For the fourth year in a row, Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks was ranked among the top 10 airports in the country by Conde Naste Traveler magazine, even as the COVID-19 took its toll on air travel.
Bradley placed eighth on the annual ranking announced Tuesday, its place on the list drawn from a survey of readers of Condé Nast Traveler. The list of best airports was compiled from responses form 715,000 readers of the magazine on a variety of topics.
“More travelers have discovered Hartford, Connecticut’s airport—now New England’s second-busiest airfield after Boston Logan—thanks to a surge in new flights in recent years,” the magazine said in its ranking.
“Customers praise the airport’s convenient on-site parking, plentiful charging stations and free Wi-Fi, decent restaurant options, and an overall relaxed atmosphere, making this mid-sized facility an attractive alternative to flying out of New York’s and Boston’s monster hubs.”
“The results of this year’s survey, conducted at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic are a testament to the lasting power of a meaningful travel experience,” said Jesse Ashlock, the magazine’s U.S. editor.
In 2019, Bradley ranked fifth on Condé Nast Traveler’s list.
Condé Nast Traveler noted that small airports were popular with travelers, and even with the downturn in air travel, the airports were investing in their services.
In announcing the magazine ranking Tuesday, Bradley highlighted its “BDL Cares” program in response to the pandemic. The program requires a face covering for all passengers and employees, more cleaning, physical distancing signs, plexiglass shields and hand sanitizing stations.
Last week, Bradley launched a COVID-19 testing station in the airport terminal, available to both arriving and departing passengers, among the first in the country to offer testing.
“We thank the travel community for their continued vote of confidence in Bradley International Airport and for underscoring the value of traveling through a smaller airport,” Kevin A. Dillon, executive director of the Connecticut Airport Authority, which oversees the airport’s operations.
The top U.S. airport in 2020 was Savannah Hilton Head, which Condé Nast Traveler pointed out was not particularly busy, “but it’s that smallness, not to mention its town square-inspired layout that makes it feel intimate and inviting.”
The magazine’s ranking of best U.S. airports is part of its 33rd annual Readers’ Choice Awards. The awards rank such categories as best hotels, cities to visit and resorts.
Contact Kenneth R. Gosselin at [email protected]
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