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Post by asesor on Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:03 am

Canadian and American airlines normally include a "Tourism Tax" on all fares to Mexico. In Canadian dollars the charge is currently about $27.00. This charge does not apply to holders of Resident cards, both permanent and temporary. Nor does it apply to Mexican citizens. Neither Westjet or Air Canada websites offer any information on the fact that residents or citizens are not liable for the charge, or any procedure for obtaining a refund. With the exception of Alaska Airlines , American carriers also appear to ignore the issue. As "Residents" you have already paid your dues to the Mexican government and do not require a "Tourist visa"
When booking flights to Mexico avoid the internet and book by phone directly with the airline. Tell the booking agent that you are a Resident of Mexico and wish a refund of the "Tourism Tax" (It is code (UK) in airline speak). Be prepared to give them the number of you Residency card. You may be met with silence while they consult with their supervisor but persevere, you will get a refund. Travel Agents are also ignorant on this issue.
I have informed the Canadian Snowbirds Association (100,000 members) and I expect their next issue will mention the (UK) charge.
Alaska Airlines handle the refunds very easily. One simply shows their residency card at the Alaska Airline desk at the airport and they then refund the amount back on your credit card.

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Post by DaveP on Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:53 pm

Thepeople who have loved here a while and travel by air are quite used to requesting this refund from the various airlines.
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Post by Playaboy on Thu Aug 20, 2015 3:40 pm

I always have been able to get a refund or just avoid the tourist tax.  It is not as difficult as you make it sound.  

I just finished the procedures outlined online and mailed the required info to Virgin America for my refund.  Delta Airlines processed my refund at the check in desk.  When I fly Volaris I was told by customer service to check the box saying I have a Mexican passport when I enter all my info to print my boarding pass.

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Post by slainte39 on Thu Aug 20, 2015 4:19 pm

Playaboy wrote:I always have been able to get a refund or just avoid the tourist tax.  It is not as difficult as you make it sound.  

I just finished the procedures outlined online and mailed the required info to Virgin America for my refund.  Delta Airlines processed my refund at the check in desk.  When I fly Volaris I was told by customer service to check the box saying I have a Mexican passport when I enter all my info to print my boarding pass.

Some airlines like, British Airways, requires your Mexican passport #, so if you really don't have one, how do you handle that? Make one up?
I assumed they might check the passport #, as they are screening passengers coming into London, but having a valid passport, I don't concern myself about that.
Also I believe any round trip ticket bought, originating in Mexico, and returning to Mexico, would be exempted from the tax, because you are already here, unless there would be a tax assessed to the return portion of the ticket for people who are just tourists.

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Post by Clueless on Fri Aug 21, 2015 7:06 pm

If you book online as indicated by a prior poster, simply use "Mexican" for citizenship. You won't get charged the tax in your final billing.

Some airlines, notably Volaris, simply won't give you the money back; others make you sometimes jump through so many hoops, you get tired and give up. These airlines just keep the money.

I am probably one of the very few people that beat one major airline into submission on this issue, despite the Airline Deregulation Act of 1975, but you who have been around a while, know me and what I received.

Esta es Mexico, and I love living here.




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Post by Nosnow on Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:15 pm

We bought two return tickets to Canada from the local travel agent (in God we Trust)
Paid by credit card for the fares, receipt was issued. Then the agent told us we had to pay an extra 650 pesos from each, in cash.
We were told that this "Fee" was to cover U.S. insurance, because the plane stopped over in Dallas. No receipt for this cash was issued.
I have no clue about this transaction, or even if we are entitled to a rebate.
You might want to ask more questions before the ticket is issued, wish I had.

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Post by Clueless on Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:57 pm

I an reasonably well versed in airline travel and know of no mandatory insurance that is needed with any airline, stopping in USA or otherwise.

I often get trip insurance through Alanze but it is my choice.

And if it's for insurance, then you need to know what coverage, what company and for sure, a copy of something showing you are covered.

And I suggest, as do others, you always get not just a detailed explanation of all your charges, but an itemized receipt.

IMO, no receipt means it's a giveaway from you to the agent/company.
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Post by scooterbum on Sat Aug 22, 2015 2:52 pm

"When booking flights to Mexico avoid the internet and book by phone directly with the airline."

Many US airlines charge a service fee ($25- $35) for booking by calling their reservations number.
I always get the tourist "fee" refunded after the flight using the airline refund process online.

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Post by asesor on Sat Aug 22, 2015 7:06 pm

To clarify the issues raised in "improper airline charges : This has nothing to do with mandatory insurance and nothing to do with US insurance , it refers solely to the "Tourism Tax" charged by Canadian and US airlines on air fares into Mexico. The tax does not apply if one holds a temporary or permanent residency card. No airline I have contacted is clear about the refund procedure except Alaska Airlines. Simply put, if you are a "resident", ask for the refund, you are exempt from the tax. Some airlines checked.
Alaska Air Charges, Policy and refund procedures identified on web
Westjet Charges identified, no refund policy identified, you must ask
Air Canada Charges identified, no refund policy identified you must ask
Delta Charges identified, no Policy for refund except ask Pricing Dept.
American Charges identified, will refund, book by phone and ask for refund
United Charges identified, will refund, book on web then phone with CODE
Virgen Uniformed booking agent suggested contacting US Consulate!!

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Post by Nosnow on Sat Aug 22, 2015 7:24 pm

You are all so knowledgable. How does one go about applying for these refunds, after the fact. Might be too late, almost four months have elapsed.
Yes, we have our Permanent Residence cards, the booking agent was aware that we held this status.
Flights were with U.S.Airways... Canada return to Guadalajara.

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Post by WillieRae on Sat Aug 22, 2015 9:51 pm

You can email US. Airways , Attention refunds...send them your confirmation code and a scanned copy of your RP card ...stating that you are legal residents of Mexico and should not be charged the tax. I'm no longer sure of the time limit for the refund, but it won't hurt to ask for it.

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Post by zenwoodle on Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:41 pm

This reminds me of a Shakespearean play.
"Much Ado About Nothing".
Or $27, whichever meets your criteria. Beer
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Post by Nosnow on Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:01 pm

Zenwoodie, you are probably right, but sometimes it really is the principal of the thing.
Maybe my "Much ado about nothing" post has given someone here a "heads up".
I probably won't pursue this issue, trust has been broken, a good customer lost.
!,300 pesos is not an inconsequential sum.

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Post by Clueless on Sun Aug 23, 2015 5:50 am

Nosnow wrote:Zenwoodie, you are probably right, but sometimes it really is the principal of the thing.
.

I have had my ars chewed out and called the cheapest guy Lakeside on this board many times when I talked (complained) about being cheated over a "small" amount and tried to explain my " Principal (sic) of the thing" reasoning.

Go figure.

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Post by ltollefs on Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:18 am

zenwoodle wrote:This reminds me of a Shakespearean play.
"Much Ado About Nothing".
Or $27, whichever meets your criteria. Beer

My ex-MIL thought it reasonable to drive across town to save 5 cents a pound on apples. The concept of opportunity cost escaped her.
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Post by sparks on Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:24 am

Nosnow wrote:We bought two return tickets to Canada from the local travel agent (in God we Trust)
Paid by credit card for the fares, receipt was issued. Then the agent told us we had to pay an extra 650 pesos from each, in cash.
We were told that this "Fee" was to cover U.S. insurance, because the plane stopped over in Dallas. No receipt for this cash was issued.
I have no clue about this transaction, or even if we are entitled to a rebate.
You might want to ask more questions before the ticket is issued, wish I had.

Travel agent fee ...... buy online !!
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Post by sparks on Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:27 am

Alaska "says" if a RT flight begins in Mexico they don't charge for FMM. I assume that means buying directly from Alaska and not a discount broker
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Post by Playaboy on Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:43 am

Nosnow wrote:You are all so knowledgable. How does one go about applying for these refunds, after the fact. Might be too late, almost four months have elapsed.
Yes, we have our Permanent Residence cards, the booking agent was aware that we held this status.
Flights were with U.S.Airways... Canada return to Guadalajara.

It has been easy for me to get timely refunds from Volaris, Delta, Alaska and Virgin America, all in the last 3 months.

The $20 tourist tax I get refunded, pays for the terrible sandwich, chips and a beer. It is like getting a free meal during your flight. Or it pays for my checked bag.

Why do you have a hard time with this?

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Post by joyfull on Sun Aug 23, 2015 4:26 pm

Nosnow wrote:We bought two return tickets to Canada from the local travel agent (in God we Trust)
Paid by credit card for the fares, receipt was issued. Then the agent told us we had to pay an extra 650 pesos from each, in cash.
We were told that this "Fee" was to cover U.S. insurance, because the plane stopped over in Dallas. No receipt for this cash was issued.
I have no clue about this transaction, or even if we are entitled to a rebate.
You might want to ask more questions before the ticket is issued, wish I had.
if you had to stop at DFW I am assuming American Airlines. I think the travel agent used the wrong word when she said "insurance" I think it was the total fees for stopping at DFW. I'm a former AA ticket agent and fly into DFW all the time. I have to pay a bunch of fees that came to $61.81usd when I flew in June. It always varies some based on the peso/used. This is a copy of the bill I received from AA as a retiree. Sounds like these were the charges you paid, but am not sure why they had to be paid in cash.  The letters XY XA YC XD are codes similar to the UK code for the Mexican Tourist Tax. Took me almost a year and multiple letters to AA so that my husband and I do not get charged the Mexican tourist tax when we travel.

XY  US FEDERAL INSPECTION FEE 7.00
XA  US APHIS USER FEE 5.00
YC  US CUSTOMS USER FEE 5.50
XD  INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT DEPARTURE TAX 44.31
NRSA  NRSA Service Charge 0.00
Total (U.S. Dollars) $61.81
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Post by Nosnow on Mon Aug 24, 2015 12:52 am

Joyful, thanks for this explanation, you covered it very well, and I applaud your persistence.
I also don't understand why we each had to fork up an extra 650 pesos in cash to the agent, and why a receipt wasn't issued.
The explanation given...this is a tax, something to do with the need for airport security after the 9/11 incident, huh?
O.K. I'm finished with this subject.

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