Review: Oneworld Lounge Mexico City Airport

Filed Under: LATAM

While we also visited Mexico City on this trip, that happened on our way back, meaning that we connected same day from the US to start our journey to Easter Island. You’ll want to leave plenty of time for any international connection in Mexico City, since all passengers have to clear immigration when transiting Mexico, even if they’re connecting between two international points — there’s no sterile transit.

On top of that, immigration lines at Mexico City Airport are consistently the worst I’ve seen anywhere in the world. I’ve never waited for less than 30 minutes, and this trip was no exception.

Eventually we were through immigration and in the check-in hall, at which point we headed straight for security, as we already had our mobile boarding passes for our flight. The bizarre thing is that while I’ve never waited less than 30 minutes in the immigration queue at Mexico City Airport, I’ve also never waited for even a minute at security. So we were through quickly, and the security officers were friendly and efficient, unlike in the US.

Fortunately our flights arrived and departed from Terminal 1, so at least our transit was quite easy. Once through security we passed through the duty free maze and followed the signage towards lounges.

Mexico City Airport Terminal 1

Once through the duty free maze, signage towards the lounges pointed us left, where there were stairs and elevators leading up to three airline lounges.

Mexico City Airport Terminal 1 lounges

The Oneworld Business Class Lounge was one level up from the concourse, while the American Admirals Club and United Club were two levels up from the main concourse.

Mexico City Airport Terminal 1 lounges

After taking the elevator up a level, there was a wall with the logos of British Airways, Iberia, and LATAM, as presumably this is the primary lounge for passengers traveling on those airlines.

Oneworld Lounge Mexico City Airport signage

The entrance of the lounge was just to the left, and once we presented our boarding passes we were informed that an announcement would be made when the flight was ready for boarding.

Oneworld Lounge Mexico City Airport entrance

Oneworld Lounge Mexico City Airport reception

The lounge had a Christmas tree just to the side of the entrance. In one direction was most of the seating of the lounge, and in the other direction were the bathrooms and showers.

Oneworld Lounge Mexico City Airport reception

In terms of design, I was impressed by the lounge. Inside the entrance and to the left was some cafe style seating, and then along the wall were some chairs arranged in sets of four.

Oneworld Lounge Mexico City Airport seating

Oneworld Lounge Mexico City Airport seating

Then further into the lounge were some big purple loungers, as well as some festive lights hanging from the ceiling. I couldn’t tell for sure if they were intended for Christmas, or whether this lounge just had a quirky design.

Oneworld Lounge Mexico City Airport seating

There were more dining tables in this part of the lounge.

Oneworld Lounge Mexico City Airport seating

Oneworld Lounge Mexico City Airport seating

Then along the back side of the lounge was some high-top seating facing the interior of the terminal.

Oneworld Lounge Mexico City Airport seating

Oneworld Lounge Mexico City Airport seating

I sort of really wanted to go to that cute-looking restaurant one level up.

Oneworld Lounge Mexico City Airport view

In terms of the lounge’s food & drink selection, there was a small buffet near the back of the lounge, which had bread, whole fruit, and some chips.

Oneworld Lounge Mexico City Airport food selection

Oneworld Lounge Mexico City Airport snacks

Next to that was a refrigerated area with soda, juice, and some yogurt parfaits.

Oneworld Lounge Mexico City Airport food & drink selection

Then the main buffet was back towards the entrance. Mexico City is an amazing food city, though unfortunately you wouldn’t know based on the airline lounges here.

Oneworld Lounge Mexico City Airport buffet

The food selection consisted of sandwiches, croissants, fruit, vegetables, cheese, meat, and pasta, none of which looked particularly appetizing to me.

Oneworld Lounge Mexico City Airport buffet

Oneworld Lounge Mexico City Airport buffet

Oneworld Lounge Mexico City Airport buffet

Oneworld Lounge Mexico City Airport buffet

Oneworld Lounge Mexico City Airport buffet

Then in the center of the lounge was a bar where you could order beer, wine, cocktails, and custom made coffee.

Oneworld Lounge Mexico City Airport bar

Oneworld Lounge Mexico City Airport liquor selection

The cappuccino I had was excellent.

Oneworld Lounge Mexico City Airport cappuccino 

Bathrooms were back towards the entrance of the lounge, and were in fairly good condition.

Oneworld Lounge Mexico City Airport bathroom

There was even a shower room, though it didn’t look particularly luxurious.

Oneworld Lounge Mexico City Airport shower

The Wi-Fi in the lounge worked reasonably well, so I spent some time working before we continued lounge hopping. One thing I’d note is that the lounge remained quite empty the entire time we were there. The only other passengers were those traveling to Santiago on the LATAM flight. Given that the lounge is used for transatlantic flights on British Airways and Iberia you’d think that the lounge would get full, but Mexico City transatlantic flights often have unusual schedules. Iberia flights depart from Mexico City around 1PM and 8PM, while British Airways’ flight departs at 9PM. So in the afternoons this lounge stays nice and quiet.

We also checked out the American Admirals Club and Grand Lounge Elite during our layover, so I’ll be reviewing those in the next two installments.

Our flight to Santiago was scheduled to board at 6:10PM, so at around 5:45PM we headed to our departure gate, #23. That was about a 10 minute walk away.

Mexico City Airport Terminal 1

Mexico City Airport Terminal 1

As we got to the gate they were just setting up the queuing system they use for boarding.

LATAM departure gate Mexico City Airport

LATAM has a pretty functional boarding process, as they have a priority lane for business class, premium economy, and elite passengers, a lane for those who need extra time, and then two lanes for economy, which are segregated by rows.

LATAM departure gate Mexico City Airport

At 6:15PM boarding began, starting with those who needed extra time, and followed by those with priority boarding.

Oneworld Lounge Mexico City Airport bottom line

While not an amazing lounge by any stretch of the imagination, the oneworld lounge Mexico City Airport is solid, as it’s spacious, has reasonably nice decor, and has friendly staff and functional Wi-Fi. The food here isn’t great, though on the plus side they had a full bar and tasty cappuccinos, so that’s something. I’ll be reviewing the Admirals Club next, though this is definitely the better of the two lounges.  There are some decent options for lounges at Mexico City, so it’s always worth considering a credit card with lounge access, if you aren’t traveling in a premium cabin.

  1. if you transit through Mexico much, it may be worth applying for viajero confiable (their version of global entry). it has saved me a fair amount of time at MEX before.

  2. I guess “reasonably nice decor” is in the eye of the beholder. It looks like a hospital waiting room and cafeteria to me. Maybe the finishes look nicer in person. Thanks for the review.

  3. The ground floor sign by the lift is confusing. You refer to it as the “oneworld lounge”, but the ground floor sign says the 1st floor is an Iberia lounge – and the oneworld logo is actually next to the American lounge on the 2nd floor. While the actual signage on the 1st floor says it’s “GIS” – who knows what that means.

    My OCD finds the whole situation extremely uncomfortable.

    But the lounge looks nice enough.

  4. @ The nice Paul — I share your confusion. My interpretation is that it’s a shared oneworld lounge operated by Iberia, but it doesn’t seem to be that straightforward. Meanwhile the oneworld website refers to this as the “Premium Traveller Lounge.” Who the heck knows…

  5. @ Brian — You’re right, compared to lounges elsewhere, this isn’t especially nice. However, of the three lounges I visited at Mexico City Airport, this one had the best decor by far.

  6. It’s a nice lounge – also compared to the AeroMexico lounge in the other terminal, which happens to be their hub …

    Yes, Mexican immigration is painful. Not as bad as the US (without Global Entry), though …

  7. Seems like an Iberia lounge. Both their lounges in Madrid and Barcelona are crap. So wouldn’t expect much in Mexicon city.

  8. @Lucky & @The nice Paul. It’s now a GIS lounge but was originally opened with the sole purpose of being an Iberia lounge (with BA passengers also having access). It used to be furnished the exact same way as the T4 lounge in Madrid but was changed once taken over by a third party company and some of the Iberia signs were probably left behind. Last time I was there (pre GIS take over), Oneworld elites could choose either the admirals club or the Iberia lounge.

  9. The United Club is no better than any of these three either.

    T2 much nicer overall too.

    But I’ve never had to wait at security OR immigration.

  10. Food depicted in these pictures are not the norm at this lounge, maybe lucky due to time of day or due to departure/arrival of an IB flight.

    I have used this lounge time and time again and, consistently, food offerings in the late afternoon are minimal in quantity and quality.

    They go the length of closing that main refrigerator depicted on the third photo, making it clear “Not in service – not to be used” !

  11. When I visited this place on the same MEX-IPC ticket, I got challenged by a manager for taking photographs in the lounge. She seemed to be worried that I was “working for the competition”. She was sort of satisfied when I told her they were for non commercial purposes. . .

  12. I think it actually does make sense for security to take nearly no time vs immigration taking forever; immigration ends up being the bottleneck that keeps the lines short at security.

  13. When I visited there was almost no food at all. Certainly nothing which looked edible. Thankfully for immigration I had zero wait time in MEX

  14. If you’re going to eat anywhere but the lounges in Terminal 1 at MEX, I suggest you try the French cafe, Bistrot Mosaico. Excellent food at ridiculously affordable prices. I had a delicious 3 egg salmon omelet that was simply stuffed with salmon, plus a cappuccino for under $10.

  15. I’m with Brian on this one. I’d gladly take the AA lounge with it’s “dated” decor over this any day! This looks cheap and worse, those hard plastic chairs stolen from some grade school do NOT promote any sort of relaxation whatsoever.

  16. @Lucky – you’ve never cleared immigration in Mexico in less than 30 minutes? Try being a non-USA citizen clearing immigration in SFO, Hawaii, JFK, LAX or Newark in less than 2 hours!! 30 mins seems pretty good IMO.

  17. Lucky, next time you go through terminal 2 in MEX out the new American Express Lounge. It was completely remodeled and has a much better layout and the service improved a lot!

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