There are three main budget airlines in Mexico. There are one or two that are worth your time and money and one that really isn’t (in my opinion). After living in Mexico City for almost two years and spending tons of time flying between different cities in the country, I’ve now flown on every one of the Mexico budget airlines several times – here’s what I think.
The Best Budget Airlines in Mexico
This is probably my least favorite Mexican airline. I’ve flown with them twice – once from Mexico City to Cancun and once Cancun to Mexico City. The plane itself is no different to other budget airlines in Mexico. It’s not very spacious, you don’t get any frills, and you even have to pay for your first bag.
There are a few things that make me skip over Viva Aerobus and pay slightly more for the other airlines. The customer service is pretty terrible. Their website is a pain in the butt to book through. You have to constantly un-tick every box when you book a ticket because you don’t want to accidentally pay for a seat for your dog. I also hate that it doesn’t include a bag when most of the competition always does.
Last but not least, if I’m flying to Cancun, I definitely won’t use Viva Aerobus because it’s in a totally different terminal to all of the other airlines and trying to connect in Cancun airport is a massive pain in the behind.
I like Interjet. I’ve flown with them twice now and had mostly good experiences. The positives about Interjet are that you can get one checked bag included in your flight even when you book the lowest price ticket. There are three levels of tickets – Light, Optima, and Priority.
With Light, you get a checked bag and one hand luggage. With Optima, you get two checked bags and you get to choose your seat when you book. With Priority, you get three checked bags (who needs this many bags?), you get to choose your seat, and you get priority check-in and boarding.
Interjet also has free snacks even on short flights. This is a big perk in my opinion. You get one free drink and a bag of chips to hold you over. I thought that was a nice touch.
The only qualm I have about Interjet is that they were late both times I flew with them. They were massively delayed when I was flying from Cancun to Mexico City and I had to sit in the airport for almost two hours extra. Another time I flew with them I was getting a connecting flight to the UK and the flight was so delayed I was worried I was going to miss my connection (it was fine in the end).
Volaris is my preferred budget airline in Mexico. If there is only a few dollars difference between Volaris and Interjet, I’ll probably pay it to fly Volaris. Everything about Volaris is convenient – their website makes booking really simple and there are no hidden fees or things added on that I didn’t know about. It’s worth mentioning that their website isn’t very mobile-phone friendly. When I’ve tried to search on my phone I usually get annoyed by things popping up and it’s slightly glitchy compared to using the site on a laptop.
The staff are really helpful and when you check-in at Mexico City airport, they have tons of electronic machines where you can really quickly check-in before very quickly dropping off your bag at the desk. It is the most efficient airline at the Mexico City airport, so if you are flying from the big city, I highly recommend doing so with Volaris (Interjet and Viva Aerobus are TOTAL NIGHTMARES at Mexico City airport).
Volaris recently came in with two different ticket prices which I think is great. You can have two cabin bags for a lower price (so no checked bags included). That ticket is called the “Clean Base Fare.” If you want a checked bag included, simply select the “Regular Ticket.” The price difference is usually very minimal, we’re talking a few dollars difference.
Splurging on AeroMexico – Is it Worth it?
I LOVE AeroMexico. It’s the national carrier of Mexico and is definitely NOT a budget airline in Mexico, but sometimes you can find a great deal that’s only a little bit more expensive than the budget airlines. When that happens I’m always tempted to fly with them, both internally and internationally.
I love AeroMexico because the staff are bilingual (which is almost never the case on budget airlines in Mexico). While my Spanish is improving a lot, my airplane Spanish isn’t so great. I also love it because the seats are way more comfortable, you almost always get a meal regardless of how long the flight is, check-in is quick in every airport I’ve been to when I’ve used them, and they have a great entertainment system.
It’s totally up to you and your budget, but for me, if there is only a small price difference between one of the Mexican budget airlines and AeroMexico, I’ll choose AeroMexico every time.
Want to know more about traveling in Mexico? Visit the Mexico section of my blog to check out over 100 posts about this amazing country.