Introduction: The Long Way To Spain
Review: Avianca 787 Business Class Los Angeles To Bogota
Review: Avianca Diamond Lounge Bogota Airport
Review: Avianca 787 Business Class Bogota To Madrid
Review: Marriott Madrid Airport Auditorium Hotel
Review: Sala VIP Cibeles Terminal 1 Madrid Airport
Review: Aeromexico 787 Business Class Madrid To Mexico City
Review: Aeromexico Lounge Mexico City Airport
Review: Amex Centurion Lounge Mexico City Airport
Review: Aeromexico 787 Business Class Mexico City To Los Angeles
Madrid (MAD) – Mexico City (MEX)
Thursday, May 12
Arrive: 4:35AM (+1 day)
Aircraft: Boeing 787-8
Seat: 4F (Business Class)
I boarded through door L2, where I was greeted by one of the business class flight attendants and pointed to the far aisle and left, where my seat was located.
Aeromexico’s 787 business class has B/E Aerospace Diamond seats, which are the same you’ll find in American’s A321 business class, Qatar Airways’ A320 business class, Air China’s 777 business class, etc.
The forward business class cabin consisted of a total of 24 seats, spread across four rows in a 2-2-2 configuration. Then there was a further mini-cabin behind the main entry door, consisting of a total of eight seats (six seats in one row, and then a center section with two more seats).
I selected seat 4F, which was the right aisle seat in the center section of the last row of the forward cabin. Given that this was a redeye flight with no views, I figured I was best off selecting a seat in the center section, so no one would have to climb over me to use the restroom. Furthermore, I prefer sitting towards the back of the cabin, so I can observe the overall flow of service.
These seats feature small foot cubbies which are installed into the seat in front of you, due to the slight angle of the seats.
When traveling alone I prefer these seats to standard forward facing seats, since you at least have a little bit of privacy from the person next to you. That’s because there’s a small shield between seats. Furthermore, the seats are staggered ever so slightly, so you’re seated in a slightly different position than the person next to you.
The personal television was installed into the seat in front of me, and immediately below it was a storage rack. The menu from the last flight was still sitting there; I guess the cleaning crews weren’t very thorough.
The seat controls are located on the center armrest, and are easy to use. You can push a single button to put the seat into the upright or fully reclined position, or you can choose specific settings.
On the back right of my seat was a storage area, along with two power outlets (one 110v, and one USB), as well as the headphone jack. This storage area is one of the other things I prefer about this seat over a standard forward facing seat, given many standard forward facing seats have virtually no storage.
Waiting at my seat was a pillow and blanket. While they weren’t the most stylish, they were really functional, as both the pillow and blanket were quite thick.
The business class cabin boarded pretty quickly, and it was a pretty chaotic crowd. It’s tough to explain, but none of the passengers seemed to have a “routine,” in the sense that they were all super flustered by having to get things out of their bags, etc. On top of that, a few passengers stood up by their seat during boarding reading newspapers and magazines, blocking easy access to the aisles.
About 15 minutes after settling in (which is quite a while), one of the flight attendants came through the cabin with pre-departure beverages. The choice was between water, orange juice, and champagne. I chose the champagne.
I’m trying to think of the fairest way to describe the flight attendants on this flight. I’d say they were friendly by nature, but at the same time weren’t at all proactive.
Once everyone was offered pre-departure beverages, the crew came around with the menus for the flight, along with amenity kits.
The amenity kit was decent, and had socks, earplugs, toothpaste, a toothbrush, along with Aquascutum lip balm and body lotion.
Once they were done passing those out, the crew came around with landing forms for Mexico. I explained I was connecting internationally and asked whether I still needed to fill them out. They said I did, which I found surprising, since I didn’t realize I’d have to clear immigration there.
I know I talk all the time about how I like private seats (rather than ones where I have a seatmate), and some people think I’m crazy for that. Perhaps I can explain why. To say that the guy next to me was suspicious the entire flight would be the understatement of the year. I took pictures as I usually do (not obnoxiously, in my opinion, in the sense that I’m not using flash, and that I took maybe 60 pictures over the 12 hour flight), and he looked at me every time I did so.
I’m not sure if I should explain to him what I’m doing, or what the best approach is, but it was an awkward flight for sure.
Boarding was more or less complete by 11:20PM, at which point the captain came into the cabin, seemingly to see if there were any empty business class seats left. At the same time his wife was walking up and down the aisle with a frustrated look on her face, as I guess she was being subjected to economy (which ultimately didn’t seem to be a huge deal, since I believe she ended up using the pilot crew bunks).
While the flight was scheduled to depart at 11:25PM, we were still at the gate with the door open well after departure time.
At 11:45PM I asked the flight attendant when we would be leaving, and he said in 2-3 minutes. I’m not sure what the delay was, but there was no explanation from the crew.
Finally the door closed at 11:50PM, at which point the “onboard executive,” Alejandro, introduced himself. He explained that our pilots were captain Carlos and first officer Pablo, and that they’d be flying us to Mexico City in 11hr44min, at a cruising altitude of 38,000 feet.
At 11:55PM we began our pushback, at which point the safety video began to play, which I found (unintentionally) amusing:
Aeromexico’s entertainment system works on the ground, so I began browsing the selection while we taxied out.
The selection was pretty underwhelming. The movies and sitcoms were limited, and most of the sitcoms were Disney shows.
I ended up (rewatching) some episodes of “2 Broke Girls,” followed by some episodes of “Fresh Off The Boat.”
I also checked out the airshow.
The taxi to the runway was pretty quick, and during the taxi out the first officer made a welcome aboard announcement, informing us that the flight could be a bit turbulent.
We finally took off at 12:10AM, and had a fairly long takeoff roll. Our climb out was smooth, and the seatbelt sign was only turned off about 20 minutes after takeoff. Rather annoyingly Aeromexico plays ads throughout the cabin both after the safety video and while climbing out.
Once the seatbelt sign was turned off, I headed to the lavatory to change into something more comfortable. Aeromexico’s 787 business class cabin has two lavatories — one between the two business class cabins, and one at the very front of the cabin. I visited the one between cabins, given that it was more spacious.
By 12:40AM the crew came through the cabin with hot towels, at which point the dinner service began.
The dinner menu read as follows:
And the beverage list read as follows:
By 12:50AM the crew came through the cabin with the cart to serve dinner.
Tablecloths were distributed, and a cheese and olive plate was served. To drink I had a glass of white wine. I wanted to order a gin & tonic, but unfortunately Aeromexico doesn’t serve gin (similar to my Avianca flight from Los Angeles to Bogota).
While I’m not quite sure I’d call it a “selection of international cheese,” it was at least pretty good.
I appreciated that when the crew came around to clear the cheese plates they simultaneously refilled drinks. I find it annoying when they take your empty glass halfway through a dinner service.
20 minutes after the cheese course, the crew came through the cabin with the appetizer, salad, and main course. This time I decided to be boring, and ordered the pasta dish.
The side salad served with the meal was pretty basic.
There was also a side of eggplant with a cherry tomato salad.
My main course, which consisted of penne, was incredibly bland. It needed a sauce or something to add flavor.
Once the main courses were cleared the crew came around with dessert. They had a tray with several types of cake/sweets. When I asked which was which the flight attendant (quite honestly and in a nice way) answered “I’m not sure.” I chose whatever the below is, which was incredible.
I also asked if I could have some ice cream (after all, gotta get as many pictures as possible), which was no problem.
I also ordered a coffee. While the coffee itself was quite good, I was disappointed that I was offered powdered creamer when I asked for milk. Yuck.
After dinner service the crew passed out bottled water.
The service throughout the meal was friendly and professional, yet minimalist. The crew was significantly better than the Avianca crew I had from Los Angeles to Bogota, but not quite as good as the Avianca crew I had from Bogota to Madrid.
Dinner service was done about 90 minutes after takeoff, which I thought was pretty efficient. At this point we were well into our transatlantic crossing.
Eventually I reclined my seat and fell asleep. I prefer these seats for sleeping to ones which are directly forward facing, but I definitely prefer having a fully private seat, where I’m not sleeping next to a stranger.
The thing is, I sort of felt like I had to sleep, because the guy next to me was sleeping. He didn’t have eyeshades on, and the glare from my computer or TV would have likely shined in his face.
I ended up sleeping extremely well, probably not because of the actual seat, but rather because I was super tired. I slept for a solid seven hours, and woke up with about three hours to go to Mexico City. I should note that my seat didn’t actually fully recline. I think there was something wrong with it, because it only went down about 80 degrees, I’d say.
Also, the foot cubby in this seat is really small, which I’d usually complain about, but somehow the B/E Aerospace Diamond seat works for me. That’s because I sleep with my knees bent, and there’s enough room between the seat and the foot cubby that I can comfortably bend my knees and just place the tips of my feet in the actual cubby.
Upon waking up I headed to the galley, where I saw the snack setup they had. Maybe it’s just me, but for a mid-flight snack I’ll take packaged snacks over a gross looking vegetable skewer which is just sitting across from the lavatory exposed for hours on end.
I checked the airshow, and noticed that we were just south of Florida, passing Key West.
I decided to watch some more TV shows, including “Mike & Molly” and “Modern Family.”
About 1hr45min before landing the crew started to turn up the cabin lights and distributed hot towels and orange juice.
The breakfast menu read as follows:
For breakfast the choice was between smoked salmon and an omelet, and I selected the latter.
While the omelet was bland, it wasn’t at all greasy, which I appreciated. The cherry tomatoes and salsa it came with were excellent as well. I prefer a bland airplane omelet to one swimming in oil or cheese.
The side of fruit was rather bland.
The croissant was flaky, and the fruit drink offered with breakfast was refreshing.
About 30 minutes before landing the first officer came back on the PA to provide us with updated arrival information. We didn’t start our descent until about 20 minutes before landing, given Mexico City’s high altitude.
We had a smooth touchdown at Mexico City Airport at 5:10AM, and from there had a 20 minute taxi to the gate. This is the part of the flight which blows my mind. The second the plane touched down people got up and started taking things out of the overhead bin.
On top of that, once they had their belongings they walked forward to business class and started standing there, since they wanted to be first off the plane… and the crew didn’t say anything!
Most business class passengers stayed seated until the seatbelt sign was turned off, at which point the aisle was already full of economy passengers wanting to deplane.
We arrived at the gate at 5:30AM, and then it was another 10 minutes before the door opened, meaning we were a bit over an hour late (the flight was scheduled to arrive at 4:35AM). During this time the passengers standing in the aisle were getting really angry at having to wait even longer, given how much the flight was already delayed. I get that, but the whole setup of them standing in the aisle for nearly 30 minutes (the amount of time between touchdown and when the door opened) was annoying.
Unfortunately that was nothing compared to the ground experience at Mexico City Airport.
Aeromexico business class bottom line
Overall Aeromexico business class was fine. I’d say it’s a serviceable product.
The seats were fine — not industry leading, but not horrible.
The food was fine — it was edible, but incredibly bland.
The service was fine — the crew was well intentioned and friendly, but not especially attentive.
Perhaps my biggest frustration was with the way the other passengers were partly acting, especially after landing.
So if you’re traveling a route where Aeromexico is the airline with the best nonstop option, I wouldn’t hesitate to fly with them. But I also would never go out of my way to fly them.
To sum it up, Aeromexico isn’t an airline worth avoiding, but also isn’t an airline worth seeking out.
If you’ve flown Aeromexico business class, what was your experience like?