Check the status of your flight by contacting your airline, calling Philadelphia International Airport at 1-800-745-4283, or visiting the airport's Web site (www.phl.org) and clicking on "Flight Information." Have your flight number handy.
If you are 18 or older, make sure you have a valid, government-issued photo ID (driver's license, passport, military ID, or government employee ID).
Extra time will be needed for checking in and security screening, so get to the airport two hours before a domestic departure and three hours before an international departure.
Liquids, gels, and aerosols in 3-ounce or smaller containers may be carried onto the plane in a resealable, one-quart, clear-plastic bag. Only one such bag per passenger is permitted, and it must be removed from your bag
for inspection at the checkpoint. Larger containers must be placed in your checked baggage. Exceptions are made for prescription and over-the-counter medicines, baby formula, and breast milk. Note: Free, one-quart, resealable plastic bags are available at Information Counters throughout the airport.
For additional information on permitted and prohibited items, consult the Transportation Security Administration
Web site (www.tsa.gov) or call 1-866-289-9673. Check the Web site often, since regulations can change
at any time.
If you need a wheelchair or electric-cart service, tell your airline when making your reservation, and confirm the request before the day of departure.
Carry-on baggage is limited to one piece and one personal item, such as a purse or briefcase. The personal item must fit under your seat, and the luggage must fit into the overhead bin. Check with your airline for specific carry-on baggage allowances.
Passengers must obtain boarding passes before entering the security checkpoint. At the checkpoint, have boarding passes and photo ID ready for inspection, and keep them handy until you exit the checkpoint.
Most airlines charge a fee for checked bags. Check with your airline for specific policies and fees.
Some airlines have reduced curbside check-in services - check with your airline. When curbside check-in is not available, allow extra time for checking in.
If you are not checking any bags, you may not have to wait in line for a boarding pass. Most airlines allow passengers to check in and print boarding passes from their Web sites, and most airlines have check-in kiosks at the airport. Check with your airline before arriving at the airport.
At checkpoints, passengers can choose screening lanes based upon their travel experience and needs in order to facilitate the screening process: Expert (frequent travelers who are very familiar with security screening procedures), Casual (occasional travelers), and Family/Special Assistance (families traveling with small children, passengers requiring special assistance, unfamiliar with the security screening process, or traveling with more than 3 ounces of medically necessary liquids).
Drinks may not be taken through the checkpoint. Consider picking up a carry-on meal and beverage for your flight once you have passed through the checkpoint. Most airlines now charge for in-flight meals; some do not offer food.
To expedite your passage through the checkpoint, place personal items such as cell phones, pagers, personal digital assistants, keys, change, and jewelry into your carry-on bag, or use one of the free, resealable bags available at the Information Counters. At the checkpoint, the TSA provides bins for these personal items, plus shoes, coats, jackets, and belts, which must pass through the X-ray machine.
Remove laptops, video cameras, and video games with consoles from their cases, and place them in a bin to be X-rayed.
Equipment used to screen checked baggage will damage undeveloped film. Pack undeveloped film in your carry-on bag. Remove undeveloped high-speed and specialty film from canisters and place in a clear plastic bag. Screening equipment will not affect digital cameras or electronic image-storage cards.
Checked baggage is subject to hand inspection. The TSA recommends using locks that screeners can open and re-lock. Some recommended locks are listed on its Web site.
Do not wrap gifts. They may have to be opened for inspection. This applies to both checked and carry-on items.
Long-term parking is available in the garages and in the economy lot; parking in the short-term lot is recommended for visits of less than one hour.
Economy lot: $11 daily.
Garage: $20 daily; $5 up to one hour; $15 up to three hours.
Short-term lot: $38 daily;
$5 up to one hour; $20 up to four hours.
A free cell phone lot is available for motorists to wait until their party is ready to be picked up. The lot is on Bartram Avenue next to the southbound I-95 exit ramp for Cargo City. Directions are available at www.phl.org/parkridelot.html.
Using the train
Trains on SEPTA's R-1 Airport Line run every 30 minutes and stop at all terminals. The one-way fare is $7 to and from Center City. For information, visit SEPTA's Web site (www.septa.org) or call 215-580-7800.
Philadelphia International Airport