Recognizing the Volunteers Who Make a Big Impact at BDL

At Bradley International Airport (BDL) we are committed to making sure that every traveler has a smooth and positive experience as they begin and end their journey. At the heart of that commitment – two teams of volunteers that have a meaningful impact on the experience of countless passengers.

BDL partners with an organization called Travelers Aid International, which helps people in transit settings in various parts of the world. Along the east coast of the United States, Travelers Aid is located at several airports, including BDL. A team of roughly 50 volunteers provide guidance and assistance to those traveling through the airport. These volunteers come from different backgrounds with one common purpose – helping people.

“I have a degree in aeronautical engineering, and I used to travel a lot,” explains Bill Diekmann, a retiree who’s been a Travelers Aid volunteer at BDL for the last three years. “I know the dynamics and I feel like if somebody is coming into an airport for the first time and doesn’t know exactly where to go – if I can help them and take some uncertainty away, I’ve done a big job for them.”

A Travelers Aid volunteer assisting travelers through BDL.

Travelers Aid volunteers help passengers in a variety of ways, such as directing them to their airline’s baggage claim, rental cars, public transportation, hotels, tourism information, lost and found, and more. In fact, in 2023, Travelers Aid assisted more than 253,000 people at BDL.

In addition to Travelers Aid, BDL also has its Bradley Buddies volunteer program, which consists of a team of 16 dogs and their owners in partnership with Bright Spot Therapy Dogs, Inc. Through the partnership, therapy dogs visit the airport on a regular basis to help bring joy and comfort to travelers.

Dory, a 4-year-old golden retriever, excited to meet passengers during her regular visit.

Steve Monkiewicz and his 4-year-old golden retriever, Dory, have been part of the program for the last two years.

“I was coming home from a business trip a few years ago and was leaving Bradley and I saw a woman walk past me with a golden retriever and they both had blue vests on that said Bradley Buddies and right then and there I said when a retire this is what I am going to do. I’m going to come back and volunteer for Bradley Buddies,” says Monkiewicz. “We walk through the terminal and people smile at us. We approach them and right away Dory goes to work.”

The Connecticut Airport Authority would like to recognize and thank its teams of volunteers for their dedication and the impact they have on millions of travelers who pass through BDL every year.

If you’re interested in volunteering your time through one of the volunteer programs at BDL, please click the links below for more information.

Bradley International Airport (BDL) invites you to love the journey 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 convenient travel. 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.

*Some nonstop flights may operate only during certain time periods of the year (seasonally). For the latest flight information, please visit the airline's website.