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10 Things You Should Know about the Guadalajara Airport

by Lindsay MacDonnell on March 10, 2011

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Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costillo International Airport (GDL) yikes, even the name sounds confusing! When arriving at an unfamiliar airport, it’s important to know airport information before arriving. Guadalajara is no exception.

I’ve listed 10 things you should know BEFORE you land in Guadalajara. These tips can make your Guadalajaran vacation as pleasant as possible from the minute you get there.

1.  The Guadalajara Airport is 13 Miles Southeast of Guadalajara

It’s always a safe (and easy!) practice when traveling to know your orientation in your visiting city. The airport, your hotel, and popular attractions are good locations to have in your mental map of Guadalajara.

And don’t worry, both domestic and international flights leave from the same place.

2. There are Many Options for Airport Transportation

Before landing, you should have decided what mode of transportation will get you from the airport to your first Guadalajara destination, most likely your hotel.

At the airport, you have a variety of car rental companies to chose from including Hertz, Europcar, Thrifty, and many other local agencies.

Authorized taxis are available for hire within the airport and prices are negotiated at the counter. These authorized taxis are the only ones admitted in the airport transit sytem.

If you want something even more economical, there is a bus (known locally asservicio colectivo) that goes from the arrivals terminal to Guadalajara’s historic center.

3.  The Guadalajara Airport has 14 Restaurants

These restaurants range from the quick grab-and-go of Burger King to the relaxed, sit-down feel of La Pausa.

A couple of these restaurants can accommodate your food and beverage need at any hour. The locations open 24/7 are El Quijote II and Fronteras Bar.

4.  You Can Get Free Wi-Fi

You can find free Wi-fi at the Guadalajara Airport. Starbucks and Wings both have free Wi-fi with a purchase.

Guadalajara Coffee Drink

So just grab a java or some wings, enter the code on the back of your receipt, and you got the world-wide web!

5.  There are a variety of Airport Amenities

It’s always good to arrive 3 hours before an international flight. This leaves you with just enough time to enjoy all the amenities of the Guadalajara airport.

Two words: Duty Free. Along with a few souvenir shops, this is where you can find the best perfumes, gifts, and fashion. What separates this duty-free from others is the extensive selection of Tequila.

If you want to de-stress before you start your vacation or before you head back home, there is a massage parlor that offers massages and spa treatments including manicures, pedicures, and facials.

American Express cardholders also have the luxury of visiting the VIP lounge with a full bar.

6.  There are several ATMs and Locations to Exchange Money

If Guadalajara is your first Mexican destination, you may not have any local currency. Not all tourist locations take US dollars. It’s always good to have some local currency with you. This can conveniently be done at the airport.

The Guadalajara airport has several ATM’s as well as a center for currency exchanges even though you may not get the best rates.
Guadalajara Airport Information

7.  The Terminal has a Tourist Agency

If you didn’t do all your planning and booking before leaving, it may be helpful to talk to a travel agent when you arrive.

American Tours can give you local information on  events, deals, and promotions. You may not want to book with them, but it’s smart to know what’s being offered.

8.  You can Add Convenience by Staying at an Airport Hotel

Take away some of the stress of traveling by conveniently spending your first or last night close to the airport.

Hotel Casagrande is a five-star hotel located in the airport and has several standard rooms and suites. The hotel has conference rooms, spa amenities, elegant dining area and restaurant, and a full-service concierge.

There is also a Hampton Inn 1 block north on highway 44.

9.  Luggage Issues Can be Avoided with Proper Planning

Many people want to know what the weight restrictions are for flying to Guadalajara. Contact your airline as policies vary.

It is wise to note that some airlines are charging for excess weight of carry-on.

Everyone knows what a pain customs can be.  Customs will ask you to declare if you have any of the following:

  • More than $20,000 USD
  • Live flowers, animals, or vegetables
  • Firearms and/or cartridges
  • Goods subject to taxes

10.  There are MANY Airlines Serving the Guadalajara Airport

The Guadalajara airport is the third busiest airport in Mexico. There’s only 2 terminals, but you have many airlines to chose from.  These include:

  • Aeromexico
  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • American Eagle Inc.
  • Continental Airlines
  • Copa Airlines
  • Delta Airlines
  • Interjet
  • Magnicharters
  • VivaAerobus
  • Volaris
  • Copa Airlines

Ever had a great (or horrible!) experience in the Guadalajara airport? We want to hear about it!

Lindsay MacDonnell
View all posts by Lindsay MacDonnell

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