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Pet relief area at Hartford’s Bradley International Airport (BDL)

Hartford’s Bradley International Airport has such a modest website that I expected a modest airport too — but although older buildings suggest that it was once very modest indeed, BDL’s current main building is large and attractive. This is an airport with plans for the future, it seems — and I surely do hope that they include a better pet relief area, because this is one of the lamest I’ve encountered. [9/13/12 Today’s blog post updates this information with news of BDL’s two new pet relief areas — not perfect, but certainly better than what I found in May 2012.]

There’s no reference to it on the airport’s website. The information desk was closed by the time our flight arrived. It was only by chance that I saw the sign as our rental car shuttle was pulling away from the curb (we got our car, drove back to the airport, and took another look).

To find the pet relief area, follow the signs directing you to rental car shuttles. You’ll emerge from Terminal A (we flew in on Southwest, one of Terminal A’s airlines) and find a sign like this:

When you find this sign, you will be within 50 feet of the official pet relief area

As you exit the building, look to the right and you’ll see this staircase at the end of the terminal building:

The pet relief area is just visible to the right of the big column

Walk to the other side of the staircase, and you’ll see what looks like an abandoned lot, with gravel and weeds — and nothing else (no poop bags, no trash can, and certainly no fence, bench, or water supply). The sign says it’s a pet relief area, but I call it a disaster.

This is at an angle to get the whole space into one shot. Sorry about the blurry -- I pretty much snapped it on the run. Airport police don't love it when you leave your car on the curb and take random pix of airport features....

Across the airport roadway is a patch of lawn, a much better alternative. Bring poop bags with you, because you’ll need your own, wherever you and your dog end up.

You can just see a grassy patch across the airport roadway, in front of the parking garage

This post is part of an ongoing series of reviews of airport pet relief areas we’ve visited. To see others, visit Dog Jaunt’s handy guide to airport pet relief areas.