¡Hola everyone! Welcome to my second Flight Report on this site, a short flight from Miami to Cancun on the rather exotic Interjet Sukhoi Superjet.
Like my previous report, this one was also posted on another couple websites. But as I have not have the time to write a few of my more recent reports, I'll share some of my previous ones with you guys!
Being in Miami, when I heard that we would be spending the 2015 holidays in sunny Cancun, I knew I was going to be able to have a little exotic fun on the way. There are four different airlines on South Florida-Cancun: JetBlue and Spirit from Fort Lauderdale, and American and Interjet from Miami. The choice was unquestionable: Interjet flies the exotic Sukhoi Superjet 100 on their CUN-MIA-CUN route, and being the only airline operating the type in the western hemisphere along with CityJet on the other side of the pond, I just could not pass the opportunity!
In addition, having flown on their A320s many times, with their 34" legroom, 2-free checked bags policy, free snacks, the convenience of flying from MIA over FLL, and their overall excellent customer service (in my personal experience), Interjet was the undisputable winner in my book. They currently codeshare with Iberia, American, British Airways, and soon LATAM, so I'm hoping they join OneWorld soon so I can start collecting miles with them!
And on the report… :) _______________________________________
AT THE AIRPORT
As usual with me, I like to be preventive and get early everywhere I go, so I booked a cab for 04:00, even though my flight would not depart until 08:15. After a very short ride to MIA due to no traffic that early in the morning, I was dropped off at Concourse F at MIA's Central Terminal, from where Interjet operates.
The check-in counters were already open and many passengers were checking-in, most of them from the 07:00 flight to Mexico City, which showed a high load. I must have been one of the first, if not the first, pax from the Cancun flight to get there. Despite being so early, the Interjet staff were cheerful and in good mood, as I've gotten to experience in previous occasions.
There were about 4-5 people in line in front of me, but the line moved really fast and in no time I was called by one of the agents who checked my two bags (basically one mine and one full of gifts my mother and aunt bought for the family) as well weighing and tagging my carry-on (which was 1kg overweight I must confess, but she let it go ;) ), printed my boarding pass, and handed me the Mexican immigration form. Interjet's SSJs are configured 2-3 in all-economy layout, and I was given seat 17A on the row of 2 seats, which I had previously assigned online.
Interjet's check-in counters.
The east side of MIA's central terminal rather quiet that early in the morning, the west side was packed with people checking-in for the early morning charters to Cuba though, before scheduled flights to the island began from the U.S.
Once I was checked-in and with boarding pass in hand, I went down to the first floor to grab some Cuban coffee and pastries for breakfast at La Carreta, where I had to wait a few minutes for it to open since they opened at 05:00.
Three pastries and one Café con leche later, I made my way through the checkpoint at Concourse F, which was completely empty and did not take more than 2 minutes to go through.
FIDS. My flight 4O4967 to Cancun would depart from Gate F9.
Yes, MIA's Concourse F has a very 80's feel to it and does not have many amenities, but I find it to be a functional and practical terminal despite its age. It's clearly not be the latest architectural wonder, but I don't see why it gets so much hate.
Gate F9. Still empty.
4O2965 to Mexico City next door at F7.
I still had a couple hours to kill before boarding, so I walked around the terminal for a bit, bought a water bottle at the little coffee shop that had just opened moments ago, and then went to Gate F5, which was empty so I sat down and took a nap.
By the time I woke up the sun was already rising, and this blank Insel Air Aruba MD80 operating a charter to Camaguey was getting prepared at Gate F3.
Finally, once the sun was up I was able to take a first peak at my ride. XA-ABM would have the honors. MSN 95036, almost two years old at the time delivered December 21st, 2013, and the fourth of Interjet's twenty two-strong SSJ fleet. The other fellow Interjet is being pushed back in the background for the flight to Mexico City.
I got to fly XA-JAV earlier in the year on the same route, MIA-MEX.
The not-so-retro retrojet.
Around 07:10am I made my way down to my gate, where most passengers were already waiting. There would be 47 passengers on our flight, so about a 48% load factor.
Boarding began at 07:25, as usual starting with passengers require special assistance and those travelling with small children, followed by those who purchased priority boarding and Club Interjet and Interjet American Express customers, and then general boarding starting from the rear of the aircraft. Since I was on Row 17 I made my way to the jetway as soon as general boarding was called.
One of the two FAs on the flight, Rosa, politely welcomed us at the door. The cabin, as I had previously experienced before on the official presentation of the first Interjet SSJ back in 2013, had a very bright ambiance and an overall pleasing atmosphere.
The cabin was designed by Pininfarina for Interjet.
The seats were extremely comfortable, and the 34" legroom is great as always.
Who would have thought that I was going to fly on a Superjet before I even stepped foot on a Bombardier or Embraer! :) Although the Cold War long ended -though slowly rising again-, I still felt strange boarding a Russian-built commercial flight at a US Airport!
I always put my carry-on on the overhead bin across the aisle so I can keep an eye on it.
Once in my seat, I started noticing some signs of wear-and-tear here and there across the cabin, despite the aircraft only being barely 2 years old. Nothing particularly bad, the cabin was still in very good condition, but I noticed that the state of the cabin on a 2 year old SSJ looked like the one on a 6-7 year old Boeing or Airbus. Too early to tell, but I have my doubts about how gracefully these Sukhois will age.
The windows were dirty and some of them rather scratched.
Although the interior is pretty modern overall, the overhead bins themselves still look pretty 90-ish.
With such a light load, the cabin was ready, the door was closed, and the aircraft was pushing back by 08:03, 12 minutes ahead of schedule. The captain introduced himself and explained that our flight time would be of 1h 15mins and that our altitude would be 36,000ft. Both the captain and the flight attendants spoke very good English from what I could hear.
Following the captain's speech, the safety video was played as we made our way to Runway 27 for immediate takeoff. At this time I noticed that the cabin felt rather noisy.
Concourse J with the early morning South American arrivals.
We rocketed out of Runway 27 and the noise of the cabin became more noticeable, feeling about as noisy as a 757 cabin on takeoff.
Climbing away from Florida. Bye Felicia!
We headed towards the Florida Keys and the fasten seatbelt sign was switched off after we reached 10,000ft, at which time Mexican customs forms were distributed.
Service started about 25 minutes into the flight, which consisted of granola bars and beverages. I grabbed two granola bars but I was told to grab as many as I wanted. :) The crew wasn't very smiley as other Interjet flights I've taken, but they were very friendly regardless.
Interjet features women-only lavatories on all their aircraft. On the SSJ it is the rear lavatory, so I had to use the front one.
After a short flight, we began our descent into Cancun. The captain announced that we would be touching down in around 25 minutes, and asked the cabin crew to prepare the cabin for arrival.
First sight of land, Isla Mujeres in the background. :)
Into the jungle!
We lined up for CUN's Runway 12R.
Touchdown at 09:20 local time, 25 minutes ahead of schedule.
CUN's new terminal being built.
Interjet uses Terminal 2, which at the time was empty except for an Aeromexico 738 and a Volaris A319.
We parked at a remote stand and de-boarded through door 1L.
We hopped into a bus with very dark, glary, and dirty windows, which made it impossible for me to get a good last shot of our aircraft :( XA-ABM would continue on to Mexico City as 4O3317 at 10:45.
We were dropped at the door to the International Arrivals area and I was one of the first off the bus. There was no other flight arriving at the time and many booths open. I was only asked a couple questions by the immigration officer and in less than 3 minutes after getting off the bus, I was already at the baggage claim. :D
My bags were among the last to come out, though, but even then they came out fast since the flight was light loaded!
I made my way outside the terminal and hopped into a SuperShuttle to Cancun's hotel zone, where our holiday condo is located, and where I would spend the next 14 hours relaxing by myself until my family's Aeromexico flight from Mexico City arrived at 23:45 :D
Some pictures around Cancun… :)
Miami - MIA
Cancún - CUN
The Sukhoi Superjet sure was an interesting experience. Although like I mentioned I have a few doubts about the aircraft itself, with noises and signs of tear-and-wear that don't quite match the age of the aircraft, Interjet once again provided me with a great service that matches their business model of high-efficiency airline a-la-JetBlue rather than a regular low-cost carrier. In addition, Pininfarina has done a truly fantastic job designing the interiors specially for Interjet, with a very brignt and pleasant atmosphere and incredibly comfortable seats and great legroom.
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