

Which flights leave from Terminal F?

Terminal F is the regional terminal and is home to the fleet of regional jets that serve PHL. If you are landing in Philadelphia and connecting onward to places like Allentown, State College, or Norfolk, then Terminal F is where you will need to be.

Make sure you factor this into your travel plans.

How much time should I allow for International-to-Domestic connections?

When you arrive on an international flight you’ll most likely disembark at Terminal A-West, at which point you will have to clear customs and then go through domestic security. I would give yourself at least 1 hour for this portion. It will be less if you have Global Entry, but normal customs lines at PHL can be very lengthy. It’s important that you budget time for this! (Thanks Joe)

Very important – if you are arriving on an international flight from a city that has a TSA pre-clearance facility and you have already cleared customs, you won’t have to go through security again.

Final Word

Having lived in Philly all my life I like to consider myself an expert at navigating PHL airport. If you have any specific questions, go ahead and comment below!


Featured image via Eric Salard on Flickr

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Joe
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Joe

You left out the most important point. You need to go through security again, even if you’re connecting on the same airline. You must allow time for that.

MrChu
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MrChu

No you don’t!

DaninMCI
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DaninMCI

I’m not a native but the best advise I’ve been given at PHL is that during the day (before the evening international rush) you can enter through security down at the International check point MUCH faster than most of the other terminals. I really don’t find it all that far from one terminal to another actually.

Mike
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Mike

A few other points from a philly native… – TSA Precheck is only available at Terminal A East & C,D & E (I believe I got those right). – The lines do get loooong at some of them, especially A & C, but you can walk outside to a different terminal as they’re all in a linear configuration and you can get to any terminal without reentering security (I’m talking to you – BOS – fix that it’s ridiculously annoying) – Recently it’s been a PITA with congestion getting gates during busy times (sunday PM) so plan on sitting on… Read more »

Chris
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Chris

How about “A1, C16, and F10 aren’t gates; they’re bus stops.”

Chris
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Chris

Also, gate A12 is right next to A13, but A14 is in another building. My personal favorite.

John gearhart
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John gearhart

I live in Baltimore and travel internationally from phl a lot. Can’t they clean up and modernize terminal A for international travel especially premium customers??

Dr. V
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Dr. V

I didn’t realize PHL was such an international hub. I find it quite expensive to fly out of and not many direct flights unless it is to Europe. I’ve done most of my travels from JFK it is a hike (megabus and the train) but I’ve saved hundreds.

Terminal B has some of the best food options since a lot of business flights are in that terminal.

Terminal C is Pre Check only! They will turn you around and tell you to go to another Terminal.

greg
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greg

Very helpful post — thanks. Will not have time to leave the airport for a cheesesteak. Do you recommend any places at the airport? The name doesn’t make as I agree locals know best.

Jim
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Jim

I have a 46 minute connection to make it from c/b concourse (Coming in from charlotte) to make it to the A concourse and get on a flight to Heathrow. Is that doable ? Do I have to go through security to get for B/C to a >

Bill
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Bill

Arriving at Gate F30 and departing at Gate C22. Tight layover. Two questions:
1. How long to walk from F to C?
2. Do I have to go thru any security if walking from F to C?
Have seen conflicting info re security online.
Thanks

Bill
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Bill

Dom, Sorry for being a pest! My daughter rarely flies and has never been thru PHL, so I need some clarification please. 1. Her flight arrives almost 100% of time at Gate F34. It appears that this gate is on Level 1 – is this correct? 2. In the airport web site under FAQ, it says shuttle service can be gotten at Gate F14. However, photos and other info say Gate F10. I am assuming that F10 is the correct one? Can you confirm please? 3. The departure terminal is B (most likely B4). If she takes the shuttle does… Read more »