I’ve written about the issue we had on our morning of departure with trying to find a taxi, so I won’t go into that again here. Once were in a cab we were nearly the only ones on the road (again, Sunday morning around 05h30 in Mexico City really isn’t peak rush hour). When we arrived at the airport we saw a huge crush of people at the United check-in area. We had checked-In online and printed our boarding passes at the hotel, but needed to confirm that these passes would work at MEX – we’ve both run into issues where security won’t recognized a personally printed pass but require one on airline card stock. Luckily these instances are the exception and not the norm nowadays. Once we finally got this confirmed (no one at United seemed to know), we headed off to security. We were the only ones in line, which wasn’t all that surprising, considering it looked like everyone else was still struggling with check-in.
Next to security was an American Express Lounge – which I hadn’t ever visited before. American Express is expanding their proprietary lounges throughout the world and I wanted to try one of the original lounges. We were allowed in without hesitation (both MS and I were admitted without a fee) and since I am an AmEx Platinum Card holder we were given a small cabana to ourselves. The cabana had a chair and a couch as well as a small TV. We had power outlets and some hanging beads (hippy) separating us from the rest of the lounge. We didn’t have a whole hell of a lot of time before our flight so we just ordered some OJ and the mixed bread basket, which was pretty basic and pretty disappointing. There is an option for purchasing breakfasts as well – the prices weren’t competitive and based on the quality of the bread we had, I’d steer clear. Once we finished in the lounge, we’d have to go through security (for some reason this lounge is on the landside). Security was quick and uneventful. The biggest issue we had was the torture of having to listen to other passengers complaining about the UA flight to SFO. Evidently, the inbound flight had to land in Guadalajara because of too much fog in MEX. Evidently UA did this just to frustrate the SFO passengers. These folks were yelling and cursing and just completely unpleasant to be near.
Carrier: United Airlines (ORD-MEX)
Flight: UA 359
Departure: December 1, 2013 – 07h30 / 07h45
Arrival: December 1, 2013 – 11h33 / 11h22
Travel Time: 4 hours 3 minutes / 3 hours 37 minutes
Flight Miles: 1,699
This flight, while crossing national borders, is really run as a domestic flight. No meal service, no equipment upgrade the only difference on this flight and a flight within the US is that announcements were done in both English and Spanish and Duty Free was offered. I’ve never seen so many people buying cigarettes on a plane before.
Have you tried the AmEx Lounge at MEX? Any idea why it is landside vs. airside? Did you find the bathrooms at the Mexico City Airport to be some of the most disgusting in the world? I can’t think of a worse job than being the bathroom attendant at an airport in Mexico. Super Gross.