How to fly from Tijuana Airport using Cross Border Xpress
Crossing the border to fly from Mexico may sound like a daunting process. Still, thanks to Cross Border Xpress (CBX), it is possible to cross easily from San Diego to the Tijuana International Airport (TIJ) due to the strategic location that connects it with the state of California. traveling through Tijuana is a great way to save compared to Southern California fares. Doing so is easier than you think, which is why we present this step-by-step guide to fly from Tijuana airport and use Cross Border Xpress.
How to use Cross Border Xpress to fly from the Tijuana International Airport
CBX provides the U.S. market with a convenient and easy way to access the Tijuana International Airport and thus enjoy the air connectivity it offers- 36 direct routes within Mexico. It also allows you to avoid the hassle of crossing the busy Tijuana border and traveling through the city, but above all, avoid the complicated traffic back to the U.S.
This section will explain how to use Cross Border Xpress, step by step.
Step 1: Getting there
Cross Border Xpress is located in Otay Mesa, about 20 minutes from downtown San Diego, just across the border from Tijuana. Here is a Google Maps link. You have four options to get there:
1. Driving: You can park your car in CBX for rates starting at $15 a day. You can reserve your parking in advance and also take advantage of the valet parking service.
2. Use the shuttle service: Cross Border Xpress offers this service through an authorized shuttle operator with routes to and from San Diego ($14), San Ysidro ($9), Los Angeles ($33), Riverside, and Sacramento. It also offers several stops within these routes.
3. Order a Lyft: This is another very convenient option. Depending on the length of your trip, it could be cheaper than driving and looking for parking.
4. Take the City Bus: From downtown San Diego, you can take the blue line tram to Iris Avenue. From there, you can transfer to bus 909. This will leave you at Siempre Viva Rd. & Britannia Blvd. From there, walk about 0.7 kilometers to Cross Border Xpress. This journey typically takes about an hour and a half.
Step 2: How to buy your Cross Border Xpress ticket
Cross Border Xpress tickets can be purchased in four ways:
● Online . You can buy tickets on the CBX website here. This is the most convenient and affordable way to purchase tickets, as they cost a little less than in the terminal. You can pay by credit or debit card. Make sure to print your ticket with the Q.R. code or bring it ready on your mobile phone so that you can scan it at the entrance doors to the bridge.
● CBX App. Here you can also link your boarding pass to your CBX crossing ticket to save time at our access gates. Just locate the - Link your boarding pass- option at the bottom of the crossing ticket.Click that button, scan your boarding pass, and you're all set. If you did not purchase the CBX ticket in the app but purchased it on another CBX sales channel, you could add it by selecting the option - My Trips -, add your ticket information and then link your boarding pass.
● In one of the kiosks at the terminal. You can buy CBX tickets with a credit or debit card at a CBX kiosk inside the terminal.
● With some airlines. Aeromexico, Viva Aerobus and Volaris offerthe option to buy a CBX ticket along with your flight by selecting the TJX route as the origin. With the TJX route, there’s no need to add a CBX ticket separately.
● Tip: There are discounted rates for families, groups, military, or frequent CBX travelers. Children under the age of 2 do not need a ticket to cross through CBX.
Step 3: Check-in for your flight
If you use Cross Border Xpress, you can check-in for your flight at the terminal on the US side of the border. In the CBX terminal in San Diego, you will find airline counters such as Aeromexico, Viva Aerobus, and Volaris. All personnel working at the Cross Border Xpress terminal speak English.
You will have your bags weighed and tagged and cross the bridge with them until you reach the Tijuana International Airport, where you will have access to a drop off area for CBX passengers.
Step 4: Get Your Documents Ready
To cross the CBX bridge and enter the Tijuana airport, you need four documents:1. Cross Border Xpress Ticket. 2. Your passport - Book or card is fine. 3. Multiple Migration Form (FMM) completed to be delivered to Mexican Immigration 4. Your boarding pass.
About the Migratory Form FMM
All non-Mexican travelers must complete this form upon entering Mexico. The form asks for basic travel information such as your name, passport number, where you are going to in Mexico, length of stay, etc. You can fill it out online at this link.
● If you are going to stay in Mexico for less than 7 days: No payment is necessary.
● If you are going to be in Mexico 7 days or more: You will have to pay about $575 Mexican pesos (approximately $30 dollars) as tourist tax. This allows you to stay anywhere in the country for up to 180 days as a tourist.
Step 5: Cross the CBX Bridge to the Airport
Before entering the CBX bridge, you will need to scan your CBX ticket at the electronic gates and your boarding pass if you have not linked it to your CBX ticket. Once everything has been scanned and the door opens, you will be able to cross the bridge.
The CBX bridge is completely enclosed and 390 feet long. The terminal offers free luggage carts in case you need help crossing the bridge with your luggage.
Step 6: Go through the Mexican Immigration module
You'll reach the Mexico Immigration Point at the end of the bridge. Show them your passport, boarding pass, and completed FMM form.
Step 7: Deliver your luggage
To check-in, you have two options, at the Viva Aerobus, Volaris, or Aeromexico counters at the CBX San Diego terminal and at the Tijuana airport. We recommend doing it on the San Diego side to save you time. If you checked-in in San Diego, you could drop your luggage directly at the CBX Passenger Exclusive Drop-Off area when you pass the Mexican Immigration and Customs modules.
If your airline does not have a CBX counter, you will need to document your luggage at your airline's general counter at the airport.
Step 8: Go through Security Control, then head to your gate and take your flight
After finalizing your process through CBX, you will access the Tijuana International Airport main terminal and go through the CBX Passenger exclusive security check-point. At this point, the process is the same as if you had just arrived at the airport like everyone else. Past this point, you can head to your boarding area, and that's it.
How to Cross to the United States from Tijuana Airport by Cross Border Xpress
1. Pick up your luggage: Follow the signs to baggage claim at the Tijuana airport and take your luggage.
2. Head to the Cross Border Xpress access gates: Follow the signs that guide you there. Do not exit the baggage claim area, or you will not be able to use CBX
3. Have your documentation ready: You will need your CBX ticket, valid travl documents and your boarding pass from the flight you arrived on. If you don't have a CBX ticket yet, remember that you can buy it at the kiosk, counters, on the website, or in the CBX app. If you are not a U.S. citizen or resident, you will need to show your visa to enter the United States.
4. Cross the CBX Bridge
5. Pass the U.S. Customs and Border Protection checkpoint: Here, you will be asked for your travel documents, and you your luggage will be scanned
6. Take ground transportation to your destination: Pick up your car in the parking lot, request a Lyft, take the shuttle or a taxi to your destination.
Why use Cross Border Xpress?
The main reason for using Cross Border Xpress is to save time at the border crossing when returning to the United States. The Tijuana border crossing is one of busiest in the world. Crossing back from Mexico to the United States through traditional ports of entry can take hours, even when crossing on foot.
You don't have to drive in Mexico either. You can arrive by car, cross on foot and take your flight.