As the slower fall travel season begins, airlines are beginning to offer seasonal deals to popular tourist destinations. The kids are back in school, people have used up their summer vacation time, and business travel is beginning to rise again.
With its huge supply of hotels, Cancun seems like the perfect place for a shoulder-season vacation getaway. And a good way to get there is with a $150 round-trip flight from Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH).
For details on these ticket prices and fare limitations, read below.
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Cancun. POLA DAMONTE/GETTY IMAGES
Airlines: Spirit Airlines and United Airlines.
Routes: Houston to Cancun.
How to book: Search on Google Flights then book directly with Spirit and United.
Travel dates: September through November.
Book by: While discounted tickets are available.
Related: 21 essential things to do in Cancun
These discounted fares are for nonstop flights between Houston and Cancun. Be mindful of baggage surcharges before booking. Sometimes the fees do not appear on the fare until midway through the ticketing process.
Spirit Airlines: Houston to Cancun
Beginning next week, Spirit Airlines will offer nonstop round-trip flights between Houston and Cancun for $150. Fares on this route typically run in the high $200 range, so the $150 price is a good deal.
However, Spirit Airlines is charging an astonishing $82 for carry-on bags on this route and $60 for a single checked bag. This surcharge can quickly double the price of your flight if you’re bringing along any luggage.
However, if you can manage a quick getaway with just a few changes of clothes in your “personal item” to stash under the seat in front of you, it’s possible to make this fare work. Or perhaps if you split the costs of a checked bag with a flight companion, the fare will still be a pretty good deal.
Spirit Airlines is listing the discounted fares beginning on dates in September and continuing on select dates through November.
United Airlines: Houston to Cancun
The discounted United fares between Houston and Cancun are for its bare-bones basic economy-class tickets. This fare class charges extra for carry-on bags, seat assignments and checked bags. The basic economy tickets also do not allow flight changes or upgrades.
But if you’re a MileagePlus Premier member, have Star Alliance Gold status or book your fare with an applicable MileagePlus credit card, you can bring a free carry-on bag on board and check a free bag even in basic economy. Otherwise, expect to pay an extra $60 for the trip, or you’ll have to travel carrying only a personal item.
The sample United flight listed here is between Houston and Cancun in late September. Many of the discounted fares are for Monday-to-Monday itineraries like this one, but other date choices are also currently possible. Ticket availability with similar pricing on United tracks through November on selected dates.
According to Google Flights, United’s $190 fare listed here is “low,” with a savings of $181 versus usual flights on this route.
This fare is for United’s basic economy class. Unless you have mileage status or book the fare with a United credit card, you’ll have to travel only with a personal item or pay approximately $60 extra for the ticket.
Even if you have to pay the additional fare, this pricing is still an OK deal — and a great one if you can take advantage of your status for the baggage allowance.
Maximize your purchase
Don’t forget to use a card that earns bonus points on airfare purchases. Airline cards can always be a good call for earning status and rewards specific to those airlines, like for the United flights above by using the United Explorer Card.
For more flexibility with earned points, The Platinum Card® from American Express earns 5 points per dollar spent on airfare booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel, on up to $500,000 of these purchases per calendar year.
The Citi Premier® Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve earn 3 points per dollar spent on airfare, while the American Express® Gold Card earns 3 points per dollar spent on airfare when booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card earns 2 points per dollar spent on travel.
You can find good flight deals to Cancun this fall on both Spirit Airlines and United Airlines. Just be mindful of the surcharges for both carried bags and checked bags. If you have status on United, you’ll be able to avoid the baggage surcharges and take advantage of the low-cost basic economy seating.
The discounted pricing of round-trip flights between Houston and Cancun of $150 is hopefully a sign of more deals to come in a slower fall travel season.
Stay tuned to further flight deals from TPG as we track ongoing airline discounts.
Featured photo by Dan Thornberg/Getty Images.