MCMAHONSMR From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 318 posts, RR: 0 Posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 17028 times:
Well, it's been a long time since I've done a trip report. But, I just got back from Mexico City and had a great ride with MX in C. Not too many MX posts on here so I thought this would be a good one.
September 21, 2006 MEXICANA FLIGHT 3
(Sold As AA 8172)
Departs: New York JFK 5:30pm
Arrives: Mexico City MEX 9:20pm
Airbus 318 XA-UBU
I left my office in midtown around 1pm for the 5:30pm flight. I certainly didn't need this much time but work was a bit crazy for me that day and I had an excuse to leave early, so why not?
I arrived at JFK's Terminal 4 at 2:25pm and waited in a short line in Zone 3. MX have 4 desks, which are right next to VS. The agent at the desk asked if I would be interested in an upgrade to C class for $125. Sure - that's a bargain. I asked about whether or not this would change anything in my AA reservation ( I was concerned about EQMs) and he said no. After paying the upgrade charge, my boarding pass was issued with Seat 2A, bags tagged with priority tag and a "Pasajero Distinguido" tag to MEX. I was also given a lounge pass for Varig's "Salon VIP".
I headed over to the RG lounge and was greeted by a nice lady and directed to a doorway to the right. The lounge was very disappointing. By far the worst lounge I have ever been in. Not sure whether the door to the left led to something nicer. Very worn seats and very little to do. I've been in the EI and LX lounges and they are much nicer. Poor selection of drinks and food too. I had a two beers and chatted on the phone and headed out.
Proceeded through security to Gate B23, which is the bus gate, where our MX 318 to MEX would be boarding. Boarding started at 4:45pm with Clase Ejecutiva passengers, Frecuenta elites and AA PLTs (yes they actually mentioned called AA PLTs). Didn't really matter what order you boarded since nearly everyone would be in the one bus.
Drove out to our 318 parked next to a VS 340.
I sat down in 2A and watched the 80 or so passengers make their way back to coach. The 318 is very small (12 C, 88 Y) so boarding was very quick. After all the passengers had boarding our F/A Adriana offered us a pre-take off drink and I settled in nicely with a G&T. 2C remained unoccupied so it was going to be a nice ride to MEX.
Menus has already been left on our seat and the choice was either "cod" or "pasta" and I elected the pasta. But first, a nice little salad. The food was actually very good . . . a bit basic by international business class standards but much better than some airlines I have traveled.
Jose was doing dinner service and the wine was flowing . . . Jose was up and down the aisles several times, always with a bottle in his hand. Overall, I find Mexican service to be exceptionally attentive and this was exemplary of the service I have come to find in Mexico.
I had gone through the VUELO magazine and it said on flights over 4 hours Videoboxes would be available in C Class but none were offered to us on this flight. Didn't make a difference to me . . . I had my iPod, a little work, and then Failure to Launch was shown on the overhead screens. Movie was titled very appropriately.
I love the approach to MEX at night . . . you travel seeing mostly nothing and then you see the burst of light of one of the world's biggest cities.
Landing was on time in MEX just at 9:20 and we pulled into Gate 24 about 10 minutes later. Migracion was a breeze but the baggage area was chaotic with an AF flight in from CDG . . . and tonight every piece of luggage was being screened so no "red light/green light" tonight.
I was met outside by my friend Jorge and his driver Jose Luis. We were off to a club where we remained until 5:00am. I checked into my hotel at 5:40am . . . a record for me!
September 25, 2006 MEXICANA FLIGHT 4
(Sold As AA 8212)
Departs: Mexico City MEX 10:00am
Arrives: New York JFK 3:40pm
Airbus 318 XA-UBY
After three glorious days in Mexico City, and I do mean glorious, it was back to NYC. Mexicans really do know how to party. Anyways, I had two choices this morning. First was to take a cab at 6:00am and get to the airport in about 30 minutes. Second was to leave at 7:00am and get to the airport in 90 minutes. I opted for the former of the two fearing the infamous Mexico City traffic.
MEX's Benito Juarez airport has undergone some massive renovations and I really do enjoy travelling through this airport. The check in halls are modern and very efficient. I proceeded to the Mexicana ticket counter to ask about the cost of upgrading to C class and was offered a seat for 1,000 MXN ($86 USD) and once again upgraded. I then proceeded to the Clase Ejecutiva counters where people were literally checking everything but the kitchen sink - a scene familiar to anyone travelling in Latin America.
I proceeded through security, a breeze (didn't have to take off my shoes), and went up to MX's Salon Ejecutiva on the 3rd floor of Hall H. Very nice little facility. Very modern and spacious. Not a BA Terraces, but better than even some AC's I've been in, and certainly a Crown Club. Had some breakfast and then headed to the Duty Free Stores for some tequila.
Our flight was boarding from Puerta 21 at 9:15. I got there at 9:20 and boarding still hadn't started. Security officials arrived at the gate around 9:35am and set up tables for screening passenger's hand luggage for liquids and gels. Boarding started at 9:40 with Ejecutiva passengers and Frecuenta elites.
And adios to the DF for at least another couple of months. I pushed back knowing I would be returning to GDL in March and PVR in May . . . Up to last year I had never been in Mexico and now I love the country. Can't get enough of it!
Anyways, C class was 12/12 and Economy was 80/88. Pre takeoff drinks were offered and then menus were distributed. Our F/A told us this was a "lunch" flight.
And this is the massive city that Mexico City is . . .
Lunch was served, which was a choice of tacos or chicken. I elected the chicken and it was delicious . . . A mediterranean salad was offered for an appetizer and then chocolate mousse for dessert. Trays were collected and this flight would have the Videobox which I quite enjoyed playing with. I watched Inside Man.
Passing over New Orleans, where the Saints would play at home for the first time in a year.
Just about a 90 minutes outside JFK we were offered a cheese plate and some wine.
And then we passed the Jersey shore and on into JFK . . .
The lines at immigration were unbelievable . . . EI, LX, EK, TN, LY and MS had all just arrived so it was peak time.
It was a great trip. I wouldn't hesitate to fly MX again. Hope you enjoyed.
767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1993 posts, RR: 24
Reply 5, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 16461 times:
Excellent report! Mexicana sounds pretty good. The upgrade fare on the MEX-JFK flight for ($86) is a bargain! Wow, I want to fly Mexicana! Nice views of Mexico City, and of the arrival into JFK. That is one of my favorite airports.
Tom in NO From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7194 posts, RR: 32
Reply 11, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 15476 times:
Quoting MCMAHONSMR (Thread starter): Passing over New Orleans, where the Saints would play at home for the first time in a year.
The direct routing from MEX to the northeast US and also to Europe pretty much crosses over the New Orleans area. Many times over the years I've had my scanner on and listened to everything from MX to BA flying overhead. We've even had a couple of MX diversions in here due to fuel issues.
Nice report and pics.
Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
BA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8631 posts, RR: 54
Reply 15, posted (8 years 5 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 14996 times:
Good report, many thanks.
Went to MEX on a spotting trip a number of years ago, such a shame they car park roof for spotting has gone now
Quoting Jyatlantic (Reply 3): It seems that the airlines are really trying to get any bit of revenue they can by offering low-cost upgrades--and really diluting the premium cabins this way.
I disagree, if the seat is spare why not try & earn some additional revenue? In addition, the the person who pays for the upgrade may book Business next time if they enjoy the service. Product promotion folks.
EddieDude From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 7647 posts, RR: 42
Reply 16, posted (8 years 5 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 14720 times:
Hey MCMAHONSMR, how are you? Great report! I really enjoyed it, mostly because it brought back some good memories of Spring Break 2003 when I brought home to Mexico City a bunch of friends from my LL.M. program, and of February of this year, when I flew JFK-MEX in MX's Ejecutiva after spending a long weekend with some of my friends who live in New York.
I am glad you liked MX. Unless the price difference is significant, I try to fly to the U.S. with MX and AM (especially AM because of my SkyMiles f.f. program), rather than with a U.S. carrier. There is something about the attentiveness of the Mexican flight attendants that makes a difference (not to mention the hot meals and complimentary cocktails).
My February flight (the red-eye) was on a 20C-configured 752 and we did not get videoboxes either. I spent most of the flight asleep anyway. I have been trying to get a flight on an A318 but so far unsuccessfully... I booked a MEX-OAX flight also in February to get the A318 and for reasons I don't know the equipment was substituted and I had to content myself with an A320. It was quite frustrating. At least you were lucky to get A318's for both your flights!
Quoting MCMAHONSMR (Thread starter): I headed over to the RG lounge and was greeted by a nice lady and directed to a doorway to the right. The lounge was very disappointing. By far the worst lounge I have ever been in.
Before my February JFK-MEX flight, I had the chance to spend some time in the RG lounge of T4. I have to agree with you that it is not a good lounge. In my experience, the lady who greeted me was not very amused of being there, so that was a bad first impression. On the other hand, I was a bit tired while I was at the lounge and my time inside was very brief (only time for two glasses of scotch on the rocks and a couple of articles from a business magazine I found in there), so I don't have all the details fresh. In any case, I think that the airlines that share the lounge with RG should somehow get all together and renovate the lounge.
Quoting MCMAHONSMR (Thread starter): We were off to a club where we remained until 5:00am. . . Mexicans really do know how to party
Which one? One of the things I love about Mexico City is that on a good night, you can stay at the club drinking and partying until way past 6 a.m. (a good friend of mine used to do that on Thursdays and she came to the office straight from the club, with a brief stop at home to take a shower). That is something you definitely will never see in the U.S. or Canada, and that's a pity. Fellow a.netter macc and I were just this last Saturday at a brand new, super-slick nightclub in Toronto and, just like in every other venue in town, alcohol was cut off at 2 a.m. sharp (we could stay until 3 a.m. but we thought "What for?" so we called it quits at 2 a.m.). We even tried a so-called after hours and it was no good... by the time we arrived people were being asked to leave.
Pawsleykat From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 1978 posts, RR: 10
Reply 17, posted (8 years 5 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 14636 times:
MX looks really nice. I'd love to fly with them and on the A318 too. I hope to go to Mexico next year but to one of the coastal resorts like Cancun or Puerto Vallerta. Brilliant trip report! I love that picture of the VS A340-600 next to the MX A318, big brother and little brother, aww
First Class passengers are my favourites. They can't get any further forward without an ATPL.