Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1741
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

Aeromexico, Business Class - boeing B 737-800: La Habana to Mexico City

Sat May 13, 2017 3:26 am

Here's the link to the photos.

INTRODUCTION
Cuba was an interesting experience and in its heyday Havana must have been a very beautiful city. But I’m now ready to leave again and quite frankly, this is a place I think I shall not be returning to.

GETTING TO THE AIRPORT
The flight to Mexico City will be departing at 15h10. So at around 12h30 we grab a taxi from the Iberostar Parque Central Hotel on the main square to take us to the airport. The journey takes pretty much thirty minutes to complete and costs CUC30, which seems to be a set price for the journey.

CHECK-IN
Aeromexico operates from Terminal 3 at Havana airport, although I’m not quite sure how many terminals there are exactly, given that there is only one terminal building designed and constructed in that strangely bizarre but freakishly stylish Soviet style from the early eighties.

There are two counters open for check-in. Unfortunately, it only dawns on my friend, the wiry R., when we reach the head of the queue that he’s forgotten his passport in the safe in the hotel. And there are two hours left before departure. So he dashes off to grab a taxi and tells me he’ll see me later. Or maybe not.

In theory, I think it might have worked for him to make the flight if he’d checked in online in advance. But alas, the mighty airline Gods had other designs for the young man, and eventually check-in for the flight closes thirty minutes before departure without the wiry R.’s name on the passenger manifest.

LOUNGE
There is a lounge which goes by the name of the ‘Elegante VIP Lounge’ and I suspect they weren’t even trying to be ironic about it. In any case, Aeromexico does not have a contract in place with the lounge and so I have to stand around in the crowded terminal with the rest of the riff raff.

BOARDING
The boarding process is interesting. The departure board states that the flight will be boarding from gate 13. Only that’s where I can see a KLM Airbus A 330 parked outside on the ramp, which, incidentally, should have been boarding from gate 11 according to the departure screen. The Aeromexico aircraft is parked in front of gate 08, although there is nothing to indicate that this is the right gate and the screen above the gate is showing a blank.

CABIN & SEAT
I am seated on 1A, as on the inbound flight. I’m not quite sure if the cabin was cleaned at all or if it was just not cleaned very well. In any case, there is litter all over the place.

SERVICE & CREW
The crew on this flight seem distracted and not particularly interested. For some reason no less than three different crew members pass by offering me a landing card for Mexico. How many of these bloody things do they think I need anyway?

The flight attendant working the Business Class cabin is obviously suffering from a serious case of short-term memory loss because no matter how many times the non-Spanish passengers tell her that sorry, they don’t understand, she insists on addressing everyone in Spanish and then apologises for not realising they didn’t speak Spanish. It’s a bit like Bill Murray in Groundhog day…

Welcome drinks are served before departure, but there is no towel service on this flight.

THE MEAL
The meal service takes a while to get started. I quickly go to the toilet and as I pass the galley I realise the service hasn’t started because the flight attendant is busy demolishing her own lunch with gusto. When eventually the service begins, the flight attendant takes out a tray from the trolley with small ramekins of nut. But somehow she can’t be arsed to do a drinks run before the main meal service. So she places the tray back inside the trolley and starts distributing the trays with the meal instead.

Hey, guess what, it’s exactly the same crap they served on the previous flight. Although clearly there have been a few extravagant upgrades and the green salad now also includes two pieces of zucchini while the grease blob otherwise known as a croissant now also comes with a grilled tomato. The flight attendant is already about the saunter off when I call her back and tell her I think I’d rather have the ramekin with the nuts, thanks very much…

ARRIVAL
The approach into Mexico is quite spectacular because it makes you realise just how large and sprawling the city is.

I shall be spending the night at the Marriott Courtyard in Terminal 1. The hotel has a small office in the arrivals hall in Terminal 2. You can check-in there and they will organise a complimentary shuttle to the hotel for you.

Eventually the wiry R. manages to reach the hotel just before midnight, travelling on an Interjet flight from Havana which was scheduled for 19h45 but then had an hour’s delay.

CONCLUSION
I really can’t say I liked Aeromexico much. Sure, the wide seat is nice on a narrowbody. But the food is nothing short of plain disgusting and the crew on this second flight was obviously not feeling it.
 
debonair
Posts: 2974
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 10:50 pm

Re: Aeromexico, Business Class - boeing B 737-800: La Habana to Mexico City

Sat May 13, 2017 9:44 am

For sure, Aeromexico & Skyteam does have an agreement with the "El Elegante" lounge in LaHabana:

https://www.skyteam.com/en/lounges/loun ... ode=Havana - Jose Marti Intl (HAV)

If not, at least they should have offered you a restaurant voucher or something else...
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1741
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

Re: Aeromexico, Business Class - boeing B 737-800: La Habana to Mexico City

Mon May 15, 2017 4:05 am

Hi debonair

Thanks for commenting. I think the lounge dragon didn't get that memo... But seriously, that's what's so aggravating in Cuba. You're never really quite sure if people are just following orders or if they just really can't be bothered.
 
KLDC10
Posts: 812
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:15 pm

Re: Aeromexico, Business Class - boeing B 737-800: La Habana to Mexico City

Mon May 15, 2017 12:56 pm

Knightsofmalta wrote:
Cuba was an interesting experience and in its heyday Havana must have been a very beautiful city. But I’m now ready to leave again and quite frankly, this is a place I think I shall not be returning to.


Any particular reason why? Cuba has been hovering around the middle of my list of places to visit now that actually getting there is easier. I guess my interest is grounded in observing the history and everyday life of a time capsule-esque Communist nation rather than actually going on vacation.

Knightsofmalta wrote:
The meal service takes a while to get started. I quickly go to the toilet and as I pass the galley I realise the service hasn’t started because the flight attendant is busy demolishing her own lunch with gusto. When eventually the service begins, the flight attendant takes out a tray from the trolley with small ramekins of nut. But somehow she can’t be arsed to do a drinks run before the main meal service. So she places the tray back inside the trolley and starts distributing the trays with the meal instead.

Hey, guess what, it’s exactly the same crap they served on the previous flight. Although clearly there have been a few extravagant upgrades and the green salad now also includes two pieces of zucchini while the grease blob otherwise known as a croissant now also comes with a grilled tomato. The flight attendant is already about the saunter off when I call her back and tell her I think I’d rather have the ramekin with the nuts, thanks very much…


The language you have described this makes it seem rather amusing, but really it is quite shocking. I have never been on a flight where the Flight Attendant eats her own lunch before taking care of the passengers. Frankly, that sort of behavior would be unacceptable in economy, but even worse in business class - totally inexcusable.

Thanks for taking the time to write up and share your report - excellent as always. Looks like Aeromexico is one to avoid though. I hear that Interjet is pretty good though, so if you ever find yourself needing to fly from Mexico to other parts of the Caribbean again, maybe they would be worth trying?
DC9/MD90/MD11/F70/BAE146/Q400/737/738/739/752/763/772/A320/A321/A332/A333/E190
 
F27500
Posts: 128
Joined: Sun May 07, 2017 12:52 am

Re: Aeromexico, Business Class - boeing B 737-800: La Habana to Mexico City

Wed May 17, 2017 12:40 am

.. I definitely think that lousy service is worthy of writing a letter over .. with the flight number and date mentioned .. ..a FA eating her lunch first ? Before serving passengers? No way.
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1741
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

Re: Aeromexico, Business Class - boeing B 737-800: La Habana to Mexico City

Wed May 17, 2017 4:09 pm

Hi KLDC10,

I think I wouldn't visit Cuba again because I find the conditions the people are forced to live in simply deplorable. There are many pour countries that I have visited in my life, but never have I been to a place where the poverty has also depraved the population of any form of human dignity. I just thought it was very sad. And no matter how much the authorities try to impose the image of the happy-go-lucky Cuban socialist upon you, everybody just seems really fed up.
 
KLDC10
Posts: 812
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:15 pm

Re: Aeromexico, Business Class - boeing B 737-800: La Habana to Mexico City

Thu May 18, 2017 5:04 pm

Knightsofmalta wrote:
Hi KLDC10,

I think I wouldn't visit Cuba again because I find the conditions the people are forced to live in simply deplorable. There are many pour countries that I have visited in my life, but never have I been to a place where the poverty has also depraved the population of any form of human dignity. I just thought it was very sad. And no matter how much the authorities try to impose the image of the happy-go-lucky Cuban socialist upon you, everybody just seems really fed up.


Thanks for the reply. It is unfortunate that these people are forced to live under a, frankly, oppressive government.
The old adage that "Cuba is so great that people build rafts out of rubbish to escape from it" certainly holds true. I'm sure you're already aware that there is a large Cuban-American population in Miami; either first or second generation exiles and refugees whose lives were so bad that they considered their only option to be risking their lives to sail the 90 miles (or thereabouts) between Cuba and the Florida Keys. Saddening, but also a sobering thought that such a place exists so close to the United States.
DC9/MD90/MD11/F70/BAE146/Q400/737/738/739/752/763/772/A320/A321/A332/A333/E190

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