It’s been a couple years since I flew the inaugural Avelo flight from my local Arcata-Eureka Airport (ACV) to their West Coast Burbank hub. I’ve enjoyed multiple flights on the new airline, enjoying their cheap fares most of all. I even flew Avelo ACV to LAS a couple times when it initially operated, making it by far the cheapest and easiest way I’ve ever flown between the two cities.
Unfortunately, Avelo axed the Las Vegas service in 2022. But they restarted it again in fall 2023. Given that I needed to make a quick trip to Las Vegas this fall, I flew Avelo for the first time in over a year. It had been quite a while since I’d flown them, so I was curious how the experience would hold up to my previous flights.
Booking my Avelo Flight
I booked my Avelo ticket soon after the route was re-announced, but waiting to take advantage of an additional sale. The base fare was a mere $6.23. With taxes and fees, the ticket came to just $27.30. It was a screaming deal out of our regional airport.
Since I didn’t pay for any luggage, seat selection, or other extras, this was the entirety of the price. As a low cost carrier, Avelo tries to make as much money as they can on extras. But if you travel with just a backpack and don’t care where you sit, you can get away with a cheap ticket. For a short overnight in Las Vegas, I didn’t need much.
- Flight: XP204
- Aircraft: Boeing 737
- Date: September 18, 2023
- Seat: 30A
- Origin: Arcata-Eureka (ACV)
- Destination: Las Vegas (LAS)
Airport and Boarding Experience
As has been the case, I arrived at the airport fairly close to departure. There was the one case I arrived after boarding has begun and still made my flight. I made it to the gate area with about 5 minutes until boarding time. Then boarding time time passed while people were still deplaning from the Avelo 737. Te trickle of passengers soon stopped, and boarding quickly commenced for the Avelo ACV to LAS flight.
Rather than bother with the PA system, the gate agent simply yelled that the flight was ready to board and that those with priority boarding should line up. Not my line. I had to wait.
But that wasn’t the end of the shouting. Maybe Gate 2 (out of a total of 2) lacks a PA system. Who knows. After priority boarding, Avelo yelled for people line up for groups 1 & 2 and then began boarding by group. I lined up with group 3 once it was called.
Boarding got a bit backed up. But it was nice to get away from the yelling, though. Each time I’ve flown Avelo, there’s always been a decent line that formed on the ramp as you enter the aircraft. It was a nice night. But this would be miserable in the winter rain. The main difference with the new Avelo service to Las Vegas is the departure time. The flight leaves after 9:00 PM.
Flying Avelo ACV to LAS
I was a bit surprised how many people were on the flight. Avelo flies between ACV and LAS on twice a week, conveniently timed to that you can spend a weekend in Nevada’s desert metropolis. Yet there were still some empty sets of seats at boarding. I’m not sure how the airline assigns people who don’t select a seat ahead of time, but from what I could tell, we were generally clustered together.
The seats themselves on the 737-700 looked like they were in decent shape. I’ve flown a few Avelo aircraft, but I don’t believe I’ve ever been on the “Spirit of the Havens”. I thought the seats were well padded for the distance they fly, with the amenities you’d expect of a budget airline.
The load was over 50%, which honestly surprised me a bit for being just a matter of weeks after service restarted to Las Vegas. I guess Avelo made the right call restarting this route. There were still plenty of people without seatmates, including an empty middle seat next to me.
The seat pitch is fairly low, but I fit just fine. My bag stored under the seat, and I was left with a reasonable amount of foot space. I certainly like to travel differently. But given the price and relatively short length of the flight, I couldn’t complain.
I will note that the aircraft clearly hadn’t been sufficiently cleaned during the turn, as there was trash in the seat back pocket. The seats were generally clean. But this was an unfortunate find. I hope it’s not their typical practice.
We were soon in the air, and I had an utterly uneventful flight to Las Vegas. I was glad to arrive, and just as glad to leave the next day.
Avelo ACV to LAS: Final Thoughts
I’d be a fool to complain about flying Avelo ACV to LAS for less than $30 one-way. Deals out of our airport don’t often come up like this. United is the main carrier that serves ACV, but Avelo is a nice addition to two regional destinations.
As I’d previously experienced, the budget carrier does a fine job getting you from point A to point B. I don’t know what was up with the lack of a PA system at ACV, but it was a minor annoyance. The plane was reasonably clean, yet it hand’t been cared for after passengers deplaned at ACV.
If you can avoid the extra fees, Avelo is a great way to fly. I hope they continue to grow and continue to serve our tiny airport.