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Flying to Coz or Cancun -- Is the Bag Drag Worth it?


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#1 La Administradora

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 03:35 PM

Just to get things started in this forum, here's a question that was asked over and over through the years of the old board.

I prefer to fly directly into Cozumel's small but modern airport. It saves time and, especially on the return, it means you can leave a lot later to get to the airport because you don't have a ferry and bus ride to add in to the mix.

But sometimes you can save a ton and get much better connections flying into Cancun.

Comments?
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#2 cdlu

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 10:42 AM

Unless we could save bunches and I mean bunches of money, we will continue to fly directly to Cozumel. When I see those people dragging their luggage, I honestly think to myself,"I am glad that is not me."
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#3 Carey

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 11:59 AM

I agree, Cindy. It's not actually SO bad for the trip in via Cancun because it's all fresh and balmy. And the wait for the ferry in Playa is lovely at that palapa-covered terminal. But the trip back is the dogs!

First of all, you can't catch an early morning flight out of CUN because the first ferry runs at 5 or 6 AM and then you still have to bus or taxi it up to the airport. Secondly, even if you have a later flight, you have to leave quite early. Allow 45 minutes for the ferry crossing and one hour for the bus to the airport. So you have to leave minimum 4 hours ahead.

It's worth checking out doing a multiple destination trip if that's feasible with the airlines you can use. I've, for example, flown In to Cancun on occasion when the connection was a lot better. And then OUT of Cozumel.
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#4 Coz2wonder

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 12:30 PM

my opinion is, do you want to waste 3 to 4 hours of your vacation?

How much is 3 to 4 hours worth, compared to the cost to fly directly into Cozumel.

If the difference between Coz and Cancun is 300 bucks in airfare...I'd pay the price.
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#5 eaton53

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 07:31 PM

Bag draggin' is not something I think I'll ever do. Every hour is too valuable.
I just have to get my wife to not talk to the airport timeshare people...
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#6 Charles

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 10:50 PM

If only it was the difference in price, some people scream if the price difference will exceed $100 dollars above the cost of ferry and bus. I once was able to book the wife for $350 dollars extra to fly into Cozumel. I can deal with the flying into Cancun and I have heard of people that have managed to arrive in Cancun and depart from Cozumel. From many departure points it is simply impossible or impractical to fly into Cozumel, never mind the historical difference of often double or triple the price. Trying to fly from Florida into Cozumel, travel time is often 12 plus hours during high season. During low season I have been confronted with options that all included one over night. The world's worst option ever was to fly out of Tampa, leaving in late afternoon, it went to Washington, then Chicago before turning south for Texas. There was one layover that merited a hotel stay.. Out of Texas the trip continued to Mexico City, an overnight there and then an early morning flight to Cozumel. Total trip time was 37 hours going and only 33 hours on the return
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#7 Charles

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 10:59 PM

I would never book a departure out of Cancun before noon and would prefer to have a 2:00PM departure time. Likewise with arrival you want to arrive at a decent time. Typically I am arriving exhausted from a 20 plus hour trip so arrival in Cancun I am already on auto-pilot and the trip to Playa at least enables me to stretch out some of the cramps from the trip. The wait in Playa is painless. The extra time and effort required to return to Cancun, figure leaving Cozumel five hours early minimally, it has been work getting there. Then to board a plane and go through 24-27 hours of travel time, multiple layovers that lack sufficient time for a hotel, it is a hell of a way to travel. Add in the hassle of obtaining food, I am surprised anyone goes on vacation anymore. Fly into Cancun if necessary, but depart from Cozumel if humanly possible.
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#8 Carey

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 08:04 AM

Well, people DO need to realize that what you are describing, Charles, is not the typical vacationers experience as you are trying to get from Cozumel to tiny Skagway, Alaska. If you're coming from any town that doesn't have a lot of air service, you're looking at more time. Witness my struggles bringing our daughter down from college from Gainesville, FL and Charlottesville, VA. But Skagway is a whole other dimension in terms of being a remote and low-population destination.
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#9 kentukcoz

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 09:22 AM

Sometimes you get lucky though. I found a non-stop round trip flight from Cincinnati to Cancun in last Nov. for this coming June 10-26th for $280ea. So my wife and I are going to spend the first and last parts of our vacation in Akumal with a week in Coz in the middle.
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#10 Charles

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 10:09 AM

Using Gainesville as an example, at the center of three large airports within two hour drives, some of the year, it might be 12-14-17 hours to fly into Cozumel. Even flights to Cancun average eight hours or worse. Outside of high season all options are horrible. It might be cheaper and FASTER to book two round trip cruises than to depart from Florida. All the charters mostly from the Midwest and Texas helped to kill regular airline service, then most of the charters went out of business. Years of broken promises of promotion for a Miami flight long ago killed that direct connection. It seems that American has abandoned their trial service to Miami whose prices averaged $1,100. That's expensive for a 90 minute flight of 600 miles. Service to Cancun has been 1/4 to 1/3 the price from Miami. I'll fly to Cancun for savings of $700-$800. During off season, flights to Cozumel from any of the three major North Florida airports were all 20-24 hours, one over night with the worst I have ever seen offered, The Mexicana flight that involved two overnights out of Tampa, $1000, but you did log 6,000 air miles, I think that one involved six stops and changed planes four times. Direct flights from North Florida to Cancun 15-20 years ago, you had 8-10 options of direct service to Cancun, now there is finally Jet Blue that just started service to Orlando. Outside of select areas, during slow season (eight months) service is so limited, even to Cancun, that a one week vacation, just is not a realistic option.
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#11 MusicMan

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 10:10 AM

In years past, I have always done the "bag drag" through Cancun, because I was saving $150 or more per ticket. This years I was amazed to find that the difference in flying to Cancun and Cozumel for the dates I wanted was less than $100. Needless to say, we have booked directly into Cozumel.
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#12 Valli

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 02:43 PM

I have done the bag drag more than I care to and vowed I would not do it again. Some find it an adventure, I find it tiring. True, it is a joy to view the beautiful blue waters of the ocean and once you are on the ferry, some of the tenseness seems to melt away. I found that the bus would always be late arriving to PDC because of all the traffic congestion, and I would miss the ferry by minutes and ending up having to wait another 2 hours for the next ferry based on the schedules. What I did in November was to land in Cancun and book in advance with Maya Air the flight from Cancun to Cozumel, and it was an excellent alternative, as I was unable to fly to Cozumel directly. It was much less stressful and far more relaxing. It was just as well I had chosen that option because it had been raining that day and the ports were closed, and remained that way the next day as well. So that would have meant being in PDC and paying for extra accommodation. The total return cost was under 150 dollars and well worth it. For my next trip, I was fortunate to find a good connection where I land in Cozumel, but if it was necessary to fly to Cancun, I would definitely go with taking the small plane to Cozumel. I enjoyed the short flight and was not the least bit frightened or apprehensive.
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#13 Charles

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 06:50 PM

I was hoping Valli would report her experience with flying Maya Air. She foolishly went against conventional wisdom to not cancel her trip when the island was under the threat of a hurricane and/or tropical storm warning. She was reassured by a mentally unstable person that all would be well and damn Aviomar broke their promise that the ferry would be running all afternoon and they would not make a decision until that night whether to send the boats to a safe harbor. I always flew Aero Caribe whenever I could. In the old days before the airport bus service to Playa, it was more of a challenge and took longer. I took the bus from downtown on arrival in Cancun, but always flew to Cancun for departure. Even when I had a half price discount card (cost of air= bus taxi), their schedule was such, I'd take the ferry route to keep moving rather then wait five hours if I missed one flight and their next flight was sold out. Some people are shy about this because to the records of AeroFerinco, many people are nervous about flying in small planes, I love the flight to and from Cancun as you get a good better view of the reefs.

When I worked for a small bush airline in Alaska, I was surprised at how many people had never flown in a small plane. It can be a tight fit, but I love small planes. Since they code share with I believe AeroMexico, the cost can be lower if included in the original purchase from some airlines. It is so much easier to depart from Cozumel, just no comparison to getting to and from Cancun and at times, Cancun can be a nightmare of over crowding.
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#14 Carey

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 09:07 PM

Sometimes you get lucky though. I found a non-stop round trip flight from Cincinnati to Cancun in last Nov. for this coming June 10-26th for $280ea. So my wife and I are going to spend the first and last parts of our vacation in Akumal with a week in Coz in the middle.


I agree. For that kind of price differential plus the convenience, I'd go for Cacun under those circumstances. Do watch out for any returns from Cancun before noon, however. And a morning flight basically means you'll have to spend the night before in Playa.
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#15 Guest_pecosgirl_*

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 09:44 PM

We dislike the bag drag intensely.
If you only have 5 nights or 7 nights for vacay we hate to waste a single minute...or a few hours doing the bag drag.
BUT...if we can save $200. each going into Cancun instead of Cozumel...we'll do it.
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#16 kentukcoz

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 09:01 AM

Carey, Our flight out is at 12:30PM and we'll be coming up from Akumal in a rental car ,but we'll give ourselves plenty of leeway as per all you experienced hands recommend.
Thanks. Eric
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#17 jbfins

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 04:20 PM

we have been coming to Coz since '92 and never did the bag drag until our last visit last March. Huge mistake and we will never do it again!! We did the ferry and it was so tedious we took a puddle jumper for the trip back which was actually nice!! The ferry was very crowded and it wss a very warm day!! We have decided to spend the money next time!
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#18 Coz_Aholic

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 06:30 PM

I travel to North Florida often. April examples Tally $398 5 hr 3 min, Pensacola $398 5hr 18 min, Gainesville $468 5 hrs 23 min, Jax $398 5hr 23 min...all included tax
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#19 cozumelwantabe

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 12:29 PM

We have only done the bag drag once and it was terrible having to leave 5 hours early to make it up to Cancun.
Now we pay the extra and fly right into Cozumel.
I have paid up to $700.00 a person at Christmas time for a direct flight to Cozumel and this July 1st we are paying just over $350.00 per person with a short layover each way (prices include tax).
These are out of Chicago and we grabbed them when they hit that low. I then went to work and said, buy the way I need more time off in July, I just bought airline tickets.....
I guess were luckly to get them this cheap and we will be on the island early that day and ready to enjoy our first day.
Now all I have to do is figure out where we are going to stay? It looks like it will just be Terry and I this trip so we are going to roll the dice and wait until the last minute, say 5-6 weeks out and see what kind of deal we can get.
Bill
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#20 Jimmmy

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 12:02 PM

The last few tips we have made from St. Louis usually leave at 7:00 A.M. and change planes in Houston or Dallas for a direct flight to Cozumel. We are usually checking in to our hotel by 1:30. If we went through Cancun to Playa and the ferry I don't think we could do it that fast.

It seems the last time I did the Cancun/small plane to Cosumel we made it in a similar time frame.

I need a Cozumel fix!

Jim
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