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Shuttling from San Diego to Tijuana airport.

Reasonable air fares contribute to the good value of a vacation in Mexico. In recent months, many Southern Californians have discovered that by crossing the border to fly to their destinations from Tijuana International Airport, they save even more than if they flew from Los Angeles (LAX). You can reach the Tijuana airport by riding with either of two U.S.-based shuttle services that offer round trips from the San Diego area.

you can reserve flights out of Tijuana through your travel agent or directly with the two airlines that serve the city (Aero-mexico and Mexicana). To determine whether the savings make a Tijuana departure worthwhile, check air fares, then add on your cost to reach San Diego, your taxi fare ($5 to $6) to shuttle pickup points, and the shuttle fare.

Here are examples of comparative roundtrip standard fares: to Mexico City from LAX, $340, from Tijuana, $260; to Guadalajara from LAX, $304 to $350, from Tijuana, $116 to $154; to Cabo San Lucas from LAX, $318 to $358, from Tijuana $220.

Both shuttle services cross the border in lanes reserved for buses. You take your luggage off and go through U.S. Customs and Immigration (about 15 minutes). Tijuana Transportation Service, operating since September, offers shuttles directly from San Diego to the airport.

Round-trip-only fare is $15 from eithe rof two departure points (from north to south): Mission Valley Travel in the Stardust Hotel in Mission Valley's Hotel Circle or the Aeromexico ticker office in the Westgate Hotel in downtown San Diego. IT's $12 from the Gateway TravelLodge in San Ysidro. Vans or buses leave each stop four times daily. Allow for an hour's ride between San Diego and Tijuana airport.

REturn trips from Tijuana airport leave every hour from the dispatch booth outside the baggage claim area.

Reserve at least 24 hours ahead by calling (619) 459-3227 or (800) 854-3913. Mail-order ticket arrangements can be made. Tickets may also be paid for at departure points after 9 A.M.

Mexicoach. Based in the San Diego Amtrak depot (Broadway and Kettner Boulevard), shuttles are timed to coordinate with Amtrak arrivals and departures. The shuttle has two legs: a bus takes you from the depot across teh border, where a waiting yellow cab takes you to the airport. Round-trip fare is $15, one-way fare $10. Ticket coupons are marked for bus and taxi segments. Buses depart the depot seven times daly. Passengers can also be picked up a three points in San Ysidro: VAlli-Hi Motel, International Border TraveLodge, and border Gate RV Park.

From Tijuana airport, you present the "taxi return" portion of the ticket to any cab waiting outside the baggage claim area, then ride to the Mexicoach depot in downtown Tijuana; from there, buses return to the U.S. nine times daily.

For reservations, call (619) 232-5049. Tickets must be purchased at least 15 minutes before departure.
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Date:Feb 1, 1984
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