PHL Airport discussion (flights, routes, construction, etc.)

Discussion in 'Philadelphia Transportation & SEPTA' started by BenDee, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. eldondre

    eldondre Well-Known Member

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    it's not a particularly good airport but it could be worse I suppose. Retail isn't very good and security staffing is poor. It hasn't really kept up with the other airports over the last decade. Oakland isn't particularly great (always a baggage problem) but I do find BWI to be better managed (as are many other airports)

    J.D. Power 2017 North America Airline Satisfaction Study
     
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  2. Hospitalitygirl

    Hospitalitygirl Resident Ornery Bitch

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    Retail in the airport was leading edge at one point, but we seem to be the city that retail forgot some days. And then there are international airports with retail to rival that which I've seen in places like Singapore and Tokyo. It's been a long time since I've seen as much Chanel as I have in the past couple of weeks.
     
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  3. eldondre

    eldondre Well-Known Member

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    When you lag in the U.S. you lag in the developed world. Really the tsa staffing issues annoy me the most. They seem to be worse here. Not all the time but often enough. I guess I'm also annoyed at higher prices for less (and lower quality)service when I see that other airlines have gone through a transportation revolution. I habe to say i flew through Nashville last time and I'd do it again. The bbq was actually pretty good at the airport and just as if suspected, the other flight through Atlanta was delayed so I arrived earlier than that flight despite leaving later and having a longer layover. The only downside is Nashville isn't big so it was a smaller jet.
     
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  4. Hospitalitygirl

    Hospitalitygirl Resident Ornery Bitch

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    TSA = Security theater.
     
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  5. boognish

    boognish Well-Known Member

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    Thanks HG. I can't imagine staying in Roppongi.

    I don't think I've ever flown JAL. Used to take ANA a lot for Japanese domestic, but I was young and cheap so I always took NWA from Harrisburg to Detroit to Osaka.
     
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  6. londoner

    londoner Well-Known Member

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    I've never understood people who do this. Not sure what you do for a living, but isn't your time worth a significant chunk of $$? For example, I live in CC - so I can get to the airport via Uber or Train in under 30min. To drive to BWI, takes about 2 hours. So i'm gaining 3 hours of time per round trip flight. If you value your time at a modest $100/hour - that flight better be AT LEAST $300 cheaper from BWI.

    And that doesn't factor the stress of driving I95 as well as the idea that you are adding 2 hours to what's already a potentially long flight/trip. Unless you're retired and live on a fixed income and literally have nothing else to do with your time, this just always seems like a bizarre choice to make.
     
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  7. eldondre

    eldondre Well-Known Member

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    I think you are missing something here and I'll give it a shot
    a) I don't value my time at $100/hr, seems fairly arbitrary. people often overvalue their time when they perceive they are wasting it and then proceed to routinely waste it. moreover, if you don't get paid a lot of money (and I'm guessing you do), time is something you can afford. that said, this point isn't important.
    b) for my last trip, the only direct flight put me out of the company's budget which meant a layover, often somewhere undesirable like charlotte. by going to BWI I am often able to get an affordable direct flight from there...in the last case, I was able to get a direct flight on southwest back (a much higher quality airline than AA). on the way there I was able to snag a better flight time with a layover in Nashville (also on southwest). flying out of PHL would have put me on spirit, no thanks. the AA flights that were direct were expensive, most were not direct in any case. I have done, in the past, PHL in one direction with BWI+train in the other. train is 1h20m to BWI, easy peasy, but the price is a problem.
    c) personal travel: when there's three, 150 savings not only gets you a better airline but is substantial. last time we saved $600 in airfare. there was some expense getting go jet blue but bags fly free, suck it AA.
    BWI>PHL (NWK isn't better though)., Southwest and Jet Blue> AA
     
  8. MNG1324

    MNG1324 Well-Known Member

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    Well some Canadian airports aren't so great....Calgary, Montreal (Treadeau) and Toronto's. Ottawa's sucks but it's metro area the size of Harrisburg so it's not a fair comp.
     
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  9. ShoshTrvls

    ShoshTrvls Well-Known Member

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    I've flown out of Newark, and even once out of JFK, not just to save money (indeed, rarely to save money), but to save time and risk -- like the time I would spend sitting in the Frankfort, Madrid or Chicago airports, or the worry that I would have if I missed my connection in Frankfort, Madrid or Chicago.
     
    #99 ShoshTrvls, Jun 28, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017
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  10. dontforget

    dontforget Well-Known Member

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    I did a round trip from BWI last week and here are some observations:

    a. BWI's men's restrooms - no urinal dividers there. This is something that I've noticed but now can confirm based on multiple trips and likely using different restrooms, that it's just not offered at the airport, but done pretty much everywhere else. Maybe the state of Maryland, which owns BWI, has a reason.

    b. BWI Long Term Parking. It's an outside lot and it's $8/day. Never use it in the Winter, because you'll be walking around trying to find your car and freezing yourself. (This probably applies to PHL as well but I've never used PHL's long term lot) I used BWI's on a nice day last week, anticipating to save some cost, but it's still not ideal and I'll likely not use it again.

    When I returned from my flight, fortunately for me, the shuttle for Long Term B came right away but it was entirely full when I boarded. I had just one suitcase. Another person however voiced that she was waiting for a long time.

    In the lot, the parking spots in the Long Term outside lot are not numbered which I found out after I decided to use the lot. So, before I left, I noted the Stop #, and where my car was parked (between B2 and C3). Yet, it was still very difficult when I returned to find my car. How hard would it be for Maryland to number the spots?

    For $12/day, the BWI Garage parking is a much better value - I realize, but can still add up in the decision to use BWI. PHL doesn't have a garage rate around $12/day, and $12/day for garage also beats DCA and IAD's rate. I do commend the state of Maryland that it has been competitive against other competing airports (PHL, DCA, IAD) in pricing the garage rate. Note, this garage still requires use of a bus shuttle and isn't walkable for a person from car to gate.

    My plan originally was to travel the night before my flight, and stay at Comfort Inn BWI. That hotel allows $5/day parking for guests and offers an airport shuttle. Since Choice Hotels (Quality, Comfort, Sleep Inn) have a promotion and the hotel rate wasn't expensive, it seemed like a good plan. On the return, I'd take uber to the hotel (budgeting $12-15 for that), since Choice Hotel shuttles are notorious for taking forever to pick passengers up.

    However, the day before got busy and I anticipated it, so I didn't book the hotel room, and instead, I woke up at 5:30am and left my house for BWI early in the morning. The flight wasn't until 11:30am.

    c. Return Delayed Flights
    My return flight back into BWI was delayed. So it was supposed to arrive at 7:30pm but returned closer to 9:30pm. And I was tired, and had to make the drive back up night, somewhat tired. That's something to realize that a evening return into BWI can wind up being a late return and then there is still the 2 hour drive.

    I'll still use BWI on occasion, as the airport itself is nice and easy to navigate (except the restroom issue that I have), and there is good presence now between Southwest, Alaska, JetBlue and Spirit so often a lot of low fares. Sometimes award tickets are available out of BWI and not PHL or the flight time works out better for me out of BWI.

    But as someone who looks for low fares on domestic flights, I often can find them just out of PHL or maybe ACY (as my parents live in South Jersey), so I don't typically need to travel all the way to BWI or even EWR. I realize international is entirely different.. If my company was footing my travel, I would likely exclusively use PHL. Another option for getting to places within 500 miles for me is to drive a rental car with unlimited miles. For example, if I'm going to Pittsburgh, I likely wouldn't travel to BWI just to fly BWI-PIT to save money over flying PHL-PIT. I'd prefer taking Amtrak to Harrisburg and then renting a car and driving the rest of the way. I realize driving isn't for everyone. If someone is over 70 years old or under 25, it can be an impractical expectation, and flying is safer and easier.
     
    #100 dontforget, Jul 9, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2017
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  11. dontforget

    dontforget Well-Known Member

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    I'm curious which areas do you typically travel to, and find Southwest from BWI, better than a carrier from PHL (even with a connection)?

    Also, it's interesting you mentioned Charlotte as undesirable. Except for the factor of weather conditions in the Southeast, CLT is a nice airport to use for connections. It's new and clean looking, and lot of eateries and restaurants there. Often, I've heard that people prefer connecting in CLT over PHL when flying US now American.

    I agree that flying any flight with a connection presents more risk and hassle, than taking a nonstop, no doubt, but I don't know if CLT in particular is undesirable as a hub for it, when one is stuck having to connect.
     
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  12. eldondre

    eldondre Well-Known Member

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    If I'm going to lay over I'd rather break the flight up in the middle of the country rather than in charlotte. there's nothing particularly bad about the airport CLT but it's almost the same as Philadelphia ( in terms of location) which is pretty annoying. as a result, there are few flights where clt is a desirable layover though it is absolutely better than ATL or ORD. CLT is also where a lot of the PHL domestic flights have migrated to though that's a personal complaint. I actually enjoyed my layover in Nashville and would do it again if I had to layover on the way to the west coast. that said, I generally try to book connections through reliable places that are on the way to wherever it is I'm going (Atlanta, for example, is not on the way to Oakland).
    getting to BWI is like having a connection even if people often don't think of it like that. so if I get a direct flight from BWI compared to a connection out of PHL, it's going to be competitive in terms of time. BWI really isn't that hard to get to. southwest is a much better airline than American. I'm not the only one who thinks this way, they have much better customer satisfaction ratings.

    On the whole, I would prefer better options out of PHL but giving my business to a garbage airline like AA is not going to make that happen.
     
  13. dontforget

    dontforget Well-Known Member

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    I don't know where you are traveling, but how about Southwest at PHL? They have nonstops to DEN, DAL, PHX, STL, BNA which take you farther than CLT, which might work with a connection if heading West. With Southwest at PHL, it's use it or lose it. If not enough passengers say support them on PHL-PHX, it is likely to cut the route. It is now discontinuing the daily PHL-LAS nonstop flight (effective Nov. 4th), although that is more a leisure route driven by PHL point of sale .Likewise it cut PHL-HOU roughly 3-5 years ago, as passengers were favoring US and United at the time (on PHL-IAH) when it even though HOU is a Southwest hub and large station.

    If one is going often to BUF or CLE, then it makes more sense to just head down to BWI, as Southwest doesn't have good options except backtrack connections via MDW, but if heading past Chicago or Atlanta, then likely Southwest can offer it from PHL without a backtrack.

    I like Southwest, with it's reward program and lack of change fees, but I find the fares expensive especially during the Summer. A low fare often is offered with a least desirable flight (like the one that lands at 12:30am) and that's why I wind up on the Spirit flight that reaches during a better time.

    My travels have me going to Dallas often and where I go, DFW is closer than DAL, and Spirit just comes out significantly cheaper. Note, I pay from my own pocket. I got the American credit card and bonus miles and redeemed award tickets, and have British Airways Avios points which can be used for American tickets, but once the points all are consumed, I probably will be using Spirit even more. I refuse to get the Spirit credit card (but I digress).

    On another note, I was at PHL today and found out that Spirit ticketing has moved from Terminal A East to Terminal D, although it's flights were out of E. A Spirit agent said it occurred two weeks ago. It pretty much joins Frontier, Southwest and JetBlue, where it should have been, instead of in Terminal A with American.

    PHL's website is still not updated, however:
    PHL Overview

    And at PHL, I saw some places listed Spirit at D, and others at E. (Although D to E is very close, but still confusing!)
     
    #103 dontforget, Jul 10, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
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  14. eldondre

    eldondre Well-Known Member

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    I do use southwest at phl whereever possible. I was one of the people who continued to use us air leading to southwest to reduce flights here but American is worse. Unfortunately most people are married to their points plans so were stuck as a captive market with higher fares. I agree southwest has higher fares than spirit. Southwest is the full service carrier, spirit and frontier are the true low fare carriers. I fly frontier where they fit my schedule. American seems to have both high prices and low quality which is a bad combination
     
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  15. phillyaggie

    phillyaggie Well-Known Member

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    Icelandic Air is pretty much the only big new player at PHL, right?

    Air India is planning to add more American destinations to its existing list of JFK, EWR, SFO. Possibly going to IAH (houston), or DFW, and LAX. Also just started direct flights between Dulles and Delhi.

    PHL not even an option... central NJ has a big Indo-American population and businesses that PHL could tap... if PHL was cheaper it could easily attract a lot of that market.
     
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  16. phillyaggie

    phillyaggie Well-Known Member

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  17. dontforget

    dontforget Well-Known Member

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    I think Newark's proximity with Air India serving Newark, hurts PHL's chances. United also has Delhi and Mumbai out of Newark. Compounding it further is all the JFK carriers and flights are not too far either. I think it'd be interesting to see a US-BLR/Bangalore nonstop flight, but of course, it'd be likely from Newark.
     
    #107 dontforget, Jul 11, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2017
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  18. dontforget

    dontforget Well-Known Member

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    American doesn't seem likeanything special over US in PHL. It strives in markets like LAX where it is adding international destinations and where it compete on first class service to JFK, or MIA where it can offer service to South America. In PHL, it is cutting frequency and just has a stranglehold of monopoly routes inherited from US which is profitable, but CLT is actually better as an eastern domestic hub. If it had more JFK slots, it'd use JFK for secondary Europe over PHL.

    But I don't know how American is any worse than United. United cut it's weekend specials and offers a crappy Basic Economy that is confusing and offers less flexibility than a Spirit ticket. United's strength in route network at Newark is largely from a location advantage than offering superior service over American at PHL.
     
    #108 dontforget, Jul 12, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
  19. MNG1324

    MNG1324 Well-Known Member

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    By going thru Newark instead of PHL I got a $535 flight (direct round trip) instead of $1250 flight with 2 stops each to London.

    It's Air India so I hope it's not like those trains in India with the people on top of the cars. I'm not a big guy but I don't want to fly in the overhead compartment.
     
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  20. dontforget

    dontforget Well-Known Member

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    American Airlines is adding flights to Europe out of PHL:
    American Airlines to begin nonstop flights from PHL to Budapest and Prague and restore a daily nonstop flight to Zurich

    It seems promising of PHL's role in American's network. PHL to remain a Trans Atlantic European gateway.

    Now would there likelihood of service to international markets in other directions, such as Mexico City?

    American has nonstops from MEX to Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, but not PHL.
     
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  21. eldondre

    eldondre Well-Known Member

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  22. boognish

    boognish Well-Known Member

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    I flew Air India from London to JFK in '97. It was fine.

    Now, Air India from Delhi to London is another story.
     
  23. eldondre

    eldondre Well-Known Member

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  24. Nytecat

    Nytecat Well-Known Member

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    The overall usage of PHL seems underwhelming given a metro population of roughly six million people. Most regions close to our size are served by two airports. In addition to their main aviation hubs, Miami, Dallas, and Houston also have Ft. Lauderdale, Love, and Hobby to accommodate even more fliers. With that said, I can see Newark and BWI being just close enough to obviate the need for a second airport. And having so much of the US population within a reasonable drive or train ride may also depress plane ridership. But it still doesn't make sense to me that PHL doesn't rank higher in enplanements.
     
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  25. dontforget

    dontforget Well-Known Member

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    PHL being a train ride to DC and NYC eliminates obvious air travel to those markets, thus that cuts out two popular business markets.

    Atlanta, Dallas and Chicago are more mid-continental so can work as hubs for two or more airlines. Ft. Lauderdale has a strong leisure draw.

    So PHL is a one carrier hub, which is good and bad at the same time. It's good because American will have 15 or more flights over the Atlantic to European cities, and this works because American has the hub. On the other hand, American can charge $415 for a nonstop to Cleveland from Philly for all flights next month, for example, without competition. Such can stifle the demand between the cities, and such applies to several markets.

    Even with all that said, PHL probably is still punches under it's weight for it's metro size. A good rival market to compare would be BOS, as BOS doesn't have the mid continental geographic advantage or having the nation's capitol to generate it's economy. BOS has more business travel demand and likely leisure demand.

    For instance, Virgin America (pre Alaska merger) couldn't operate profitably from the West Coast to PHL. Lower fares and US added frequency to stimulate the market, but the market just wasn't strong enough to support that much service. While US Airways had the hub on this side, US was a low cost brand in the LAX side, while Virgin tried to pitch for the upscale money out West.

    I recall looking at load factors for those flights into PHL and BOS. BOS did better, and it was justifiable unfortunately for Virgin to end PHL. Alaska has re-introduced Virgin service back into PHL but as far as I know, it's offering red-eyes from the West Coast back to PHL, likely not targeting business passengers based from SFO and LAX on these flights the same way Virgin (before Alaska) did.

    Also as you mentioned, Newark and BWI also being so close doesn't help, especially Newark on overseas travel. If ACY was in TTN's location, it could be a strong alternate domestic airport nearby - maybe Southwest or JetBlue would have a dozen flights or more, but I'm not sure that would be good for PHL's health but maybe good for the region as a whole. TTN is too primitive of an airport and only has a couple of gates. I think ACY has about 10-12 gates, but it's too far in South Jersey - that's why I think ACY should be in TTN's location. Currently, TTN and ACY work well as an alternate airport experience to reach Florida and a few seasonal destinations for those in South Jersey though, but not relevant enough over the Delaware for majority of the PHL region.
     
    #115 dontforget, Sep 27, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
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  26. ShoshTrvls

    ShoshTrvls Well-Known Member

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    Who cares about any of this now? We're getting a Centurion Club with food by Solomonov. My world is complete.
     
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  27. dontforget

    dontforget Well-Known Member

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    Always nice to see more international carriers - different liveries than just American at PHL.

    Aer Lingus is coming to PHL:
    https://www.aerlingus.com/travel-information/aer-lingus-news/philadelphia/

    Also, American resumes PHL-SAT service - as San Antonio was offered by US Airways at one point.
    American Airlines adds nonstop flights from Philly to 4 U.S. cities

    And adds PHL-MSN (Madison, WI), PHL-OMA (Omaha) and PHL-DSM (Des Moines, IA).

    Some of these might be retaliatory after Frontier added PHL-MSN/OMA, and I wonder if AA will silently cut the routes after Frontier cuts service or if fuel prices go up.

    I also noticed Spirit is resuming PHL-DTW (Detroit) again next Spring. Originally, Spirit launched this as a year round route and then more recently deleted it. But it resumes so I guess it's seasonal now. It used to offer ACY-DTW as a seasonal route, during the Spring and Summer up to Labor Day.

    Not all bright news in PHL:
    Delta is ending PHL-LHR (London) in Mar 2018, and it's seasonal CDG (Paris) service.
     
    #117 dontforget, Oct 7, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
  28. Hospitalitygirl

    Hospitalitygirl Resident Ornery Bitch

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    Good, I guess.

    Blerg. We need better international connections.
     
  29. BenDee

    BenDee Well-Known Member

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    LHR on Delta was always going to end this spring - they have no connection feed on either end, are competing with 3-4 AA/BA flights, and they were operating it to get the prime LHR slot - AA had to give up a slot and whoever operated a PHL flight with it for 3 years could then use it wherever. LHR slots are hard to get and expensive for peak ones ($50mm+) so this allowed Delta to get one cheaply.

    A couple other items here: AA has upgauged 2 of their 4 757 Euro flights, Lisbon and Amsterdam, to 767s with about 20% more capacity. They also recently referred to PHL as the "crown jewel" to the PBJ recently (subscription required) and when talking about Europe, said Prague, Budapest, and Zurich were part of the "first installment"

    The AA and US flight attendants are scheduled for integration in October 2018, so barring an economic downturn, I expect to see changes (mostly for the better) for the PHL Europe flights in Spring/summer 2019.
     
  30. Hospitalitygirl

    Hospitalitygirl Resident Ornery Bitch

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    Thanks.
     

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