Aeromexico uses the Delta Sky Club in Santiago de Chile. Given that the airport is a major LATAM/Oneworld hub, the lounge facilities for other alliances are rather minimal. The Delta Sky Club lounge was pretty quiet, though, and had very fast WiFi. There is a dedicated shower and a decent amount of refreshments, but the food just looked gross and unhealthy to me.
Boarding for our flight to Mexico was a few minutes late but very organized (would you expect anything else in Chile?) To my surprise, Aeromexico uses very different equipment for the slightly newer 787-9, compared with my flight on the same airline just a week earlier.
This plane’s business class comes in a 1-2-1 configuration with mini-suites – it feels like you are on Qatar Airways, which is easily one of my favorite airlines and their planes are a favorite, too. The seat is firm and the many storage areas seem well-organized.
Business class was almost full and I noticed that my immediate seat neighbors were requiring more attention from flight attendants than a bunch of toddlers. They must have had two dozen requests before takeoff and talked nonstop. No surprise that my pre-takeoff drink never made it but the airline gives you a storage compartment with a bottle of water – problem solved.
Takeoff was fast and thunderous, right into the major storm system that was just moving into the city. 15 minutes after being shaken well, the flight attendants could get off their seats and begin service. I had plugged in my super noise-cancelling headset and started a movie, so waited for the dinner service. While the headset blocked out almost all the noise, I could still hear my noisy seatmates yelling and shouting. They eventually moved to seats further away from me, so I was just looking forward until they fell asleep and slept off their alcohol rush.
Dinner rolled around and consisted of the cheese dessert as appetizer again, like on my last Aeromexico flight. The flight attendant would not have any of my conversation of how unusual that is (he probably hears it all the time). He was more attentive and seemingly understood more English than any of the other FAs.
The main course was chicken, salmon and pasta; the pasta dish looked like a bad economy meal but the salmon was actually pretty good. The salad was crap but the prawns were good and the salmon was very edible even though it was VERY salty. Up to now, this was by far the best Aeromexico meal.
Now the drama in front of me unfolded and a very angry co-passenger started to verbally attack the two obnoxious passengers who had seemingly started insulting him first. It quickly escalated and all the flight attendants gathered round to restrain the three from starting a fist fight. There was lots of movement, jumping between seats and back and forth; eventually the flight attendants managed to calm everyone and decided to move to unruly guests into the mini cabin behind the galley and move the other passenger into the forward business class cabin. This would isolate the drunk passengers and they were restrained there. This worked surprisingly well, as they never made it back into the forward cabin. From what I understood, Aeromexico had considered an emergency landing in Lima during all that but they diced that a simple arrest upon arrival would do the trick instead.
This drama all but ended dinner abruptly; there was no dessert served and no further drinks service. I could have pressed the call button but everyone seemed on edge so I decided to stick to water and call it a night.
To my disappointment, the seat that is lovely for sitting in and lounging on barely reclined to 160 degrees. It was a far cry from a lie-flat and much worse than the 2-2-2 configuration I had enjoyed a week before.
How anyone can order such a lovely mini suite configuration but never try spending a night sleeping on the seat is a mystery to me. I felt like I was in a Lufthansa angled seat from 20 years ago. Aaargh.
I also had my reservations about the remote that is supposed to work like a smartphone, yet mine never worked. I had to use the touchscreen interface, which worked, so they should just cut out this remote business.
I slept a solid 6 hours but this was more a sign of how sleepy I was and wasn’t something warranted by the seat.
I missed breakfast entirely but given my other meals on Aeromexico I likely didn’t miss too much in terms of foodie delights.
This 787 featured the same WiFi as on my earlier flight, which is just too expensive at $20 for the 100-megabyte cap.
So what to make of this flight? The new 787s look fantastic but there is no excuse in 2017 to order such a terrible seat for sleeping. The food was better but I’m not sure if I was just lucky with my one choice. The flight attendants seemed visibly shaken after that incident and I can absolutely understand the service interruption. They handled this case of ‘belligerent customer’ well and saved us all an emergency landing in Lima to get rid of two people who should have never been on this plane in the first place (I can only hope they get a ban on ANY airline for a few years).
Aeromexico could become a GREAT airline if they would pay more attention to the details. They operate from a low-cost labor base, have many new planes and an energetic location. But they could be sooo much better!
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About the author: Torsten is a serial entrepreneur who started almost a dozen ventures on four continents. Torsten's love for travel has brought him to 130+ countries and travel with most of the world's airlines. You can reach Torsten at [email protected]
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