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3 Things Travelers Need To Know Arriving At The Cancun Airport This Summer

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Cancun is the number one destination for Americans going abroad, irrespective of season.

The land of all-inclusive resorts, soft white sands unfolding as far as the eyes can see, and turquoise seas, it is just the quintessential tropical getaway.

View Of Cancun Seen From The Plane Window, Mexican Caribbean, Mexico, Latin America

No matter how stress-free your resort stay is, no trip to Cancun is a completely smooth ride, especially when arriving at the otherwise chaotic gong-show of an airport Cancun International is involved.

The busiest hub in the Mexican Caribbean has been facing its fair share of criticism lately, and though improvements on the customer service front have been made since the complaint office resumed operations last December, some issues remain unresolved.

If you're flying into Cancun Airport in the next few days or weeks, here's 3 important things you need to know:

It May Take Longer To Retrieve Your Luggage

checked baggage carousel at airport with lots of luggage

Cancun's is a busy international airport, handling hundreds of thousands of passengers every month; in fact, it's currently Mexico's second-busiest, after only Mexico City's ill-famed Benito Juárez, and needless to say, complaints relating to luggage are not minimal…

According to the Cancun Sun, the leading news source for all things Cancun, a growing number of passengers have been reporting it's taking between one to four hours to retrieve their luggage upon arrival, causing significant delays.

Female Traveler With Her Luggage At The Airport, Unspecified Location

You know, it's not ideal when you've already that private transfer is already waiting outside to take you to the Hotel Zone, and you just wanna get the formalities over with as quickly as possible—if anything, it's more encouragement for you to travel light and cheap next time.

If bringing a carry-on only is not an option, though—we know you'll want to try every possible variation of tankini top for that perfect poolside picture—you may find yourself waiting longer than usual.

Border Delays

A Border Officer Stamping A Visa Page On An Unspecified Passport, International Travel

The second complaint is associated with border procedures: now, hear us out.

There's a lot to unpack here, from the alleged mistreatment of Colombian and other South American nationals landing in Cancun to the usual understaffing problems.

Americans are not typically concerned—U.S. passport holders are welcomed with open arms landing in Mexico—but on the other hand, they are not immune to the usual insufferable bottlenecks at the border, especially at peak hours when multiple planes arrive at once.

Travelers Scanning Their Passports At eGates For Automated Border Control, International Travel

On the bright side, border congestion has improved considerably since eGates were introduced.

If you're an eligible foreign citizen, and this includes Americans and Canadians, you can use an automated border post for automatic entry into Cancun without speaking to an agent.

All it takes is scanning your biometric passport, which a majority of regular U.S. passports issued nowadays are, and the whole process takes less than a minute for every traveler, ensuring a more streamlined flow.

Taxi Scams

External Area Of Cancun Airport With Authorized Taxis Sign, Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico

The third complaint, and perhaps the one that won't be resolved anytime soon, is surviving Cancun Airport's dreaded ‘Shark Tank': crossing the arrival hall, it's likely taxi drivers will shout, stand in your way, or even harass you to try and get you to follow them.

If you booked your transfer in advance, just ignore them, and unless you see a badge permit displayed in the windshield, a WiFi sign, and a phone number that you can use to verify their authenticity with a dispatcher, do not go in.

White Taxi In Cancun, Mexico, Latin America

You will get overcharged, at best.

Whenever possible, always book your transport prior to landing, as you'll often be able to agree on a fixed rate and pre-pay, or contact your hotel concierge regarding transfer options, if those are not offered as part of your vacation package already.

Cancun Airport is fairly well-equipped, and the fact that they've set up a complaint office is proof that they're keeping tabs on long-standing issues and listening to widespread concerns. However, you should still make sure you're prepared in advance to deal with any inconveniences that may occur.

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