Thursday, September 4, 2014

12 hours in the mighty Lufthansa B748i to Mexico

This is continuation of my trip from Pune to Mexico and the previous part can be found at this link

Having made our way to gate Z58 clearing security from the regular lane, since the flight did not yet feature on the fast lane yet, we were 10 mins away from boarding time, still ample to click some pictures and the first obviously was to be of our ride to MEX. As I neared the glass, I was stunned and surprised to see “Fanhansa“at the gate! The same one which ferried the winning German football team from Brazil to Germany. 

Boarding started late, long lines were formed, and soon we were settled on our seats. The pilot came on PA to announce that we would wait for connecting passengers and the FA around said that 30 seats are empty as we hoped the one between my colleague and me is one of those 30. Also onboard was the Mexican youth Olympic team which got a rousing welcome at MEX.

Soon doors were closed as we awaited information, the pilot came on PA and said that we have lost our slot & the next one could be an hour away and that he would brief us later, which he did, saying that we are now scheduled for push back at 1420 local time. The crew sprang into action, starting with water and juice and later distributing immigration forms to keep the passengers occupied.

                                                    (1500th B747 was next to us)

The entire bank of flights on both sides left as we waited and waited some more. Finally the engines came to life as we pushed back and made our way to take off from runway 18.

(A phenomena I saw for the first time) 

 The flight was uneventful except for the grouse I have that the flight info wasn’t working for the entire duration & the Indian audio channel was missing on this flight, there was none. A drinks run, in which I opted for Finlanda, along with the meal – Ravioli, followed by another one 4 hours later which was a tea coffee juice and biscuits and then another one -  light 
snacks with drinks.

All along juice and water was available in the galley and crew helpful to offer some light snacks as and when somebody asked for it.


 We overflew the ocean all along and descent started as soon as there was landfall over Mexico. The weather changed for the worst as we neared MEX and amidst clouds, we banked multiple times to land on runway 05R at Benito Juarez International Airport, Mexico City followed by a long taxi back to our gate. 

There were long lines for immigration after a long walk, but immigration process was fast and hassle free. My US visa was checked and the number noted down on the form, along with questions like “How long in Mexico?” , “Business or Tourism?” nothing else was asked.

Baggage was already rolling on the belt and we proceeded to customs, which was a total lucky draw and here is why I say so. There was a button and two lights above that, Red and Green and each person had to press the button, if the red light glows, you go ahead and put your baggage in the scanner and wait for officers who would ask you to open baggage and if it’s green, you just walk off. In case of my colleague and me, it was green. But looks like Mexico believes more on statistics to find out who is evading customs duty!

Mexico City airport has two terminals, and we were at Terminal 2. Our next flight was from Terminal 1 but the day after and we made a long walk to our shuttle which was to come at Gate 4 and checked in at Ramada Aeropuerto which gave me a room with a view of the airport! 

I got up to a view of A320s lined up for takeoff and a lot of new airlines – Interjet, Viva Aerobus, Volaris, Iberia, AeroMexico and the standard ones American Airlines, DHL, Delta, United amongst others.

The dinner was a challenge, due to language but we got Quesadillas, and the breakfast which I thought would not be a challenge turned out to be a challenge too.

Flight Summary
Aircraft Registration: D-ABYI Named Potsdam
B747-800, MSN 37833, delivered to Lufthansa in May 2013

STD/ATD: 1325/1425
STA/ATA: 1825/1835
(All times local)

On-Time: 3/5
Website &Check-in: 5/5
Check-in & airport experience: 3/5 (Boarding needed better management)
Aircraft Cleanliness: 4/5
In-flight experience: 3/5 (Flight Info not working)
Food: 5/5
Alighting & Arrival experience: 4/5 

                                               ( The route LH 498 took from FRA to MEX)

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