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Q&A


By Ilona Kauremszky


Q: Could you please tell me where I can find the cheapest airfare from Toronto to Guadalajara and would it be cheaper to go down to Buffalo and fly from there?

A: Could you please tell me where I can find the cheapest airfare from Toronto to Guadalajara and would it be cheaper to go down to Buffalo and fly from there? N. Wilson, Toronto A: In Canada, trying to find value these days with airfares is a tricky undertaking. With the demise of competitive airlines like Canada 3000, Royal Airlines and the short lived Roots Air (true they were serving business travelers more) air travelers simply are having a more challenging time finding those cheaper prices from even a year ago. So, would it be cheaper to drive roughly two hours to Buffalo and leave the car at the park and fly? Upon first glance, I would offer a quick yes, simply because the US market is so competitive. However, when I contacted a public relations representative for Mexico Tourism to assist in this answer, it becomes apparent that airfare prices for your preferred destination are more cost-efficient on this side of the border.

Let's consider a trip scheduled April 2-9 from American Express Travel. If we add a minimum two-week advance booking plus a Saturday night stay because these caveats generally serve in lowering airfares, here are a couple of proposed scenarios. In the departure from Toronto scenario, Air Canada was offering a direct flight to Mexico City for $905 (excluding taxes).

American Airlines through Houston or Dallas would cost about the same, $905 without taxes. In the departure from Buffalo scenario, American Airlines through Chicago and Dallas was priced at $1,327+ and Continental Airlines through Cleveland and Houston was priced at $1,327+. "As you can see, there is in fact a disadvantage to flying from Buffalo, not only in terms of the price but in the extra connection," says PR spokesperson Kerry Patterson.

Since it's apparent that value is top-of-mind in your holiday preparations, often all-inclusive packages could help to foot this bill. According to the Mexico Tourism Office, there is a great selection of hotels, but no all-inclusive resorts directly in Guadalajara. The nearest resort destination is Puerto Vallarta.

True there are a variety of all-inclusive packages offered up by several tour companies in Puerto Vallarta that may have day trips scheduled to Guadalajara. However, when I posed this question as a possible alternative for your city of interest, we have to consider that Guadalajara is actually a five-hour car/bus ride from Puerto Vallarta and a resort like the Holiday Inn Puerto Vallarta (1-800-HOLIDAY or 011-52-322-226-1700) doesn't have day-trip to your preferred destination.

For Guadalajara city information on attractions and hotel listings, you can log onto the Mexico Government Tourism Office web site and download info at http://www.visitmexico.com/print/pacific_guadalajara.html or you can call 1-800-44-Mexico.

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