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Cheap flights to Boston attracting Canadian travellers to Massena, N.Y.


A small-town airport just 90 minutes from Ottawa is offering huge deals on flights to Boston, and Canadians are heading to Massena, New York to save hundreds of dollars on tickets.

While the Massena International Airport may be tiny, their lone operating airline offers up a big deal.

Boutique Air has been serving the community for six years, offering a flight to Boston that's just over an hour and it's gaining attention.

"That's the main goal for us; to basically be helping people fly with a cheaper rate," Nadim El Khoury, Director of Operations for Boutique Air, said.

Their non-stop flight, round trip, costs $278 US, or around $385 CDN. Book ahead and the flight is even cheaper - ringing up at $118 US, or about $165 CDN.

For comparison, the same trip offered by Porter Airlines from Ottawa to Boston, non-stop, round trip, would cost approximately $670 CDN.

"It's worth it to drive," said El Khoury. "And we have free parking here. They can park their car and they can fly from Massena to Boston and connect to anywhere in the world."

Boutique flies into Boston's Logan International Airport, and uses an Air Canada terminal. They offer flights three times per day, seven days a week in an 8-seat passenger plane.

"(The plane) has a high ceiling, it can fly over the clouds, it has air conditioning, it has a heater, it's very comfy in the inside," El Khoury said. 

"We have 26 PC12 planes all over the U.S. and we do run multiple routes other than Massena-Boston," he added. "We have bases in Dallas and Portland, we do runs to Albuquerque and Carlsbad, New Mexico. Our longest flight is 1:45."

The Massena International Airport in Massena, New York offers flights to Boston starting at $278 US for a round-trip. (Nate Vandermeer/CTV News Ottawa)

Alissa Plante, Boutique Air Station Manager, says she sees anywhere from 5 to 15 Canadian passengers a day. 

"It all depends," she said. "It's quick and easy. It's easy to cross the border, and it's cheap and easy to fly with us."

Massena Town Supervisor Susan Bellor says that cross-border traffic is essential to Upstate New York.

"We're seeing a lot of Canadians coming over, which we welcome," she said. "We have a good relationship with them. They know the difference, yeah, and they know this is the place to come and they're very friendly here, it's a small town."

"It's just a few miles from the border, and again, going back and forth, even customs, they are very friendly going back and forth, both sides," she added. 

"We're just glad Boutique is here. We want to continue the good relationship we have with them," Bellor said. 

Boutique Air offers flights from Massena, New York to Boston. This is a look at the Boutique Air Terminal in the airport. (Nate Vandermeer/CTV News Ottawa)

The flights also offer snacks and drinks, and even another added bonus.

"The weight for luggage, we don't have limits," El Khoury said. "We don't charge the extra weight. If we can accommodate, we will definitely take it."

The small airport is also equipped with customs agents, meaning any connecting flight through Boston, is already customs cleared. 

"When you come here, the TSA, imagine you are passing through security and you have 8 passengers. It's pretty quick, it's pretty easy," El Khoury said. 

"You don't have to be here two hours before. You can be here 45 minutes or one hour. You get in, go through security and you are on the plane heading your way," he added. 

"We are definitely receiving a lot of Canadians and they are very happy to use our service," he said. "Our price is way cheaper for them to go anywhere."

"Who doesn't like a cheap ticket to fly somewhere, right?"

Boutique Air's schedule and pricing can be found on their website. 

The airport says there will be no flights between Massena and Boston for several weeks in July due to construction.

"Due to runway construction at the Massena airport, there will be no flights operating between Massena, N.Y. and Boston, M.A. from July 5 until July 27," the airport said. Top Stories

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