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Cancun Airport Is More Crowded Than Ever, Here’s What Travelers Should Know

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Cancun is one of travelers’ favorite destinations this fall and winter, especially for Americans and Canadians. This popular and beautiful paradise in Mexico is almost sold out this winter, as occupancy rates are expected to reach 95%.

And that’s exactly why the international airport is starting to get chaotic. According to recent information shared in the Mexican news portal Reportur, Cancun Airport hit a record of over 600 flights per day just a few days ago. The attractive flight fares and impressive local hotel offer drive millions of travelers to this destination.

crowd of travelers at airport

Traditional and low-cost airlines are serving direct flights to Cancun at great prices. A few of the airlines considered in the recent record were American Airlines, Wingo, Spirit, United Airlines, and Delta Airlines.  

But the high traffic has also brought consequences for visitors. Another local newspaper, QuintanaRooHoy, reported that many travelers were stressed and stuck in traffic while trying to reach the airport.  

cars stuck in a traffic jam

Cancun International Airport recently invested in electronic gates for faster screening, and the new service should begin soothing travelers’ entry this winter. In the meantime, despite the removal of the customs form for international travelers, the airport experience can be stressful.

What Travelers Should Know

If you have been to Cancun International Airport, you will probably remember that it’s not a huge airport and that it is usually crowded. Now imagine that with even more travelers and similar staff and infrastructure conditions.

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woman checking her phone from the pool

The idea is not to add anxiety or worry to those visiting this fascinating destination soon; on the contrary, it is for travelers to take precautions and try to have a smooth and less stressful experience. This is what travelers visiting Cancun should bare in mind:

  • If you are already in Cancun, head to the airport early: Many hotels and resorts are just 20 minutes away from the airport, but the current traffic congestion has considerably extended that time. It sounds like torture to leave the beautiful beaches and head to the airport 4 or 3 hours ahead of your flight, but if you don’t want to miss your flight, this would be the least stressful alternative. You can always see your amazing photos and create stunning videos of your experience while you wait next to your gate.
packing suitcase
  • Beware of the common taxi scams: The pirates or “piratas” —as locals call the taxi scammers in Spanish— are waiting for naive foreign travelers at the airport exit. The piratas usually charge very high prices and lie about working for a resort or transportation company. Travelers should pre-book airport transfers, confirm prices and rates in advance —to recognize when a fare is too high— and ask for recommendations from the resort, the travel agency, or the transportation company. Common services like Uber are banned at this airport. 
Sign for airport taxis in cancun
  • Consider your alternatives if your flight is canceled, delayed or if you missed your connection: Due to the high amount of flights arriving and departing at this airport, some schedules might change. Learn about your airline’s policies and consider your alternatives. If you haven’t bought your ticket, consider the airlines with the best delays or cancelation policies. A few travelers have complained on social media about longer-than-usual delays.
Man laying down in airport because of flight delay
  • Prepare to be patient: The best way to avoid stress and anxiety is to stay informed and prepared. Understanding the high probability of encountering a crowded airport in Cancun will help you accept the situation and even enjoy the experience if, in the end, it wasn’t as stressful as you thought it would be. Bring entertainment, comfortable shoes, good headphones, and good snacks.
Young Female Traveler Reading On Her Tablet Or Electronic Device While She Waits To Board A Plane At The Airport, Air Travel Concept

With these recommendations in mind, your travel experience shouldn't be that stressful, and your arrival and departure from Cancun International Airport shouldn’t be traumatic. The gorgeous beaches, delicious food, and great ambiance travelers will find in Cancun will definitely make up for the stressful time at the airport. 

couple in pool

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