Taking my chances on another VivaAerobus A320 – this time Cancun to Mexico City

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01. Introduction: Risking life and limb on low-cost Mexican airlines
02. Interjet A321 main cabin Tijuana to Mexico City
03. VivaAerobus A320 Mexico City to Cancun
04. The Royal Cancun All Suites Resort
05. Cancun was nothing like I expected it would be. Let me explain…
06. VivaAerobus A320 Cancun to Mexico City
07. The Grand Lounge Elite, MEX
08. Volaris A321 main cabin Mexico City to Tijuana

Having already survived one VivaAerobus flight two days ago and feeling pretty good about how that went, this flight back to Mexico City would be the ultimate test. Was the good experience that I had on that first flight just a fluke? Or was it typical of how this airline is actually run and that I would get the same experience today? There’s only one way to find out: let’s go to the airport!

Cancun airport entrance

For some reason or another, the entrance to the domestic terminal at the Cancun International Airport felt exactly like a shopping mall. Anyone need anything from Macy’s? Oooh, looks like there’s a 25% off sale!

VB3153
Cancun, Mexico (CUN) – Mexico City, Mexico (MEX)
Monday, September 18, 2017
Aircraft: A320-232
Registration: XA-VAT
Duration: 2 hours 1 minute
Seat: 6A (main cabin)

VivaAerobus A320 10 anos side view

VivaAerobus A320 with “10 Años” decal (XA-VAT) side view illustration by norebbo.com.

vivaaerobus seat map

Seat map of this VivaAerobus A320 showing my seat (6A) for this flight to Mexico City.

CUN-MEX route map

Our route from Cancun to Mexico today.

Once though the main doors, it wasn’t very clear to me where I needed to go to check in, and I ended up having to walk around a little bit before I found a small line of people queued up for something. Since there were no other lines in this place, I walked over to see if this was perhaps the check-in area for my VivaAerobus flight to Mexico City.

Unfortunately it’s still wasn’t clear to me once I assessed the situation up close – the big ASUR logos on the back wall didn’t give me confidence that this was the right line. However, there was an assortment of VivaAerobus placards floating around the area which led me to believe that I should stand in this line – if only to see what would happen.

VivaAerobus Check in Cancun airport

I honestly had no idea if this was the line to check in for VivaAerobus, but it was the only one so I took my spot and waited like the clueless tourist that I was.

VivaAerobus Cancun airport

While I was waiting, two of the displays flickered on and showed this. While it was nice to see a VivaAerobus logo, there was still no mention of Mexico City and I was starting to get worried.

It ended up being the wrong line of course, but it only took five minutes of standing there before they opened up a new line just for Mexico City passengers such as myself. And of course It was every man for himself at that point, and if you weren’t quick on your feet, the fact that you were first in this line did not necessarily mean that you would be first in the new line. Apparently common courtesy isn’t it held in high regard what it comes to standing in line in Mexico.

Cancun airport check in

There we go. A few minutes later, and the queue for Mexico City appeared out of nowhere.

Passing through the security checkpoint quick and easy, but I will have to say that I felt like I arrived at the airport way too early (yet again) because the domestic terminal here at Cancun International Airport is for the lack of a better word…lacking. It’s basically just two large empty halls with various shops sprinkled around the perimeter. Normally I enjoy killing time in airports by walking up and down the terminal a time or 12, but here in the domestic terminal there’s just nowhere to go.

Cancun airport domestic terminal

Pretty much the entirety of the domestic terminal here at the Cancun airport.

SANspotter selfie CUN

Might as well grab a quick bite to eat while I wait.

VivaAerobus Boarding pass

Of course I couldn’t resist taking a pic of my boarding pass on the VivaAerobus green table.

VivaAerobus bag tag

Speaking of VivaAerobus green, now would be a fantastic time to let you know that I’m a huge fan of their brand colors. Even his bag tags look sharp!

While I was waiting, I quickly discovered that the ground staff here are not a big fan of photography and AvGeeks such as myself. I take all of my trip report pictures with my phone or a GoPro, so it’s not like I’m carrying around a big DSLR or anything with the monster lens. Still, they didn’t seem to appreciate the fact that I needed pictures for this trip report and I was told to stop taking pictures. Oh well – I got what I needed anyway.

VivaAerobus a320

That’s my bird arriving from…well… I totally forgot, but I’m confident it was from someplace nearby.

They changed our departure gate roughly about 10 minutes before the boarding process was scheduled to begin, which wasn’t a big deal at all because the domestic terminal is so small that it literally just meant walking over to the next gate. But at least they got the boarding process started on time and in a somewhat orderly fashion.

VivaAerobus boarding Cancun airport

OK, I’m ready! Let’s hope this flight is as good as the one that I had the day before.

Walking out to the airplane Cancun airport

There are no jet bridges here, but the stairs leading down to the plane are quite elaborate. Would it not have been easier to build simple jet bridges instead?

VivaAerobus a320 Cancun airport

There are some pretty nice views of the ramp from the stairs though, so I’m totally not complaining.

The anti-photo police made another appearance as I was walking out to the plane unfortunately, which prevented me from getting the pics that I wanted from the air stairs as I was walking up to the boarding door. I didn’t have any opposition to photography when I arrived in Cancun two days ago, but this time they were simply not allowing it. Being that this is Mexico and I’ve heard horrible things about Mexican jail, I had no problem accommodating the request to stop taking pictures.

Until I stepped inside…

Just like the A320 I was on two days ago, this one was sparkling clean and looked fairly new. It was also a very full flight with nary an seat empty, so it appears that VivaAerobus isn’t as repelling as one would be led to believe from reading online reviews. It looked like they have no problem filling these planes!

VivaAerobus A320 main cabin

VivaAerobus A320 main cabin.

VivaAerobus a320 leg room

Decent leg room here (just as I pointed out in my other review), but there was something under the seat which prevented my bag from fitting all the way underneath. Oh well – all the more opportunity to keep looking at that pretty bag tag.

Boarding airplane via air stairs Cancun airport

I still don’t quite understand the lack of jet bridges here, but I’m never one to complain about air stairs (unless it’s raining).

I’m kicking myself now for not getting a picture of this, but during the safety demonstration the flight attendant standing at the front of the aircraft was wearing a bright yellow life vest with an old USAir logo on it. It gave me a chuckle, and if anything it was just a strong reminder of this being a budget airline that cuts costs wherever possible. They must’ve got a really good deal on those lifevests when USAir disappeared!

VivaAerobus safety card

Speaking of the safety demonstration, we need to have a look at the safety card – even though I showed you this in the last review.

The other side. Looks familiar, doesn’t it?  I should hope so, otherwise that means you haven’t been paying attention!

VivaAerobus Branding safety card

Maybe I like the color green more than I thought I did (and I’m just realizing it now), but man that VivaAerobus green looks sharp.

The departure out of Cancun today was nothing short of spectacular with amazing views of the beaches and bright turquoise water below. It was dark when I flew into Cancun two days ago, so all in all it was pretty neat to be able to see this area from the air as we took off. It was surprising to me to see that there really isn’t much around the area of Cancun – just a lot of open land at this point, which unfortunately will probably be developed at some point in time.

VivaAerobus Cancun airport

Ready to roll!

Taxi for takeoff the Cancun airport

The high angle of the sun isn’t ideal, but I’ve got my fingers crossed for some stunning departure pics.

Taxi for departure Cancun airport

There wasn’t much to see on the way out to the runway, but at least the taxi time was short and we were on our way in no time.

Cancun airport international terminal

That’s the international terminal down there, and as you can see…jet bridges.

Cancun airport departure view

Wowzas. Check out the color of that water!

 VivaAerobus In-flight

The view turned a whole heck of a lot less interesting the higher we went. So long turquoise waters…I miss you already!

VivaAerobus Advertisements on overhead bins

I wonder how much it would cost to put a SANspotter ad up there?

The service on today’s flight was exactly the same as it was two days ago, which is a good thing. that means that consistency is important to this airline, and they’ve definitely got a system in place that works. I didn’t partake in any of the service due to the fact that literally everything has a price attached to it, and I was planning a lounge visit at MEX anyway. My food intake would have to wait.

VivaAerobus menu

Despite being labeled as an ultra low-cost carrier, the VivaAerobus menu is actually quite impressive. Check this out…

VivaAerobus menu

I would’ve been totally disappointed if nachos weren’t an option.

VivaAerobus drink menu

Cervesa to go with your nachos, perhaps? That Fanta looks good too.

VivaAerobus tours

But wait – there’s more! How about a tour to go with your snack?

 Flying on VivaAerobus a320

Scenery check: looking good out there!

VivaAerobus interior

Looking as if she spilled her nachos and beer all over the floor. So sad.

Flying into the Mexico City airport is simply amazing due to the spectacular views of the urban area that seems to go on forever. It’s completely mind-boggling how large Mexico City is and even on this flight, my third ever flight into MEX, I was simply in awe the entire way in. Seeing Mexico City from the air is an experience that I would recommend to anyone – it really changes your perspective the human population, that’s for darn sure.

MEX approach

Making our approach into Mexico City. One of the best airport approaches ever!

Mexico City airport approach

The approach and landing sequence. Never a dull moment when flying into this city.

Once on the ground, our taxi time was short and we were docked at the gate exactly at the time promised on my ticket. Another successful VivaAerobus flight complete.

Interjet SSJ 100

There she is. The aircraft which inspired this trip (but ultimately didn’t pan out): the Interjet SSJ 100.

VivaAerobus End of flight

That’s it folks. The end of yet another successful trip on VivaAerobus.

So what gives? Why does everyone get this airline such a bad rap? To be honest, I’m not really sure because these two flights over the past two days were actually pretty darn good. Just as good as you would get on any low-cost carrier in the US actually, and the fact that they got me where I needed to go on time two times in a row says a lot. VivaAerobus knows what they’re doing, and based on my experience I would consider them to be legit airline competitive with anybody else. No need to afraid of the ‘bus!

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    1. James Hanley November 15, 2017
      • SANspotter November 15, 2017

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