I dream of an air travel revolution. I want to see the days of glamour and excitement return to the friendly skies, and I believe the roots of this transit transformation begins at ground level: in the airport.

After a two-day stay in the City of Brotherly Love, I had the pleasure of spending time at the Philadelphia International Airport—or PHL—before my flight back to Boston. This airport is a welcome paradise of exciting finds, delectable dishes and no travel headaches.

Security
Saving time in the security line means more time for fun in the terminal. With Terminal C being a dedicated TSA Pre-check terminal, open daily from 4:15am – 8:00pm, it made getting through security a breeze. I made it halfway through the shopping area by the time my colleague made it through standard security. I fully support all major airports adopting a dedicated TSA Pre-check terminal.

Pro Tip: Skip the lines and keep your shoes on. Sign up for TSA Pre-Check. After an $85 fee, your status will be valid for 5 years.

Shopping
Behold Philadelphia Marketplace, a spectacle of shopping, dining and services. With close to 50 retailers, Philadelphia International Airport is a shopper’s paradise. From Philly souvenirs to major fashion retailers, there is something for everyone.

Brooks Brothers, Tumi, L’Occitane, MAC and Kiehl’s provide eye candy for window shoppers and high-end travelers alike. Gap, Vera Bradley, and Johnston & Murphy provide classic and comfortable American apparel. You can also stock up on great souvenirs from Philadelphia at Philadelphia America! shop.

Pro Tip: Skip the extra baggage. Pick up last-minute odds and ends before exiting the airport through security.

Geno's Steaks by Shinya Suzuki on Flickr

Dining
When you think of Philadelphia and food, you think of cheesesteak and the famous rivalry between Pat’s and Geno’s. Did you get too full at Pat’s and couldn’t make it to Geno’s? Have no fear. Geno’s has a location in the Philadelphia International Airport. Don’t forget to ask for cheese whiz!

Cheesesteak not your thing? Check out Chickie’s & Pete’s, another Philadelphia food staple. Known for their seafood dishes, you will wrong yourself if you do not get an order of their Famous Crab Fries. This platter of golden fried potatoes spares no seasoning and is full of flavor, down to the very last bite.

If you are looking for something a little more upscale, visit CIBO Bistro and Wine Bar. With an extensive wine list and complimenting Italian dishes, you will leave this hidden sanctuary full of culinary bliss.

Pro Tip: Grab a snack before your flight. I recommend the freshly made Philadelphia pretzel cart. You can’t leave Philly without one.

Working (or not!)

The entire airport has a free wi-fi available, making it a breeze to check emails and keep in touch with the office. But if you need a space to really focus, Minute Suites offers private spaces to work (or take a quick nap!) Nursing mothers can also use the facilities for free for the first 30 minutes, which can be a lifesaver during unexpected delays.

Every suite offers complimentary DirecTV, Netflix and Wi-fi. A daybed with pull-out trundle sleeps two comfortably and up to four people are allowed in the room. Drinks and snacks are available for purchase, but outside food is also allowed in.

Flight delays are rarely fun—but if you’ve got to be stuck somewhere, PHL makes it easy to enjoy a few hours of shopping, sipping, and snacking!

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