Thursday, February 16th 2017
Flying to and from San Miguel
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Flying to and from San Miguel de Allende can be a pain because it does not have its own airport. Most people fly into León or Querétaro via a connection in Dallas, Houston, or Los Angeles. Tickets can cost a small fortune seeing as how the airports are not large and have they limited destinations. One easy and typically inexpensive alternative to consider is to fly from Tijuana. Tijuana? Yes, Tijuana!
The Tijuana airport is right on the US/ Mexico border, 10 minutes away from San Diego. Not near the border, but right on it. A cooperative effort recently led to a program called the Cross Border Express (CBX). It is a walking-bridge for airline passengers only to easily and comfortably cross the Mexican border. The bridge entrance when traveling from Tijuana is located at the baggage claim. You must show your boarding pass, passport, and pay a $16 fee to cross over to the US. After that, it’s an easy 300 yard walk.
The biggest benefits of using CBX are that you aren’t stuck in long lines, and you end up right in the US. On the American side is a modern terminal, car rental options, shuttles to your next destination, and long-term parking.
Why use this crossing vs. flying into L.A. or San Diego? Mexico has several discount airlines that service Tijuana from multiple destinations. Volaris and Interjet are the two bigs ones (both sites offer an English translation). These airlines do not charge for your first bag, and Interjet actually allows two bags for no fee.
My wife and I recently experienced the ease of traveling to Tijuana first-hand. We needed to make a last-minute trip to Los Angeles from San Miguel de Allende. A scan of Orbitz found airline tickets from León to LAX hovering in the $600 USD range round trip, an exorbitant amount. After exploring more options, we found and booked a ticket on Interjet from León to Tijuana for $69 USD, and a return for $59 USD on Volaris. We landed, grabbed our bags, and 5 minutes later were on the American side after crossing the CBX bridge and renting a car from Budget car rentals. The rental car was $35.00 a day. Within 15 minutes we were on our way to LA.
On the return trip, we dropped off the car, walked back to Mexico using CBX, and flew through customs as we were the only ones there. It was fast, easy, safe, and incredibly convenient. With savings of about $1,000 and zero stress, the chances of us using it again are 100%.
As always, when you are traveling, consider a short term travel insurance policy even if it is a quick jump to or from Mexico. WeExpats Insurance Solutions can provide you with top rated travel policies.
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