Published on August 9th, 2016 | by Mark Chesnut


AIRLINE REVIEW: American Airlines Boeing 737, Cancun to JFK

During my most recent trip to Cancun (to check out the all-inclusive Royalton Riviera Cancun resort for a report in TravelAge West), I flew American Airlines nonstop, from and to New York City. This is a review of my airport and flight experience from Mexico‘s biggest tourism destination to the Big Apple.

THE ROUTE: Cancun International Airport (CUN) to New York City/John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK); Boeing 737; economy class; 3 hours, 30 minutes

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THE DEPARTURE: It’s only about 15 to 20 minutes by car from the Royalton Riviera Cancun hotel to the Cancun airport, which makes for an easy transfer (especially appreciated on a very early morning flight like this one). Since I had only carry-on luggage, check-in was easy. There was no line for the airport’s generic, multi-airline kiosks, so I was checked in within five minutes. The security line took about 15 minutes; the screening here does not require for shoes to be removed, but computers do have to be taken off and liquids have to fit into the usual little bag, as in the United States.

The departure area of Terminal 3 at the Cancun airport has recently been expanded, with several new gates, an expanded food court (still with Johnny Rocket’s) and a new sit-down restaurant, Guy Fieri’s Kitchen, and some new retail shops, including Pineda Covalini (pricey scarves, women’s clothing and accessories) and Rogers Leather Boutique (guess what: it sells leather). The most unique shop in the terminal continues to be Prison Art, which features tattoo-inspired artwork, created by incarcerated people, on purses, clothing and accessories. Boarding was on time.

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THE AIRCRAFT: I was happy to find that this American Airlines Boeing 737 had been refurbished, with the Boeing Sky Interior (that means new ceilings and mood lighting, among other things). The seats were rather new too; the headrests had “wings” (good for resting my fat head while I try to sleep), and the seat-back entertainment system included personal video screens and electrical outlets (my American Airlines flight from JFK down to Cancun didn’t have this updated interior, so I was relieved to be able to charge my phone on the way home).

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IN-FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT & AIRLINE FOOD: The seat-back video screens offered a wide variety of free movies and TV. Free nonalcoholic beverages and Biscoff cookies were offered by the flight attendants, and they sold a small variety of snack food (I bought the cheese and crackers).

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THE ARRIVAL: We landed early at JFK airport, and since I had no checked bag, I proceeded quickly through Global Entry and took the AirTrain


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About the Author

The founder and editor of, Mark has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and manager. He's worked with some of the biggest consumer, in-flight and travel trade publishers that cover Latin America.

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