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Benito Juárez International Airport, as Mexico City's main airport is officially called, is busier and bigger than any other airport in Mexico or Central America. This Venustiano Carranza airport lies just over three miles from central Mexico City, which is easy to reach by the city's modern metro, taxis, buses, or car rental in Mexico City Airport. The airport's Terminal Aerea metro station may be difficult for some passengers to find, but is nonetheless conveniently situated adjacent to the Terminal 1 international arrivals area.
Who to Book With
Both Mexico City Airport terminals contain more than a dozen places for passengers to rent vehicles. Nearly all internationally renowned car hire companies, including Hertz, Alamo, and Budget, are represented at both terminals. Gold and Sictel are the most prominent Mexican car hire establishments.
Need to Know Essentials
Vehicle collection will require the following documents from all car hire drivers:
- A full and current driver’s licence
- A pre-authorised credit card
- An International Driving Permit for motorists whose licences are printed in non-Roman scripts
- A signed terms of acceptance form
Visitors brave enough to drive in Mexico City's notorious traffic will find Avenida Rio Churubusco and Calz Ignacio Zragoza are the main roads in and out of the city. Despite the city's reputation for reckless driving, motorists used to driving in other large cities will find Mexico City's driving conditions very similar. Although many of the city's four lane thoroughfares are tolled, they are in much better shape than many of the pothole filled smaller roads. Drivers should also park in covered car parks instead of the street and watch out for livestock when driving at night. Some vehicles, depending on the last digits of their licence plate numbers, are prohibited from driving in parts of Mexico City on certain days. This rule was established to try to reduce the city's pollution problem.
The brief three mile distance between central Mexico City and its airport often takes as long as 35 minutes for taxis and rented vehicles to travel thanks to the city's chronic traffic problems. The airport's buses are stationed in front of the domestic terminal, while the airport's metro station stands steps from the baggage claim area.
Mexico City Airport's Terminal Aérea Metro station may initially look hard to find, but passengers can spot it as long as they turn left at the Terminal 1 international arrivals area and search for an orange M at the entrance. Passengers must change at the Pantitlan station, then continue to the Insurgentes station to reach central Mexico City. Metro tickets cost about £0.15 each. The Metro may be the fastest way to travel between the airport and the city, but it can become packed during rush hours and passengers should keep their eyes peeled for pickpockets.
There are two types of taxis at Mexico City Airport. Ordinary service taxis seat up to four passengers in a sedan, while executive service taxis seat up to eight people in minivans. Passengers must purchase tickets at the ground transportation booth's Taxi Autorizado taxi counters prior to boarding authorised taxis like Sitio 300 Yellow Cab or Confort Taxi Autorizado. Boarding areas are situated at the third and fourth entrances of Terminal 2 as well as the first and tenth entrances of Terminal 1.
Mexico City Airport to the city centre is about £7
All Mexico Airport buses depart from the domestic terminal and several routes operate until 24:00. Different bus lines travel to different regions of the city, whose four major bus stations are situated at Mexico City's north, south, east, and west ends. Airport buses tend to cost more than most other Mexico City buses. The Metrobus Line 4 travels directly between central Mexico City and its airport along dedicated bus lanes, a journey which lasts about 20 minutes. Metrobus cards are sold at the airport for £1.50 each, and the buses can be boarded at both terminals.
Runways separate the two Mexico City Airport terminals from each other. Passengers can easily travel between Terminal 1, the Western Hemisphere's biggest airport terminal, and the newer Terminal 2, which handles all Aeroméxico flights. The fast Aerotrén monorail system and a slower bus line travel the less than two miles between the terminals. In 2011, over 26 million people used Mexico's biggest airport to travel to more than 100 cities throughout the world.
All four Mexico City Airport car parks are situated on Avenue Capitán Carlos León. The nearly 2,000 space Terminal 1 national car park stands at the national arrivals zone between the terminal building's first two entrances, while the over 2,100 vehicle capacity Terminal 1 international car park is located in front of the terminal's international area next to the long distance bus terminal. The main Terminal 2 car park can hold nearly 2,500 vehicles. Terminal 1 national car park rates begin at £1 for the first 30 minutes, then increase to about £2.10 for up to an hour and about £14 for periods between seven and 24 hours. Additional fees of £4.75 are charged for each extra day of parking. International car park rates start at about £2 for the first half hour and increase up to £14.50 for parking periods between five and 24 hours. Each extra parking day costs an extra £4.80.
Passengers must register with dummy accounts to use the free wireless internet access, valid for 15 minutes, at Mexico City Airport's Terminal 2. Passengers can also receive internet access passwords with purchases from Starbucks and other airport shops.
Three information booths are located next to Terminal 1's last minute waiting rooms, while the information booths at Terminal 2 are positioned on the arrivals area’s ground floor. Passengers can also seek help from staff who roam the airport in orange uniforms during busy times.
Terminal 1 General Information: +52 55 2482 2400
Terminal 2 General Information: +52 55 2598 7000
Four fully accessible elevators stand throughout the ground floor of the national area of Terminal 1. Mexico City Airport is also filled with ramps, escalators, and specially equipped toilets for disabled passengers. There is also a free shuttle service which transports pregnant women, the elderly, and the disabled between the airport's car parks and main building.
Restaurants and Bars
From a number of 7-11 convenience stores to authentic gourmet Mexican restaurants, Mexico City Airport's restaurants offer food to suit all tastes and needs. Both terminals contain Starbucks outlets and many more fast food franchises such as Cinnabon, Carl's Jr, and Burger King. The airport's more unique Mexican restaurants include La Vieja Molienda, Apetito, and El Globo.
American Airlines Admiral's Club
Salón Premier Internacional AeroMéxico
American Express Lounge
Club Diamante Aeromar
Travel Pass Elite Lounge
Salón Premier Internacional and Riedel Wine Room AeroMéxico
Centurion American Express Lounge
Money and ATMs
There are dozens of currency exchanges and ATMs as well as nearly 10 banks throughout both Mexico City Airport terminals. Banks and currency exchanges are open from 08:00 to 16:00. Banks from throughout Mexico and the world are represented at this airport. Most currency exchanges, which tend to offer better rates than their United States airport counterparts, are located in the secure gate area and public terminal.
The dozens of different shops in both Mexico City Airport terminals include a surprisingly large number of independent gift shops where passengers can purchase unique handmade souvenirs. Many more Mexican souvenirs and sweets can be purchased at the airport's large Dufry Mexico and Latinoamericana duty- free shops, many of which are located in the international departures hall. The Educal bookshop at Terminal 1 is the airport's best place to find fascinating books about Mexico.