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March 2022

Meet Sophia Philis-Ortiz Managing Director for American Airlines

Sophia began her position last October after previous Managing Director John Daley retired. In her role, Sophia is a highly visible leader that oversees American’s daily operations and more than 4,000 local team members responsible for customer care, customer operations, maintenance, passenger service and more.

She brings with her more than 20 years of experience in the industry. She began her career as an agent while working her way through college and found it to be so rewarding that she stuck with it. Her passion for aviation has led her to numerous roles within the industry including a range of customer service and operations positions with American Airlines at all three New York-area airports, Philadelphia and Dulles International and has separately held management roles with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Prior to relocating to Phoenix, she served as Managing Director of Customer Operations for American Airlines at Philadelphia International Airport, leading team members responsible for ramp operations, aircraft servicing and baggage handling.

What’s a typical day like?

“As cliché as it sounds, I’m not sure that any day could be defined as typical. Sure, we come to work every day with the goal of living out our purpose to care for people on life’s journey. But, each day is different and presents new and unique challenges for our local, world-class team to navigate. I’m truly proud of all that the team accomplishes here at the airport each day.”

What have been your impressions so far here at PHX?

“Since moving to Phoenix, I’ve really enjoyed meeting new people and exploring new places. The region is so beautiful and offers a lot for locals and visitors alike.” 

What do you hope to achieve here in PHX in the next year?

“If you ask any of my friends, colleagues or family, they will tell you that I’m highly competitive and I like to win. I’m a huge believer in putting in the hard work that yields results, but also making sure that teams are set up with the tools they need to succeed. Internally at American, we have this competition called the Customer Cup. This year, I’m focused on connecting with and supporting our local team so that they are set up to succeed and bring the Customer Cup back to Phoenix.”

What is your favorite thing to do in Phoenix?

“I’m very much an adventure-seeker. I like to explore and see the many sights that the region has to offer­­.”

Sophia holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Felician University. Sophia spends time away from the Airport with her family and volunteers for causes such as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.


More Local Shops & Restaurants Coming to America’s Friendliest Airport®

Have you heard the news?  In early March, Phoenix City Council approved the recommended proposals for new restaurants, shops, and a common use lounge in Terminal 4’s new concourse. As a result, travelers will have even more local dining options to enjoy while visiting the airport as well as new local shops to peruse.

The Grove, Inc., was awarded the Food and Beverage Concessions Phase 1 Package. Concepts that will be included as part of the Grove’s operations are local concepts Pedal Haus Brewery and Berry Divine – Acai Bowls; regional concepts Bobby’s Burgers and Eegee’s; and national concept Chick-Fil-A.

Emerging Domestic Market Ventures, LLC was awarded the Food and Beverage Concessions Phase 1 Package 2. Their outlet Sip Coffee & Beer will feature menu concepts from local Arizona companies such as CULT Artisan Beverage Company, Native Ground Coffee, Mother Road Brewing Company, Tres Leches Café, Wild Tonic Kombucha, Half Moon Empanadas, San Tan Brewery, Real American Hero Coffee Company, Cactus Licker Coffee, Wild Tonic, and Salud Eats.

Marshall Retail Group, LLC and CASA Unlimited are also teaming up to bring local concepts into their convenience store and high-tech store. These include products from local favorites Changing Hands Bookstore and Melrose Pharmacy.

And, for those travelers looking for a lounge, the new concourse will feature a common use lounge. AD Partnership LLC dba Sapphire Lounge by the Club will open a 3,500-square-feet of space and provide travelers with access to a destination to relax or work.

Read our press release for full details. Our new Terminal 4 eighth concourse will open this summer and feature eight gates occupied by Southwest Airlines.

PHXReserve1 Now at Sky Harbor: PHX RESERVE. Save Your Place. Reduce Your Wait.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport now has a free virtual reservation pilot program to assist airport passengers getting through the TSA security checkpoints.

The program, called PHX RESERVE, provides passengers with the ability to schedule a specific time to get in the TSA Security Checkpoint line. Reservations can be made up to three days before a passenger’s flight and can be scheduled for between one and four hours before flight departure.

The service is currently available between 4 a.m. and 3 p.m. in Terminal 3. On March 18, the service will be available in Terminal 4. Hours of operation for Terminal 4 will be 5:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. The service will be available at the D Checkpoint.

Those traveling together (up to 10) can utilize the same appointment. Learn more about the program.

Spring Travel Tips

Spring is in the air, and so are the travelers, headed in and out of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport for Spring Break. Arizona is a popular destination this time of year for our warm weather and highly anticipated events, festivals and sights dotting the calendar all season long. March is the busiest month at America’s Friendliest Airport®, but don’t let that intimidate you. We’ve prepared some helpful tips so you can spend less time worrying and more time enjoying the moments you have.

Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays are typically the busiest days at the Airport.

Check your flight status online and give yourself extra time. Arrive at least two hours before your domestic flight, or three hours if you’re flying internationally. Give a buffer for unanticipated occurrences along your way, such as higher than usual traffic.

Check out the different parking options available and book in advance. Visit our parking page to learn more about choices like premium parking or valet.

Review the TSA requirements for carry-on and checked baggage. TSA’s Travel Checklist may help remind and identify what is allowed through security.

Many airlines have free apps you can access on your phone to download a mobile boarding pass or check your flight status before you even set foot in the airport. This can save a great deal of time especially if you aren’t checking luggage.

Take advantage of new services such as PHX RESERVE to get you into the TSA Security Checkpoint line faster. This free pilot program allows travelers to schedule a time to get in line and reduce the time waiting in general travel lines.

Traveling out of Terminal 4?  Remember -  All Checkpoints. All Gates.  You can use any of the security checkpoints to access your gate so if you see one checkpoint line has a longer wait, feel free to use any of the others to get you to your gate faster.

Utilize the 44th Street PHX Sky Train® Station when picking up or dropping off. This location is ideal to avoid heavy traffic and curb congestion at the terminals. The PHX Sky Train® is free and will effortlessly take you to or from both terminals. Learn more.

Consider updating to an approved Arizona Travel ID (driver license or ID card). Only this form of ID or other federally approved identifications will get you through TSA airport security checkpoints beginning May 3, 2023. Don’t delay!

See more travel tips.

Come Take A Tour – In Person or Virtually

After taking a pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person airport tours are back at Phoenix Sky Harbor and going strong.

Approximately 1,000 people have signed up for more than 20 tours since the Community Outreach team resumed the popular, informational sessions last fall.

The tours are an excellent way for schools, business groups and individuals to learn first-hand about America’s Friendliest Airport®. The tours include a ride on the PHX Sky Train®, seeing the Airport Museum Gallery, visiting the various levels of the terminals, and watching aircraft takeoff and land atop a garage rooftop, among other things.

Pre-scheduled airport tours for groups 30 or fewer are available on the second Tuesday of the month from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and the fourth Thursday of the month from 1:30 to 3 p.m. 

Tours for larger groups also can be arranged with Aviation staff. In addition, tours are available in Spanish. 

To learn more about or sign up for an airport tour, visit

Can’t make it to a tour? Check out our virtual tour to the left.

Fly Year-round to Montreal

Air Canada recently released their summer 2022 schedule which included extending the Montreal air service to Phoenix beginning May 3. The year-round service will operate on Air Canada mainline twice a week. Montreal to Phoenix flights will operate on Tuesdays and Saturdays with departures from Phoenix happening on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

“People are ready to travel, and we’re excited to launch new year-round service between Phoenix and Montreal starting May 3 with two flights per week, operated with a Boeing 737 Max featuring Business Class and Economy Class cabins,” said Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President, Network Planning & Revenue Management at Air Canada. “With overall travel demand accelerating, our flights linking Phoenix and Montreal will be of interest to customers visiting friends and family, and those looking to explore Quebec. This route will reconnect two well established business regions and Air Canada’s flights are scheduled to connect easily to a myriad of flights across Canada and Europe through our Montreal international hub. We look forward to welcoming you onboard.”

Phoenix Job Fairs April 5th to May 3rd 2022

Time is Money, but Airport Parking Can Cost Less

Your spring break might be over, but you can get a head start on saving cash for your next fun vacation by saving 25% off terminal garage parking.

Parking in our terminal garages gives you a short walk to your gate, and the price of your parking stay won’t surge unexpectedly.

Beginning March 28, simply go to and book a minimum two-day stay using promo code April22. No advance purchase is necessary.

While you’re there, register for our Loyalty Program (there's no fee to enroll) before your next reservation and start earning points for free parking.

Birdwatcher’s Report

There’s no sunset like an Arizona sunset! Our runway sits right in the center of the City of Phoenix. Thanks to Instagram follower @lainadawn for capturing the natural beauty of America's fifth-largest city.