We were trying to book a “last-minute” trip to Oaxaca over winter break and having no luck with “good” fares, ie. those under $600. Indeed, prices were veering upwards of $900-1200 per ticket. Okay, granted, we are less than five weeks away from our intended departure date and there is a penalty for waiting so long to decide whether we were going again. I think we spent a good six to eight hours traveling around various travel sites to compare prices and schedules and determine whether the published fare was what it would actually cost us once the taxes and fees are added on.
Our preferred routing has been on Continental through Houston which is the only airline that has a direct flight to Oaxaca. However, the hefty cost was prohibitive. We searched Travelocity, American Airlines, Expedia, CheapOAir, and Airfare Watchdog, finally landing on Hotwire where the published prices include all taxes and fees (no hidden costs here). On the others, the enticement is a low fare until you go to book and discover that $110 to $160 can be added on, or the price quoted is only for one-way!
We decided to book on Hotwire to Mexico City where we found a round trip fare for $438. We’ll spend the night in Houston for $45 (with our AAA discount) at a Knight’s Inn three miles from the airport, and pick up the morning flight to Mexico City. From there, we’ll take a $5 taxi to the CAPU bus station and take a $35 first class bus (TV and toilet) to Oaxaca and get in in time for dinner. Our total savings will be around $400 plus or minus. Not bad for a bit of online fare sleuthing.
On the return trip, I’m planning to bus from Oaxaca to Puebla, spend the night and pick up another Talavera ceramic plate or two. Four hours via bus from Oaxaca to Puebla, another hour and a half from Puebla to Mexico the next day.