The Insider’s Guide to Bradley International Airport (BDL)

Servicing more than 4.6 million passengers in 2021, Bradley International Airport (BDL) ranks among the busiest medium-sized airport hubs in the United States. Even more, Condé Nast Traveler named BDL as one of the top 10 airports in the country in 2020.

To make the most of your experience, we’ve compiled all the must-know info you need when traveling from BDL.

Departure information

How early to arrive at Bradley Airport? The airport scores well in departure reliability and security wait times. For a domestic flight you should aim to arrive 90 minutes before your flight and for international allow 3 hours. The best way to avoid spending extra time at the airport is to check the status of your flight before you even head to the airport. Get real-time updates for BDL flight departures by clicking here. Historically, the percentage of BDL flights that are cancelled or diverted are on par with the national average, and the airport’s delay rate is slightly lower. As of January 2023, gives BDL an On-Time Performance Rating of 4 out of 5 stars based on flight departure data from the previous 10 days.

Less than 2% of surveyed Park ‘N Fly customers rated the airport ‘terrible’ or ‘worse than most airports’ when asked how reliable they consider the departures out of Bradley.

TSA security wait times at Bradley Airport

As of December 2022, BDL Airport wait times at security ranged from less than one to 34 minutes, depending on the time of day. At BDL, peak hours are generally 4am to 7:30am and 3pm to 5:30pm. To check the current status of TSA wait times before you leave for the airport, click here.

In a recent survey of Park ‘N Fly Bradley customers, 65% of respondents rated the wait times at BDL as ‘fast’ or ‘very fast”.

Bradley Airport Parking

Of course if you are driving to the airport and need parking then Park ‘N Fly should be your go to solution. Customers love the reliability of the shuttle service and convenience of both the valet and self parking options.

Here’s why people book their BDL Parking with Park ‘N Fly:
  • Valet parking makes things so simple. Drop your car at the entrance, hop on the shuttle and you are on your way! Or if you prefer there is now a convenient and great value self-parking option.
  • You can guarantee your parking space with an easy online reservation. It takes seconds.
  • No matter what time your departing or arrival flight you can access the parking lot at any time.
  • If your trip is unexpectedly extended, or you miss your flight, simply pay any additional fees on exiting the lot.
  • If you are a frequent flier out of BDL then you can tap into the benefits provided from our class-leading loyalty program.

Hotels near Bradley International Airport

If you have an early-morning flight out of BDL, it makes sense to stay at a hotel within a few miles of the airport the night before. Many of these reasonably-priced options feature complimentary breakfast, an on-site restaurant, pool, fitness center and other amenities to jump-start your trip and make your overnight pit-stop more enjoyable.

Where to eat near BDL Airport

The following are popular food restaurants near Bradley Airport.

Photo by Tumo Kontle on Unsplash

(Star ratings based on Google ratings as of January 2023)

Where to eat at BDL airport

For a relatively small airport the restaurant and food options at BDL aren’t bad.

Park ‘N Fly customer suggestions:

The two terminals are close together, so check both if you are looking for food or drink.

“Ruby Tuesday is my favorite place to eat.”

“[I] always have to allow a little extra time in case of unexpected delays. But that usually allows for a stop at Two Roads (brewery tap room) for a quick snack and a beer.”

Landside Lobby (before security check-point)

  • Cask & Barrel Bistro
  • Concorde’s (at the Sheraton)
  • Dunkin Donuts
  • Starbucks (at the Sheraton)

Airside Lobby (after security check-point)

  • Black Bear Saloon
  • Fresh City
  • Jamba Juice
  • McDonald’s
  • Papa Gino’s Pizza

Concourse 1-12 (after security check-point)

  • Dunkin Donuts
  • Phillips Seafood Restaurant
  • Two Roads Tap Room

Concourse 20-30 (after security checkpoint)

  • Auntie Annie’s
  • Carvel
  • D’Angelo’s
  • Dunkin Donuts

Shopping at BDL Airport

Whether you forgot to pack something, need a gift for your host or don’t want to come home from a trip empty-handed, BDL offers a host of shopping destinations.

Landside Lobby (before security check-point)

  • Paradies Shoppes: Your one-stop shop for anything you could need or want before boarding your flight.

Airside Lobby (after security check-point)

  • Benefit Cosmetics: This self-serve kiosk delivers must-have cosmetics at a touch of a button.
  • Brooks Brothers: When a crisp button-down shirt or tie are in order.
  • CNBC: Locally-inspired souvenirs and in-flight essentials.
  • Gineva Murano Glass Jewelry: Unique, handmade necklaces, bracelets, earrings and pendants.
  • Hartford Prints: The ultimate gift shop offering apparel, cards, candles, art prints and more.
  • iStore: All the tech gear you need when you’re in the air and on the ground.
  • Leigh: Totes, backpacks and travel accessories that make your trip more comfortable.
  • TravelMart: Snacks, gifts and must-haves to make the most of your flight.

Concourse 1-12 (after security check-point)

Cover 2 Cover: When you’d rather read than watch a movie.

InMotion: All the upscale electronics, headphones and tech accessories you need for your trip.

International Shoppes: Duty-free liquor, jewelry, sunglasses, beauty products, fragrances and more.

TravelMart: Snacks, gifts and must-haves to make the most of your flight.

Concourse 20-30 (after security check-point)

CNBC: Locally-inspired souvenirs and in-flight essentials.

Lounge options at BDL

Regardless of the airline you’re flying, you can enjoy the perks of a first-class lounge with complimentary food and drinks, WiFi, charging ports, tablets, and a relaxed atmosphere at the Escape Lounge. Located near Gate 1 (across from Dunkin Donuts), American Express Platinum cardholders can enter free of charge, while anyone else can pre-book for $40 or walk in for $45.

Top destinations from BDL

BDL offers non-stop flights to 39 destinations in the U.S. and four countries abroad. The most popular destinations are:

  • Chicago (ORD)
  • Washington (DCA and IAD)
  • Atlanta (ATL)
  • Orlando (MCO)
  • Baltimore (BWI)

BDL’s warm-weather destinations include Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Juan and Jamaica. For those who want to hit the slopes, four airlines offer daily non-stop flights from BDL to Denver. If you’re looking to travel to a more far-flung locale, you can fly to Dublin with just one domestic layover.

Phone charging

Over the last few years, BDL has doubled the number of charging stations throughout the terminals. Now, many of these stations include seating or tables for a more comfortable, connected experience.

Baby changing facilities

BDL offers a family-friendly travel experience thanks to the Mother’s Nursing Lounge. Located after the security check-point next to the CNBC store, this quiet, dedicated space is available 24 hours a day, and features comfortable seating along with a sink, fold-down changing table and power outlet for mothers who use electric pumps.

Bradley Airport map

Use the map below to help find some of the amenities and facilities described above.

Bradley Airport and the pandemic

Bradley Airport is slower than most airports to recover its passenger count post-pandemic peak.

Only 66% of Park’ N Fly survey respondents indicated that they expected to fly in 2023 the same or more than prior to covid. Total enplanements at Bradley International Airport in 2022 were 4.8 million versus 6.7 million in 2019.