Why Are Flights To Cancun So Expensive Right Now?

If you’ve been looking to book a flight to Cancun recently, you may have noticed sky-high prices that make this popular Mexican destination seem out of reach. But why exactly are Cancun flights so expensive at the moment? In short, it’s a combination of high demand and reduced capacity.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down all the factors contributing to Cancun’s steep airfare prices, when you can expect costs to decrease, and tips for finding affordable flights.

Pent-Up Demand for International Travel

One of the main reasons why flights to Cancun are currently so expensive is due to the pent-up demand for international travel. After months of lockdowns and travel restrictions, people are eager to escape their daily routines and explore new destinations.

As countries begin to ease travel restrictions and open their borders, there has been a surge in demand for flights to popular vacation spots like Cancun.

Travel restrictions easing

With vaccination rates increasing and the number of COVID-19 cases declining in many countries, governments are starting to relax travel restrictions. This has led to a significant increase in the number of people looking to book flights to Cancun.

As more people become eligible to travel, airlines are seeing a surge in demand for flights to popular tourist destinations.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), global air travel demand is expected to recover to pre-pandemic levels by 2023.

Many countries are implementing a phased approach to reopening their borders, with some initially allowing travel from select countries or regions. As restrictions continue to ease, more travelers are expected to flock to Cancun, leading to higher prices for flights.

Cancun’s widespread appeal

Cancun’s widespread appeal as a tourist destination also contributes to the high prices of flights. Known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant nightlife, Cancun has long been a popular vacation spot for travelers from all over the world.

Its popularity has only increased during the pandemic, as people seek out open-air destinations that offer plenty of outdoor activities and space for social distancing.

According to the Cancun International Airport, the number of international passengers traveling to Cancun has been steadily increasing since the beginning of the year, reaching record levels in recent months.

The high demand for flights to Cancun, coupled with limited flight options and reduced capacity due to COVID-19 safety measures, has resulted in higher prices for airline tickets. As airlines work to ramp up their operations and restore full capacity, it is expected that prices will gradually start to normalize.

Limited Flight Options and Seats

One of the reasons why flights to Cancun are currently expensive is the limited flight options and seats available. Major airlines have experienced reductions in their flight schedules due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result, there are fewer flights going to popular vacation destinations like Cancun. This limited supply of flights and seats has led to an increase in demand, causing prices to rise.

Reductions by major airlines

Many major airlines have reduced their flight schedules to Cancun in response to the decrease in travel demand caused by the pandemic. These reductions have been implemented to cut costs and optimize operations. As a result, there are fewer flights available for travelers, leading to higher prices.

Airlines are prioritizing routes with higher demand and Cancun, being a popular tourist destination, has seen a decrease in available flights.

For example, American Airlines, one of the largest carriers to Cancun, has reduced the number of flights to the destination. This reduction in flight options has contributed to the increase in prices as travelers compete for limited seats on the remaining flights.

Staffing challenges

Another factor contributing to the limited flight options and seats is the staffing challenges faced by airlines. The pandemic has disrupted the aviation industry, leading to layoffs, early retirements, and furloughs of airline personnel.

The reduced workforce has made it difficult for airlines to operate at full capacity, resulting in fewer flights and limited availability of seats.

In addition, airlines have had to implement new health and safety protocols, including additional cleaning and sanitization measures. These protocols require additional staff and resources, further impacting airline operations and reducing the number of available flights and seats.

It is important to note that the situation is dynamic and can change. Travelers are advised to stay updated with the latest information from airlines and travel advisories before making any travel arrangements.

When to Expect Lower Cancun Flight Prices

Planning a trip to Cancun can be an exciting experience, but one thing that can put a damper on your excitement is the high cost of flights. Understanding when to expect lower prices can help you save money and make your dream vacation more affordable. Here are a few factors to consider:

Best times of year for deals

If you’re looking to snag a deal on flights to Cancun, it’s important to know the best times of year when prices tend to be lower. Generally, the months of May, September, and October offer more affordable flight options.

These months fall outside of the peak travel season, which is typically during the winter months when many people are looking to escape the cold.

During these shoulder seasons, airlines often offer discounts and promotions to attract travelers. Additionally, keep an eye out for special events or holidays that may affect flight prices. For example, flights during Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays tend to be more expensive due to increased demand.

How far in advance to book

Another factor that can impact flight prices to Cancun is the timing of your booking. Generally, it is recommended to book your flights at least 3-4 months in advance to get the best deals. This allows airlines to fill up their planes and offer lower prices to attract early bookings.

However, it’s important to note that last-minute deals can sometimes be found if you have flexibility in your travel dates. Airlines may offer discounted fares to fill up remaining seats closer to the departure date.

This strategy can be a gamble, as there is no guarantee that discounted seats will be available. So, if you have specific travel dates or prefer peace of mind, booking in advance is the safer option.

It’s worth mentioning that flight prices can fluctuate due to various factors such as fuel costs, demand, and competition. Keeping an eye on airline websites, travel agencies, and online travel aggregators can help you stay updated on the latest deals and promotions.

Remember, finding affordable flights to Cancun requires some patience and flexibility. By knowing the best times of year for deals and booking in advance, you can increase your chances of finding lower prices and make your dream vacation a reality without breaking the bank.

Tips for Finding Affordable Flights

Looking for affordable flights to Cancun? Here are some tips that can help you save money on your next trip:

Be flexible with dates

Being flexible with your travel dates can significantly impact the price of your flight. Consider flying on weekdays or during off-peak seasons, as these times tend to have lower demand and therefore lower prices.

You might even find that shifting your travel plans by a day or two can save you a significant amount of money.

Fly on off-peak days

Weekends are typically the busiest times for travel, so opting to fly on off-peak days can often result in more affordable flights. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are known to have lower demand, making them good options for budget-conscious travelers.

Additionally, early morning or late-night flights tend to be cheaper compared to peak hours.

Consider alternative airports

While Cancun International Airport is the primary gateway to the region, considering alternative airports in the vicinity can sometimes lead to more affordable flights. Airports in nearby cities like Cozumel or Playa del Carmen might offer lower fares or better deals, so be sure to explore all your options.

Use flight deal alerts

Sign up for flight deal alerts from reputable websites or apps to stay informed about any discounted flights to Cancun. These alerts can notify you when there are price drops or special promotions, allowing you to snag a great deal.

Websites like Skyscanner or Kayak are popular platforms that offer such services.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of finding affordable flights to Cancun. Remember to compare prices from different airlines and booking platforms to ensure you get the best deal possible. Happy travels!


While Cancun flight prices are sky-high at the moment due to surging demand and limited capacity, there are still ways to find relative deals if you’re flexible. The best way to save is to travel during Cancun’s off-season and shoulder seasons when airfare is typically lower.

You can also get creative with departure dates, nearby airports, and flight deal alerts to help find an affordable fare to this popular Mexican destination.

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