Tag Archives: Aeromexico

Aeromexicos New Airline Security Brochure – Endless Fun!

When you find a brochure lying invitingly on an Aeromexico check-in counter at the Merida airport with the title “Security in Airport’s Program” and you have a penchant, as I do, to examine carefully the English texts in this country, you know you are in for a fabulous unintentional comedic treat and will pick it up for a closer look. Sure enough, the second title on the page, in larger letters was “Items and materials restricted for Carrying in Airport’s Sterile Areas and on board any Aircrafts”. Note the random capital letters, as if the writer thought ‘hmm there really should be some capital letters here, but where to put them?!’

Reading through the various prohibitions and restrictions, my interest was rewarded with several gems, some of which I will attempt to describe to you, dear reader(s) in the hopes that you will share my sense of awe and wonderment (and perhaps some indignation also?) at this callously sloppy yet very entertaining literary effort put out by the country’s only remaining major airline.

For starters, the cover indicates that the contents – in spite of being quite lengthy and extremely descriptive – are really not that complete and the list could be expanded to include other things at any time. This, in the business writing world, is known as CYA or Cover Your Ass. They express the concept through the help of their third grade teachers English thusly:

Items listed on this document are just some examples, the restrictions are not limited at this

Good to know that the information inside has already been discredited!

Inside the brochure things get very interesting indeed. All texts in italics are taken verbatim from the original – I have not made any of this up. To differentiate the things you can bring on the plane either in your carry-on or checked luggage, there is a handy graphic at the beginning of the list showing:

  1. a drawing of a piece of luggage and the text:  permitted only as checked in baggage
  2. a drawing of a little airplane and the text: permitted as checked in hand baggage
  3. a drawing of a red circle with a diagonal red line through it with the text: permitted as checked in hand baggage

First of all what is hand baggage? My guess is that it is carry-on luggage. Secondly, don’t those last two symbols have the same text?

Taking those symbols or drawings and their explicatory texts, you learn that ON AEROMEXICO FLIGHTS YOU CAN bring the following items on the plane as long as they are in your checked luggage aka ‘checked in baggage’:

Guns, wheel guns (what the hell is a wheel gun – is for shooting wheels?), rifles, shotguns, Bbguns…. and compressed air, cartridges

Axes, Knives, sport knives, stilotto Knives, cork blade knives, daggers….fencing weapons, machetes, axes, etc. Of special interest is the repetition of the axes concept; particularly useful if you are a Viking and have several of them to stow in your checked in baggage.

Other things you can put in your luggage on Aeromexico flights are:

Martial arts weapons (throwing ones or not) Or not.

Straight Razors

Crokscrews That’s right, Crokscrews. For when your Croks need screwing.

Harpoons Great if you’ve come down for a little golf, tequila and WHALING. You know there’s a lot of that going on.

Subcutaneous syringes and needles for people on board with the appropriate medicine People on board without the appropriate medicine please desist

Nail Removers (Maximum 100 ml per person or 3.4 oz) That’s some pretty strong liquid if it removes the entire nail and not just the nail polish! Also, is 100 ml per person or 100 ml per 3.4 oz? Confusing, somewhat.

There are more, but these are just some of the highlights of what you CAN take on the plane, in your luggage that goes in the cargo area.

If you are a terrorist, this should already be good news! But it gets better!! No more discomfort from hiding pesky explosives in your shoes! No more C4 rash in your crotch area from strapping explosives in  your underwear! In addition to the above items that, according to the brochure in my hand, you can stow in your luggage, Aeromexico allows you to bring on the plane with you (according to those previously mentioned symbols) the following, which should make your work easy for you:

Wet Batteries Just make sure you dry your batteries thoroughly before packing them. They make SUCH a mess.

Acids and Corrosive substances

Butane and Propane Gas

Gasoline and all other flammable liquids All of them. Bring them all.

Radioactive materials Got a Reactor at Home and want to bring it to Cancun? With Aeromexico it’s all good!


Traffic sparklers These sound so San Francisco but could be handy when trying to get the flight attendants attention.

Fireworks, all types of black powder, and any fire-making article OK Tarzan, that is pretty clear. Black powder. Fire-making article. Ugga.

Primers and detonators

and my personal favorite from this list:

Explosives and Hand Grenades

Now there are many more items on this comprehensive list, which is of course – as you recall – not complete and most assuredly has omissions and/or errors and therefore should not be taken in any way seriously.


How can AeroMexico, as Mexicos only remaing major airline, come up with this sort of poorly redacted and translated drivel?  The spelling mistakes that any word processing programs spellchecker would catch; the completely indiscriminate use of capital letters which are sprinkled haphazardly throughout the text and catch your eye like the pink bits in a bowl of Alphabits cereal, and of course the horrendously awful translation, inexcusable in this day and age and more inexcusable for a company of this calibre.

Is it budget? Can it possibly be that the airline is cutting costs in its communications efforts? That this brochure, available in every Mexican airport at Aeromexico counters and read by I dare say thousands of English speaking people every single day (who are laughing) was seen as not so very important and so no effort was made to hire someone to professionally prepare this piece of information?

Is it an excess of confianza? Does Aeromexico feel so safe with Mexicana now out of the picture and with low friends in high places, that they could care less about doing this one right and from their view, at the top of a pile of rapidly decomposing laurels, they feel they couldn’t be bothered? And so they probably created a little company run by the cousin or some other relative of the guy in charge of getting this done and gave him the contract to produce the brochure because he studied English in Iowa in grade 10 and so he knows English and and and.

Or do they just not know any better? This one I can’t believe, sorry.


A brochure like this one, will not change anyone’s life for the better or worse, except perhaps a cerebrally-challenged Taliban suicide bomber who happens to be in Mexico, happens to read English and was counting on taking his detonators, acids, and hand grenades aboard his next flight. Or perhaps Lars the Viking who finds his axes(s) not welcome in his suitcase despite what the brochure says after a great vacation of looting and pillaging in some Mexican village.

What it does do, yet again, is paint Mexicans in general (because an English speaking person reading this brochure will not think this is an Aeromexico problem; it’s all Mexicans) as either sloppy or illiterate. Maybe it’s the Mexican part of me that takes offense at such sloppiness, cohabiting with my Canadian part that finds it all amusing.

I think it is inexcusable to put out this kind of garbage in this day and age. With so many resources available in a globalized economy (internet, anyone?) you would think a company the size of Aeromexico would be able to come up with something professional that was attractive, informative and easy to read in addition to being well written and translated, for something as important as airport security.

How Mexicana Changed My Travel Plans

Because people asked.

So there I was, happily esconced at a friends place in Vancouver, enjoying the cool, sunny weather of a British Columbia fall, when I got the news that Mexicana went from the suspending a few flights (Vancouver-Houston had been un-affected up to this point) to a complete shut-down, due to, as their website blurb pointed out, a failure in reaching agreements with certain sectors (nudge nudge wink wink; read unions).

I returned my rental vehicle to the Vancouver airport on September 2, as scheduled and looked for the lonely Mexicana counter, tucked in forlornly among the myriad Cathay Pacific and China Air counters, where I found about 4 people standing around, all Mexicans, waiting on someone to help them. When asked, the Vancouver airport information desk person stated that she had received word that no one would be in from Mexicana that day but, the Mexican in me said, let’s go have a coffee and think about this and someone will probably show up. And they did.

Two non-uniformed employees of Mexicana, who make up the backbone of the airlines operations in Vancouver I was told later, helped the 4 Mexicans get flights home via Air Canada and American Airlines, who were the only companies helping Mexicana out. When it came to my turn, I was informed that there was an option via Air Canada but that would mean flying to Toronto and then on to Mexico somewhere. Toronto! Flying across the continent was not appealing to me at all and I mentioned that I was in no rush (it was still sunny in Vancouver after all) and so I got a voucher for American Airlines to fly Vancouver-Dallas/Ft Worth-Mexico City on September 4, 2 days later. I was to be at the airport at 8:30, 3 hours before the flight. OK. I went back to my friends place to enjoythe sun.

On September 4, I arrived at 9:00 AM at the American Airlines counter to find it closed. What? Asking again at the information desk, the nice lady told me that the flight had already left at 10:00. Now I was confused. Had it left early or what? There was no time on the travel voucher given to me and so I trundled off with my very overstuffed, overweight luggage to the Mexicana counter which, this time, was closed. After considering my dilemma, I asked the nice folks at China Air where the Mexicana people were and was told that no, they were not coming in today but did I know that they had an office right behind the counters, just over there? No, I did not. In I went, luggage in tow and found the man who had helped me on September 2.

“Que le paso?” he exclaimed upon seeing me again.

I explained and he said no, no, no, he had told me that the FLIGHT was at 8:30 AM and to be 3 hours before that. Obviously I had misunderstood him and MISSED MY FLIGHT.

Was there another option, I asked. No, we are quickly running out of alternatives and even Air Canada has pulled the plug on us. You will have to go to American Airlines and see if they can accommodate you on another flight using that voucher.

Off I go to American Airlines to see what they can do. After standing in line for a while (they were checking in their afternoon flight now) the counter lady tells me “Well, that voucher is good for 24 hours only and today is completely booked and it looks like tomorrow is as well”.

Mussing my hair up discreetly, I tell her that I am really getting exhausted from sleeping at the airport and could she please pretty please check again, I would really appreciate it. Lo and behold, a spot comes up and she tells me to come back tomorrow at 10:45 AM to check in for their 2:05 PM flight to Dallas and then on to DF. After making her repeat the time I needed to be there about seventeen times I get on my knees and thank her. Not really, but I was extremely grateful and told her so.

On September 5, my dear friend once again drove me to the airport,luggage and all and this time I was first in line at the American Airlines counter at 10:00 AM sharp. At 11:00 AM, there were many folks behind me, all coming from the Alaska cruise (which departs from Vancouver) and all with some sort of respiratory infection they caught on the ship. Another reason to stay away from cruiseships, I thought.

The counter person, to whom I explained my sad (sort of) situation (again) took pity on me and did not charge the $100 USD overweight baggage charge, saying only that he would tag it as ‘heavy’ and that I had been through enough grief. The truth is that I had not really been at all stressed; what with no where to go, no where to be and a very comfortable bed at my friends place and did I mention that it had been sunny up to that point? Nevertheless, I appreciated the gesture greatly since it left some room on the credit card which I immediately put to good use in the fancy-pants restaurant and my long-suffering friend and I had a great breakfast.

Once on the plane, aisle seat, emergency exit with lots of leg room (!) I texted home to say I was finally on my way.

In Dallas, a two hour layover allowed me to sample Cousins Barbeque before getting back on the plane to DF. I missed the free WiFi that Vancouver International Airport offers it’s visitors however; call it socialism, you Republican freaks of nature, but it is very comforting to be able to communicate with loved ones from the airport and is just a NICE gesture. In Dallas/Ft Worth, no free WiFi thank you very much.

Finally, after bumping along for 2 hours or so in the midst of a cloud bank that never went away, the plane touched down in Mexico City. Mexicana of course had no one at their counters since it was after midnite and so I checked into the hotel across the way, the Camino Real with the intention of heading over first thing in the morning to see about getting to Merida.

At 7:30 I was talking to a Mexicana rep who told me that there was nothing they could do for me and to go to Aeromexico, who were offering a special rate for passengers affected by the Mexicana debacle. The Aeromexico counter person informed me that no, there was nothing going to Merida that had any space on it. What about Cancun, I asked hopefully, crossing my fingers. Yes, there was a flight at 8:30 AM and I could go on that. Do it, I said.

Rushed back to the hotel, combed my hair, got the luggage, and checked out. Terminal 2 was quite a hike the receptionist informed me – would I like to take the shuttle? It was standing outside, ready to go. OK.

Arriving at Terminal 2, a spectacular new building, I rushed to the gate. The wheelchair person (all the ticket checkers at the entrance to the secured areas are in wheelchairs it seems) asks me “Are you planning to take that suitcase on board?” Shit! With time running out, I race back to the check in counter where I find a long lineup for Aeromexico flights. I will never make this, I think to myself and text home saying that I may be coming home soon but then again, maybe not. Suddenly, an announcement comes over the PA system indicating that passengers on the Cancun flight are to report to a special window set up just for them as the flight is about to begin boarding. Rushing over, I am helped quickly enough, only I need to get in this other line-up to pay for the grossly overweight luggage I plan to take with me. Once this is done, I am issued a boarding pass and run back to my wheelchair friends who look me over and wave me through.

As I arrive at the gate, the boarding announcement is made and once I am actually on the plane, I phone home to say that yes, I will be getting there – almost – soon. Almost because I will be arriving in Cancun, not Merida. Aisle seat, emergency exit, lots of leg room. Coincidence? Who knows.

In Cancun, I am assaulted by the humidity and heat as I drag myself and my luggage outside to consider my next move. There is the ADO bus to Merida which is comfy but which means I need to move my heavy junk to the shuttle to downtown and then negotiate the lines downtown to get my Merida ticket. OR, I could take the ADO shuttle from the airport itself which goes straight to Altabrisa mall in Merida. I decide on the latter. I will be taking the Sprinter, I am informed upon paying my 450 pesos or so, in cash: thankfully I have saved a $500 peso bill for whatever reason.

Now I understood that the Sprinter meant the actual Sprinter, a small bus made by Renault, Peugeot or one of those French companies that is actually called a Sprinter. Alas, no such animal awaited me; rather it was a Nissan Urvan van, which seats 2 comfortably and 9 really uncomfortably. On this trip there were 11 of us, not counting the driver. “But you will stop in Valladolid”, the fellow at the airport says “for a bathroom stop”. I look forward to having a Donia Tere taco and a decent coffee at the Italian Coffee location on the way, as I accommodate my knees up around my ears and settle in.

The driver, unfortunately has no such plans and two hours later zips by the Isla de Servicios on the way to Merida. I wistfully look back at Donia Tere and hunker down for another hour and a half of this fun ride.

Finally, I arrive at the Altabrisa ADO mini-station where the driver pops the trunk and leaves us. We are to unload the luggage ourselves which we do, rather stiffly, in the wet heat of a sunny Merida afternoon.

We are home.