This passenger interview series, brought to you in partnership with Speaking of Travel, is designed to spotlight our passengers and their unique adventures through AVL.
Across the pond
The Warner family will be spending their holiday season across the pond in London, England. Commuting to visit relatives in Somerset is an especially interesting experience for the Warners. “We will drive down,” Doug said. “What is interesting about the drive is that you go… within 50 yards of Stonehenge.”
As a family who frequently travels together, the Warners know what it takes to get the job done. “Get here early,” Doug said. “Do whatever you have to do to get out of the house quickly and relax at the airport.”
The Warner family loves the convenience of AVL. “We live one exit away,” Doug said. “It is literally a five-minute drive.”
Grace is heading south for winter. She will spend the season with family in Arizona. Her dog is also joining in the fun, awaiting boarding in her carrier.
“You have to pack a lot of stuff.” Grace said. “That is why we… carry her the way we do. We have so much to handle, to check in and out.”
Grace likes how easy it is to navigate her way around AVL. “It is friendly and small,” Grace said. “It is just easy to get around. I enjoy it here.”
The Keaton family is making their first-ever trip to Rome, Italy. With the holidays on the horizon, the Keatons are eager to celebrate in a different way and make memories together over the holidays. When it comes to traveling as a family, Michael understands the importance of patience and flexibility.
“It can try the patience a little bit,” he said. “Kids want to do their thing, and parents have ideas of what the kids should be doing. We give them enough freedom, and it all works out.”
Michael loves starting his adventures at AVL. “It is very convenient,” he said. “The parking is close to the terminal. It is very affordable. It is much faster than taking a long two-and-a-half-hour drive… and it is great that at the end of your trip you do not have a two-and-a-half-hour drive awaiting you when you are all exhausted and just want to go home.”
Home for the holidays
Robert is Memphis-bound for the holidays to be with family. The Tennessee native was only in town briefly, picking up his son who attends college in the area. With such a quick turnaround, he came prepared to navigate the airport with efficiency.
“I always anticipate the TSA stop. Wear stuff that is easy to get off and put back on. Have a backpack to keep it all so you do not misplace it. It will fit in the overhead bin – no matter how small the plane is.”
Robert likes the convenience and speed of traveling through AVL. “I picked Asheville for our… flight because it is easy to check in and check out,” Robert said. “If you rented a car, you can drop it off.”
Steven is off to New Orleans to spend the holidays with family – but he is not going alone. He is bringing along his favorite four-legged travel companion, Levi. As someone who frequently travels with a pet, Steven knows a thing or two about bringing furry friends on board.
“He is fun to travel with,” Steven said. “He has traveled everywhere with me. A lot of people like him and try to pet him.”
Steven likes the ease of traveling in out of the AVL. “It is an easy airport to travel out of,” Steven said. “It is not like a big airport where you have so many planes coming in.”
The sport of spontaneity
Michael works for Delta Airlines at the Asheville Regional Airport. As an avid traveler with 13 years of airline experience under his belt, Michael knows the ins and outs of travel from both sides of the counter.
“I love [working here],” Michael said. “Every day is a new day… there’s different challenges and different experiences. Meeting all types of people on a daily basis; I truly love it.”
Michael likes to leave room for spontaneity when he travels. “If you really want to enjoy some place or take it all in, don’t overpack or overthink,” he said. “We only have one life, so it makes a big difference.”
Cynthia is on her way to Indiana, and she has a unique way of passing time while traveling.
“[Knitting] is a really good thing to do in the airport or on the fly to entertain yourself,” Cynthia said. “You actually get something done and have something to show for… spending time waiting.”
Cynthia likes the convenience of flying out of AVL. “It’s really small and it’s easy to get through the line for security,” “It’s a lot faster than at a larger airport.”
In the atmosphere
Gabriele is a PhD student from Italy studying finance in Oklahoma. Over the past four years, he has learned a thing or two from traveling around the United States.
“I try to avoid the touristic places,” Gabriele said. “I try to walk around the city and meet locals. That’s the best way to discover a city, to feel the atmosphere. Wherever the atmosphere is right, step in those places and look around and talk to people.”
Gabriele came to Asheville for a conference but spent his free time exploring the city. “The few things I’ve seen here in Asheville, they’re all beautiful,” Gabriele said. "Beautiful city, great people, very friendly. It was a great experience.”
Packing on the fly
Meghan is taking an impromptu trip to Las Vegas. By checking into the amenities offered at her destination, she was able to pack as quickly as possible.
“I’m hoping that by staying at a house, it will have most of the necessities I need,” she said. “I pretty much just packed a couple pairs of clothes.”
With little time to spare, she was thankful for the flexibility and convenience of her local airport. “I like that it is conveniently located near my home, so I didn’t have to prepare too far in advance before leaving,” Meghan said. “I had plenty of time to get here, and now I’m enjoying the company in the terminal.”
Traveling in style
Arielle is headed home to New York, and she likes to strike the balance of cute and comfortable.
“I like to get travel-size makeup,” she said. “Whether it be mascara, my lashes or just some quick lip gloss. You have to look good when you travel. You don’t know who you’re going to see on the plane.”
Arielle likes the customer service she receives at AVL. “It’s very intimate,” she said. “United lets me know when things are delayed or on time. I enjoy it because the customer service is nice here. I know that I can get checked in… and go through the process pretty quickly.”
Sierra is the Marketing and PR Coordinator at the Asheville Regional Airport. As part of the marketing team, she helps organize AVL’s art and music programs for passengers and airport visitors.
“We invite local artists to come and play for our passengers,” she said. “It sets a nice relaxing tone for everyone."
Highlighting local talent in the terminal allows passengers to have an immersive Asheville experience before they even leave the airport. “Our art gallery features a lot of local artists,” Sierra said. “It allows people to get a taste of Asheville and gives them something to do while they are traveling.”
Off to Switzerland
Madison is headed to Switzerland for an impromptu adventure. With nothing but a rented car, Madison and Steven plan to spontaneously explore Europe for a week. From the Holy Land to Russia, these two young travelers know a thing or two about experiences abroad.
“Getting to see all these different cultures, you just have a deep respect for other people’s viewpoints and opinions,” Madison said. “It really broadens your horizons. If you have the opportunity, I would highly recommend everyone to go out and travel.”
Madison loves kicking off his adventures at the Asheville Regional Airport. “I don’t think we’ve ever walked through these doors in the last two years without someone greeting us by name. They make such a personal connection and take such good care of us.”
Tricks of the trade
Drayton is a customer service representative for United Airlines. After working with an airline for 17 years, he knows all the tricks to traveling with ease.
“Have your ID available,” Drayton said. “If you are traveling internationally, you must make sure you have your passport.”
Drayton loves working at the Asheville Regional Airport. “I like the customers, working with the public and interacting with people is what I love to do most,” he said. “Some travel a lot and you get to see their faces a lot and you know them personally.”
Traveling with baby
April and three-month-old Carter are making the trip back home to Orlando after visiting with family here in Asheville. With family in California and a six year old at home, she knows the ins and outs of flying with kids. Traveling with a baby can be daunting, but April has some great tips for moms on the move.
“We usually go to the dollar store and get a bunch of little, they don’t even have to be toys, calculators or boxes with things in them,” April said. “Anything that he hasn’t seen before, lots of snacks, letting him engage with other kids on the flight and explore.”
For April, flying out AVL makes all the difference. “I love going out of small, nice airports. It makes traveling with kids so much more convenient and less stressful.”
Biking around Germany
Tom is off to Germany for an eight-day bike trip. Touring the country by bike leaves little room for excess when it comes to packing, and Tom understands the key to packing only the necessities.
“I packed once and I cut it in half,” Tom said. “People don’t need all that they pack.”
Tom loves starting his travels at AVL. “Every chance I get I come out of Asheville because it’s small,” Tom said. “These guys actually know me. I travel a good bit, and it’s easy. Lines are almost not existent and friendly mountain people.”
Dan and Jen are making their way to Phoenix, Arizona, for a family event. Both Dan and Jen travel for work, and they figured out the secrets to packing like a pro.
“Pack for the security line to get in and out as quickly as you can,” Dan said. “Make sure you have liquids handy at the top of your bag… and reduce the number of electronics that you carry on with you.”
The couple loves the ease and convenience of flying out of AVL. “It is one of the easiest airports I’ve ever flown out of, and we love it,” Jen said.
Natalie and her family can’t wait to start their family vacation. They are flying from AVL to Tampa to kick off their cruise to Cozumel and the Grand Cayman Islands. Natalie’s children enjoy the perks of traveling with family.
“They love traveling with their cousins,” Natalie said.
AVL helps Natalie start her vacation as quickly as possible. She said, "I love that it is so close to us, and that it has direct flights."