Mexico City is the leading destination for international airlines coming to Mexico. It’s important to know that International travelers arriving by air must have a passport book, regardless of age.
Benito Juarez airport (MEX) serving Mexico City is modern and efficient. There are two terminals linked by a monorail that can only be used by passengers who have a ticket, boarding pass or eticket refernce number. Others need to take a bus or taxi : it is too far to walk. There are special red buses to take you from T1 to T2 for just 5 pesos each way.
The newer Terminal 2 is used by Aeromexico and (mostly) its partners in the SkyTeam alliance.Terminal 1 has sections for both international and domestic flights. American, United, Air Canada, British Airways and Iberia are in Terminal 1.
International visitors are given an arrivals card (FMT) and a customs form on board their flight. Once in the terminal, go to the correct immigration area and present your FMT with your passport. Keep track of your baggage claim tickets, they are required to collect your bags. After you collect your bags, get in line to exit. You will hand over your customs form and then place your bags in the X-Ray machine and press the button indicated: a green light means you can go straight through to the arrivals hall, a red light will entail a visual inspection of your bags.
Important tip: Be sure to hang on to the portion of the FMT the officer returns to you. You need to present the FTM receipt on departure and will be fined if you don’t have it. ($25, ouch!)
In the arrivals hall, there are plenty of ATMs issuing pesos cash. You’ll need cash for taxis and tipping. The exchange rate at the Airport ATMs is good.
In Terminal 1, baggage carts are free and cannot be taken past the Arrivals Hall. Porters are plentiful. In Terminal 2, there is a nominal fee for a baggage cart and it can be taken to the taxi rank or parking lot.
Important tip #2: Pack only the essentials. You can be charged import tax for electronics, cigarettes and other items. Your entry can also be delayed.
International Rules and Regulations
According to Mexican government regulations, all U.S. citizens must show a valid passport, book or card, to enter Mexican territory, by any means of transportation, beyond the border zone (20 Kilometers, 13 miles from the border), no exceptions are made for children. No visa or tourist card is required for stays of less than 72 hours within the border zone.
When traveling beyond the border zone, or when entering the country by air, U.S. citizens are required to pay a fee to obtain a tourist card (FM-T), which is available at border crossings, Mexican tourist offices and airports, within the border zone. Major airlines will provide this form during your trip. You must include the following information on the form; numbers of days you will be in the country, passport number, destination, city of origin and other related information.
When entering Mexico via land, such as the Tijuana airport crossing, you will need to pay for the FMT card before entering Mexico and going through customs, $25 at time of print.
The international air bridge between San Diego and Tijuana Airport is a marvel! It is ultra easy and convenient. Plus, you end up right at the airport baggage check-in counters. AeroMexico, Volaris and Interjet all have direct flights from Tijuana to Mexico City.
Getting from the Airport to Downtown
If you are heading in to Mexico City, the recommended, and safest way is to take an authorized taxi.
Prebook: If you have the time before you leave, it is worth searching online and pre-booking your taxi prior to arriving. There are several companies including Mexico Airport Transfers.
Book at Airport: At both terminals, you will see signs pointing to the desks where you pre-pay your fare by zone. They all cost the same, but be sure to specify a sedan unless there are more than three of you. Once you have paid and received your coupon, you will be directed to the departure area. A taxi to downtown should be about 200 pesos.
Do NOT accept a ride from individuals who might be hanging around the same terminal, or attempt to take a non-official taxi.
Authorized airport taxi companies include: Yellow Cab Aeropuerto, Transfers-USA, Nueva Imagen, Porto Taxi, Sitio 300, Comfort, Excelencia. Sometimes the people at the booth will try to sell you a more expensive ticket (normally a large van). Say you want a sedan!
As a more expensive alternative to a taxi, your hotel can generally send a car to the airport to pick you up. Make arrangements before you arrive.
Travel by Train
Currently, only passenger train operates in Mexico: El Chepe.
this is the ideal way to visit the majestic Barrancas del Cobre, as well as the small towns and cities located on the mountains. To find out about the points of departure and timetables, visit the website here.