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Bradley Airport

Convenient for Western Massachusetts Travel

Bradley Airport, or Bradley International Airport (BDL), is just over the town line in Windsor Locks, Connecticut and serves as the main airport between Hartford, CT and Springfield, MA.

When traveling to an area in Western or Central Massachusetts, you may want to consider taking a flight out of Bradley Airport. The times have traveled through Bradley, I have always found little to no wait times or delays for checking in, going through security lines and even at restaurants and shops within the airport.

Bradley International Airport - gateway to New England

The big plus is the overall size of the airport; smaller and less busy than Logan Airport in Boston, and I never feel lost when trying to locate the plane terminal or baggage claim.

Why Travel by Air?

While inter-state travel can be done by train, bus or plane, each have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Buses are usually cheap and have some great discounts but are not always comfortable, especially on longer trips.

Trains, such as Amtrak, tend to be faster with less stops along the way, provide meals for longer trips and even give you the option of purchasing rooms with sleeping accommodations for longer trips, however the prices tend to add up quickly.

bradley airport parking - bradley internation airport parking - terminal a
Driving through Bradley Airport
Long-Term/ Short-Term Parking Garage on the left. Arrival pickup on the right.

Air travel can be the best of both worlds; relatively inexpensive and fast but the amount and type of items you can take with you are somewhat limited.

If you are traveling from anywhere around the country to Bradley Airport and are beyond a 300 or so mile radius, flying might be the way to go.

Obviously some things come to mind like the length of your trip, where your final destination will take you, and what items are you planning to take with you but for me, I fly whenever possible.

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Layout of Bradley Airport

Bradley Airport as of today, consists of two main terminals, A and B. Terminal A is broken down into two concourses, East Concourse and West Concourse.

The East Concourse (gates 1-12) hosts Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Southwest Airlines.

The West Concourse (gates 20-30) hosts Air Canada, Frontier Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways.

There is also an International Arrivals Building which, oddly enough, handles all of the international arrivals except passengers with customs pre-clearance. It is located at the west of Terminal B.

Walking into Terminal A at Bradley Airport, you are greeted with the normal check-in kiosks specific to each airline, just as you might see at other airports.

After checking your bags, you'll then proceed to security. Even during the busiest of times, I've never waited in security here for more than 15 minutes.

Yes, I know the rule of thumb is to give yourself a couple of hours before a flight for that one time it does take quite a while, but from my experience, you generally don't have to sweat it too much at Bradley Airport if you're running slightly behind schedule.

Once past security, there are only two ways to go depending on your airline; straight ahead and left for the West Concourse or right for the East Concourse so no need to worry about getting lost.

There are plenty of lounges, restaurants and gift shops to keep you busy until it's time to board your flight.

bradley airport services - bradley international airport terminal a services

Baggage Claim, if you may notice on the sign in the above picture, is straight ahead and to the left past security; down the escalator. There is only one baggage claim area so again, no need to worry about trying to figure out where your bags might end up.

Terminal B, the older portion of Bradley Airport, only has one concourse and hosts American Airlines.

When I walked into Terminal B to take an American Airlines flight, I felt like I had walked back in time. Neat, but due for an update which according to their website, is in progress.

The plan for the airport is to move American Airlines over to Terminal A and completely demolish/ replace Terminal B with an updated 24 gate Terminal with two concourses.

bradley airport - terminal b - american airlines
Terminal B at Bradley International Airport

*UPDATE - As of April 15, 2010, American Airlines has moved to the West Concourse of Terminal A. Terminal B is currently not in use.*

The thing I like a lot about Bradley International Airport is it's large enough to serve most major cities of the United States but small enough where access to the airport and surrounding facilities isn't an issue.

When you approach Bradley Airport, via I-91 and CT-20 W/ CT-401 N, you'll pull onto Schoephoester Road resembles a long rotary with the airport drop off and pick up roads.

Tip: If you've been the one chosen to pick up a friend or family member from the airport and would rather not drive around the rotary numerous times until they arrive, an easy and close by place to park and wait is in the Bradley Teletheater parking lot.

It is located on Schoephoester Road just past the entrance to the airport's arrivals and departures with a big sign on the right hand side of the road.

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Bradley Airport Parking

Bradley International Airport parking is relatively straight forward and broken down into either short-term or long-term parking.

The short-term parking lots are within walking distance of the main entrance to Bradley Airport.

Free shuttle buses run on a continuous loop 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to take you to and from the long-term parking lots.

As you drive by, there are signs indicating whether or not a certain parking garage is open or closed. It is always best to check the current status, especially with short term parking by calling ahead at (860) 627-3555.

bradley airport parking - bradley international airport parking

Bradley Airport parking rates for the short-term and long-term parking garages are always changing. To give you an idea of current rates, the following is for the Long-Term Garage and Short-Term Garage as of 9/25/2010:

Long-Term Garage:

Best for AmericaWest, Continental, Delta, Northwest, Southwest, United and US Airways.

Across the street (100 feet) from Terminal A with two covered walkways.

Rates: Up to 30 minutes: $2.50
  30 to 60 minutes: $4.50
  1 - 1.5 hours: $6.25
  Each additional 30 minutes: $1.00
  Daily: $20.00
  Weekly: $75.00
  *No handicap rate available  

Short-Term Garage:

Best for AmericaWest, Continental, Delta, Northwest, Southwest, United and US Airways.

Same physical building as Long-Term Garage - Across the street (100 feet) from Terminal A with two covered walkways.

Rates: Up to 30 minutes: $2.50
  30 to 60 minutes: $4.50
  1 - 1.5 hours: $6.25
  Each additional 30 minutes: $1.00
  Daily: $24.00 (7-24 hours)
  *No weekly or handicap rate available  

Additionally, there are 3 more long-term parking lots available with a combined 3,500 spaces. The free shuttle runs constantly too and from these lots back to Terminal A.

Here is an interactive map detailing the locations of the parking lots and the location of Terminal A.

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Bradley Airport Transport & Access

Getting to Bradley International Airport is a snap too. There are plenty of Rental/ Park-and-Fly options right around the corner.

Here's a list of some of the transport options serving Bradley Airport:

Car Rentals Phone Website
Alamo 1-800-GO-ALAMO www.alamo.com
Avis 1-800-331-1212 www.avis.com
Budget 1-800-527-0700 www.budget.com
Dollar 1-800-800-4000 www.dollar.com
Enterprise Rent-A-Car 1-800-325-8007 www.enterprise.com
Hertz 1-800-654-3131 www.hertz.com
National 1-800-CAR-RENT www.nationalcar.com
Thrifty 1-800-367-2277 www.thrifty.com

If you are planning on dropping off your car for the week, an alternative to short-term/ long-term parking is one of the Park-and-Fly parking lots located close by to Bradley Airport. Included are shuttles that go to and from the airport.

A few of the places I have used and can vouch for are as follows:

Park-and-Fly Phone Website Rates
Executive Valet 800-218-1297 www.executivevalet.com $7.95/ day
Roncari 800-555-6540 www.roncarivalet.com $10.95/ day
Galaxy Self Park 860-627-8201 N/A $6.50 /day

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Bradley Airport Essentials

Location: Schoephoester Road, Windsor Locks, CT 06096

Phone: (860) 292-2000

Email: Stacey M. Doan - stacey@bradleyairport.com

Website: www.bradleyairport.com

Airlines: Air Canada, American Airlines, American Eagle, Continental Airlines, Continental Express, Delta, Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, United Express, US Airways, US Airways Express

Hours: Open 24 hours a day with most airline ticketing counters opening between 4:00 am and 5:00 am.

Parking: Short-Term and Long-Term parking garages as listed above.

Hotel Search: Located right at the Airport, the Sheraton Bradley.

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