On Google Flights, if I search for a one way ticket to Tokyo on November 1st:

  • From NLU: 91K MXN
  • From MEX: 15K MXN

The cheapest options in both cases have multiple stopovers. Given that there are flights to big airports like Houston from NLU, why is the price difference so big? I'd be able to get a flight on October 31st from NLU to Houston for 1.9K MXN and then on November 1st from Houston to Tokyo for 19K MXN. Why does the Google flight search engine not offer this option to me? Is it because the layover is 15 hours, overnight? Or is it because it would be mixing alliances (SkyTeam and StarAlliance)? On Kiwi, I see it: https://kiwi.com/u/7m84sy

But I don't know of another site where I would.

Kiwi offering the connection

2 Answers 2


Why does the Google flight search engine not offer this option to me?

It does offer this and even cheaper one if you search for it correctly enter image description here

In this case the cheaper options require self connections (i.e. two seperate tickets) in Houston which most search engines don't offer because of the risk involved. KIWI is infamous for self connections.

why is the price difference so big?

Variety of reasons:

  • NLU is mostly a domestic airport, not a lot of internationals destinations and airlines.
  • "Second airports" are not attractive to international carriers. If they want to increase capacity to Mexico City it's much more efficient for them to add another flight to MEX (2 flights a day or from another hub). Notable exception would be JFK/EWR and LHR/LGW but these are major international airports and hubs.
  • You can't leverage a code share since Houston is a United Hub (i.e. Star Alliance heavy).
  • Airline prices are unpredictable and illogic in general. The price of the same flight in the same class can easily vary by a factor of 6 based for no apparent or logical rason. It's all based on "dynamic pricing".

NLU is the shiny new public airport and is a very largely domestic airport (Only Houston, la Havana, Panama, Santo Domingo and Caracas are served from NLU), the only major international airline serving it is Aeromexico and only to Houston, which would explain how much more expensive it is since you get only one option.

MEX on the other hand is the 16-th largest airport in the world and most major intl' carriers serve it

I was able to find a Delta flight, from MEX, with a 10h layover in Atlanta for $MXN 13.75K

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