Published on July 3rd, 2016 | by Mark Chesnut
AIRLINE REVIEW: American Airlines Boeing 737, DFW to Mexico City
On my most recent trip to Mexico City (one of my favorite places on earth; you’ll be reading more about my latest discoveries there), I had to depart from New Orleans, where I was working on writing custom content for IPW, the U.S. Travel Association’s big annual tourism conference. New Orleans isn’t big on international flights to Mexico City, unfortunately, so I flew American Airlines with a change of planes in Dallas/Fort Worth. This is a review of my airline travel experience on the connecting flight to Mexico.
THE ROUTE: Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to Mexico City (MEX); Boeing 737; 2 hours, 9 minutes; economy class
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THE DEPARTURE: My connecting flight from New Orleans was delayed by more than 40 minutes, so I barely made the flight connection in DFW (travel tip: if you don’t like running, avoid connections in Dallas/Fort Worth that are less than an hour). I took the airport rail service two stops and was the last person on the plane. Kudos to the flight attendant for being very helpful with finding me a space for one of my carryons in the overhead.
THE AIRCRAFT: The American Airlines Boeing 737 on this route featured the attractive Boeing Sky interior, with mood lighting. There were no blankets or pillows on the seats, but I absolutely loved the fact that the headrests had “wings” and that every seat had an electrical outlet, USB connection and individual entertainment screen.
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INFLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT: The seat-back video screens featured a variety of free and paid entertainment. The free stuff included TV shows like “The Big Bang Theory,” “The Good Wife” and “American Crime,” while the paid selections included Disney and HBO (both $4.99), “Best of the Big Screen” movies ($5.99) and movies that were “In Theaters Now” ($7.99).
AIRLINE FOOD: My split-second connection at DFW left me with no time to buy food in between flights, and unfortunately none of the sandwiches listed in the in-flight menu were available; they only sold snacks (I bought hummus and chips).
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THE ARRIVAL: We arrived on time at Mexico City’s Benito Juarez International Airport, and the line for immigration was relatively short and fast. Unfortunately my checked bag did not make the connection in Dallas/Fort Worth. Several other people waited in line with me at the baggage desk for about 20 minutes before an American Airlines representative showed up to inform us of the status. The rep said my bag would be delivered to the apartment I’d rented in Mexico City the following day.
After waiting in our rented apartment the entire following day and it didn’t show up (and American Airlines’ online bag status page showed no new information), I called and was told that they’d been unable to deliver to my luggage because of a teacher’s strike march on the main boulevard, and that the following day would also be impossible because of the gay pride march taking place. When I explained that I couldn’t miss another day of work to stay home and requested that they deliver the bag to the American Airlines ticket office three doors down from my apartment building, the rep also said that American wasn’t allowed to deliver bags that they’d lost to one of their own ticket offices for pickup (when I also questioned why the online bag status page said that my bag still hadn’t been found even though she knew it had arrived at the Mexico City airport, the rep said that perhaps the page was broken and she didn’t know who was in charge of updating the information anyway). Luckily, I had a friend staying at a nearby hotel and so, finally, two days after arriving in Mexico City, my lost luggage was delivered to a hotel where I wasn’t even staying. The moral of the story: Don’t book a one-hour layover at Dallas/Fort Worth, even if American Airlines says it’s doable.