For those who’re flying to Mexico from the USA or must 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 most likely going to expertise in the end 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.
To begin with, it’s essential to know that Volaris is firmly and unapologetically a price range airline. No frills, a lot of additional charges, and no pampering. This 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 remaining 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 imagined to do. You simply must reset it again to English if you happen to do a number of searches from inside Mexico as a result of it’ll maintain reverting again to Spanish and pesos.
The place They Fly
This airline can get you a whole lot of locations, particularly if you happen to’re an expat dwelling in Mexico. By most measures they’re the nation’s largest provider now, forward of the flagship Aeromexico, and are increasing extra quickly. Sadly, whereas the previous will get you Skymiles factors they usually have codeshares with Delta, Volaris shouldn’t be aligned with anybody besides observe no-frills airline Frontier.
Assume you may get to most of Mexico with Volaris, however in addition they fly to a whole lot of totally different international locations.
USA: Atlanta, Chicago, DC, Dallas, and lots of California cities, plus codeshares with Frontier.
Determining these routes shouldn’t be at all times simple although as a result of there’s no map and a number of the combos are a fake-out. Your departure metropolis and vacation spot metropolis will probably be out there as decisions, however then if you attempt to decide a day, no dates can be found in any month.
The Volaris Evolution to Funds Service
It wasn’t at all times the case that this was a low-frills price range airline, billing themselves as an “extremely low-cost airline.” I first flew on Volaris again in 2011, at a time once they had been attempting to woo prospects with extra facilities and higher service. They had been competing onerous with Interjet (now kaput) and on the time they had been each extra more likely to shock you to the upside than the draw back. To indicate 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. Quickly a drink cart got here round with all kinds of non-alcoholic drinks. (It was early within the morning; they might supply 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 have been some ads 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 nasty trade-off. Additionally they had a basket of taffy sweet to select from as we walked off the airplane. Good 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 additional for something and every little thing not included within the base fare when flying on Volaris. Your ticket is principally 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, though the taxes are obligatory and it’s a must to pay them it doesn’t matter what. Volaris is simply sneaky they usually add them to your fare as you progress by way of the reserving course of. So your possibilities of paying the primary worth you see are zero.
Volaris Baggage Charges and a Private Merchandise
There’s one piece of bags you might be allowed to carry on when flying on Volaris: a private merchandise that may match beneath the seat. The size 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 principally a laptop computer bag with a couple of gadgets in it.
For those who can plan forward, you’ll save a small fortune by choosing a package deal deal that features baggage if you guide your ticket. As an example, 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
Fundamental – $221 contains carry-on and restricted flight change
Plus – $263 contains 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 possibility and get one of the best choices for simply $42 extra.
Home flights are inclined to have extra of a worth distinction, nonetheless, with the Mexican vacationers getting socked extra for not packing mild. Right here’s the distinction on a high-season flight between Leon/Guanajuato and Cancun, when the beachgoers will not be getting any slack.
Zero (Base fare solely) – $64
Fundamental – $77 contains carry-on and restricted flight change
Plus – $138 contains carry-on, 55-pound checked bag, precedence boarding, totally refundable/changeable ticket
On this case, you’re primarily paying $51 additional to test a bag, board sooner, and have extra change choices.
For those who’re studying Luxurious Latin America, you’re most likely the sort who will take that deal with out stressing about it except you’re good at packing mild.
You’re nonetheless not accomplished paying although. Moreover 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 could possibly be caught in a center seat within the again by the lavatory if you happen to go away it to probability.
So in order for you a terrific seat, it’s essential to take one other step to finish that consolation course of…
Flying on Volaris With Extra Consolation
As a result of these price range airways are so coin-operated and don’t even attempt to faux they’re providing a terrific journey expertise, you should buy your self an improve with out spending very a lot. Whereas on legacy U.S. carriers it might probably price you greater than $100 to get a greater seat, it’s a better alternative on Volaris. You’re going to must 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, after all, however you may pay somewhat 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. For those who’re not going to want a lot at your seat, the bulkhead ones are the roomiest and are most likely one of the best guess for households with a toddler, however it’s a must to stow every little thing at take-off, so you may’t maintain your laptop computer useful in case you have work to do.
Right here’s an instance of the totally different seat choice costs on a home flight I guide pretty typically: Leon/Guanajuato to Cancun:
Center 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 one of the best one for this 2.5-hour flight is round $14. You’ll achieve a couple of extra inches a minimum of over the usual seat pitch of 30 inches.
Right here’s what the seats price on a for much longer worldwide flight, from Leon/Guanajuato to Oakland, California:
Center 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 may see, choosing one of the best seat on this 3 hour and 40 minute flight solely prices $26 greater than the worst. So purchase your self some legroom.
Different Volaris Journey Suggestions
As with most price range airways, Volaris goes to offer you an entire lot of nothing to eat and drink. Plus what they do have on supply seems loads like what you’ll discover on the shelf of Oxxo: every little thing is processed and stuffed with sugar, with a lot 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 must carry a crammed water bottle on board, carry your individual espresso in order for you one thing respectable, 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 way of the app, however most of what’s on supply is in Spanish or is 10 years previous a minimum of. 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 retailers for charging on these flights, whether or not USB or common. The seats don’t recline (most likely a superb factor because it’s so tight) they usually’re fairly skinny in an effort to cram the utmost in.
Be suggested that if you happen to journey with this airline loads, it’s possible you’ll discover the Volaris Annual Cross to be a superb deal. It’s usually $499 for a 12 months and for that you could journey anyplace on quick discover (3 days for worldwide, 1 day forward for home) with out paying the fare. You continue to must pay every little thing else although: taxes, seat choice, change charges, and baggage.
That final one is de facto going to price you too: they make annual move 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 current flights I took between Mexico, Costa Rica, and Guatemala, they wished a stunning $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 purchased a brand new outfit on arrival.
I’m nonetheless glad I purchased it although as a result of I received 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: be certain you’re flying into the suitable airport in Mexico Metropolis 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 essentially the most nice flight you’ve ever taken and also you’ve received so as to add on a whole lot of extras to get to what everybody receives mechanically on a superior airline like Southwest. These are point-to-point flights which can be typically quicker although and even with all of the add-ons, it might probably find yourself costing you much less in the long run than being on a provider reminiscent of Aeromexico, United, or Air Canada.
See particulars at the official web site.