Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) – Benito Juárez International Airport (MEX)
STD: 11:18AM ATD: 11:26AM
STA: 5:10PM ATA: 4:40PM
Flight Date: July 24, 2016
I got to LAX to head back to Mexico for week 2 of my work trip a couple of hours before the scheduled 11:18. The check in area was packed and the counters were no exception. The sky priority line, though not long, had a bit of a wait, seemingly due to people having issues with their luggage or check in overall. It was finally my turn and I was quickly processed and walked away with my ticket. Halfway to getting to security, I realized my ticket didn’t have “TSA Precheck” printed on it. I walked back and fell back in the snail paced line, where I was assisted by the same ticketing agent. I let her know my issue, and she fidgeted with the keyboard and printed me out a new boarding pass (no apologies). I asked her if there was a lounge I could use once past security, as my SkyTeam Elite status typically grants me this, and she shrugged and said that I could ask the lounge if I was allowed in(?).
As I got through security, I made my way to the lounge area, which is located on the second floor. The Virgin Club House was closed, as there were no VX flights taking off at that time, so I made my way over to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge.
The lounge was large and relaxing, offering some cold snacks, cereal and beverages.
I did some work before boarding began, and made my way over to the boarding gate. As with my previous AM flight, there was a specific Sky Priority line (sometimes labeled Group 1), which was fairly empty. Boarding began a little late, and the flight was packed.
The first three rows of the plane are reserved for Aeromexico elite members, labeled with “AM Plus”, offering more legroom. In retrospect, I should have asked if there was availability at these seats, but the ticketing agent wasn’t particularly forthcoming, so it slipped my mind.
I headed to the back of the plane, seat 28A. I often prefer aisle seats, however, on shorter flights, I do select window seats for the view.
Aeromexico AM645 seats 28 D, E, and F
On short flights like this – (scheduled at about 3 hours, 45 minutes), I often worry that the planes will not come equipped with an AVOD system (particularly on this route, which sometimes is equipped with a B737), but much to my delight, this plane was fitted with TVs on every seat in economy class. I got three episodes of Person of Interest in before touchdown.
The boarding process was fairly quick and we pushed back about 10 minutes late.
Midway through the flight, we were served a cold meal – a croissant with ham and cheese, plus baby carrots, a fun size Milky Way, and peanuts (served with the meal, instead of with the beverage service). The sandwich was good, but I’m not a fan of meat in croissants, so I would ordinarily pass on this, but I forgot to eat before I got on the flight. Service was quick, prompt, and
scripted friendly. Though the meal wasn’t to my liking, points for actually serving a meal on a flight of this length (I’m talking to you, Delta).
The flight was smooth, and had some great window seat views of Mexico.
We landed in MEX about 30 minutes early, which I was pleased about – however, the line at customs was so long, i left the airport much later than I thought I would – around 545pm
Overall a solid short haul flight, but would love to see an improvement in food quality – same kind of food served on the flight from MEX to LAX.
Check in: 5/10 – lines were slow at check in and associates were generally unhappy and unfriendly. Ticketing agent had no clue if SkyTeam Elites had a lounge they could access. Points since they managed to actually print my ticket
Lounge: n/a – no lounge access was offered
Boarding: 8/10 – broken up by zone, lines moved fairly quickly
Food: 7/10 – underwhelming and not to my taste, but at least we were served food
Seat: 8/10 – nothing unusual to report, just the regular ol’ sardine-can crammed Y seats here
Cleanliness of aircraft – 7/10 – clean upon boarding, but lavatory was in dire need of cleaning by mid-flight (I’m noticing a trend here)
Crew: 8/10 – fairly friendly, goes through the motions
IFE: 8/10- a decent TV selection on this flight (better than what was offered from JFK-MEX)
Elite recognition: 6/10 – not entirely sure that the ticketing agent knew what SkyTeam was, but at least I got SkyPriority boarding (though this is assigned by the system, not the former)
Flight Timeliness: 8/10 – Departed late, but landed early
Overall: 65/90 (72%) ★★★★★