Monday, October 17, 2011

VivaAerobus: Greyhound with Wings?

(Mexico City) -- What do you do when the cheapest option (for a product or service) is the one that you dread the most, the one you fear is the worst from a quality/service perspective? Do you still go for it? Or do you pay more for what you perceive to be the better quality service?

That's the dilemma I faced when preparing for an short excursion to the popular surfing town of Puerto Escondido, located on the Oaxaca coast in southern Mexico.

I had four options:

1. Aeromar, a small regional airline that flies an unusual brand of turboprops. Cost: $460
2. Low-cost airline Interjet, flying on an Airbus A320 to nearby Huatulco. Cost: $185
3. Autobuses ADO, resulting in a trip of some 14 hours each way. Cost: $110
4. Ultra-low-cost airline VivaAerobus, flying a Boeing 737 to Huatulco. Cost: $100

(Note: Figures in USD, for round-trip travel from Mexico City.)

So the winner was VivaAerobus. They do fly direct to the Puerto Escondido airport, but in my case, the Huatulco airport offered better schedules and fares. This meant a 1.5 hour bus ride from the airport to Puerto Escondido, adding a whopping $3.50 to my bill.  Whatever.