KLM685 From Mexico, joined May 2005, 1577 posts, RR: 20 Posted (4 years 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 11975 times:
Good day everyone!
I'm glad to find myself writing a trip report again for me to share. As some of you may know, I do Irish Dancing. Irish Dancing has made me do some really cool trips in the past 2 years. This time it took me to the World Irish Dance Championships in Philadelphia.
I started looking out for the tickets back on February, where the normal fare was around 500 USD on a flight to Philadelphia. As a stop was required, I thought that a better option would be to fly to New York and then take the Amtrak to Philly. Flights to New York were not that far in price as well. Finally Mexicana had a ticket outlet and the price for the roundtrip to New York was 210USD!!! The price of the ticket was unbelievable. 420USD for two tickets to NY was not something easy to get. After that we saw the the price for the roundtrip ticket in the Amtrak to Philadelphia was around 180 usd for both of us.
The day finally arrived and a great week in NY and Philly started. We had to arrive at the aiport at 4 in the morning. I'm physically unable to wake up at surreal hours of the morning so I better decided not to sleep the night before and just sleep in the plane. My mom thinks she needs to be in the airport 5 hours in advance so at the end we arrived 3:30 at the airport (zzz...). The check in counters were not opened so we had to wait for a while outside.
Mexicana changed it's image recently. I was not very fond of the new "Official Sea World airline" colors but what they did to the check-in counters was fantastic.
Mexicana's new check-in counters
Check in was super fast and the lady doing the job was very efficient ( even though she was dying to go home and sleep). We still had a couple of hours before going to the gate for boarding so we went to take breakfast ( if there was SOMETHING opened). Surprisingly everything was closed ( at 4:30 in the morning...of course). We took some time to change money until the food court opened.
The new ticket holders from Mexicana
We had breakfast and our assigned gate was in the domestic part of the terminal ( our flight had a stop in MTY). We walked for 10 minutes until getting there and they wouldn't let us in because we were going on an international flight (great). The airport staff was apparently not organized and we had to call a Mexicana employee to explain security why we had to go through that gate. They finally let us in and waited in the deserted domestic terminal.
More people waiting
Our gate was finally announced on the speaker. To our surprise the gate was back in the international part of the terminal all the way to the 30's gates ( a 15 minute walk with an intermediate stop in security). I'm glad MEX wants us to do some excercise once in a while but PLEASE not at 5 in the morning!
Boarding was the normal chaos it is but fast enough as everyone in the flight just wanted to sit down and sleep.
A small meal was given by the lovely FA's some 20 minutes after take off. As this was a small domestic flight, Mexicana offers you a small ( but very tasty) sandwich with the drink of your choice.
The flight went by really quick ( well I actually slept for the most part of it). An hour and 10 minutes later we were landing in Monterrey with a beautiful sunrise over the mountains surrounding the city.
This was the first time ever I've been to MTY so I was thrilled with having to do a small stop there.
Is this a new terminal in MTY? Looks really cool!
The Control Tower in MTY, Part of OMA airports in Mexico.
The stop in MTY consisted of passengers with MTY being the final destination being taken out of the plane first. Pax continuing to JFK were to remain for a couple of minutes in the plane to then be taken to the terminal. This because authorities have to check the plane in order for it to continue its trip to USA ( or so they say). Monterrey's airport is lovely, the view to the tarmac is great and the space is well organized.
AA plane bound for DFW
Our gate with pax from MTY and MEX waiting to board.
Our taxi to rwy 11 was uneventful and quick. We had to wait until this Aeromexico 737 landed.
The flight was perfect. But i was starting to show signs of tiredness due to my decision of not sleeping the night before. I tried to stay awake to watch the Bolt movie but fell asleep eventually.
Bolt being showed at the screen ahead.
Two meal options were available: Chilaquiles and Scrambled eggs. My choice was the eggs ( which were not good AT ALL).
My mom had the chilaquiles
The terrifying eggs
Starting descent with some spoiler action
Landed! Emirates and Air India in terminal 4
BA and CX at terminal 7
My first sight of a Jet Airways plane!
Parking at JFK's Terminal 8 with AA neighbors
Terminal 8 directory
Immigration was not fast, our bags were already taken of from the bag belt when we got to the baggage reclaim section of the airport. We had to meet some friends at Terminal's 1 Air Tran Station ( they flew with Aeromexico) so we could all go together to Penn Station. They were going straight to Manhattan, we were only doing a quick stop and take a train to Philadelphia.
View from the Air Train:
Terminal 7 with some Open Skies planes there
The Air Train took us to Jamaica Station from which we took the Long Island railroad to Penn Station. We spent an hour trying to figure out how to pay for all the transfer mania we had to go through at Jamaica Station. It was just too confusing and no one was willing to help us apparently. After some time we figured out and waited in the middle of freezing wind for the train to Penn Station.
Lady checking our tickets at the LIR
At Penn Station we bought ( after a very long line cuz there was no machines available) our tickets and had a small meal before taking our train to Philly. The last time I was in New York was around 13 years ago so I was shocked with the amount of people we found at the terminal. Finally we took the 4pm train to Philadelphia with stops in Newark, Trenton and finally Philadelphia.
Prudential center in Newark from the train
After sleeping for some moments we finally arrived at Philadeplhia's 32's? street station. I found the station to be quite classy, loved it.
Loved the style
Philly finally after being in MEX, MTY, NY and EWR.
We stayed at the Downtown Marriot in Philadelphia just infront the Reading Terminal Market, City Hall and a 10 minute walk from the Kimmel Center ( where the World Championship was being held).
My Philly experience:
Reading terminal market
An excellent place to taste the Philly's Cheesestake
The Kimmel Center
The Perelman Theatre
My competition was on Friday 10th and it was definately the best experience Irish Dance has given me through out the years. Out of 34 competitors I ended up in 25th. The result is not bad at all, I've been dancing for 5 years and I compited against the 34 best dancers in the world. We had competiors from USA, Canada, Scotland, Ireland, England, Australia, Hungary and me from Mexico. I danced against dancers from Riverdance and Lord of the Dance, plus dancers that have danced for around 20 years! Even though I was 4 days in Philadelphia, I had "no time" to sightsee the wonders this historic city has to offer. I spent 4 days locked in the Kimmel Center watching all the competitions lol.
On Saturday morning my mom and I said goodbye to 4 great days in Philadelphia and headed to NYC to enjoy the city. We went straight to the train station to take the 1:30 pm train to Penn Station. As I told you before, I haven't been to NYC for around 12+years so I was definatly excited to re-discover what the Big Apple had to offer me being a 23 year old guy.
The train to NY
We were welcomed to NY with lots of rain, so getting a cab without getting wet was definately an experience. Then we went to our hotel in Lexington Av. with 48th street: The Radisson.
The room at the Radisson, very comfortable but a bit packed.
After leaving the bags we hit the road fast. I went to a pharmacy to buy a small guide of NY as I wasn't sure were I wanted to start with NY.
My favorite pizza in the world! ( of course there are betters but i really enjoy this one lol)
My first sight of the Empire State Building
Lower Manhattan seen from the top of the Empire State
Jersey City in the background
After an hour of so trying to get down from the Empire State went to dinner with my mom at the hotel restaurant and went alone to visit Times Square at night.
Closest Metro Station from my hotel
Lots of people in the metro at 11pm
Finally Times Square
The next day was Easter Sunday. Our plan was to visit St. Patrick's Cathedral and go to see Mary Poppins on Broadway. We also had the nice plus that the Easter parade was going on in the Fifth Ave. Quite a sight! Lots of people with fantastic hats and dressed with crazy clothes.
Brooklyn Bridge made of Metrocads
Empire State hat
Me being really happy to be there
New Amsterdam Theatre
Definately a great show!
After watching Mary Poppins my mom wanted to go to eat to her favorite restaurant in NY: Carmines. It is definately one of the best italian restaurants i've been into.
More NY sights of the day
Staten Island Ferry at 1 in the morning
The next day we went to visit a friend that went to live to NY. It was nice to finally see her after two years and to finally see what her life is now. Her home in Tribeca it's super nice.
Some views from her apartment:
My friend living the New York life
Irish Hunger Memorial
World Financial Center
View of lower Manhattan from the Staten Island Ferry
Statue of Liberty
The Sphere from the former WTC
After spending an excellent day with my mom and friend, it was finally time to go home as our flight departed at 1:10 am. We left the hotel around 8:30 and arrived JFK in 25 minutes.
Mexicana departs Terminal 8 in JFK.
Arriving Terminal 8
All the flights departing Terminal 8
Security was a breeze as the terminal was almost empty, we then went to the food court to grab dinner before our flight.
Boarding was quite an interesting experience. The guys controlling the gate tunnel ( sorry forgot the proper name for it) had a problem and the tunnel moved upwards pushing the door of the aircraft a bit up. The whole plane was waiting in line to get in but it took a 40 minute or so inspection to see that the plane was organized to fly. For a moment I thought we were going to stay another night in NY ( which I didn't mind at all hehe).
Fixing the problem
No Wi-fi allowed
A great airline
JFK in sight
That's the best picture i could take of it
Small but really tasty dinner/breakfast
Arriving in Mexico City
The return leg was pretty much uneventful as I slept for the most time. All I can say is I had a wonderful time in Philly and NY and Mexicana did everything to make the trip as good as it could be.
Hope you enjoyed my Trip Report. Comments are very much welcomed.
ATLFlyer323 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 558 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (4 years 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 11316 times:
Very nice report! I agree 100% on your opinion about the new c/s. I really like it, but at the same time I think it could look cheap. I LOVE the check in counters though! How long before other airlines follow do we think? Hmm...
Quoting ATLFlyer323 (Reply 3): I really like it, but at the same time I think it could look cheap. I LOVE the check in counters though!
I know, at the beginning I thought the colors were terrible but they have grown on me alot and I enjoy them quite alot. They have modified EVERYTHING related to Mexicana inside the airport, the lounge, etc... Domestic departures for Mexicana look amazing, it's even better than the international section.
Quoting SkyHigh777 (Reply 4): What time did you arrive in MEX? 1am departure from JFK seems like a really odd time. Why was the flight time longer than what was scheduled?
We arrived Mexico at 6:30 ish. The departure time sucks as everything in the airport is closed and the wi-fi signal through the terminal is quite poor. But the arrival time is ok, you can then enjoy the rest of the day in Mexico.
Quoting TUNisia (Reply 5): What were your impressions of Amtrak? Did you have the option of taking the Acela train instead of the regional train?
I LOVED the Amtrak. I wish we could have something similar in Mexico. The seats were ok and the rest of it looked in perfect state. It was definately a great and cheap way to go from New York to Philadelphia. We did had the chance to take the Acela but was like 200% more than the normal ticket. I would love to take that train on another occasion.
Airbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4068 posts, RR: 51 Reply 8, posted (4 years 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 10725 times:
Great to read your report. What were the dates of your travel? Since I visited NY in half April (TR's are online here already). Also used T8, the 1130pm AA flight to LHR, so in the same time period as your return. All memories came back after seeing your wonderful pictures from NY.
Would love to do a cross-country some day in the future, from east to west USA. Or the other way around of course. btw, Mexicana, seems a reasonable airline indeed. Noticed their B762 in the new colours at LGW lately. Nice to see them around.
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
KLM685 From Mexico, joined May 2005, 1577 posts, RR: 20 Reply 10, posted (4 years 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 10099 times:
Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 8):
Great to read your report. What were the dates of your travel?
Hey Eric! I was in the States from April 7th to April 14th. In New York exactly from the 11th to the 14th. It was a great trip but it was very cold! In Mexico City we were about to reach the 30's by that time and in NY some days were even below 5°C lol.
Also when leaving I saw the 11:30 pm departure from AA to LHR. It was right infront of our gate.
DeltaHolland From Netherlands, joined Dec 2008, 94 posts, RR: 0 Reply 12, posted (4 years 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 9833 times:
Outstanding report! The pictures were wonderful. I actually really like the new colors, they are somewhat 'playful'. Looks like you enjoyed yourself, I have to go longer next time (My first visit there was only 4 days also). Very interesting, thanks!
Airbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4068 posts, RR: 51 Reply 14, posted (4 years 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 9593 times:
Quoting KLM685 (Reply 10): was in the States from April 7th to April 14th. In New York exactly from the 11th to the 14th. It was a great trip but it was very cold! In Mexico City we were about to reach the 30's by that time and in NY some days were even below 5°C lol.
I arrived on April 16th, only blue skies except for 1 day (which was spend very well at Macy's), temperatures up to 28°C! So the NYC climate can be 'strange', since we really didn't expect these summer feelings
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
PRAirbus From Puerto Rico, joined Apr 2005, 1023 posts, RR: 1 Reply 15, posted (4 years 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 9592 times:
WOW! What a great report. Nice pictures. MX is a great airline. I thought they were already a full oneworld member...MX's service makes AA look really bad. I rather fly MX over AA when I can. US airlines cannot really compete with foreign carriers...
It's slow on people. At first everyone's reaction was for the worst, now many have learned to appreciate it. I as a spotter like spotting the new colors rather than the old gray ones.
Thanks for your comment Mark!
Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 14): temperatures up to 28°C! So the NYC climate can be 'strange
Wow, that was different. When I got to NY on the 7th the city was an iceberg. Philly was much nicer but still cold. Only the last day in NY was warmer, got rid of the jacket for a couple of hours but it then got back to the iceberg status.
Quoting PRAirbus (Reply 15): I rather fly MX over AA when I can. US airlines cannot really compete with foreign carriers...
Thanks for your comments! Really appreciated. The last two airlines i flown were AA and MX. I like AA because it's cheap and simple, BUT MX is really great value. For 210 USD I got round ticket to NY with hot meals included. For 280 USD I got AA to MIA with no food. I know this fare to NY was an exception but still makes you wonder what's going on with AA.