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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    259

    Default Looking for information about Philadelphia airport

    We are traveling to CSA on Thursday, December 2 and I'm currently looking at purchasing our plane tickets before oil prices go up again.

    Our best choices offer connections through either Philadelphia or Charlotte. I've receieved feedback on the MB that Charlotte is great to travel through (compared to Atlanta), and a 1 hour connection on the way out at 7:00am would be fine, and 90 minutes on the return would suffice. Can any provide feedback on Philadelphia? Is that a large/busy airport?

    Thanks,
    Karen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Karen-

    I've never traveled from Jamaica back to Philly, but being in Pittsburgh (where US Air used to be a hub but isn't anymore), I've had plenty of experience connecting through both Philly and Charlotte from various international destinations. I've consistently had better experiences at Charlotte than Philly- in fact, I've never NOT had a bad experience connecting through Philly (and I've also never had a flight take off on time from Philly, and have probably flown through there at least a dozen times). I also find that Charlotte is less crowded, easier to navigate, cleaner, and more hospitable. Given your time frame, I would be really concerned that a 90 minute window on the return would not be sufficient to get you through customs/immigration etc. if you are coming through Philly (most of the time it has taken my husband and I about 2 hours). Hope that helps!

  3. #3

    Default

    We love the Charlotte airport (a lot more than Philly) & try to travel through there as much as we can. It's such an easy airport to navigate, since all the terminals "spoke" (sort of like a bike tire) off of the same area (where the food court is), so there are no shuttles to get to your terminal.

    And, yes, in CLT, an hour layover going down is fine. And, a 90 minute layover coming home is usually ok for us, but we often have to really hustle to the gate to make our boarding.

    Philly (like Atlanta) has shuttles to get to different terminals, so that adds time on to getting to your gates. I wouldn't really feel comfortable w/ less than a 2 hour layover w/ coming home through PHL.

    Jackie

  4. #4

    Default beware philadelphia!!

    I'm from Philadelphia and I have to say that the airport is one of the worst I've ever seen. Ten years ago I started to keep track....I travel at least 4 times a year and in the past ten years my plane has taken off on time twice. TWICE!!!!! Reasons have ranged from "Well, none of the flight attendants have shown up yet", "We can't find the luggage", and the best one to date "Huh, well I don't think that plane is coming in so I guess you guys won't have a plane". We just got back from CSA...we left from Philly on April 3rd...all appeared to be going well until the pilot comes on and says "well, we just can't get this cargo door to shut. We'll have to work on it for a while, they say maybe 3 hours. You should shut your shades because it's going to get very hot in here!" After four and a half hours of roasting with shrieking babies everywhere he comes on and says "Well, we just can't get this thing to work. I guess they'll start looking for a new plane for us." One hour later they finally let us off the plane and tell us to march to the other end of the airport to wait for a new plane. And the unbelieveable attitude everyone got anytime someone asked for some water is just unexcusable.

    One the way back on April 11th we left Montego Bay right on time, and landed 15 minutes early. But SURPRISE!!! There was a plane at our gate which was delayed because no one could find a pilot. So again we sat for an hour waiting for the mystery pilot to show up.

    Sorry, I just needed to vent. Anyway...my (rather obvious) opinion is to steer clear of Philadelphia at all costs!!

  5. #5

    Default

    Skip Phili if you can. Even with good weather they run into problems. I could go on and on about issues we have had there. We sat on the runway for 2 and a half hours last June. Canceled flights and getting re-routed. From listening to other travelers stuck on the plane with us it was apparent these were not isolated incidents. Not enough air space for US Airways hub.

    We have done a connection in Charlotte and it worked just fine.
    Good luck, we will be at CSS 12/4 to 12/11. We are trying to book Jetblue but they aren't taking reservations yet. I just keep hoping I don't have to go through Phili to get to paradise!

    Good luck!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    7

    Default I always try to avoid Philly

    I travel the East Coast a lot and Philly often has issues. They really only have one main runway which is short and runs between bends in the Delaware River. Any kind of bad weather and they get major delays. Never had any issues going through Charlotte.

  7. #7

    Default Fly Direct?

    We always flight direct from Philly. Its so much easier and the trip time is shortier. We usully go Air Jamaica. it leave Philly every eary and leavies Jamaica at 6 PM So you get extra time in Jamaica The only problem this year is what is going to happen to AJ after it finally gets sold

  8. #8

    Default

    I haven't posted here in a long time, but Our 17th trip to CSA is coming up next month and I always like to check up on the status of flights & everything else. So, as stated above, why not choose Air Jamaica?..It now leaves at 6am & arrives in Mo Bay @ 8;25am.{ wouldn't have known time change if I hadn't checked the mess. board}, leave MoBay around 5;30 pm. coming home = more time in paradise. Non stop flights & the price just dropped as of today..We've always flown out of Philly & have only ever had one problem with AJ out of all those trips. I also fly out of Philly to Fla. on a monthly basis & have never had any real problems.Hope this info helps.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,309

    Default

    Connecting through Philly can be a nightmare, especially in December. One snow flake will screw up everything. USAirways really messed up when they picked Philly over Pittsburgh for one of their hubs. Philly is smack dab in the very crowded northeast flight corridor. Even if everything is fine in Philly, flights get delayed because of air traffic control "holding" planes because the airspace is too crowded. You end up circling the airport, sometimes for almost an hour. There are just too many airplanes in that airspace.

    I always choose Charlotte when I can (and I fly a lot for work, too). On one of our recent trips to Couples, our flight was late leaving Buffalo because we had to de-ice. The flight attendant told us we would miss our flight. Well, when we got to Charlotte, we ran to the gate, and they had held the plane for us! And the biggest surprise was that our bags made it, too.

    Charlotte is also much easier to navigate customs and immigration on your return trip. At Philly, the inbound international flights come into the "A" terminal. It is a very, very long haul from A to all of the other gates. Going from "D" (the international terminal at Charlotte) to the other gates is not a long walk.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    259

    Default

    Thanks everyone for your feedback.

    Charlotte won - the flight times work perfectly, and, the ticket price dropped this morning and I was able to buy our tickets. We decided to allow more time in Charlotte on the way back - ~3 hours - so we should have plenty of time to get through customs and then get something to eat before our final flight into Dayton.

    231 days to go....

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