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Arriving in Phila. on Sept.27th

HI! Does anyone have any advice for me? We are coming home from a RS My Way Europe tour and are arriving at the Philadelphia Airport Sept 27th, the day the Pope is leaving from there!!! I hear it's suppose to be like a Thanksgiving travel day. We have a puddle jumper to Harrisburg. Pleas keep good thoughts for us!!!!!

Posted by
2206 posts

From what you are saying you should be fine as you will not have to leave the airport. Ground transit here will be a disaster the entire weekend, with the regional trains boarding only at their starting points, and the subway lines discharging only on the outskirts of center city and not going through. The big event, the Sunday Mass on the parkway, is scheduled to start at 4PM. I would imagine that your plane would be arriving between 3 and 4 PM (that's when we get our flights from Europe), so the airport should not get overrun with the Pope and his entourage, or the exiting attendees before you get out of here

As an aside, early this month we jumped on some low advertised fares and booked a trip that while we planned out the rest of it, we did not pay close attention to the date we set to leave here. We fly out of PHL 5:45Pm on Tuesday September 29 and have to connect in Frankfurt. I am a bit concerned about the problems we may still have getting to PHL on that Tuesday afternoon, or the continuing effect on the airport handling its traffic.

Posted by
256 posts

Thanks for the info. I will keep good thoughts for You too!!

Posted by
1589 posts

Chris, there is a train that will take you to 30th st station directly from the airport, where you may pick up the westbound train to Harrisburg. Much faster & cheaper route imo. We use this on a regular basis so feel free to PM..

Posted by
2206 posts

And that train will not be running on Sept 27. The regional rails are off schedule both days. See this link: http://www.septa.org/fares/special-papal-visit.html You will not be able to get off for 30th Street, and you won't be able to connect to it, since the subways will not be stopping at the various center city stations. For that matter, you won't even be able to get tickets unless they are bought through the upcoming lottery.

I'm here in Philadelphia, and we need to know what is happening for all my various family. Feel free to PM me for more info, but you already have this solved with your connection to Harrisburg.

Posted by
256 posts

Philadelphia Armageddon!! Good luck everyone!! =]

Posted by
2206 posts

What is amazing is the lack of planning at the service level. No public transit and center city cordoned off. And exactly how are people to get to hospitals (let alone the staff), the elderly taken care of, and so on. It's really bizarre. The 1.5 million expected for the mass will need to eat - and the restaurants won't be able to get food delivered, or for that matter their employees to get there.

Posted by
256 posts

Loaves and fishes! Opps, that lightening bolt just missed me!=P

Posted by
2206 posts

LOL. The city was given some hard lessons about the transit system back in 2008 with the Phillies' World Series parade. Unfortunately, it looks like they did not solve the probelm.

FWIW, Pope's plane is scheduled to leave at 8, we presume it is some kind of private plane, do not know if it is his own puddle-jumper that is bringing him from JFK Saturday to take him to his transatlantic plane, or if that will be here. But I am guessing either no or minimal disruption to your scheduled flight. I happen to have picked up the PHL Flight Guide last time through, and I see a couple of flights that could be yours before the Pope's flight. And no matter what, these planes have to fly to get to their next position.

If I am reading through the RS stuff properly, seems that you are coming in from Rome. Now that would be ironic!

Posted by
921 posts

Myself, I would keep to the puddle jumper and not attempt the trains. One of the train station towns (where the trains will actually stop) just asked for federal disaster relief funds in advance to add extra police, etc. I work in CC Philly and am glad my home station stop is not functioning during the visit. I am staying home. Now my station is withing walking distance of St. Charles, however... Not sure if our local Catholic church is the closest to where he will be staying, but I will kindof, sortof, be looking forward to a surprise visit and loitering around the church that morning. Good thoughts to you. Better the airport than 30th St Station, I am thinking.

Posted by
256 posts

Well,OMG!! You are right, we are returning from Rome! Maybe we will be like two ships passing in the night!! My only other concern is that they put us in some kind of holding pattern but you are right, gotta keep things moving. We do get in hopefully around 3:30-4. I wouldn't be opposed to catching a quick glimpse of him!!! It should be interesting. Hope your flight goes well.

Posted by
2206 posts

Debbie: As I said already, and posted the link, you cannot take the train. Have you looked at what SEPTA is doing? The trains will only be going outbound at that time, you can only get on at one location, and that's if you already have the pass. When a train reaches its discharge point, it will be reversed and returned to its starting point WITHOUT picking up passengers. You will not be able to get in from the airport via the Regional Rail lines that evening. And even in the mornings, those riders from the airport will have to be discharged from the airport train at Jefferson Station, and would then have to walk to 30th street. This is not a matter of choosing options. There are NO options.

Posted by
921 posts

Thanks. I know Septa is basically offline except for those who win a lottery Pope Pass. I was thinking the train reference was to Amtrak. I have not been keeping up with that, but here is the popefrancisvisit website is saying:

OPTION A:
Amtrak passenger trains will require a special pass for that weekend in order to board the train.
Officials encourage passengers to book tickets as far in advance as possible, and based on those bookings Amtrak will add coaches – and possibly even operate extra trains – as necessary. All Amtrak trains will require reservations the weekend of the Papal visit. Passengers will not be permitted to purchase tickets on board trains.
Amtrak will provide complete service information and updates on its website, www.amtrak.com.

Posted by
2206 posts

Amtrak and SEPTA are separate. Anyone arriving on Amtrak will find they have to walk from 30th Street as SEPTA will not be open for service going eastbound from there. Any trains going to/from Jefferson will not stop there, and the Market street El will reverse westbound from there (while inbound trains from Frankford will reverse at 2nd Street). There will be one train stopping there and reversing, but that is from Eastwick, not the airport. A nasty highway walk from the airport. From what I can gather, the decisions regarding the SEPTA services are based on being able to return every train back to the starting point as rapidly as possible. BTW, the Pope's schedule is available online, no surprise visits.