As Much As 40% of Flights Affected By The Trucker Protest And New Bottlenecks Have Formed Since
Protests continuing in Cancun and across Mexico are having a heavy effect on the tourist experience in Quintana Roo. As many as 40% of flights through Cancun International Airport were affected by the protests.
According to reports, more than 6 thousand travelers were impacted by the effects of the protest.
The nationwide protests organized by the Mexican Alliance of Carrier Organizations (AMOTAC) are wide-ranging in their requests. The Quintana Roo hoteliers group has openly sympathized with the plight of the truckers who have complained about the often brutal nature of their jobs. Statements from AMOTAC talk of extortion, robberies, bribes, and even murders of many truckers and they want added protection.
Quintana Roo’s hoteliers did ask the protestors to consider the effects of the protests on other industries like the tourist sector which have had a tough year dealing with COVID. The protests were particularly disruptive to the airport in this case and saw as many as 95 flights affected by the blockade. A statement from the hotel group said,
“We invite the union that manifested itself, that although we recognize and respect the reasons, it is necessary to take into account the third-party damages that are generated by stopping the only road in this way.”
The truckers blocking traffic meant that thousands of passengers were unable to get to the airport in time for their scheduled flights. Most of the canceled flights cited a lack of passengers as the main reason for not flying, as so many of them were stuck in the traffic approaching the airport. The ripple effects of this continued throughout the day causing flights that wouldn’t have been normally affected to be pushed back, some as much as into the next day.
A day and a half later, however, there were more traffic problems. Thursday saw massive bottlenecks at the airport for unknown reasons. Passengers approaching the airport were found to be waiting as long as twenty minutes just to get out of their vehicle and get to check-in.
The airport did not disclose any reason for the slow-moving traffic but several passengers complained of a rushed process and nearly missing flights. The protests presented valid problems that couldn’t be solved by the airport, but frequent problems with traffic will add to Cancun’s image battle.
The airport is the first and last impression visitors are given as they pass through the region,. Recently, passengers entering the city were welcomed with four hour wait times in the immigration. Massive understaffing problems led to the relocation of as many as one hundred new immigration officers.
New information on how smoothly the immigration process is running now is forthcoming but the real test will be in the coming weeks as an estimated 3 million people pass through Cancun and the surrounding area. With bottlenecks forming in and out of the airport, the Easter week could be a calamitous affair if not dealt with properly.
The truckers’ protests are not currently scheduled to do any further demonstrations in the area, but passengers hoping to travel to Cancun in the near future should double-check that there are no new announcements from the group as a similar outcome would be expected.
Cancun will have a strong focus on ironing out issues like this as the busy season approaches. With the benefit of being one of the few open countries now gone, Caribbean competition is now strong. Those enduring a poor initial experience may be willing to try somewhere new for their next vacation, something the local government wants to prevent.
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