Once Andy and I decided to take a trip to Costa Rica over the Christmas break, I started looking into flights. I knew that tickets would be relatively expensive as it is the high season for Costa Rica. I was was pleasantly surprised when I was able to find flights for $640 on AeroMéxico vs. $850 on other carriers. We saw this $420 as extra money that we could use to offset other expenses on our vacation.
The cheaper flight came with a hook though, a long layover in Mexico City. Instead of seeing the negative of longer travel time, we embraced the long layover. We decided to make an adventure out of it and see as much of Mexico City as we could while on the ground. Many flights on AeroMéxico have a long layover in Mexico City as that is their main hub so there are many flights that connect there and for some reason, many of them have much longer layovers than what you would see for a typical US airport.
I typically prefer to fly on American or United as their airline miles are the most valuable when booking international award travel, but always prefer saving money over earning miles. AeroMéxico is part of the Sky Team Alliance so my miles flown were credited to my Delta account.
Our journey did not start out with the best impression. AeroMéxico made time changes to our flights at least 4 times, making us frustrated as well as hard to keep track of when we were coming and going. I brushed aside my annoyance and made the best out of it, knowing that we were still headed on an amazing vacation.
Prior to the flight Andy and I both got calls from AeroMéxico asking us if we were interested in upgrading our tickets to first class. The price was pretty reasonable at about $50 per leg per person. While tempted for the upgrade offer, we decided against this as we only booked the flight because of the low price. When we asked if the seats were standard business class seats or true first class lie flat seats, we were told they were lie flat. When we boarded the plane, we were very happy we did not upgrade. The seats were not lie flat as we were told, but rather business class.
Once at the airport, we were greeted with a long line for check in and baggage check. For some reason, a lot of the people were taking quite a while to check in and there were not too many gate agents working the counter. While frustrating, I wasn’t that surprised either. There are not as many AeroMéxico flights as there are for mainstream airlines like United or American so naturally there would be bottlenecks during the times that they had flights heading out.
We made it to our gate and enjoyed some Frontera Grill. The best airport food at O’Hare, in my opinion. We boarded the plane and took our exit row seats, a nice “upgrade” for us since we had additional leg room. One of the benefits of flying with AeroMéxico was that we got to select exit row seats for all 4 of our flights without having to pay a premium as many domestic airlines charge for economy plus seats. The plane was older and the seat cushions were not as comfortable as other airlines, but for our relatively short flight, it wasn’t a huge deal.
The flight itself was pretty uneventful. We were happy that AeroMéxico offered free food and alcohol on our flights. This is a perk that I feel like you can only get on international airlines nowadays as all domestic airlines have cut out all unnecessary expenses. After the flight attendants went through the cabin for service, they were pretty much missing for the remainder of the flight. It would have been nice to enjoy another Tecate, but then again I didn’t ring my call button or head to the galley to attempt to get another drink.
I wish that there was some sort of in-flight entertainment option available on our flights. Although online it appeared that there may be movies, those are only on the long haul flights from NYC to Mexico City, not the shorter flights that we were taking. Before we left we loaded some movies to the iPad and had some books to read to pass our time.
The last impression that I had of AeroMéxico was negative. We arrived at O’Hare extremely late due to the changes made to flight times after we booked our flights. We were exhausted and ready to go to be but had to wait for over an hour after we cleared customs to get our checked bags from the baggage carousel. I think this is because they have such a small staff working for the airline at O’Hare but it was very frustrating, especially since we both had to go into work the next morning. Of course we can’t blame them for us having to wake up early the next morning, but the wait time for our bags was still very long.
While I’m not dying to fly AeroMéxico again, I would consider them if the price was right. The option to have a long layover to explore Mexico City was a huge plus for us and something that we really enjoyed.
If you fly AeroMéxico:
- Get to the airport early so you have plenty of time to check in
- Bring something to read/watch in case there is no in-flight entertainment
- Request an exit row seat if they are available
- Expect uncomfortable seats
- Try and get a long layover in Mexico City so you can leave the airport and explore
- Expect luggage to take some time to arrive in the baggage claim