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March 22, 2004 -- Fares to Mexico are pretty good right now, thanks to ongoing sales from several airlines that we recounted recently in our newsletter. We'd like to add a sale to that list, this one from US Airways. And current sales from Aeromexico and Mexicana go well beyond Cancun and Mexico City -- in Mexicana's case, to all of the airline's destinations.

Mexicana Fares Go South

Mexicana's (www.mexicana.com) latest sale covers nearly every flight on their schedule, from both the U.S. and Canada to Mexico. (Only flights from Newark and some flights from Miami are blocked.) The rule is simple: they'll take 15% off their standard fare from any of these cities to Mexico for flights between March 15 and April 1, and between April 13 and 30:

Chicago

New York/JFK

San Francisco

Denver

Oakland

San Jose

Las Vegas

Orlando

Montreal

LA

Sacramento

Toronto

Miami

San Antonio

Vancouver

The discounts are impressive. A $418 fare from Chicago to Mexico City is knocked down to $358, and a $358 fare from San Antonio to Guadalajara becomes $305.

The main problem: Mexicana often undercuts their own published fares with their limited-availability Mex E-Saver fares, so check that page first. For instance, their sale fare from Chicago to Mexico City is $358, but their Mex E-Saver is $299.

Mexicana's fares may also be undercut (or at least matched) by other airlines, so shop around. Remember, though, that this 15% discount is only available on Mexicana's Web site -- not on online travel agencies, which will report the higher, pre-discount fares. If you like these fares, buy your tickets by March 31 on Mexicana's Web site; the discount will appear automatically during the booking process.

US Airways Enters Mexico City Fare Race

US Airways threw itself into the very competitive market for low fares to Mexico City last week with a sale on April flights. Book by Wednesday, March 24, for outbound travel between April 4 and 25 and return flights between April 12 and May 2. Their online-only fares to Mexico City include (all roundtrip, all before taxes):

  • From Baltimore: $289
  • From Boston: $269
  • From Charlotte: $269
  • From New York: $289
  • From Philadelphia: $289
  • From Pittsburgh: $329
  • From Washington, DC: $269

US Airways beats Aeromexico's and Mexicana's fares from New York, but Aeromexico's current fare from Boston is lower. If you're interested, buy as soon as possible at www.usairways.com/pro/esavers/intl_carib_mex_18mar.htm.

Save on Fares With Aeromexico Faresavers

The best fares on Aeromexico are "Faresavers," that airline's relatively flexible version of e-savers. Generally, Faresavers let you depart and return anytime in the next three weeks or so, and they don't appear and disappear with the speed U.S. airlines' e-savers do. They do change every week, though, so keep checking back for the fare you want. Typical fares we found this week include (all roundtrip, before $80 tax):

  • Salt Lake City-Hermosillo: $156
  • Miami-Cancun: $159
  • Dallas-Mexico City: $179
  • Houston-Mexico City: $208
  • Boston-Ixtapa: $299

If these fares compel you, make sure to check Aeromexico's Faresavers list on their Web site (www.aeromexico.com) before you book your trip.