As some of you may already know, I’ve recently booked and completed a round-trip flight on VivaAerobus. The flight was from Houston to Cancun. In my case, I was going with some friends to a music festival in Playa Del Carmen and Tulum. I’ve written a little bit about the problems that I had with this airlinea few months ago here: [VivaAerobus is leaving a bad impression on me…].
Several of you have asked me to detail what my experience on the flight was so this post will cover Flight Booking and Fees, Reservations, Check-In, Boarding, and In-Flight experience.
Flight Booking and Fees
I think it’s fairly safe to say that Viva is consistently offering the lowest price for a round-trip flight from Houston (IAH) to Cancun (CUN). At the time of this writing the round-trip flights are $141after adding in their unavoidable fees.
I have a problem with unavoidable fees, they’re sneaky and dishonest. Viva charges a fee to pay by credit or debit card. Since these methods are basically the only way to pay Viva for a ticket purchased on their website this fee amounts to a fee to pay for your ticket. Let’s roll that one around a bit because it’s so ridiculous that it needs repeating — There is a fee to pay Viva money for your ticket.
What was once a $116.43 round-trip flight is now going to cost you $140.25. Magic!
I’ve attached the “Payment Options” screen that they’re currently presenting. Want to save a little money by using a Debit card? Well, you do have a Banamex, Banorte or BanRegio debit card right? Riiiight.
As for any other optional fees, I’m going to make this simple and say that any fee on Viva that can be avoided, should be avoided.
When I had originally purchased my ticket with Viva my flights were on a Saturday. Viva would later decide that they would no longer operate flights on the route on Saturday, which meant that my flights would be changed one whole day earlier for the departure and one day later for the return. Viva would make this change to my itinerary without any notification to me. Luckily, someone that follows this blog sent me a private message and I was able to see the change before I had booked my hotel accommodations.
I called Viva whenI became aware of the change to see what my options were. They were described as such.
- I could cancel and get a PARTIAL cash refund where I would eat about 30-40% of the cost because for some reason they couldn’t refund their “Pay us to buy a ticket fee” and other optional fees + some other made-up-excuse fee. While I didn’t really want to cancel, it’s good to know that Viva definitely doesn’t have your back if they decide to do a NON-VOLUNTARY rearrangement of your itinerary where they change the days you are traveling for both departure and return.
- I could cancel and get a full credit for future travel on Viva.
- I could change my travel dates to some other dates.
From my experience with Viva, your reservation is something you can’tcount on. Check your itinerary often, online via the VivaAerobus website.
Here is one of the areas where Viva didn’t suck, actually from this point on Viva did quite good. Check-In was painless because, as it turns out, we were basically the only ones that would be on the plane. One of the people I was traveling with has an aversion to packing light so her checked bag was over the 15kg limit. Keep in mind that 15kg isn’t a lot; it’s 33 pounds. Most airlines allow 50 pounds. If you are over the limit, expect to be charged $20 – $40 at the check-in counter. In our case, the agent waved the fee since I didn’t have a checked bag. She took my carry-on as checked, so the total weight of both bags combined was under the limit.
Terminal D security at IAH was quick and easy. Significantly faster than trying to get through security at C or E.
One thing that we all found amusing, our actual ticket to get on the plane was hand written. Here’s a screenshot.
Viva doesn’t assign seats, and the boarding process was kind of a mess. Nearly everyone just got in the VIP line. Not that it really mattered, since there were only about 40 people on the flight and about 10 of them were people I was traveling with. However, if you paid for express boarding, this will not be a plus.
This is another area where Viva did well. Our in flight experience was greatand the attendants were nice and professional. I have no issues at all with Viva here. It should be noted that we were flying on a mostly empty plane. Everyone had their own row to lay across. The jet was a 3/3 seat configuration.
My first impression of VivaAerobus is a negative one. I’ve heard from numerous people that were seriously inconvenienced when Viva changed their schedules without notification. I also take issue with the unavoidable “Fee to pay for your ticket”,it stinks of a desperate attempt to mislead and deceive potential customers.
That said, there are many bright points going for Viva’s Houston/Cancun route. First, the fact that very few people are flying Viva means that you’ll have a row to yourself on the way there, and on the way back. Expect this to change as more people start using Viva, but as of right now it’s basically a private jet for you and your friends where everyone can take up three seats. Second, and mainlydue to the lack of passengers, check-in was a breeze. I remember seeing all of the long lines at the other airline’s check-in counters, while we were able to walk right up to Viva’s and take care of business. Finally, the price point is about 1/3 of the cost compared to cheapest flight on United, even after adding in the “fee to pay for your ticket”.
My friends that were lucky enough to book flights that didn’t require a schedule change from Viva really like the airlineand say they woulduse them again. As for me, I’ll probably give them a second chance in a year or so. I really want to see if they can fix their problems and provide a goodservice. If Viva can keep their flight schedules solid then this will probably end up being the route that brings some real competition for Houston/Cancun flights.
If you’re thinking of booking Viva’s Houston/Cancun flight, you should do so knowing that there’s a good chance that there will be problems. Check your itinerary online every day to make sure there are no surprises. Also, don’t expect Viva’s customer service to care about any inconveniences caused by having your departure or return flight dates changed to a different day — they provided a dismissive tone during the time I called in to inquire about the change they had made to my itinerary. Generally speaking, it seemed like the customer service representative didn’t seem to care about how changing the day of arrival and departure could seriously break someone’s travel plans.
What Viva is currently offering isn’t something I can recommend to readers of this blog at this time. I’ll eventually fly them again, and I’m hoping that by then they’ll have a solid flight schedule that doesn’t leave people scratching their heads at the last minute.
- VivaAerobus is leaving a bad impression on me…
- Cheap Flights: Houston to Cancun $165 nonstop r/t – VivaAerobus
For flights within Mexico, you must arrive at the airport check-in desks 2 hours before your flight departure and if your flight is international arrive 3 hours before your flight departure. Our airport check-in desks close 45 minutes before domestic departures and 70 minutes before international departures.What planes does Viva Aerobus use? ›
You can select your seat during the purchase process or through My booking. VIP Priority and More Space seats (emergency exits) are available for an additional cost. Priority check-in (Viva Express) is included at no cost when you select Smart fare.Is Viva a good airline? ›
On Trustpilot, Viva Air holds an average rating of 1.5/5 stars. Most Viva Air reviews fall into the one-star, "bad" category. Previous travelers have commented that Viva Air has many hidden fees, and their online system defaults to adding extra charges.Can I take snacks on Viva Aerobus? ›
You can bring water, food, and milk. This service includes the use of the Viva Express line for a quick check-in process.Is Viva Aerobus better than Volaris? ›
The low-cost carrier Viva Aerobus has had an even more robust recovery than Volaris. Viva Aerobus has risen from being the fourth most important carrier in Mexico in 2019 (behind Volaris, Aeromexico, and Interjet) to become the second one.How old are Viva Aerobus planes? ›
|Airbus A320||42||6.1 years|
|Airbus A321||24||3.7 years|
The airline received this plane on September 6, 2006. This plane initially flew with America West Airlines between 1985 and 2005. Then it operated with Viva Aerobus between 2006 and 2011. This aircraft is currently stored at Monterrey International Airport in Mexico, waiting to be scrapped.Do Viva Air seats recline? ›
There are 188 seats in total, none of which recline.Does Viva Aerobus serve food? ›
They sell snacks on board. The snacks are reasonably priced but a free mini snack and drink is always appreciated.
Use TSA PreCheck! If you are already a member of the trusted traveler program, enter your 9-digit Known Traveler Number (KTN) during check-in on our website.Is Viva Aerobus a budget airline? ›
Viva Aerobus is a low-cost airline based in Monterrey, Mexico. It was founded in 2006 and is among the fastest growing carriers in the world. The airline operates 115 flights per day with over 78 routes at some of the lowest rates in Latin America. The carrier is owned by IAMSA, the biggest bus company group in Mexico.What is the rating of Viva Aerobus? ›
Viva Aerobus is Certified as a 2-Star Low-Cost Airline for the quality of its airport and onboard product and staff service.What terminal does Viva Aerobus use in Cancun? ›
Terminal 1 at the Cancun Airport.
It re-opened in November 2013 to charter flights; it also serves two local airlines, Magnicharters and VivaAerobus. Terminal 1 offers basic services to passengers.
All Viva Air tickets include luggage. This is one (1) personal item of maximum 10 kg and 40x35x25 cm. Any additional luggage will cost.Does Viva Aerobus have phone chargers? ›
There's no form of onboard entertainment or charging ports.Do you need to print Viva Aerobus boarding pass? ›
Does Viva Aerobus (VB) have online web check-in? Yes, you may check-in for your Viva Aerobus (VB) flight online starting 72 hours and ending 4 hours prior to departure. Passengers must print out their boarding pass prior to arrival at the airport, or will be subject to a USD 12 fee.Do I need a passport to fly Viva Aerobus? ›
You must show your valid passport and the immigration documents required by the country you are visiting. Please be advised that all passengers, including babies and minors, must present their valid travel documents.Which Mexican airline is best? ›
- AeroMexico. AeroMexico is the national carrier here in Mexico. ...
- Viva Aerobus. Viva Aerobus gets a bit of a bad reputation, and perhaps they sometimes deserve it. ...
- Interjet. Interjet ceased operations in 2021. ...
- Volaris. ...
- AeroMar. ...
- Calafia Airlines.
Europe's 6th Most Populous Country: A Look At Spain's Top 5...
- Vueling - 127 airplanes. ...
- Iberia - 91 airplanes. ...
- Air Nostrum - 46 airplanes. ...
- Volotea - 35 airplanes. ...
- Air Europa - 35 airplanes.
Viva is an extreme low-fare airline. That means no reserved seats, no free food or drink, no U.S.-based phone number, and most importantly, no guaranteed air-to-air connections.Who is Viva Aerobus owned by? ›
Viva Aerobus was formed as a result of a strategic alliance between Grupo IAMSA, one of Mexico's leading bus transportation providers and Irelandia Aviation, the investment vehicle of the Ryan family-founders of Ryanair. Grupo IAMSA secured Irelandia's 49% stake in Viva Aerobus in 2016.How many seats does Viva Aerobus have? ›
Note: There are 2 versions of this aircraft. Viva Aerobus' operates the Airbus A320-200 on their short-haul routes. Each are configured with one class of 180 Economy Class seats.What is the oldest plane that still flies? ›
The oldest plane still flying in the world is the Bleriot XI. And it's not even close! Where generations of aircraft have been built and retired in its wake, the Bleriot XI, one of the first planes ever, built in 1909, still flies in Hudson Valley, New York.How long does the AEROBUS take? ›
The journey takes approximately 30-35 minutes, depending on when you get the bus.How long can a flight be delayed before compensation Mexico? ›
Aeromexico Flight Delay Compensation
They must also offer accommodation and replacement flights if necessary. But more than that, if Aeromexico is responsible for the flight delay, the law says that they must compensate passengers when the flight is delayed by 3 hours or more.
“The roughest spot is usually the far aft. In the rearmost rows, closest to the tail, the knocking and swaying is more pronounced,” Smith added. The impact of turbulence is also felt less at the front of the plane because it's beyond the centre of gravity on the aircraft.What seats have the least turbulence? ›
The best seat on the plane to avoid turbulence is either over the wings or towards the front of the aircraft. The wings of the plane keep it balanced and smooth, whereas the tail of the aircraft can bounce up and down more.How much liquid can you bring on a plane in Mexico? ›
Yes. Only liquids, gels and aerosols for cosmetic use or personal hygiene that are in individual containers with a capacity of less than 100 ml (3.4 oz) are permitted. These must be in a sealable plastic bag with a maximum capacity of 1 liter (35 oz.). (per passenger).Is TSA PreCheck good for Mexico? ›
Yes. TSA PreCheck® is available when you depart from a U.S. airport to a foreign country, and for domestic, connecting flights after you return to the United States. If you travel internationally four or more times a year, consider enrolling in Global Entry instead of TSA PreCheck®.
The application fee for TSA PreCheck® is $78 for 5 years. Before you apply, we recommend that you review the various DHS trusted traveler programs, such as the TSA PreCheck® Application Program, Global Entry, NEXUS, or SENTRI, to ensure you meet the eligibility requirements and determine the best program for you.What is the safest and cheapest airline to fly? ›
The AirlineRatings top 10 safest low-cost airlines for 2022 are, in alphabetical order; Allegiant, easyjet, Frontier, Jetstar Group, Jetblue, Ryanair, Vietjet, Volaris, Westjet, and Wizz.How early should you arrive at Cancun Airport? ›
Normally you should be at the airport at least 2 hours prior to the scheduled departure time. If you are traveling with a TOUR PACKAGE that includes transportation, you may want to consider booking a separate PRIVATE TRANSFER for you and your family.Can you walk between Cancun terminals? ›
The distance between each terminal is so far that you can't reach it on feet, for this reason Cancun International Airport counts with transportation services between each terminal, these are completely free, safe, comfortable and punctual.Is there Uber in Cancun? ›
Complete your plans today by reserving a ride with Uber in Cancun. Request a ride up to 30 days in advance, at any time and on any day of the year.Do I need to check-in at the airport if I have my boarding pass on my phone? ›
Can I use my mobile boarding pass to go through the security checkpoint and board my flight? Yes, simply show your mobile boarding pass on a mobile phone, iPad, or Apple Watch and a valid form of identification to the TSA Agent at security to proceed.What time does the Aerobus start? ›
The bus runs 365 days a year, starting at 5:30am until 1am at night and the journey takes just 25 to 35 minutes, leaving you right in the heart of the city in Plaça Catalunya, although you can also alight at Plaça Espanya (another of the city's major landmarks).Can you go straight to security if you've checked-in online? ›
Are you travelling with hand luggage only? If you are, you may be able to check in online for free and print off your boarding pass, so all you need to do when you arrive at the airport is go straight through security.Do I need to bring printed boarding pass? ›
Does everyone need to have a copy of their own boarding pass? Yes, everyone needs a copy of their boarding pass prior to flying. You can print these separately or have them saved on the same mobile device.Is it better to print your boarding pass at home or at the airport? ›
Printing your boarding pass is doubly important if you're traveling with your family. Every person needs to be accounted for with a ticket in hand at security and at the boarding gate, and that's just easier done with a piece of paper than on an app.
Viva is an extreme low-fare airline. That means no reserved seats, no free food or drink, no U.S.-based phone number, and most importantly, no guaranteed air-to-air connections.Can you use T casual on AEROBUS? ›
The T-Casual ticket is also not valid on the Aerobus express bus. There are other T-Casual zone tickets which you may wish to consider if you are travelling further afield than Barcelona city centre. There are six variations of the T 10 ticket one for each of the zones.Does the AEROBUS run all night? ›
The AEROBUS operates 24/7, 365 days a year, including weekends and public holidays. Buses depart from Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 every 5-20 minutes, ensuring you don't wait for too long.