Bradley Airport parking
Bradley Airport offers a selection of convenient parking options to suit every traveler's needs. Reservations are only available for spaces on the third level of the Lot 1 long-term facility. It’s worth noting that all rates published on the BDL website can change without notice and are subject to an additional Connecticut state sales tax at a rate of 6.35 per cent.
The short-term garage is a multi-story parking area located closest to Terminal A at Bradley Airport. When parking there, you will incur charges at varying rates in set 30-minute increments up to an hour-and-a-half, with a set charge for each half-hour stay up to seven hours. The airport charges a set rate for stays of between seven and 24 hours in the short-term garage. This lot’s proximity to the main building and the absence of a weekly rate make it better suited to short stays of a couple of days.
Lot B is an uncovered parking lot with slightly lower rates (charged within the same timescales) than the short-term garage.
Lot 1, Lot 3 and Lot 4 are the long-term parking areas at Bradley Airport.
Lot 1 offers multi-story parking in a covered location. It charges on an hourly basis and becomes more economical after three hours when a low rate is charged for each additional hour for up to seven hours. The daily rate (7-24 hours) is also lower in Lot 1 than in the short-term garage.
Lots 3 and 4 are the uncovered economy parking areas with low daily and weekly rates making them the perfect choice for extended stays. A 24-hour shuttle service is available to take you from all long-term parking areas to the BDL terminal.
Picking up and dropping off
The Cell Phone Lot at BDL is situated only a couple of minutes from the terminal on Light Road and is designed for avoiding congestion in the Arrivals area. Drivers are advised to wait in the lot for the call from their passenger to inform them that they’ve been through baggage reclaim and are ready to be collected.
Dropping off is allowed outside the main terminal, but drivers must avoid waiting at all times.
Guide to Bradley Airport
Bradley International Airport (BDL) is the busiest airport in the state of Connecticut and the 53rd-busiest in the USA, operating under the motto “Love the Journey”.
With 10 airlines operating from a single terminal, BDL mainly offers domestic flights. However, regular flights to Dublin, Ireland, and seasonal ones to Cancun, Mexico, are also available. Bradley Airport doubles up as a base for military air operations, too.
Location of BDL Airport
Bradley Airport is located in Windsor Lock, 16.3 miles (26.2 kilometers) to the north of downtown Hartford, the capital city of the state of Connecticut. BDL is also 20.4 miles (32.8 kilometers) south west of Springfield, Massachusetts. Close to I-91, BDL is easy to access from either of these locations, as well as the nearby cities of New Haven and Bridgeport.
Regular public buses run between Bradley Airport and downtown Hartford throughout the week, including CTTRANSIT’s 30-Bradley Flyer bus service that makes the journey every hour, seven days a week.
History of BDL Airport
The history of Bradley Airport is closely intertwined with US military history. In fact, the airport came into being as a result of the need for an airbase in time for the USA’s entry into World War II. The site first took the name Bradley Field in honor of Lt. Eugene M Bradley, a young USAF pilot who died during a dogfight training drill in August 1941. The airport was handed over to the state of Connecticut in 1946 and civil operations began the following year.
Since then, the airport has benefited from several renovations, with the first being marked by the opening of the Murphy Terminal in 1952. This building, later known as Terminal B (from 1986 onwards), was the oldest terminal in the country when it finally closed in 2010.
A new Terminal (A) opened in 1986. This newer building underwent expansion in 2001 and a new International Arrivals building was opened a year later. In 2016, BDL was rated the 22nd-best airport for customer satisfaction on J.D. Power’s list of medium-sized airports.
Whether you’re waiting to fly out, you're just arriving at BDL or you’re in the middle of a layover and want something to pass the time, there are plenty of facilities there to keep you busy.
When hunger strikes at Bradley Airport, you are spoilt for choice by a selection of fast food joints, restaurants and places that offer healthy food to eat on the move. You can also save money on gifts or souvenirs at the duty free store, pick up books and newspapers from the on-site newsagent or even have your shoes shined by an expert.
Facilities at Bradley Airport include:
- Baggage enquiries
- Car rental
- Car valeting service
- Currency exchange
- Disabled access
- Family and baby facilities
- Food and drink
- World cuisine
- Information points
- Left baggage
- Parking facilities
- Shipping and courier services
- High-street brands
- Convenience stores
- Duty free
- Smoking areas
Bradley Airport hotel and parking
The Sheraton Hartford Hotel is the only on-site accommodation at Bradley Airport. Built directly onto the terminal and only a few minutes’ walk from the check-in counters, this is a great option if you need somewhere simple and convenient to rest and recharge during your layover at the airport.
Rooms at the Sheraton Hartford include free WiFi, large flat-screen TVs and comfortable beds. You also have the option of making use of the hotel's room service, dry-cleaning facilities, restaurant, bar, meeting rooms and business center. Parking is also available at the Sheraton Hartford for an additional fee.
Other accommodation near Bradley Airport includes Candlewood Suites (0.8 miles/1.3 kilometers away from BDL) and Baymont Inn and Suites (1.4 miles/2.3 kilometers away). Both of these hotels offer a similar range of services to the Sheraton Hartford above, but with the additional benefits of free parking and a complimentary airport shuttle service.
Top things to do in Bradley Airport
Take a lesson in aviation history…and uncover Connecticut’s role in it
Sitting within the grounds of Bradley Airport, the New England Air Museum is home to a pristine collection of more than 100 aircraft dating from the infancy of aviation right up to the present day. Connecticut played an important part in the development of flight technology and the Aviation Pioneers Theater provides a spectral imaging show to illustrate just how many innovations came about due to the ingenuity of Connecticut residents.
With demonstrations on the science of flight and Build and Fly activities available for kids, there's surely no more educational way to spend your time before a flight than to visit this fascinating tribute to aviation.
Hold or attend meetings and exhibitions
Home to a number of large conference rooms, the Sheraton Hartford Hotel is attached to the BDL terminal and is just a few steps away from the main terminal area. With rooms of every size available, the Sheraton conference center is great for holding business meetings, conferences or trade events.
The Sheraton Hartford plays host to FlightSimCon, which is a two-day aviation and flight simulation conference held every year at Bradley Airport’s on-site hotel. If you’re a pilot or a flight-sim enthusiast, you can head to FlightSimCon for the chance to learn about new developments, try out new tech and socialize with other aviation buffs.
Make huge savings on a range of high-quality items
Bradley Airport's duty free store, International Shoppes, is located near Gate 8. If you’re an international traveler, you’ll find everything from designer jewelry to the finest tipples, among a wide array of items for sale at such low prices that they’re guaranteed to keep you in good spirits before, during and after your flight.
Enjoy complimentary hot and cold drinks
While the Admirals Club is Bradley Airport’s members-only lounge, you can gain access to the Escape Lounge no matter which airline you’re flying with or how much you paid for your flight. In exchange for a reasonable fee, you can enjoy comfortable furniture and stylish décor in the tranquil atmosphere of the Escape Lounge, tucked away from the busy crowds in the terminal.
As a guest in the Escape Lounge, you’re given access to free high-speed WiFi and a choice of newspapers and magazines to keep you amused, while flight information screens ensure you can relax without worrying that you might miss your flight.
Grab good food on the go
If you don’t have time for a sit-down meal in one the restaurants at Bradley Airport, Fresh City is on hand to offer a choice of salads, burritos and sandwiches that the team prepares with impressive speed, so it’s a lot easier than you think to eat well on the move.
Top things to do near Bradley Airport
Visit a legendary writer's home
When venerated author Mark Twain moved into his large family home in Hartford, Connecticut, he remarked: It is a home – and the word never had so much meaning before.
Living there between 1874 and 1891, Twain clearly found inspiration in his stunning neo-gothic Hartford house. Indeed, this was where he wrote his most revered works, including The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court and The Prince and The Pauper.
Take a tour of the house to see the large library as well as the grand billiard hall where Twain used to write. On the house's Living History Tour, six actors play different real-life characters (including Twain himself), each with their own captivating story to tell.
Whether you’re a fan the author’s work or not, the Mark Twain House and Museum transports you to a bygone era. Down in the basement, you’ll even find the period laundry room, where you get to test out the washboard, ringer and plunger as part of a fun family day out.
Sat nav instructions: 351 Farmington Ave, Hartford, CT 06105
Explore the deep sea and outer space in one afternoon
Connecticut Science Center offers insight into pretty much every facet of scientific discovery and delivers it in a manner that makes this unique museum a fun day out for adults and kids of all ages.
Venture into the ‘Forces in Motion’ exhibit to design and build a heli flyer, gain an understanding of the many types of energy around us and discover how to put different forces to good use.
At ‘Sight and Sound’, you’ll experience the odd feeling of seeing yourself in 360 degrees, while ‘Planet Earth’ encourages you to walk into the eye of a hurricane to better understand the awesome power of nature.
Sat nav instructions: 250 Columbus Blvd, Hartford, CT 06103
Located on Ella Grasso Turnpike just down the street from BDL, Bradley Bowling is a convenient and fun way to pass some time during your layover. The balls come in lots of different weights for your comfort and the lanes are in tip-top condition. There are also plenty of food and drink options available and you'll have the chance to meet the locals as you bowl at this popular hangout.
If you’re with children, you can make use of the gutter barriers to help make bowling more fun for them; during the summer months, kids can bowl for free.
Sat nav instructions: 129 Ella Grasso Tpke, Windsor Locks, CT 06096-1026
Take a relaxing stroll along the canal
The Windsor Locks Canal State Park Trail is a 4.5-mile (7.2-kilometer) route that takes you from the Connecticut River to the Windsor Locks Canal.
Conveniently located off the I-91, the trail is ideal if you’re looking for a little peace and quiet away from the noise and commotion of the airport terminal.
Along the route, you will discover beautiful stone Victorian-era bridges and aqueducts and come across a variety of wildlife; if you’re lucky, you might even catch sight of an eagle. You’ll also find nice spots to do some fishing or have a picnic if you fancy bringing along some treats.
Sat nav instructions: Canal Rd, Suffield, CT 06078-1986
Learn all about tubes, TVs and walkie-talkies
The Vintage Radio and Communications Museum of Connecticut is a veritable haven of the history of communication.
As you walk through, you’ll see early record players and radios and discover what TV pictures looked like when the medium was first invented. These historical items aren’t hidden away behind glass cases; what’s great about this particular museum is that you get to touch the displays.
Sat nav instructions: 115 Pierson Ln, Windsor, CT 06095
Shop for vintage treasures
The Vintage Shops in East Windsor, just 12 minutes away from BDL by car, is an aptly-named building full of – you guessed it – vintage shops. Chipping with Charm is one of the outlets you'll find selling a range of old furniture and, true to the name of the store, the furniture on offer there is a little rough around the edges, but that’s precisely the charm.
The Clock Man sells a large number of antique clocks, some of which date back as far as the 18th century. All clocks in the shop have been lovingly restored and serviced.
The Reflections of the Past shop is dedicated to all types of small historical items. Inside, you may find anything from ancient oversized cigars to Mickey Mouse magazines from the 1930s.
Sat nav instructions: 42 Bridge St, East Windsor Hill, CT 06088-9679
Enter the corridors of power
With its High Victorian-Gothic design, the State Capitol is a national landmark. Go on tour of the building to see statues of some of Connecticut’s historical figures, such as Nathan Hale, the designated ‘Hero of Connecticut’ who is renowned for his outstanding service during the American Revolutionary War.
Move on to watch proceedings of the General Assembly, before walking through the Connecticut Hall of Fame, created to honor celebrated natives of the state.
If the history and politics don’t interest you, the breathtaking architecture surely will. The exterior gold-leaf dome itself is remarkable. Standing at 32 feet (9.8 meters) tall, it is surrounded by 12 remarkable statues. Each of these figures represents an important pillar of society, such as commerce, agriculture, war, education, music, law, science or justice.
Sat nav instructions: 210 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106
Bradley Airport has just one terminal, known as Terminal A. At present, 10 airlines offer frequent, non-stop flights to locations across the USA from BDL, in addition to select destinations in Canada, Ireland and the UK. The five airlines with the biggest market share at Bradley Airport are Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, JetBlue and United Airlines.
|Aer Lingus||Terminal A|
|Air Canada||Terminal A|
|American Airlines||Terminal A|
|Delta Air Lines||Terminal A|
|Norwegian Air||Terminal A|
|Southwest Airlines||Terminal A|
|United Airlines||Terminal A|
How to get to Bradley Airport
Bradley Airport is 16.3 miles (26.2 kilometers) from downtown Hartford, close to exit 40 on I-91. The journey to the airport from Hartford takes around 19 minutes. The address you need for sat nav instructions is Schoephoester Rd, Windsor Locks, CT 06096.
If you’re driving from central Hartford, simply get on to the I-91 N from Turnbull Street. Continue on towards Windsor Locks for 13 minutes and move onto Schoephoester Road for BDL.
If you’re coming to BDL from Springfield in Massachusetts, get on to West Columbus Avenue and make your way onto I-91. Continue on to I-91 S towards Windsor Locks. Head straight down and after 17 minutes, you’ll arrive at the airport on Schoephoester Road.
CTTRANSIT operates the 30-Bradley Flyer bus service to connect BDL and downtown Hartford, with buses running roughly every hour and each journey taking approximately 30 minutes. Buses begin running from Union Station on Spruce Street at 4:05am, with the final bus from this stop departing at 11:40pm.
The 30 bus begins service at the CT Convention Center on Columbus Boulevard from 6:23am onwards. The Bradley Flyer’s only in-airport stop is at the outer roadway in front of the main terminal.
Take advantage of the Frequent Parker Program at Bradley Airport
If you pass through Bradley Airport regularly, you could save money on parking with the BDL parking initiative. This loyalty scheme allows you to redeem rewards every time you visit the airport. To sign up as Frequent Parker, you can fill out the e-form on the BDL website.
Browse through the on-site museum
The New England Air Museum is located at 36 Perimeter Road within the airport grounds. If you’re stuck for something to do when you've got a few hours to kill before your flight, take the short walk to the museum and look around for a fun and educational way to pass the time.
Valet parking is available
While the BDL operators don’t offer valet parking, a number of third-parties do. A search on our homepage at Looking4Parking.com will return the parking options available to you near Bradley Airport.
Parking assistance is on hand around the clock
Should you require assistance in the parking lots for any reason, look out for a parking patrol car or call BDL on (+1) 860-627-3555 to get help.
Mothers can access the Nursing Lounge
If you’re traveling through Bradley Airport with a baby, you may wish to use the BDL Nursing Lounge to help make your time at the airport more comfortable for you and your child.
You’ll find this room next to the CNBC newsagent after security. It’s equipped with a folding change table, a sink, comfortable seating and a power point for mothers who need to use an electric pump.
Contact your airline for check-in times
Minimum check-in times vary from one airline to the next. You will find a list of contact details for every airline operating at Bradley Airport on the official BDL website.
Bradley Airport FAQs
Do any of the hotels near Bradley Airport provide parking and shuttle services?
Yes. Candlewood Suites and Baymont Inn and Suites both offer complimentary parking and shuttles to BDL Airport.
Are pets allowed in the terminal at BDL?
Pets are only allowed in the terminal if they are kept inside a kennel, unless they are service dogs.
Is there anywhere to smoke at BDL?
In accordance with Connecticut State law, smoking inside the BDL terminal is prohibited. However, there are some designated outdoor smoking areas within the grounds.
Which airline provides flights to Edinburgh, Scotland?
Norwegian Air provides flights from Bradley Airport to Edinburgh, having commenced the route in June 2017.
What time does the airport open?
BDL is open 24 hours a day, although check-in desks usually open between 4am and 5am.
Which airports in Florida can I fly to from BDL?
JetBlue and Spirit offer flights to Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood Airport; American Airlines flies to Miami. JetBlue and Southwest Airlines provide air travel to Orlando, West Palm Beach and Tampa, while Southwest is the only airline offering scheduled flights to Fort Myers. Spirit joins two other airlines in providing non-stop flights to Orlando and Delta flies to this destination on a seasonal basis.
I have to catch an early morning flight – when does the shuttle service start running?
The airport parking shuttle runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
There is no Lost and Found in the freely accessible areas of the terminal
Bradley Airport staff will hand any items that you lose in the grounds of the airport (except security areas) to the Connecticut State Police. If you wish to claim a lost item, you can call the State Police on (+1) 860-292-7400. If you would like to claim an item you’ve left on a plane, you should get in touch with your airline’s baggage claim department.
If you lose property as it goes through the screening area, you can contact the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on (+1) 860-804-4109.
I’m picking someone up from the airport – where can I wait?
The BDL Cell Phone Lot is situated on Light Road, just a couple of minutes’ drive from the main building. You can wait safely in this area until the person you’re picking up has made their way through the baggage area. When they’re ready, they can call you to come and pick them up at the curb.
Are there are any showers I can use at BDL?
Showers are not available anywhere in the terminal at Bradley Airport.
Are there any on-site restaurants open 24 hours a day?
None of the manned retail outlets at BDL are open around the clock, but most open from the early hours of the morning before the first flight of the day.