Bradley International Airport flight expansion to benefit UConn students

Hartford’s Bradley International Airport is expanding its range of domestic flights, including a non-stop flight to Los Angeles starting on June 2 that could benefit the University of Connecticut’s Asian international students and West Coast residents. (Thomas Hawk/Flickr)

Hartford’s Bradley International Airport is expanding its range of domestic flights, including a non-stop flight to Los Angeles starting on June 2 that could benefit the University of Connecticut’s Asian international students and West Coast residents.

Last Wednesday, Gov. Dannel Malloy and the Connecticut Airport Authority, the operating organization of Bradley, announced that American Airlines would re-launch the daily flight between BDL and LAX after a brief offering between 2013 and 2014.

This will be the only nonstop flight between Connecticut and the West Coast, with one-way ticket prices during the service’s voyage month at around $260, according to the American Airlines webpage as of Jan. 28.

For Kailin Lu, a second-semester economics student from Yinchuan, China, the new flight path represents a positive opportunity as long as it is an inexpensive option.

Lu says she plans to travel between China and Connecticut twice a year, returning home only for the summer break.

When coming to UConn this past summer, her 22-hour flight from Yinchuan to Hong Kong to Dallas to Hartford cost around $900. Flights from LA to Yinchuan fluctuate around $900 without the leg to the Northeast, meaning the BDL to LAX flight could be a cheap option to get to China, but on a conditional basis.

Aside from the price variable, the new Bradley flight is particularly attractive to Lu because she could spend several days in LA, a city she is keener to explore than Detroit or Dallas, she said.

Lu is not the only UConn student from China who might consider this flight on her way home. UConn received 279 students from China in the freshman class at the start of this academic year, according to Nazmun Nahar of the Asian American Cultural Center.

Students from California, like fourth-semester pre-communications major Halsey O’Loughlin, might also be considering the new American Airlines flight. 

O’Loughlin says she prefers direct flights so usually flies into New York or Boston, often from LA, on the two or three trips she makes between Connecticut and California each year.

However, with the prospect of the new route, she said “it’s significantly easier to get from Hartford to UConn.”

The service could additionally become an option for professors traveling to the West Coast for conferences and students seeking postgraduate programs and jobs in California.

Malloy is encouraging more of this type of expansion at Bradley.

“Our future as a state is linked directly to our transportation system, and as we build up Bradley Airport, we are helping businesses large and small,” he said in a press release related to the LAX flight.

United Airlines also recently announced a nonstop flight from Bradley to Denver, Colorado, and Aer Lingus anticipates launching a non-stop flight to Dublin, Ireland in September.

The Hartford to LA 150-seat, Boeing 737 flight will leave Bradley at 7 a.m. and return from LA at 9 p.m. daily. Tickets went on sale last week.


Annie Pancak is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at annie.pancak@uconn.edu.