Alaska Airlines’ Inaugural Mexico City Flight
Alaska Airlines has had an interesting past with Mexico City. This will be the third time that service has started between Mexico’s Largest city and Los Angeles, the prior relationship ended in 2015. As of August 8th, that relationship is back and stronger than ever. Here’s our flight review of the inaugural on Tuesday morning.
Recent History of Mexico City and Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines left Mexico City back in 2015 in an agreement with American Airlines. AA got two slots to have service to Mexico City from LAX and Alaska got a much coveted slot at JFK. Little did Alaska know it was in the cards that they would soon buy Virgin America and get a ton more slots at JFK, but hey, it was a great deal at the time.
Since then, Delta and Aeromexico have entered their joint venture agreement and now control upwards of 45% of the slots at Benito Juarez airport. As part of the DOT approval of the joint venture, 24 slots had to be freed up… enter the new agreement for Alaska to start service twice daily from Los Angeles LAX, and once daily from San Diego SAN and San Francisco SFO.
Making their presence known.
Alaska moved their Mexico operations to a fancy nice new building downtown whereas before they were in a run down place that didn’t really show the values of the airline. They also moved their check in area in Terminal 1 to a recently renovated area. They’re truly making a play in Mexico, and I think they’ve got a real shot. With their Aeromexico partnership allowing passengers to connect to almost anywhere in Mexico, the options are endless.
In stark contrast to the Havana check in experience back in January for their inaugural, the Mexico check in was much more normal. Alaska has been flying to Mexico (Cabo, Ixtapa, Cancun, etc) for years, so adding one more destination isn’t that much of a stretch.
We headed up to the Alaska Lounge for a quick breakfast and headed down to the gate, hoping that we would have the same experience of the Inaugural that we had back in January for Havana.
Turns out that the real party was up in San Francisco. They had margarita kits, mariachis, special luggage tags, etc. What did we get in Los Angeles?
Balloons… Water bottles… And Cookies
There you go! No press conference (that was in SFO) no music (that was in SFO) and no regional food (that was in SFO). But hopefully we’ll get a stellar treatment on the plane, right? Maybe that’s where they put the effort.
Food on the Flight
You know that we’ve been critical of Alaska’s food many times before. In my opinion, it’s one of the biggest areas where they can improve post merger. We were hoping on the Havana flight that there would be some Cuban food… but instead we got a mushroom quiche. Would this flight be any different?
Option A, Granola … ugh. Option B, Broccoli Frittata with Chicken Sausage. Tasty, but missed it by THAAAAAAT much. Why can’t we have regional food on an inaugural flight? I think it would make the flight truly special.
During the month of August, Alaska is serving a rose on their flights. It wasn’t very tasty, but it was nice to have another option on offer. I think the brand was “House Wine, Rose” no seriously… it’s called House Wine.
No digi-e-players were distributed (the flight was booked at well over 3 hours) and no wifi was available because we were over Mexico for the majority of the flight. All in all, the flight itself was pretty lackluster.
Luckily, we were served by two amazing flight attendants, Felicia and Louie, who we’ve bad the pleasure of flying with before.
Now with Alaska flying to Los Angeles, price on the route SHOULD go down. United, InterJet, Volaris, Delta, AeroMexico, United, and now Alaska all service Mexico City from Los Angeles. Alaska does offer a good product in comparison to the rest, except for the one flight a day that Aeromexico runs on their 787 Dreamliner, it’s probably one of the best options out there.
They should give out/sell dig-e-players to First Class/Economy and make the food more regional to adjust to the tastes of its passengers, but other than that, it’s another solid Alaska service we were happy to be a part of!