editing needed--CBX Instructions--First draft

by mindpilot, la Playa Buenavista, Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 05:43 (47 days ago)

Here is the first draft of the instructions on how to use CBX. Please read through it and ask any questions I haven’t answered. If you have previously used CBX please let me know if anything is not right or needs to be added.

CBX

One of the most economical means to get to Zihuatanejo by air is to use the San Diego / Tijuana Cross Border Express (CBX) and fly Volaris from TIJ to ZIH.

Step one is to get to San Diego. The flight to ZIH leaves TIJ at 3am, so you’ll need to be at CBX about midnight to 1am. If you are flying into SAN then try to get a flight that arrives around 11pm. There are shuttles, taxis and Uber available for the approximately 40-minute ride from San Diego airport to CBX.

CBX also has car rental services (Hertz, Avis/Budget, Mex-Rent A Car/Fox) and secure parking if you drive. There is also shuttle service from the Los Angeles area.

From the CBX website you can prepare your FMM online and pay with a credit card. Fill out the information and select “Land” for type of crossing. You will then be taken to a page to enter your payment information. This part is particularly important, PRINT YOUR RECEIPT. There is not another opportunity to retrieve it. If you cannot produce the receipt at immigration you will have to walk to immigration booth at the other end of the airport and pay for another one.

Within about five minutes you will receive an email with a link to print the FMM.
Also, if you are preparing FMMs for more than one person, do them as separate transactions preferably with that person’s credit card. The name on the receipt and FMM must match.

Cross Border Express now has its own three-letter airport designation, TJX. Use that when you book your Volaris flight and the CBX fee is included in the fare and your boarding pass is also your ticket through the CBX turnstile.

Of course, there are other Mexican airlines, Aero Mexico and Viva, which service Zihuatanejo, Volaris is the only one with a non-stop flight between TIJ and ZIH.

The other advantage to this flight is in the wee hours of the morning, the airport is uncrowded, and it is mostly a breeze through customs and security. They do not even make you push the button; just put your bag on the conveyor.

When you arrive at CBX check in at the Airline counter. They will weigh and tag your bags, return them to you and point you to Immigration. From there to Customs. After that you take the 1000-foot-long walk across the border. There will be a place to drop off your checked baggage, go through security and then to your gate.

On your return, just follow the signs to baggage claim. There are a couple places that are little confusing because the signage is not clear. Turn left though the big glass exit doors from the terminal to baggage claim.

Once you have your bags, follow the signs to CBX. You will go through duty free shop (keep going left) and up an escalator. Have your boarding pass (or separate CBX ticket) ready to scan for passage through the CBX gate. Then you will find yourself back on the 1000-foot skybridge. Down the escalator to US Immigration, and you are in the US.

https://www.crossborderxpress.com/en/

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editing needed--CBX Instructions--First draft

by Timmac @, Steilacoom, WA, Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 06:53 (47 days ago) @ mindpilot

Search on Expedia today shows the flight leaving at 5:53 AM. Unless you live in the San Diego area, this likely means overnight In a hotel somewhere.

editing needed--CBX Instructions--First draft

by mindpilot, la Playa Buenavista, Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 09:33 (47 days ago) @ Timmac

Yeah. Looks like Volaris may have changed their flights in the past couple weeks. And it is weird. The only direct flight is the one on Expedia that leaves at 5:53

The only flight that shows up on Volaris' site has a stop, but doesn't say where.

But you're right, that kind of bones up the whole plan if you have to overnight in San Diego. It's a really nice place but not known for its inexpensive hotels. And you would have to be rolling out of your hotel before 4 to make a 6am flight.

Standby, I will email Volaris and see what's going on.

Thanks for pointing that out.

editing needed--CBX Instructions--First draft

by Dougschuler @, Denver, Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 09:56 (47 days ago) @ mindpilot

Alaska flight leaves at 9:30 from LAX. We take Southwest from Denver late day before stay 5 mins from LAX.

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editing needed--CBX Instructions--First draft

by Timmac @, Steilacoom, WA, Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 13:18 (47 days ago) @ Dougschuler

You could do it in one day with an American Airlines flight that leaves at 6AM and save the cost of a hotel at LAX.

editing needed--CBX Instructions--First draft

by Dougschuler @, Denver, Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 13:33 (47 days ago) @ Timmac

Thanks for the info. We use to do that then the American flight left later and you couldn’t make the connection. I’m glad they changed it back.

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editing needed--CBX Instructions--First draft

by Timmac @, Steilacoom, WA, Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 16:51 (47 days ago) @ Dougschuler

If you do that, book the legs separately. Then use the companion fare from the Alaska Visa card for the lax/zih leg. The second ticket would be $121. The cost of the card is $75, so the lax/zih round trip would “cost” $196 for the second ticket. Although Alaska joined One World today, the companion fare has to be on Alaska metal. The introductory bonus miles for the Alaska card would be enough for a Den/Zih round trip I think. You could credit the AA miles to an Alaska account.

editing needed--CBX Instructions--First draft

by Padrino ⌂ @, San Diego, California USA, Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 09:57 (47 days ago) @ Timmac

Search on Expedia today shows the flight leaving at 5:53 AM. Unless you live in the San Diego area, this likely means overnight In a hotel somewhere.

Dear Timmac,

You are correct! Volaris changed the time. That is a very recent development. It used to leave at 3 am and now it leaves close to 6 am. Well, that is good news and bad news. Good news for those of us in San Diego who can show up at the TJ airport at 4 or 4:30 in the morning. Bad news, as you note, for those who had hoped to arrive in San Diego in the evening and then make their way to the TJ airport around midnight. Of course, you could camp out in the TJ airport all night. Ah, right.

An alternative to staying overnight in San Diego would be to spend the night in Tijuana. Many of the restaurants are awesome; some of the street food is to die for (and some is to die from). Then you would not incur the cost of the CBX going into Tijuana. (You can use the CBX going one way out of the Tijuana airport.) The lodging would be much cheaper and you would want to take a taxi or Uber/Lyft from your hotel to the airport in the wee hours of the morning. In this case, you could leave the San Diego airport, either taxi or bus to downtown, then get on the Trolley to San Ysidro / Tijuana. You could actually walk from the San Diego airport to downtown. It's about 30 to 45 minutes depending upon which terminal you arrive at and you walk along the San Diego Bay -- very scenic! A taxi to the border crossing would be fairly expensive; I am not sure how much an Uber/Lyft ride would cost. At the border crossing, you could buy your tourist visa, walk or take a taxi to downtown Tijuana or wherever you decided to stay. Downtown Tijuana has changed dramatically from the days when seas of gringos/gringas in short pants and baseball hats roamed up and down Avenida Revolucion buying velvet paintings of Elvis and Jesus. It now caters to the Mexican locals and is a very vibrant cultural center. If you love to dance, hit up Las Pulgas or any of the other late-night discotecas.


Dear MindPilot,

Your instructions are well done! Many graces! You might want to add that when you return to Tijuana, pay close attention to the signs directing you to the CBX. If you accidentally go through the wrong doors toward the usual airport exit, you are screwed. The warning is that if you do miss the CBX exit, you then can't go back through security and exit through the CBX. However, I wonder how much that is strictly enforced since it is really easy to miss the CBX exit if you are not paying attention.

editing needed--CBX Instructions--First draft

by Zihuateco @, Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 10:08 (47 days ago) @ Padrino

Gracias Pioloto Mental, the CBX is a great option and can be worth the drive down from the City of Angels if one's travel dates are flexible. Otherwise you can't beat LAX to Z using the Alaska companion fares.

editing needed--CBX Instructions--First draft

by mindpilot, la Playa Buenavista, Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 19:22 (46 days ago) @ Padrino

thanks everyone! I will re-write the instructions to reflect the new flight times.

I also confirmed with Volaris the new times.

Yes from LAX, the Alaska flight is also a good way to go. Volaris 548 is the only direct flight from TIJ. Naturally there are other airlines, but you will be hanging out at Mexico City airport for a few hours. Overnighting in TJ is not a bad idea either.

Personally I'm a big fan of non-stop flights, but that's just me.