I watched the ticket prices of trips to Puerto Vallarta on the Internet . This was sort of like watching the price of gold futures on the stock market. The price fluctuated between a low of $450 to a high of $700. I figured if the price got much above $700 I would give up and go to Black Canyon. When I finally decided to go to Yelapa the lowest ticket price had risen to $550. However, it turned out that MOST of the low airfares on www.Orbitz.com were teasers. They were United Airlines flights that did not issue e-tickets and therefore could not be purchased without several weeks notice to mail the ticket to me! With less than 3 days notice, each of these airfares disappeared when I clicked on the BUY button. A box popped up that recommended I contact United directly. I tried United Airline’s WEB site and they had nothing for under $1200. I tried contacting United by phone and they claimed to have no seats on any flight to Puerto Vallarta until sometime in January. When I quoted the flight numbers and connecting Mexican airlines, they told me that those flights did not appear on their computers and that United did not have a relationship with that Mexican airline. I suspect Orbitz may have been playing games with the schedules, quoting the combined cost of a United flight to LA plus the cost of a Mexican flight from LA to Puerto Vallarta.
I went back to the Orbitz.com site and clicked on the lowest cost flight with Alaskan Airlines and this worked. Alaska flies directly to Puerto Vallarta from San Francisco (saving me 4 hours of travel time – worth the extra money), they would issue an e-ticket over the Internet, and the price was still within my acceptable range.