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MEX-VSA With MX A319

Tue Jun 24, 2003 7:44 am

I decided to spend last weekend in Tabasco, visiting ancient Mayan ruins, antrhopological museums and vast caves (yes, I know, it does not sound very exciting)... I know Rojo will start to groan: why in hell did you chose to go to Villahermosa instead of Cancún...  Wink/being sarcastic Anyway, I used my Frecuenta miles to buy a ticket to VSA.

MX), Mexico">MEX-VSA, where VSA means Villahermosa, Tabasco
MX 665
June 20th, 2003
ETD: 19.35
ATD: 19.55
ETA: 20.50
ATA: 21.00
Seat: 6D (always aisle).

As I had my boarding passes already issued and no luggage, I got into the airport and headed directly to security control. You must know that I have found a way to bring your own SwissArmy knife on board. By fortune, I left it in my camera bag very close to the camera itself, in fact, very close to the battery. I think the battery's own material is so hard and metallic that it makes the little knife fade in the X-Ray image... It has been twice since I have got my knife inside the plane with no one to care.

I crossed security control with no problem and took a look at the screens to see which gate will I be departing. Surprise!!! It was gate 28, in the International area and a long 15 minutes walk. I really do not have any idea why this plane heading to VSA was sharing space with widebodies (LH, BA, AF, KL and IB). But who cares!

It was nice to see all those big birds at the same time at MX), Mexico">MEX. I was quite surprised to find that BA is flying a 744 instead of the traditional 777. Does any one knows why and since when? So, there you had BA 747, LH 744, KL 747, IB 340, AF 744. It would have been great to find also JL 744 and the second IB and LH arriving to MX with a couple of hours of difference. By the way, AF plane was arriving when I reached my gate and I could notice that aprox two-thrids of the pax were Mexicans and not French.

I personally do not pay too much attention on the kind of bird I am flying. But given MX recent fanfare about their new A319, I was expecting to fly in one of them. And yes, I was granted a brand new A319 still smelling new. To me, this a/c presented as a simple, ellegant and bright plane.

I must recognise I am not a MX lover, but more a AM frequent flier. I have always dismissed MX because of their focus to holidaygoers and ethnical traffic. Now I was quite surprised and happy to find their fine and simple (but efficient) on board service. They even have IFE for such a small flight on their A319. MX F/a are much prettier than AM (always a part of the service to watch out) and a very good service attitude. They only offered peanuts and beverages but you can notice when good a positive attitude is behind.

The flight had a 85% load, I guess an average load for a Friday evening flight. Most of pax where Pemex-related people paying very high fares, and with all 12 Business class taken.

Arriving into VSA is always a hot and humid welcome. I still do not know why do not provide at least an aerocar (if not jetbridges) when it is very feasible to arrive under severe rain and still having to walk from the airplane into the terminal building.

Aerosur (the airport operator of some airports in Yucatan peninsula and south México, including CUN) has done some work modernizing this, still small, airport. However, all modernisation has been on the inside, but the outside resembles the peculiar 80s ASA style... Still, not bad... And it trully has a very good airconditioning system as the weather outside was so damp and hot and the terminal building was crowded when I arrived, but still it was cool inside.

This was a short trip report. I omit details of my VSA-MX), Mexico">MEX leg as it was a normal flight in a A320. Well, I could add that we had to wait over 30min for an Aerocar to take us to MX), Mexico">MEX terminal building as all jetbridges were taken and all aerocars were being used... Crap MX), Mexico">MEX between 18.00-21.00 !!!!!! We need another airport urgently!

Next flight: IAH-DBX-MRU-ANT
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RE: MEX-VSA With MX A319

Tue Jun 24, 2003 8:32 am

Hi PZurita1.
I always enjoy reading mexican reports, so keep flying and keep writing these nice reports.
Reason why you have to take the plane in gate 28 should be that probably this plane arrived from a US destination, and was continuing service to VSA. I remember that last year, a couple of times I took a plane from GDL to MX), Mexico">MEX, that plane was originally coming from Oakland, so when arriving to MX), Mexico">MEX it went to gate 28...mmm I had to walked all along the international terminal, cross the security control from international to domestic, and then pick my luggage in the domestic area. Obviously it was a mess for passengers arriving from GDL but in the opposite it was the right place for Oakland passengers since they must arrive to the international area to clear immigration and customs. (I wondered why those passengers did not clear immigration and customs in GDL, which I think should be the right process...)
I agree with you, I also prefer AM instead of MX, because of AM focus of its focus on business people and better service than MX, but I really like the MX airbus 319.
Finally, just check this: the Mexico Southeast airport operator is ASUR (Aeropuertos del Sureste)
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RE: MEX-VSA With MX A319

Wed Jun 25, 2003 1:54 am

Great trip report PZurita

Interesting you note Tabasco's importance in the Mexican oil industry. Must be Maracaibo of Mexico. Is Continental Express the only international airline serving VSA?

 Smile Latinplane
Pan Am - The World's Most Experienced Airline.
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RE: MEX-VSA With MX A319

Wed Jun 25, 2003 2:51 am

This time I won't say anything about your weekend trips... but I remember Tabasco as a banana state!!! Haven't been there since 1990, so I think Villahermosa should look bigger and better... but that horrible weather with high humidity makes me stay out of that state. So where did you stay??? Any particular hotel??? Which museums did you visit???

Did you use the 10,000 miles promotion for a roundtrip in Mexico??? I used 15,000 miles for my Mexico City-ORD-Mexico City trip, which was a bargain. And since I'm a Frecuenta Silver, I got to use the Salon Ejecutivo, which has an excellent view of the runways in Mexico City. Sorry I'm to lazy to write a trip report, but I really don't have that much time right now... As opposed to you and Ricardo, I like MX service more than AM, and I'm a loyal Star Alliance customer so I have to use Star Alliance carriers... specially when you are a Star Alliance Silver which is recognized by UA with Economy Plus seating, Priority Check in, Priority Boarding and Priority Baggage handling.

By the way, Iberias second 3x week flight arrives in Mexico City at 6:30am...

Good trip report! Did you like the A319??

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RE: MEX-VSA With MX A319

Wed Jun 25, 2003 7:58 am

Great trip report Pzurita1,

I havne't had the chance to fly on MXs A319 yet. . .I've been getting A320s and F100s in my latest flights, usually to MTY (as always!). I might have to go to MTY (again) between Friday and Tuesday next week, but I'm still not sure of the date. Does anyone know if there are scheduled A319 flights to MTY? If there are, I'll try to book one of them.. . or maybe I'll try Azteca, for a change.

BTW, on one of my lates flights to MTY (can't remember when exactly) the plane was assigned gate 36 (on the new terminal extension). . .it was coming in from the US. I was late so I had to run, not nice!! It also seems that everytime I fly on the 6:30 AM Aeromexico 757 service from MTY, I arrive at gate 25 or 28. I didn't know why until I was told that normally this plane continues on to JFK.

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RE: MEX-VSA With MX A319

Wed Jun 25, 2003 9:24 am

Hola Pzurita
Great trip report, Im biased towards Mexicana as it's the only Mexican airline I have ever flown (I was a year old so I have no clue on the flight details , but I've been told by my parents that they treated us very nicely and they pampered me as I was one of the few babies onboard.).
I too would have selected Villahermosa over Cancun (I love to party but Im a fan of Mexican culture and the heritage of such a historically rich country and would love to visit the museums - Plus I've already been in Cancun .)
Fly the Flag!!!!
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RE: MEX-VSA With MX A319

Thu Jun 26, 2003 3:40 am

Answers to everyone:

Yes... Indeed it is ASUR (my mistake). Thanks.
I also understand that a plane having a domestic route might be in the international area if it has a second stop abroad, or it is a continuation of a international service with pax on board... But, why, an empty plane coming from (probably) US which had been in the airport for more than 2 hours has to be boarded in the international area????? Arghhhh: I hate to walk that long in this airport...

Latin Plane:
VSA is similar to MAR regarding it oil-related industry. However, VSA is smaller (about 350,000 inhabitants) and is one among a number of very important oil centers (Poza Rica -PAZ-, Minatitlán -MTT- and Ciudad del Carmen -CME-). Instead, MAR is the main point of this industry in Venezuela as most oil wells are within Maracaibo Gulf (appart from that close to Guyana).

I stayed at Camino Real. And believe me, there is no much change in 2003 VSA and 1993 VSA. However, appart from its weather, it is a nice city with tons of parks and lagoons all over the city. A very "green" city with interesting parks.
I went to Comalcalco and La Venta, as well as La Venta Anthropologial Museum.
And yes, I did use the 10,000 miles promotion of MX... I had little number of miles and was not expecting to increase it soon as I fly very little in MX.

It is strange you were told that AM MX), Mexico">MEX-MTY flight at 6.30 continues to JFK... As the only MTY-JFK flight is with a MD80 and starts in GDL...

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RE: MEX-VSA With MX A319

Thu Jun 26, 2003 6:58 am


I probably did not explain myself well. The plane continued to JFK, but it was not the same flight (ie different flight number). It is really a MEX-JFK-MEX flight, but the plane used comes in from MTY every morning.

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