Good luck with that connecting flight in Mexico City

Reporter tests out the logistics

Mexico City's current airport. Photo: Getty
Mexico City’s current airport. Photo: Getty

Catching a connecting flight in Mexico City, already a challenging task, will require a long cab ride at the very least, under the government’s airport plan.

One federal official, Tourism Secretary Miguel Torruco Marqués, said this week that the Santa Lucia Air Force base would become the terminal for international flights with the existing, outdated Mexico City airport used for domestic travel.

But later in the day, media were told that the airports at Santa Lucía, Toluca and Mexico City would all handle both international and domestic flights.

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Connecting flight wouldn’t necessarily be in the same airport.

It wasn’t clear if that means a traveler connecting from abroad would have to change airports to continue on to Merida, or another city within Mexico.

Reforma calculated that an international traveler would have to go 46 kilometers/29 miles to make the connection. A reporter took a taxi to experience a theoretical plane change between the main airport and Santa Lucia. It took 53 minutes by cab, costing 457 pesos/US$23 for the fare and tolls. 

It wasn’t clear how baggage would be handled. Checked out and checked in again? Sent by the airport’s own vehicles? 

The three facilities are to take the place of the new Mexico City airport, whose construction was canceled by the new government after a referendum defeated the project.

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The current airport is problematic as it is. Gates are typically called, or changed, at the last minute for flights to Merida. A few gates actually lead to a small bus depot, where passengers are transported to their plane parked far from any sky bridge.

With information from Reforma

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