It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a... bus?
Amazing dirt cheap deals on nonstop flights on new routes from Austin, Texas, to Monterrey and Cancun, Mexico
Actually, it's a bit of all of the above: basic bus service on wings that hopefully won't start flapping too much. It's VivaAerobus, so it is alive in some way, maybe even airy and vivacious, but most importantly—drumroll, please—it's free! Before taxes, that is, as you rightly guessed (hey, we know you're not that easily fooled). Including everything except checked luggage, the total fare on the new nonstop Austin to Monterrey route comes to $160. Not exactly free, but definitely cheap, and since it's all taxes at least you know it's for a really good cause and will be wisely spent.
Bringing more than a carry-on will add $20 to the cost of the trip, which means you'll essentially be traveling as a free companion to your fancy fake Louis Vuitton steamer trunk that may be big enough for a stowaway but luckily doesn't have to be used for that purpose anymore. All told, it's almost $300 less than competing connecting service for summer travel and it sure beats trying to outrun the border patrol. Similar deals with similar savings are available to Cancun for just under $200 and connections are possible through the Monterrey hub to 20 other Mexican destinations, many of those also free before taxes.
VivaAerobus is the aviation venture of Mexco's biggest bus company, IAMSA. While it may be a relative latecomer to the new breed of booming bottom-feeding, bargain-basement, bare-bones airlines south of the border, it has first-mover advantage in the American market and comes with serious backing from notoriously cheap-thrills, no-frills Ryanair. Additional free routes are planned from Austin to Guadalajara, Leon, Puebla, and Queretaro, while another hub in Gary, Indiana, is rumored to be in the works. Go, cowboys! Go, hoosiers! Go free, everybody!