Flights with stopovers in Mexico City tend to take the entire day. There are nonstop flights from a few U.S. cities, including Atlanta (Delta), Los Angeles (Alaska Air, American Airlines via Mexicana de Aviación), San Francisco (Alaska Air, United, Mexicana), Seattle (Alaska Air), Phoenix (US Airways), Houston (Continental), Dallas (American), Denver (Frontier Air, United), Chicago ORD (American Airlines), and Kansas City, Missouri (Frontier Air).
Air Canada has nonstop flights from Toronto and connecting flights (via Toronto) from all major cities. Web-based Volaris is a Tijuana-based airline with reasonable fares. It flies direct to Puerto Vallarta from Tijuana and between Guadalajara and San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Cancun. You can fly to Manzanillo, just south of the Costalegre, via many airlines with a stop in Mexico City.
If you plan to include Guadalajara in your itinerary, consider an open-jaw flight to Puerto Vallarta with a return from Guadalajara (or vice versa). There's almost no difference in price when you fly a Mexican airline like Aeroméxico, even when factoring in bus fare; sometimes the open jaw is even cheaper.
Flying times are about 2¾ hours from Houston, 3 hours from Los Angeles, 3½ hours from Denver, 4 hours from Chicago, and 8 hours from New York.
Airline and Airport Links.com (www.airlineandairportlinks.com.)
Aeroméxico (800/237–6639 in U.S. and Canada; 01800/021–4000; 01800/021–4010 in Mexico; 322/221–1204 in PV. www.aeromexico.com.)
Air Canada (888/247–2262 in U.S. and Canada; 322/221–1823 in PV. www.aircanada.com.)
Alaska Airlines (800/252–7522 in Mexico; 322/221–2610 in PV. www.alaskaair.com.)
American Airlines (800/433–7300 in U.S.; 01800/904–6000 in Mexico; 322/221–1799 in PV. www.aa.com.)
Delta Airlines (800/221–1212 in U.S.; 01800/266–0046 in Mexico. www.delta.com.)
Frontier. Frontier. 800/432–1359 in U.S. www.flyfrontier.com.
Interjet (01800/011–2345 in Mexico. www.interjet.com.mx.)
United Airlines (800/864–8331 for U.S. and Mexico reservations; 01800/900–5000 in Mexico. www.united.com.)
US Airways (800/428–4322 in U.S.; 322/221–1333 in PV. www.usairways.com.)
Volaris (55/1102–8000 in Mexico City; 01800/122–8000 in Mexico. www.volaris.com.mx.)
Airline Security Issues
Transportation Security Administration (866/289–9673. www.tsa.gov.)
The main gateway, and where many PV-bound travelers change planes, is Mexico City's large, modern Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México (Benito Juárez; airport code: MEX). It’s infamous for pickpocketing and taxi scams, so watch your stuff.
Puerto Vallarta's small international Aeropuerto Internacional Gustavo Díaz Ordáz (PVR) is 7.5 km (4½ miles) north of downtown.
Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México (Benito Juárez) (Mexico City, Quintana Roo. 55/2482–2424 or 55/2482–2400. www.aicm.com.mx.)
Aeropuerto Internacional Gustavo Díaz Ordáz (Tepic Hwy. Km 7.5, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, 48311. 322/221–1298. www.aeropuertosgap.com.mx/es/puerto-vallarta-3.)
Vans provide transportation from the airport to PV hotels; there's a zone system with different prices for the Zona Hotelera (Hotel Zone), downtown PV, and so on. Outside the luggage collection area, vendors shout for your attention. It's a confusing scene. Purchase the taxi vouchers sold at the stands inside the terminal, and be sure to avoid the time-share vendors who trap you in their vans for a high-pressure sales pitch en route to your hotel. Avoid drivers who approach you, and head for an official taxi kiosk, which will have zone information clearly posted. As in any busy airport, don't leave your luggage unattended for any reason.
Before you purchase your ticket, look for a taxi-zone map (it should be posted on or by the ticket stand), and make sure your taxi ticket is properly zoned; if you need a ticket only to Zone 3, don't pay for a ticket to Zone 4 or 5. Taxis or vans to the Costalegre resorts between PV and Manzanillo are generally arranged through the resort. If not, taxis charge about 200 to 250 pesos ($15–$19) an hour—more if you're traveling beyond Jalisco State lines.