Flying time from Boston is 1 hour, 20 minutes; from Chicago, roughly 2 hours; from Miami, 2 hours, 40 minutes; from Los Angeles, 5 hours, 40 minutes.
The major gateway to Philadelphia is Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), a seven-terminal airport located roughly 7 miles southwest from downtown. Elaborate renovations over the past decade-plus, adding multiple dining and shopping venues in addition to entire new terminals, have brought PHL into modern times and added some decent retail and dining options.
An alternative is Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), about 85 miles northeast of Philadelphia in New Jersey. From EWR, a United Airlines hub, you can take an AirTrain shuttle to the Newark Airport station, then take a NJ Transit train to Trenton, and from Trenton ride a Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) train into Philly. Expect a cost of roughly $30 per person and a minimum of an additional two hours to your travel time.
Philadelphia International Airport. 8000 Essington Ave., South Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19153. 215/937–6937; 800/PHL–GATE; www.phl.org.
Newark Liberty International Airport. 3 Brewster Rd., New Jersey, 07114. 973/961–6000; www.panynj.gov/airports/newark-liberty.html.
Airline Security Issues
Transportation Security Administration. www.tsa.gov.
For $8 (cash only), you can take SEPTA’s Airport rail line directly into Center City directly from any of the airport terminals. It leaves the airport every 30 minutes from 5:09 am to 12:13 am. The trip to Center City takes about 20 minutes. Trains serve the Eastwick, University City, 30th Street, Suburban (Center City), Jefferson, and Temple University stations.
By car from the airport, the city is accessible via I–95 south or I–76 east. Allow at least a half-hour, more during rush hour, for the 8-mile trip. Taxis at PHL are plentiful; follow signs in the airport and wait in line to catch one. Destinations that fall within the zone demarcated by Fairmount Avenue to the north, South Street to the south, the Delaware River to the east, and 38th Street to the west are eligible for a $28.50 flat rate, not including tip. If you’re heading to a location south of South Street, you can ask the driver to run the meter, as you’ll likely end up paying less than the flat rate.
Limousine and shuttles are also available from PHL. 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.
Allways Transportation. Northeast Philadelphia Airport, 11301 Norcom Rd., Suite 1, 215/669-0522; service.londonlimousine.net.
Carey Limousine Philadelphia. 610/667–1576; www.carey.com.
Priority Shuttle. 215/632–2885; www.priorityshuttle.com.
Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. 215/580–7800; www.septa.org.
Most major U.S. airlines offer service to and from Philadelphia (PHL), which is a hub for American Airlines.
American Airlines. 800/433–7300; www.aa.com.
Frontier Airlines. 801/401--9000; booking.flyfrontier.com.
JetBlue. 800/538--2583; www.jetblue.com.
Southwest Airlines. 800/435–9792; www.southwest.com.
Spirit Airlines. 800/955--8771; www.spirit.com.
United. 800/864--8331 ; www.united.com.