Mexico City airport: expensive tariff. Mexico City airport: expensive tariff.

Mexico City airport tariff among highest

Yet it offers sub-par service and smells bad, says Tourism Secretariat

The Mexico City International Airport (AICM) has the third most expensive airport services tariff in the world despite offering a sub-par service, says the Tourism Secretariat.


The charge, known in Mexico as the TUA, is currently US $35, and came behind only those of Panama, at $40, and Bogota, at $37, in an analysis of the world’s principal 21 airport terminals. The average tariff at airports in Europe is $23.30.

Aviation specialist Fernando Gómez Suárez told Milenio that the federal government has increased the TUA by 60% in the last five years in order to boost revenue and pay for the debt it incurred while building the airport’s Terminal 2.

Gómez also said that international entities such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have noted that the TUA at the Mexico City airport is expensive.

In response, the Tourism Secretariat (Sectur) has requested that federal Communications and Transportation Secretariat (SCT) reduce the amount of the tariff in order to maintain the competitiveness of the country’s “most important hub.”

Sectur observed that airports use tariff-related income to guarantee the safety of their passengers and to pay for upkeep and modernize infrastructure, yet the AICM’s image is bad and tourist reception services are appalling.


The airport often has only six immigration officials on hand to receive flights of 300 passengers, resulting in waiting times of up to an hour and a half.

Sectur also says the airport’s infrastructure needs attention: it is lacking in air conditioning, it smells bad and the washrooms leave much to be desired.

Gómez also pointed out that an airport’s tariffs have a direct impact on airline ticket prices, because passengers end up paying them.

“The cost of TUA represents up to 42% of the ticket price on some routes,” he said, adding that it was a paradoxical situation because while Sectur strives to attract more passengers, transportation authorities dissuade them with their steep charges.

The Mexican Association of Hotels and Motels has recommended subsidizing terminals instead.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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  • I fly into and out of Mexico city airport once or twice per month and I always find it to be clean and prices of services are not as high in other airports.

  • Walter

    I am in and out of the airport in DF a few times a year and don’t think it’s so bad. Smells are mostly outside, on the tarmac!

  • Agustin Arias

    Why is it that there wasn’t a single mention in this article of the planned 9+ billion dolar airport that’s due to begin construction in 2016. The current airport may have a few issues in Terminal 1 (the oldest part of the airport), but Terminal 2 is in my opinion clean and efficient. Why waste more resources updating Terminal 1 when there’s already a plan in place to begin the construction of one of the most expensive airports in the world in Mexico City next year?

  • swsl

    I agree that the airport is not so bad. I kinda like it and am in Terminal 1 most of the time. And yes, the pricing for food etc is friendlier and less predatory than most airports. Appreciate that. I did laugh the other day when there was no water for washing my hands in the bathroom. Mexico.

    Immigration and customs handles it’s crowds better than the Houston Intercontinental. I imagine that Houston has more international to deal with, though.

    As for fees, well, I believe it.
    Interesting note about the new airport planned. Had no idea.

  • Better to fly into Guadalajara.

  • Dan Tucker

    I live in a smaller Mexican city, so when I have the fortunate opportunity to be in the Mexico City airport, I first go to McDonald´s, then Krispy Cream, then check out the bookstores and other stores. It´s a great place to be for a visit!

  • K. Chris C.

    They steal to build it, and then steal from those that dare use it. Soon they will announce that they didn’t steal enough to maintain it, and need to steal more.

    “World’s most visited casino? Checking luggage on a flight.”

    An American citizen, not US subject.