Airport Hotels Mexico City


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Mexico City - Benito Juárez International Airport

Benito Juarez International Airport. Most travelers arrive to Mexico City by air, to the Benito Juárez International Airport (IATA: MEX, ICAO: MMMX), located in the eastern part of the city. There are frequent flights to and from most larger cities in the world, as Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Santiago de Chile, London, Paris, Madrid, Frankfurt, Chicago, Toronto, and Tokyo. Some of the international airlines that operate regular flights to Mexico City include: Aerolineas Argentinas, Aeromexico, Air Canada, Air France, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Avianca, British Airways, Continental Airlines, Copa, Cubana de Aviacion, Delta , Iberia, KLM, LAN, Lufthansa, Mexicana, Northwest, TACA, United Airlines and US Airways. The airport has a plane spotting area. To reach it, take the subway and go to the Terminal Aerea station.

On January 16, 2008, a new terminal, Terminal 2, opened at Benito Juarez. This terminal is used mainly by Aeromexico, LAN and Aeromar. If you are flying in or out of the city check with your airline as to what terminal you should use for ticketing and check-in. Give yourself extra time to make your flight to avoid confusion.

The terminals are connected by a bus line and a light rail system, which is significantly faster than the bus.


If you arrive on an international flight, you will go through Immigration, luggage retrieval and then Customs. Make sure you fill in all forms prior to landing to make this an expedite process. Sometimes, the airline will hand them out on the flight. There is a 300-dollar duty allowance that include new clothing, tobacco and liquors. The Mexican customs law allows passengers to bring free of duties a laptop, an MP3 player, a digital camera, a tripod, a video camera, and used clothing. Be careful with iPads, as they are sometimes considered laptops. If you have brought a laptop and an iPad, customs may consider this two laptops and refuse to allow entry with both.

You will also be required to fill out a Migratory Form for Foreign Tourist, Transmigrant, Business Visitor or Council Visitor which must be stamped by the customs officer, who will give you an obsolete number of days for your visa (up to three months). This form has a bar code on it and a blue stripe across the top saying "Estados Unidos Mexicanos." Be sure not to lose this form as without it, you might not be able to leave the country. If you lose or misplace it during the visit, you must visit the immigration office at the airport to fill out a new one. If you plead ignorance, they may let it go, but normally, there's a 440-peso fine.

After going through customs you will pick up your luggage, then pass through screening. You will press a button for a red or green light. The red means they will search you, the green means you can go. If you are taking a connecting flight to another location and the bags are already tagged for their final destination, you will drop them on a belt located to the right of the inspection tables. If tagged to Mexico City only, you will need to check in again with the airline. Foreign travellers using connecting flights from Mexico City are sometimes required to pass through customs again when they reach their final destination.

The entire process, from when the plane arrives to when you are done with customs, usually takes about an hour. After completing customs, you will go through large doors to the waiting area for international arrivals. Be prepared to see a lot of people in this area. It is a custom for families to pick up their loved ones at the airport and the hall is rather small for a city of its size. There are carriers who will offer to carry your luggage. This is a service authorized by the airport and is safe--they will be uniformed with white shirts, navy blue tie and dark blue pants and will carry a wheelie (or keep it nearby) with the union logo on it. There is no fixed price for this service, but 15-25 pesos should be fine, unless you are traveling in a group or have a lot of bags.

Currency conversion

The airport offers the best rates for converting your currency. There are many currency changers, some offering better rates than others or not charging a commission. The converter near Gate E1, in the arrival wing, offers the best rate.

Ground transportation

* Taxi— The airport offers a service of licensed and secure taxis known as Transportacion Terrestre. These cabs are white and yellow with black airplane stickers on the doors. You should buy a ticket in the marked counters inside the airport. You can ask one of the wheelie guys for "Taxi Seguro" or "Boleto de Taxi", who will take you and your luggage to the Taxi counter. Be sure to get the detachable piece of the ticket back. Prices range from 5 to 25 dollars for the taxi service, depending on the size of the car and the zone of the city you are going to. A drawing of a car on the ticket will tell you what type of car the ticket is valid for. Some ticket vendors are known to sell more expensive tickets for huge vans to single persons with moderate amounts of luggage. Be aware the airport is not located in the best area of the city, so it is not recommended for tourists to walk outside the airport terminal in search for cheaper taxi service unless you have pre-arranged your service. Definitely do not attempt this if you are not comfortable speaking Spanish. Despite this, an alternative Taxi Sitio (site) can be reached by using the overpass located outside of Gate D. Taxis here are about half the price of the official airport taxis and are considered secure--this is the Sitio that is set up for the airline employees.

* Metro— If you are looking for a more economical means of transportation and you're not carrying too much luggage, take the Metro (Subway). The Terminal Aerea station is next to the Domestic flights terminal 1, to the left when coming out from the international arrivals hall. It is a bit hard to find, so be prepared to do some detective work, and keep an eye out for the orange 1970s style M designating the entrance. The tickets cost 3 pesos each. Realize that the Metro has its own risks--pickpocketing is a moderate danger here so be aware of your surroundings, and keep an eye on your belongings. Especially, don't take the Metro during rush hour unless you are especially fond of the sensation a sardine has in a tin. When you arrive at terminal 2, there is no metro station so you will have to transfer to terminal 1 first.

During rush hours, the first two cars are reserved for only women and children, and there is always a policeman checking that no man hops into those wagons. It is not compulsory for women to travel separately if they are accompanied by men or if they don't wish to travel in those wagons.

* Bus— If you are going to another city by bus, the bus station in Terminal 2 is located on the far right of the arrivals floor, past the escalators.

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