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Delta Officially Crowns Boston (BOS) a Hub; Names Several “Focus Cities”

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Financial District Skyline and Harbour at Dusk, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Photo credit: © iStock.com/tifonimages
© iStock.com/tifonimages

Delta announced Monday that Boston Logan International Airport is officially the airline’s newest hub city, writes FlightGlobal’s Edward Russell. Austin (AUS), Cincinnati (CVG), Nashville (BNA), Raleigh/Durham (RDU), and San Jose (SJC) were designated as the mothership’s latest “focus cities.”

One naturally assumes BOS will provide more domestic options but also become another transatlantic option for Delta flyers.

Delta metal will operate flights from Boston to Amsterdam, Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London Heathrow, and Paris. This opens the door to more Elite Mileage Runs — like the BOS to LHR run we posted last week.

FWIW, Logan is already home to a pair of Sky Clubs. No word as to whether any new locations at BOS will be added or if the existing ones will receive any renovations. UPDATE: A few readers have told us — via comments below and direct email — that one of the clubs is undergoing renovations.

I assume we’ll see a number of the retrofitted Delta One 767-400s pass through BOS — on transcons and TATL flights. At least, we can only hope, especially after YouTuber Paul Lucas posted a vlog of his embarrassing D1 experience.

Delta’s New “Focus Cities”

Austin (AUS)

Austin is home to Delta’s newest — and, in my opinion, nicest — Sky Club. The city is booming and Delta can’t add flights fast enough. I’ve flown into AUS a couple of times this year — and received a #bumpertunity on a Wednesday to SLC. In fact, a red coat told me how full or oversold many flights are.

Cincinnati (CVG / WKRP)

I find it interesting that Delta has named an existing hub as a focus city. Cincinnati has long been a Delta staple — but seen its mothership traffic shrink. It’s nice to see Delta recommit — at least a little — to CVG.

Nashville (BNA)

Nashville is, to a degree, like Austin: a big music city whose other business and real estate opportunities have grown nicely. It’ll be interesting to see which cities / routes Delta adds to BNA.

Raleigh/Durham (RDU)

RDU already serves all Delta hubs, as well as several other destinations, including Madison, Indianapolis, Orlando, Miami, and a few more. Internationally, it operates a flight to/from Paris (CDG). Does this mean we’ll maybe see one or two more European destinations from RDU?

San Jose (SJC)

Delta has the right idea with expanding its San Jose options. SJC is much closer to the tech industry than SFO. And thanks to that, more and more “new money” is settling down in San Jose — and Delta surely hopes to gain some of their business.

There is no Sky Club at SJC, though there is The CLUB, accessible through Priority Pass.

What Do You Think?

What are your thoughts on Delta designating BOS as its newest hub? Do you like DL’s choice of focus cities? Tell us in the comment section below! – Chris

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


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16 Comments

  1. We were in Boston early May and the Delta Skylounge was undergoing some sort of construction. They had part of it blocked off and announced they are expanding it further.

  2. I can’t help but think with Delta building out their BOS and SEA hubs that it’s only a matter of time before DTW loses its status as a hub (it’s already started playing second fiddle in the Midwest to MSP). Rene, thoughts?

  3. Hi Rene and Chris! I took advantage of that run bos lhr ams bos. Oct 25-27 with miles positioning flights into and out of Boston . I’m looking forward to that jaunt although I’m already DM 2020 🙂 . I’ll be happy to share my experience then
    Cheers!
    SelenePhoenix!

  4. Paul’s video review was spot-on in many ways, but not all. I took Delta LAX-JFK and back twice monthly (sometimes more, sometimes less) for more than three years, and, thanks to an enormous number of miles, was able to upgrade myself for almost all of the flights. My favorite aircraft was the 767, usually the -300 variety, and my favorite seats were 1A and 1D, usually available due to people’s apprehensions about bulkheads, but they have far larger spaces for feet (along with 1B and 1C) than any others in the premium cabin.

    Paul is correct that the screens are, in my experience, almost universally unresponsive. My attempts to move right or left have often been futile. There is a work-around, though, and that is the wired remote. It’s not as intuitive nor nearly as pleasing as what you’ll find in Delta 757s, but it does allow you to scroll beyond what your finger can prompt.

    As for the filth and the bad-quality food, I have to say my experience is almost always the opposite of his. I have, on occasion, found that my seat did not operate properly, but in all cases someone on crew (including a captain in one instance) fixed the problem prior to departure.

    I almost always take the last flight of the day, so I seldom encountered breakfast, but I almost always found meals to be tasty. I appreciated an all-in-one service eastbound, but I think that has been replaced by standard meal service, in courses, Fine for all but red-eye flights, which is what I took.

    As to the filth, I have to say that I’ve found cabins clean and tidy, and never a cause for concern. But I have found that, most often, I sleep through the cookie service and, as a consequence, get cookies that are cooler but easier to handle. I’m a big fan of Delta transcontinental service and hope you’ll give it another chance.

  5. I’m on the wrong some of the country, but I just don’t see connecting options through BOS very often. Isn’t that what a hub is?

  6. Also glad to see them officially ‘re-focus’ on CVG!

  7. When I think of Delta, I think of how they lied to MEM.

  8. Yesterday I booked confirmed FC seats using RUCs to Green Bay from SFO for mid-July. There was no upgrade availability between SFO and MSP, but several nice choices from between SFO and DTW. The last few times I have flown between SFO and MSP, there were either no FC upgrades available, or a single seat. The FC upgrade list is often in the high 40’s, so a lot of people have some level of status. All things being equal, I would prefer to make a connection at DTW and earn a few more MQMs. Hopefully DTW will not be downgraded.

  9. vbscript2

    Being based at BNA, I’m certainly glad to see BNA officially on the list, though I had heard some time ago through the grape vine that it was coming. Delta also announced a couple of months or so ago that they would be massively expanding the BNA Sky Club. According to the sign in the club, they’re *adding* 10,000 square feet to it. For comparison, the new AUS club is around 9,000 sqft total if memory serves. With this expansion, the BNA club will be one of the largest non-hub Sky Clubs.

    Another thing that I’ve heard through the grape vine – and which the Sky Club expansion and the official focus city designation seem to strongly suggest – is that there will be Sky Team service to AMS or CDG from BNA sooner rather than later. I’m guessing that would be a DL 767 or an AF/KLM 787.

    BNA, AUS, and SJC also make a lot of sense for Delta and it seems that Delta has been investing quite a bit in them lately. All 3 cities are growing well and have a lot of relatively affluent millennials and growing tech sectors.

    With DL having their hub in SEA now, BNA being a focus city also has another new reason that it makes a lot of sense: Amazon. Over the next few years, I’m guessing there will be quite a few newly-minted Medallions on those SEA-BNA flights (and probably a bunch of existing Medallions, too.) It may end up being even more than originally anticipated, in light of the cancellation of the Long Island City Amazon facility.

    Of course, AUS also makes a lot of sense for Delta and really has the potential to fill a huge Texas-sized hole in Delta’s route network. It’s currently more than 800 miles from Austin to Delta’s closest hub at ATL and over 1,000 miles to any of its other hubs. Delta is currently by far the least convenient route network from Texas of the big 4 U.S. airlines. If they can keep growing their AUS operation, it could potentially eventually turn into a great hub for them to be able to capture more DFW, IAH, SAT, and other cities around Texas and the surrounding states, too.

    Regarding the previous comment about MEM… it was kind of easy to see that coming after the Delta/Northwest merger. MEM didn’t really make a lot of sense for Delta. They didn’t really need another hub that close to ATL, especially back then when air travel numbers were down due to the recession. Plus, Memphis doesn’t exactly have the same thriving local economy that Nashville and the surrounding region has. MEM had 4.4 million passengers in 2018. For comparison, BNA had 16 million. MEM is the king of cargo, but it’s really not that big in terms of passenger traffic since the Northwest hub left.

  10. vbscript2

    @Dave DTW isn’t going anywhere. It’s DL’s main Asia hub and has a decent amount of trans-Atlantic traffic, too. DTW isn’t big on domestic connections for Delta, but it’s huge on international connections.

  11. Yep, Delta is expanding in Boston. The SkyClub at Gate A18 is undergoing a major renovation (they say 7000sf) in the back. Southwest is being pushed out of Terminal A (the Delta terminal), making space for more Delta flights. Notably, a “shuttle” service to DC is coming, in addition to the new intercontinental flight mentioned above. I hope that they will put back Delta One on the non-stop routes to SFO and on all planes to LAX.
    And Clear finally made it to Boston, at least to Terminal A.
    Bittersweet … it will become harder and harder to be upgraded on Delta as more and more people from the city will get status with the company.

  12. Ethan Qualle

    Delta does not operate nonstop from RDU to MSN Madison.

  13. Charles Hampton

    Cincinnati CVG was a busy busy hub for Delta. There are a lot of European businesses in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area and the flights to and from Europe were always full. Same for the flights to Hawaii, always full. Then the Delta/Northwest merge happened and CVG lost out on the Hub. A lot of low cost carriers have entered CVG to replace Delta but I am a Delta guy. I never fly low cost carriers and I miss the direct European and Hawaiian flights.

  14. Barry Graham

    I’d also like to see BWI as a hub, just like it is for SW. I can’t get excited about BOS being a hub when I live in the DC area, since almost any flight where I’m going to connect with an NE airport would be overseas and I would go through New York for that. I like Logan even less than I like JFK.

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