Travel

Logan Airport’s Top Airline Showdown: JetBlue vs. Delta

The race is on: This month, Delta is taking over Terminal A as part of its plan to dethrone JetBlue as the busiest carrier at Logan. As both companies sprint toward offering 200 outgoing flights a day—and earning the title of Boston’s unofficial airline—we ask: Who will reign supreme?


Photo illustration by Kristen Goodfriend / Source photos by iStock

JetBlue

Terminal Experience: While it shares a few gates with other airlines, JetBlue dominates Terminal C, arguably Logan’s finest. Grab a flight of Sam Adams and a Wahlburger, or freshly shucked oysters at Legal Sea Foods, while waiting to board.

Legroom: With 34 inches (nearly 3 feet!) of space all to yourself in economy—more than any other U.S. airline—you’ll feel like you need binoculars to see the TV screen on the back of the seat in front of you.

Punctuality: Want an excuse to buy more airport souvenirs? You’re in luck—27 percent of JetBlue’s flights are late to take off. Delays average around 74 minutes, which means you’ll be happy to have access to Terminal C’s many amenities.

Rewards: Rewards programs offer two things: free flights and special standing that shows off how much you fly. JetBlue gives members three points per $1 spent on flights—double if you book on jetblue.com—but there’s only one “elite” tier frequent fliers can earn.

Destinations: While JetBlue’s service is primarily limited to the United States and Caribbean islands, the airline says it will offer the most nonstop flights out of Boston of any carrier by this fall. And nothing beats direct.

Delta

Terminal Experience: This month, the airline is kicking Southwest out of Terminal A, by far the airport’s grittiest, and taking all but one of the gates for itself. Right now it’s got a Dunkin’—which is great—but not much else.

Legroom: Long-legged travelers, ready your knees: Like its rivals United and American, Delta offers economy passengers a cramped 31 inches of space. This is probably what upgrades are for.

Punctuality: Delays average 67 minutes, but since only 15 percent of Delta flights depart after they’re supposed to, odds are
you won’t have to worry about it. Business-meeting-bound travelers, rejoice.

Rewards: Delta’s SkyMiles program gives frequent fliers what they really want: a byzantine hierarchy of statuses and special perks that truly rewards flying all the time. If hearing “Diamond Medallion status” makes you feel a little taller, Delta is for you.

Destinations: If you’re going international, Delta’s hard to resist, with flights departing to 52 countries on every continent except Antarctica—and who wants to go there, anyway?

Champion

As Delta and JetBlue duke it out for Bostonians’ hearts and wallets, there’s only one sure-fire winner: us.