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Flight Review: Aeromexico Boeing 787-8 Business Class MEX to SCL

The only widebodies Aeromexico currently flies are 787s (they retired their 777s earlier this year). They fly both the 787-8 and 787-9, and this is a review of the business class product on their 787-8.

Boeing 787-8 to take me to Santiago

Before flying this 787-8 from MEX to SCL, I flew on one of their 737-800s from JFK to MEX on a red eye. It was very similar to a domestic red eye in that the 737-800s feature recliner seats in business class. Not fun for a ~4.5 hour flight.

Luckily, the business class product on the 787-8 is much better. It’s a lie-flat product in a 2-2-2 configuration. There are 4 rows of business class in the main cabin, and 1.5ish in the rear cabin.

Boarding

The seats are not industry leading, but they do go lie flat, so I won’t complain too much. The bulkhead seats have a larger foot cutout, so I would opt for one of those if available. The seats are on the narrow side and don’t have much storage.

Business class seat

Business class seat

Foot rest and IFE at the bulkhead

Seat and IFE controls

Outlets and small storage area

Waiting at my seat were a water bottle, headphones, a pillow, and blanket. The pillow and blanket were pretty decent and fluffy. Pre-departure beverages of water, juice, or champagne were offered, and then amenity kits were handed out.

Amenity kit

Menu

Menu

Drink menu

The refreshment service was served about 40 minutes after takeoff. The tamale my seatmate had looked pretty good. My vegetable sandwich (a pre-ordered special meal) was decidedly less appetizing. It was bread, refried beans, and vegetables served cold. But I enjoyed the fruit on the side, and I liked that they had coconut water as a beverage option.

VGML refreshment meal

Midway through the flight, they set up a snack trolley between the front and mini business class cabins. This didn’t happen until pretty late in the flight (probably around 4-4.5 hours in), so it’s not just available after the first meal service like snacks are on other carriers. They had apples, pears, potato chips, packaged cookies, Twix bars, sliced vegetable (carrots, jicama, and celery), and mini croissant sandwiches.

One thing to note about the IFE on this flight was that it was censored. I watched Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and all of the swear words (of which there are many) were dubbed over.

About two hours prior to arrival, they served the main meal service. My special meal was actually pretty tasty: it was a lightly flavored rice dish with some vegetables. I’ve had many much worse special meals on flights.

VGML lunch service

And for good measure, here are the menus (and special meal) from the flight back from SCL to MEX. This flight is a red eye with the main meal service after takeoff and a smaller meal service prior to arrival (although I don’t think many passengers took advantage). My meal wasn’t as good as the one on the flight from MEX to SCL, but it was still fine.

Menu on flight from SCL to MEX

Menu on flight from SCL to MEX

VGML dinner on flight from SCL to MEX

Overall, I’d happily fly Aeromexico again. Their lounges in MEX leave a lot to be desired, and the 737-800s are to be avoided, but the hard product on the 787-8 is perfectly comfortable, and the service was fine as well (it was significantly better on the flight from SCL to MEX). I would recommend trying to get a bulkhead seat (first row of main cabin or mini-cabin) so you have more room for your feet.

Flight Review: Japan Airlines (JAL) Business Class Boeing 787 BKK to KIX

Prior to this flight, I used the JAL lounge in Bangkok, which is decent, but you should probably go to the Cathay Pacific lounge instead if it’s open. For this flight, only the JAL lounge was open.

This flight marked the third time I had flown on a Boeing 787, and the third airline’s 787 I had flown (the others being ANA and Qatar).

Plane spotting at BKK

Plane spotting at BKK

In spite of being a relatively new plane, JAL installed a 2x2x2 angled-flat business class product on these 787s. Why angled flat? I have no idea. They also do have 787s that have lie-flat seats, and you can tell if your plane should have lie-flat seats by the presence of a premium economy cabin. That being said, the plane felt very new. The seats looked great, as did the bathrooms, and I love the giant windows on the 787. There were also personal air nozzles on this plane.

Business class cabin

Business class cabin

Seats in a 2x2x2 configuration

Seats in a 2x2x2 configuration

Business class seat

Business class seat

Seat controls

Seat controls

I sat in the bulkhead, which I would recommend for the extra legroom. There were only 8 passengers in business class for this flight, so the load was quite light.

Lots of space at the bulkhead

Lots of space at the bulkhead

Less space in other seats

Less space in other seats

At my seat, I found a sleep kit (which contained an eye mask, ear plugs, face mask, and eye refresher–more airlines should provide face masks), slippers (one of my favorite airplane amenities), headphones, a pillow, blanket, and meal order sheet. JAL also has helpful guides to the seat, so you can figure out all of the different functionality. They even have a screen with information on the location of the lavatories!

Slippers, headphones, amenities

Slippers, headphones, amenities

Guide to the seat

Guide to the seat

Guide to the bathrooms

Guide to the bathrooms

A flight attendant came around offering a “relaxing wear” top (i.e. pajamas). It was a little thick, and JAL has notoriously warm cabins, so wear it at your own risk. I was also offered a bottle of water and customs and immigration forms, but no hot towel or pre-departure beverage. I’ve read that people have had issues with English proficiency on JAL, but I’ve never had any issues. One thing that I appreciated was the meal order sheet before arrival. Given that the flight was a short red eye, you could specify whether you wanted to be woken up for breakfast or not, as well as what you wanted to eat.

Meal order form

Meal order form

Given that the actual flight time for this flight was less than 5 hours and that it was an overnight flight, the menu was super abbreviated.

Food menu

Food menu

Drink menu

Drink menu

The angled flat seats are not great, and the pillow and blanket were a bit flimsy. I slept for a bit, but I ended up getting woken up by loud and long announcements about 1h 15m prior to landing. On some airlines, they really try to let you sleep for as long as possible and make very few announcements, but that was not the case on this flight.

Given that I was awake, I decided to have some breakfast. JAL posts their in-flight menus on their website, and based on looking at the menu prior to the flight, I thought I’d find something that I’d be okay eating (e.g., “plain omelette”), so I didn’t pre-order a special meal (partly because past special meals on JAL have been terrible). Little did I know that there was lots of meat in the “plain omelette with bechamel mushroom sauce”: the plate was covered in bacon, and there was chicken and shrimp in the bechamel. Also, the orange sauce on the fruit plate was actually a gazpacho.

Breakfast

Breakfast

In addition the overly early announcement, the flight attendant was extremely persistent that I be buckled in starting 30 minutes prior to landing. Like to the point of being rude. I get that it’s for my safety, but I’ve never had a flight attendant want people sitting down so early prior to landing.

Anyway, while I enjoy flying 787s, and it’s probably my favorite plane to fly if I’m in economy, I would avoid the angled-flat seats on some of JAL’s 787s. And besides the barking at me for being out of my seat 30 minutes prior to landing, the service was impeccable.