Comparing Boston Airports (BOS vs. MHT vs. PVD)


Traveling to Boston means you have your pick of airports, as there are three servicing the area. Airports in Boston range from high-end to local, and knowing what to expect can help you choose the right airport for your needs and your budget.

In Boston, you will have three options. Logan International Airport (BOS) is the main airport and sees the greatest number of passengers in any given year. Its reliever is T. F. Green Airport (PVD). The final airport which serves domestic flights is the Manchester Boston Regional Airport (MHT), which is the smallest of them all. These are the only airports near Boston.

Which one is right for you? What are each airports’ features?

Logan International Airport (BOS)

Logan International Airport (BOS) is the only one of Boston’s airports that is actually within the city. The other Boston airports are about an hour’s drive from the city, though they still serve Boston and have plenty of connections available to facilitate this. BOS, on the other hand, is only 3.8 miles from the city.

BOS is the largest of the airports in the vicinity and acts as the main gateway. It is also the largest operating airport in Massachusetts. It will see between 35 million to 41 million people every year, and offers the greatest amenities and options for passengers to spend their time.

It is the closest to the city’s top attractions, has more than 160 restaurants to choose from, and sells products from over 1000 of the world’s top brands. These amenities do mean that it is in some ways more expensive than other options, particularly its hotels which will cost you more to stay in than the other hotels. On the offset, they do cater to the greatest number of airlines, and flight costs to international destinations can be cheaper and are direct.

Getting there can be done easily with public transport that costs $1.70 each way, or by renting a vehicle. As you won’t be wasting a huge amount of time in traffic as you would at the other airports, renting a vehicle can mean you can immediately get to your destination and have a cost-friendly ride throughout your trip.

Manchester Boston Regional Airport (MHT)

The Manchester Boston Regional Airport (MHT) is located 52.5 miles away and will require a 50-minute commute from the city center, though there are transportation options for both budget and luxury travelers to get to and from the city. MHT will see over 1 million passengers every year, and its flights will predominately be domestic. Getting an international flight (with a transfer at another hub) is typically more expensive for MHT compared to BOS.

Hotels surrounding this airport, however, are much more budget-friendly, and this airport can be a good option if you are traveling to cities such as Washington, Chicago, or Orlando.

T. F. Green Airport (PVD)

Of the nearby airports outside Boston, T. F. Green Airport offers the larger amenities and a greater list of connections. It is the reliever for BOS airport and will see on average of 3 million passengers every year. You can get to the airport via bus, cab, taxi, or a car hire service. It is, however, the furthest airport from Boston. At 59.3 miles away, it will take approximately 1 hour in good traffic to reach Boston. That being said, it is the second-most used airport and offers both domestic flights and flights to Canada.

Which is the Best Airport to Fly To and From?

The best airport to fly to and from is the Logan International Airport. Its size can be intimidating, but with free shuttles between its terminals and a tourist information desk in every terminal, you are sure to find your way and enjoy your time waiting for your plane. Though hotels will be more expensive, the flights are typically lower than the other options (for international flights), and with so many restaurants and shopping options, the struggle isn’t to spend time, it’s to get to your gate in time.

That being said, the other airports have their benefits. All three offer high-speed internet and fast processing times through security and check-in. BOS ranks third for check-in and security speeds due to its high volume of passengers.

MHT and PVD will also offer domestic flights by domestic and budget carriers, though the distance could mean that the cost of getting to and from the airport negates the cost savings you may see for the flight.

For visitors to the city center, BOS is going to be your best bet. It has the amenities, the connections, and the options that international and domestic travelers are looking for.