“Filthadelphia” Is The Worst Large Airport In America [Roundup]

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • Filthadelphia is last among large airports in JD Power’s satisfaction index.

  • They’ve been lying to you: you’re actually allowed to use your cell phone in the U.S. immigration and customs hall (HT: One Mile at a Time) According to Greta Campos, who is a deputy executive director at CBP,

    Despite the flight crews’ warning—and the signs—“U.S. Customs and Border Protection does not prohibit use of phones while you’re waiting in the immigration line,” Campos says.

    There are, however, caveats. You are prohibited from taking or making calls and from recording video or audio in restricted areas, Campos says. At the airport, restricted areas include the booth where you’re actually being interviewed by a CBP officer and places where the CBP does more extensive exams, such as luggage searches.

    You are also not allowed to record (video or audio) those around you for reasons of security and privacy. And if a security concern arises, a CBP officer may ask people to put phones away, Campos says.

    While waiting in line, you’re free to text, browse the web and social media, play games, or anything else to pass the time. Campos notes that you can technically make a phone call if absolutely necessary but asks that you be respectful of those around you

  • That DFW airport A concourse is wild.

  • Up to 5,000 AAdvantage miles and 5x loyalty points on rental cars

  • Air Canada Aeroplan offers status extension for cobrand cardmembers who earn 10,000 points on their card in September and October

  • The St. Thomas airport, oy. Fined $477,000.

    The numerous violations included, but were not limited to, cracked runway and taxiway pavement, an improperly graded and drained runway safety area, and obstructions in the runway safety area. They also included faded, missing or incorrect runway and taxiway markings; inaccurate signs; damaged or missing runway edge lights; and failure to properly store, dispense, and handle fuel, according to the FAA.

    In addition, the Virgin Islands Port Authority failed to inform air carriers of runway issues at the airport, the FAA alleged.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. St Thomas and the US Virgin Islands are a third-world country. Imagine trying to replicate a state government and do everything a state government does with 87,000 people. It makes Baltimore look like Singapore.

  2. Gary,

    Not a huge fan of PHL (although frankly it is much better than many give it credit for) but the survey IMHO is biased. First of all when you say “large airport” you would assume that is compared against the largest US airports. However, there is a category for “mega airport” above that. Due to slightly lower passenger numbers PHL (a major connecting hub and the airport serving the nation’s 5th largest city) is in a group with much smaller airports. If you saw the list of course they rank lower on things like delays that a much smaller airport. While I know it was based on cutoff of passengers (and PHL is down mainly due to lack of European AA flights) I think comparing PHL to CLT, ATL, MIA, DFW, LAX, etc is more appropriate (all of these are in the mega airport category). Makes for good click bait but, as someone who’s second major (math) concentration was in statistics this is very biased and misleading.

  3. I was not impressed with Philadelphia International Airport. Hopefully American Airlines gets it to step up its game.

  4. I get that Philly isn’t the best for important blogger topics like sitting and taking pictures of labels on the champagne bottles in the lounge, but for trivialities like transportation to the city center and flying directly to cities in Europe it is pretty good in my experience.

  5. Charlotte Douglas ratings went slightly up. Airport is a dump. Terrible food choices. Elevators, Escalators and Moving Stairs don’t work. Bathrooms out of order. Worst baggage claim process of any major airport. Terrible parking situation. No public transportation or hotels
    Airport is always dirty and under construction

  6. PHL is a S@#thole. AA should move its hub to PIT. I get they dropped it due to fees but it is a far better airport with more runways. It is also just far enough out out of the NE corridor to not have a many ATC ground stops. AA still has a large presence at PIT as well.

  7. Once they lost legal seafoods I never went back
    Now that the legal owner sold the chain its also inferior
    Oh well dining is first on my list then facility
    But yes it’s pretty dated and dumpy depending on the terminal your in
    But I’ve still seen worse in the city of bro love

  8. PHL isn’t even close to as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Solid local food options in the terminal, friendliest/best Centurion Lounge staff in the network, convenient location, etc.

    Not to mention every terminal is connected past security, something that most major airports do not provide and that folks should place a high value on.

  9. It’s actually not a terrible airport, particularly if you’re traveling to Europe. It definitely needs a few things to make it better but it is far from the worst US airport. Some of the worst in my opinion are Newark, Miami, LAX, and O’Hare.

  10. Garbage in garbage out is the old saying. You can collect data to confirm bias. SLC was more convenient before they replaced it. it has one of the longest walk to gate in the US . this alone makes me rate it low. DTW rating depends on which terminal is used. Try flying EWR out of B. it has no precheck and limited food choices. PHL has low security wait times because American squats on its gates. So if you want to confirm that you hate Philadelphia then accept the ratings otherwise someone needs to point out to jdpowers how flawed their info is.

  11. I had a good stay at the PHI Airport Marriott (with Qatar crew staying there as well), riding the SEPTA train to downtown PHI and enjoyed my Spaghetti & Meatballs at Sbarro last summer.

  12. As far as AA hubs go, PHL is middle of the pack. I would prefer it over PHX, CLT and even LAX. It also gives ORD and JFK a run for its money. It’s nowhere as good as DFW or MIA though.

  13. The bus system used for terminal transfers is surprisingly efficient and AA’s lounges are pleasant. It’s pretty easy to get in and get out (as far away as possible, please). Overall it’s bad but at least it isnt a packed hellscape like LAX. A little refurbishing would go a very long way.

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