If you’ve booked a vacation package to Mexico or Puerto Rico, don’t be surprised to find yourself flying on a UPS plane. The international parcel-delivery service has converted some of its cargo planes to passenger service on weekends. Tour operators and cruise lines sell the seats.
The craft, which are not normally used on weekends, are modified 113-seat Boeing 727-100. Don’t count on first-class service equivalent to that of commercial carriers, but the seats do boast a generous 33-in. pitch and wide overhead bins. Passengers can expect premium-level cabin service and meals. Flights originate in Chicago, Detroit, Louisville, Cincinnati, Orlando and Miami. Destinations include Santo Domingo; Cancun, Mexico; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. UPS, currently the only mail carrier offering passenger flights, has partnered with Royal Celebrities Cruises Inc., Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises and Vacation Express.
In April and May, Vacation Express (800-848-8047) offers three-night, all-inclusive packages with accommodations, such as a Louisville-Cancun deal for $589 and $629 per person based on double occupancy in a budget or moderate hotel. Or go from Cincinnati to Cancun for $749 for a stay in a luxury hotel. Air only round trips are available for $429 and $419, respectively. Typical major airline coach excursion fares during that same period are $375 and $580, respectively.