Passengers at Mexico City International Airport (AICM) face long wait times to collect baggage, clear immigration and board taxis at both terminals.
The Reforma newspaper published a report on the delays on Thursday, saying there was chaos at the airport and passengers were most annoyed by the long waits at checkpoint carousels.
Juan Luis, who flew to the AICM from Miami, told Reforma he waited nearly two hours for his luggage to show up “without any explanation” as to why the delay occurred. “Security guards get angry if you complain,” he said.
Martha, who traveled to Mexico City from Atlanta, said she waited over an hour for her luggage. “We think it’s too long and… [the airport staff] are rude,” she said.
Passengers from San Antonio reported similarly long waits at the baggage carousel.
Reforma reported that travelers also face long waits in immigration and taxi queues. Demand for taxis has increased recently as drivers of ride-sharing apps such as Uber are now banned from picking up passengers at the AICM, although the ban has generally not been enforced.
Authorities and airlines have blamed each other for the delay passengers faced in retrieving their luggage, Reforma said. A Federal Civil Aviation Agency official said the long wait times may have been the product of a lack of airline ground staff at the airport.
But airline sources said the AICM operates the baggage carousels and has caused delays by directing baggage from up to four flights to the same at the same time. An airline source blamed customs. “Almost everything is the fault of customs. They don’t have enough staff or [X-ray] machines,” the source said.
Airport workers said inspections of baggage immediately after leaving a plane by Navy personnel – responsible for security at the airport – and sniffer dogs also contributed to delays in transit luggage in the terminals.
An airport security employee told Reforma that delays at immigration were due to slow computers and lengthy questioning of some incoming passengers. “It causes long queues,” the employee said.
The high number of passengers using the AICM is also a factor in the long wait times people experience when traveling to different parts of the airport. The federal government said in March that both terminals had reached saturation point, and the opening of Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA) north of the capital has so far done little to ease the pressure. .
The heavy traffic is not limited to passengers in the terminals: the runways and airspace surrounding the airport are also congested, leading to an increase in aborted landings, or go-arounds, this year, including two very close together, one in May. 7 and four days later.
Asked about the airport chaos at his regular press conference on Thursday, President López Obrador claimed the problems were exaggerated by Reforma and suggested the focus on them was aimed at hurting his government.
“Mexico Airport has been saturated at other times and…there has not been the same spread [of information] like now,” he said.
The president, however, acknowledged that some passengers had experienced delays. He said changes to the airport, including turning over security to the Navy, have resulted in longer wait times, but defended the presence of Marines at the facility, considered the busiest airport. important in Latin America.
“There was smuggling, the arrival of drugs [before the navy took charge]said López Obrador. “…Airlines don’t help [with the delays] and [there are] other issues,” he said.
AMLO also acknowledged that too many planes are using the airport, but getting airlines to use AIFA instead is proving to be a challenge. “There is some resistance from airlines to move to Felipe Ángeles Airport,” he said.
“Felipe Ángeles Airport is an excellent airport. It is already a functioning airport and will soon be the best airport in Mexico, with a lot of flights, but we are in the process of transition. So that’s what’s happening. And [the issue] is very political… [but] we are already taking action [to alleviate pressure at AICM] and we’ll finish putting things in order. (https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/passengers-report-immigration-baggage-taxi-delays-at-mexico-city-airport/)
With reports from Reforma
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Last modification: July 8, 2022