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Navigating Airport

Level Contributor
17 posts
4 reviews
Navigating Airport

I actually spent a good deal of searching the forums before posting here. Feel free to link me if you got one. My destination is Ixtapa next month. We do not do much international travel at all and I figured y'all are so friendly and helpful. Thanks in advance!

We have a 6 hour layover in Mexico City, where we will be meeting friends who will travel there to see us. Do we exit customs and collect our bags at that point? How does re entry go then for our final leg to Ixtapa/Zihua? Is that a domestic flight? or do we do something with customs? Any airport tips would be helpful. If we were not meeting people, then what? Stay in secure area or collect bags?

I apologize for the newb questions, but I couldn't find a clear answer. Would leaving the airport be advisable? I realize a 6 hour layover isn't nearly that long if there are lines and bag collecting and the like. Plus Expedia changed our flights 4 times already, so who really knows.

Is there much near to do? A good restaurant or park?

Thanks Again


Level Contributor
6,342 posts
12 reviews
1. Re: Navigating Airport

I know some people do Deb, but I wouldn't enjoy it.

I'd be fidgeting around worried that I'd miss and have to spend a day to catch the next flight.


P.S. Expedia doesn't change your flight. Whomever you are flying with does. Use your confirmation code at the airline site to get specifics and sign up for e-mail alerts. If they change, you don't want your information delayed though the Expedia servers.

Escanaba, Michigan
Level Contributor
185 posts
13 reviews
2. Re: Navigating Airport

Mexico City is easy but sort of tricky. we have a 4 hour lay over doing down, your bag will not be check all the way through so you will have to grab your bag and recheck it. Mexico city doesn't not assign a gate till about 1 hour before flight time. I would not travel too far. we come in on delta and there will be a info desk to ask questions but stick close to where they tell you. keep checking and asking about gate changes. 2 years ago some ladies were wondering the airport and missed our flight to zihua, they were told they were responsible for the flight the next day, they ended up taking a bus to zihua at midnight. not something I would like to do. we have 4 hours, enough time to get immigrations, recheck our bag, grab a quick beer and they hang around the gate. keep asking, they do change often!

Level Contributor
1,549 posts
17 reviews
3. Re: Navigating Airport

You will collect your baggage once you arrive in MC . . .and then you'll go through Mexican customs, security and re-check it . . . or you could exit the airport at this point. (You won't have to clear customs in Zihua) I wouldn't leave either . . . just meet your friends at the departure gate area. It's a long wait but the good news is that you have bad weather and get delayed leaving the US you'll have plenty of time to make your connection!

Edited: 21 January 2015, 02:33
Level Contributor
5,581 posts
201 reviews
4. Re: Navigating Airport

Hi Deb,

These type of questions come up often on the Mexico city forum, so you can also check there.

I haven't routed through there, so can't answer myself. But I used Mexico City airport last spring as a destination.

Six hours isn't enough time to go anywhere, as traffic can be bad and nothing interesting is very close. Check in at the airport can be really slow. We waited 45 minutes in line to check into our Alaska airlines flight. Maybe you won't have to check in again, though.

Also, the security line up was really really long and slow when we departed. The good thing for you is you will be arriving in Zihua on a domestic flight, so you will be on your way quickly!

Zihuatanejo, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Zihuatanejo
Level Contributor
4,126 posts
29 reviews
5. Re: Navigating Airport

On more than a couple of occasions it has taken us 3 hours to get baggage and clear immigration & customs in Mexico city. No way would I leave the airport. Keep checking the monitors and at the info booths. There are lots of restaurants where you can visit with your friends. You always clear customs in the place you land 1st in any country.

Zihuatanejo, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo, Cabo San Lucas
Level Contributor
11,928 posts
6. Re: Navigating Airport

And when you land in Zihuatanejo...you baggage might/maybe be in a different spot...than the International arrivals...as you are considered Domestic. I did a major panic one time when I had already gone thru Mex City...and in Zihua my luggage was "missing". Actually they had pulled it...and it was just sitting in a different spot...as it/me did not have to go thru the check points. SO DO NOT PANIC...ask...it keeps your blood pressure down better!!

7. Re: Navigating Airport

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