Arriving at the Mexico City airport can seem stressful at first, but this guide should help put your mind at ease.
I’ll help you figure out everything from the moment you land until the moment you walk out the door and into your Uber or Taxi and then when you need to come back and do the trip in reverse.
Terminals at Mexico City Airport
There are two terminals at the Mexico City airport simply named Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.
The majority of flights, both international and domestic, fly into and out of Terminal 1.
The only airlines that fly from Terminal 2 are AeroMexico, AeroMar, Copa Airlines, and Delta. Some Singapore Airlines land into and fly out of Terminal 2, but it is always best to check your ticket before arriving at the airport.
Terminal 1 is much larger. At one point, it was the largest airport terminal in the Americas.
If you are flying into our out of terminal 1, be sure to give yourself at least an hour to check your bags and get through security. If you are traveling at peak times like Christmas or summer holidays, expect it to take longer.
If you are flying with any Mexican airlines, you may want to read my article about the best Mexican airlines. I explain a little bit about why I love (or loathe) each of the popular Mexican airlines.
Getting Between the Two Terminals
Getting between the two terminals can be a little bit confusing.
There is a free sky shuttle which you can find on the second floor of Terminal 1, next to the entrance to the hotel, Camino Real.
In Terminal 2, the sky shuttle is located near Gate M.
The shuttle is really only for people who are transferring flights, so if you landed in Terminal 2 and you have a connecting flight in Terminal 1 or vice versa. You will need to show your boarding pass for the next flight in order to get onto the shuttle, but it is completely free.
The shuttle runs every 5 minutes and takes less than ten minutes to get between each terminal.
The alternative way to get between the terminals is the shuttle bus that is outside of each of the terminals. In Terminal 1, you’ll find the shuttle bus outside Puerta 6 and in Terminal 2, outside Puerta 4. These tickets will cost you about $1 USD (you’ll need to pay in Pesos).
Arriving in Domestics
If you have already gone through immigration in a different airport like Tijuana, Cancun, or Puerto Vallarta, then you will of course, not have to go through it again.
If you land in domestic in Mexico City airport, you simply collect your luggage and come out into the main area of the terminal.
In this area of the terminal, you’ll find taxi stands where you can pre-pay for your trip. There is also a Starbucks, a few fast-food restaurants, ATMs, as well as money exchanges.
Arriving in Internationals in Mexico City Airport
If you are arriving from a foreign country and Mexico City airport is your first port of call into the country, then you will need to go through immigration.
On the airplane, before you land, you will receive a green, red and white form that you need to fill out (be sure to bring a pen on the airplane with you!).
The form has two parts and asks simple questions such as your name, date of birth, passport number, and the address of your hotel. Be sure to write this down or take a screenshot of the address on your phone so that you don’t have to scramble for it after you land.
Don’t worry if you didn’t get a form on the plane. Some airlines no longer give them out (especially those coming from Europe). You can get one when you get to immigration.
When you exit the plane you will first go to immigration. You will give your passport and the form that you filled out on the airplane to the immigration officer.
When they stamp your passport, they will tear off the bottom half of the form and put it inside your passport.
Be sure to keep this piece of paper. You will need to hand it over to the airline when you leave the country. If you lose this piece of paper, you will need to pay quite a large fee and explain to the immigration officers back at the airport why you lost it.
Once you go through immigration, you will come straight out to the luggage area where you will wait for your bags. Once you have your bags, you may or may not be filtered into the customs area.
This is happening less and less in the Mexico City airport. While it is still popular at land border crossings and places like Cancun airport, you will likely only be asked for a second check if you are traveling from somewhere in South America or Asia.
How to Log Into the Free Wi-Fi
If you want to get onto the Wi-Fi while you are at the Mexico City airport, there is a free Wi-Fi available.
Look for the Infinitum Wifi that has no password needed. When you click to log onto this, it will open up a page where you (of course), have to give them your email address.
Once you enter in your email address, you will get about 10 minutes of free Wi-Fi. So if you plan to use this Wi-Fi to get yourself an Uber, I highly recommend waiting to connect until you get out of customs and near the exit of the airport.
Transportation into Mexico City From the Airport
There are three main ways to get from Mexico City airport into the downtown area.
The cheapest way is to take the metro. You will have to make your way to Terminal 1, and then follow signs to the metro. The station is called Terminal Aerea and is on the yellow line.
I have a whole blog post about the Mexico City Metro which walks you through how to get to your desired stop. It costs 5 Pesos no matter the distance (about 25 cents).
If you have a large suitcase, however, this will not be a great option for you.
My preferred method of getting home from the airport in Mexico City is to order an Uber. Uber is much cheaper than taxis.
While you may have heard about problems with Uber in other parts of Mexico, there is no problem with Uber in Mexico City.
When you order the Uber, it will know you’re at the airport and will ask you to choose which door (puerta) that you want the driver to meet you.
Ubers from the airport to Roma or Condesa cost about 100 Pesos ($5 USD) and take about 20 minutes.
The third option for getting into the downtown are is to take an airport taxi. If you can’t get onto the Wi-Fi for some reason, you can head to one of the desks inside the main terminal that says TAXI on it. There you will pre-pay for a taxi.
It costs about 200-300 Pesos ($10-15 USD) and takes about 20 minutes.
Flying Out of Mexico City Airport
If you are flying out of Mexico City then do your best to check in online. If you can check in through the airline’s app or through their website, this will save you a lot of time at the airport.
The problems with wait time at Mexico City airport tend to be when you have to go to the desk to check in or drop your bags. This can take a very long time.
Once you’ve done that, security is actually quite efficient. I often get through security in both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 in less than 10 minutes. If it’s really busy it can take up to 20 minutes and that’s during peak Christmas travel.
That really only applies to Terminal 1, though. Terminal 2 is much smaller and much more efficient. I regularly show up for international flights from terminal 2 with less than two hours before my flight.
Flying with Delta or AeroMexico is very efficient. You usually check in at the machine and then head over to the bag drop which takes no time at all.
What’s Inside Terminal 1?
Terminal 1 in enormous. If you are flying internationally, you’ll find a few places to eat and drink inside the terminal.
The international area of Terminal 1 has two sides. When you come in, you can walk to the right and you’ll find a Starbucks, a Maison Kaiser, and a lot of duty-free shopping.
If you head straight (sort of to the left) when you come out of security, you’ll go down a long corridor and then come out into an area with seating and more shops. There are a few more restaurants in this part.
Unless you simply want to buy a few snacks, I wouldn’t recommend eating a meal at the airport. You’re better off having something in the city before you arrive at the airport and then just getting a bottle of water.
The domestic side of Terminal 1 is actually quite good in my opinion. There’s a 7-11 where you can buy normal-priced snacks. There’s a Starbucks, a sandwich shop (with tasty and affordable sandwiches), a Pizza hut, a Burger King, and a place called Taba Sports Bar where you can have a beer before your flight.
What’s Inside Terminal 2?
I prefer the food and drink options inside Terminal 2.
Once you are through security, there is one long corridor and two shorter corridors where the gates are.
Inside the main corridor, you’ll find a Taba Sports bar which is good option if you are there for breakfast. They make delicious chilaquiles and other egg dishes for a pretty reasonable price and offer free coffee refills.
Besides Taba, there is also a Starbucks, a Subway, and a 7-11.
Down the other two corridors, you’ll find sit-down restaurants like Maison Kaiser and a healthy salad bar style place. The areas around the gates are also where you’ll find the duty-free shops.
Mexico City Airport Hotels
If you have a really early flight or are arriving to the Mexico City airport late at night, there are a few options for Mexico City airport hotels that you may want to consider.
The Camino Real is incredibly convenient. The hotel itself is quite luxurious for the price. The rooms are spacious and comfortable and it includes breakfast.
There is also a spa and gym if you want to relax after your flight or fit in a workout before your flight.
The hotel is literally attached to the airport, so you can simply walk upstairs in Terminal 1 and then you’ll see the entrance to the hotel. There is a little walkway bridge over the road that leads you to the lobby of the hotel.
Rooms at the Camino Real start at $150 USD per night. Book a stay at Camino Real Airport Hotel here.
The Hilton Mexico City airport is slightly more affordable than the Camino Real. It is also located inside Terminal 1, go up to level 3 near gate 8 to find the lobby.
The Hilton has a restaurant inside so you don’t have to worry about finding a place to eat inside the airport or bother getting in an Uber to go somewhere.
Rooms at the Hiltons start at $130 USD per night. Book a stay at the Hilton Mexico City Airport hotel here.
The third option is the most affordable option, Izzzleep Aeropuerto hotel has options in both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. This is basically a Japanese-style capsule hotel where you get a bed in a room filled with other capsule beds. There’s much more privacy than in a hostel dorm room.
A single bed starts at $40 USD per night. Book a stay at Izzzleep Aeropuerto Terminal 1 here or Izzzsleep Aeropuerto Terminal 2 here.