avelo airlines

Avelo Says Airline Will Work to Improve Communication After NBC CT Responds Report

The airline compensated frustrated consumers who spoke with NBC CT Responds after the planes they were on were diverted to airports other than Tweed New Haven Airport.

NBC Universal, Inc.

“We weren't at our best and we apologize to those customers,” said Avelo Airlines Head of Communications Jim Olson.

NBC CT Responds heard from some frustrated travelers who felt they were left high and dry by the airline after the planes they were on were diverted to locations other than Tweed.

About a handful of them happened around the start of the new year.

The complaints were investigated by NBC CT Responds.

Consumers told us there was a lack of communication upon landing, coupled with the struggle to then get in touch with customer service.

And, they said when they did hear from the airline, they felt the compensation wasn’t fair for having to find a hotel - or a ride home from Bradley International Airport to Tweed to get their cars and their bags, for example.

Since this report aired earlier this week, the travelers have been compensated for their troubles and the airline says it plans to better the customer experience.

“We do know that it's frustrating for our customers. We do try to make every effort to do a good job of communication. But we also know that especially like over that new year period where we had several diversions all at once,” Olson said they just weren’t at their best.

Avelo stresses diversions are extremely rare, but they happen for a reason.

“Airlines like ourselves, always put safety first,” said Olson.

Aviation expert Kit Darby gives us an in-depth explanation of the impact of short runways, diversions and safety, too.

The airline confirms there were 27 unscheduled landings to Bradley last year, out of about 2,500 flights. That 27 number does not include diversions to other airports.

“Our crew members don't like diverting any more than our customers, because they want to get home to their families and to their beds,” said Olson.  

He says while the majority of the almost one million people who have flown out of Tweed since Avelo started taking off there have enjoyed their experience, they’re going to be making some communication changes moving forward.

“In 2023, we are making several investments in adding more people investing in our processes, investing in our training and investing in our technology to continue to lean into being the friendly and supportive airline and caring airline that we strive to be,” he said.

He said currently Avelo has, what they call, a customer support crew.

“There are several folks in that team, but whenever you get into these unique situations where there are situations where you've got weather situations or other what we call irregular operations, it definitely creates some surge situations for those folks,” said Olson.

Sunny Nariyani is one of the folks who was frustrated by the airline’s payout for hotels he and two others needed to book after a flight cancelation and then a diversion, too.

After our story aired, he received more money for his out-of-pocket expenses.

“It aired Monday night, the day after Tuesday they sent me an email,” said Nariyani.

“I couldn’t be happier with the result. Again, I was contacting them over and over again and just couldn’t get their attention. NBC definitely helped get their attention and kind of get this problem situated,” he continued.

He says he loves the convenience of flying out of Tweed just miles from his home.

He says even after his frustrations, he’s going to give Avelo another chance.

“It’s easy. I’d love to give them another chance. They’re trying, so yeah, I would,” said Nariyani.

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