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Flying time from Boston is one hour; from Chicago, 2¼ hours; from Miami, 2½ hours; from Los Angeles, six hours.
Airline and Airport Links.com (www.airlineandairportlinks.com.)
Transportation Security Administration (www.tsa.gov.)
Dept. of Transportation (www.dot.state.pa.us.)
The major gateway to Philadelphia is Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), 8 mi from downtown in the southwest part of the city. Renovations in the past few years have made the terminals more appealing; shops and more eating options are welcome additions. For $7.00 you can take the SEPTA Regional Rail R1 line directly into Center City from each of the four main airport terminals.
The Philadelphia Airport has various shops and eateries. If you have the time, you can shop at stores like the Body Shop, Swarovski Crystal, and Brookstone; and choose to eat from a variety of options, including standard fast food (Burger King, Sbarro, Mrs. Field's), sit-down dinner (Cibo Bistro, Jack Duggan's Pub), and some local, more regional cuisine (Philly Steak & Gyro, Philly Soft Pretzels, Chickie's, and Pete's).
As an alternative, you could consider Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), about 85 mi to the northeast in New Jersey. From there you can take an AIRTRAIN shuttle to the Newark Airport station, then take a NJ Transit train to Trenton, and from Trenton take SEPTA down into Philly. Expect a cost of about $21 per person and a minimum of an additional two hours to your travel time.
Philadelphia International Airport (8401 Executive Ave., off I–95, PA. 215/937–6800 or 800/745–4283. www.phl.org.)
Newark Liberty International Airport (Pulaski Skyway, between Rt. 1 and I–95, 1 Hotel Rd., NJ, 07114. 973/623–0006. www.panynj.gov.)
Allow at least a half-hour, more during rush hour, for the 8-mi trip between the airport and Center City. By car the airport is accessible via I–95 south or I–76 east.
Taxis at the airport are plentiful but expensive—a flat fee of $28.50 plus tip—or, if you're heading to a location south of South Street, you can ask to use the meter for a slightly reduced fare. Follow the signs in the airport and wait in line for a taxi. Limousine service and shuttle buses are also available. Shuttle buses cost $10 and up per person and will make most requested stops downtown as well as the suburbs. You can make shuttle arrangements at the centralized ground transportation counter in the baggage claim areas.
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) runs the Airport Rail line R1, which leaves the airport every 30 minutes from 5:09 am to 12:09 am. The trip to Center City takes about 20 minutes and costs $7.00. Trains serve the 30th Street, Suburban (Center City), Market East, and University City stations.
Carey Limousine Philadelphia (610/667–1576.)
Allways Transportation (215/745–8519. allwaystransportation.net/.)
Priority Shuttle (215/632–2885. www.priorityshuttle.com.)
Suvana Philadelphia Airport Shuttle (267/390–4122. www.suvana.com/philadelphia-airport-shuttle.html.)
Airport Information Desk (800/745–4283 or 215/937–6937.)
SEPTA (215/580–7800. www.septa.org.)
All major airlines offer service to and from Philadelphia. It's a hub for USAirways, which offers the most nonstop domestic flights. You can find discounted airfares on Southwest Airlines and smaller carriers like Air Tran. Both USAirways and British Airways offer daily nonstop service from London, and Air France frequently offers discounted fares from London with a stop in Paris. American, United, and Virgin Atlantic are also popular.
American Airlines (800/433–7300. www.aa.com.)
Southwest Airlines (800/435–9792. www.southwest.com.)
USAirways (800/428–4322. www.usairways.com.)