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Phoenix Airport Mini Guide
What’s so Special About Phoenix?
The name of the city says it all. This is one of the most inhospitable parts of the South Western United States and yet, like the Phoenix from the ashes, the city has grown from the fire of the desert to become the only US state capital to have a population of over a million. Two rivers, the Salt and the Verde flow through the city and the volume of water has seen agriculture practised extensively across this part of the state. Today, the water needs of agriculture and the city have reduced the rivers to a trickle in the height of summer but there’s still enough to water golf courses and to provide a lake for residents to cool off in.
How do I get to Phoenix?
Phoenix has one of the largest passenger and cargo airports in the US with over 38m people using the facilities last year. It’s only three miles from the city centre and reachable with ease from the airport. British Airways fly daily from London Heathrow
whilst US Airways have Phoenix as their main international hub.
What is the Airport Like?
The airport has three terminals, strangely numbered as 2, 3 and 4. Terminal 4 handles all international flights as it has the TSA security checkpoints. Most of the terminals are over 30 years old and look a little tired on the outside with some looking like multi-storey car parks. Terminal 4 is the most modern whilst the others have had an interior facelift.
What’s the Procedure When I Arrive at Phoenix?
As with most modern airports you’ll leave the plane via a jet bridge entering a short concourse. As this bottlenecks, you’ll join a moving walkway that will take you to the security points. After passing through security, domestic flights will go straight into the terminal building whilst international flights have the extra customs and immigration checks to deal with. Already you’ll see that there are plenty of shops to browse, both in the terminal and on the concourse should you want to wait until the security check queues have diminished. In the arrivals hall you’ll find more shops and banks together with the airport information desks, one at each end of the hall, if you didn’t get the information you wanted from the passenger information desks at the end of each concourse.
Car rental is available at the airport but you’ll have to contact them on the courtesy phones on the baggage reclaim (ground floor). Once ready to leave the arrivals hall to collect your baggage, take the elevators to the ground floor where airport displays will show you belt number.
What is There to do at the Airport on the day of my departure?
Whilst checking in, the thought of all that shopping you saw when you arrived will already be going through your mind. Get your bags and boarding passes sorted then head up to the departures level on the second floor. Check out all the shops there first and perhaps grab a meal before heading through security to yet more shops and snack food if you’re still hungry. If you’ve got your laptop with you, you’ll also be able to spend your time online for free by connecting to the airport’s Wi-Fi network.