After flying out of Tijuana Airport multiple times now with great success and ease, we’re really happy we discovered how easy and inexpensive it is to fly from Tijuana Airport via the CBX Cross Border Xpress. On a recent trip to Playa del Carmen/Cancun, our family saved almost $700!
As prices for airfare have continued to soar (excuse the pun) we’ve expanded our view to include Tijuana International Airport. Really, San Diego is a two-airport region now. With so many people from the area traveling to points around the world from here, we can see why the TJ airport is flourishing. And now with a modern renovation and upgrades to passenger terminals, the airport is really world class.
It’s always been cheaper to fly to other cities in Mexico from the Tijuana Airport, which is located just feet across the US/Mexico border. It just wasn’t always easy to get there until they built the CBX Cross Border Xpress.
Fly from Tijuana Airport via CBX Cross Border Express
Before I go on, please know that flying from Tijuana is completely safe and very US-friendly. If your family is anything like ours, you might have felt a little dubious about bringing your family across the border to fly from Mexico. CBX could not be safer, and you walk inside the building and across the bridge directly into the airport. No lines at the border, no walking across and then having to catch a taxi to the airport. Our experience was flawless.
Buying airline tickets from Tijuana Airport
General Abelardo L. Rodriguez Tijuana International Airport (TIJ) is located just across the border from the US, near the Otay Mesa Border Crossing. It is one of the busiest airports in Mexico, and handles domestic and international flights 24 hours a day. When traveling from TIJ, we’ve had great experiences booking tickets directly on the websites of Aeromexico and Volaris Airlines. There are language options in both English and Spanish. The terminology and instructions are all the same as booking with a US carrier.
Flights are cheaper from Tijuana Airport
Recently, we had a fabulous vacations at the Grand Velas Riviera Maya and before that the Fairmont Hotel Mayakoba, both in Playa del Carmen. When comparing flights from Tijuana to Cancun versus San Diego or Los Angeles, there was a remarkable cost savings. We ended up buying tickets on Aeromexico from Tijuana to our final destination at Cancun Airport. The difference in cost for a family of four was hundreds of dollars, which we were happy to save!
As of April 2019, a quick price comparison shows that a flight on Volaris from Tijuana to Cancun starts at $233 USD. To fly the same itinerary from San Diego to Cancun, we would pay $400 per ticket minimum. For a family of four, those extra dollars really add up! We saved almost $700!!
Crossing the US/Mexico Border via CBX
Even more compelling, a new cross-border pedestrian bridge was recently completed that connects directly into the Tijuana Airport. The Cross Border Express buildings on the US side are architecturally gorgeous, spacious and squeaky clean.
The process at CBX was ridiculously easy (and faster than San Diego Airport to be sure). We followed the simple directions to the CBX location, parked our car in their convenient lot for $15/day, and checked into our Aeromexico flights on the US side of the border. We paid the $14 per person fee and then walked the short distance across the border using the elevated bridge. On the Mexican side we cleared security and customs in about 10 minutes, and walked directly into the gate area of the Tijuana Airport.
The whole process took less than 30 minutes from start to finish. We were astonished to find ourselves with too much time in the waiting area for our flight, which NEVER happens in our family. (It’s usually the opposite, because someone is always rushing to pack that last thing).
Comparing to San Diego International Airport experience
Compare this to another experience when our family flew to Cancun, Mexico out of San Diego airport the year before last. We had to check in at San Diego Airport, show passports and fill out immigration forms, fly out of our way to Dallas, connect to a different flight, and eventually arrive in Cancun. We went through customs in Cancun, which took forever due to the crowds of visitors coming from all over. The amount of time in lines was staggering.
With the CBX Cross Border Xpress experience, we cleared customs and immigration within the bridge connection before entering the Tijuana airport, and sailed through check-in, security and onto our Aeromexico flight deeper into Mexico.
I highly recommend this travel option – we will definitely do it again. Hopefully soon!