Airfares to Mexico’s top winter destinations are cheaper

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Most destinations to Mexico and the Caribbean, including travel leader Cancun, are a little cheaper to get to this winter. Photo: Flickr

A drop of $15 might not sound like much, but it’s certainly better than a price hike.

That’s what’s happened to the average price of a flight from the U.S. to Cancun, according to travel industry newsletter TravelPulse.

Airlines Reporting Corp. compared trips booked from Dec. 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017. They found that ticket prices to nine of the 10 most popular destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean are down compared to the same time a year ago.

The average fare to Cancun — which among the destinations is the top spot for winter travel — was down nearly $15 at $485.51. Almost 63,000 tickets were sold in the timeframe.

Guadalajara, the region’s eighth-most booked destination, is even cheaper. Average prices fell from $507.45 to $435.58.

Average ticket prices are also down for travel to Mexico City ($529.52); San Juan, Puerto Rico; ($438.58); Los Cabos ($539.79); Montego Bay, Jamaica ($556.46); Puerto Vallarta ($510.73); Nassau, Bahamas ($491.75) and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic ($529.27), according to ARC.

Southwest Airlines’ aggressive expansion into Mexico was credited. The low-cost carrier’s growth is “a game-changer for many U.S. gateways,” said Greg Custer, TravelPulse’s Mexico travel expert.

“It’s brought price and service competition back into the Mexico equation,” said Custer. “It’s also remarkable how Mexico domestic airfares have plummeted. It’s common to find intra-Mexico fares for under $100 roundtrip.”

Of the top 10 destinations, tickets to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic were the only ones that got more expensive. But not much. The average price jumped about $10 to $600.95.

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