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Airlines Asking Cancun Tourists To Leave Hotel 5 Hours Prior To Flight

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Some airlines are recommending that passengers should leave the hotel up to 5 hours before their flight in order to be able to catch their flight on time.

Delta, Air Canada, and Spirit have all highlighted that passengers should be more cautious with planning their times and schedules going in and out of the Cancun International Airport.

crowded cancun airport

The delays are being caused by multiple different factors. The first and foremost causing the long delays is the new construction reformations that are happening on the Luis Donaldo Colosio Boulevard. The plan to expand the avenue, improve the general state of the road and many other changes that are aimed to facilitate transportation in and out of the airport in the future.

cancun avenue crowded

Unfortunately, all these reforms are expected to last for at least one year. The government of Cancun has issued alternatives routes to escape the construction back logs but these secondary roads have also become backed up causing massive delays.

cancun airport

With construction delays and the massive influx of tourists this summer, getting in and out of the airport has become very challenging. Summer is always busy in Cancun and sees both domestic and international tourists. Over the last year, Cancun has become one of the most in demand destinations in the world for tourism with its white sand beaches, perfect weather and endless tourism activities.

playa del carmen

All that puts pressure on an already complicated airport, which receives close to 10 million passengers annually. The Cancun International Airport is the 9th busiest in the world. In addition, many airlines have direct flights from the continental United States to Cancun. As a result, many seek Mexico as a favorite international destination, with lower prices, a friendly environment, excellent hospitality, and fantastic food.

people entering cancun airport

The construction on the the boulevard and the massive flow of tourists are making the movement in the area a troubling task for many flying to the Yucatan Peninsula every day. The local government is prioritizing other methods of transportation like buses to facilitate the flow of people but private transfers remain the most popular option for tourists.

security in cancun airport

The recommendation of leaving the hotel 5 hours prior to departure time also includes the time that it takes inside the airport. The Cancun Airport is struggling to keep up with demand, with many paseengers reporting long queues checking in. This 5-hour advice includes 2 hours for transportation to the airport and 3 hours once arriving.

crowded cancun airport

The highway construction project is temporary and being made to improve the transit in and out of the airport. Since no trains go to the airport yet, the boulevard is the only way to arrive in Cancun and many of the popular tourism cities nearby.

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Alexis Menard

Monday 8th of August 2022

Actually they could smooth out a lot of the wait if they didn't force passengers with no check in luggages to wait in line with the passengers checking in luggages. We went there for a week, did not need to check in lugagages yet we had to wait 45 min in line for the documents to be checked (took less than one minute). I'm sure they could organize it better and have a dedicated desk/personnel to process these passengers as they come in (while processing the other ones when there is none). Require no additional people, just organization.

Brenda Galvan

Sunday 7th of August 2022

Ya they tell you to get there 5 hours early so we got there 5 hours earlier and ya no lines was to our gate within say 30 minutes and sat there then had 2 hours delay I could have spent almost a whole nother day I was pissed so 7 hours just sitting there not good definitely won't leave that early ever again Brenda


Sunday 7th of August 2022

We were just there and it's a very good idea. We left playa del Carmen almost 4 hours before our flight. It took 2.5 hours to get to the airport. My husband had foot surgery recently and he was put in a wheelchair and to the front of all the lines, but I noticed that many areas we're trying very hard to get latecomers help first. After having just gone through the traffic which was barely moving at times, we knew many other people would be very late as we were. Alaska airlines ticket agents were calling for people on our flight, which was boarding soon, to the front of the lines. All in all I was very impressed with the people of Cancun and their patience and helpfulness. Our taxi driver was so patient and kind and he knew how stressed everyone would be, he left before we could tip him, I think he was off to help more people. We have much gratitude to him and everyone there.


Sunday 7th of August 2022

Actually, we just visited for a week in July, and we had absolutely no trouble at the Cancun airport, coming in or going out. I was impressed that they were strict about passengers wearing masks. All the personnel we interacted with were wearing them also. On our return flight we gave ourselves a little over two hours before flight time and we still had time for a meal at Bubba Gumps in the airport after we'd checked in and gone through security. We flew on Delta and had a direct flight to our home destination in the USA. We thought things went very smoothly! Just be realistic about how much time you think you need, and maybe add another hour to that just to be safe. But five hours? I'm thinking "meh...that's a bit extreme."