Christine Stuart photo
Chuck and Diane Dantico (Christine Stuart photo)

When Chuck and Diane Dantico said they were flying direct back to Los Angeles, their family and friends didn’t believe them.

The Danticos, who got married in Connecticut, were back to renew their vows and celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Mr. Dantico said he had no idea they were on the inaugural flight from Bradley International Airport to Los Angeles until they turned on the news in their hotel room.

When the Diamond Bar, Calif. couple flew into Connecticut, they had to first fly to Dallas before catching a flight to Bradley.

“We’re making history today,” Dantico said.

Jeanne Young of Mass Mutual said the business community has been asking for the direct flight to LAX. She said her friends in the business world are hoping this flight, offered by American Airlines, can be maintained. She said a lot will rely upon American keeping the fares competitive.

A quick reservation search at shows round-trip fares ranging from $512 to $1,140 for the flight, which is takes 6 hours, 15 minutes on a Boeing 738.

Mary Ellen Jones, chair of the Connecticut Airport Authority that manages Bradley International, said she knows there are people in the business community who already have booked flights to LAX well into the future because they want to see the route stay.

In 2005, Song, the low-cost airline operated by Delta from 2003 until 2006, offered a non-stop flight from Bradley International to LAX before the airline’s last flight in April 2006.

Christine Stuart photo
Mary Ellen Jones, chair of the Connecticut Airport Authority (Christine Stuart photo)

“This is something people have been asking for from Bradley,” Jones said. “Now we’re delivering it and I’m very confident we’ll have the support we need to keep it going.”

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was on hand Tuesday for the send off.

He said the direct flight to LAX opens up the West Coast, where there are direct flights to Singapore and other cities in Asia.

In addition to American Airlines, Malloy said there will be future announcements from other airlines adding flights to Atlanta and two locations in Florida.

Christine Stuart photo

Malloy said continued support for the route largely will depend upon bookings.

When Jet Blue started their non-stop service to Puerto Rico a year ago, “that was thought to just be seasonal, but it’s a year-round flight,” Malloy said.

Dale Morris, American Airlines’ regional vice president of government affairs, said American operates 10 daily departures from Bradley and 165 from LAX.

“The new flight between the East Coast and West Coast offers valued customers a wonderful opportunity to leave home early in the morning and arrive in Los Angeles just in time for a late lunch,” he said. Or they can connect to another destination from LAX.

Today’s inaugural flight took off at 9:20 a.m. and will arrive in Los Angeles at 12:35 p.m.