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Monday, August 2, 2021

No more direct flights from MID to U.S. as travel options dry up

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Direct flights from Merida to the United States have vanished until at least June 4.

American Airlines’ flights to Miami has been canceled until then, following the March suspension of United’s Houston route. To get to the eastern U.S. or Canada from Merida, AA travelers are forced to take a very expensive two- or three-stop trip through Mexico City.

The U.S. Consulate in Merida issued an advisory Tuesday warning foreigners in Yucatan about the increasingly difficult task of flying to their home countries.

“There are connections available in Mexico City and there are still flights available to the U.S. from Cancun,” the advisory reads.

An online search reveals how pricy and arduous those flights are until early June.

While prices and schedules are fluid, as of early Wednesday, Delta/Aeroméxico has trips next week to Miami through CDMX in the US$500 range, but on American, a customer would pay US$1,140 and endure overnight layover with stops in Mexico City, Los Angeles and Dallas before reaching Miami. At 47 hours, that is the least expensive of AA’s three options presented online.

Getting to New York City is no better. The cheapest American Airline option this morning is US$1,354, has three stops and takes 49 hours. On Aeroméxico, flights are rare and go through Mexico City and Atlanta, the quickest and cheapest flight at over 21 hours and US$788.

Merida airport flights to Los Angeles are once daily, still passing through Mexico City as normal, but costing over US$1,000. Aeroméxico/Delta is the only option next week. Options open up and prices get back to normal on the June schedule.

So until June, the long, tedious drive to the Cancun airport is the only viable option for travel north of the border. Even there, nonstops are hard to find. JetBlue flies some days, but most flights involve stops such as Dallas or Boston just to get to a major hub like New York City.

Westjet’s seasonal direct flights to Toronto ended in the spring, as planned.

CNBC reported it will take around 18 to 24 months before airlines see a significant spike in demand and the industry begins to return to regular levels as nations fight the spread of the coronavirus.

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