Back on the road again very quickly, I am heading to Venice (Trieste), Italy for another transatlantic flight. This time I am flying on Aeromexico from Puerto Vallarta to Mexico City to Amsterdam and finally to Venice, Italy. It is a long trip lasting about 20 hours with the layovers in between, so of course I need to go via business class. The first leg of the trip is on an Aeromexico Boeing 737-800 max without real business class seating, only a closed middle seat, and of course our departure is delayed by 40 minutes arriving 1.5 hours late in Mexico City. Luckily I had a 3 hour layover and was able to make the connection without any problems. I have flown this new aircraft a few times already and it seems to be a very hard aircraft to stop when landing. I am not sure if it is a speed issue whereby the aircraft needs to land at a higher speed or what, but it is a bit unsettling and hold onto your things! Since Mexico City lies at the higher altitude of over 7200 feet, it was felt more stronger.
We start to board the Aeromexico Boeing 787-900 for the flight to Amsterdam and it has my favorite business class arrangement of 1-2-1 as you feel like you have your own private cabin along the windows aisle. Mexico still has a mask mandate, so immediately you are alerted by the crew that facemasks are required while on board during the whole flight, not happy, but it is what it is. However, with the continuous food and beverage services in Business class, you are feeling like you can leave it off for many hours. Our scheduled flight takes us 10 hours 50 minutes to get to Amsterdam flying north through the USA towards the Northeastern Canada and then across the North Atlantic via the usual Greenland, Iceland, and UK route.
Food service begins roughly about 1.5 hours after takeoff and is served in courses with appetizer and cheese served first along with your choice of beverage and then a bit later the main course and dessert could be ice cream, cake, or fruit. Being already midnight I opt for the lighter choice of fish, everything was served hot and fresh. The flight attendants were not the most friendly and seemed to just be going through the motions of doing the work, no personal contact or conversations were had during the entire flight.
The onboard entertainment system was also dissapointing even with the larger 11″ screen, the choices of movies was horrible with several Chinese subtitled ones included in those few selections. New Releases from 2021 and 2022 had 7 selections! I am sure Hollywood produced a ton more movies than 7! The other features such as the navigation and music was similar that I have seen on other airlines.
After dinner was served, a few hours later they created a nice snack area between the sections of Business Class featuring choices of beverages, coffee service, fruit, vegetables, chips, and finger sandwiches. You were free to go at anytime to get a snack.
The flight was long, but a few cat naps we ended up in Amsterdam on time as scheduled. We did have a long layover in Amsterdam and luckily we found the KLM lounge on the 2nd level because that airport was unbelievably busy with every food outlet having a long line to just get in the doors. It was a bit chaotic and frightening to see so many people jammed into that little airport. As I had heard about the travel disruptions in Amsterdam, I was a bit nervous about delays and possible cancellations.
We boarded a KLM flight a few hours later and I found out later by the flight attendant that KLM rarely cancel this flight because it is the only one each day from Amsterdam to Venice. We arrived on time and to my surprise I had a birthday card note from the crew on my seat! It was my birthday the whole time we were traveling and it was a very nice gesture!
The KLM 737-800 had the same configuration of 3 seats on each side for Business Class with the middle seat blocked out. Why European airlines do not provide Business Class seating in Business Class is a big question for me now as this was the same experience on my Athens flight the month before?! The crew were very cordial, pleasant, and even addressed passengers by name. Beverage service was provided as well as a cold box dinner featuring a slice of smoked Salmon on top of cold pasta salad, which was okay but not my idea of a Business Class meal. By the way, on the way back from Venice to Amsterdam they served the same cold box meal but that time is was a very strange selection of food as you can see here:
Obviously not my favorites and I passed on the meal; although enjoyed my beverages!
Overall, I think Aeromexico needs to step up their game in the international flight arena if they want to be competitive with American airlines and probably way up if the want to compete with some of the world’s best airlines!