If you arrive by private transfer the shuttle will stop in front of the terminal hopefully outside your check-in area.
If you arrive by bus the bus will stop and unload the luggage before they open the doors and let you off.
Step 1 CHECK-IN
The airport terminals are small so you do not have to walk far to find the check-in desk for your flight. There are TV screens above the check-in desks with the airline company’s name and flight destination.
You can also ask any airport attendant where you check in.
Proceed to the line. Check your luggage and get your boarding pass.
NOTE: There is a special line for families traveling with children or persons requiring special needs.
After you have checked your luggage in and received your boarding pass you can enter the duty free zone, go outside or remain in the main part of the terminal.
NOTE: If you have not boarded the airplane close to departure time they will start calling your name over the intercom system. Proceed to the boarding gate immediately.
Step 2 SECURITY
Security varies depending on what your destination is. Everyone goes through a metal-detector and all carry-on bags go through the x-ray machine. You must also show your boarding pass. You can exit the boarding area and re-enter.
Step 3 PROCEED TO BOARDING GATE
Proceed to your boarding gate marked on your boarding pass. You should have ample time to wander around the duty free stores and restaurants. Your flight will be called out on the intercom when it is ready to board. There are electronic over-hanging signs displaying the departure flights. You can also simply watch the boarding gate for activity.
WHAT IF I LOST MY TOURIST CARD?
Technically you cannot leave Mexico without surrendering your Tourist Card. Without a Tourist Card you have no proof you entered Mexico legally and you can be detained by Immigration authorities.
If you arrive at Cancun Airport [to leave the country] without your Tourist Card, here is what can happen:
You will be required to fill out this form and take it to any branch of the bank Banamex and pay a $525.00 peso fee. The bank will give you a receipt, which you take back to the Immigration Office at the airport to receive your replacement Tourist Card.
You do not pay any Immigration Officer at the airport. This is against the law. If an Immigration Officer takes money from you, report him immediately to airport police.
Lost Tourist Card F.A.Q.
Q: Can I miss my flight if I don’t have my Tourist Card? A: Yes, people who are rude to the Immigration Officers will be shown no mercy.
Q: What if the bank is closed? A: If you are rude and abrasive to the Immigration Officers you will be staying the night in the airport rebooking your flight. If you explain the situation to the Officers, with utmost respect and always be courteous, they will issue you a replacement Tourist Card [no fee].
Q: Can I go to an Immigration office in Cancun or Playa del Carmen to get the form I need to take to the bank; then go directly to the airport? A: Yes. You must go to a Banamex branch only.
Cancun Immigration Office
Located in downtown Cancun City on the corner of Avenida Nader and Avenida Uxmal.
Open: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm Monday – Friday
Playa del Carmen Immigration Office
Located in Plaza Antiguas
Open 9:00 am – 4:00 pm Monday – Friday
TERMINAL MAPS – DEPARTURES
Q: What do we do if we lose our airline tickets? A: You have to find your airline representative ASAP! They can issue you a new ticket but you will be charged a fee. It cost us $25.00 per ticket.
Q: Are there ATMs at the airport? A: Yes.
Q: Is Cancun Airport big, as in do we have to do a lot of walking? A: No, the airport is small and the walk from the front door to your boarding gate is relatively short compared to large city airports. We hear that the new terminal in Mexico City is a nightmare.
Each passenger is given a “free allowance of luggage”, which depends on the airline you are flying with.
Each passenger is usually given 20kg [44 lbs] and any baggage exceeding the designated weight will be charged an additional fee.
This generally only applies to persons traveling “economy”. Check with your airline.
Sporting equipment can be carried as baggage depending on the conditions of your ticket and what allowance you are permitted.
Sporting equipment is not considered baggage by some airlines. If the equipment is not packed with other non-sporting equipment items then the sporting equipment’s weight is not added to your overall “baggage weight” [this means you can pack your snorkel gear in a different bag and the weight will not be added to your baggage].
Some airlines charge an additional fee for sporting equipment [bicycles, surf-boards, golf clubs].
NOTE: Delta, AirTran, Midwest, United and US Airways no longer exempt U.S. government employees from first bag check fees.
CANCUN AIRPORT DEPARTURES
3-1-1 for carry-ons = 3 ounce bottle or less (by volume) ; 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin.
One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring. 3 oz. container size is a security measure.
Declare larger liquids. Medications, baby formula and food, and breast milk are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding three ounces and are not required to be in the zip-top bag. Declare these items for inspection at the checkpoint.