This trip came right after the Southeast visit, as I flew up to Philadelphia to meet up with my friend Phillip (who I traveled through Australia with during our 2016 Australia Trip). Upon arrival to Philadelphia, we only knew of where we were hoping to go, but it was not yet guaranteed to occur as we would be going standby thanks to the use of his flight benefits. We knew that we were intending to go to Oktoberfest in Munich, but upon searching flights before I even left for Atlanta, we were seeing that direct flights to Munich, Germany were looking pretty full, so we decided on looking into an alternative route, seeing that the flight to Zurich, Switzerland from Philadelphia had quite a few empty seats, so we made plans to try for that flight, but would not know for certain until closer to departure whether we would get on the flight or not.
In the meantime, I had arrived the previous night, while Phillip was coming in around the middle of the afternoon. I would have loved to be able to put my bags in storage and take a train into the city center for the morning and early afternoon since I had not been to the heart of Philly since 2006, but most American airports have no luggage storage to take advantage of, and the hotel I was staying at wasn’t exactly the most convenient to get to from the airport nor did I think they would have luggage storage. So I would have about 7 hours to kill at the airport while waiting for the flight Phillip and I were hoping for.
Upon going through security and into the terminal, I would soon discover that Philadelphia’s airport isn’t exactly the most exciting to be in for an extended period of time, but there were several features that I would like about it. This would include a variety of displays in the terminals such as art work, a LEGO replica of the Liberty Bell, and a whole wall dedicated to movies that were based and filmed in Philadelphia. Sports fans may also appreciate the display dedicated to the Philadelphia Eagles, which gave some great insight into the teams history. The true highlight for the first while of my time at the airport though came from the stop at Minute Suites.
Having my membership to Priority Pass came in really handy here, as it was accepted here. Essentially, Minute Suites is a small room that features a t.v., internet access, and a daybed for those who would like to rest for a bit. While the hourly rate may be a bit steep at $48/hr., the Priority Pass grants its members one hour with the pass, then you would pay for each hour after. This is a perfect place for those who want a quick nap away from the crowds, or would like a quieter space for the sake of completing work, giving a level of privacy that is normally not found in most areas or even lounges at airports.
After a bit more wondering around the airport, it was time for some lunch, and that would come courtesy of a favorite that I was not aware was based out of Philadelphia, Chickie’s & Pete’s. I had previously experienced this restaurant at Cedar Point, and it’s claim to fame are the Crab Fries, which are crinkle-cut fries covered in crab seasoning, and served with a side of melted cheese for dipping. They come in large portions, so if you’re going solo, it may not be the worst thing to order the fries alone as it can be quite filling.
After some food and some time doing some work on videos and reports, Phillip would arrive and we took a stroll around the airport until it was close to time for the flight we hoped to take to depart. As we arrived to the gate, the flight would still have a lot of empty seats, so we were good to go and given our boarding passes to the flight, ensuring that we would be going to Switzerland!
Our plan upon finding out that we were set for this flight, we would enjoy a day of exploring Zurich, and then stay somewhere local before making our way to Munich for Oktoberfest. As the trip would go, it would take a lot of turns and changes since it was dependent of being able to make certain flights, but of course, the first thing to do was to make our way over to Europe!