When AeroMexico officially announced its new service between New Orleans and Mexico City, my friend Fred (former member ConcordeBoy) and I decided we had to try it out, in support of the city and the airline. Initially, we were thinking about going to Cabo San Lucas; however, a change of plans persuaded us to go to Mexico City instead. And let me tell you, in the end, neither of us were disappointed in that decision. We both found Mexico City to be a vibrant, historic, beautiful city, with plenty to see and do. In short, a city we would not hesitate to visit again. And the flights weren't half bad, either.
AeroMexico Connect (operated by Aerolitoral)
New Orleans – Mexico City
Load: Booked to 46/50…4 no-shows…total 42/50
We arrived at the airport at 4:00am to find about ten people in line at the AM
ticket counter, which is the former NW
counter and, before that, AM
’s old counter when they served MSY
previously in the 1990’s. Check in was a little on the slow side, but by 4:25, both of us were on our way to the Concourse C checkpoint, which thankfully didn’t have much of a line. After killing some time by filling out the customs/immigration forms for Mexico, we made our way to the departure gate C1 at about 5:30. The gate area was filling up nicely for an ERJ sized airplane. Boarding started at about 6:00am. Upon boarding Fred asked the agent if a meal was going to be served and her response was “I don’t know.” That’s weird, a gate agent not knowing? Overall we were disappointed with the ground staff at MSY
. We took out seats 7B
/C and settled in. After automated announcements over the P.A in Spanish and than English, followed by a welcome aboard dual-language announcement by the very pretty F/A, we pushed back a few minutes late.
The flying time was announced at 2h10m flying at 35,000 feet. Takeoff was from runway 28 and after using just about 7,000ft. of runway, we were airborne. Once we reached 3,000 feet we made a sharp left turn to the South and climbed out over the Mississippi River, swamps and marsh lands, barrier islands, and then finally out over the Gulf of Mexico, initially passing dozens of oil rigs below. About thirty minutes after takeoff the F/A came around with a beverage service followed by a light breakfast which consisted of a ham/cheese sandwich, granola bar, and a cup of Strawberry yogurt. It was very tasty and hit the spot. It was turning out to be a very comfortable flight…so comfortable in fact that I fell soundly asleep. When I woke up, all I saw was mountains. Moments later the announcement was made that we had begun our approach into MEX
. It was a beautiful approach under a mostly clear sky. Final approach into MEX
was just an awesome sight as the sprawl of the city was almost hard to believe, stretching out as far as the eye could see in every direction. The landing itself was very smooth, and we made a fairly quick taxi to Terminal 2…I believe the gate number was 72. Overall flight grade: A+. Great crew, friendly service, comfortable airplane, smooth flight. It doesn’t get much better than that. Here are pictures from AM
Link to landing video...
*** Mexico City ***
After exiting the jetway, we found it to be a very short walk to customs/immigration. This must have been one of the first international arrivals of the day, because the place was empty. It took us a few minutes to get our bearings (partly because we had to help out this girl on the flight who was connecting on MX
and had no clue as to what to do, and that’s being generous), but we made it through with no real issue. After leaving customs, we exchanged some USD into Pesos, and then took a taxi to our hotel, the Holiday Inn Zocalo, right in the heart of the historic district. The hotel was really nice…the rooms were comfortable, the staff was very friendly, and the restaurant…featuring an outdoor patio seating area overlooking the square…was top notch. Once we rested up a bit and started exploring, we quickly came to the realization that this is a world class city. There were just tons of things to see and do; needless to say, we didn’t even scratch the surface, but what we did see we liked. We spent much of the first day walking around the Zocalo area just across from the hotel. It was a very beautiful public square which housed the national cathedral, national palace, and other historic buildings. The streets surrounding the square were filled with hundreds of shops. It was a very vibrant area. That night, fellow a.net member EddieDude was generous enough to pick us up at the hotel for a driving tour of the city as well as for dinner and drinks. The dinner, at a restaurant called LAMM, was top notch. It was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. And we had drinks at a rooftop hotel bar which reminded me of something straight out of South Beach in Miami. The second day was spent touring the huge Chapultepec Park and Museo Nacional de Antropologia ( National Museum of Anthropology), as well as walking around various neighborhoods. The museum was one of the finest I’ve ever been to, and you certainly can’t see it all in a day. At about 4:30pm we headed back to the hotel to gather our bags before heading off to the airport. We ended up arriving at the airport by 6:00pm. Here are pictures from our stay in this amazing city…
After exchanging our remaining Pesos into USD, we made our way to the large AM
check-in area. It took us a while to check-in because for some reason AM
didn’t have one single kiosk in use. Instead every passenger had to check in at the counter. When all was said and done, both of us were finished checking in by 6:30pm. We walked around the terminal a bit before grabbing a bite to eat at the food court. Then, at around 7:00pm, we made our way through security at the K gates. It was a breeze…there was not one single person in line. After killing a good 45 minutes watching heavies land and take off…and witnessing not one, but two water cannon salutes to an arriving AM
777 and MX
763…we walked over to gate 61 for the boarding of our flight back to MSY
AeroMexico Connect (operated by Aerolitoral)
Mexico City – New Orleans
Dep: 2030 (2130)
Arr: 2300 (0007)
Boarding started at 8:00pm and again it was a nearly full flight, with only six open seats on the airplane. We had seats 10B/C this time. Just moments before our schedule 8:30 departure time, the announcement was made that everyone had to deplane as there was going to be an aircraft change. So off we went, back to gate 61. Eventually, we were notified that we would have to change gates to gate 75. Gate 75 was a madhouse at that time, with three full flights heading off to regional destinations, plus our flight to MSY
. Boarding started at around 9:15pm and we were loaded onto two buses which took us to the plane (the same one that we initially boarded) waiting on a remote stand.
Once all 44 passengers got settled in the door was quickly closed and off we went. We were airborne at approx. 9:55pm. Announced flying time was 2h20m at 37,000 feet. Again, the service on this flight was very good. After U.S customs/immigration forms were distributed, the F/A came around with a beverage service and a light dinner, which consisted of a sandwich, chips, and a chocolate bar. There was an open bar service on this flight so both of us had an ice cold Corona. After dozing in and out of sleep, before I knew it, we were over flying the brightly illuminated oil rigs just off the Louisiana coastline. Minutes later we began our approach which was pretty much straight in to runway 10. Another smooth landing by the flight crew and after a quick taxi, we came to a stop at gate C1 at approx 12:15am. After exiting the plane we made our way down the escalator to the customs hall at MSY
. It was our first time clearing customs/immigration in New Orleans so we were looking forward to it. It surprised us how large the area was, with 12 lanes available for immigration (only three were in use since the ERJ isn’t exactly a big plane). After clearing immigration we proceeded into the large customs area which contained two large baggage carousels. Our bags were already waiting for us, and after clearing customs with no problems we exited the area into the main baggage claim at MSY
. It was a hassle free experience to say the least.
Overall it was a great trip. Mexico City is a city worth seeing and AeroMexico offers a quality inflight product. I was also very happy to see both flights go out with high load factors. I personally think the future is bright for AM
. Thanks for reading!