Home Last updated 19 Jan 2012
Getting To Maya Lands (or anywhere) More Cheaply
The following information may seem obvious to many, but I see the questions it seeks to answer asked time and again, so here are my thoughts. Prices change all the time and there is no perfect website to look at for fares.
To me, the best approach is to check out a number of sources before buying that ticket.
First, try Booking Buddy to be able to check a good number of major websites, including Orbitz, Expedia, Kayak and many others, after putting all the information on just one page. This one covers flights originating outside the USA, but you need the exact airport code. Just right click on each and open in another window, so you can see all the prices reasonably together. One option if prices seem too high is to use Farecompare.com and set it up that you get an alert if that particular itinerary gets cheaper.
Another option in either case is to find a good price and contact the airline directly to see if there are any better deals, but if there is only a tie, it would be fairest to book with the online agency who steered you there.
Another very good way to get to the Maya areas is to use discounters who deal with Latin America. You may find them in the travel section of your local paper, particularly if there is a large Hispanic population. Whatever you do, it is likely to be best to check out several companies or airports. I am fortunate in being a reasonable commute from both BWI and the Philadelphia International airports, so I often check both. Once I saved a bundle flying to Europe by driving 4 hours each way to Newark, New Jersey, but that was hopefully unusual.
The companies below seem worth a look. One of them saved me a bit on my 2001 trip to Belize and I have dealt with another on a number of occasions, which gets it first billing among consolidators. There are others you might try too. What is important to get the best travel deal and you probably won't get it by just trying one company.
If the regular agencies do not pan out, consolidators are a good bet to check with. One possibility to start with in the US is the Latin-American oriented consolidator, Mena Tours, but you will need to call to find the actual "bucket shop" prices for Central and South America and Mexico. There are other consolidators that you can deal with, such as Exito Travel which specializes in Latin America. Once you see what you can get with a consolidator, you might check with several companies below to see if you can do better. Consolidators will not necessarily have the best fares, but they are worth checking. Airline consolidator.com also has some good fares .
One option might be to find the best deal above, and then if you are really want to try for a better price, maybe you could try Priceline for one. See this web page for suggestions on how to bid intelligently at Priceline. If your trip is within the near future, you might want to try your luck at Sky Auction. You may have to wade past a lot of hotel offers if you don't limit it to flights, but there are some good opportunities for air travel.
For getting to Guatemala City or Cancun from some US cities, Spirit Air may have prices worth checking that won't show up elsewhere.
If you have a yen to get away really soon, take a look at Last Minute Travel. I checked it out on 26 January 2002 and it had decent prices the next week for Belize City and Guate, but none at all for Cancún. Even if your plans are far off, you might want to sign up for their alerts for tickets in your price range to where and when you want to go.
Once you are booking, check Seat Guru to find where you have chosen or
where to choose your seat assignment in the plane.
Need an airport code?
See a directory of airline websites.
I don't claim that this page has all the answers, but hopefully it
has enough on the topic to be of some use to you.
Ka xi'ik te'ex utzil!
¡Que les vaya bién!
May it go well with you!