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March 2023

Busy Spring Travel Season Made Easy with Travel Tips from PHX

After a record-breaking month in February, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport anticipates another travel peak in March with Spring travel.

Spring Break is in full effect, and in conjunction with the NASCAR Cup Series Championship and Major League Baseball Spring Training, we are guaranteed to be busy.

It is very important for passengers to plan ahead before they travel through Sky Harbor. Here are some travel tips:

  • Arrive early. Give yourself extra time in case of unforeseen delays. Arrive at least two hours early if you are flying domestically, and three for international travel.
  • Parking. Take a picture of the parking pillar closest to your car for easy reference when you return from your trip. We recommend parking at our new 24th Street PHX Sky Train® Station as it is often our least busy lot. Visit our Parking Rates and Directions page for rates, availability, directions, or to book your parking space.
  • Book Ahead. If you are looking to rent a car, we recommend reserving it in advance as vehicle availability may be limited for walk-up customers.
  • Reduce TSA Wait Time. Schedule a time to go through security checkpoint with our free PHX RESERVE Program. You can book your slot up to six days in advance.
  • Ride the PHX Sky Train®. Avoid terminal congestion by using our 44th Street or 24th Street PHX Sky Train Stations® for pick up and drop off. Trains arrive every 3-5 minutes, 24 hours a day and take you to both terminals, the Rental Car Center, and East Economy Parking.
  • Remember to look through your bags. Prior to arriving at the airport, check carry-on bags or purses for TSA prohibited items. In addition, travelers taking home a souvenir baseball bat from a Spring Training game will need to place it in checked luggage.
  • Check flight status. Visit to check flight status and to view security wait times.


For more travel tips, visit We look forward to welcoming you.

A Record-Breaking Day

It’s been a little more than a month since we welcomed visitors to Phoenix for the Big Game. A year of planning and preparation paid off as we welcomed a milestone number of visitors through our airport the day after the Super Bowl. In fact, Monday, Feb. 13, marked the single busiest day in our history as we had more than 200,000 visitors come through PHX. That’s compared to an average of 120,000 passengers who come through our doors each day.

Overall, we saw the following on Monday, Feb. 13:

  • 1,691 takeoffs and landings – compared to 1,200 on an average day
  • No wait time at the TSA security checkpoints was more than 22 minutes
  • 90,244 passengers screened, including charter and private aircraft operations. Of this, TSA screened 83,914 passengers through their checkpoints, making PHX the busiest airport in the nation.
  • 47,206 total checked bags including terminal and charter operations
  • 2,132 bags checked using the Early Bag Check service
  • More than 9,100 rental car returns and more than 5,600 rental car pick-ups
  • Nearly 50,000 people rode the PHX Sky Train®
  • 1,367 total taxi operations (pickups and drop offs)
  • 23,657 total rideshare operations (pickups and drop offs)
  • 313 business/corporate flight operations
    (arrivals and departures)
  • 12 charter operations

This was the fourth time we welcomed visitors to the area for the Big Game. Planning involved close coordination between the airlines, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), law enforcement, concessionaires, and the Super Bowl Host Committee. Many airport partners including the TSA brought in additional staff just for the event. We also had extra volunteers on hand including more than 80 volunteer Navigators and Navigator Buddy therapy dog teams as well as volunteers from the Super Bowl Host Committee.

10 Years of Growth—The PHX Sky Train® is Just Getting Started

The PHX Sky Train® has become such an integral part of the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport landscape that it’s difficult to remember a time when it didn’t exist. But that time was not long ago: The PHX Sky Train® is celebrating its 10th anniversary!

The first stage of the now-popular people mover opened April 8, 2013 with a 1.7-mile long track that connected Valley Metro Rail and the 44th Street PHX Sky Train®, East Economy Parking, and Terminal 4. The next 0.7-mile stage opened with service to Terminal 3 in December 2014.

The last stage is a 2.5 mile stretch of guideway that opened Dec. 19, 2022 completing the existing line by linking it to two new stations and an economy parking lot with 1,600 spaces.

The new stations at 24th Street and the Rental Car Center continue the tradition of showcasing original art:

  • From the Earth to the Sky by Bill Dambrova is the terrazzo floor in the Rental Car Center Station, while Sky Curtain envelopes the station with different colors that are revealed to passengers on the platform, and LED lighting that enhances the artwork at night.
  • Artist Frank Gonzales created Sonoran Essence to illustrate Arizona native plants in terrazzo on the 24th Street PHX Sky Train® Station floor.


This last stage of the PHX Sky Train® also received the Envision Gold Award from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure.

Most importantly, though, is the increased level of service for passengers. Originally, 7,000 people per day were predicted to use the airport transit service when it first opened, but those estimates ended up being about 10,000 people a day, and the one millionth passenger was recognized in July 2013.

In comparison, more than 705,000 passengers were counted in December 2022 alone, and more than 4.9 million passengers rode it all of last year. So far in January and February 2023, more than 2.2 million passengers have ridden the PHX Sky Train®, which is an average of almost 37,700 riders a day. Clearly, the last stage of the PHX Sky Train® proved to be a popular amenity.

For more information, visit

Eats and Treats: New Dining Options Across the Airport

Three new dining options landed at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in the first quarter of the year. Both terminals welcome highly anticipated special arrivals.

Terminal 4: Fazoli’s

​After a 14-year absence from the Valley, Italian-American fast-casual chain Fazoli’s has opened a location right here inside the airport. This arrival has been highly anticipated by local breadstick aficionados and will be the first of its kind appearing in an airport market.

Fazoli's has a lineup of mouthwatering quick-serve Italian selections that will include a breakfast menu for the early morning travelers. Travelers can find Fazoli’s in Terminal 4 post-security, situated between gates B6 and B13, next to OHSO Brewery. It is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Terminal 3: Humble Torta & Taco

Terminal 3 has a new dining option as Humble Torta & Taco debuts. Chef Jorge Gomez, a popular contestant of Food Network’s Chopped, brings his flare to the airport with a menu that includes an array of tortas, tacos, cheese crisps, sandwiches and even breakfast. Make sure to save room for churros covered in berries and syrup!

Rental Car Center: The Phoenix Magazine Café and Market

The Rental Car Center now houses a new option for hungry travelers. The Phoenix Magazine Café and Market offers beverages, sandwiches, and hot grab-n-go items.

A Night at the Museum at Sky Harbor

The Phoenix Airport Museum is excited to host its first ever Night at the Museum event on Friday, March 24 from 4-7 p.m. at Terminal 4, level 3 gallery.

The event is planned to celebrate the Museum’s current Artist and Researcher exhibition that presents art inspired by science. The exhibition was developed by the Phoenix Bioscience Core. Nine local artists were paired with researchers to create artwork based on their different areas of study. Working side-by-side in the lab, classroom and art studio, the resulting works are visual representations of the scientific progress happening in our city and state.

Come by to see what happens when the talents of both science and art join forces to communicate complex information in an approachable way through artworks.

Meet the researchers and artists involved in the program and learn about their collaboration. View artworks influenced by scientific investigation that explore concepts of communication, memory, emotion and circulation. Participate in an augmented reality experience that allows viewers to walk through sections of the brain.

Museum staff will be on hand with a fun art activity, treats and scavenger hunt guides to explore more art at the Airport. Whether you are traveling or not, this event is FREE to attend and open to the public.

Connect With Us!

Want to hear about new non-stop routes being added at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport? Are you a birdwatcher that enjoys sharing unique aircraft photographs? Want to know about parking specials or the latest additions to restaurants and shops at the airport? Connect with us on our social media. From Travel Tuesdays on Instagram to Fan Friday photos of planes on Facebook, we look forward to hearing from you. Search for us, @phxskyharbor on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube and LinkedIn.

On-the-FLY Award Tackles Lost Keepsake

Traveling through airports can be stressful; from feeling rushed to get to the gate on time to the busy crowds, it is easy for passengers to feel overwhelmed. We take pride in being America's Friendliest Airport® and want to hear about your customer service experience. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport developed the On-the-FLY award program to award employees who exemplify the airport’s mission to ensure a positive customer experience.

Two members of the Operations Division team received praise from a very grateful father.

Manny M. and Mogos A. found a Green Bay Packers Cheesehead hat in a terminal. A father and his son went to Wisconsin for a Monday night football game and flew back home to Phoenix, but they forgot the hat in the gate area.

The father worked in the Lost and Found office in the past and remembered how amazing the Operations team is. At the curb, the father found Manny on a Segway and told him their story. He immediately got hold of Mogos who was in the terminal. After explaining, Mogos went to the gate and located the lost keepsake and rushed it curbside to the anxious boy.

A happy dad shared, “I cannot express how happy my boys were and how grateful I am that I worked in Lost and Found and remembered how awesome the PHX operations team is. I really don’t believe any other airport would have cared about a Cheesehead hat but that thought never even their crossed minds. They just focused on finding what we lost and that meant the world to me and my family!”

Share your positive customer service story and nominate an employee for an On-the-FLY award at

Birdwatcher’s Report

Check out this retro-looking livery from American Airlines that Instagram follower Michael (@737_luv) spotted at Terminal 4 recently. This Boeing 737-800 is part of a set of “heritage” liveries and was added to its fleet in December 2015. The plane pays homage to former carrier AirCal, which was acquired by American in 1987. There have been seven heritage planes in total.

Photo courtesy of 737_luv on Instagram