Getting to the slopes of Taos, N.M., just got a whole lot easier. Last week Taos Air started nonstop flights between L.A. and the Southwest town — with airfares that don’t cost a fortune. Seasonal flights leave from Hawthorne Municipal Airport (HHR), not LAX, which also makes for an easy in and out.
The charter service aims to shuttle skiers and snowboarders to the Taos Ski Valley resort, but anyone can take the two-hour hop. Taos Air flies a 30-seat Dornier 328 jet on Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays that fall on Mondays, through March 29. Travelers may arrive up to 30 minutes before their flight to check in and are allowed to take two bags for free. Fliers also receive free shuttle rides to Ski Valley.
On Taos Air’s website, I found tickets for the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. holiday priced at $255 outbound on Jan. 16 and $295 return Jan. 20. Commercial airlines don’t land in Taos; the nearest airport would be Santa Fe, about 70 miles southwest of the town. A recent search on Kayak.com showed LAX-Santa Fe flights for $652 round-trip on American Airlines. Flight time is 3½ hours (stopping in Phoenix) each way. Other commercial flights routed through Denver take even longer.
Taos Air also flies to the New Mexico ski town from McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad, and from Dallas and Austin in Texas.
Info: Taos Air