“Filthadelphia” — American Is Unhappy With The Cleanliness Of Their PHL Hub

Filed Under: American

Well there’s a headline!

I haven’t travelled through Philadelphia myself yet, and this week’s news means I won’t plan to anytime soon. American Airlines operates a fortress hub at PHL airport in Pennsylvania, which they inherited from US Airways. They operate around 75% of the flights to and from this airport.

PHL has consistently ranked as one of the worst airports in the US, scoring a dismal 3/10 on airlinequality.com.

Given they are by far the airport’s biggest tenant, it’s fair that American should have a say in how the airport is maintained.

View from the Wing notes that during a recent forum with employees, an American employee said the following to him regarding the condition of the airport:

When they walk in and they see a chair with filth… maggots at the gate… we have roaches in the break room… You have ConciergeKeys coming out of a $100,000 Escalade up onto a jet bridge with faeces and dirt. The floors are never cleaned… the bathrooms, I’d like to take you on a tour of the lady’s room… a lot of it is the city cleaners sleeping instead of cleaning.

Other outlets report that American has even threatened to stop paying their tenant fees until the situation is rectified, though says that they’re already working with the airport operators to resolve it.


Just six months ago Isom was singing Philadelphia’s praises, saying:

“It’s a key connecting point for the Northeast, and it’s something we’ve developed over time into a real strength,”

No mention of cockroaches or faeces back then.

An airline cannot control every aspect of the passenger experience. This is nowhere more apparent than at certain airports, where airlines are limited by a number of factors such as space, operating hours and airport fees.

But the largest tenant at any airport should have a significant say in aspects that the airline cannot control, but the airport easily can, like the cleaning standards of the common areas of the airport.

Surely American would have strict service level agreements in place in exchange for the significant rent they would pay?

I cannot imagine American putting up with standards like this at any of the remote outstation airports they fly to, let alone at one of their major, and most important hubs.

Gives a new meaning to the term ‘gate lice’!

Bottom line

I’m not expecting to see a US airport in the world’s top 10 airports list in my lifetime.

But maggots at the gate and faeces in a jet bridge are something you wouldn’t even expect to see in a third world airport. It’s pretty shocking if Philadelphia has gotten this bad.

Is this true? Is PHL really as bad as American employees are claiming?

  1. You have to imagine this could be a real safety hazard if these bugs found themselves onto planes. Especially international flights.

    I’m surprised the DOT or FAA have not done something to address this issue, if true. I’ve never gone through PHL.

  2. I’m PHL-based and never saw maggots or feces. I would even go as far as saying it’s the best airport in the northeast USA.

  3. So I guess the cost of the lease is up for renegotiation soon, and AA is laying the ground works for a reduction of the rates.

    While I am sure it is not the best airport in the world, AA is definitely on the hyperbole here.

  4. I have only flown through PHL twice. Yet I still remember how disgusting my first time in PHL was. Dirty footprint and melted snow was everywhere, and the whole terminal smells like some sort of garbage dump.

  5. We visited Philly 6 years ago and on our 3 block walk from Fogo de Chao to our hotel after dinner a street vagrant heckled us and told me my daughter was the ugliest brat she’s ever seen. It’s a lovely town.

  6. I flight in and out of PHL no less that 15 times a year and I am quite impressed my the airports improvements over the last 5 years, with their Terminal A expansion which included a Amex lounge , they have a decent Adminal’s club and some killers sports bars inside Terminal C and local artworks… I haven’t seen human waste or insects and I would say that roaches in a employees break room is a personal problem.

  7. Isom did not say that (“When they walk in…”) — an employee said that *to* him at a recent employee forum.

  8. I fly out of PHL on American every week. I may be biased, but I love PHL they’re renovating many areas of the gate (which I agree is needed), but I’ve never thought the terminal or gates are dirty. Never seen roaches, or anything like that. My Guess is American is using this as a strong arm tactic to get PHL to do something they want.

    PHL is great in that everything is airside (centurion lounge, all admiral clubs, chickies and Pete’s). PHL far beats many of the other major cities I’ve seen.

  9. @Conway

    Yes, it is..or just think of poop!

    Why would Isom say such accusations if it is not true?..Pax will definitely nailed him if he is lying. Rent negotiations or not if there is a hint of truth..well, PHL should clean thoroughly..who wants a filthy Phily..

  10. The quote comes from an employee during an AA employee forum at PHL, not from Isom.

    While the airport has its share of challenges, maggots and feces are most certainly not one of them.

  11. I fly through PHL all the time, I don’t recognize the airport described here. I wonder whether something else is going on…

  12. I live in Philadelphia and am United 1k. I do this because American is terrible. I have never seen maggots or roaches. American should look at its policies and how they treat the customer if it wants to improve. Are there cleaner and more beautiful airports? Sure but compared to LaGuardia and Newark this airport is great. Are there sevices that should be addressed? Baggage delivery especially oversized is slow and inefficient including the brand new F gate that was updated a year ago for American in which skis need to be hand carried down to baggage.

  13. Huh? You’re writing an article that simply repeats a mis-attributed quote without adding any real analysis or experience? You couldn’t find anyone who say had actually ever been to Philly?

  14. I was in that airport at least 30 times last year and never noticed any serious cleanliness issues. I mostly flew from B/C and a few times from A.

    Terminal A is new and nice. The other terminals have huge pillars right in front of each gate that makes boarding terrible and not enough seating. Very crowded. There are too many quick service places and only a few full service restaurants, each very small. Services are good – shoe shine, massage, one of those nap room places, etc.

    The orange shirts that guard the TSA lines can be hostile and sometimes seem to be hassling passengers out of boredom. Although I didn’t see that much in the last half of the year. They were a huge problem from mid 2015-mid 2016.

    The biggest issue I have though is Philly has long ground delays in the afternoon and evening. An extra 45 minutes waiting in line almost every week departing. (“Well folks, we’re currently number 48 for takeoff”)

    I give it a 4/10. 7 for cleanliness.

  15. This seems bizarre. I’m PHL-based and I have never in my 25 years of flying, have seen anything of this sort. Yes, sometimes the bathrooms need to be better maintained during highly trafficked times, but maggots and poop? Never. The OTG upgrades taking place in B-C are pretty damn awesome. F was refreshed completely and A-West, although built 15 years ago, still holds its own. Yet this negativity is what makes headlines…just add it to the list for us Philadelphians.

    Part of the problem here is that any major northeast (hence older) airport is going to have its maintenance and wear issues unlike the newer, more expansive, terminals-connected-via-train airports like DFW and DEN. PHL, BOS, EWR, LGA, JFK are always ranked in top 10 worst airports. There’s a reason. And maybe there is stuff going on behind the scenes that we can’t see, but this is pretty surprising to me. Maybe I’m biased, but PHL has never left me to the point of filing a complaint with management.

  16. PHL is a sprawling old airport, along the lines of a mini-Ohare, in a part of the country that gets frequent weather delays in winter, so it’s not surprising surveys would rate it so low. I think the AA employee was being melodramatic, however, in describing the cleanliness of the facility. If those conditions exist, I’ve never witnessed them in the many years I’ve connected there. I don’t love the airport, but it doesn’t seem any dirtier than any other US airport — with janitorial services from the government contractor who put in the lowest bid.

  17. Also they let people idle at the curb at arrivals, sometimes 2 lanes deep. Annoying to get to your lyft with luggage.

  18. I’m not a big Philly fan in beverage, but I’ve never seen these issues at PHL. Why don’t you visit PHL first before throwing out nonsense. Looks like I’ll be skipping posts from James going forward.

  19. I agree with the rest, I travel through Philadelphia frequently and I’ve never seen what’s alleged in the article. Terrible reporting/article.

  20. Although I don’t live in Philadelphia nor use PHL as my main airport, I’ve never witnessed any issues brought up in this post. Not the cleanest nor best-kept, but far from a filthy rubbish bin.

    To be fair, I prefer Philadelphia over any other East Coast hubs of any airline (as a Oneworld flyer, my favourite US airport is DFW). And Philly does have quite a extensive European network (not the best tho) spanning to pretty much everywhere I need to get to.

    I remember my first visit to Philly airport to be quite terrible (pre-merger). But since US-AA merger PHL has improved a lot. Now it’s a decent sized airport with extensive route network and shops and amenities (but AA lounge still needs that SHOWER!) without the hassle of going through major hubs (JFK ORD LAX etc)

    Is PHL a world class airport like Hong Kong, Singapore, Vancouver or Munich? definitely not!

    But Philly’s fine as a US airport

  21. This article is pure nonsense. PHL has made amazing strides in improving its facilities over the last ten years. It is far from the dump it might have been back in the 70s and 80s. I travel through a lot of domestic airports and PHL compares favorably with most. In addition, it has become one of the more convenient airports since one can now access all terminals airside.
    Also that comment someone made about the city: their daughter being insulted by a vagrant – oh cmon, like that wouldn’t happen in any major city. In fact, Philadelphia has one of the most vibrant downtowns (we call it “Center City”) and was recently named the only UNESCO world heritage city in North America. I encourage the author to visit Philly sometime. I would be happy to serve as a guide!

  22. PHL is my home airport, and I fly out of it several times per month. It is cleaner and nicer than every other major airport in the Northeast, especially with the recent renovations. It has a lot of faults—the baggage claim, gruff TSA and others that folks mentioned—but cleanliness is not one of them. This must be part of an AA strategy to get a lower lease rate. By the way if AA was unhappy, they have a funny way of showing it with all of the routes they’ve move to PHL from JFK.

  23. Ok, this is completely false. I moved out of the Philadelphia area 2 years ago, and prior to that was a US Airways elite followed by American for the 5 years I lived in the area. I never saw a cockroach or faeces, the airport, in my opinion, is quite nice. I don’t really get where this is coming from, not once did I see maggots or anything along those lines. These claims are false and from my experience have no basis in reality.

  24. @James

    The glory is fading..might be the best time to distract the locals with another LCC report and leave @Luck with such trashy reports..do not disappoint your fans..or Daniel have to report back..

  25. Fly out of Philly and Newark airport frequently and while neither will be ranked in the top airports anytime soon, I find Philly airport to be better maintained then Newark and have never witnessed roaches, maggots, or feces at either airport. With that said, I have witnessed roaches quite large in the restroom of Phuket Airport in Thailand. Also, Philadelphia airport has definitely improved over the last 15 years and while no new terminals have been built they have been upgrading the terminals to make them more modern although the gates in terminals B and C are extremely small and crowded.

    I would guess that one of two things is happening here: 1) AA is renegotiating their leases and looking for a lower price to excuse for the supposed “filth” at the airport or 2) the airport employee is sensationalizing the working conditions to reduce pressure on all employees to provide excellent service at Philly airport. If I was to guess it is the latter since I often run into the surliest agents at Philadelphia (particularly Terminal B/C check-in agents) that came over from USAirways of any AA hub. However, I did have an amazing legacy AA agent (Shane) at terminal B/C check-in last month but that is the exception rather than the norm.

  26. I fly in and out of PHL virtually every week – I haven’t seen the issues listed here although there are many things that could be improved at the airport. It clearly deserves it’s 3/10 rating in my opinion.

  27. If the author of this article has never been to PHL, there just passing on secondhand news. Ifly to PHL quite often on United. From gate to rental car is rather efficient, the Amex club is a small oasis and the people in the UA club or some of the nicest around. I’ve never seen filth Or anything that was described.

  28. Being NYC-based, I connect through Philly fairly frequently to reach places not served out of LGA or JFK.

    It’s actually one of my favorite airports to connect through. It’s no SIN, but for a US airport it’s functional – wide walkways, good signage, decent food options (even a Chipotle!), clean Admirals Clubs. My only beef with it is the air congestion; more often than not you’re going to wait 30-40 minutes from pushback to takeoff during peak times.

    Don’t believe everything you read.

  29. Agreed with many, I travel AA a lot and AA’s section of PHL has seemed quite fine to me. Better than many US airports.

  30. I lived in Philly for 16 years. First off, it’s a great city and only getting better. Vibrant downtown, great art scene, fantastic restaurants, way more affordable than NYC or DC. That said, the airport is a bit of a bummer. I’ve never seen feces or bugs, but the place feels its age. As many posters have said, the gates are generally crowded and small, the place feels cramped, and baggage handling is a nightmare – the only place I’ve ever actually capitalized on Alaska’s 20-minute baggage guarantee (and I fly Alaska a lot). Also, the employees are very Philadelphian – brusque and generally cynical. But as everyone says, it’s no worse than JFK or LGA or any other big east coast airport. And considering that the city is, in my opinion, the best on the east coast, it’s worth dealing with the minor inconveniences of the airport

  31. Definitely dirty but I’ve never seen cockroaches or feces.

    Still, I hate flying through Philly. It’s really depressing in some spots that need renovation, in the winter certain stretches can go from 50 degrees to 90 degrees in a matter of feet, and it’s so damn long from the major terminals to the regional terminal.

    It’s basically a dirtier, grosser CLT. Completely disagree with Pat about it being one of the better Northeast airports.

  32. James
    PHL is nicer than Brisbanes airport with a great seafood restaurant
    Legal Seafoods and a heaps better than the disgusting train wreck called Laguardia
    Would you avoid New York as well?
    To me the worst thing about Philadelphia is some of the check in agents
    Cranky bitter
    However if I worked for American I would be too
    The airport itself is quite dated but it has nice shops
    I’d like to see American modernizing PHL so it can look nicer
    But at the end of the day it’s like an old hotel
    No matter how well you clean it eventually you need a renovation
    I agree with the other poster as it sounds like American may be using it as a negotiating tactic
    I’m sure most airports have some amount of issues
    Americans customer service with the exception of one good experience there
    pretty much sucks making it far worse than their so called isolated claims

  33. You need to kill this story, now. You even say that you haven’t been to philly airport so how on earth are you reporting on speculation?!?!? That’s terrible. You don’t see any official news media reporting this but blogs get away with doing whatever they want.

    I read through the comments and people are saying you misquoted an airline exec in the article and there are also people saying they won’t cone through Philly now. You really don’t have that large of an effect in life so it’s ok but why would you potentially change others perceptions of a place without having a clue. I’m a 120k mileage customer of AA out of PHL and this is all untruth. Either remove it or you’ll have further discussion to handle. It’s unfair and not right. You single out Philly with a demeaning title too.

    I’m offering to pay for your ticket to philly and I’ll give you a full tour from the customer facing side. We will go to gates, all of the Admirals Club lounges, the Amex Lounge, Delta Lounge, United Club, visit the shops, food court, etc. I’ll pay you cash for finding feces and maggots around on our tour.

    I’ll most certainly book your return flight out and cover that as well because I’ll put you on our Not Welcome in Philly list. There isn’t one yet but you are the first on the list!

    Let me know when you will be available to come in. We will find some other PHL locals to support on the tour.

  34. I’ve flown through PHL at least a Dozen times in the last year and I’ve never seen any type of insect. It’s not the most pretty terminal out there but I definitely wouldn’t say it’s the worst.

  35. My suggestion to the author would be to do a little fact-checking on stories like these. I’m no fan of Philadephia (the airport or the city), but having flown to/from and through there numerous times, I’d have to say that I’ve never seen evidence of feces or maggots. No, it’s not a “clean” airport, it’s not the friendliest airport and it’s not the nicest airport. But it’s better than anything in the New York area and it’s not what I’d call filthy.

    Now, I do have to echo one poster’s comment about being accosted by a street person on their way to a restaurant in Center City; I’ve experienced the same issue. Not a nice city. But we’re talking about the airport and, while not great, it’s not that bad either.

  36. Absolutely terrible reporting! Sounds like fake news to me. Looks like the ones who really needs to clean up their act is AA!!!

  37. PHL is fine; outdated northeast airport but whatever. It beats Logan and their driving to/from mess. Beats all NYC airports. BDL is boring. Bwi sucks. DCA is restricted. IAD IS SIMPLY PATHETIC.

    PHL is the JAWN. GO BIRDS!

  38. I’ve been through there at least a dozen times a year since 2011 (pre-merger) and have never seen anything remotely resembling what is described here. Pure rubbish reporting from someone who has never been in the airport using a mis-attributed quote.

  39. I’ve flown on United in and out of Philly about a dozen times in the last 5 years and I’ve never had any of the experiences described in this article. The airport could certainly use a bit of a refresh in places, but then again, so could many US airports. The folks in the small United Club are super nice (and they always remember to thank me for being a Platinum flyer – no I presume they do that for the 1Ks and GS as well). And I love that I can buy packaged Philly pretzels (the best in the US – and I’m a 4th generation New Yorker, so that’s saying a lot) to go and bring them back home to LA where it’s hard to find a decent soft pretzel

  40. Oh dear, @James you are the first OMAATcontributor to be officially be named by @Tom persona non grata in Philadelphia..even cheeky mousey @Lucky has not got the honour yet or did he?

  41. I live in Philadelphia and am absolutely not surprised by any of this. I’ve ever seen maggots or feces myself, but the airport is pretty old and run down, especially by comparison to my former home hub of DTW. Philadelphia in general has an absolutely terrible culture around litter – it’s absolutely disgusting to walk down the street here – so this news about the airport just seems par for the course. I tend to fly Delta, and their terminal, though small, has always struck me as pleasantly clean. My bigger issue with the PHL airport has always been that it’s a hub for absolutely nothing. So few direct flights for flying to the West Coast, to Florida, to Europe.

  42. I live in Philly and fly out of PHL. I also blog about my travels and can’t believe you’d write a disparaging story about a place you haven’t even visited. Seriously disappointed by OMAAT. If you saw the bugs/feces then report it, if you experienced horrible service, report it. I read this blog for personal experiences and breaking travel updates.

    PHL has continued to renovate and improve the gates, offerings like Icelandair and Aer Lingus and amenities (ie AMEX Centurion Lounge). Sure there are some annoying issues that linger (rude security, baggage waits, etc) esp FAA delays by a busy airspace of JFK/EWR/LGA and DC airports which can affect connections and IMO why we rank so low consistently. miss a connection blame the airport instead of airline or weather or FAA

    I’ve never seen bugs that you describe in any of the terminals. Now as for the employee only areas of the airport, i don’t know about those. If they have those types of issues then they need to report to health dept.

    AA has over 70% lift i believe and revenue/expense shares with airport. I’m surprised by this position as they just expanded service and commitment to the area

  43. Article written by someone who has never been there. Check.
    Passing along third- (or fourth-) hand hyperbolic nonsense with zero supporting evidence. Check.
    Uses canned stock-photos unrelated to the content to make its point. Check.
    Sensationalized lowest-common-denominator rubbish straight from TMZ. Check.

    Yep, the standards here are fully in place with the new hires. The tradition rolls on. Well Done, New Guy.

    The blog has space that must be filled: gotta intersperse SOMETHING between all the thinly disguised ads hyping bad credit card sign-ups. It’s business as usual here – carry on!

  44. PHL has its problems (chronic delays being chief among them) but I call fertilizer on this employee’s story. I’ve been through Terminal A a couple of times fairly recently, and never saw any insects or noticeable cleanliness issues. Sounds like #fakenews put out by AA or the unions to get some leverage in contract negotiations.

  45. I’m not sure what you’re talking about

    PHL is a very nice airport. Smaller than the metro NYC hubs and a fairly easy way to get into the major NE corridor, since PHL is only 2hrs driving from NYC/NYC area.

  46. @ Bryan

    The only remaining question is why are you here, since you obviously despise this site? And yet here you are, wasting your life commenting. Mystifying.

    America is in my experience a strange mixture of over-obsessional behaviour about hygiene (shrink-wrapped apples? Really?), alongside squalid conditions – the biggest rat I’ve ever seen was running across a Manhattan street in broad daylight. That thing was as big as a coypu.

    Still fascinated about bewildered Americans commenting on British/Australian spellings. Have you people never read anything written by someone who isn’t American?

  47. Surprised by this. PHL was widely acknowledged to be a complete dump in the 1990s, when it was by far the worst major airport in the US. The terminals were renovated in the late 90s and the new A and F terminals opened around 2002-03. I’ve flown through there several times in the past few years and always marveled at how much nicer it is than my first visits in the mid- to late-90s, when it was truly an embarrassment.

    Staff in PHL continue to be an issue… some of the most unpleasant folks you’ll ever encounter in an airport, irrespective of who employs them (the city, AA, another airline, etc.)

  48. Well, that was jaw-droppingly inaccurate — I love just outside of Philly, usually fly out of PHL or EWR, and have never, ever, EVER seen anything like what the person quoted described :-O

    As James S., said, PHL has come a long, long way since the ’90s, when it really wasn’t very pleasant at all. But they’ve gone above and beyond in spiffing the place up, and now I’d say it’s on par with pretty much any other above-average airport in the U.S. I think they could still improve connections between terminals, but hopefully they’re working on that.

    As for the “Philly attitude” … well, sadly, I’m afraid that’s probably true 🙁 Philly folks often can be rather rough around the edges, and if you’re not used it, it can be somewhat jarring. Hence my husband’s astonishment the first time he flew into Dublin: “OMG, everyone’s so NICE here! Are they always like this? Why can’t the Philly people be like this?” 😀

    Anyway, no, PHL’s not perfect (yet), but “faeces and maggots?” Um, no. Just … no.

  49. I travel to/from PHL fairly often. It used to be a total dump, but has improved a lot over the last several years. Terminal F is awesome – you get dozens of real jet bridges to small regional jets, with gates and waiting areas almost at tarmac level. Much better than using remote stands in inclement weather.

  50. I went through PHL a couple of weeks ago for the first time in 20+ years. What a dismal, miserable airport.

  51. Philly airport is gross. The people that work there are generally not pleasant. I’d be perfectly happy never going there again. If NJ is the armpit, PHL is the butthole.

  52. I have worked in the Philadelphia airpprt for 14 years and I have never seen any of these issues.

  53. Philly is my home airport. Many times I have traveled to other “awesome” airports thinking “oh great, I will get to see a nice airport.” It has yet to happen that I go to one of these airports in the US and feel like PHL is so inferior. Is it inferior to BCN, MAD and FRA? Absolutely. But it isn’t inferior to many domestic airports.

    Is it possible some slob of a passenger dropped a sandwich, didn’t pick it up, and on a hot day maggots got to it? Absolutely. Is it possible some passenger with a baby decided to change a diaper in the seating area? Yes. Are there a lot more “comfort” animals walking around who have to relieve themselves? Yes. However, PHL has upped its cleanliness game, and also has the bonus of allowing pax to walk between terminals post security to they can visit the airport clubs and businesses even if they are in another terminal. That’s something you don’t have in JFK or EWR, and a host of other airports.

    It would be nice to have fewer delays, a few more lounges, and more seating areas in the older terminal (I don’t think there were any ultra dense A321s flying into Terminal C when it was built). However, PHL gets a bad rap and I agree with what I have seen from other folks here: I would put it up against the major airports in the Northeast any day!

  54. Once the Lease is signed, the Tenant’s “power” under that Lease is restricted to the terms of the lease. Hence, American’s ability to yank the collar of the airport authority may be no greater than that of a Tenant selling nothing more than newspapers and Pepsi.

  55. I’ve flown PHL biweekly via DL for about 6 months now. Beside the fact that food options suck, and the AmEx Centurion lounge is a joke, it’s not that bad. It’s no CLT or ATL or LGA, but it does fine as a mid-market hub. Never seen feces or anything that would make me go ‘ugh’.

  56. I’m an American Airlines Concierge Key member, live here and fly to and from PHL multiple times each month and the airport you describe might resemble LHR but not PHL. PHL has come a long way over the years and it is now a very clean and efficient airport. You should check it out.

  57. Seems like the purpose of this article was basically to throw shade at PHL and other American airports, based on nothing more than a couple of disgruntled employees.

    “I’m not expecting to see a US airport in the world’s top 10 airports list in my lifetime”? Cool. Most major US airports are perfectly fine and serve their purpose of being a point A-to-point B gateway effectively. American city governments don’t feel the need to spend billions of dollars on indoor koi ponds and waterfalls considering most people just go to the airport to, you know, fly to another city.

  58. Wow, James I have been enjoying your posts, but this one REALLY has done you a disservice. How can you objectively report on an airport you have never even been to, and then pass off second or third hand information as factual and absolute? And what’s worse, announcing you will never visit it because of this second or third hand information?

    I fly via PHL a few times each month, and yes it’s bathrooms sometimes have service issues, but the airpoint has made great improvements in recent years, has added great new eateries, and improved gate areas in Terminals B and C, where the majority of AA flights leave from.

    Before you pass on bad, salacious and careless information to your readers, maybe you should have first-hand knowdledge, or something more to go by then one random communication from an employee that is likely unverified.

    Unverified story, sloppy reporting, and click-bait headline. It only takes one of these to erase ten great posts. You are starting from scratch now, my friend.

  59. James! Welcome to OMAAT. This article is not accurate though. PHL is fine. Not great, not awful. Good. Decent.

    CLT thought…my God, am I the only one who hates CLT???

    I’d fly through PHL over CLT 10 times over.

  60. I must say that PHL has come a long way since I started flying out of there in the 1970s – wait for it – forty+ years. It was dirty, and under construction then and it’s still dirty and under construction. The fact that it takes five months to rehab a lavatory or that in the non AA terminals that food offerings are pathetic. And let us not forget the new wave of homeless that the management has invited in. Not even being half the travel distance I can’t make myself make PHL my home base.

  61. When I went to school in Philly (long time ago now) we called it Filthadelphia. Remember sitting in the park with the Liberty Bell and seeing rats run around. That being said, have never noticed the airport to be worse than that of any other city. Generally speaking, airports seem to be unhygienic environments.
    Have to agree with Wawa…IAD is a joke. No need to hit the gym if you are flying out of IAD, the seemingly endless trains and long corridors provide workout enough. It takes a minimum of an hour from drop off to get to an actual terminal – on a non-busy day with your boarding pass already printed and TSA or Clear security clearance! And they are not even running the metro to the terminal so that will be yet another *leg* of your journey to catch a plane.

  62. While most airports have some issues like dirty bathrooms PHL isn’t that bad. I actually have much more issue with AA gate staff there than the airport.

  63. I have enjoyed James’ other posts since he started writing for tnis blog, but this one was not good. Basically just sharing a few obscure rants without much research or counterpoint.

    I have flown AA through PHL several times and actually think it is a nice airport. Dirty would never be a word I use to describe the PHL airport.

  64. I just flew in (Delta) and out (American) of PHL last week. It was clean and I was impressed with the how you could eat and drink so close to the gates.

    Bathrooms were about average, maybe even a bit above average.

    PHL beats most north-east airports, frankly.

  65. Flown domestic and international out PHL several times and I think it’s a great modern airport. Here are many great restaurants in the AA terminal. Don’t know what this disgruntled whoever is talking about

  66. I love how y’all witness major American cities and our infrastructure in those cities go to 3rd world country standards …

    … and then you proceed to go elect the exact same politicians who create these frameworks. Ask yourselves who’s running Detroit, Camden, Philadelphia, Cleveland … I could go on and on.

  67. I haven’t flown through Philly in the last 3 years. I avoid it at all costs because of filthy women’s bathrooms and one encounter with a pushy bathroom attendant almost demanding tips. Stained carpet coupled with some of the rudest TSA staff mean I am willing to pay a bit extra to avoid it. Last international flight, it was only about $150 more to come into Charlotte instead.

    The rudeness was the largest part of my decision to avoid Philly though. I think if you are from that area, you are used to the clipped and curt responses but if you are from the south or other parts, it is quite different, especially that way TSA enjoys belittling confused passengers with little English. The perception of rudeness probably clouded my view and made the other aspects (stained everything, trash and debris in the walkway, etc) seem worse.

  68. I used to fly through Philly pretty often 15 or so years ago and it wasn’t so bad then. I flew through last summer and was surprised at just how crowded, messy and disorganized the gate areas have gotten. On my next trip back east I went through Charlotte instead, a much better experience. I will never fly through Philly again, ever.

  69. This is just lazy reporting, not much different than when national sports people use the “snowballs at Santa Claus” stuff. For whatever reason, Philadelphia and its residents get such unfair treatment from people who have never even visited. A perfect city? Far from it, but for once it would be nice to get some fair, balanced perspective.

  70. I connect in PHL a lot, it is in my experience really pretty nice. Certainly beats having to step foot into any of the New York City area airports.

  71. Been through PHL twice in past 12 months. Didn’t notice any grubbiness at all. Of course it could do with a Reno. I thought the AA checkin ladies were pretty great t there and the lounge is pretty good.
    As for the fecal matter in the jet bridge: I’m only sorry that Lucky didn’t experience this first hand. It would have made an epic post, full of hand-wringing ( and washing), dettol baths, thrown away shoes, dry retching, general angst. Pity.

  72. Yes I’m the employee that stated these facts about Philly. If you have ever boarded on the AE side we have several gates with bird poop dropping down onto the jetbridge. There was a great population of maggots at gates A10 and A12 due to food left on the floor for almost a month. The city was called about the situation and never came over to clean. The bathrooms at the Philadelphia airport are disgusting rarely any soap in the dispensers and paper towel dispensers are half broken or empty. The floors if you take a look at them at 5am haven’t been mopped all night nor vacuumed. As far as the break room take a tour of the AE break room on a good day you can spot a roach as big as your finger. So naysayers you must be blind

  73. PHL is my home airport and I have never seen the the “filth” mentioned here, despite departing here at least once a month. Is it as clean as DFW? No. But it is far cleaner than EWR and LAX.

  74. As I am typing this, I am downstairs under the main A East concourse level where the old break area was and there are no signs of cockroaches or filth.

    I have been working on the tarmac level of the airport for 7 years and I have never seen anything like what has been described.

  75. I have personally seen roaches in the concourses in PHL (B & C). The carpeting in the jetways (also in B & C) are filthy.

  76. I’ve traveled in, out, and through PHL dozens – if not hundreds – of times. Is it the nicest airport in the world? Certainly not. But something about this article doesn’t add up ‘cuz it sure ain’t *that* bad.

    If you think PHL is bad, let’s talk about the third-world nation of LGA.

  77. This is by far the worst airport. Stalls in ladies room don’t have doors. I wish I could post pictures of the filth in every corner of this place. The city should hire management to oversee the staff. Philly should be ashamed. Much worse then any 3rd world country

  78. I saw two RATs running through Southwest gates at Terminal E on 10/5/2018.
    Most power outlets are not working at Terminal D.
    I recommend PHL to join NYC 3 since they are all terrifying.

  79. So disgusting. I have never been in such a filthy airport. But who to complain to? It appears the airport is run by an automated iPad system because the only staff I see are flight crews. Nowhere to sit that isn’t fronted with an iPad. Even the gates no longer have comfortable seating. What few standard seats remain are covered with greasy food remains, spilled soda, and paper garbage. The carpets are foul. I will try to never connect through there again.

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