Published on May 22nd, 2012 | by Mark Chesnut
FLIGHT REVIEW: Aeromexico Economy Class (Boeing 737-800)
|Now boarding: The Aeromexico Boeing 737-800 that took me to Mexico City.|
BY MARK CHESNUT
A recent Mexico trip took me on back-to-back Aeromexico flights in the economy class cabin (which is not at all uncommon for me) — one domestic route and one international. Here’s my comparison of the experience on both Mexico flights, and how the change of planes went in Mexico City International Airport’s Terminal 2 (which, by the way, has some rather cool gift shops).
THE FLIGHTS: Cancun – Mexico City (2 hours, 5 minutes) and Mexico City – New York JFK (4 hours, 20 minutes)
THE DEPARTURE (Cancun International Airport): Since I arrived more than two hours early for a domestic flight, there was next to no line and the airport check-in was swift. As a massive tourism hub, the Cancun airport can get rather hectic at times, but security lines were relatively fast as well (and I didn’t have to take off my shoes).
The Aeromexico ticket counter at Cancun International Airport.
Cancun is one of those airports where they often don’t announce gates until late, so I had to keep watching the monitor until 9:50am for a 10:40am flight.
|Boarding gate B19 at Cancun International Airport.|
Aeromexico sometimes uses the practice of boarding window and middle seats first, so the boarding agent held up a sign that said “A & F” to announce the first boarding group, making it seem like a teacher allowing the best and worst students to go first. (I’m not sure how this system works if you have an “A” seat and your traveling companion has “B” — does that mean you can’t board together?)
|One of the shuttle buses used to take passengers to planes at Cancun International Airport.|
The Cancun airport, quite simply put, does not have enough gates and jetways to serve all the planes that fly there. We had to take a bus from gate B19 to our plane, and walk up air stairs (they did open both the front and back to speed the process).
|The entertainment system in the coach cabin on an Aeromexico Boeing 737-800.|
THE PLANE (Cancun-Mexico City): Inside the economy class cabin in Aeromexico’s Boeing 737-800, the herringbone upholstery has been replaced with a more tranquil deep blue with a wavy pattern, and Aeromexico’s flight attendants now sport jaunty red hats and more attractive uniforms.
|Inflight snack on the Aeromexico Boeing 737-800 flight from Cancun to Mexico City.|
THE SERVICE (Cancun-Mexico City): The flight attendants served each passenger two bags of Japanese-style cracker peanuts, as well as beverages.
|Waiting for another flight to deplane, after we deplaned at Mexico City International Airport.|
THE CONNECTION (Mexico City): After deplaning at Terminal 2 (which is used by Aeromexico and its Skyteam partners), we had to wait in a blocked-off corridor for 10 minutes while another flight deplaned. I had four hours to kill, so left the secure area and found some interesting shops in various parts of the terminal building.
Shoes were not removed during the security check at Terminal 2. Although I had flown three previous Aeromexico flights on this trip with two carry-on bags (one for the overhead and one for below the seat), as I stood at the gate in Mexico City, a gate agent told me that it was not allowed to carry on two bags. Luckily, I had carry-on bag tags on both, and told him that I had been allowed to fly with both on every previous flight. He said “OK” and walked away. (Lesson: make sure you get the carry-on bag tags, and try to avoid standing near the gate before boarding in areas where wandering gate agents might see you.)
Aeromexico’s boarding-by-letter process (window seats first) was not implemented for this flight. A security agent confiscated my water bottle at the gate (water, however, was permitted on the Aeromexico flight from New York City).
|Economy-class cabin aboard the Aeromexico Boeing 737-800 used for my Mexico City-New York City flight.|
THE PLANE (Mexico City-New York): The Boeing 737-800 economy class cabin on this international flight was essentially the same as the one on the previous domestic flight, but the seats had wings in the headrest (a big plus for people who want to nap on longer flights). Some seats had blankets wrapped in plastic.
|Airline meal served as dinner aboard the Aeromexico flight from Mexico City to New York City.|
THE SERVICE (Mexico City-New York City): The first beverage service included free alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as Japanese-style “cracker peanuts” and/or Emperador brand chocolate cookies. A second beverage service accompanied dinner, which featured a choice of either chicken or pasta. I chose the chicken — baked with a tomato-based sauce and served with fragrant white rice, salad with raisins and Italian dressing and a roll with butter. The best part of the meal, in my opinion was the dessert, which consisted of two tasty cookies from Postreria Ambrosia.
Headphones were distributed for free in the coach cabin, and inflight entertainment, on overhead monitors, included one feature film and several documentary-style programs and commercials.
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