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May 23, 2007, 3:59 PM

Post #1 of 14 (12183 views)


Volaris TJ to SDiego Bus Service

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Has anyone taken the Volaris airline Guad to TJ flight and bus service to SD Santa Fe Station? If so, can you describe it please?


May 23, 2007, 7:46 PM

Post #2 of 14 (12154 views)


Re: [dlyman6500] Volaris TJ to SDiego Bus Service

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Thatís a good question, since I too have often wondered if there was a financial advantage to TJ in and out flights to the interior with certain airlines. Are there actual cross the border bus rides too and from the TJ airport from SD Santa Fe Station?


May 23, 2007, 9:03 PM

Post #3 of 14 (12142 views)


Re: [dlyman6500] Volaris TJ to SDiego Bus Service

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I donít know about Volaris, but last June my wife and I flew from Cuernavaca to Tijuana on Avolar Airlines, with a stop in Guadalajara. Volaris does not fly out of Cuernavaca. Avolar also has a bus service to San Diego from the Tijuana airport. I donít know if it is the same bus that Volaris uses or not. The problem with it for us was that the bus to San Diego left about 15 minutes before our plane landed in Tijuana. That bus only makes one trip over there per day.

A person considering using the bus to cross the border will need to check the airline and bus schedules carefully to see if they are a good fit. The solution for us was that one of our sons was living in Imperial Beach, California, and he and one of our daughters met us in Tijuana. We loaded our baggage in our sonís pickup and he took it all across the border. He said the immigration guys on the American side donít seem to care how much luggage an American drives across with.

Our daughter and we crossed the border using the commuter tram. I have no idea of all the places the tram stops at, we got off after two or three stations at a parking lot where our daughter had left her car. I wouldnít want to ride the tram with luggage; it was crowded.

Flying to Tijuana from here was dirt cheap, especially since I got the old guy discount. Bring a sandwich if you are flying out of Cuernavaca. Be sure to check the airlines baggage policy. Avolar doesnít care how many bags you check, there is no limit to the number.

They nail you with their weight restrictions though. They only allow a total weight for all of your bags of 25 kilos. I returned by myself, my wife stayed a few more weeks at her brothersí house in Tacoma. I had to pay over $2,000 Pesos for excess weight for my luggage. I didnít like that, but considering all the hard to find, and cheap stuff we bought nob, it was worth it, we still saved money.

It looked like 1/3 or Ĺ of the people that were boarding the return flight needed to get in another line to pay their excess weight charges at the Tijuana airport. I told my wife to fly home on Alaska Airlines, they have an exception to their two-bag limit if a passenger is flying to Mťxico City or Guadalajara, and they are allowed to check three bags.

When Doris and her mom were checking in at the Seattle airport to come home, they had bought so much more stuff, that even with the six bag allowance for the two of them, the guy checking their bags wanted US$450 bucks for excess weight.

The guy was an American Chicano. Doris is a Mexicana. Doris looked at him and said, ďDo you have a family?Ē He said, ďOK, pay me $75 Bucks.Ē

None of this info may apply to anyone flying on Volaris, but I would advise anyone to verify that the schedules of the airline and the bus will mesh for you.


"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo

(This post was edited by RexC on May 23, 2007, 9:28 PM)


May 24, 2007, 5:49 AM

Post #4 of 14 (12122 views)


Re: [RexC] Volaris TJ to SDiego Bus Service

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Thanks for the post. I think I had the wrong airline. I'll check it out.

I'm constantly amazed at the amount of stuff Mexicans bring with them when they fly. I sort of assumed they did not have to pay overweight charges. Otherwise, I've seen people traveling with enough stuff to cost $1K US in over weight charges.

The worst was Aero California before they were grounded. Just about every Mexican in line usually had four or so bags - including those big way oversized ones. I haven't flown that line since they re-appeared, but Aviacsa, our usual carrier doesn't seem to have that problem.

If the bus runs only one time a day, chances are that it is not a very effective way to solve the problem.

Anyway, thanks for the information.

Added after checking:

Below is part of an email I sent to my daughter-in-law recently:

The following is information about the bus service that Volaris provides between San Diego and Tijuana. It is a little complicated and requires several changes. You go from the SD airport - walk (2 miles) to the Santa Fe train station, have Kristen shuttle you, or taxi.

After that you get on the bus, which takes you to the border. You disembark, walk across the border - no problem southbound, probably a real bear northbound - and re-board the bus for the drive to the TJ airport (or Santa Fe Station northbound).

Evidently I had it right. I'll check on Avolar.

(This post was edited by dlyman6500 on May 24, 2007, 6:22 AM)


May 27, 2007, 9:25 AM

Post #5 of 14 (12066 views)


Re: [dlyman6500] Volaris TJ to SDiego Bus Service

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I've tried Volaris to TJ, then on to SD. I had heard that Volaris used only old planes and didn't know what they were doing, but it was one of the best, most professional flights I've ever had. Here's how I did it:

Going to TJ:
1. Book online. It's easy. Round trip cost me about $250, but if you have more time to book you can do better.
2. Board about 1 hour before the flight.
3. Fly to TJ
4. Grab a $12 USD taxi or van outside to the border.
5. Walk to the border check (about 3 blocks, which is why I only take carry on luggage, but you can find someone to help you cart your stuff)
6. Stand in the fast-moving line to get your papers checked, then you're across the border.
7. Buy a trolley ticket for $2.50
8. I got off the trolley downtown, where a friend picked me up, but it'll take you directly to the Santa Fe station.

Coming back to GDL:
1. Friend takes me to San Ysidro border, and drops me at the signs that say TAXI.
2. Pay a taxi c. $15 USD to take me to the airport. Takes about 15-20 minutes.
3. Board plane and you're home in 3 hours.

Buen viaje!


May 28, 2007, 1:24 PM

Post #6 of 14 (12032 views)


Re: [kiskidee] Volaris TJ to SDiego Bus Service

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We have tried all of those, but find that renting a car at Hertz in TJ (the only one that allows cars NoB) is the best for us. We need a car in SD and it saves a lot of time - unless the line at the border is super long.

I don't know about the usual situation, but one time last year, I took a cab to the San Ysidro border crossing and walked across. It took over an hour of standing in line in 100 degree heat to get across. While I stood in line with all the other law abiding people, line crashers streamed past us, making the wait a lot longer. There is also a business in which people rent bicycles - often that have to be carried across the border as they have no wheels - and then are allowed to go to the head of the line. When they get across the border they return their bicycles to the owners and go on their way. This leads me to believe that the San Ysidro pedestrian crossing is often quite long.

When we used the cab to the border and walk across approach, we used to cross at Otay Mesa. There was never a line there more than twenty people.

If I have to go NoB Wednesday, I'll try Volaris. Thanks for the suggestion.


Jun 3, 2007, 9:55 AM

Post #7 of 14 (11987 views)


Re: [Oscar2] Volaris TJ to SDiego Bus Service

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Oscar, yes there are economic advantages to flying out of Tijuana. Depending upon the Mexican destination, Volaris can be substantially less expensive. San Diego is my home airport and is serviced by AeroMexico. Prices on AeroMex out of SAN and TIJ are usually very similar, making the drive and border crossing not such an attractive option. However, Volaris and Alma both offer very inexpensive fares inside Mexico that AeroMex and Mexicana don't, can't or won't meet. The airport in San Diego is about 5 miles from the Santa Fe train depot, which would make a connection through San Diego doable. But San Diego isn't the most easily accessible airport so I think it would require a good deal of coordination on the part of the traveler. ExpressJet just started flying a bunch of nonstops into SAN from small or underserved cities, so this might be a new option if you live in a smaller town.

Here's how the Volaris transfer works:

Volaris times their shuttles to their flights to ensure that you won't miss it. Though, with the way the border is these days, they don't guarantee you'll make the flight. Therefore, they require that you be at the Santa Fe depot 3 hours prior to departure.

1. Arrive at the Santa Fe depot 3 hours in advance and purchase your shuttle ticket. I think you can also purchase your plane ticket there as well.
2. Board shuttle for the border. At the border you will be dropped off to clear Mexican customs and, since these are domestic flights, this is where you'll get your FM-T
3. Reboard the Volaris shuttle for the Tijuana airport
4. Arrive at the airport, check-in, board your flight and go.

Coming back-

1. Go to Volaris customer service and they will call their shuttle for you
2. Transport to the border to clear American customs. Even on foot, these days it can take up to an hour to clear American customs at the Tijuana border crossing. That said, I've walked across at midnight and it took all of about 3 minutes.
3. Reboard the Volaris shuttle to the Santa Fe depot.

It used to take only a few minutes to cross the border southbound, but even that's beginning to back up. Reports of waits up to an hour to get into Mexico have been reported. This is not the norm and seems to happen mostly during holidays. The Tijuana border crossing is the busiest crossing in the world, Northbound waits of up to 3 hours are not unusual, though 45-90 minutes seem to be the norm. Pedestrian crossing is quicker, though not always by much.

The Volaris web site, is well done and in both languages and has very specific information regarding the shuttle service. One of the interesting things I've always noticed about flights in and out of Tijuana is that there are a huge amount that are very late at night or after midnight. Volaris' flight schedule is no different. A lot of their flights leave late or in the wee hours of the morning. This is not particularly convenient for me and, frankly, I'm not too wild about traveling through Tijuana at those hours of the night either. Here's the link, the shuttle information is under "Services" and they usually have a box ad for it at the bottom of the page as well. Their prices are phenomenal. $100 USD Tijuana to Morelia is calling my name...


Jun 5, 2007, 6:25 PM

Post #8 of 14 (11960 views)


Re: [Gayla] Volaris TJ to SDiego Bus Service

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Their prices are phenomenal. $100 USD Tijuana to Morelia is calling my name...

Gayla, you must have read my mind because Morelia, Patscuaro and a few other places south is where Iím bound for on my next trip. Iíve explored and stayed a bit in the northern more central cities like Ajijic, Guanajuato, Aguascalientes, SMA, Zacatecas, San Luis PotosŪ, Guad and most of the large beach resorts but not yet Morelia and more southern environs.

Your mention of Morelia seemed to be packaged with a sigh like the ones Iíve heard before. Can it be a bit of this and my natural instinct for travel and discovering more of a land which feeds a need to just be there is really the big draw for me? Or could it also be the antiquity, its structures and its ancient ongoing inhabitants which in someway has a primitive pull with fingertip charms which invitingly dance in your head?

Whatever it is, itís recognizable by many in deferent ways that keeps them coming. Your itinerary from TJ and environs south was well said and with signs of a path well traveled. That bit about waiting at the border is doable although the waiting is a bit questionable. Itís nice having your cake and eating it but I guess the icing comes in the flight savings which can be used effectively elsewhere.

Just out of curiosity, how many times have you made this trek, as described and when was it last you did it? Iíd imagine its best done not carrying to much luggage save your back.

Again, muchas gracias por la informaciůn.

(This post was edited by Oscar2 on Jun 5, 2007, 9:37 PM)


Jun 5, 2007, 9:45 PM

Post #9 of 14 (11942 views)


Re: [Oscar2] Volaris TJ to SDiego Bus Service

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Well Oscar, I'm afraid I must confess. I usually avoid Tijuana at all costs. It's kind of the wild, wild west right now and a little iffy for personal safety these days. The Volaris shuttle is pretty new, it's only been in effect for about 6 months and I have not had the opportunity to try it yet. I was already in Mexico when I first heard about the shuttle this past January. I had considered using Volaris for my trip at the end of March but had purchased that ticket in 2006 because I was traveling during semana santa and needed to book my flights before they were all sold out. I will be going to Mexico again next month but need to fly in and out of D.F. and Volaris flies into Toluca but not D.F. I actually looked at trying to use Volaris for this trip but by the time I priced out the airfare, SD shuttle, DF shuttle and taxi to and from the hotel, there really was very little savings compared to AeroMexico out of San Diego.

Since I do travel to Mexico 3 or 4 times a year I suspect it's really only a matter of time until I finally get to try the Volaris shuttle. The information I posted above is readily available on the Volaris web site. And yes, Morelia is quite a charming city.


Jun 7, 2007, 6:56 PM

Post #10 of 14 (11916 views)


Re: [Gayla] Volaris TJ to SDiego Bus Service

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Does Aeromexico fly directly from Guad to SD?

I'm very fortunate that I flew into TJ Tuesday instead of yesterday and back out today. The teachers on strike closed San Ysidro for three hours in the afternoon and diverted everyone to Otay Mesa. It was impossible to get across at San Ysidro and hours in Otay. Evidently it was even difficult to get across going south.


Jun 7, 2007, 9:14 PM

Post #11 of 14 (11910 views)


Re: [dlyman6500] Volaris TJ to SDiego Bus Service

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No, right now AeroMex only flies Cabo-DF or Loreto -DF from San Diego. I really wish they'd fly SAN - GDL, it would certainly make my life a lot easier.

Yes, traffic on both sides of the border was a disaster yesterday with the teacher's strike. El Presidente changed the rules to their retirement game and they were not happy, perhaps justifiably so. Traffic was backed up for a mile or so on the U.S. side going into Mexico. All traffic was diverted for several hours to Otay. It was front page news in the U/T


Jun 8, 2007, 6:14 AM

Post #12 of 14 (11903 views)


Re: [Gayla] Volaris TJ to SDiego Bus Service

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It is hard to believe that there is no direct Guad to SD service. It seems a natural for some enterprising airline.

My favorite connection is Alaska - Guad to LAX or Seattle and then back to SD.

Another good one is (I forget the airline) Sacramento to Guad To Mexico to PV. My son is going to PV later in the year. I offered to drive him from Guad to PV. I could definitely get him there quicker than the airline would routing him to Mexico.


Jun 8, 2007, 9:29 AM

Post #13 of 14 (11891 views)


Re: [dlyman6500] Volaris TJ to SDiego Bus Service

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All my frequent flier miles are on Alaska, I love their service. But the LAX-GDL flight times are terrible in both directions and it costs almost as much to fly the LAX-SAN leg as a RT ticket to D.F. It has been cheaper to drive to LAX, park in a long term lot there for the duration and then drive home, than take the 50 minute flight.

I'm pretty sure the Sacto - GDL flight is on Mexicana, which does not fly out of SAN, nor does Aviasca. Both fly out of LAX and Las Vegas, but not San Diego. The fastest way to GDL from San Diego - if you don't fly out of Tijuana - is SAN-PHX-GDL on AmericaWest or SAN-IAH-GDL on Continental. Continental is an air partner with Alaska Airlines so I fly Continental most of the time so I can accumulate the air miles. Delta airlines has a once a week flight SAN-SLC-GDL on Thursday that is usually pretty inexpensive, leaves San Diego around 6 AM and arrives in Guadalajara around 2 PM; the connection in Salt Lake City is tight but doable.

Lindbergh Field is 20 mintues from my house, by the time you add in the border crossing and taxi to the Tijuana airport it adds nearly an hour. Add the 3 hours in advance that Volaris uses for their shuttle service and the total travel time is just about the same whether you're leaving out of SAN or TIJ. Airfares on AeroMexico are only a few dollars different out of the 2 airports so it was never really worth the extra time and border crossing hassle to go to TIJ. However, Volaris and Alma both have spectacular pricing out of TIJ which is making the shuttle and border crossing far more attractive.

Over the last 3 years I've probably made 12-15 trips to various parts of Mexico, all but 2 of them out of SAN, the other 2 originated at LAX. By far the easiest, fastest and most cost effective way to get there has been on Continental through IAH - Houston Interncontinental. I've connected through LAX, SFO, PHX, SLC and IAH. I am not fond of SkyHarbor in Phoenix and tend to avoid that, but that's just a personal preference. I've flown, Alaska, Continental, Delta, United, AeroMexico and Mexicana.

After 9/11 AeroMexico discontinued flights out of SAN. Flights to Loreto and Cabo were reinstituted a couple of years ago, both terminate in D.F. These flights are full almost all the time. The Cabo flight leaves at the civilized hour of 9 AM and arrives in D.F. about 2:30 in the afternoon and that includes the layover in Cabo. This past December they started a non-stop SAN-MEX that leaves about 8 AM and gets into D.F. about 1:30 PM. It flies full too. I would imagine that if AeroMexico can continue to fill all these flights that eventually a SAN-GDL flight will materialize. I sure hope so, it would make that entire region of Mexico far more easily reachable than it is now.


Jun 8, 2007, 9:51 AM

Post #14 of 14 (11887 views)


Re: [Gayla] Volaris TJ to SDiego Bus Service

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We're flying Alaska from Guad to LAX later this month for $267 round trip. I doubt there is any way to match that flying into TJ once you consider the hassle of getting across the border - except the rental car approach below.

However, we recently took the same flight. We got on the ground at LAX at 8:45. We left the car rental place at 10:45 and still had 2+ hours to SDiego. When we fly into TJ and rent a car, and cross the border it is usually far less and also less than an hour from North County. Also, on the way back, it is a breeze getting to the TJ airport in less than an hour.

We have found the only practical way to deal with the problem is to rent a car in TJ and drive across the border. The downside is that we then drive a Tsuru around San Diego county and get run off the road by Hummers - which literally happened in Del Mar yesterday - and other monster cars. Lots of one finger salutes also. One good thing, though, is that people tend to be very wary of me, thinking that I'm a Mexican driver and likely to do anything. Only Hertz allows the car to go to the US af far as I know.

Because we are going to have to be in SD a lot in the next few months, we're going to drive a car north and leave it. It will be a lot of fun figuring out how to get back and forth without the rental car. I'm hoping to set up a rotation of family to meet us at the border and drive us north. Either that or I'm looking for a storage lot near the border where we can keep our car when in Ajijic.
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