Interjet is one of the three Mexican low-cost carriers (along with Volaris and VivaAerobus) that has expanded rapidly within the past decade following the collapse of Grupo Mexicana in 2010. It was founded in 2005 as a privately-owned carrier, and likens itself to the “JetBlue of Mexico,” with certain in-flight frills such as generous carry-on policies, free snacks and drinks, and extra legroom, in comparison to other Mexican LCCs and ULCCs.
I booked two passengers on Interjet for approximately $250 one-way, which I thought was a great deal. American and Aeromexico also fly from Dallas/Ft. Worth to Mexico City, and often charge a premium on this route. While Interjet miles would not credit to any of my frequent flier programs, I was excited anyway because it would be another foreign-flag carrier for me to sample. As most of you know, I love trying out new airlines and aircraft just for the sake of adventure.
Booking and Online Check-In
Interjet uses Navitaire’s New Skies reservation and check-in platform, which is perfect for the LCC and hybrid airline models. Booking was extremely quick and efficient, with options to customize the journey based upon desired ancillary services. Notably, basic tariff customers are allowed two carry-on bags weighed at 10KG each, which is generous. On-line check-in and boarding pass issuance was simple, and while checking-in at DFW airport, I proceeded to the counter anyways to get the hand-luggage tag for my roller-board bag. Passengers who choose to carry-on will need to get this at the counter or at the gate in order to bring their bag into the cabin.
Interjet uses check-in counters 75/76 at DFW airport, located towards the South end of Concourse D at DFW International airport, where foreign flag carriers are assigned, usually. Check-in was smooth and security was pretty quick, although DFW is testing out the automated bin system (like is in use at London Heathrow/Terminal 2) and I think there are still some teething pains associated with this.
We proceeded to the American Express Centurion Lounge at DFW Airport, which was nothing but anxiety-inducing. I know that I continue to advocate for the AMEX Platinum Card, and stand by my opinion in spite of the experience we had on Friday, but simply put, the DFW lounge is just too crowded. They are working on expanding the lounge as we speak, but even at noon on Friday, it was nearly impossible to find a seat. We had some food and then decided to move to The Club at DFW airport, which is a Priority Pass lounge.
The Club at DFW has been temporarily moved from its previous location above gate D22 to a “renovated” space across from D15. It basically is a former Bennigans or some other F&B restaurant that has been repurposed to a pop-up lounge. While not fancy by any means, we appreciated the plethora of seating space that was available. There is a limited selection of snacks, like hummus and popcorn, but drinks were complimentary. It basically was like a waiting room with free alcohol.
Interjet boards from gate D7 towards the end of Concourse D. This is a very quiet section of the terminal, and so I would generally recommend staying in this part of the airport if you have a long layover without lounge access or just want a quiet place to read, sleep, or meditate.
Interjet previously flew the Sukhoi Superjet SSJ-100 on its Dallas/Ft. Worth route, but unfortunately had to replace it with the Airbus A320 after the SSJ was grounded in 2017 following some saftey concerns.
Boarding was extremely organized and efficient. Upon entering the cabin, I noticed that most of the passengers in the forward section of the plane had boarded and stowed their items, while the rear section was filing back. The first few rows on Interjet’s A320s have additional legroom, but I was in for a shock when I noticed that the seat pitch for all seats on Interjet is at a whopping 34 inches!
We sat in 21A and 21B. My knees were so happy. Interjet doesn’t have much swag in the seat pocket, like an in-flight magazine or a menu of buy-on-board options, but I’ll take the legroom any day.
We took off from DFW on-time and had a smooth journey around the storm clouds headed towards the “metroplex.” Once we reached cruising altitude, we were informed that we would be treated to Interjet’s “world-class in-flight service,” which consisted of a beverage and snack. We made our way south, with a lovely view of Austin, TX, where I had been exactly the week before walking the stage to receive my Master’s in Business Administration diploma from the University of Texas.
I noticed that the cabin crews had two beverage carts, with one who started from the forward part of the cabin, and the other from the aft, meeting halfway through the aircraft. I thought that this was a very interesting concept that isn’t utilized often, and they were very prompt in getting the cabin served quickly.
Alcoholic beverages are complimentary on Interjet. I wasn’t able to browse a list of beers, wines, or liquors on this flight, but judging from the view of the bottles on the drinks cart, one could order Johnnie Walker, Jack Daniels, rum, vodka, and Tecate. I am sure there were other options, one just had to ask 🙂 Although I only interacted with the Interjet crews in Spanish, the announcements were bilingual and I could tell that they spoke great, fluent English as well. We were also given a small bag of flavored potato chips, including the ones sold in Mexico, which are a treat. They will also happily refill drinks upon any request.
We made our way across the border into the frontera crossing into Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas, before the flat farmlands of Northern Mexico started to change to the rugged mountainous landscape of San Luis Potosi.
Before long, we were circling around the outskirts of Mexico City, and treated to some beautiful views of the mountains, of Chapultepec Park, La Condesa, Reforma, and Roma Norte before our final approach into MEX.
We also had some views of the now-defunct Mexicana and Aviacsa hangars. RIP 🙁
Arrival into MEX
A new Mexico City airport is being built in a separate location in order to expand the current capacity of Benito Juarez International, which is operating at its maximum output at the moment. At present, all non-AeroMexico and SkyTeam carriers, with the exception of Air France-KLM, operate out of Terminal 1 at MEX. Taxi times were fairly minimal and we were on our way to immigration within 20 minutes of landing.
Customs took about 25 minutes to process, and then we hailed an Uber to make our way to our hotel.
Interjet Final Thoughts
I was pleasantly surprised by my Interjet experience, although I had heard only positive things via word-of-mouth from others. In many ways, one could liken the experience to flying WestJet or JetBlue or Alaska: aka, a hybrid carrier that is pleasant, efficient, affordable, and easy to fly with. The crew was friendly, the in-flight experience provided all the amenities we needed for a quick 2 hour hop south, and the price was great.
Interjet has a fairly vast network across North America, and also boasts a fairly robust domestic network within Mexico to enable connecting flights into secondary leisure and beach cities like Oaxaca, Veracruz, Mazatlan, etc. From the U.S., they fly to Chicago O’Hare, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston-Bush, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York JFK, Orlando, San Francisco, and San Antonio. Outside of the U.S. and Mexico, they fly to Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Bogota, San Jose de Costa Rica, Havana, Santa Clara, Varadero, Guatemala City, and Lima. Note that while Mexico City is their primary hub, they also have focus cities in Cancun, Culiacan, Guadalajara, and Monterrey.
All in all, Interjet is a great airline to fly. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone for a quick weekend trip south of the border.