When you purchase a flight to Mexico, one of the taxes that will be charges automatically is the Mexico Tourism Tax.

It’s normally about 500 pesos (about $25 USD).

For example, here’s a receipt from a recent flight showing the taxes and fees:

Flight Taxes

But, if you have Temporary or Permanent residency in Mexico, you’re exempt from this tax. You can request a refund from the airlines, and they’ll credit that money back to you. Sweet!

Mexico Tourism Tax exemptions

American Airlines, on their Tax Exemptions page, says that the following people are eligible for a a refund:

  • Mexican citizen (Passport)
  • Resident of Mexico (permanent or temporary) holding a Mexico Visa
  • Infant under the age of two
  • Diplomat
  • Transit/transfer passenger remaining less than 24 hours in Mexico; passengers stopping over in Mexico aren’t entitled to a refund

Since Elizabeth and I are permanent residents of Mexico, we’re eligible for a refund of these taxes.

Personal Experiences

Over the past year, I’ve flown three different airlines into Mexico (Delta, Southwest, and American), and I’ve received a refund on from all three of them. Some airlines make it easier than others to get a refund.

Normally, they ask for proof of residency. Each time I’ve submitted a picture of my Mexico Permanent Resident card (front and back), and that’s all the information they’ve needed.

 

American Airlines

American has a page on their website where you can request a refund. You can also check the status of a refund.

My last refund from them was completed in 7 days. Super easy.

 

Southwest

To get my refund I had to email them. In the email I explained that I am requesting a refund for the Mexico Tourism taxes paid on a recent flight, as I am a permanent resident of Mexico, and am therefore entitled to a refund of these taxes.

Send the email to: RefundsDox@wnco.com

Include the following:

  • Passenger Name
  • Confirmation Number
  • Ticket number
  • Documentation of exemption status (I sent a pic of my permanent residency card)

My refund was received within a couple weeks. Again, super easy.

 

Delta

Delta has a section for refunds on their Legal Notices page. They link to a page where you can request a refund online, but I couldn’t get it to work. IIRC, it wouldn’t recognize my ticket number.

So I called up their customer service line. It took a while, as the woman I spoke with initially told me it wasn’t possible to get a refund, but after some back and forth, and about 30 minutes, it got resolved, and they told me my refund would be coming soon. Interestingly, they didn’t request any proof of Mexico residency.

After a few days, I received a confirmation email that my refund was processed. A couple days later, the credit showed up on my credit card.

Additional Resources

Grant (over at the Travel with Grant blog) has a good write-up of getting refunds with other airlines as well.

Wrap Up

Depending on the airline, the level of difficulty in getting a refund is varied. But, it’s definitely worth it. Especially when you travel with a spouse or partner and double your refund to 1000 pesos (about $50 USD). 1000 pesos buys a lot of tacos here in Puerto Morelos!

Buena Suerte!

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