Jul 25, 2012, 4:16 PM
Post #9 of 11
I would humbly disagree with the statement that "TSA is an unavoidable necessity." I, for one, now refuse to play along. If I were going to San Francisco, I would fly there on a one way ticket, avoiding TSA but not Immigration or Customs.
Re: [wearechange] Airport experience in the States
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Then because I am no longer on a fixed schedule, I'd get on Amtrak from either Oakland or San Francisco back to San Diego, take the wonderful SD public shuttle from Old Town to the border, cross the border on foot (no more than a 200-300 yard walk with your luggage), grab a TJ taxi and fly out of Tijuana. Amtrak from SF to San Diego is less than $100, and about a 12 hour trip along the beautiful California coast.
A one way airline ticket from Tijuana to Hermosillo is about US$200, PV about US$275, some to MX City as cheap as US$200 (redeyes). One small way I or anyone else can help to kill the TSA beast is to starve it by not participating.
Flying out of MX:
Up until about 18 months ago, I flew frequently, and never spent more than 5 minutes to get through security in MX City. Same 5 minutes while traveling with a 5 year old. At the same checkpoints, I watched some people get bogged down in the system, spending way too much time there. MX airport security isn't much different than it is in most other countries.
Skip the layered clothes or sweaters and jackets that force you to remove them for scanning. Skip the jewelry and keys and assorted pocket junk and stick it all in your carry-on beforehand. If in doubt about anything, stick it in a tub and send it though the X-ray machine rather than making them ask you to do so, and then waiting for a translator or getting angry.
Take off your shoes and belt unless someone with security signals you that you don't need to do so. If you are traveling with little ones, do the same prep, using tshirts and shoes with velcro or slip-ons. And do all of this BEFORE you get to the X-ray machine's belt - why would you want to force everyone else behind to wait for you?
Get through MX security when there is no one else there. If you wait until the times when many flights are leaving at the same time (cycles spaced about 3 hours apart) to go through security, you will be in a line. That line seemed to start forming about 90 minutes before the flight cycle so get in there before that time and relax. Bring a book along.
In MX City's airport, it's a lot more comfortable inside the secured zone than outside. Keep your boarding pass and your passport in your hand all the way through security. If you don't speak Spanish, just hold them out whenever you see a uniform. They'll do the rest. They'll check it several times.
Once you are inside, don't try to buy softdrinks or water in the shops there to take with you on the plane - in MX, they usually won't allow those liquids to enter at the gate either. Drink anything you need as you wait, and toss the rest before the final checkpoint at the gate and boarding.
(This post was edited by GringoCArlos on Jul 25, 2012, 4:26 PM)