Avelo Airlines review: is an extra legroom seat worth the added cost?

Avelo Airlines review: is an extra legroom seat worth the added cost?

I’ve got good news and bad news. Avelo Airlines is a fantastic low cost carrier offering fantastic service at great prices. However, they don’t make it easy to fly with them. This in-depth Avelo Airlines review will explain everything…

When it comes right down to it, I quite enjoyed my experience with them flying from Las Vegas, Nevada to Santa Rosa, California.

The legroom was awesome, the snacks were pretty good, and there were only two instances where I muttered profanity to myself to express the frustration I was feeling in regards to what was (and was not) happening at the time. I’d call that a win.

XP128
Las Vegas, NV (LAS) – Santa Rosa, CA (STS)
Thursday, November 4, 2021
Aircraft: 737-8F2
Registration: N803XT
Duration: 1 hour 16 minutes
Seat: 6F (extra legroom seat)

Avelo Airlines 737-800 side view
Avelo Airlines 737-800 side view illustration by Norebbo.com
xp128 flight track
Our route from Las Vegas to Santa Rosa today as XP128

The video

Instead of a regular SANspotter-style airline review, I chose to approach this video from a slightly different angle. Yes, the video I made about this flight does qualify as a full and legitimate Avelo Airlines review. However, I couldn’t help but wonder how long this seemingly great little airline is going to last. A large portion of this video was spent trying to answer that question.

As usual, all the music in this video came from the fine folks at Epidemic Sound. The title of the first track was Gramophone Glamour by Dusty Decks, and the second track was Deepfake by Bureaurap. Good stuff, and I highly recommend checking out my Epidemic Sound review if you’re in need of high-quality music for your own videos.

A full review of Avelo Airlines flight number 128 from Las Vegas to Santa Rosa

For the record, I actually wanted to fly Avelo Airlines out of Burbank (BUR) instead. It’s much closer to San Diego! However, when it came right down to it, it was much easier to catch a Southwest Airlines flight up to Las Vegas and connect from there.

Long story short, the logistics of trying to catch an early morning flight out of Burbank when you’re starting in San Diego are more than just a little annoying. I’ll just leave it at that and get on with the review.

What terminal does Avelo Airlines use at the Las Vegas airport?

Avelo Airlines uses Terminal 1 at LAS. More specifically, they’re in the B concourse. That won’t really matter when you’re trying to figure out what security checkpoint to go through, since all the concourses and terminals are interconnected past security anyway.

Avelo airlines check in Las Vegas airport
The Avelo Airlines check in counter here at LAS. Either I’m really early or ain’t nobody flying Avelo today. We’ll see!

Remember how I told you that I muttered profanity to myself twice during this experience? Well, both of those times were while I was waiting to board the flight. The following pics will explain:

Las Vegas airport terminal
Past security now, with a couple hours to go until the boarding process begins. Here in Vegas, you can either play the slots while you wait…
Las Vegas airport spotting
…or do a little plane spotting instead. Be prepared to spot a lot of banana yellow A320s.
Las Vegas airport slot machines
Just minding my own business trying to talk myself out of putting the entire value of my 401k into one of those slots over there. Sooo tempting considering that doubling my money would easily make this one of the most epic Avelo Airlines reviews ever.
Las Vegas airport gaming
Thankfully I was able to talk myself out of trying to make this the most epic Avelo review the world has ever seen. Being a responsible adult is no fun. 
Las Vegas airport departures board
The fact that this flight to Santa Rosa wasn’t even listed on the departures board was just what I needed to distract me from the blinky lights (and hypnotic beeps) of the slot machines.
Avelo airlines mobile app
According to the Avelo app, the departure gate was B6. Which was slightly reassuring, but…
Gate B6 Las Vegas airport
…there was exactly zero Avelo Airlines signage, branding, or staff here at B6. Fun!
SANspotter selfie Las Vegas airport
Oh well. You know me. Eating my worries away is what I do best.
Avelo Airlines 737-800 Las Vegas
I felt an overwhelming sense of relief come over me once I saw the arriving aircraft pulling up to gate B6. Starting this review in the wrong terminal would have been really embarrassing!
Avelo Airlines 737-800 N803XT
Fun fact: this aircraft (N803XT) was originally purchased by a Japanese leasing company in the early 2000s, and was then bought by Turkish Airlines in 2006. She’s been around.

The boarding process for Avelo flight number 128 to Santa Rosa California

More than anything, I was curious to see what the load factor was going to be like on this flight. Not that it would be an indication of how well Avelo Airlines is doing across its entire network of flights, but I was still curious.

Avelo Airlines PDF boarding pass
The functionality of the Avelo app was limited, and it didn’t yet support mobile boarding passes. Determined to be as nerdy as I could, I opted for the “still digital but more cumbersome” PDF option.
Avelo airlines gate Las Vegas airport
You can imagine how disappointed I felt when they announced that their system was down and that they’d have to manually check in passengers today (with a notepad and a pen). My efforts to be the tech nerd that I wanted to be today had been squashed.
Las Vegas airport jet bridge
Here we go! We may be an hour behind schedule, but I’m looking forward to the Avelo Airlines experience. I have no idea what to expect, but I am looking forward to it.
Avelo Airlines 737-800 boarding door
I know it’s still early in the review, and I haven’t even stepped foot on the plane yet, but…so far so good. 

My first impressions of the Avelo Airlines 737-800 extra legroom seats

The boarding process was a bit of a mess, but it felt great to finally be on board. Especially once I got a look at the interior of this particular 737-800. It looked fantastic, and not nearly as basic as I thought it was going to be.

The Avelo Airlines 737-800 interior
The Avelo Airlines 737-800 interior. Was it too ambitious of me to hope for purple (or green) seats? Check out my Hawaiian Airlines 717 economy review to see the color that Avelo should have went with.
Avelo Airlines extra legroom seats
These are the “extra legroom” seats, which (as you will see in a moment) live up to their name magnificently.
Avelo Airlines extra leg room seats
Not to sound too critical, but I’m thinking that maybe a better name for the Avelo extra legroom seats would have been “F***ing Fantastic Seats” (because that’s exactly what they are).
Avelo airlines seats
At least I know I’ve got a career in airline marketing waiting for me if this travel blogging thing doesn’t work out. At least that’s what I like to tell myself to be able to sleep at night.
Avelo airlines seat legroom
The legroom in these seats is easily better than many domestic US first class seats that I’ve experienced (and almost as good as you saw in my JSX review). How is it possible for Avelo to sell these seats so cheap??
Avelo airlines 737-800 safety card
“Safe and smooth” is pretty much my motto for nearly everything in life. Glad we’re on the same page here.
SANspotter selfie Avelo airlines
By the way, I scored an entire row of seats to myself. See way I mean about being safe and smooth?
Avelo airlines dirty aircraft
Yes, the floor was a little crusty in spots, but…
Avelo airlines legroom
…with legroom like this, who’s complaining?

The departure out of Las Vegas

Yes, we were a few minutes late pushing off the gate, but with a row of seats all to myself (and that awesome leg room), I really didn’t have much to complain about. Things were looking good and I was very happy to finally be on the way to Santa Rosa.

Avelo airlines 737-800 wing and engine
Finally getting underway about an hour behind schedule. Not that I’m complaining or anything. With legroom as generous as I’ve ever experienced on a domestic flight, a 1 hour delay is a mere inconvenience.
Avelo airlines departing Las Vegas
Since it would be cruel of me to show you these pics without the opportunity to see it in motion, do be sure to check out the full departure video below.

Avelo Airlines food

I wasn’t even planning on including a section about food in this Avelo Airlines review. Having paid just $59 for this ticket (which included all taxes and fees), I wasn’t I wasn’t expecting more than a cup of water. Maybe. I’m happy to report that I underestimated their generosity.

Avelo airlines food
Avelo Airlines food. About a small bottle of water and a package of cookies more than I was expecting.
Avelo airlines Lorna doone snack
What am I missing here? Who is Lorna Doone and why is her name on this package of cookies?
Avelo airlines tray table
Sorry Lorna. I brought my own snacks today.
SANspotter Avelo airlines review
Can’t say that I don’t feel guilty about being fed on this flight. For the $59 that I paid, I feel like I should have brought snacks for them.

How comfortable are the extra legroom seats on Avelo Airlines?

If there’s one thing that a Avelo Airlines is doing right, it’s their extra legroom seats. I had so much room to spread out and relax after the snack service, and it almost felt like first class on any domestic US airline.

Heck, it felt better than regional business class on any European airline. Who woulda thunk that Avelo extra legroom seats would be better than TAP Portugal A32o business class?

Avelo airlines seat pitch
Ssshhhhh. Don’t tell anyone, but…the Avelo Airlines extra legroom seats just may be the best kept secret in comfortable low-cost travel.
Avelo airlines safety card cover
If I could make a suggestion: maybe it should say “Fly safe, smooth, and comfortable”. The extra legroom in these seats is straight-up bonkers.

The descent and arrival into the Sonoma in Airport in Santa Rosa

Being that this was just a short 1 hour flight, there wasn’t that much time to stretch out and relax. I chose this segment due to the fact that it was one of the longest I could find in the Avelo network on this particular day.

It was a great flight – and it felt far too short. Anyway, here’s a brief rundown on what the arrival was like into the Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa California:

Avelo 737-800 wing and engine view
I like this pic because of the way that the cloud layer makes it look like half of the image didn’t load properly. Yes, I’m easily amused.
Flying over Sierra Nevada mountains
The clouds eventually gave way to mountains…
Overflying Bay Area California
…which gave way to a nice view of the Bay Area…
Flying over Santa Rosa California
…which gave way to the lushest (and greenest) scenery I’ve seen in a good long while…
Landing at STS airport
…which eventually gave way to a beautiful approach and landing into STS. Check out the video if you don’t believe me!
Arrival at Santa Rosa airport
Welcome to Santa Rosa!
Avelo airlines deplaning
“I can’t wait to tell everyone about the legroom!”
Santa rosa airport Avelo my airlines
There are no jet bridges at STS, which makes the deplaning process one of the most interesting parts of the experience. Only if you like the smell of jet fuel (and the resulting exhaust) that is. 
Arrival at STS airport terminal
Ok, yeah, the temporary terminal buildings here at STS are a bit sketchy, but as you will see in my upcoming Alaska Airlines E175 first class review, looks can be deceiving. This ended up being one of the neatest airports I’ve been to in a very long time! Stay tuned…

Ok. Just How bad is a Avelo Airlines?

After posting a handful of pics of this flight on my Instagram and Twitter accounts, one of the most common questions I got was based around wondering how bad Avelo Airlines is.

In my opinion, Avelo Airlines is not bad. At all. They are a great little airline, offering really good service at incredibly cheap fares. As a matter of fact, the sort of excitement I felt about this experience reminds me very much of the level of excitement in my recent Breeze Airways review – which was easily one of my most positive reviews in recent times.

Pros and cons of Avelo Airlines

The best way to summarize whether or not Avelo Airlines is good or not is to list out all of the pros and cons. Then, (hopefully) that will help you decide for yourself whether or not they are worth flying.

Pros

  • I don’t know how they do it, but it’s really easy to score some insanely cheap fares on Avelo Airlines. How I managed to pay just $59 for my ticket (which included the “extra legroom” upgrade and all taxes and fees) is beyond me.
  • The extra legroom seat is just as roomy as domestic first class on any other US airline. I can’t say that I’m not tempted to add Avelo to my best domestic first class list…
  • Although the food they serve isn’t substantial, it’s better than nothing. Spirit Airlines won’t even give you a complimentary cup of tap water, so this is a pretty big deal.

Cons

  • Given the fact that Avelo Airlines is still in its infancy stage, expect a higher amount of delays and other issues as they work to perfect the system.
  • Their limited flight network can be frustrating if you’re on a tight schedule and you really need to be somewhere at a very specific time. In other words, there aren’t as many flight options compared to other airlines.

Comments (3)

  1. Jeremy

    May 8, 2022
  2. Jen Claybourne

    May 24, 2022
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      May 24, 2022

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