Travel Tip: 3 Hour Airport Stopover, Boston

Long waits between connecting flights can be boring and frustrating. Most travelers remain in the airport—visiting restaurants or shops, reading, playing with electronics, walking around, and/or sitting. Savvy frequent flyers and business travelers might spend idle time in airport lounges.

A three hour wait between connecting flights might be the most frustrating amount of time. It is a long time to stay in the airport but it is not enough time to leave the airport and do anything.

Or is it?

Here is what I did during a three hour stopover at Boston’s Logan airport.

On previous trips to Boston, I rode the Massport Shuttle Bus to the Airport Station to ride the “T” Blue Line. That is an easy, inexpensive way to visit downtown Boston. In fact, the Massport Shuttle Bus is FREE. It only costs money to ride the “T subway.

Even though it is easy and free to escape Boston’s airport, I decided that there was really not enough time to visit anywhere in Boston. Too risky to go somewhere on the T, return on the T, ride the bus both ways, and go back through security.

Someone once recommended if I had extra time near Boston airport that I should visit Santarpio’s Pizza. That person told me it is the best pizza in Boston. I remember claims like that!

Doing a little research before this particular trip (to figure out what to do during the 3 hour layover), I noticed that Santarpio’s is fairly close to the above airport station. In fact, Google Maps shows that Santarpio’s is less than a half mile from the station.

So, that was my plan—to spend my 3 hour airport layover visiting Santarpio’s Pizza.

And the execution went mostly according to plan.

The bus ride was fine.

The walk between the station and Santarpio’s was great. Most of the walk is along a nice park, where I had seen soccer games being played on previous rides to the Airport Station. In fact, if you wanted to skip Santarpio’s, taking a 30-60 minute stroll around the park would be a worthwhile way to “kill time” between connecting flights.

For the quickest walk to Santarpio’s, walk on paths on the right side of the park without going under the highway. You will end up on Porter Street. Turn right and on your left at Chelsea Street is Santarpio’s. Click the below image to see an expanded view. The Circle T logo is the Airport Station (where the free airport shuttle bus stops) and “A” is Santarpio’s Pizza.

Santarpio's Pizza
Boston Airport 3 Hour Layover – Santarpio’s

I arrived at Santarpio’s at around 4:30pm and there were about 10 people there. I chose a seat at the bar within reach of a traveler’s best friend—an electrical outlet to recharge devices.

Not knowing the ins and outs, I asked if they had slices. No! In fact, Santarpio’s only has one size. OK, that would certainly be too much for just me—but I could take the rest home with me on the plane. Also, this Santarpio’s location accepts CASH ONLY for payment.

I ordered the pepperoni, garlic, and hot peppers pizza. Indeed, I did not eat even half of the pizza and boxed the rest up.

I walked back to the Airport Station, cleared security, and found my gate for the connecting flight. I found a pilot standing near my gate and I asked if he liked Santarpio’s. His eyes got really big and said it was his favorite thing in Boston. I gave him the box and said to share with the crew.

Reinforcing my belief in travel karma, the same pilot later advised me to standby for a later flight when my flight was delayed (he was the pilot for my scheduled flight). I did arrive home sooner than if I remained on the originally scheduled flight.

McCool Travel tip: On this particular trip, I was solo and only had a backpack for luggage. If you check luggage and are flying the same airline for both flights, the carrier will handle transfers. If you have to transfer your own bags between flights, that will severely cut the amount of free time you have.

3 Hour Airport Stopover, Boston published on 17 Sept 2013.

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