Holiday Travel Takes Flight at Bradley International Airport this Weekend

Airport looks forward to further passenger recovery, shares tips to help travelers navigate Thanksgiving holiday travel

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. – November 18, 2021 — The Connecticut Airport Authority anticipates the recovery of passenger traffic to continue at Bradley International Airport this holiday season and preparations are well underway for the upcoming Thanksgiving travel period.

Starting this weekend, the airport will begin welcoming individuals traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday. While passenger estimates are harder to predict than in years past, with individuals now booking flights closer to their date of travel, the airport anticipates passenger volumes to be nearing pre-pandemic levels.

The busy travel period runs through Sunday, November 28th, with the busiest passenger departure dates expected to be the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and  the Sunday following Thanksgiving. Approximately 85,000 individuals are anticipated to depart from the airport during this timeframe.

Individuals traveling at Bradley International Airport this holiday season will be greeted by a continued focus on COVID-19 related safety measures, which includes enhanced cleaning as well as an airport-wide face covering requirement.

As part of the pandemic recovery, the airport has also prioritized continued improvements to the passenger experience, with innovative services such as mobile meal ordering, and new and renovated amenities awaiting passengers as well.

Nearly all the shops and dining options have reopened and are ready to welcome passengers traveling during the upcoming holiday week.

The airport community has been working diligently behind the scenes to prepare and is dedicated to assisting passengers as they journey on to reunite with family members and take their long-awaited vacations.

Since this will be the first time for many individuals to travel by air, Bradley International Airport offers the following five tips for passengers:

Arrive Early

With more individuals traveling during a condensed timeframe, the airport will be busy. Passengers are advised to arrive at the airline ticket counter at least 90 minutes prior to their flight’s departure.

Confirm Your Flight

Before you come to the airport, confirm your flight with your airline and consider checking in for your flight ahead of time.

Plan for Parking

Parking closest to the terminal, especially in the garage, is popular and will be in high demand. Visit the airport’s website ahead of your arrival for the latest information on parking availability and follow directional signage at the airport to guide you to open lots.

Bring a Face Covering with You

While many establishments have loosened their face covering requirements, wearing a face covering is required and federally mandated at airports and onboard aircraft (regardless of vaccination status).

Follow TSA Screening Guidelines

Have your credentials ready and pack properly to help speed-up your screening process.

While the State of Connecticut does not require COVID-19 testing for arriving passengers, testing remains available in the airport’s baggage claim for those wishing to get tested. Pre-registration is recommended and can be completed through the lab that administers the testing.

Family and friends who are picking up passengers from Bradley International Airport during the Thanksgiving holiday week are encouraged to use the Cell Phone Waiting Lot located on Light Lane, while waiting for passengers to arrive and retrieve any luggage. Parking in the Cell Phone Lot is free.

Thanksgiving officially kicks off the holiday travel season which stretches into the new year. The airport will transition to holiday décor and will be hosting music and other festive entertainment throughout the season.

For additional information, passengers are encouraged to visit the airport’s website,


About Bradley International Airport

Bradley International Airport (BDL) invites you to “Journey On” and once again experience the convenience of traveling at New England’s second-largest airport. Recognized nationally by leading travel publications for its ease of travel, Bradley International Airport is ready to welcome you with new nonstops, expanded services and accredited COVID-19 safety measures. The award-winning airport is operated by the Connecticut Airport Authority, and its operations are entirely self-funded.  The airport contributes nearly $3.6 billion to the regional economy. For more info, visit


About The Connecticut Airport Authority

The Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) was established in 2011 to develop, improve, and operate Bradley International Airport and the state’s five general aviation airports (Danielson, Groton-New London, Hartford-Brainard, Waterbury-Oxford, and Windham).  The CAA Board consists of 11 members with a broad spectrum of experience in aviation-related and other industries, as well as government.  The goal of the CAA is to make Connecticut’s airports more attractive to new airlines, bring in new routes, and support Connecticut’s overall economic development and growth strategy.

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