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Parking at Phoenix Sky Harbor
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Over 30,000 on-site parking spaces in a range of garages, lots and services at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport mean that it's usually simple to find yourself a space. Each terminal has a short-term daily parking garage immediately opposite it and economy lots are also located on the airport property. Electric vehicle charging stations and help with tire inflation and jump starts are all available, too.
There are drop-off and pick-up points outside all the terminal buildings, whilst the economy parking lot at PHX has a nearby cell phone lot. You can wait in there free of charge for your passengers to get through arrivals. There's another cell phone lot at the PHX Sky Train / Valley Metro station on 44th Street, so your passengers can take the free Sky Train service to meet you there as well.
If you want to leave your car to see someone off or meet them inside, the short-term daily parking garages opposite each terminal are ideal, since they’re conveniently close to the terminal entrances with parking charged in hourly blocks.
The daily parking garages immediately opposite the terminals offer maximum convenience and are intended for people stopping at the airport for only a few hours. These spaces can be reserved in advance online for a discount, so they can be very cost-effective.
Long-term economy parking lots are also positioned at each end of the row of three terminals. They are only a short distance from the respective terminal entrances, but free shuttle buses run all day regardless.
Terminal 4, which is typically the busiest, also offers valet parking. You simply drop off your car at the valet parking area of the Terminal 4 parking garage or leave it curbside and a valet will take care of parking it up for you. They’ll also get it back to you when you return. Several add-on services like a car wash and oil changes are also available with the valet service.
There are additional parking options located at lots just off-site, providing Park and Ride and valet parking services for passengers. Please note that the 44th Street Valley Metro station does not count as an overnight parking facility.
Park and Ride services offer self-parking at a lot a few miles from the airport and provide a free shuttle bus to your terminal and, of course, back at the end of your trip. Off-site valet services go to all three terminals and typically meet you curbside when you arrive
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) is a combined civil and military airport just outside Phoenix city center. Almost 45 million passengers fly through Phoenix International Airport every year, making it the busiest in Arizona and putting it just outside the 10 busiest in the USA. The military aspect to the airport is the Goldwater Air National Guard base set to the edge of the property by the Salt River.
The most popular routes from the airport tend to be domestic flights, with the major carriers being American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and American Eagle. PHX Airport is American Airlines' sixth-busiest hub and it's also a focus city for Southwest.
Flights to and from the UK are the most popular route beyond the Americas, in large part because they are the only transatlantic flights currently available. There is a strategy in place to attract more international services to Phoenix with a large financial incentive; Emirates Airlines is expected to add a route to Dubai in the near future.
Located about four miles (6.4 kilometers) west of Phoenix city center, PHX is set next to the I-10 and I-17, which connect from the city center area. The I-10 is the most direct route running from just north of downtown to the airport entrance on E Sky Harbor Boulevard, the I-17 runs around the city center and connects to the I-10 for the airport exit. Beyond the city, the interstate roads run to Los Angeles, Tucson and Flagstaff. Numerous taxi, limo and shared-ride services are available from Phoenix if you are not driving your own car there.
The free PHX Sky Train shuttles every five minutes between the terminals and a station on 44th Street, which connects to Valley Metro Rail, a single-route light rail system running from North Mountain Village through Phoenix and past the airport to Tempe and Mesa. The Valley Metro bus network also connects at the 44th Street station, which organizes routes into a grid so almost any location in the city is just one change away. A further bus route stops directly at Terminal 2 of the airport.
Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport first opened in 1928 as the fourth airfield in Phoenix and quickly attracted business from American Airlines, which offered the first passenger flights. As Trans World Airlines (TWA) brought services to the airport in the late 1930s, a phase of expansion began that would run through much of the next decade. A passenger terminal, control tower and two runways were all newly operational by the 1950s, which helped attract a steady flow of new carriers and routes to the airport.
Over the next few decades, the runways were adjusted to run parallel to each other to avoid persistent cross-winds and two further terminals were built as more airlines placed routes at PHX. America West Airlines set up at Phoenix Sky Harbor and enjoyed a phenomenal first year of growth, while Southwest established their largest maintenance facility there. Passenger numbers grew by 300 per cent through the decades leading to a fourth terminal, which was completed as numbers headed towards 40 million passengers a year.
Development has been on-going with a recent major refurbishment of the runways and Terminals 3 and 4; the most significant recent construction is the PHX Sky Train. Connecting all the terminal buildings, the Sky Train shuttles all day to the nearby 44th Street station on the Valley Metro rail and bus routes, providing a simple connection to the center of Phoenix and the potential for plenty more growth.
The available facilities at PHX depend heavily on which terminal you're traveling through; Terminal 4 has much more choice than the others. If you have enough time available to you, make use of the free PHX Sky Train to move around the three terminals to explore a huge choice of restaurants, shops and facilities.
Many new concessions are being added to the terminals as part of a major refurbishment program, so for the most up-to-date list of facilities, please refer to the Official Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Website. If you have any questions about amenities or services in advance, contact PHX Airport customer services on (+1) 602-273-3300.
Several hotels in the Phoenix region offer hotel and parking packages to PHX Airport passengers. Independent hotels and international chains including Holiday Inn, Radisson and Travelodge offer packages and most of them are less than five miles (eight kilometers) from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.
Most packages offer up to two weeks of parking free of charge to any PHX passengers who stay at least one night at the associated hotel, but some offer parking for up to a month. Connections to the airport terminals are provided for free via complimentary shuttle buses.
Rooms and spaces do have to be booked in advance. On a long trip, this can prove to be incredibly cost-effective, but it's also very convenient if you have an early departure or late arrival and a long journey between your home and the airport.
Although most of it is gathered in Terminal 4, Phoenix Sky Harbor's restaurant offering is incredibly diverse and includes menus from some of the city's stand-out eateries and bars.
Chelsea's Kitchen serves up a high-quality approach to classic Arizonan foods like rib-eye steak, tacos and their signature sea-salt chocolate-chip cookie bites.
Local micro-brewery, Four Peaks, showcases its craft beers with Arizona-inspired appetizers and Scottsdale-based Cowboy Ciao offers an extensive wine list, breakfast quesadillas and their famous Stetson Chopped Salad.
Arizona's Humble Pie delivers gorgeous pizzas and chocolate cakes and Barrio Café offers specialty guacamole, slow-roasted pork and delicious churros with ice cream, fruit and sauce.
The airport art collection focuses on contemporary pieces that create a sense of warmth and community, so it includes many works by artists local to the area.
Most of the displays are currently found in the rental car center and include architectural sculpture, murals, terrazzo floors, woodcuts, paintings and collages.
If you don't feel like the journey to the rental car center, you can take in a lot of the local natural beauty by following the FitPHX walking route in Terminal 4. It takes you past views of Piestewa Peak, Camelback Mountain, Papago Park, South Mountain Park and also the Phoenix skyline.
A great way to get rid of travel tension is to take advantage of the XpresSpa in Terminal 4. Part of an airpot-based chain, the spa offers a range of massage and beauty treatments from a quick 15-minute neck and shoulder chair massage to hours of beauty treatments.
PHX also includes a quiet room inside the airport chapel, complete with quiet activities for children who might need time out from the busy environment of the main airport.
Another ideal way to get out of the crowds, particularly on a layover or long delay, is to buy a day membership to one of the airline lounges. These offer a private lounge, complimentary food and drink, WiFi and TV for a single payment.
If searching out the art, getting some food and seeing the sights on the FitPHX walk haven't worn out any younger travelers with you, there's still hope left.
Tiring out children is often the best way to get them through all the sitting still that comes with a flight, so Phoenix Sky Harbor includes children's play areas to achieve just that. The play areas can be found post-security airside in Terminals 2 and 4, providing a great space for kids to burn off the last of their excess energy.
Linked closely to the art program, Phoenix International Airport's museum similarly promotes the culture and artistic heritage of the Arizona region, with exhibits spread across all the terminal buildings.
Including documentary photography, drawings, sculpture, textiles and paintings, the work all revolves around the history, cultures, styles and artists of this region of the USA.
An additional special collection featuring artefacts, documents, photographs and memorabilia covers aviation history relating to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, as well as Goodyear and Deer Valley airports.
Camelback Mountain looks down over the suburbs and city of Phoenix from about 10 miles (16 kilometers) away from PHX Airport.
A prominent backdrop to the skyline, the mountain’s proximity to the city makes it a hugely popular hiking and climbing spot. There are two trails to the top, both of which are rather challenging.
It includes some steep sections, so allow up to three hours to complete a round-trip. The stunning views most definitely make the hard work worth it.
Taking in the Valley of the Sun, Phoenix and sixteen cities and towns around it, you get the best of the Arizonan light in the early morning at sunrise.
Housing around 15,000 exhibits collected from 200 countries and territories, the Musical Instrument Museum is a fascinating place to visit and an essential one for musicians.
Based 20 miles (32.2 kilometers) from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, the museum combines the instruments (many of which you can play) with videos of performances and occasionally hosts live performances from artists like Martha Reeves, Lyle Lovett and George Benson.
Including a café with indoor and outdoor seating, the museum so completely absorbing that it can easily fill a day, even if you're not musically talented.
Home to Major League Baseball’s (MLB's) Arizona Diamondbacks, Chase Field is a modern baseball stadium about four miles (6.4 kilometers) from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.
It was the first American stadium to have a retractable roof over a grass playing surface. There's a great atmosphere and friendly staff with a selection of food that’s second-to-none. Unusually for a baseball park, they'll let you bring some foods in with you.
Great sight lines and, thanks to the retractable roof and a vast air-conditioning system, a comfortable temperature is guaranteed even if the Arizonan sun is blazing.
Exploring the heritage, cultures and arts of the native peoples of Arizona and Colorado, the Heard Museum began as a small private collection in 1929 and is now internationally recognized.
At only six miles (9.6 kilometers) from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, the collection includes over 40,000 artifacts displayed in exhibits, educational programming and special events like festivals.
An affiliate of the Smithsonian, the Heard offers a detailed look at native life over time in an architecturally beautiful building with plenty tailored towards younger visitors to hold their attention.
Winner of an endless list of awards over the last decade, including repeated recognition as one of the 10 best children's museums in the USA, the Children's Museum of Phoenix is just four miles (6.4 kilometers) from PHX Airport.
All the exhibits are interactive and many can be climbed on and explored across numerous areas themed for children of different ages. Some of the primary exhibit areas include an art studio, block-building space, a book loft, a fort-building area, a noodle forest and an atrium-height climbing activity.
If you're visiting Phoenix with children, do not miss this place.
Covering 140 acres (56.6 hectares) of Papago Park about six miles (9.6 kilometers) from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, the Desert Botanical Garden collects together 21,000 plants including over 100 rare and endangered species.
Best visited in the morning or at sunset when the temperature is cooler and everything is tranquil, the garden truly stuns visitors with how beautiful a desert can look. Immaculately maintained and with a coffee shop on-site, you won’t regret relaxing and wildlife-spotting there.
Located in Downtown about four miles (6.4 kilometers) from PHX Airport, Arizona Science Center includes 350 major interactive exhibits, special programs, a planetarium and an IMAX theater.
The exhibits cover subjects like the human body, the digital world, forces of nature, demonstrations, presentations and summer camps. Special events include activities specially designed for children like the Summer Science Camp, as well as evening events specifically for adults; the Adults Night Out lecture series, for instance, includes access to the museum, a talk and an IMAX or planetarium presentation.
This is one for all the science geeks setting foot in Phoenix.
Just five miles (eight kilometers) from the airport, the Phoenix Art Museum is the largest in the south west. Its collection includes about 18,000 pieces of work from around the world and is supplemented by special programs on contemporary art, fashion design, photography, sculpture and art film.
Complete with a sculpture garden and restaurant, the museum constantly rotates and changes displays so that you're always seeing something new in a small but tranquil space close to the center.
It's the sort of place you can either breeze through in an hour or take most of a day absorbing in depth – it depends on what captures your imagination.
Three terminals numbered 2, 3 and 4 are in operation at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, connected by the free PHX Sky Train that shuttles between them every five minutes, 24 hours a day.
Phoenix is known as an intensely busy airport and it can take a lot of time to move through it, so make sure you plan ahead. Keep in mind, too, that the majority of restaurants, services and concessions are in Terminal 4; allow yourself some extra time if you want to go there to explore PHX.
If you have any questions about amenities or services in advance, contact PHX Airport customer services on (+1) 602-273-3300.
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Located in the AZ 85034 ZIP code area about four miles (6.4 kilometers) from the center of Phoenix, PHX Airport is most easily accessed using the I-10, which runs from the city center directly past the airport.
The I-17 is another option that runs around the western and southern ends of the city center before meeting the I-10 near the airport exit. The Interstate roads are also the best routes in from more distant cities including Los Angeles, Tucson and Flagstaff.
Numerous taxi, limousine and shared-ride services run from central Phoenix to the airport, including Uber and Lyft, all of which drop off outside the terminals. You can find an up-to-date list of the various providers on the Phoenix Sky Harbor Website Ground Transport Page.
The Phoenix bus system is operated by Valley Metro and has routes laid out to a grid, with most of the central bus routes going east-to-west or north-to-south only. Whilst this means you will usually need to change to get where you're going, you can get almost anywhere in town with just one change.
One bus route goes directly to a stop outside Terminal 2, whilst three further routes run to the 44th Street station to meet the PHX Sky Train and Valley Metro light rail service. All these routes connect easily with the main network covering the entire Phoenix area.
Greyhound buses run from numerous national locations to a stop near the airport property entrance on E Buckeye Road, which is close to the rental car center.
The PHX Sky Train connects all three terminals and one of the economy parking lots with the main Valley Metro light rail service at the 44th Street station. The service runs from the north west of the city to the south east, which equates roughly to North Mountain Village to Mesa.
Amtrak also run services to the same station utilizing a bus transfer from nearby rail stops such as Flagstaff.
Airlines are often ignored when they ask passengers to get to the airport hours in advance. Phoenix Sky Harbor, though, has a reputation for getting incredibly busy at certain times of the day, which greatly slows down movement through the airport.
Give yourself a minimum of two hours to get through, check your bags in as early as possible and consider programs like TSA PreCheck and Global Entry to get through quicker.
T4 is packed with superb concessions and facilities, whilst the other two terminals are a bit thinner on the ground, so if you want to eat or shop to your heart’s content at the airport, try to leave yourself a bit of extra time to make the trip to T4 if you're not flying out of it.
The PHX Sky Train is a recent addition and an exceptional way to get around the various terminal buildings, as well as to connect quickly with public transport routes into the city center. It is completely free of charge and a fast and reliable way out of the airport to enjoy some time in Phoenix, if you happen to have a layover or flight delay.
Most of the airline lounges at PHX Airport offer day memberships to all passengers, but The Club has been established by the airport specifically for passengers without a membership or first-class ticket. It offers a much lower day membership fee, too. Benefits include a member lounge, free drinks, WiFi, newspapers, magazines, telephones, TV and work stations.
Phoenix Sky Harbor is open 24 hours, but most of its concessions shut down overnight and the terminals feel a little like ghost towns. Each terminal does have at least one 24-hour food offering and, as long as your meal includes fewer than three ounces of liquid, you can take it through security to eat airside. However, to guarantee a comfortable night, it's highly recommended that you catch one of the free shuttles to a nearby hotel.
Phoenix Sky Harbor is around the 30th-largest airport in the world with almost 45 million annual passengers, vying with Miami Airport as the 10th-largest airport in the USA. The entire airport property covers around 2,965 acres (1,200 hectares) of space, which also puts it in the top 30 worldwide by land area.
Phoenix Airport WiFi is not quite airport-wide, but it covers the main terminal, retail and gate areas and is easy to connect and entirely free. When you arrive at PHX Airport, simply set your wireless network to “Free PHX Boingo WiFi”, launch your web browser and sign up for a new account with an email address.
There are some limitations to the service, but there are also premium options that allow you to upload or download large files or view HD video. The network is connected to other Boingo services, so if you already have an account from another airport, you can use that. Everything on the network is WPA-2 encrypted.
PHX Airport is located centrally to Phoenix, directly between Central City and Tempe, alongside I-10 and I-17 and the Salt River. Sky Harbor Boulevard, the actual address, can be accessed from I-10 at the west end or freeways 143 or 202 at the east end.
Phoenix itself sits centrally in the state of Arizona, with New Mexico, California and Mexico all within a couple of hundred miles, whilst Nevada, Utah and Colorado sit a little further away to the north.
Smoking is not permitted anywhere indoors in the state of Arizona, but there are designated smoking areas outside the main terminal buildings pre-security at PHX.
Yes, Uber, Lyft and other shared-ride services can drop off and pick up passengers from outside the terminal buildings in the designated curbside areas.
The terminal buildings at PHX are open 24 hours and each terminal has at least one 24-hour restaurant, but most concessions shut down overnight and the big terminal buildings are left rather cold with regular loud announcements and tests of the fire alarm. Numerous nearby hotels offer free on-demand shuttles from the airport and offer the best chance to get a good rest.
Yes, there are three cell phone lots for PHX Airport. Two are located close to the economy parking lots at each end of the complex of terminal buildings. A third is located next to the 44th Street station where the PHX Sky Train calls.
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