You are currently viewing Boston Logan quietly opened its international terminal expansion — here’s a look inside

Boston Logan quietly opened its international terminal expansion — here’s a look inside

Boston Logan Airport opened the long-awaited expansion of its international terminal on Tuesday, adding four new gates and a spacious, airy terminal area for passengers — along with a brand new, top-tier Delta Sky Club lounge.

Despite the years of anticipation over the Terminal E expansion, Tuesday’s opening saw little fanfare, with the new gates abruptly being put into use and barriers being removed from the hallway between the existing terminal and the new gates. In fact, the only thing that would let a casual traveler know that something was new was the ribbon cutting upstairs at the Sky Club.


A spokesperson for Massport, the state-controlled authority that oversees the airport, told TPG that it was waiting to make an official opening announcement until this fall, noting that the addition was still missing some concessions and a public display (a new TSA checkpoint has also not yet opened).

Want more airline- and airport-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free biweekly Aviation newsletter.

Nevertheless, the terminal extension is open to passengers and the new gates are in use. Any ticketed passenger passing through Terminal E — or walking over from the connected Terminals B or C — can take a look at the area. So that’s exactly what this reporter did before a flight on Thursday morning.

Even with the soft-launch, the new terminal area is strikingly different than its older section down the hall, and for travelers more familiar with Logan, the new gates will already offer a much-needed relief valve and a figurative breath of fresh air.

First announced in 2018, the extension was originally intended to add seven new gates to the 12 existing ones. Revenue loss during the pandemic led to budget cuts, with the scope of the project reduced to include four new gates. Massport said earlier this year that three more gates could be added to the extension at a later point.


From the outside, the new building connects abruptly to the existing terminal with a conspicuously different design. At once both futuristic and retro, the exterior evokes both a flying saucer, and the famous 1960s TWA terminal at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). The color, a deep, bright red, is unique to the terminal and patented by the building’s architect, Luis Vidal, as “Boston Red,” according to an interview earlier this year in the Boston Globe.

Inside, the extension is just as strikingly different from the original terminal.


The older building is perfectly serviceable but is showing its age and limitations. The terminal opened in the mid-1970s to serve 10 international airlines and 1.5 million international passengers, according to the Globe.


However, more than two dozen airlines use that terminal now, with more than four times as many passengers.


As a result, the original dozen gates can feel crowded, even spread across three distinct wings. Although the airport often does a good job of staggering departures across the 12 gates to avoid any area becoming too packed, congestion is occasionally inevitable.


Lower ceilings and a lack of natural light through much of the terminal, even though there are windows through much of the hallway, only enhance the occasional claustrophobic feeling, and insufficient amenities like restaurants and bars can make a long wait to board feel endless.


The new addition, however, manages to strike a different note. The ceilings are high; huge floor-to-ceiling windows face the airfield, letting in plenty of light before sunset; there are plenty of seats near the gates.


Really, the airfield views are excellent.

A large duty-free shop in the center of the hallway near gate 13, at the end of the wing closest to the original terminal, takes up a lot of space, detracting from the overall feeling.

Still, there are plenty of seats and tables in the center of that hall, and while there are not currently any new restaurants open, signs and construction walls mark where they’re coming, set into the wall, against the windows, and in the terminal.

A new Legal Seafoods is practically a prerequisite for every gate area at Logan, while an expansive bar from Boston Distillery looks promising. Coffee shops and stores are also in the works.

There’s also plenty of seating available near the gates, separate from the various restaurants and stores, much of which is equipped with power outlets.

New Boston SkyClub lounge

The Delta lounge, meanwhile, is a major improvement for SkyTeam travelers, but especially for Delta flyers.

Delta moved its international departures to Terminal E last year, which allowed it to turn planes around faster. Previously, Delta, like United Airlines and American Airlines, would drop off international passengers at Terminal E, which has a passport control station, and then ferry the aircraft to its normal terminal.

When Delta moved the departures, it opened a temporary “Express” concept Sky Club in the terminal, promising an eventual permanent location.


That lounge opened along with the terminal on Tuesday, and is the only lounge in the new extension, suggesting that Delta’s international flights will primarily depart from the new gates.

Air France, British Airways, Emirates and Lufthansa operate lounges in the original terminal, while a Virgin Atlantic lounge is currently closed — Delta’s managing director of Sky Clubs, Claude Roussel, told TPG that Virgin Atlantic premium passengers would have access to the Sky Club.

The degree to which the new gates can help with the crowding remains to be seen as the terminal extensions helps BOS finish out the summer travel season, and as the remaining amenities are finalized and opened.

Nevertheless, the 33% increase in gate capacity can only be good news for an airport that is increasingly serving as an international gateway to the U.S.