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Flying Out Of TJ Airport On AeroMexico / EASY OR NOT ?

San Diego...
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Flying Out Of TJ Airport On AeroMexico / EASY OR NOT ?

Hello,

I plan on moving to the SD area and would like to use the TJ airport to go to South America. Flights leaving from SD are more expensive and have more connections.

I know that I need a tourist visa to fly out which can be purchased at the airport but would I have to do this before purchasing the ticket ? Meaning would I have to come down to TJ and purchase a visa prior to every flight ? This could be a hassle. Is there some sort of extended visa I could purchase or could I save the visa they give me at TIJ and use it for six months ?

Can anyone give me a valid reason NOT to fly out of TJ or use AeroMexico ?

Thank You for the information.

Queretaro City...
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1. Re: Flying Out Of TJ Airport On AeroMexico / EASY OR NOT ?

You have to pay the visa each time (about 25USD at the moment I believe). You don't need one before purchasing a ticket.

San Diego...
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2. Re: Flying Out Of TJ Airport On AeroMexico / EASY OR NOT ?

OK. Thank You for your response.

How are the security lines and general airport procedures at the airport ? Any concern with bringing up to 5k in cash with me ?

Edited: 04 July 2014, 22:59
Queretaro City...
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3. Re: Flying Out Of TJ Airport On AeroMexico / EASY OR NOT ?

I don't know the airport personally but I always leave plenty of time to go through security procedures etc. as you never know when there might be a snarl up. 5k in cash isn't a problem - if you have more than 10k then that should almost always be declared when entering a country.

San Diego...
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4. Re: Flying Out Of TJ Airport On AeroMexico / EASY OR NOT ?

Assuming you're not a Mexican citizen traveling w/ a Mexican passport, you buy a visa prior to taking off from TIJ for approximately $25-$27 per passenger & it is good for 180 days. In my opinion, this is more like a departure tax for using TIJ. You are required to surrender the visa if say you are connecting in Mexico City en route to another country. As you're boarding your flight out of Mexico, they'll be a person collecting visas. Then on your return trip, again assuming a connection in Mexico City, you fill out the visa form again prior to clearing customs at MEX. This visa doesn't cost anything & again is good for 180 days. Say you are flying out of TIJ again inside 6 months, your visa is still valid & upon your return clearing customs, you get a new visa (no charge) for 180 days & the clock starts again.

Olympia, Washington
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5. Re: Flying Out Of TJ Airport On AeroMexico / EASY OR NOT ?

My concern would be you have to go through Mexico City and maybe even have to stay the night, costing you a day (maybe each way) and hotel expense vs. flying from LAX. Check the times and prices. The time it takes to go SD to TJ airport may be more than the train SD to LA, at least on the return to US.

San Diego...
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6. Re: Flying Out Of TJ Airport On AeroMexico / EASY OR NOT ?

There's an early am Aeromexico departure (TIJ-MEX) that gets you to MEX early enough to connect w/ most any flight to Latin America. I fly TIJ-MEX-SJO & back frequently at significant savings vs. flying out of SAN or LAX, w/ reasonable connecting times (2-3 hours b/w flights). Don't really see why you'd have to spend the night in MEX other than for some weather or aircraft issue.

As for travel time to TIJ from SD, piece of cake. I live in the Carmel Valley area & it takes 45 minutes from my door step to TIJ (easier to cross use Otay Mesa crossing which is closest to TIJ). For short trips (less than two weeks), I usually park my car at the airport which is very secure although a bit pricey for Mexico (approximately $15/day). The key however is having a SENTRI/Global Trusted Traveler pass which gets you back across the boarder in 10-20 minutes vs.1-3 hours in the regular line. This really makes using TIJ do-able, although taking the train/shuttle to LAX would likely take more time than the wait coming back across the border; not to mention having to adapt to the Amtrak schedule (longer wait times) & paying the higher fares flying out of LAX.

Bottom line as far as I'm concerned, for flights inside Mexico, TIJ is the a great way to save money & access better itineraries. Same applies for many other destinations in Latin America. Still always good to spend some time comparing the cost/itineraries of flights leaving SoCal airports vs. TIJ. Sites like kayak.com make it quite easy to do.

San Francisco...
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7. Re: Flying Out Of TJ Airport On AeroMexico / EASY OR NOT ?

My husband and I fly out of TJ regularly. It is really easy and a fairly nice airport. We park on the US side at Delta Parking near the Otay crossing and they drive us to the border.

You can pay for your visa either when you cross the boarder or at the airport. The last time we flew, we completely forgot to buy a visa, but nobody ever asked for it. Note that I am not recommending that you skip the visa; I am merely pointing out that it is a fairly casual process.

San Diego...
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8. Re: Flying Out Of TJ Airport On AeroMexico / EASY OR NOT ?

You don't have to buy the visa in advance - you can buy it at the airport - make sure you leave plenty of time. And you must use Pesos - no credit cards or Dollars - You can also get pesos at the airport -

I have done this.

Anaheim, California
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for Tijuana, Anaheim
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9. Re: Flying Out Of TJ Airport On AeroMexico / EASY OR NOT ?

When you get to the airport, before you even get to the check-in counter there's an immigration checkpoint and a booth. You can buy your visa (it's called an FMM) there, the cost is something like 315 pesos, about US$25. Check-in is a lot like the U.S. used to be. They'll search your luggage at a table before you get to the check-in counter, have you re-lock it, and then move it to the counter for you (so it can stay locked as it boards). They'll also probably weigh your carry-on, especially Volaris flights. Then you go through a metal detector (same liquid rules as the U.S., by the way, one litre plastic bag with one layer of bottles not exceeding 100 mL each). The terminal could be anywhere in the U.S., same shops, same seats, same same same.

One note is that next year or possibly in early 2016, you will be able to park on the U.S. side and walk across a pedestrian bridge into Mexico and straight to the airport. It will only be available for ticketed passengers, and when you fly back you will still clear Mexican customs formalities (the INM treats Tijuana as though it weren't part of Mexico, so they check visas, etc.) and then walk across and clear the US CBP. I imagine there'll be a toll for this, but it'll be cheaper than buying Mexican insurance for your car or taking a cab from the Garita de Otay.

One final note -- US CBP finally finished a lot of the construction at San Ysidro and as a result wait times have gone down a lot, both at the main crossing at San Ysidro, at Otay Mesa, and at Tecate.

10. Re: Flying Out Of TJ Airport On AeroMexico / EASY OR NOT ?

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