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Traffic-light lottery to end for airport arrivals

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The light every traveler prays for when reaching Customs in Mexico. Photo: Flickr


After a long journey to Mexico, the last thing a traveler wants to do is play games. And that includes the Mexican Customs’ “traffic light lottery.”

So airports are gradually phasing out of red and green lights that randomly select people for a grim baggage search. Customs officials will rely on x-ray scanners to select which luggage should be opened and sorted through.

Right now, the drill for airport arrivals is to wait in line at customs, claim bags at the conveyor belt, and just before the finish line, press a large plastic button at Customs. For most travelers, this triggers a green light, but the red one flashes at an unlucky minority. They have their bags opened and rifled through for items that may require duty.

The changeover starts at Mexico City’s Terminal 2, and includes the elimination of Customs declarations forms.

Baggage will be scanned by x-ray while transit between planes and baggage carousels in coordination with the Federal Police.

The new system will eventually be rolled out at Terminal 1 in Mexico City and at the international airports in Cancún, Los Cabos, Guadalajara and Monterrey, through which 85% of international travelers arrive in Mexico. Mérida’s airport has not been mentioned in the program, although all international terminals will be included over time.

Source: El Universal

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