Sunday, December 18, 2016

planning mexico

We've been going to Puerto Vallarta for our anniversary since 2007. We nearly skipped going last year due to work stress and a massive winter storm, but we managed to keep up our streak with a minor re-routing through LAX. This year is our 20th anniversary (!!) and we're having a party in Vallarta with friends and doing a quick stopover in Oaxaca on our way there.
Vallarta Sunset


summary

  • JFK – MEX on an Aeromexico 787 in Business Class
    MEX – OAX on Aeromexico E170 regional jet in Business Class
      = 30,000 Delta miles + US$45 for these two flights, per person
  • OAX – MEX – PVR on Aeromexico regional jets in Business Class
      = US$250 per person
  • PVR – EWR on a United 737 in Business Class
      = US$662 per person
My updated guide to booking a flight to Vallarta is here.

details

We love the 787, and Aeromexico flies an internationally-configured 787 with lie-flat seats between JFK and Mexico City. Since there's no direct service to Oaxaca from New York, connecting with this 787 flight was a no-brainer. It was pricing out around $1000, so we redeemed Delta miles around 3.3¢ each. About half of those points came from flying Delta domestically and the other half came from an Amex point transfer. My Amex points come from a mix of spending for my business and from purchasing groceries and airfare (Amex bonus categories).

Aeromexico 787 with international lie-flat seats

This cleaned me out of Amex points, so the flight from Oaxaca to Vallarta (sadly, no direct service) via Mexico City was US$250 cash in Business Class. 

As for getting home, United and Delta are well aware of the limited options for direct flights between Vallarta and New York, and they price things accordingly. They're also very stingy about releasing reward seats. Since I really didn't want to pay $1200+ per person for a one-way flight, I poked and poked and eventually found a much better deal by booking through a Mexican travel agent. 


Other links

My Puerto Vallarta guide on Medium

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