Lonely Planet Writer

Cheaper tickets and extra flights on the horizon between US and Mexico

Passengers flying between the US and Mexico can expect to see cheaper tickets and more frequent flights on the horizon – thanks to a change in regulations.

Southwest Airlines opening new flights between US and Mexico at the end of the year
Southwest Airlines opening new flights between US and Mexico at the end of the year which could also  lead to cheaper tickets Image by Aero Icarus / CC BY-SA 2.0

A new agreement between the two countries has opened up the aviation market with customers looking set to benefit with cheaper tickets. A number of big carriers, including Delta and Southwest, have signaled their intent to offer new flights. American Airlines says it will gauge the level of demand before deciding what to do.

Delta also launching extra flights between the US and Mexico before the end of the year
Delta also launching extra flights between the US and Mexico before the end of the year with the hope that cheaper tickets will follow Image by Aleksander Markin / CC BY-SA 2.0

Up to now, both sides have abided by rules which allow only a few airlines from each country to operate on the various routes. When the deal was signed last December, the US heralded it as a breakthrough, providing “new options for travellers” such as cheaper tickets while enhancing competition.

The problem at present is that while base fares are low, taxes imposed by both countries seriously inflate pricing. George Hobica from airfarewatchdog.com explained that on a round trip between Dallas-Forth Worth and the Mexican city of Cancun, taxes and other fees account for up to 30% of the price. This pushes economy-class fares up to $585. This is in contrast to the round trip fare of $258 promoted recently. However, there were limited seats on offer at this price.

Delta will fly from JFK, New York to
Delta will fly from JFK, New York to Cancun Image by saaby / CC BY-SA 2.0

From December, Delta has announced that it will start daily nonstop flights between Kennedy Airport in New York and Cancun in Mexico. The airline is also to fly between Los Angeles and Los Cabos while operating flights on Saturdays between Kansas City and Cancun. A little earlier in December, Southwest will commence daily flights to Cancun, Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta from Los Angeles. In February, the carrier will fly from Oakland to Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos – provided it gets the go-ahead from the Mexican authorities.