Let me first start off by saying there was a lot of concern from people who messaged me asking how this airline was, and, I too, was a tad skeptical about this new airport. I love flying. I fly quite often but recently I have been developing a slight “fly anxiety” and let me tell you, it’s not fun. However, Jared and I are travel peeps and we’re all about taking the risks so we decided to be early on the list of trying to fly with Avelo.
This post is not sponsored in any way. I am just sharing our true and honest experience while flying with Avelo after getting a bunch of questions from people, curious as to how it went. A little background, Avelo Airline at Tweed airport in New Haven (HVN), just recently became a commercial airline in November. This airport now flies commercially to 6 different locations in Florida: Orlando, Tampa, Sarasota, Fort Myers, West Palm, and Fort Lauderdale. And if you didn’t know, they also have a bunch of flights in the West Coast as well, unfortunately, none that leave from Tweed (yet). The flight we took was from New Haven into West Palm Beach (PBI).
Arrival To Airport – We had gotten a text saying to arrive two hours early because of holiday season which seemed normal to me and I was all about it because I have a fear of missing flights. We showed up two hours early without even the thought that there is literally only one gate at this place. Lol. It was just our flight and that’s it. Needless, to say we were the first ones to be at the airport – no lie… like not even an employee in sight. We were the only ones there and waited about 30 min for an employee to arrive and point us in the right direction. After the TSA workers all arrived, we ended up being in the wrong area anyway and realized the check in station was one door over at the side building. There was a note saying they were renovating and to please be patient with them so this may change in the future. All understandable as they are a brand new commercial airline.
After we had checked in and walked back through the main door, we were off and ready. It took us about 20 min total to check in, drop our bags, and get through TSA. Super fast. I will say though, they are definitely still trying to figure out the ropes of everything and it did take some time to get their computers and printers up and running. It was probably a good thing we arrived when we did regardless, because we had no idea what we were in for and it took some time for everyone to figure out what the heck was going on. I wasn’t nervous either about missing the flight because they can’t take off without any of the passengers, right? This is definitely one of the perks of flying with a smaller private airline. I will say that now that we know what to do and what the deal is, we probably will not be arriving as early next time.
Parking – We had googled the parking beforehand because we were unsure of what the deal was with that. It says they have parking lots at the airport to park at. We arrived and their long term lot was already “full” and we were not expecting that. However, I also think that we may have been so early that it just wasn’t open yet? I’m not sure what happened there, because there was not a human in sight. It did look pretty full, but who knows. We ended up parking right across from that lot at the “short term parking”. I’m not sure if that was what we were supposed to do, or what the difference was, but it was $18 a day and you just take a ticket and pay at the end. It ended up being fine and no we did not get towed for parking there for 7 days (a thought that definitely crossed my mind). I did see a few shuttle buses when we landed home at Tweed, so I’m assuming there are other parking options nearby, something we will probably look into for next time.
Security – Security went super smoothly. After all, there were only under 200 people at this airport at once. But it was just like any other airport with regular TSA officers and security is exactly the same. I noticed they do have pre-check in here as well.
Food – They have one cute little cafe inside once you get through security, G Cafe Bakery, which was delicious. They have “pragels” which are pretzel bagels – so yummy, croissants, coffee, and a few other food and drink options. I had an “everything pragel” and a croissant – both were very satisfying.
Wifi – There is free Wifi offered inside the airport. The password is “Tweed123”, it’s also posted all over the screens at the airport.
Luggage – You do have to pay for all carry ons and all check bags. There is no getting around that one. You can still bring one personal item, for under the seat, that’s free. I ended up checking my carry on as it was only $10 more and much easier for me, and I’m pretty sure they prefer people to do this anyway.
I did mess up my bags when purchasing my flights and had to call customer service and they helped me right away and figured it out and adjusted it quickly.
Beware it is a VERY small baggage claim in Tweed. Obviously the baggage claims at the other airlines are their usual ones. But I’m talking like a 100 ft straight belt, and you definitely should be sure that no one walks off with the wrong bag because that happened to us. There was just a LOT going on and it’s best to send one person from your party up and have them slide the bags back to you because it gets pretty crowded pretty fast.
App – I did not like their app. At all. In fact I already deleted it off my phone. It kept logging me out and would not remember my flight information. It was much easier to navigate and check in on their website through Safari, but I’m sure this will improve over time. Their website was great and easy to navigate and was just like any other airline. And they do have it set up so you can add your tickets to your wallet app and scan in through your phone.
No TV’s but everything else was the same as any other regular commercial flight. I’m not too sure about the whole wifi situation. I didn’t even attempt to try it or know if they had it. I usually sleep, read, or watch my downloaded episodes. All of the flight attendants were so kind and helpful. We were greeted with warm welcomes and smiling faces. We had a little seat confusion on the way home but they helped figure it out super fast.
The Tweed runway is super small. Taking off was fine and smooth and normal. On our way back, the pilot gave us a warning that he had to brake hard while landing because we had a full flight and extra fuel. The warning was nice, but to be honest we couldn’t even tell and it felt like a normal smooth landing to me.
On the way home again they told us to arrive early but still had a ton of computer difficulty and only one person checking us all in at first, which held us up a little but it wasn’t terrible, again they can’t leave the entire plane behind. The flight ended up being delayed a bit because the plane wasn’t even there yet. Also I think COVID had a lot to play into it and everything is just so crazy right now. One of the workers had mentioned she was doing an extra shift because so many people were out sick. I’m sure as time goes on they will get into the flow of things and hopefully COVID will be less of a problem and things will go even smoother. Just remember EVERYWHERE is short staffed right now, the whole world is crazy but please be kind to those who are showing up to do their job, they most likely are feeling the same way you are.
COVID Cleanliness – There is hand sanitizer all around the airport. Masks are absolutely required (as they are on all airlines right now), and they are SUPER EXTRA strict with it. Flight attendants do hand out wipes while boarding like all the other airlines. However, I’m not too positive they cleaned the entire plane once we got off. Maybe it’s because we were super late landing on the way home, but they immediately started boarding the next flight, unless they cleaned it super fast, I’m not sure. Again I think it all goes back to being short staffed and a new airline. I wasn’t too bothered by it, my thought process is, it’s a commercial plane, they’re going to be dirty no matter what. Those planes carry hundreds of people a day. I always travel with my Lysol wipes and hand sanitizer.
All and all, it was a great experience for us. It felt a little more personal and a lot less chaotic than a regular airport, as long as you don’t mind being patient with them. I can honestly say we will absolutely be flying with them again, in fact I’m in the process of booking our next flight with them as you read this. I enjoyed the personableness of the airline and pilot. Not to mention it is super convenient and at such a good price. Head over to their FAQ for any other questions you may have.
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