Sunday 10 November 2013

With Aeroméxico, all passengers are treated with equal contempt

Watch out!
On November 6 an airline supervisor for Aeroméxico in the city of Oaxaca, Mexico, refused to let six young indigenous men on the plane. The supervisor, Francisco Cáceres, denied them the right to board allegedly because of their indigenous origin and traje, or dress, despite the fact that all six have valid tickets.

The young men, from the communities of Sola de Vega and San Jacinto in the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico, took their complaint to the airline, saying that they were denied the right to fly on flight 544 from Oaxaca to México City, and flight 706 from México City to Hermosillo in Sonora.

The airline explained that the reason the young men were denied access was due to a switch in planes to an Embraer 170, with 76 seats, as opposed to the original Embraer 190, which has 99 seats. As a result, more than 20 customers could not board the flight, including those whose final destination was Hermosillo.

The company added that the shift supervisor explained the situation to the passengers, and offered to compensate with hotel, food, and a plane ticket for an alternate route. Aeroméxico went on to regret the inconvenience.

If it is any solace to the young indigenous men, it is possible that Aeroméxico is an “equal contempt” airline. The last three times we white folk have flown Aeroméxico we have had the following experiences:

1: Arriving over two hours late on Aeroméxico from JFK to Mexico City, we missed our connection to Guadalajara. Because the connection was on Volaris and not Aeroméxico, a new ticket had to be purchased. After registering a complaint (the late arrival was Aeroméxico’s fault), some months later we received an email saying that, according to article 9 of the passenger contract, “Carrier assumes no responsibility for making connections”.

2: Arriving at the airport in Chetumal, Quintana Roo, for a flight to México City, with a connection to Guadalajara, we found that the flight had been cancelled. There were no other flights that day. We were told, in effect, “You can’t get there from here”. So we returned to our hotel and spent another night in Chetumal, and flew out the next day. There was no offer of compensation for taxi, food, or hotel, or even the remotest concern that a day was lost, etc.

3: Arriving in Mexico City on Delta from Atlanta we approached the Aeroméxico booth to confirm our connection to Mazatlan. They looked at our boarding pass and it said all was fine. We did this again as we noticed that the departure time was looming and no gate had been set, and were then told the gate number, and again that all was in order. Arriving at the gate, we were told that Delta had changed our reservation, and although we had a boarding pass, we could not board the flight to Mazatlan. Aeroméxico told us to talk to Delta, who of course told us to talk to Aeroméxico. Eventually, a friendly man at Aeroméxico managed to get us on the next flight (four hours later, at 10 pm), but there was no offer of compensation, or any consideration whatsoever.

Overall, if you are inbound to México, we recommend you avoid Aeroméxico at all costs, and for domestic flights stick with Interjet or Volaris.

(TE Wilson is the author of Mezcalero, a Detective Sánchez novel.)


  1. AeroMexico is a horrible airline, to be avoided wherever possible. Far and away the best airline in Mexico is Interjet!