Airport Review: PHL

In my pre-Big Foot days, I didn’t care much about airports. As long as I could find my gate on time and find a corner to sit, I was fine. Now, however, I have to take a preschooler’s patience threshold, bladder capacity, and short legs to take into account, so I find myself paying much closer attention.

On our recent adventure to Sesame Place, we flew from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). Today I’ll review PHL since it had a few touches I definitely appreciated.

First, I should mention that I managed to lose my driver’s license at Sesame Place that morning, which I didn’t notice until I was already at the airport. I was very glad that I had arrived at the airport a little over two hours before out flight time, and I braced myself for what I expected would be a difficult passage through the security checkpoint.

Boy was I wrong! No eye-rolling, huffing or puffing. The TSA officer asked me if I had at least two items with my name on it. Thankfully, I had my insurance card and a bank card that has my picture on it (although I was in my 20s when it was taken). The officer checked them, then told me I would have to wait for a female officer to come conduct an additional security check. During the five minutes it took for her to arrive, the original officer apologized several times for the wait.

I was then made to remove my shoes and go through the full body scanner before undergoing a pat down and having additional officers go through my bags. During the whole procedure, all officers involved were very polite and considerate; one of them even held my son’s hand and chatted with him, and once I was cleared and ready to move on, they even gave him a “junior security officer” sticker.

PHL Jr Officer Badge
Junior Officer Badge

Altogether, I spent about 20 minutes in the security area. Which is about how long it takes to get though regular security procedures at MCO with proper ID on any given day—if you’re lucky.

We arrived at the appropriate terminal with plenty of time to spare, and there we found another lovely surprise: an absolutely adorable airport-themed play area. Big Foot had a blast pretending to pilot a plane, man the control tower, and drive the luggage vehicle, and sliding down the wing of the plane. I had a great time sitting down and relaxing on the bench while I watched him play.

Right across from the play area was a cute little reading area with a book exchange box, some recycled planters with some greenery, two wooden rocking chairs, and a bench.

Reading Area at PHL

Once Big Foot was done playing, we shared some pizza from one of the several restaurant choices, then headed to the gate with a few minutes before the start of boarding. The attendants at the gate were very friendly, taking time to compliment Big Foot on his rolling carry-on.

I really enjoyed this airport as everything seemed well-organized, the staff was friendly, and they had some family-friendly touches as well.

Keep wandering,

~ Joëlle

P.S: I contacted the Lost & Found at Sesame Place, and thankfully my license had been turned in. They mailed it to me at no charge.