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New Terminal 2 at MEX

New Terminal 2 at MEX

Old Jan 5, 08, 11:00 pm
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: WAS
Programs: enjoyed being warm spit for a few years on CO/UA but now nothing :(
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New Terminal 2 at MEX

thought I would share some observations of the new T2 at MEX after my Xmas vacation at the in-laws:

The new terminal is architecturally very nice. In polar contrast to the old terminal, this is modern, huge, bright, airy, tons of natural light - everything is white except for the carpets. Just plain nice to walk around in. Signage is generally good.

However - while they are taking planes it is not yet ready for primetime.


Arriving:

There are only taxi's at the new terminal. All of the hotel shuttles and the very convenient and cheap buses to other parts of Mexico are located at the old terminal. Most locals in personal vehicles do not know how to get to the new terminal either. In order to get over to the old terminal one must take a taxi or the free new "Aero-Train" or the airport shuttle bus. All in all a little inconvenient but a not unpleasant experience since it is not crowded and well organized.

In the old terminal one can purchase at the Duty Free once passing through immigration. Unfortunately, not so at T2 as there are no shops in the arrival areas.

Departing: Now, this is a different story.

1. My wife and I took the $10 90-minute bus (highly recommended, highly convenient) from Toluca where her parents live. It drops you off in the bus terminal on the lower level of the old terminal. We then walked halfway across the old terminal to the DL/CO/SkyTeam check-in counter area only to find that DL has relocated to the new terminal. In order to get there we must take the free AeroTrain or pay for a taxi (the free shuttle buses were not running). Of course the train is back at the other end of the terminal.

2. After schlepping to the other end we are informed that although it is just the shuttle from one terminal to another BEFORE going through security, only ticketed pax are allowed to take to the aero-train. Further, only pax are allowed in the new terminal. Therefore, my wife (she lives/works in mexico) was not allowed to accompany me to the new terminal. Since I had 3 hours before the flight, this was not appreciated. She leaves and I take the train.

3. The train itself is a cable-driven affair that runs in a semi-circle at ground level around one end of the airport; takes about 10 minutes from stop to stop. They have a LED signs with arrival times; announcements are in spanish and english, although the english announcer sounds a bit condescending and bored.

4. Easy walk from the train to the check in counters until you reach the glass sliding doors to enter the actual check-in area. There are 3 sets of doors - 1 entry and 2 exit. None of which are clearly marked so it is quite easy to mistakenly enter through the exit which the lady in front of me did. Only to have the doors try to cut her in half as they closed. boy, was she pissed. I tried to enter through them also (since they arent marked as exit only) only I have to fight with them to get them to open. Two couples off to the side seemed to enjoy the show of folks fighting with the doors. Note to self: next time USE THE MIDDLE DOORS to enter.

5. While the terminal building is constructed the interior build out is only about 85-90% complete. Before going through passport control and security the only shop I managed to find was a mini 7-11 store, which is really very small and barely big enough to walk in (they are building out the big store). The 7-11 had the only ATM I could find.

6. After security there are only three restaurants open - two local names and a Chili's. I didnt eat at any although I did get two very reasonably priced $3 beers; excellent service, though.

7. there are only three shops open; there is NO Duty Free (yet). One is in the main hall away from the gates selling the usual too expensive souvenirs; one is the regular sundry shop (with the top 10 NYT Best Sellers in English at $12 ea) and one is an absolutely beautiful Michal Negrin jewelry store.

8. One very disappointing feature for a brand new terminal is the absolute absence of electric outlets. Its like going on a snipe hunt to find an accessible outlet. Unless they are going to put in "power stations" similar to LAX I find this a tremendous oversight.

9. Waiting areas at the gates are large and seats plentiful. Arrival/Departure signs are plentiful and easy to read.

10. The Elite lounges are up one floor from the main floor. The only lounge so far is the Mexicana lounge but it is not open yet; they did let me walk around and check it out. Very attractive and they have provided laptops at about 10-15 stations for internet access. They also provide a large conference table but I do not understand why it was in the middle of the lounge and not in a separate room. oh well. looked to be about 2 months from fully ready to open.

11. One very good thing is they had lots of staff available for questions who confirmed that only ticketed pax can use the aero-train. However, ANYONE can enter the terminal (just like everywhere else), they just have to arrive by taxi or personal vehicle. There will also be plenty of public parking, many shops and restaurants as well as a hotel in the new terminal PRIOR to security. Unfortunately they could not give any estimate on when those areas would be ready. I expect by the end of the year.

DL seems to be the only early adopter of the new terminal. Hopefully CO will wait until they are truly ready for prime-time. It will be nice when its fully open. Until then be prepared to have less than desirable amenities.
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