Subject: Re: ZINE Mazatlan or maybe?
Hi Sandy,

I was curious about the expensive fares so did a search on www.qixo.com for flights from O'Hare to Mazatlan and used arbitrary dates (March 8 Sat. dep.-March 22 Sat. ret.) and got $736 rt. Ugly! Non-weekend fares brought it in at $696. Not much better. Fares for two weeks from now came in no better.

However a search on Travelocity looking for the lowest fare between now and next April brought in a $543 fare on Mexicana. So there are some lower fares out there. Of course, they come with restrictions that may not work for your son. I recommend keeping an eye on the two major Mexican air carriers' web pages, Mexicana and Aeromexico (sign up for e-mail notification of special internet fares). I'd also suggest registering with Travelocity's Fare Watcher program to be notified of fare changes between selected cities e.g. Chicago and Mazatlan.

And now for something completely different. Has your son considered Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Huatulco, or Cancun? If he's not dead set on Mazatlan perhaps he might want to look into some of these other fine beach destinations in Mexico.

All of the fares listed below were found on www.qixo.com. Airfare from O'Hare to Puerto Vallarta next March (same dates as listed above ) come in at $447 rt. Airfare from O'Hare to Manzanillo next March (same dates as listed above ) come in at $568 rt. Airfare from O'Hare to Ixtapa next March (same dates as listed above ) come in at $476 rt. Airfare from O'Hare to Huatulco next March (same dates as listed above ) come in at $487 rt. Airfare from O'Hare to Cancun next March (same dates as listed above ) come in at $435 rt.

Gail's earlier post regarding Spring Break students would have the most impact on Mazatlan and Cancun. I would greatly discourage your son from being in either city at that time. Although anywhere south of Cancun along the Mayan Riviera should be fine.

Give this info to your son. If he's still set on Mazatlan he'll just need to keep his ears and eyes open to find a deal. If he's willing to reconsider the destination I'll be more than glad to help regarding any of the other beach resorts I mentioned.

John in San Diego where I have the advantage of flying out of the Tijuana airport when flying elsewhere in Mexico.