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MEX 21 hr Layover in December with kids

MEX 21 hr Layover in December with kids

Old Feb 14, 20, 12:34 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2010
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MEX 21 hr Layover in December with kids

Hello, I'll be flying to MEX in December 2020 with the wife and kids, two boys, 7 and 5. I got a good deal on business class tickets for the 4 of us but it requires a layover in MEX for 21 hours. I was hoping I could get some advice about a few different things. Any info would be great actually. I've read through the forums and
other sites but information seems outdated or not really relevant to my situation.

I'll be flying AeroMexico from YUL to MEX and lading around 4:00pm do I have to get my bags?
I see there're tons of lounges in MEX and since I'll fly business I'm assuming I'll have access to the airline lounges, any particular one that is better?
I read in other places that the area where the airport is, is very dangerous? Is this still the case?
Ideally I would want to stay in one of the hotels connected to the airport, anyone in particular that is better or more family friendly?
How is customs and security any advice to make that go faster?
IF we do leave the airport is there any quick kid friendly activity recommended?

Thank you,
monchito is offline  
Old Feb 14, 20, 2:41 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by monchito View Post
Hello, I'll be flying to MEX in December 2020 with the wife and kids, two boys, 7 and 5. I got a good deal on business class tickets for the 4 of us but it requires a layover in MEX for 21 hours. I was hoping I could get some advice about a few different things. Any info would be great actually. I've read through the forums and
other sites but information seems outdated or not really relevant to my situation.

I'll be flying AeroMexico from YUL to MEX and lading around 4:00pm do I have to get my bags?
I see there're tons of lounges in MEX and since I'll fly business I'm assuming I'll have access to the airline lounges, any particular one that is better?
I read in other places that the area where the airport is, is very dangerous? Is this still the case?
Ideally I would want to stay in one of the hotels connected to the airport, anyone in particular that is better or more family friendly?
How is customs and security any advice to make that go faster?
IF we do leave the airport is there any quick kid friendly activity recommended?

Thank you,
21 hours? Well, I'd make sure they "short check" your bags @ MEX so you can pick them up there and have your stuff for the night.
The NH hotel is inside Terminal 2 - very convenient, and a short (albeit a bit confusing) walk after you leave customs with your luggage.
Immigration can have very long lines. Customs is generally quick as luggage has already been "pre-inspected" before you even see it.

There's nothing of family-friendly tourist note near the airport that you'd want to see. Traffic from and to the airport can be nightmarish at times. So, while I'd generally recommend heading into the city for a good dinner and a nice walk around, and then a morning activity, with the kids and with your time constraint (i.e., you'd want to head back to the airport about 3 hours prior to departure), I'd just stick around the hotel. 21 ground hours will turn into say, an hour for immigration/customs, another 60 minutes for getting a car service and to a city hotel, another 30+ to settle in, 8 hours sleep, and then leaving 3 hours prior to the connecting flight.

As far as airport lounges, I have spent too much time in MEX T2. The AM lounges are generally overcrowded with a crappy food selection. There is one exception, and that is the Heineken Terrace in T2 - it is an AM lounge, and is way way way at the far end of the terminal, past the commuter gates. But it is bright, airy, and I've never seen it overcrowded. That said, the food selection is really poor. When I want some peace y quiet, and coffee or water, or maybe a glass of wine, I'll head out there (maybe a 10 minute walk out of your way).

The AX lounge is ok - with a Platinum card there's a small free menu. Otherwise everything is pay for. It also gets quite crowded, sometimes with a line to get in.

Security lines aren't usually too bad. But make sure any and all of your hand luggage is tagged with hand luggage tags @ YUL. At times, T2 security won't let you through with untagged hand luggage.
RFNJ and pstm91 like this.
Eastbay1K is offline  
Old Feb 18, 20, 5:44 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: New Jersey
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I have found with Aeromexico if your connection is more than 6 hours, you HAVE to take your checked bag, and recheck it before the next flight. I often end up with a 8-10 hour overnight connection, and the check in counter always says the same thing.

I second everything else EastBay1k says.

I like the NH hotel. It is most convenient, clean rooms. I have never eaten anything there, so I don't know about the food.
The Amex lounge also has a small play area which might work for your 5 year old.
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Old Feb 18, 20, 8:27 am
  #4  
 
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Since you are landing around 4pm, I suggest getting a hotel room at/nearby the airport and then taking the family to the Zocalo (a.k.a. Plaza de la Constitucion). It is a wonderful place at Christmastime for kids and adults alike with performances (organized and street performers), activities (IIRC there is annually public ice-skating rink and snow tubing facility!) and of course a wonderful holiday light display. Some years there is a 40-50 foot Christmas tree. As a primary tourist attraction for the City it is very safe for young and old. In addition, you should be able to go inside one of the city's main cathedrals (Sagrario Metropolitano). The Zocalo is a little less than 8km from the airport, typically a 30 minute taxi ride.

If you are confident travelers and early risers, in the morning you should go to Chapultepec Park. It is about 13km from the airport (typically about 50 minutes) from the airport. Lots of iconic Mexican things to see there, even for the kids and just a few hours. Walk around the old Presidential Palace/Castle which is now the National History Museum and take in the fabulous views of the city, rent a paddle boat on the big lake, take in the fabulous zoo or visit the world class Anthropology Museum (although that will not be as big a hit with young kids - I know from experience). Head back to the hotel/airport at noon and you will be at your gate with plenty of time to spare.

A lot to do and see in MEX in 21 hours - it would be a shame to spend most of it in a hotel.....
Section 107 is offline  
Old Mar 3, 20, 3:05 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
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Landing in MEX at 4PM with 21 hours layover, I recommend you taking an hotel near the city center. You can try Reforma district, it's safe and clean. Take Uber from airport to there, it's safe and cheap. Try to arrange a late check out.
Check out Plaza de la Constitucion, Chapultepec park/castle, safe and worth visiting.

Airports hotels at MEX are pretty sad and nothing exceptional, I won't recommend staying there with kids, not for safety problems, because they are connected to the terminals and perfectly safe, but mostly because they are overpriced and boring.
IstKong is offline  
Old Mar 7, 20, 7:21 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
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I agree with everything EastBay1K said, but... I am someone who hates hanging around the airport. While everything he said is totally accurate, you should have plenty of time to have an evening and morning walking around Mexico City if you grab your bags and immediately head out of the airport to a hotel. How much you see will just depend on your family and how much energy you guys have.

Customs/Immigration lines can be very long at MEX, but I've never had any issues. I've also had them shuttle me through their electronic kiosks section, which I still don't really understand how/why, but if they offer it to you, take it. You'll be through in 5 minutes.
pstm91 is offline  

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