I discovered EasyFly, a discount Colombian airline, in my search for low-cost flights from Medellin to Bucaramanga.
A week before my departure, I booked a return flight online for 249,440 pesos ($159), which works out to about $80 each way.
But the cost savings didn’t stop with the flights. EasyFly operates out of Medellin’s Enrique Olaya Herrera Airport, meaning I’d save time and money on taxi fare as well.
Until now, all my flights to/from the Medellin have been out of the Jose Maria Cordoba International Airport in Rio Negro.
The official 2013 taxi fare from the city to the international airport is 57,000 pesos ($31), whereas a taxi from OH Airport costs me about 6,000 pesos ($3), and takes 5-10 minutes (versus an hour).
EasyFly began operations in 2007, and has been slowly building a schedule of routes. Daily flights currently serve a mix of 16 cities, from the capital, to ones not serviced by other major airlines.
The three flight hubs are:
- Bogota’s El Dorado International Airport
- Medellin’s Olaya Herrera Airport
- Bucaramanga’s Palonegro International Airport
From Medellin, you can fly direct to:
EasyFly operates a fleet of BAe Jetstream 41 propeller planes. As you can tell from the photos above, they’re not very big, but given the flight distances are so short (about an hour max), it’s not too bad.
My flights between Medellin and Bucaramanga clocked in at 45 minutes each, and both were relatively calm with little turbulence.
Inside the planes, it’s a tight fit. Each row seats 3 people. On the left side of the plane are single seats, while the right side features two per row.
For my departure from Medellin, I asked for a window seat at check-in, and got one a few rows back, which put me directly next to the right propeller. I was still able to get decent views of the city during take off.
My only luggage was a small backpack, so I was able to take it as carry-on, and stow it under the seat in front of me.
On my return flight, I chose the front right window seat, so I didn’t have anyone in front of me.
Before I and others could board the plane, we had to give up our carry-on items (except for purses), as the flight attendance said the plane was full.
I was a little annoyed at the late notice, but the truth is I had nowhere to stow the bag in front of me, and there are no overhead compartments either.
Since we took off in Medellin from south to north, I figured the return flight would have to do a loop over Medellin to approach the airport from the south.
Sitting on the right side of the plane would give me a nice view of Poblado as we landed. This turned out to be the case, as you can see above.
Because OH Airport in Medellin and Bucaramanga’s airport are so small, check-in times were minimal, though you can do so online through the EasyFly site if you want to pick your seat and print your boarding pass (you’ll need two copies).
The service on the ground and in the air was friendly, and both flights were on time. Actually, my flight from Medellin departed 10-15 minutes EARLIER than scheduled. In all my years of flying, that was a first.
I wouldn’t hesitate to use EasyFly again, but for now, they don’t fly out of Medellin to any other destinations I want to visit.
Hopefully that’ll change in the future, because I much prefer flights from OH Airport to JMC in Rio Negro.
Have you flown EasyFly? Share your experience in the comments below.
You can fly cheaper than that flying direct from Medellin to Bucaramanga round trip if you fly Avianca from the José María Cordova International airport. For example, I just checked and the Avianca fare in two weeks to Bucaramanga from JMC, leaving on May 22 and returning May 24 has a round trip cost of 159,960 pesos (only $87 round trip) but that’s only if you buy the ticket in Colombia in pesos (the price for tickets purchased in US in USD will be higher). And if you use the bus to get to JMC airport it only costs 8,000 pesos but of course it takes longer to get to the JMC airport.
While EOH (Enrique Olaya Herrera Airport) may be more convenient, it may not necessarily have the cheapest airfares. And unfortunately I am not aware of flights yet out of EOH to popular weekend beach getaway locations like Cartagena and Santa Marta. Plus personally I would rather fly in the bigger Airbus A320 that Avianca uses than the small propeller plane that EasyFly uses. I just don’t feel as safe in those small planes.
I booked the Easyfly flight 5 days in advance. It would’ve been cheaper if I booked 2 weeks ahead.
I agree that EOH may not have the cheapest airfare, but the convenience is more important to me, especially on the way back when all I want to do is unpack my stuff and relax.
I use to take the shuttle bus when arriving in JMC, but you’ll still need to take a short taxi or metro ride from where it drops you off in San Diego or Centro. I just pay for taxis these days. Also, you can take a share taxi from the southern bus terminal to the airport for about 15,000 pesos, which is a good way to save going to JMC.
I’m not a fan of the small prop planes either, but I’ve never had a problem, knock on wood.
I know this thread is over a year old. My husband and I are traveling to Colombia at the beginning of September for our honeymoon. So far our itinerary is not set in stone but we were thinking Bogota-Medellin-Santa Marta-Cartagena-Bogota in two weeks. Since it is only two weeks I’ve been all over the internet looking into domestic flights between Bogota-Medellin, Medellin-Santa Marta, Cartagena-Bogota. My question is would it be cheaper for us to just buy our tickets at the airport when we get to Colombia? If so should we pay in pesos? What airlines do you recommend? I’ve read that buying from the States ahead of time is more expensive because you are on a specific US version of the airlines site and you are using a US credit card.
Thanks for you help!
Given how little time you have in the country, if I were you, I’d buy the flights ahead of time to lock in the lowest rates.
I use an US debit or credit card for my flight purchases within Colombia, and I think I’m getting good enough rates. They might be cheaper with a Colombian card, I don’t know for sure. I don’t think too much about the website games and such.
I recommend checking costs on these airlines:
Avianca (national carrier, most flights per day) – http://www.avianca.com/
VivaColombia (discount domestic carrier, usually the cheapest but with fewer flights per day) – http://www.vivacolombia.co/
Easyfly (discount domestic carrier, serves mostly 2nd tier cities) – http://www.easyfly.com.co/
If you use Avianca for domestic flights in Colombia, make sure to book in Colombia in pesos and you will get a better price versus booking in the US in dollars. You can choose the country on Avianca’s website. I just looked for a roundtrip from Medellín to Bogotá departing on 26th and returning on 30th. The cost in pesos with the country chosen as Colombia was 187,500 pesos ($99.48). The cost in US dollars with the country chosen as the US was $203.95 for a roundtrip on the same days.
Awesome, thank you so much. I just put in BOG-MDE one way and it’s 113,000 pesos. Cheaper than what I’ve been seeing. I appreciate it.
How long would you recommend in each place? Right now we were thinking we’d spend the majority of the time on the coast between Santa Marta and Cargagena, about 9 days. Then the rest spend in Bogota and Medellin (6 days). We love to swim and enjoy hot weather but we also enjoy learning the culture and FOOD for sure. When we went to Thailand we found out fast that the beach area was not the best part of the country, it was great but Northern Thailand and it’s rich culture and amazing food was far superior. So I’m just trying to figure out if we’d get tired of being on the beach for 9 days.
I’ve been trying to book Easy Fly from Pereira to Medellin but can’t get beyond clicking to pay with my credit card. It just throws me back rather than continuing. Is this a temporary glitch, do you think? We want to book for Dec. 15. If we can’t do it on line, would we ok booking when we arrive in Colombia, in mid-November?
I think you’d be fine booking once you get to Colombia. If you still run into this website glitch, you may need to buy offline.
I have booked an easyfly flight from Pereira to Medellin. I am a bit confused about how I get my actual ticket – all that was sent to my was an invoice through a partner website that processes credit card payments. Any help would be appreciated!
My first experience is no so good. I’m sitting here in the Medellin International airport and it looks like all of their flights have been delayed. It’s not the delay that bothers me so much as them ignoring you and not feeling compelled to update you. I’m an hour behind at this point. Not so “easy” a flight in this first experience.
I agree completely. When we checked our bags at counter no one told us if delay nor the signs say it was delayed when we finally asked second time why we haven’t boarded they just replied your flight is changed to 11! 3 hour delay?! If we knew we would not have come in to secure area small or tried to fly to nearby city instead. Definitely nothing about the flight is easy.
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