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Despite the low prices causing what he estimates to be a 20 percent increase in passengers on intra-Mexico flights, Cruz says, “The travel-agency industry has been badly affected, because even though there has been a big increase in passengers, the customers themselves have more resources to buy tickets on their own, particularly the Internet. And the fares are low, so my commission is low.”

Asked how he survives while half the travel agencies in Tijuana have closed in the last four years, Cruz laughs. “I can’t give away my secrets,” he says, and adds, when the last chuckle subsides, “Travel agencies must modernize themselves. The ones that haven’t updated themselves and added all of the modern technology and Internet connections are going to fail.”

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Darren April 24, 2008 @ 1:36 a.m.

Johnny Vegas, I think you could be scaring people. I know many people who have flown out of TJ with ZERO problems, no shake-down, not money taken.


JohnnyVegas April 23, 2008 @ 4:30 p.m.

I would NEVER use a Mexican airline flying out of TJ or any other Mexicn location.

The Police/Federalies will shake you down at the airport if you even have a scent of cash or money, or you are American.

Too much downside for the small savings you can get.

NEVER us a Mexican Airline unless it is flying out of the States.


Ponzi April 23, 2008 @ 5:56 p.m.

Well right now the flights will be cheaper out of Mexico because their government setsfuel prices.


JohnnyVegas April 23, 2008 @ 7:19 p.m.

The flights may be cheaper, but when the dirty TJ cops shake you down for all the money you have you will be out many times the money you save on the ticket.


JohnnyVegas April 24, 2008 @ 8:29 a.m.

Darren, I can tell you the shake downs do happen, and because of it I would warn everyone that they better beware, and ready, of such actions.

It is no different from driving a car in Mexico and getting pulled over for no reason (besides the fact you have American plates) and being told you violated some bogus traffic law and it will take a $40 payment, in cash and on the spot, to leave. That happenes to virtually every American who drives in Mexico, why would you think it is any different for air travel?If anything the shake down would be more prevelant at the airport because air travelers would appear to be of more means.

Mexico is a highly corrupt country, where 50 families own 90% of the wealth and over half of it's 110 million residents live in poverty- it got that way for a good reason.

Shake downs of Americans are a way of life in Mexico.


Joaquin_de_la_Mesa April 24, 2008 @ 10:27 a.m.

Johnny, I've been driving into Mexico for ten years now. Never even been pulled over. I have friends who have, of course, but my point is, it's not universal. BTW, it 10% of the people who own 90% of the wealth.


Darren April 25, 2008 @ 2:59 a.m.

Hi JohnnyVegas,

I appreciate the cautions. I usually don't drive down there. I use to drive a Jetta there and was not bothered. I had to drive an expensive kind of car for some clients (transporting them), and I was shaken down for some money, and paid it, for illegally parking. I think it was $40 to 2 state officers. I understand/respect their system/traditions/customs. At least I don't go into a FED/STATE/LOCAL databases like here, for a traffic infraction. There is corruption, and now lots of turf wars with violence against mostly foe elements, but also some innocents getting caught in crossfire. Some Americans are getting kidnapped, that is true. I believe though the percentage is fairly low. I use to take a friend down there, she was getting some medical care, and I'm gringo she Mexican. I never had any problems although I walked into TJ, parking my car on this side of border. Honestly with the corruption, I believe we have it widespread here too. Look at the pensions that have been robbed. Look at DUI checkpoints where we are sold they are for DUIs but the cop stats show that most the cars impounded have nothing to do with DUI. A father who missed a child support pymt. to the courts, he is subject to having his car impounded/towed at a DUI checkpoint. If that is not corruption, besides a breach of our 4th Amendment rights, I don't know what else is.

My friend has flown on the airlines out of TJ on many occasions to her hometown down farther in Mexico. She has never had any problems with airline service, schedule, reliability.


Joe May 1, 2008 @ 5:32 p.m.

Hi Johnny Vegas,

Let me tell you that in my experience the new Mexican carriers have really changed air travel in Mexico.

For example Volaris has a shuttle service in and out of downtown San Diego which takes away all the hassle of driving into TJ. This service is only for Volaris' customers and you can buy it on line at their web page for only $15 each way.

Once in TJ you can experience flying on brand new planes with on board entertainment and free snacks and drinks (even a good tequila is complimentary).

They have tons of destinations and they even offer an on-time guarantee! If the flight arrives more than 30 minutes after its scheduled time, you get a credit for the whole amount you paid for that trip which you can use in the next 90 days. I have not seen any other airline that offers that in the US or Mexico.

Try it and change the way you feel about flying from TJ!


kishoreseo Oct. 22, 2009 @ 11:02 p.m.

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David Dodd Oct. 22, 2009 @ 11:10 p.m.

Johnny, feel free not to come to Mexico ever, fine with us.

For everyone else, he's wrong. If you can save some cash flying out of Tijuana, you should. The cops and Federal Officers are not going to "shake you down", they're sort of busy at the moment fighting the drug cartels. Your options at getting to the airport are many. My advice is to leave the car at home and take the trolley to the border. Cross, and either go into Downtown Tijuana or else go right upon entering Mexico and get a cab. Your fare to the airport (aeropuerto) should be ten dollars (generous for both parties), negotiate it beforehand.

And, take a passport.


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