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Advice on connecting flight at MEX

Old Jun 28th, 2020, 05:32 AM
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Advice on connecting flight at MEX

Hi all,

was hoping to get some insight on a flight Iíve booked for my husband to return to Canada. Heís flying on Aeromexico from San Luis PotosŪ (SLP) and arriving at MEX at 10:50am on a Thursday. Itís an hour long flight. His flight from MEX is departing to Toronto on Air Canada at 12:00pm.

I know itís a big airport and a terminal change is involved. Do you think an hour is doable to make it to the other flight? He has no checked luggage and these flights were booked separately. I was going to try to get him a seat at the front of the plane on the SLP to MEX trip since it takes forever to get off when youíre in the back...

What do you guys think??
rachelbalesramos is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2020, 06:21 AM
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I don't know if there have been any changes due to Covid-19 restrictions but normally AeroMexico uses Terminal 2 and Air Canada flies out of Terminal 1 meaning your husband will have to change terminals which can take quite awhile. The conventional wisdom is that you should allow at least 1.5 hours between connections with 2 hours being better. Most savvy travelers will tell you a 1 hour connectional MEX is asking for trouble as the airport is known for long waits before planes can reach the gate and deplane passengers even though the flights arrive on or near schedule. Remember that you are dealing with Murphy's Law of Airports which clearly states that the shorter your connection time the greater the change you'll encounter delays. Keep in mind, you can arrive at your connecting gate with hours to spare and the only downside is you spend that time waiting in the airport. Conversely, if you arrive at the gate 1 minute after the door closes you've missed your flight.

My advice to to look at alternate connections or at least have a back-up plan if your husband misses that 1 hour connection. One last caveat, since he's flying on separate tickets you have no guarantees if he misses his connections so you'd be wise to purchase a fully refundable ticket for that second leg.

P.S. Not to seem critical but as a lesson to others who may read this thread - the time to ask this type of question is BEFORE you purchase the ticket instead of after.
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Old Jun 28th, 2020, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by RoamsAround View Post
I don't know if there have been any changes due to Covid-19 restrictions but normally AeroMexico uses Terminal 2 and Air Canada flies out of Terminal 1 meaning your husband will have to change terminals which can take quite awhile. The conventional wisdom is that you should allow at least 1.5 hours between connections with 2 hours being better. Most savvy travelers will tell you a 1 hour connectional MEX is asking for trouble as the airport is known for long waits before planes can reach the gate and deplane passengers even though the flights arrive on or near schedule. Remember that you are dealing with Murphy's Law of Airports which clearly states that the shorter your connection time the greater the change you'll encounter delays. Keep in mind, you can arrive at your connecting gate with hours to spare and the only downside is you spend that time waiting in the airport. Conversely, if you arrive at the gate 1 minute after the door closes you've missed your flight.

My advice to to look at alternate connections or at least have a back-up plan if your husband misses that 1 hour connection. One last caveat, since he's flying on separate tickets you have no guarantees if he misses his connections so you'd be wise to purchase a fully refundable ticket for that second leg.

P.S. Not to seem critical but as a lesson to others who may read this thread - the time to ask this type of question is BEFORE you purchase the ticket instead of after.
Well originally I booked a flight that had him landing at 9am, which is 4 hours before the Air Canada flight but they notified us this morning that they moved him to this later flight, so now we're stuck with this later arrival, so I'm trying to debate if we see if it'll work or have him stay one extra day in Mex since there's only one flight per day on air Canada going into YYZ.

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Old Jun 28th, 2020, 09:09 AM
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With the disclaimer of zero personal experience specific to this route... I would never take a one hour connection in Mexico City. I'd plan right now to stay the extra day. Especially on separate tickets when there's only one flight that day. If anything happens (incoming flight is a few minutes late departing or has to sit on the runway waiting for a gate to deplane, etc.) he wouldn't make it.
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Old Jun 30th, 2020, 07:24 AM
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Is there a problem with flying into the US first, rather than Mexico City? I think there are options on AA via DFW. Can you cancel the Air Canada flight and look for a better connection?

I think the 1 hour connection is too tight, and I've been through that airport a few times although not post-COVID.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2020, 07:05 AM
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I've changed in MEX, I would vote no, it has a low probability of being ok. Is it at all possible? yeah, I think so. Just takes a while to change terminals there and the signage isn't that great, it can be confusing (and I can read Spanish, in some places it didn't exist). Now I was transferring the other way, but that signage was confusing or even how to find that little train to change terminals. Not well marked.

Especially since you have two separate tickets, I don't think I'd do that at any airport, even small ones as you have to check in from scratch. But a one hour change at a huge airport like that when you have to change terminals and check in all over again?

If he will already have a boarding pass so doesn't need to check in again, that's better.

But the issue is what? The ticket is bought, there are hotels right at the airport so if he doesn't make it, he then can find one and stay overnight.

I don't understand why you did this. Aeromexico itself has a nonstop from MEX to YYZ on Thursdays around 6 pm, although it probably depends on your month. It appears not in July but later on they do.

I don't know the fare differences, but if you can cancel that flight and get a credit minus some fee, I'd do it and book the AM flight later that day, if that is a possibility. After all, you'd spend some money staying overnight in a hotel, as well as for food.

Any major airline I fly in the US allows you to cancel a ticket and keep the fare in an acct to use on another flight, minus a change fee. I actually do that more than I should when I decide to change plans on a long trip or something (I cancel the return and book a different one).

If there isn't such an AM flight when you want, I still would just play it by ear, I don't think you need to decide anything now unless you can somehow change the ticket for free to the next day now. If you can't, then I don't think you have to do anything right now.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2020, 02:34 PM
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Arriving MEX on a national flight to connect to an international flight on a separate ticket would be insane with anything less than 2.5 hours leeway. Best option, IMO,
keep the current SLP- MEX, plan to get a hotel overnight and change the MEX- YYZ flight to the next day.
Good luck
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Old Jul 5th, 2020, 01:28 PM
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I've never been inside Terminal 2 at MEX. What I remember about Terminal 1 is how sprawling it is. The walks can seem endless.
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Old Jul 5th, 2020, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by rachelbalesramos View Post
Well originally I booked a flight that had him landing at 9am, which is 4 hours before the Air Canada flight but they notified us this morning that they moved him to this later flight, so now we're stuck with this later arrival, so I'm trying to debate if we see if it'll work or have him stay one extra day in Mex since there's only one flight per day on air Canada going into YYZ.
So, the tight connection was due to the first airline making a schedule change. Don't accept that change, yet. Look at other flight options on that airline, including arriving MEX the night before. AC could change their schedule too. Taking the AC flight the next day would work. You could consider just tossing that first flight ticket, assuming it is inexpensive, and book on another airline. Tomorrow he would have a choice of Aeromexico (UIS $80) or Aeromar for $116. Maybe the other airline has an earlier flight that day.

But you would want to compare the cost between changing either ticket, buying a new one, and staying overnight.

Last edited by mrwunrfl; Jul 5th, 2020 at 05:34 PM.
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Old Jul 5th, 2020, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by mrwunrfl View Post
So, the tight connection was due to the first airline making a schedule change. Don't accept that change, yet.
The problem is that this is two separate tickets, so there is no "connection" at MEX. Neither airline has any obligation to the other. The only obligation Airline 1 has is getting the passenger to MEX. They have no interest in or responsibility for what happens after that.
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Old Jul 6th, 2020, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff_Costa_Rica View Post
The problem is that this is two separate tickets, so there is no "connection" at MEX. Neither airline has any obligation to the other. The only obligation Airline 1 has is getting the passenger to MEX. They have no interest in or responsibility for what happens after that.
I got tit, but it is a connection because the passenger is changing flights. Sounds likely that there is not enough time to connect from the AM flight to the AC flight.
The problem is that in this case a missed connection would mean that the passenger would be a no-show for the AC flight. The AC ticket to Toronto could be worthless if he is a no-show. He might have to buy a new ticket to fly the next day on AC (or possibly the same/next day on another airline).

rachel, when is the trip? The flight schedules for both flights might change. One or both routes might get suspended. Where did you book the tickets?

Have you accepted the change on the 1st ticket, the one on AM? If not then you may be able to get a refund if it was a big change, say more than two hours.

What happens if he misses the Toronto flight? I think I would call Air Canada, explain that situation, and ask that question. If you cancel the reservation can the ticket be used the next day? What are the cancel/change fees? If you cancel, do you get a credit to use for the next day? Can you cancel and use the credit for a flight on another airline from MEX to YYZ (e.g. on United, MEX-IAH-YTZ).

What are the change/cancel fees and conditions for the AM flight? Can you get a refund or a credit? You could consider that ticket to be a throw-away. Does Aeromar have an earlier flight? What are the options for flying to MEX a day earlier? Use the same ticket or a credit or buy a new one?


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Old Jul 6th, 2020, 11:07 AM
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It's a "connection" from the passenger's standpoint. Neither airline sees it that way, and neither is obligated to do anything about it. Airline 1 changed the time of flight and it doesn't care that that makes it difficult for the passenger to make Airline 2's flight. It doesn't have to care. MEX has a published minimum-connection time for a domestic-to-international itinerary. Neither airline has to abide by it because these are separate tickets.

As you say, one or the other ticket is going to have to be changed, at whatever the cost is to do it. That's the only option I see.
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