What to expect at Puetro Vallarta Airport

Old May 7th, 2002, 03:57 PM
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What to expect at Puetro Vallarta Airport

We are traveling to PV from the US via
Mexico City. Can anyone tell me what to expect as far as going through customs?
We have never traveled outside the US so we aren't familar we it.
Also what is PV's airport like.
How much time will we need to allow to make our flight when leaving? US std. is about 1-2 hours before flight time. (Cut it close one time and regreted it).
Old May 7th, 2002, 04:03 PM
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Hey JoJo,

When you get off the plane you will have to go through customs. I think there are 8 booths which you line up for, some only for Mexican citizens (but go where they tell you to go). This takes about 15 minutes, then you collect your baggage and go to meet people from your hotel (if they arrange to pick you up). As far as leaving, I think we arrived at the airport around 2 hours before the flight. Don't worry, its not a busy airport.
Old May 7th, 2002, 07:11 PM
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If you are landing in Mexico City and making a connecting flight to PV, you will clear customs in Mexico City. It is a busy airport but you should have no problems. Hopefully you have at least an hour to make your connection.
When you leave PV give yourself two hours. In Feb. they were hand searching all luggage and it took a little time. Still, you should have no trouble. PV is a very easy airport to navigate.
Old May 8th, 2002, 09:58 AM
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I assume customs will be your initial point of entry into the foreign country (for you DF). I don't know procedure there, I always land direct PV which is extremely simple.

You have 3 things to deal with: your tourist card which they will issue you on the plane, your passport or paperwork to show immigration, and customs check regarding your luggage.

PV is a tiny airport. If you do not have a hotel shuttle picking you up, simply go to the taxi ticket booth to the right of the doorways to outside. Buy a ticket (200 peso or $23US), then go outside the door where all the airport regulated (white color) cabs are lined up. Give them your ticket & tell them your hotel.

You can catch a local bus or cab (cheaper) by leaving the airport on foot but I wouldn't recommend this little adventure for 1st timers.

Especially if you are flying Alaska, allow 2 hours for departure. December 2001 lines were longer than I'd ever seen as they were hand-examining both checked and carryon luggage. If you end up with extra time there's a food court and duty free once you're upstairs to hang out and wander around.
Old May 8th, 2002, 07:11 PM
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I travelled to PV in the past via Mexico City. I had a very close connection and the customs line in Mexico City was very, very long. I asked an airline worker if I had to clear customs in Mexico and they told me I did and to wait in the line. Looking at the line I realized I would never make my connection. Instead I boarded my connection. I cleared customs in PV. I am not sure if it was mere good luck but if you run into a similar situation I believe you can clear customs in PV instead of Mexico City.
Old May 9th, 2002, 06:33 AM
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I just returned from PV. Arrival at PV airport is not a problem, very quick, you line up show pass port, they give you a visitors card, this takes about 10 min. Leaving is another story. There are no X-Ray machines, therefore, they check your baggage piece by piece, diffently get there early. I was there 2 hours prior, and did not have much time to board. Also remember it depends on how many flights are leaving at the same time.
Old May 9th, 2002, 08:42 AM
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If you connect through Mexico City you just go through immigration there, ie, passport or whatever, tourist card (which they usually give you on the plane to fill out). Customs will be in PV--you will notice that when you check in for departure in the US they will put bright orange (I think, or maybe it was red) tags on your bags, indicating that they originated internationally when you arrive in PV, so they will know you have to go through customs. We didn't know this the first time we connected through Mexico City, assuming it was like the US and you had to clear customs on your first stop, and wasted a LOT of time trying to find our bags, which of course were not there.

So just go through the immigration line and then find your connecting flight, it should be easy.
Old May 9th, 2002, 08:46 AM
Customs in PV
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From the above posts, if in fact you go thru customs in PV here's how it goes: after clearing immigration booth, pick up your checked baggage, or if only carry-on, go left to where you see the Red light/Green light people (looks kinda like a traffic light). You press the button. If you get green they wave you thru. If you get red (seem fairly rare) they will make a cursory check of your bags.
Old May 9th, 2002, 08:56 AM
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Thanks everybody!
Doesn't sound to bad.
Old May 9th, 2002, 10:55 AM
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Piece of cake! Just push the botton and if you get a green you're in the country, if your get a red they check your bags, then you're in the country. Real simple.

Old May 15th, 2002, 03:12 PM
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We go to Pv every year, the airport is simple. First stop is custom booths, where they will stamp your tourist card, and what ever you do, do not lose or misplace them as it is a corker to get them replaced on leaving the country no matter where you land. Then you go pick up your luggage, then to the stop lights, push the button, green you go, red your luggage gets checked. If hotel tranportation is supplied watch for the staffers waving the signs with your hotel or travel company on them, if not, you can take one of the white taxis 200 pesos is average (sometimes they will come down a few pesos, but not much) OR you can take the breezeway (out the door & to your left) and catch a yellow cab across the street. Most of the drivers speak some English, ask how much, February 2002,it was 70 pesos to el centro (downtown).
Old May 15th, 2002, 03:55 PM
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re Joanne's post - Not to get too picky, but to avoid confusion... actually that first booth you stop at is Immigration. Customs is the red light/green light part.
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