Really Aeromexico? You call this Premier class?
Flying business class is supposed to be a pleasant experience. Airlines putting their best employees forward, offering you quality service and top-notch meals is typical of a business class experience. I’ve flown a number of business class products, and I honestly must say Aeromexico is not one I think I would EVER pay for again! I opted to upgrade my ticket from Buenos Aires (EZE) to Mexico City (MEX) for $500. I thought it was a good deal. Yes, $500 is expensive for an upgrade, however this route normally costs $2000+ each way, so $500 is pocket change (especially since I bought this ticket in economy on Sale for $430 round trip)! However, now I am regretting EVERY dollar I spent!
Like the country the airline is from, I feel as though Aeromexico Premier Class is bursting at the seams with problems! If I could issue a travel warning like the US government, it would read: “When traveling overseas use caution if traveling in Premier (Business) class with Aeromexico. There is an immense lack of professionalism at 30K feet and the crew will treat you like any other peon. Only fly Aeromexico’s Business Class if you want to feel like you’re flying economy with an over sized seat. Your experience will start out blasé, but once in the air, it’s all downhill!”
At EZE, Buenos Aires’ largest and primary international airport, check-in was a breeze. Thankfully, there was no one in the Premier line. The economy class line had well over 100+ people in it and even the agent from the economy class cue called me over, by passing the economy class line! I was not expecting this, but it was nice treat. My wait to check-in was less than 1 minute! After check-in, it was off the security/customs and onwards to Mexico.
Security and customs at EZE was also stress-free! Computers stayed in the bag, shoes remained on, and security officers smiled! I felt like I was on a different planet, but either way I clearly was not in the USA! Immediately after security is customs, which again is a breeze. Lines were all short, not more than 10 people in each cue and there was even an electronic sign that highlighted the booth number of the next available customs agent. Once clearing customs I was off to the Aerolineas Argentina Lounge.
Since Aerolineas Argentina joined the Skyteam, Aeromexico stupidly terminated their partnership with the American Express centurion lounge which is located in Terminal B near the gate that Aeromexico uses. Due to this termination, not only are amenities now lacking, the shared lounge is a 10-15 minute walk from Aeromexico’s gate! Aerolineas Argentina lounge is located in terminal A. This means a long walk down a dingy hallway that connects terminal B with terminal A. This is far from convenient for business class passengers and annoying to say the least.
After a short stay at the lounge, it was boarding time and the lounge made an announcement that boarding had began for my flight. Boarding was done in the typical fashion. Business class and Skyteam Elite passengers boarded first, however when they called for boarding the plane was not actually ready to board. This resulted in about 40 passengers standing on the jet bridge awaiting to board the plane. A bit unusual, but maybe this is Aeromexico’s style. Once on board I found my seat (without help) and stored my items. Shortly after, someone came by and asked if I wanted a glass of water or juice. I’m sorry, I thought this was business class?! Where’s the Champagne?! I did not see the flight attendants offer to hang a single coat for business class passengers. Instead I watched as passengers placed their coats in the overhead bins. I did the same. Thankfully no one was sitting next to me, so I used the aisle seat as storage and I moved myself to the window seat.
Amenity kits were handed out as the safety video was being played. The amenity kits are fairly basic and include Kerres amenities. Each kit includes body lotion, an eye mask, earplugs, toothbrush and toothpaste, socks, lip balm, breath mints and a small bag for shoes. All in all they reminded me of Delta’s business class amenity kits. The kits use the same brands as Delta. I wonder if Korres is becoming a SkyTeam basic or if Aeromexico switched to Korres after the 65 million dollar investment by Delta? Either way the Amenity kit was sufficient for a 9-hour flight in business class and I was looking forward to the shoe sack more than anything, because I knew I could use it in the future when packing my luggage!
45 minutes after takeoff, the flight attendants appeared in the aisles. First, they passed out immigration forms for Mexico. Then 10 minutes later, now almost an hour into flight they passed out headphones. Although semi-noise cancelling, the headphones were of less quality than my entry level Bose headphones, so I decided to use my own. Then finally, about 75 minutes into flight, service began. Although 75 minutes for service isn’t bad, I was shocked to see how service panned out.
Flight attendants appeared in the aisles with their large stock carts; alcohol on top and food inside. Unlike the typical airline who serves a rounds a drinks in business class, comes back with snacks and or an appetizer, serves more drinks and the main dish with beverage refills, Aeromexico does it economy class style. They serve the entire meal and provides a single beverage at the same time!
The flight attendants asked me what I wanted to eat in Spanish, however, not understanding her I said “Hablas Inglis?” She looked at me, rolled her eyes and instead of asking me if I wanted shrimp pasta or beef god knows what (hey readers who don’t know, I’m a pescotarian, so anything with the word beef becomes intangible to me), she said “What do you want?” I was absolutely shocked! What business class cabin FA says “what do you want” at the very least you could be polite and say “what can I get you?” – Ok maybe I just am used to being treated better in international Business Class!
Dinner was served. I chose Shrimp, but my dinner again was hardly business class quality. Yes, there was white china, but the meal itself looked a bit dated. Instead of the typical dining in multiple courses, everything was served at once. The Salmon appetizer salad combo, bread, much lacking shrimp pasta, and after dinner, cheese plate was served all on the same crowded tray. Dinner for biz class was nothing special and was actually not even as tasty as the pasta I had on my Business Class flight from LAX to NYC in AA’s Biz class. Not to mention, the pasta only had 2 shrimps in it, it was hardly shrimp pasta. Dinner was more like pasta shells in a blanco crème sauce con dos camarones!
The lack of service and friendliness of the staff continued. I wanted to try white wine with my appetizer and dinner, but I wanted the red wine with my cheese plate. As the FA came along to refill my drinks she asked me if I wanted anything else to drink in Spanish (even though she knew I spoke English). I responded in broken Spanish, “Agua con gas y un vaso vino Malbec” She then handed me a glass of regular water and a glass of white wine. I didn’t mind the regular water, but I looked at her and smiled and then said in English. I’m sorry I asked for Malbec. The FA then looked and me and said, “Hablos espanol por ingles” I responded saying hablo muy pocito espanol y mucho ingles”. She then looked at me, rolled her eyes again and with a stern and angry face she grunted what type of wine do you want?!? I told her again, Malbec and then this time she poured the correct wine. I was extremely confused on how she mistook vino Malbec for vino blanco, however it is what it is. I finally received what I wanted, but not without a lot of attitude and rolling eyes.
Dinner service ended and of course they cleaned up my plate in a typical fashion. Dessert was never offered, but again with the overall lack of service, I assumed I would had to ask for it when I wanted it. Being full I was not in the mood, but I thought it was strange it was not at least offered after they cleared my dinner tray.
About an hour after dinner, as my first movie was nearly ending, I was feeling parched. I wanted a Chivas Regal on the rocks, so I rang the flight attendant call button. I will not even lie, I almost NEVER use this button, and 99.5% of the time I will walk to the galley. I hate to “call” the FA and it also provides me with an opportunity to stretch my legs, however, being very into the movie I was watching, I didn’t want to get up, so I called for the FA using the FA call light. I pressed the button and watched the blue light above the galley come on. I waited about 5 minutes and no one came. I looked up towards the galley and noticed the light was turned off. I pressed the button again, the blue light illuminated. I waited and waited and again, no one appeared and the light again was turned off after a few minutes. What was this? No response?! Maybe this is why I never hit the call button! I waited a few more minutes and then approached the galley. Finally I received what I wanted and returned to my seat. And of Course, the FAs acted as though they never saw the request for service.
At this point, I was extremely disappointed with my $500 upgrade. Flying a number of business class and economy class products, I must say economy on Aeromexico is worth it, Premier class (aka biz), on the other hand, is not! Instead of being welcomed or treated like a premium class passenger I was treated like a pain in the ass. I’m sorry that I was not sleeping the entire flight; sleeping on airplanes is not something I do well. Aeromexico premier product leaves a lot to be desired. Despite a good economy class experience, I would not recommend Premier Class, for it’s hardly a premium product! Not to mention, angle flat seats are not all that comfortable for sleeping. I’d much rather have 3 seats to myself in economy like I did on my way from MEX to EZE. However, this B777 was full in economy so that rare option was not going to happen, hence why I decided to upgrade.
The rest of the flight was fairly uneventful. The flight attendants remained hidden in the galleys the entire flight and each time I wanted something, I had to get up to get it myself. The one highlight to the trip was when most of the FAs were on break there was a very sweet FA who was working this flight for her first time on this route, her name was Alexandra and she told me she normally only did flights to/from the USA. For the 1.5 hours she was covering the first class cabin, she came by multiple times and checked on me, refilled my drink and brought me water without me even requesting it. She was the only FA on her game, and once she realized that my Spanish was broken, she smiled and immediately switched to perfect English. She was the model FA and I was sad to see her leave the Biz class cabin after her brief coverage for breaks.
About two hours before landing, breakfast was served. Breakfast wasn’t anything exciting and was a cold breakfast just containing “fresh” fruit and yogurt. Honestly my meals in economy on the way from Mexico to BA were better! My fresh fruit was not appetizing and my two strawberries were actually rotten. If I had to guess, based on the brand of the yogurt and the quality of the fruit, I think the plane was catered in Mexico, flown to EZE, and then the food was served to us on the way back from EZE. I could be wrong, but that’s how it appeared. Breakfast was served with juice and coffee and again, the FA serving me refused to speak English. This wasn’t a problem because I could ask for water and orange juice in Spanish. She again was abrasive when serving me and you could tell she wanted nothing to do with me or my bad Spanish.
Overall I would say that this wasn’t a horrible flight, but it is lacking when comparing its class of service to its competitors. LAN does a much better job in terms of both soft and hard product and is a superior Latin American airline, however I would rate Aeromexico‘s hard product higher than Copa, for at least they have angled flat seats vs. the standard “domestic” style seats. The meal service needs to be updated and 90% of the FAs need attitude adjustments. So I warn you, don’t expect warm and friendly flight attendants on Aeromexico or an over the top quality meal. Enjoy the space of biz class, the angel flat seat with massage and maybe the amenity kit, but that’s where the enjoyment ends! Food, service, and staff attitudes tend to be better in the back of the bus!
The inflight menu:
the less than appetizing dessert
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