Flight Report: Aeromexico AM 409
Hotel Review: Camino Real Polanco
Hotel Review: Camino Real Polanco (Part 2)
Lounge Review: MEX – Aeromexico Premier Salon
Lounge Review: MEX – American Express Centurion Lounge
Benito Juárez International Airport (MEX) – John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
STD: 4:25 PM ATD: 4:32 PM
STA: 9:41 PM ATA: 10:07 PM
Boeing 738 (XA-AMU 6 months old)
Flight Date: July 29, 2016
After two weeks in Mexico (plus one side trip to the San Diego Zoo Safari), I am happy to be heading home. My team and I were booked on the last flight leaving Mexico City to New York, departing at 4:25. We arrived at Terminal 2 at approximately 1:15 pm. The terminal was busy, but not packed, at least at the ticket counter. The SkyTeam ticketing counter was busy but I only had a couple of people ahead of me, so the wait wasn’t long. There were about 15 active counters, so the lines moved quickly. Much quicker than my departure the previous Friday. Meanwhile, my colleagues who checked into the standard check in counter had a much longer wait.
I originally selected seat 24D, an aisle seat towards the back of the plane, since the middle seat next to it, was empty. I checked expert flyer shortly before heading to the airport and saw several of the AM Plus seats were available at the front of the plane. As the agent processed me, I saw him busily tapping away. He wasn’t too chatty, but I interrupted his typing, asking if there was any availability towards the front of the plane. I knew the first few rows were reserved for Aeromexico elite members or those willing to pay extra for legroom, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask. It’s not too clear what benefits SkyTeam Elite members have on Aeromexico, short of priority boarding, but since it seemed like an upgrade wasn’t on the horizon, this seemed like the next best thing. He asked if a window seat was okay, and I certainly didn’t mind and he printed out my boarding pass bearing my new seat 6F.
Boarding was scheduled to start an hour before our scheduled time of departure, however, as I approached the gate at about 3:45, I found several people lined up to board, but boarding was hardly underway. The gate agent finally announced boarding was about to commence at around 4:00. The boarding process was fairly quick as the plane was only about 70% full. We finished boarding and pushed back at around 4:30, wheels up at about 4:45.
There was no post-take off beverage service, though they served a hot meal at 5:30, this time with options of chicken or pasta. After my last encounter with Aeromexico pasta, I opted for the chicken with fairly low hopes. The chicken dish was a roasted chicken breast over a bed of corn and greens with a salad and bread on the side. The chicken was fine, a little gummy, but mostly tasted like the greens below it. While boring, after a couple of weeks in Mexico filled with tacos, quesadillas, and tortilla chips, I was happy to have some plain food.
The flight attendants were friendly this time (much more so than the agent at the ticketing counter) and seemed keen to be of service. As the FA came by to pick up my meal tray, she offered me another drink, which was a nice gesture, as most domestic US airlines don’t offer up additional beverages after the first round.
In flight entertainment was similar to programming on the flight over. I watched a few episodes of Person of Interest to pass the time. While I’d seen most of the programming available, they offer a decent selection of movies and TV shows – though the comedy line up could certainly use a refresh outside of 2 Broke Girls, Mom and a handful of pre-teen shows. Oddly, the comedy and drama lineup were a bit different from the IFE on the MEX-LAX-MEX trip I recently went on – not quite as many options, disappointingly.
Our flight landed about 30 minutes later than scheduled, and the line to get through immigration and customs was packed. Fortunately, I breezed right through, thanks to Global Entry, and was in an uber on my way home about 20 minutes after parking at the gate.
Check in: 7/10 – un-enthused ticketing agents (as usual), but at least this one moved up my seat to AM Plus
Lounge: 7/10 – considering MEX is an AM hub, I’d hoped for more
Boarding: 8/10 – broken up by zone, lines moved fairly quickly despite flight delays
Food: 7/10 – textbook definition of “airplane food”, though glad to be getting a hot meal when American carriers who run the same route do not
Seat: 8/10 – nothing particularly special for a premium economy type seat, although my rating is biased by having an empty row
Cleanliness of aircraft – 8/10 – clean upon boarding, but the lavatory could have used some freshening up
Crew: 9/10 – friendliest AM crew I’ve encountered to date, although admittedly pales in comparison to other carriers
IFE: 8/10- a decent TV selection on this flight
Elite recognition: 8/10 – No actual mention of SkyTeam by the ticketing agent, but he did move up my seat to AM Plus
Flight Timeliness: 7/10 – Departed a bit late, landed 30 minutes late
Overall: 77/100 (77%) ★★★★★