Mexico City
Mexico City Benito Juarez International Airport

Everything you need to know before departing from or arriving to Mexico City Airport

Transfer at Mexico City Airport

Krystof Hajek updated 2. 11. 2023

The airport operates two terminals, each on the opposite side of the apron. The terminals are modern and large, but still cannot accommodate the number of passengers in the morning and early evening.

In particular, be prepared for a shortage of seats. Queues for security checks usually reach 10-20 minutes.

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Which terminal? Breakdown by airline

Each airline is assigned one specific terminal for check-in.

  • Terminal 1 - Air Canada, Air France, American Airlines, ANA, Avianca, British Airways, Emirates, Iberia, KLM, Lufthansa, Magnicharters, Turkish Airlines, United, VivaAerobus, Volaris
  • Terminal 2 - AeroMexico, Copa Airlines, Delta, LATAM

Transportation between terminals

The terminals are approximately 1.5 km apart and are not connected by pedestrian routes.

As transfers between terminals are not very common, transport is only possible via the public section. There are no shuttle buses running through the airport area within the transit zone.


The fastest and most convenient transport is the automatic train "AeroTrain". Transportation is free.

The train runs every 5 minutes from 5:00 am to 11:00 pm and the travel time between terminals is approximately 8 minutes.

  • Terminal 1 - the station is located in front of the airport building, walking time from the terminal is about 2 minutes
  • Terminal 2 - the station is located inside the terminal

Although AeroTrén operates in the public section ("landside"), access to the station is only possible upon presentation of a boarding pass or ticket. However, it is possible to take the metro from the city centre to Terminal 1 and take the automatic train to Terminal 2 after presenting your ticket.

Tetsa bus

If you do not have a boarding pass for a connecting flight, you can use the red "Tetsa" shuttle bus.

The buses stop right outside both terminals and run 24/7. The journey time is approximately 15 minutes and the frequency of the buses is 5-10 minutes.

The bus fare is paid 16 mxn inside the bus (to the driver or conductor) and can only be paid in cash.

Transfer between flights

If you have a guaranteed transfer at Mexico City Airport (both flights are purchased as part of the same booking), in the vast majority of cases you will transfer within a single terminal.

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Transfer within one terminal

Transfer procedures are the same in both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.

What checks do I go through when transferring?

Be prepared for different types of checks for each type of transfer. Similar to the U.S., in Mexico you must formally enter through passport control when transferring from an international flight to another international flight to a 3rd country.

  • International -> international: immigration and security check
  • International -> domestic: immigration and security check
  • Domestic -> international: no check
  • National -> national: no check

Do I have to leave the transit zone when I change planes?

If you arrive in Mexico from another country, you must always leave the transit area, both when connecting to another international flight and when connecting to a domestic flight within Mexico.

You do not have to leave the transit area when transferring from a domestic flight to any other connection (domestic or international).

Do I have to pick up my luggage?

Although you must go through immigration on arrival from an international flight, you do not collect your baggage. It will be transferred automatically, and when you connect to a domestic or international flight.

You will only collect your luggage if you combine your transfer on your own from two separate tickets.

What is the average transfer time?

  • International -> International: approx. 60 minutes
  • International -> Domestic: approx. 60 minutes
  • Domestic -> Domestic: approx. 35 minutes
  • Domestic -> International: approx. 35 minutes

Do I need a visa for Mexico?

Every time you transfer from an international flight, you must go through immigration control.

Mexico has visa-free tourist travel with most of the world. However, if Mexico requires a visa, you must also obtain one when transferring between two international flights.

How long does it take to clear immigration?

There are often long lines for immigration checks, however the process tends to be very efficient and you will rarely wait longer than 30 minutes.

Do I go through passport control on departure?

No. There is no longer an immigration check on departure from Mexico.

Transfer between terminals

Transferring between terminal 1 and 2 is not very common. Therefore, there are no transfer buses within the transit zone.

You always need to go through immigration, collect your luggage, take the AeroTrén train or shuttle bus (see above) to the other terminal, check in again and go through security.

What is the average transfer time?

  • International -> International: approx. 90 minutes
  • International -> Domestic: approx. 90 minutes
  • Domestic -> Domestic: approx. 60-70 minutes
  • Domestic -> International: approx. 60-70 minutes
Krystof Hajek

Krystof is the editor-in-chief of Cestee. He is also an avid traveller with 574 flights and 73 countries visited.

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