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Flying through PHIL #28600
08/19/2014 06:59 AM
08/19/2014 06:59 AM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 585
Iowa
beechbumms Offline OP
Traveler
beechbumms  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 585
Iowa
Can anyone tell me what their experience has been like flying home with a connecting flight in Philadelphia? After seeing the horror stories about CLT I think we might be better off going that route on our way back to Chicago....the only thing I worry about is the 1.5 hour time for clearing customs. Thanks in advance for any responses! I want to try to get our flights booked this week if possible.

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Re: Flying through PHIL [Re: beechbumms] #28601
08/19/2014 07:24 AM
08/19/2014 07:24 AM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 351
Beverly MA (Boston's North Sho...
timnboston Offline
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timnboston  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 351
Beverly MA (Boston's North Sho...
Well, you're more apt to have weather delays in Philly in the winter. And I believe that physically it's a much larger airport. The way things are today for airline travelers, I think it's all a crap shoot.

Re: Flying through PHIL [Re: timnboston] #28602
08/19/2014 07:35 AM
08/19/2014 07:35 AM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 59
Mechanicsburg PA
Speebs Offline
Traveler
Speebs  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 59
Mechanicsburg PA
I live in Mechanicsburg, I avoid flying out of PHL at all costs. Rather drive to Newark. Always fly USAirway MDT-CLT-SXM. Usaully avoid flying on weekends. Found that Global Entry eliminates many lines.

Re: Flying through PHIL [Re: beechbumms] #28603
08/19/2014 08:08 AM
08/19/2014 08:08 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,322
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Tom Offline
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Tom  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,322
Hershey, Pennsylvania
We fly through PHL about half the time and CLT the other half. Used to be much better to go through CLT since PHL makes you use shuttle between gates and was always under construction. Now we view them both about the same. Good point made about improving odds of not having weather problems by going through CLT but PHL is likely more able to remove snow faster than CLT.
Bottom line, as stated, "crap shoot".

Re: Flying through PHIL [Re: Tom] #28604
08/19/2014 08:35 AM
08/19/2014 08:35 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,756
Massachusetts
boucharda Offline
Traveler
boucharda  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,756
Massachusetts
We always try to avoid PHL for our January trip....adding snow AND customs makes any connection iffy. No issues for non-snow months.

If it is the only choice then that is that...if there are reasonable alternatives then that would be my choice.

The last couple of years we have switched to JB for the return (N/S no-brainer) with USAir BOS-CLT to SXM and this year we are doing both legs on JB ...even choosing the 45 minute SJU layover rather than chancing JFK in the winter.

We'll see how that works.... <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

Re: Flying through PHIL [Re: beechbumms] #28605
08/19/2014 09:05 AM
08/19/2014 09:05 AM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,313
Granville, MA
PreK176 Offline
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PreK176  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,313
Granville, MA
We've had some delays going through Philly as well. Some late takeoffs due to having to de-ice the plane. We find that connection times now with US Air are really tight and we often have to almost run to get to our next gate. Not quite sure what the answer is. We have done carryon only to get to the connection as the flight was boarding. No Zone 2 luxury for us! Had to gate check our bags! Not happy! Good luck! All you can do is hope for the best!


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Re: Flying through PHIL [Re: PreK176] #28606
08/19/2014 12:43 PM
08/19/2014 12:43 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,956
DC Area and sliding southward
dane Offline
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dane  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,956
DC Area and sliding southward
I've found PHL much easier and more reliable than CLT for the past 2 years or so. No bus is needed at PHL between gates if not connecting to Regional aircraft that are based out of the USAirways Express terminal.

Re: Flying through PHIL [Re: dane] #28607
08/19/2014 03:58 PM
08/19/2014 03:58 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 52
Connecticut
C
caeguy Offline
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caeguy  Offline
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C
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 52
Connecticut
We have had such horrible experiences with CLT I may try PHL next time. I wish USAIR flew direct out of JFK.

Re: Flying through PHIL [Re: caeguy] #28608
08/19/2014 04:19 PM
08/19/2014 04:19 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 78,553
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 78,553
Central Florida!
Quote
I wish USAIR flew direct out of JFK.


Along with every other airline?? You folks from the NY area do not understand how great you have it!! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" />


Carol Hill
Re: Flying through PHIL [Re: Carol_Hill] #28609
08/19/2014 04:49 PM
08/19/2014 04:49 PM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 189
pburke40 Offline
Traveler
pburke40  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 189
We have had horrible experiences flying through PHL to BDL. We have been delayed over night many times. Last February it was so bad we opted to drive home because our rebooked flight. Was a 24 hour delay. We are trying Charlotte this year.

Re: Flying through PHIL [Re: pburke40] #28610
08/19/2014 05:02 PM
08/19/2014 05:02 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,313
Granville, MA
PreK176 Offline
Traveler
PreK176  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,313
Granville, MA
Haha! We almost drove home from CLT to BDL. Would have got home before our friends who missed the flight. Nightmare story! Flown through both many times. One is really as bad as the other!


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Re: Flying through PHIL [Re: PreK176] #28611
08/20/2014 09:55 AM
08/20/2014 09:55 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 117
C
cudster Offline
Traveler
cudster  Offline
Traveler
C
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 117
Should always try flying direct when leaving St. Maarten. So many delays and unexpected misfortunes. Good luck though and hope all works out for you.

Re: Flying through PHIL [Re: cudster] #28612
01/13/2015 12:29 PM
01/13/2015 12:29 PM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 586
Las Vegas, NV, USA
Ellen777 Offline
Traveler
Ellen777  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 586
Las Vegas, NV, USA
I read a recent thread about long waits at Phil customs and thousands of people. Is this normal, or due to weather?
We have Global Entry and usually clear in Mia or SJU, our April connection in Phil is 1 1/2 hours at 7pm. I am worried that this is not enough time.
Appreciate any comments.
Thanks,
Ellen


Life's a beach
Re: Flying through PHIL [Re: Ellen777] #28613
01/13/2015 01:28 PM
01/13/2015 01:28 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 188
South Jersey
davecyndi Offline
Traveler
davecyndi  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 188
South Jersey
Not sure about flying through PHL, as this is usually our destination airport. I can tell you that collecting your bags at PHl part is going to be a hold up. Baggage handling at PHL is horrible.
We usually fly in and out of EWR (1-3/4 Hr from house), rather than PHL (15 Minutes from house).
I hope this helps

Regards,
Dave

Re: Flying through PHIL [Re: davecyndi] #28614
01/13/2015 01:49 PM
01/13/2015 01:49 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 625
Albany, New York
W
WWII Online content
Traveler
WWII  Online Content
Traveler
W
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 625
Albany, New York
We travel via Philly a lot. We try to do it coming home rather than on the way down, thinking about weather. We usually have a long layover (2-3 hrs) and if there is a problem, which has happened once, we can rent a car and drive home in a few hours.

Re: Flying through PHIL [Re: beechbumms] #28615
01/13/2015 05:29 PM
01/13/2015 05:29 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,322
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Tom Offline
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Tom  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,322
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Let me put it this way. Since the return trip for us was through Phila this past Saturday I feel qualified to say that we always try to fly through CLT because it is newer/cleaner/and generally the people are nicer. However, we chose to give PHL another chance since it got us to SXM earlier than the CLT connection flight when we booked.

We arrived on USAir Flt#878 SXM to PHL just after 7PM. First stop Passport check, over 1,000 people in single line (rat maze) and 4 windows operating ("we cut down staff after 6PM"), then customs/immigration, then security, then shuttle to different terminal by bus/then security again, then to our gate. Over 1.5 hours from beginning to end in PHL.
No brainer for me, never again.

Re: Flying through PHIL [Re: Tom] #28616
01/13/2015 06:58 PM
01/13/2015 06:58 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 148
ballston lake
J
johnhill Offline
Traveler
johnhill  Offline
Traveler
J
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 148
ballston lake
Tom; saw you passed through on a Saturday-any experience on a weekday? Our son will be returning from SXM on a Wednesday-Jan 28th-7pm and his connection to upstate NY is 8:30 via US Air-he is concerned and considering leaving some of his gear with us in SXM and flying home with a carry on? Any TTOL advice/experience is appreciated.

Re: Flying through PHIL [Re: johnhill] #28617
01/13/2015 08:46 PM
01/13/2015 08:46 PM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 586
Las Vegas, NV, USA
Ellen777 Offline
Traveler
Ellen777  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 586
Las Vegas, NV, USA
Thanks Tom, your previous post on another thread, made me wonder about the airport conditions in Philly. Guess we will just have to hope for the best.
We will be traveling on a Sat, hopefully, Global Entry will help us. SJU is a breeze to clear customs, and so is Mia with Global Entry.
Ellen


Life's a beach
Re: Flying through PHIL [Re: davecyndi] #28618
01/13/2015 09:30 PM
01/13/2015 09:30 PM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 183
Maryland
S
ScottW Offline
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ScottW  Offline
Traveler
S
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 183
Maryland
We do everything possible to fly non-stop, so we always drive to Philadelphia from Baltimore. We've been to SXM most every year for the last 10 years and we have never had any major issues departing or arriving in Philadelphia. We are not connecting to another flight, so we do not have that worry. Some years the lines are longer than others, but lucky for us it has never been anything terrible.
I think I just jinxed us for our February flight.
Scott

Re: Flying through PHIL [Re: johnhill] #28619
01/14/2015 02:07 PM
01/14/2015 02:07 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 635
Bucks County PA
JohnB Offline
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JohnB  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 635
Bucks County PA
Our Philly experience with customs is relevant with how many other planes arrive at the same time and where they came from. Our longest wait was when a big plane came from Jamaica a few years ago. It was just like Tom said. Other times we breezed right through other than the long walk.

Re: Flying through PHIL [Re: johnhill] #28620
01/14/2015 02:09 PM
01/14/2015 02:09 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,322
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Tom Offline
Traveler
Tom  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,322
Hershey, Pennsylvania
I think your odds are a lot better on a weekday. Our son left the Tuesday before us and although he ran into almost an hour delay in CLT, and thus missed his connection to MDT, I think this was a rare exception rather than the rule.
Check terminal departure gate. All international arrives @ terminal A, getting to terminal F (last terminal)is always a concern with having to rely on shuttle buses.


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