I spend a lot of time in airports these days. They are all pretty much the same but I am finding some things that differentiate them. Small things but after a while they add up. take comparing Manchester (MHT) and Logan (BOS).

Both are about the same difference in time and miles from my house. Well depending on the time of day. Getting to BOS for a morning flight can take upwards of 2 hours while it never takes more than 45 minutes to get to MHT. Big win MHT.

And wi-fi access? Free at MHT but expensive at BOS. Lots of airports have free wi-fi these days and while it is a small thing I see it as a leading indicator. Airports with free wi-fi seem to generally be more passenger friendly to me. They tend to all be cleaner, newer, have better amenities but also be smaller. Although Orlando airport is huge it does have free wi-fi and lots of other things to recommend it. Yeah I’m a fan.

MHT is smaller than BOS and that cuts both ways. As a plus if means you don’t have to go running around as much. One time I flew out of BOS on Delta and back on Northwest. That meant that the parking lot that was easy when I got there was a long walk when I got back. And heaven help you if you enter the wrong terminal for a flight!

Speaking of parking. MHT is $10 a day for long term parking while BOS is $24 a day. Huge difference and that has to be factored in when you price flights to/from either airport. For a five day trip a fare from BOS must be at least $70 less than MHT if you are going to leave your car at the airport. Yes at MHT you may have to take a shuttle but the shuttles are quick, clean and convenient when compared to a long walk through BOS Central Parking.

BOS has more food choices – they’re very limited at MHT. Sometimes that is a big plus for BOS. BOS also has more airlines and more direct flights. But prices? Usually I don’t find a lot of difference. Sometimes the flights are less expensive from BOS and sometimes from BOS. This is even without figuring in the costs of parking. Since MHT is much easier – physiologically even if the traffic is not an issue – to get to I find it a lot easier to find rides to MHT than to BOS. And honestly traffic is almost always an issue.

So hands down I need a really good reason to fly out of Logan (BOS) if I can also fly out of MHT. No contest.

Note: Written from gate 3 at MHT and posted using the free wi-fi.

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