Latin American Airlines: Flying on Volaris

Latin American Airlines: Flying on Volaris

If you’re flying to Mexico from the USA or have to get from one airport to a different inside the nation, there’s one identify you’re going to run into repeatedly. Flying on Volaris is one thing you’re in all probability going to expertise ultimately for the sake of time or comfort, even if you happen to’re a luxurious traveler. So right here’s our tackle what to anticipate.

First of all, you should know that Volaris is firmly and unapologetically a funds airline. No frills, a number of further charges, and no pampering. This just isn’t uncommon: there’s just one true full-service airline left standing in Mexico and that’s Aeromexico, which normally sends you thru a busy hub. The relaxation have raced to the underside, with an analogous expertise as you’ll discover with the likes of Allegiant, Ryanair, or Air Asia. A step up from Spirit and Viva Aerobus, however not a giant step.

The excellent news is, their web site is in each English and Spanish, capable of spit out costs in a number of currencies, and more often than not it does what it’s alleged to do. You simply should reset it again to English if you happen to do a number of searches from inside Mexico as a result of it’ll preserve reverting again to Spanish and pesos.

Where They Fly

This airline can get you plenty of locations, particularly if you happen to’re an expat dwelling in Mexico. By most measures they’re the nation’s largest service now, forward of the flagship Aeromexico, and are increasing extra quickly. Unfortunately, whereas the previous will get you Skymiles factors and so they have codeshares with Delta, Volaris just isn’t aligned with anybody besides observe no-frills airline Frontier.

Assume you may get to most of Mexico with Volaris, however additionally they fly to plenty of completely different international locations.

USA: Atlanta, Chicago, DC, Dallas, and plenty of California cities, plus codeshares with Frontier.
El Salvador
Costa Rica

Figuring out these routes just isn’t all the time straightforward although as a result of there’s no map and among the combos are a fake-out. Your departure metropolis and vacation spot metropolis will probably be obtainable as decisions, however then while you attempt to decide a day, no dates can be found in any month.

The Volaris Evolution to Budget Carrier

It wasn’t all the time the case that this was a low-frills funds airline, billing themselves as an “extremely low-cost airline.” I first flew on Volaris again in 2011, at a time once they had been making an attempt to woo prospects with extra facilities and higher service. They had been competing arduous with Interjet (now kaput) and on the time they had been each extra prone to shock you to the upside than the draw back. To present how far downmarket they’ve gone, right here’s what I wrote again then:

Attendants hand out headphones to make use of to observe TV in Spanish on the seatback screens. Soon a drink cart got here round with all kinds of non-alcoholic drinks. (It was early within the morning; they might provide beer and cocktails later within the day). My daughter squealed with delight when she noticed the snack they had been giving us: Krispy Kreme doughnuts! There had been some commercials on three overhead baggage panels, however all of us ended up with a free can of the marketed iced tea earlier than deplaning, so not a foul trade-off. They additionally had a basket of taffy sweet to select from as we walked off the airplane. Nice contact.

Be suggested that none of that’s in place now. Plus the free checked bag and open seat choice we had then are each gone too.

Assume that you simply’ll pay further for something and the whole lot not included within the base fare when flying on Volaris. Your ticket is mainly only a license to enter the airplane. They even do a bait-and swap with the fares that come up on their web site: these don’t embrace any of the airport taxes, regardless that the taxes are obligatory and it’s a must to pay them it doesn’t matter what. Volaris is simply sneaky and so they add them to your fare as you progress by means of the reserving course of. So your possibilities of paying the primary value you see are zero.

Volaris flight above Mexico

Volaris Luggage Fees and a Personal Item

There’s one piece of baggage you’re allowed to deliver on when flying on Volaris: a private merchandise that may match below the seat. The dimensions for which can be a skimpy 35 by 45 by 20 centimeters, so it’s takes some tremendous packing expertise to get away with that. That’s mainly a laptop computer bag with a number of gadgets in it.

If you possibly can plan forward, you’ll save a small fortune by choosing a package deal deal that features baggage while you guide your ticket. For occasion, right here’s the fare distinction (earlier than obligatory taxes) for a one-way excessive season ticket between Oakland and Los Cabos:

Zero (Base fare solely) – $211

Basic – $221 consists of carry-on and restricted flight change

Plus – $263 consists of carry-on, 55-pound checked bag, precedence boarding, totally refundable/changeable ticket

So except you’re actually pinching pennies, it’s greatest to go for the highest choice and get the most effective choices for simply $42 extra.

Domestic flights are likely to have extra of a value distinction, nevertheless, with the Mexican vacationers getting socked extra for not packing mild. Here’s the distinction on a high-season flight between Leon/Guanajuato and Cancun, when the beachgoers are usually not getting any slack.

Zero (Base fare solely) – $64

Basic – $77 consists of carry-on and restricted flight change

Plus – $138 consists of carry-on, 55-pound checked bag, precedence boarding, totally refundable/changeable ticket

In this case, you’re primarily paying $51 further to test a bag, board sooner, and have extra change choices.

If you’re studying Luxury Latin America, you’re in all probability the sort who will take that deal with out stressing about it except you’re good at packing mild.

You’re nonetheless not completed paying although. Besides the taxes they’re going so as to add on, there’s additionally an absence of seating talked about in these package deal inclusions above. So you possibly can be caught in a center seat within the again by the toilet if you happen to depart it to likelihood.

So in order for you an important seat, you should take one other step to finish that consolation course of…

Flying on Volaris With More Comfort

Because these funds airways are so coin-operated and don’t even attempt to fake they’re providing an important journey expertise, you should buy your self an improve with out spending very a lot. While on legacy U.S. carriers it could possibly value you greater than $100 to get a greater seat, it’s a neater alternative on Volaris. You’re going to should pay for a seat choice anyway, even if you happen to select the highest package deal, so that you would possibly as nicely pay a small premium to get top-of-the-line seats on the airplane.

There’s no enterprise class on Volaris, in fact, however you possibly can pay just a little extra to have a bulkhead seat on the entrance, be one or two rows again to get off quicker, or decide an exit row seat and have extra legroom. If you’re not going to want a lot at your seat, the bulkhead ones are the roomiest and are in all probability the most effective guess for households with a toddler, however it’s a must to stow the whole lot at take-off, so you possibly can’t preserve your laptop computer helpful in case you have work to do.

Here’s an instance of the completely different seat choice costs on a home flight I guide pretty usually: Leon/Guanajuato to Cancun:

Middle seat within the final row: $9.34

Aisle seat in the midst of the airplane: $12.99

Exit row seat: $19.49

Bulkhead window: $23.55

In different phrases, the distinction between the worst seat on the airplane and the most effective one for this 2.5-hour flight is round $14. You’ll achieve a number of extra inches at the very least over the usual seat pitch of 30 inches.

Here’s what the seats value on a for much longer worldwide flight, from Leon/Guanajuato to Oakland, California:

Middle seat within the final row: $13

Aisle seat in the midst of the airplane: $16.89

Exit row seat: $28.59

Bulkhead window: $39

As you possibly can see, choosing the most effective seat on this 3 hour and 40 minute flight solely prices $26 greater than the worst. So purchase your self some legroom.

budget mexican airline with no frills and extra charges

Other Volaris Travel Tips

As with most funds airways, Volaris goes to provide you a complete lot of nothing to eat and drink. Plus what they do have on provide appears quite a bit like what you’ll discover on the shelf of Oxxo: the whole lot is processed and filled with sugar, with a number of warning labels on the packaging.

So order a beer or a cocktail if that’s your factor, however in any other case assume you’ll have to deliver a stuffed water bottle on board, deliver your individual coffee in order for you one thing first rate, and convey your individual meals if Pringles aren’t your thought of a meal.

The airline has switched to a cellular mannequin for leisure by means of the app, however most of what’s on provide is in Spanish or is 10 years previous at the very least. Or each. I’ve seldom used it and normally simply obtain one thing to my pill or learn a guide on my Kindle.

There are normally no shops for charging on these flights, whether or not USB or common. The seats don’t recline (in all probability an excellent factor because it’s so tight) and so they’re fairly skinny in an effort to cram the utmost in.

Be suggested that if you happen to journey with this airline quite a bit, you could discover the Volaris Annual Pass to be an excellent deal. It’s usually $499 for a 12 months and for which you could journey wherever on quick discover (3 days for worldwide, 1 day forward for home) with out paying the fare. You nonetheless should pay the whole lot else although: taxes, seat choice, change charges, and baggage.

That final one is absolutely going to value you too: they make annual cross holders pay the walk-up baggage charge as a substitute of the advance reserving charge everybody else will get once they do a flight search. So on some latest flights I took between Mexico, Costa Rica, and Guatemala, they wished a surprising $79 for me to hold my very own small wheeled bag on or a rapacious $90 to test a bag. I took an underseat bag as a substitute and acquired a brand new outfit on arrival.

I’m nonetheless glad I purchased it although as a result of I bought it for $349 once they had been working an advance promotion. It has already paid for itself and I’ll use it extra earlier than it expires in six months.

One final tip: make sure you’re flying into the suitable airport in Mexico City if you happen to’re headed there. AIFA is additional out and doesn’t have many connections. You need AICM (airport code MEX).

In conclusion, Volaris isn’t going to be probably the most nice flight you’ve ever taken and also you’ve bought so as to add on plenty of extras to get to what everybody receives routinely on a superior airline like Southwest. These are point-to-point flights which can be usually quicker although and even with all of the add-ons, it could possibly find yourself costing you much less ultimately than being on a service resembling Aeromexico, United, or Air Canada.

See particulars at the official website.



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