Speaking of Flying
Welcome to the new Speaking of Travel series, Speaking of Flying, an interview series highlighting passengers and their unique adventures through the Asheville Regional Airport.
Find out where people are heading and learn some valuable travel tips. After listening to these fun tales from the terminal you'll want to book your next flight!
Getting Down to Business
Taylor and Natalie are coworkers who enjoy traveling together for business. When they realized they were both scheduled to fly through the same airport for connecting flights to their differing final destinations, they decided to seize the opportunity to chat and catch up in the terminal.
The Denver-based friends are experienced travelers and know how to make the most of their trips.
“Always be nice to your flight attendants,” Taylor said. “Say hi to them on the way in, maybe buy them a snack. I’ve gotten lots of free drinks and snacks on the plane from it. Always give them a smile and say 'hey.' They appreciate it.”
For Natalie, a well-planned itinerary is the key to success while traveling.
“I get to the airport extremely early just in case something random happens,” Natalie said. “It’s always nice to have some wine or beer along the way.”
Taylor and Natalie love flying through AVL. “It’s really personal,” Taylor said. “You don’t have to worry about long security lines.
They have a great little restaurant here. It’s great customer service; everyone is super sweet. It’s small, [so] you’re in and out pretty quick. It’s a great experience.”
Cruising Through AVL
Straw hat in tow, Wesley and Madison are ready for a sunny escape. The couple is flying to Fort Lauderdale for a tropical cruise around the Mexican Riviera.
This adventure marks Wesley’s first-ever flying experience, so he is depending on Madison’s expertise to navigate the airport smoothly.
“Always plan early. Traffic, TSA – you never know if they are going to get something in your bookbag or not,” Madison said. “Make sure you have all of your toiletries in your checked bag or in a quart size bag.”
Madison and Wesley enjoy taking the easy way out at AVL.
“It’s small,” Madison said. “I can park right outside and come right in [without having] to worry about getting a bus over here or spending two hours waiting in line at TSA. It’s in and out.”
Paws for Passengers
Hunter is headed back home to Maine after a busy semester at Brevard College. After locating his gate, he also found he had some company to help him pass the time. Samson, one of the airport’s Paws for Passengers therapy pets, was there to offer Hunter an enthusiastic greeting.
“We have 23 registered therapy dogs who volunteer here at the Asheville Regional Airport,” said Karen, Samson’s handler.
“They volunteer to help mitigate travel stress or boredom or entertain people who happen to be at the airport.”
There are several things that Karen enjoys about the airport, but she thinks the therapy pets are a special touch to the AVL experience. “It’s a cool airport,” Karen said. “We have rocking chairs and wi-fi, but we also have 23 fuzzy little ambassadors who are here to make you appreciate your time while you’re at the Asheville Regional Airport.”
Hunter echoes that sentiment, explaining that it was a great part of his travel experience. “It’s really unique,” Hunter said.
“I’ve never seen a program like that. When you’re bored and you have a couple hours to waste, it’s nice when you just get to sit and pet a dog.”
Headed for the Holy Land
EJ is gearing up for the adventure of a lifetime. EJ works with a Christian outreach ministry in Brevard, and he is excited for his 15-day excursion exploring the history behind biblical texts in Israel.
With an extensive packing list and a family at home, EJ understands the importance of preparation.
“I needed to look over the packing list a million times,” EJ said. “This is a trip I have been preparing for [over] the last six months, so this week has been wrapping things up.”
EJ loves his hometown airport. “I love flying in and out of Asheville Regional Airport because it is so efficient and quick,” EJ said.
“I checked my watch when I came through security and… from the time my wife dropped me off until the time I came through security took 14 minutes. That’s really awesome. It’s also 25 minutes from my house which makes it extremely convenient.”
Hello, Sunshine State
Burt is to off Tampa. The trip has become routine, as he flies down most weekends to continue the process of becoming permanently settled in Florida. As a frequent flyer, Burt knows how to make the most of his time in the airport.
“If you can get TSA Pre-[check] or Global Entry, you can get through security lines much, much quicker,” Burt said. “There’s usually no line, so that saves 15 or 20 minutes.”
Burt loves the stress-free experience of flying AVL. “There is very little stress to fly here,” he said.
“It is very relaxed. You don’t see a lot of people very nervous… it’s about as laid-back an airport as you’ll ever find.”
There’s No Place Like Home
Joseph is heading home. Some might call it St. Petersburg, but Joseph calls it paradise. While he may not be a native, Joseph is a regular visitor to Asheville; and he has a few tips when it comes to smooth travel.
“Depending on the airline… make sure you download the app,” Joseph said. “You can check in.”
Joseph loves the ease of traveling through AVL. “The one thing about Asheville Regional is that it’s a smaller airport,” he said.
“The rental cars are on-site… and baggage claim is a few yards away from the gate. Everything is concise and expedites the whole process — getting in, getting out and getting on your way.”
Fun In The Sun
McCall is ready for vacation. She is from Franklin, North Carolina, and is traveling to Florida for a sunny escape with friends.
McCall lives an hour away from the airport, so she is a practiced hand when it comes to planning ahead.
“Wherever I’m flying to, I have the app downloaded on my phone,” McCall said.
“I check in before I leave and try to get here about an hour and 30 minutes early, just so I have plenty of time.”
McCall loves flying AVL. “I love that it’s a small airport, so it’s very easy,” she said. “You know where you’re going and then you just get to your gate and wait.”
Old Friends, New Adventures
Alice and Chuck meet up with friends in different locations every year, and this year’s vacation brought them to WNC.
They are originally from Ohio and decided to explore Asheville after hearing that it was a great place to be.
When it comes to taking vacations, Alice likes to be prepared.
“I’m a great organizer,” Alice said. “I have things planned out. I start laying stuff out. By the time I’m ready to pack, it only takes minutes because everything is right there.”
Alice and Chuck love the relaxed nature of AVL. “I like small airports. They’re much more comfortable and relaxing,” she said.
We Are The Champions
Trevor is on his way to a coaching convention in Tampa with a unique accessory. As a director of basketball operations, his hat was prominently adorned with a piece of a basketball net — telling a story of its own.
The piece was cut from a net the night before, symbolizing Appalachian State University’s Women’s Basketball Team’s victory in the Invitational National Tournament. As a professional tasked with arranging travel for the team, Trevor is a seasoned pro.
“A big thing for us is making sure you always have your ID,” Trevor said. “People take that for granted. We’ve gotten into situations when it’s not necessarily where you think its going to be all the time. Make sure you always have that, even before you get in your car.”
This marks Trevor’s first time flying AVL. “This is definitely one of the better regional airports I’ve ever been to,” he said. “It’s clean. There’s a great restaurant and a great shop inside once you get in. Getting through security maybe took… five minutes. It was great and this place seems packed right now.”
Tying The Knot
Robert took the plunge!
He and his family traveled from Cape Coral, Florida, for his destination wedding. Traveling with such a large entourage can be quite the organizational feat, but Robert has it down to a T.
“Traveling with such a large group of people, I always make a checklist,” Robert said. “We don’t leave anything or anyone behind.”
Robert has visited the area before, and he loves flying in and out of AVL.
“It’s a nice airport,” he said. “Everybody is super nice out here.”
Head Over Heels
Alex and Mark are flying home to Denver. Their Asheville weekend was filled with a friend's wedding festivities, but they ended up falling in love with the city itself. This weekend trip called for a quick turnaround, and Mark knew just what to do.
“Download mobile passes and don’t check a bag,” he said. “We did this time, and it’s been the only slow part of our travels.”
Alex and Mark love the intimate size of AVL. “The Asheville Airport is small and easy to get around, so it’s made flying nice,” Alex said.
Meagan is heading home to Denver after visiting WNC for the first time. As part of her best friend’s bachelorette party, she spent the weekend exploring every nook and cranny of Asheville.
Given her busy itinerary, Meagan knew it was important to pack light.
“Of course, check the weather," she said.
"I had a max of two outfits per day. I rolled them up as tightly as I could to fit as many as I can in my bag.”
Meagan loved the amenities at AVL. “It’s been great,” she said.
“One of my favorite things [is that] they have a lot of different charging stations.”
Mary and Hannah have a unique carry on. They’re heading out for a summer adventure in Wisconsin with Bear, a fluffy ten-week old Leonberger puppy.
Mary and Hannah have taken Bear on trips in the past and they know the drill when it comes to bringing a dog onboard.
“Wear them out, and pray for no delays,” Mary said.
‘Get their energy out, make sure they are taken to the bathroom before you leave, and hopefully they sleep the whole way.”
Mary and Hannah love the ease of traveling out of AVL.
“[It is] super convenient,” Mary said. "Small, quick, no-hassle.
This is just a piece of cake. It’s really lovely. It’s a really nice environment to fly in and out of.”