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Anyone had problems travelling to Mexico transitting the US

York, United Kingdom
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Anyone had problems travelling to Mexico transitting the US

My son was going to Mexico for 6 months travelling with Delta via Atlanta. He got an ESTA which is supposed to be valid for 2 years and for stays of up to 90 days, IN THE US. He went to the airport and checked in, then he was told by DELTA staff he couldn't fly because he was going to be in Mexico for more than 90 days; and Delta were treating Mexico as a US State so he needed a US Visa - even though he was not entering the US.

Is it me?

UK
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1. Re: Anyone had problems travelling to Mexico transitting the US

Unfortunately, this is correct - to be eligible for an ESTA you have to leave North America within 90 days, and that includes Canada and Mexico.

And what do you mean "he was not entering the US"? There is no airside transit in the US. To transit the US you have to go through Immigration, so he would have entered the US.

York, United Kingdom
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2. Re: Anyone had problems travelling to Mexico transitting the US

Thanks very much for that

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Anyone had problems travelling to Mexico transitting the US

Your son needs to find routing that does not go through the States. It's just so much easier overall. Preferably for any destination he want to go to, but certainly to Mexico in this case. He could connect through Canada easily enough. Air Canada from MAN > Toronto > Mexico City, for example.

Limerick, Ireland
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4. Re: Anyone had problems travelling to Mexico transitting the US

Look at Air France 402 fly non -stop from CDG - MEX

Flight departs 16:15 - arrives 20:15

ALL TIMES LOCAL

Edited: 8:03 am, July 19, 2014
Limerick, Ireland
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4,781 posts
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5. Re: Anyone had problems travelling to Mexico transitting the US

You can fly from LBA to either CDG or AMS depending when you travel.

Madrid
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6. Re: Anyone had problems travelling to Mexico transitting the US

I presume Delta was cheaper than the BA nonstop LHR-MEX.This is often the case with indirect flights.Unfortunately they can trigger unexpected consequences as has happened here.Your son will need to book a nonstop flight from Europe to MEX,not using a US carrier.

Fortaleza, CE
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7. Re: Anyone had problems travelling to Mexico transitting the US

Mexico is NOT treated as a U.S. state. Neither is Canada, though similar rules apply. The ESTA rules, including travel to countries to North America, etc., are easily obtainable from the ESTA site, …state.gov/content/…visa-waiver-program.html (scroll down to "Trips to Canada, Mexico, or nearby Islands"). Your son failed to research sufficiently in advance. Not a huge error. Lots of people do the same. Delta merely complied with the regs as written.

Also do a search of "ESTA" on this site and you'll find lots of info, and stories from travelers.

Edited: 9:51 am, July 19, 2014
Fortaleza, CE
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8. Re: Anyone had problems travelling to Mexico transitting the US

p.s. note your son did enter the U.S. when transiting. That's U.S. law, though it confuses many people since many contries don't require visas for a transit under a certain number of hours. A topic regularly discussed here. He would have had to show a visa or proof of ESTA to board a flight to the U.S.

Edited: 9:54 am, July 19, 2014
York, United Kingdom
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9. Re: Anyone had problems travelling to Mexico transitting the US

OK thanks for that everyone - went direct in end

10. Re: Anyone had problems travelling to Mexico transitting the US

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