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Florida Guide > Travelling

Philadelphia Airport

If you travel from the UK to Orlando using an American carrier, you may well find yourself arriving at Philadelphia Airport in Pennsylvania. It is a hub for United Airlines, and if you fly with them you will pass through either Charlotte or Philadelphia before catching a domestic flight to Orlando.

Philadelphia is the 6th most populous city in the United States and is the home of the Liberty Bell, which is stored in the Liberty Bell Pavilion across from Independence Hall. This famous bell was made in England and brought to Philadelphia in 1752 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Pennsylvania’s charter of priveleges. Sadly, the first time it was rung it cracked. Philadelphia is also famous for being the city where the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4th, 1776. It was also here that the Constitution was written in 1787.

In 2005 this busy airport ranked as the 9th busiest airport in the world with over 535, 000 aircraft operations. It now serves 31. 7 million passengers annually. The airport has quite a history, as on October 22, 1027 the famous aviator Charles A Lindberg touched down at Philadelphia Airport in his aeroplane, the Spirit of St Louis. This was during his tour of the United States following his historic solo flight from New York to Paris. He dedicated the Philadelphia Municipal Airport by ceremoniously raising the American Flag. Following the war Philadelphia Airport expanded rapidly and millions of dollars were spent improving the terminals and building new ones, as well as building new runways to ease congestion.

We often use an American carrier when we visit our beautiful villa in Orlando, and really enjoy exploring the different airports. On a recent trip we had a long stop over at Philadelphia on our way back from Orlando, and the seven hours we spent waiting for our connecting transatlantic flight seemed to go really quickly as there was so much to see and do.

The airport itself has undergone extensive renovation and the new and magnificent international Terminal A-West is quite stunning. It has plenty of seating areas, including areas with rocking chairs where you can relax with a book or just sit and watch the world go by. The arrivals hall is dominated by an atrium with stunning artwork which depicts Philadelphia as America’s birthplace. There are huge murals showing such things as astronauts, the space shuttle and of course, many different forms of aircraft. It is spacious, airy, and bright. One of my favourite pieces of art work is the huge mobile which is made up of tiny individual birds, which you can see as you travel along the moving walkway in Terminal A-West.

Philadelphia Airport now has a great shopping area called the Marketplace. In Terminal B/C there are now over 100 shops and eateries. We spent quite a long time exploring these shops, and also sitting on the comfortable rocking chairs that are provided for passengers to use. Airports have recognised the high earning potential of shopping malls with upscale retail outlets within the various terminal buildings, and Philadelphia Airport’s Marketplace is no exception.

If you find yourself with a few hours to spare at Philadelphia airport then I can guarantee that you will enjoy your brief sojourn here at this fascinating airport. The time will simply fly by!

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Page added on: 14 September 2008
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