Cancun International Airport officials recently announced that 40 new electronic kiosks have been installed at the airport’s busy Terminal 2 to help tackle growing passenger lines. The addition is expected to help travelers complete check-in formalities quicker as the airport grapples with a staffing shortage.
Passengers flying to and from Cancun International Airport this year have had to contend with long check-in and immigration clearance lines. The issue has attracted widespread criticism from both passengers as well as tourism associations, and the airport is seeing record travel numbers as international travel continues to grow this year.
To address the growing concern, over 40 new electronic kiosks were installed this week in Cancun airport’s Terminal 2, which has been the most affected by record passenger arrivals. Even though the summer travel season ended, Cancun’s consistent popularity among North American travellers means a constant influx of tourists entering the Mexican Caribbean through the airport.
The new self check-in kiosks come at a time when Cancun International Airport is short-staffed, as authorities struggle to man the airport’s immigration and customs checkpoints. Over 25 million passengers are expected to pass through the airport this year, and officials remain confident that an all-time record will be reached later on this year.
With many travelers booking fall and winter flights to Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean, authorities are keen on ensuring that the airport runs as smoothly as possible. Although electronic kiosks can already be found in Terminals 3 and 4, which handle most international flights, they are a novelty in Terminal 2, which is mostly for domestic flights.
Long wait times have been a persistent issue across all of the airport’s terminals this year. Peak travel periods such as Easter, as well as the busy summer months, have been especially troublesome for the airport, which has had to take additional measures to cut down lines. Earlier this year, it was reported that some passengers had waited for more than 2 hours at migration and customs, causing frustration among many arriving passengers.
To cope with increased demand, officials hired more than 100 border guards in August to expedite migratory red tape. Although the measure likely helped to alleviate the issue somewhat, problems persist with hiring sufficient workers to handle incoming passenger flows. The Mexican Travel Association recently urged authorities to redouble efforts to reduce long lines at customs counters.
Travel demand is expected to continue growing following the scrapping of the mandatory FFM form in August, which granted Americans fast-track entry into the country through the airport. On the one hand, the now-simplified entry process means tourists won’t have to deal with as much red tape, but it’s also translating to bottlenecks at customs controls.
Projections show that arrival numbers are likely to grow until the end of the year as the Mexican Caribbean retains its position as one of the top worldwide destinations. Cozumel International Airport is also seeing growing travel numbers as several airlines, including American Airlines and Air Canada, launch new flights to the destination this October.
Although much smaller than its Cancun counterpart, Cozumel International Airport is growing in popularity, and passengers headed there can generally expect fewer lines than in Cancun. The airport welcomed some 530,000 passengers in 2021 and is expected to beat those numbers this year.
Meanwhile, the construction of Tulum’s new international airport has been delayed by several months. Facing funding issues, authorities have had to postpone construction of the new airport until early next year. Together with the Maya Train, the new airport is set to be a major building block for the region’s tourism infrastructure and is projected to handle up to 4 million passengers per year
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