Airport Security

 Thanks to a suggestion by one of our lady readers from the Houston, TX area, we’ve ADDED this MUST-read! section with key Travel tips from the Transportation Security Administration Website
Reference: Mexican fails to make it home for Christmas over bomb joke (Philippine Daily Inquirer) Tue, December 25, 2007 12:23 GMT

 

Before the Airport

  • Do not pack or bring Prohibited Items to the airport. Read the Permitted and Prohibited Items list. You can not, REPEAT, can not bring weapons, explosives, incendiaries, and include items that are seemingly harmless but may be used as weapons – the so-called “dual use” items. If you bring a prohibited item to the checkpoint, you may be criminally and/or civilly prosecuted or, at the least, asked to rid yourself of the item. 
  • Do not pack any liquids or gels in your carry-on baggage. Place these items in your checked baggage. These include the following:

Aerosol spray bottles and cans 
All creams and lotions including Neosporin or first-aid creams and ointments, topical or rash creams and ointments, suntan lotions, moisturizers, etc. 
Bug and mosquito sprays and repellents 
Eye drops (See exceptions below) 
Deodorants made of gel or aerosol 
Hair styling gels and spray of all kinds including aerosol 
Hair straightener or detangler 
Lip gels such as Carmex or Blistex 
 Liquid lip glosses or other liquids for lips 
Liquid bubble bath including gel or liquid filled bubble bath balls or bath oils or moisturizers 
Liquid foundations 
Liquid, gel or spray perfumes or colognes 
Liquid sanitizers 
Liquid soaps 
Liquid mascara 
Make up removers or facial cleansers 
Non-prescription liquid or gel medicines like cough syrup and gel cap type pills (See our section on
Medications) 
Mouthwash 
Nail polish and removers 
Saline solution (See exceptions below) 
Shampoos and conditioners 
Toothpaste

  • Place valuables such as jewelry, cash and laptop computers in carry-on baggage only.   Tape your business card to the bottom of your laptop.
  • Avoid wearing clothing, jewelry and accessories that contain metal.  Metal items may set off the alarm on the metal detector.
  • All types of footwear are required to be removed and placed through the X-ray machine for screening.  
  • Put all undeveloped film and cameras with film in your carry-on baggage. Checked baggage screening equipment will damage undeveloped film.
  • Declare firearms & ammunition to your airline and place them in your checked baggage.
  • If you wish to lock your baggage, use a TSA-recognized lock
  • Do not bring lighters or prohibited matches to the airport.
  • Do not pack wrapped gifts and do not bring wrapped gifts to the checkpoint. Wrap on arrival or ship your gifts prior to your departure.  TSA may have to unwrap packages for security reasons.
  • Mexico City Airport administration officials have indicated that if you have any questions, PLEASE address these to your airlines at the time your ticket is purchased. While this is the official TSA security restrictions, actual implementation of these rules may slightly vary from airport to airport.
  • TSA to Maintain Its Ban on Liquids and Gels by Washington Post’s Del Quentin Wilber

At the Airport

We encourage each adult traveler to keep his/her airline boarding pass and government-issued photo ID available until exiting the security checkpoint. The absence of proper identification will result in additional screening.

  • Place the following items IN your carry-on baggage or in a plastic bag prior to entering the screening checkpoint:
    • Mobile phones
    • Keys
    • Loose change
    • Money clips
    • PDA's (personal data assistants)
    • Large amounts of jewelry
    • Metal hair decorations
    • Large belt buckles
  • Take your laptop and video cameras with cassettes OUT of their cases and place them in a bin provided at the checkpoint.
  • Take OFF all outer coats, suit coats, jackets and blazers.
  • FYI, all products bought at Duty Free Shops are individually delivered to passengers in a sealed bag before boarding. 

INTRODUCTION

 Mexico City International Airport

The purpose of this article is to make sure you have a happy stay when you arrive or leave Mexico City. We encourage you to read all articles in Security Corner to accomplish this. As in many other cities in the world, when you arrive at Mexico City’s Benito Juarez International Airport, you have to follow some basic common sense rules to protect yourself. First of all, before you leave the plane, as you are getting your passport, visa or other documents such as your luggage tickets in order for inspection, filling out customs declaration forms etc. make sure that you have the complete and correct address where you plan to proceed after arrival. Why? Because Mexico City is a huge place, many streets, colonias have same names repeated. You want to make sure that when you order your taxi cab you do not hold the waiting line with last minute questions you are unable to answer at the booth.  

Preventing Kidnapping Express: Mexico City Airport's ONLY Authorized Taxicabs

It is always important to know where you are going, once you come out of the airport. Always plan ahead for the unexpected. One of the most common problems we have here is the kidnapping express. This is a criminal activity perpetrated by so called ”pirate” taxi drivers. Follow these simple rules to be safe: Never leave the airport without FIRST having purchased your taxi ride from the only authorized services in the link above. The taxicab booths have clearly visible signs in all 3 arriving points.

Domestic Arrival

If arriving from a domestic flight - anywhere within the Mexican Republic - the taxi booth is across from the luggage collection area in Departure Gate A. In the event you forgot to purchase the ticket in the restricted zone, one more booth is located just past the waiting areas. 

International Arrival 

If your international flight originated from the United States, Canada or Europe, the taxi booth in Departure Gate E1 is just past Customs, before you leave the restricted zone. If coming from the Caribbean, Central or South America, you will go through a rigorous checking process at Departure Gate E3 by Mexican Customs officials. They have a special mandate to carefully check luggage coming from these three regions. Possibly k-9 teams will be used to accomplish their goal. Once you have been cleared, come out of the inspection area, turn right and follow the hallway to the taxi booth across from the Freedom restaurant, inside the terminal. The Taxi sales person has 6 different zones and same number of price lists. Most of the time there will be long queues, especially in peak-season. 

Destination Address Handy

Carry a piece of paper with the exact address, colonia and if possible, the names of the streets that cross or meet your destination point. This will facilitate the work of all involved. Remember: Mexico City is one of the largest cities in the world; we have many streets like Reforma, Juarez, etc. that are repeatedly identified in our city map. So, the more prepared you are to answer simple questions, the better you will be to arrive at your destination without any complications. 

Proceeding to your Taxi Cab

Once you have your ticket in hand proceed to the parking lot. Once you past Customs, be prepared to go through a human wall during the peak season. Lots of people welcoming passengers. Among these, drivers carrying large signs, men pushing rollers called “diablitos” offering to help with your luggage. It is always best to carry your own possessions. However, should you have a large number of pieces, welcome anybody as long as they carry their ID tag on them. Their tip will be proportional to the amount of luggage you are carrying. Pay what is the norm in your country. A supervisor wearing a visible badge that reads "Transporte Terrestre" with a photo and his name will place you in the waiting line. Luggage equipped with rollers prove useful then. Place your luggage in the trunk, always. When you enter the cab, make sure you take note of the car number, lock all doors from inside. Extra caution should be observed if carrying luggage or backpacks in public transportation other than your own taxi cab. This is an extremely useful airport ground transportation website  that includes subway, collective taxis, bus lines connecting other cities nearby such as Puebla, Cuernavaca:

Local Security Tips

  • The Mexico City airport, inaugurated in 1939 has been serving an ever growing number of passengers for more than 67 years.
  • The main terminal has been completely surrounded by populous neighborhoods, where crime is a serious problem.
  • Never, repeat, NEVER, walk around DAY or night –especially if carrying luggage from the airport terminal.
  • While inside the airport, police and private security make it a reasonably safe place to be in. Despite this, it is especially important that while at the airport you enhance your sense of alertness.
  • Always keep an eye on your luggage, possessions.
  • Should you require to make any financial transactions, money exchange it is safer to do this inside the restricted area exclusive for passengers.
  • Use only authorized cabs as urged to you in this article. Always place luggage in trunk, whether in your own car or a taxi cab.
  • When you approach the metal detector for security inspection, have your boarding pass in hand. KEEP AN EYE on all your belongings. Quickly empty your pockets and place all items in the small plastic container –wallet, keys, cellular, passport, etc- and place carry on luggage on the x-ray rotary belt. Ladies should empty purses placing purses directly to belt.
  • Laptops, cameras or similarly looking pieces of luggage have been lost or stolen while you are distracted returning your belongings to pocket or purses. The same when asked to remove your shoes.. Beware!
  • This link  gives you ample information about airport services -everything you need to know.
  • In the upper horizontal tab it shows you a number of pages that will connect you to the corresponding authorities in the event you may require their assistance.
  • In the case of an emergency, our Federal Preventative Police recommended phone numbers are 5133 0823, 5133-1117. Unfortunately, these numbers must routinely be updated as they may change without previous notice. The airport switchboard number is: (55) 2482-2424.  

Airport Map 

Flight Information

Luggage

BEFORE you leave home make sure each piece of luggage works perfectly. Opens and closes without any complication. Detect any openings or fractures that may result in spilling the contents from one destination point to another or in transfers. Consider the mistreatment received as cargo. It is best to carry just one  large size than several small ones, keep in mind the weight allowed, the fact that it’ll be X-rayed and photographic films may be damaged. You have doubts? Call your airline. Keep in mind look-alike luggage. You may end up with one not yours. So get a durable tag – metallic, if you can order it- containing basic information such as your name, phone numbers or email address, place of residence, business, in the event of loss. Otherwise, the airline will make you fill out one made of paper, which may be easily lost. The use of cardboard boxes as luggage is not recommended especially if these get wet due to rain, snow or any other reasons, easily resulting in damage. 

General Information

Always arrive to the airport with PLENTY OF TIME for your flight. At least 1 hour and a half for domestic flights. 3 hours, for international departures. Arriving, departing flights are visibly announced on monitors throughout the airport. Normally most passengers take between 20 minutes (domestic) and up to 50 minutes (international) to physically come out of the airport’s restricted area, once their plane has arrived. If waiting for a passenger it is recommended to agree on meeting a short distance from the actual arriving point –in a restaurant or business you previously selected – especially during rush hour.

Switchboard, Information Booths, Parking, Lockers, Pets, Duty Free (all these services and more by clicking on the upper horizontal tab HERE

English/Spanish 24-hour switchboard no. is (55) 2482-2424. Information booths are strategically located inside. Access to parking lots are clearly marked, however, always expect to spend quite sometime going in circles inside the lots to find one spot. If you are late, valet parking is available. Ask for it. More information, including parking fees, below. Lockers –a private service- are available inside the airport.  If your luggage for some reason did not arrive, you must file a report in person with your airline. Loud speaker announcements can be made through any information booth. Up to two pets –dog, cat- may travel with passenger, must produce health certificate vaccinations shots issued by vet. Fill out SAT format 5. 

Forbidden Items on Board

Sharp blades, tools such as hammers, screwdrivers, umbrellas, inflatable balloons, balls, food and beverages, scissors, nail cutters, explosives, incendiary fluids, firearms or replicas, only two sealed –unopened- bottles of liquor will be allowed, plants, matches, ropes, cables, glues, measuring tapes, powders that may include detergents, salt, flour, similar products.

Welcome to Ciudad de México! Tourism Department.

Other Airports Information

ASURoperates and administers 9 airports in Mexico’s southeast: Cancún, Cozumel, Huatulco, Mérida, Minatitlán, Oaxaca, Tapachula, Veracruz and Villahermosa. 

GAP operates airports at these locations: Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, Guadalajara, Hermosillo, La Paz, Los Mochis, Morelia, Mexicali, Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos, Tijuana, Manzanillo

In closing, if the contents of this article were useful, please tell your friends about the Security Corner monthly help column, and help us make the world just a little safer for everyone.


 ABOUT Security Corner: Legal Notice is found in Featured Articles page. This monthly column is the result of intensive research by Mr. Mario González-Román to serve as support to the International Community. We do not pursue commercial or political interests. If a product or service is mentioned is because we believe it is in your own benefit. In some cases, per our request, official information was received from the Mexican Government. Contributions include those coming from non-profit private organizations and individuals volunteering to the usefulness of the objective of each article. In others, information was acquired by navigating in the Internet, by personal interviews or other channels. In each case, credit is given to information sources. While this information is for public use, it would be appreciated that when you reproduce or share its contents, that you include the name of its author and a link to Security Corner. All suggestions are welcome. If we made a mistake, we’ll be happy to correct it. English is not my native language. Readers have been extremely useful in the past: Welcome to edit articles. THIS IS TRULY A JOINT COLLABORATIVE EFFORT. Thanks to your input, messages we are be able to determine what topics interest our audience the most. Mr. González-Román is a retired FSN employee from the Embassy of the United States of America, where he worked per prior consent by Mexican Congress as evidenced in Federal Official Diary no. 16, dated September 23, 1981. Please become familiar with his Biography.

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