The Puerto Vallarta region’s four major jet airports are in Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara, Manzanillo, and Tepic. Both scheduled and charter airlines connect these points with a number of national destinations, such as Mexico City, Mazatlán, Acapulco, La Paz, and Los Cabos. Although much pricier than first-class bus tickets, Mexican domestic airfares are on par with U.S. prices.
If you’re planning on lots of in-Mexico flying, upon arrival get the airlines’ handy (although rapidly changeable) itinerarios de vuelo (flight schedules) at the airport.
Mexican airlines have operating peculiarities that result from their tight budgets. Don’t miss a flight; you will likely lose half the ticket price. Adjusting your flight date may cost 25 percent of the ticket price. Get to the airport at least an hour ahead of time. Last-minute passengers are often “bumped” in favor of early-bird wait-listers. Conversely, go to the airport and get in line if you must catch a flight that the airlines claim is full—you might get on anyway. Keep your luggage small so you can carry it on. Lost-luggage victims receive scant compensation in Mexico.
Although the Puerto Vallarta–Guadalajara air connection is a good option, flying between most other Puerto Vallarta regional destinations is much less convenient than riding the bus.