Review of AeroMexico flight San Francisco Guadalajara in Economy

Airline AeroMexico
Flight AM 663
Class Economy
Seat --
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 04:00
Take-off 01 Sep 16, 23:55
Arrival at 02 Sep 16, 05:55
AM   #39 out of 142 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 68 reviews
MrMax
By 1094
Published on 27th October 2016

BACKGROUND

Hi Everybody! Welcome to my flight-report series on my trip to Mexico last month. I booked these flights with Aeromexico at the last minute from SFO-MID (Merida), via GDL on the way there and MEX on the way back. I had one-hour connections both ways. Originally, my routing looked like this:

SFO - GDL AM 663
GDL-MID AM 2107
MID-MEX AM 516
MEX-SFO AM 664


However, we missed our connection at GDL (long story, will explain later in flight-report), we rerouted GDL-MEX-CUN instead of GDL-MID for the remainder of our journey, while retaining the MID-MEX-SFO itinerary on the return leg. Our routing now looked like this:

SFO-GDL AM 663 HERE
GDL-MEX AM 225 COMING SOON
MEX-CUN AM 445 COMING SOON
MID-MEX AM 516 COMING SOON
MEX-SFO AM 664 COMING SOON


Here's our old routing:

photo screen shot 2016-10-24 at 10.01.19 pm


And here's our new one:

photo screen shot 2016-10-24 at 10.03.00 pm



Note: I want to apologize for the shortness, and bad picture quality of this report.






FLIGHT REPORT


We arrive at SFO international terminal about 1.5 hour before our flight leaves.

photo photo 6


I really like the architecture. The design is easy and user friendly.:

photo photo 10photo photo 7photo photo 8


Check in for our flight is next to Avianca to SAL:

photo photo 9


Security was very long probably because they didn't have too many ppl on duty at 11 pm at night even though several flights to Latin America (MEX, PTY, SAL, GDL) and Asia (TPE, HKG, and possibly NRT and HND) depart then.


International terminal area A (for most non Star Alliance flights) after security:

photo photo 1 copy 5


FIDS:

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EK lounge:

photo photo 3 copy 5


A beautiful Cathey Pacific 777-300 going to HKG is next to us:

photo photo 4 copy 5


Our plane say's "Aeromexico CONTIGO" on it. What does the "contigo" mean? Thanks. It also has a USA registration. On this trip I've seen AM planes registered in the USA, Mexico, and even Ireland! Why do they register planes overseas? Thanks for any insight!


Anyways, here's our plane:

photo photo 5 copy 4


Boarding is on time at gate A1A:

photo photo 1 copy 3


I was very hopeful that our plane would have the new IFE PTVs ike most AM 738s. I was also very exited to try a new airline. I got very excited at the gate. They also provided immigration cards at the gate which was nice.


Boarding (I'm really excited!):

photo photo 2 copy 4


Almost on the plane!!!

photo photo 3 copy 3


annnnnd…. awwwww! No PTVs today! :( . Anyways, it's a redeye so I can get some sleep! :)

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It's a really full flight today! Also, there isn't any J class, that's weird!


My seat as I found it:

photo photo 2 copyphoto photo 5 copy 3


The legroom :

photo photo 1


The tray table is also dirty:

photo photo 1 copy


Setback contents (To their credit, they have the September edition of the in-flight magazine on the first day of September):

photo photo 2


The setback magazines weren't great so I will have to rely on the overhead screens for IFE:

photo photo 3 copy


There was a takeoff delay of 45 mins. But this wasn't very well communicated. I was worried that I would miss my connection. The FA said that it was fine, but she was wrong and I did miss my connection but it was no big deal.


Takeoff finally!

photo photo 3photo photo 4


Quickly after takeoff, meal carts start rolling down the aisle. I always thought that AM had hot meals, but on this flight there was only a cold sandwich (ham and cheese with no other options) with vanilla pudding , applesauce, and a chocolate.

photo photo 4 copy

The meal wasn't very good but kudos to AM for providing a meal on a 3 hrs flight unlike any other American airline .

I had a tea with my meal.

photo photo 1 copy 2

You might have noticed this by now, but I really appriciate it when airlines give me real milk with my tea and AM did great on this (however only on this flight)

A note on the FAs:

The FAs on this flight were great, exept for one thing – their english was not good at all. They tried their best to do their jobs well but they clearly shouldn't be placed on international flights. AM definitley needs to give more language training to FAs on USA routes. However, interestingly, on the other AM flights (even domestic ones) the FAs spoke great english.


Mid-flight pic:

photo photo 2 copy 2


It was still very dark when we decended into GDL, so no pics. However, we did a go-around (which was exiting for me but also worrying because of my tight connection). We also deplaned by bus and the immigration lines were insanely long. From a combination of these factors, I missed my connection and was rebokked to CUN via MEX not directly to MID.

Kudos to Carlos at AM customer service at GDL for very friendly, efficient, and professional service!

At 6:30 am in GDL, the a/cs are mostly cargo planes.

photo photo 4 copy 2



CONCLUSION



Unfortunately, AM didn't meet my expectations.

The cabin was old and dirty. However, I was able to sleep.

The seatback magazine definitly needs some work as does the overhead TV programming.

The catering is good for a 3-hour flight. However, the quality of the meals leaves much to be desired.

The FAs didn't speak very good english which is a problem. AM needs to provide more language training.

I belive that all of this has to do with the CONTIGO brand. My other flights on AM were all great, and all of the problems I listed with this flight were nonexistent. The CONTIGO brand (all USA and some domestic flights out of GDL) is definitley to be avoided (NOTE: When you book the flights it's branded as noral AM, so you need to do a bit of research).
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Verdict

AeroMexico

4.0/10
Cabin2.0
Cabin crew3.5
Entertainment/wifi3.5
Meal/catering7.0

San Francisco - SFO

7.0/10
Efficiency4.5
Access7.5
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Guadalajara - GDL

6.0/10
Efficiency2.5
Access5.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

Unfortunately, AM didn't meet my expectations.

The cabin was old and dirty. However, I was able to sleep.

The seatback magazine definitly needs some work as does the overhead TV programming.

The catering is good for a 3-hour flight. However, the quality of the meals leaves much to be desired.

The FAs didn't speak very good english which is a problem. AM needs to provide more language training.

I belive that all of this has to do with the CONTIGO brand. My other flights on AM were all great, and all of the problems I listed with this flight were nonexistent. The CONTIGO brand (all USA and some domestic flights out of GDL) is definitley to be avoided (NOTE: When you book the flights it's branded as noral AM, so you need to do a bit of research).

Related

4 Comments

  • Comment 372143 by
    NGO85 1622 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR, I've been intrigued by looking into AM for flights to Central America in the past, but have never done it.

    To answer some of your questions, Aeromexico Contigo is one of the brands of AM that operates a lot of the routes from CA down into GDL. I've seen these planes at LAX too. I think it was an attempt by AM to offer more flights into the US cheaper and so these operate like a shuttle service where the planes stay on the same route and just keep going back and forth. It is almost like the carrier's LCC division.

    Your other question, the airplane registrations are a reflection of who owns the aircraft. More than likely AM is leasing planes from US or Irish owners thus carrying a reg from that country.

    Regardless, AM serves food!! That puts them light years ahead of the US and Canadian carriers that treat flights into Mexico as a domestic flight.

    FA English ability is always varied, I've seen the same thing on a lot of Asian carriers were there will be poor English ability on the TPAC flights and then excellent English ability on some random flight between 2 non-English speaking countries.

    Thanks for this look at AM, it's good to see they still have catering, but the rest of the experience looks a little bit lackluster.

  • Comment 372190 by
    MrMax AUTHOR 144 Comments

    Hi NGO85,

    I think you "hit the nail on the nose" about AM. The catering is terrible -- but at least they have it (the sheer presence of the catering earned them a 7/10 rating). However, everything else isn't great. Please note that the cabin, FAs, and IFE are all much better on AM mainline.

    I think that AM might have used to serve a full meal on USA-Mexico flights. Is this true? When did they stop? Thanks for answers to my questions.

    Best,
    Max

  • Comment 372412 by
    Pilpintu SILVER 707 Comments

    Hi there!

    Too bad you didn't have a good flight. :( That old cabin looks terrible! I wonder if they were getting things ready for Halloween!

    What does the "contigo" mean?

    Contigo means "with you" in Spanish. This word comes from a Latin expression meaning "with your ego".

    Why do they register planes overseas?

    Good question! Let me know when you find out. :) But I have the impression that it has something to do with international alliances, or one airline taking over another airline. In the case of my country (Chile), our main airline used to be LAN. Then they merged with the Brazillian TAM, and this originated LATAM. Now you find their planes with registrations from different Latin American countries. I wouldn't be surprised if we found out that Aeroméxico and other airlines in other countries belong to one single large corporation. Something similar happens with AirFrance and KLM. They look like two different airlines, but they make up one single company.

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