What is CBX? Cross Border XPress is a convenient and easy border crossing directly into the Tijuana Airport from the United States. That makes the Tijuana Airport super accessible for US residents and oftentimes more convenient than San Diego International Airport.
Here are some of the top reasons why you should consider using Cross Border Xpress to fly out of Tijuana next time:
Flights can be a lot cheaper!
If you are flying to any destination in Mexico, chances are high that flights from Tijuana will be a lot cheaper. And I mean A LOT CHEAPER!
I saw price differences of more than 60% on some flights when I recently checked for flights to Cabo. A friend of mine saved 75% flying from La Paz to Tijuana vs La Paz to San Diego. Pretty crazy, right? Flying out of Tijuana makes it a domestic trip (duh), and so taxes and airport fees are usually a lot lower.
Tijuana also offers a direct flight to Phoenix, so it is worth checking if flights from Tijuana are cheaper. While this is currently their only direct flight internationally, many destinations in South America can be reached by a quick stopover in Mexico City and offer significant savings.
Immigration is a breeze! Fastest Border Crossing Option between San Diego & Tijuana!
When I flew from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas earlier this year, immigration at the airport in Cabo took forever. I stood in line for at least one hour, and I was told that this was pretty short and lines are usually even longer. Not the most relaxing way to start a vacation, right?
When you use CBX, you go through immigration BEFORE your flight, which is usually a LOT quicker. When I flew out of Tijuana last time, I had two people in the line in front of me, and that was because they were in my group, haha. It took less than 5 minutes to go through immigration at Cross Border Xpress. At my final destination in Tepic, Nayarit, all I had to do was grab my bag and go. So much easier and faster, and a lot less stressful!!!
Coming back was almost as quick. Immigration back into the US (with Global Entry) was a breeze. It took me about 25 minutes to get from the plane to my car, and my bag took a while to come out.
Important: While CBX is the fastest border crossing between San Diego and Tijuana, you cannot use this crossing without flying into/out of Tijuana Airport. Even then, you have to cross the border within 2 hours of your flight and cannot leave the Tijuana Airport before crossing back into the United States.
Small & Easy to Navigate Airport!
The Tijuana Airport is small and easy to navigate. There are currently 25 gates, so you get to your gate in no time. However, you still have the amenities most airports offer, including coffee shops, restaurants, a little shopping, duty-free, and airport lounges.
While the San Diego Airport is bursting at its seams, the Tijuana Airport is currently running at half the capacity it is designed for. That makes for a much more pleasant airport experience.
Parking at Cross Border Xpress is Cheaper, too!
I recently read in an article that San Diego Airport Parking is among the most expensive in the country, and I have no doubt believing that. On-site parking starts at $32/day, and Valet is $40/day. If you park off-site, you have to deal with catching a shuttle, adding even more time and hassle to your travel day, and still pay $15+/day.
At Cross Border Xpress (CBX), on-site parking starts at $20/day and Valet is $33/day (at the time of writing). Check the prices here>>
I used Valet for my last flight, and it was so convenient. I dropped off my car in less than 30 seconds, and when I returned a few days later, my car was already waiting for me.
CBX Shuttle From Downtown, San Ysidro & Other Locations!
If you don’t want to park your car at Cross Border Xpress, you can use the CBX Shuttle. You can catch the shuttle from Santa Fe Depot or the San Ysidro Transit Station, and it runs every 1-2 hours between 8 AM – 8 PM. Check the timetable here>>
Other shuttle destinations include Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Sacramento, Las Vegas, El Paso, and Phoenix. There are dozens of stops along those routes as well, so check the details here>>
At first, I was a bit hesitant about using CBX and flying from Tijuana. Would it be worth all this hassle? But from now on, this will be my first choice for all my trips to Mexico.
I live less than 3 miles from the San Diego Airport, but with all the traffic in downtown and construction going on, it is so stressful to get there. Driving down to Otay Mesa was almost as quick, at least when I went early in the morning.
Add in the cheaper tickets and parking, faster immigration, and small airport and I am sold. I just wish I could fly (conveniently) to Europe from there, and I would be using the Tijuana Airport for all my flights! So hey, Tijuana Airport people, if you are reading this: Can you please add a direct flight to Frankfurt?
If you are flying anywhere in Mexico, I would highly recommend flying out of Tijuana next time and using Cross Border Xpress. You will most likely save money and time and get there less stressed. I can’t wait to use it again in a few weeks when Greg and I head to Mexico City!