I’m coming down off my “booking high,” the feeling I always get when I book airline tickets to Mérida. Whew. Let me catch my breath.
I’m a little winded because those new Houston timetables are throwing me off. We’ve been flying down three to four times a year, and booking on United through Houston had become routine. Zip, zip, and we’re booked.
The flight changed right about the time that United got into trouble after it was discovered they established flights to the New York/New Jersey Port Authority chairman’s vacation home. You can imagine how I feel, knowing no one’s flying direct to our second home from New York! I had been building travel points, and switched to United’s credit card, all for the convenience of using that airline and enjoying Houston’s Terminal E amenities. Was it all for nothing?
At first, when I learned that the flight from Mérida to Texas is mid-afternoon instead of excruciatingly early in the morning, I was ecstatic. No more catching a ride to the airport at 5 in the morning. Leaving Mérida is painful enough without having to scramble in the pre-dawn hours, trying to shake off the feeling that you’re being exiled rather than leaving on your own terms.
But to get back to New York, we’d have to stay over in Houston. Oh, and getting a New York flight early enough to get the incoming flight — which used to be around 7:30 p.m., but is now around noon — also meant pre-dawn scrambling, or getting a hotel at LaGuardia. Which we seriously considered. This is how much we hate the other alternative, taking the Cancún bus.
We ruled out any flights with more than one layover. Some fares were over $1,500. The Houston flight cost in the vicinity of $700. We’re flying to Cancún — direct — for about $500, including the “extra legroom seats” and baggage fees. Coulda done it for $400 without the extras, but we prefer to travel with both our legs and our luggage.
So it’s back to the Cancún bus for us. We’re hoping to find a direct link to Mérida from the airport. Last time we had to take a bus to catch the bus, which I described in great detail here. But there are a few buses that go directly from airport to the Mérida bus terminal. We’re making the effort to get there by noon so we can at least travel in daylight. Fingers crossed.