A Guide to United Flights to Mexico

United offers many direct flights to Mexico. Be flexible with dates to get the best deals.
Anya Kartashova
By Anya Kartashova 

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United Airlines is one of the Big Three U.S. airlines and covers more than 300 cities across five continents. For those looking for a trip south of the border, United flies to several destinations in Mexico.

Here’s everything you need to know about United flights to Mexico.

Does United fly direct to Mexico?

Yes, United offers direct flights to six cities in Mexico.

Mexico destinations that United serves

United operates several direct flights to Mexico. The following cities are in the United flight network:

  • Cancun.

  • Guadalajara.

  • Mexico City.

  • Monterrey.

  • Puerto Vallarta.

  • San Jose del Cabo.

Getting from the U.S. to Mexico on United

United flies nonstop international flights to Mexico from the following U.S. cities, all of which are United hubs:

  • Chicago-O’Hare.

  • Denver.

  • Houston-Intercontinental.

  • Los Angeles.

  • Newark.

  • San Francisco.

  • Washington-Dulles.

When it comes to reaching our southern neighbor by plane, you have the most flight options from Houston to Mexico. If you want to fly from other hubs, direct service isn’t available to every Mexican city on the list.

What the flight experience is like

Although Mexico is a different country, expect to find the same in-flight service as if you’re flying on domestic flights within the U.S. Depending on where you depart from, your flight time should be between 2.5 hours and 5.5 hours on nonstop flights.

In-flight refreshments

Water, coffee, juice and soda are complimentary in all classes of service. Economy passengers will have the option to purchase alcoholic beverages on all flights of at least 300 miles within the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean. Passengers flying in first class receive free alcoholic drinks.

As for food, you’ll get some standard snacks, but if you want any premium snacks, you have to pay (available on flights of at least 500 miles). If you’re flying first class, you can choose between a snack box or a sandwich, depending on the length of your flight.

In-flight entertainment

Depending on the aircraft, you might have access to United Private Screening, which is a seatback entertainment system offering movies, TV shows or live DirecTV programming.

If a plane doesn’t feature a seatback screen, you can access a library of movies and TV shows from your personal device such as a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone using in-flight Wi-Fi. If you’re not sure which plane you’ll be on or you experience a last-minute aircraft swap, make sure to charge up all your devices before you leave home just in case.

In-flight Wi-Fi

Passengers flying on short-haul international routes, including United flights to Mexico, are able to purchase in-flight Wi-Fi for $8 for United MileagePlus members and $10 for nonmembers (on Wi-Fi-equipped aircraft at cruising altitude). Joining the loyalty program is free of charge, so there’s no reason to not join MileagePlus and enjoy discounted internet access.

If you have a connection, you can purchase a Wi-Fi Day Pass that allows you to connect to Wi-Fi on multiple flights on your itinerary. The cost of the pass varies based on how many segments your itinerary includes.

If you fly United often, an annual Wi-Fi subscription starts at $49 or 7,500 United miles.

How to find cheap United flights to Mexico

Be flexible with your dates

This is true for many destinations, but the more flexible you are with travel dates, the more money you can save by traveling in the middle of the week.

United offers its flyers a flexible search calendar that displays the prices over a two-month range. The calendar highlights the least-expensive fares in green.

Using Houston to Mexico City as an example, we found the best fares were often listed for travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in July and August. If you can avoid weekends and peak times, you can fly United Airlines cheap to Mexico.

Redeem MileagePlus miles

If you don’t want to spend cash, redeem MileagePlus miles instead. The award chart prices its flights dynamically, which means the award rates can go up and down on different days. Weekends and holidays are priced higher than less-popular dates.

Again, it helps to be flexible with travel dates as you can find some great deals on award flights to Mexico. For example, you can nab a round-trip flight from Houston to Mexico City for about 15,000 United miles.

United MileagePlus credit cards to help you fly to Mexico

Of course, to be able to redeem miles for United flights to Mexico, you need to earn them first. Chase issues several credit cards for both consumers and business owners. The more you spend on the cards, the faster you accumulate miles for your next trip. Here are the United cards and their current sign-up bonuses:

  • United Gateway℠ Card: Earn 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

  • United℠ Explorer Card: Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

  • United Quest℠ Card: Earn 60,000 bonus miles + 500 Premier qualifying points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

  • United Club℠ Infinite Card: Earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

  • United℠ Business Card: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

  • United Club℠ Business Card: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

By holding these credit cards, you have access to perks that can make your United flights to Mexico even cheaper, such as a free checked bag.

A free checked bag for you and your companion

If you hold one of the co-branded United credit cards (except the United Gateway℠ Card) and pay for your ticket with it on united.com, you and one companion booked on the same reservation can check one bag each for free. United charges $30 for a piece of luggage if you prepay and $35 if you pay at the airport, which means you and a companion can save up to $140 per round-trip flight.

TSA PreCheck / Global Entry enrollment credit

The United℠ Explorer Card, the United Quest℠ Card and the United Club℠ Infinite Card all come with a statement credit every four years toward enrollment in one of the trusted traveler programs: TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, which also includes TSA PreCheck.

United Club membership

The United Club℠ Infinite Card comes with complimentary United Club membership, which offers access to more than 45 United Clubs, Copa Club locations and Star Alliance airport lounges when flying United or a Star Alliance partner. General United Club membership costs $650 per year, and the United Club℠ Infinite Card has a $525 annual fee. So if lounge access is important to you, it’s possible to save money by signing up for the credit card and utilizing its other perks, too.

Important policies to be aware of

Change policy: If you’re traveling to Mexico on the following types of tickets, you don’t have to pay any change or cancellation fees:

  • Economy.

  • Economy Plus.

  • United First.

  • United Business.

  • United Premium Plus.

Basic economy tickets cannot be changed. If you cancel, you will not receive a flight credit or a refund.

COVID-19 restrictions: At the time of writing, Mexico doesn’t have any entry restrictions. For further information or for updates, visit the United Travel-Ready Center to make sure you have the documents necessary for your trip.

The information related to the United Club℠ Infinite Card and United Club℠ Business Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:

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