New Agents Are Assigned In Response To Tourists’ Frustration In The Airport
Fifty new immigration agents have been assigned to Cancun International Airport to help combat increasingly high wait times. The new agents arrived on Thursday morning.
Recent weeks have seen terrible wait times for arrivals in Cancun. Passengers arriving at busier periods have experienced as long as three-hour wait times. Ninety minutes appears to be a fairly standard processing time.
The local hotels association already voiced their frustration at the problem, on top of social media complaints from passengers. The main concern was the impression it left on visitors to the region. If a passenger travels to Cancun for the first time and is met with an unorganized airport system, the tone has already been set for the vacation.
Many customers were standing in line trying to contact their hotels and prearranged transports that were waiting at the airport for them. The extra vehicles waiting around also cause congestion outside the airport. Passengers are always comparing their experiences with other places, and an easy process at a similar destination could be enough to tip the balance for an undecided traveler on their next vacation.
The problem was supposed to have been solved around the same time last year. It was announced that at least 100 new agents were being stationed at the airport and that the full processing time for most passengers would only be a few minutes. Instead, thousands of passengers are disembarking their planes to find only two agents servicing three or four flights at one time.
It’s estimated that at least 5 agents are required for a smooth process when three or more planes are arriving at similar times. According to passengers’ accounts, the booths are regularly understaffed.
The new agents have been sourced from across the country and are to be placed there until the situation can be fixed permanently. Whether this means they are training more locals to take positions in the immigration services is unclear, but a resolution is needed. All three terminals will be receiving agents, although currently only terminals 1 and 2 have gained new workers.
The Navy is taking an active part in the running of the airport, mainly in the security realm, but some reports have suggested they may have an impact on the immigration system too.
With numbers only anticipated to grow in the coming months, Cancun can’t afford to let the lines linger on. An estimated 15 million seats have already been booked for the year and hotel occupancy is over 80% in the main tourist areas. Playa del Carmen is approaching 100% for the Easter season. With numbers like that, the airport situation could be exacerbated greatly if it isn’t fixed.
The only area Quintana Roo may lose some business from currently is Russia. Although flights are still running as normal, the Ukraine crisis has the potential to affect hundreds of thousands of arrivals. The Russian market grew considerably during the pandemic, and although other closer borders are opening that will most likely tempt that market, there’s still a good crowd to attract. Ukraine has already canceled almost all of its flights. It represents a much smaller number.
Anyone hoping to travel to Cancun in the near future should continue to keep on top of any possible restriction changes. Although the state is currently in the Green zone and unlikely to revert back to yellow, it is still technically possible. More realistic is a change in a traveler’s home country’s rules, which may require isolation, extra tests, or other rules.
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