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  • Rachel Olsen

Airline Services at Mazatlan's Rafael Buelna Int'l Airport

For me, arriving at my warm winter escape destination has always been one of the best feelings ever! Knowing that when you step off the plane, you will be instantly engulfed in humid, tropical air and fierce rays of sun. I love seeing people on the plane about an hour before landing, heading into the bathroom to change from their jeans and sweatshirts into shorts and hawaiian style shirts! The sunglasses come out, the straw hats go on, and you my friend, are ready for your vacation! Mazatlan's International airport is one of the smaller ones in Mexico, but who likes big airports anyway? With a whole of one terminal, serving concourses A and B, the Rafael Buelna airport serves hundreds of thousands of travelers every year. Located just 20 minutes from town, the Rafael Buelna airport is relatively easy to get to. A new freeway will also soon be connecting the airport with Marina Mazatlan and Nuevo Mazatlan, making the trip from these northern parts of town much shorter. With only one terminal, it's pretty easy to find where you are going, and there are stores, small kiosks and restaurants to keep you occupied while you wait. The fast-food joint, Carl's Jr. opened up on the upper level a couple years ago, and has been a huge hit ever since. I have even heard that some die-hard fans will drive all the way to the airport just to get their burger and fry fix! Not really my style...but interesting non-the-less.

Rafael Buelna serves several airlines in scheduled flights as well as seasonal international and national charters. International airlines include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, Sun Country, Sunwing, U.S. Airways, United Airlines and West Jet, with the most popular connecting cities being Phoenix, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Vancouver, Calgary, Minneapolis and Edmonton. Charters typically run from November through until March or April, which is Mazatlan's busiest foreign tourist season.

Currently, a taxi from the airport to your hotel will cost approximately $300 pesos or $30 Dlls. Only designated "airport taxis" can take passengers from the aiport into the city, so the rates are standard, and tickets can be purchased just outside the airport doors. Shared shuttles can be taken for less, but these only head out once there are enough people on-board to fill the shuttle, and you will generally make stops at several hotels before arriving at your own...unless of course you are first on the drop-off list! Car rental agencies such as Alamo, Hurtz, Europcar, National and Budget, are also located within the airport if you would prefer to have a car during your stay.

Be careful of the sales people who will try to get your attention just as you have had your bags checked by customs and are in your final approach to exiting the airport. These are not bad people by any means, but they are relentless in their sales approach, and unless you want to spend your first days in Mazatlan viewing time-shares, it's best to just smile and walk on by. After-all, your vacation awaits!

Welcome to Mazatlan! Rachel Olsen

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