MexDFmagazine

News, features, and commentary from the biggest city in the Americas, Mexico City.

The 787 Dreamliner Takes Flight in Mexico

By Darren M. Popik

(MONTERREY) — It’s not everyday that I get to the airport at 4:02 am for a flight that is scheduled to depart at 7 am.

But today was such a day, because it was a special flight — the first commercial flight for Aeromexico with their brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, AM Flight 902 from Mexico City to Monterrey. And I was eager to get on board!

Aeromexico's 787 on takeoff from Monterrey. (Photo: Darren Popik)

Aeromexico’s 787 on takeoff from Monterrey. (Photo: Darren Popik)

It’s a big day for Aeromexico, Boeing, and well let’s face it, Mexican aviation aficionados of all types — myself included.

The Lounge

After speeding through check-in and security (it’s super fast at this time of day), I stopped for a visit to Aeromexico’s still very quiet Salon Premier VIP lounge. At this hour — barely 4:30 am — most lounge customers were either sleeping, or still having a late night drink. In addition to the regular self-serve bar offerings, there was also some very tasty marble cake on the snack bar, this still being the pre-breakfast period.

At the Gate

With 50 minutes to departure, I arrived at the gate to see a big “welcome” sign for this inaugural flight. And I could see that there were a lot of eager people waiting to board this aircraft. (There were a number of Boeing shirts in the crowd.)

Inaugural Flight Welcome. (Photo: Darren Popik)

Inaugural Flight Welcome. (Photo: Darren Popik)

As boarding began, one of the gate agents handed each of us a certificate signed by Aeromexico CEO Andrés Conesa, in recognition of our participation in this special flight.

(At this point, as we were heading to the plane, I was reminded of the one design feature I do not like about Terminal 2 — the fact that the views of the airfield are terrible from the gate areas. It’s impossible to get a decent photo of the planes. Other than that though, I do like this newer terminal.)

Welcome aboard! (Photo: Darren Popik)

Welcome aboard! (Photo: Darren Popik)

One of the first things I noticed — even before arriving on board the plane — is just how many people were eager to snap pictures of this plane. So many of my fellow passengers were carrying their cameras with them. And the photo taking began even before boarding — people were posing next to the welcome sign at the gate.

First impression of the jet as I walked on board? This is one cool looking plane.

The lighting was generally a bluish-purple color — creating a relaxing atmosphere.

Clase Premier

The business class section (Clase Premier) features 32 seats, arranged 2x2x2. Each seat is an individual pod, and the seats recline to a full-flat position, ideal for sleeping on a trans-Atlantic or trans-Pacific flight. (After today’s inaugural flights, Aeromexico will be using these planes to fly from Mexico City to New York, Tokyo and Paris.)

Clase Premier seats, Row 1. (Photo: Darren Popik)

Clase Premier seats, Row 1. (Photo: Darren Popik)

This cabin is also amazingly spacious. I had plenty of room to store all kinds of gadgets, newspapers, magazines, camera, notepad, etc. (Plus, the overhead bins are larger throughout the aircraft – a very smart design feature.)

And yes, I did test out the lie-flat seat. (Unfortunately, not enough time to sleep on this flight, though.) It seemed very comfortable. (Note: In the photo below, the seat is not 100% reclined.)

The Clase Premier seat, not quite fully reclined. (Photo: Darren Popik)

The Clase Premier seat, not quite fully reclined. (Photo: Darren Popik)

Also noteworthy are the electrical outlets and USB plugins at each seat. You don’t have to rely on battery power to run your laptop or other electronic devices.

Economy Class

Economy Class seats. (Photo: Darren Popik)

Economy Class seats. (Photo: Darren Popik)

In the economy class section, there are 211 seats, arranged in a 3x3x3 format. In terms of space, it’s about standard for what you would get on Aeromexico’s other aircraft. (But as with all things on this airplane, it just seems cooler.)

Economy Class, in 3x3x3 arrangement. (Photo: Darren Popik)

Economy Class, in 3x3x3 arrangement. (Photo: Darren Popik)

You’ll also notice the windows throughout the plane are different. Unlike most aircraft, there are no sliding blinds covering the windows. Instead, 787 windows are tinted. Push a button, and your window automatically darkens or lightens.

Economy Class. Notice the big overhead bins? (Photo: Darren Popik)

Economy Class. Notice the big overhead bins? (Photo: Darren Popik)

On Board Service

Prior to take off, our friendly flight attendant brought us water and juice.

Pre-flight juice. (Photo: Darren Popik)

Pre-flight juice. (Photo: Darren Popik)

And though this is a relatively short flight, we still did receive breakfast service, which today was enchiladas, accompanied by orange and grapefruit slices, a fresh croissant, and a muffin, plus coffee for me. Big thumbs up for the enchiladas — really tasty. And the croissant was also really nice. I ate the grapefruit slices, but couldn’t handle the orange slices — they were too sour.

Breakfast. The enchiladas are excellent. (Photo: Darren Popik)

Breakfast. The enchiladas are excellent. (Photo: Darren Popik)

Food and beverages aside, I must give top marks to our flight attendants. They combined great service with a smiling, friendly attitude throughout. Plus, I always get a kick out of it when whey address me by name (“Mr. So and So”).

In-Flight Entertainment

I didn’t have much time to play around with the in-flight entertainment system, but you’ll be happy to know that everyone on this plane has access to a very wide array of TV, films, music, and games to keep them occupied. Plus, you can operate the system in your choice of language — English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Japanese, or Chinese. (Reflecting all the nations where Aeromexico flies.)

In flight entertainament - you pick the language. (photo: Darren Popik)

In flight entertainament – you pick the language. (photo: Darren Popik)

Final Thoughts

Credit to Boeing for their work on this much anticipated aircraft. And congratulations also to Aeromexico for pioneering this aircraft in Mexico.

My number one complaint with my flight was something our flight attendant could do nothing about. I asked if there were any chance the pilot could circle the airport for a while, so we could stay airborne for a while longer. Sadly, he landed on schedule.

Oh well — that means I’ll just have to return for another flight aboard this very cool aircraft.

At the gate in Monterrey. Bye, 787! (Photo: Darren Popik)

At the gate in Monterrey. Until next time, 787! (Photo: Darren Popik)

Twitter: @darrenchannel

2 comments on “The 787 Dreamliner Takes Flight in Mexico

  1. Pingback: Puras Vagancias

  2. FreddyNonStop
    November 28, 2014

    Nice Trip Report!!!

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This entry was posted on September 23, 2013 by in Business/Industry, Travel / Transportation and tagged , , , .
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