Monday, December 10, 2007


Vivaaerobus, the punchline of which is "Mexico's low fares airline" deserves a special mention in my blogspace. I've flown twice in this airline and the experience is just out of the world!!!

This is the flight which has the lowest fares and also the lowest priority among all other Mexican airlines. This makes it highly vulnerable to delays. You're lucky if you're flight is delayed by 30 minutes, don't get impatient, that's how it works. You've paid less, you better reap for what you've sown.

The most notable feature of this airline is that it does not have/issue seat numbers. The boarding pass looks pretty empty containing, just the boarding gate, time and one of the letters from A to D. Seat allocation is based on first-come-first-serve basis, the later you go the farther you're in the queue.

Boarding is a lot more amusing and interesting event. The stewardess announces to form 4 different queues based on the alphabets (priority, A being the highest) you belong to. There is so much hustle bustle, especially among these middle aged aunties, that it looks as though you're in one of those poor Sudanese village and starved people are having a noisy mêlée for food. With their loudest throats and a heavy breeze of anxiety, as though they are losing their lives, they inquire about the queues traversing among the crowd perplexedly. I finally thought it was not worth being a part of the chaos and boarded the plane last.

Once I got the seat in front row, boarding was over, the ladder was disconnected. Then comes one of the flight attendant went straight to the door and closed it manually, by slamming the huge door in its right position. I was surprised to see the flight door being closed by a person, though he did it with a great precision. It reminded me of those private bus conductors in India, just that he did not say a loud "riiigggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhtttttttttttttttttt" to start the flight.

The safety precaution given before the take-off is bi-lingual, both in Spanish and English. The attendant pulls out a chit from his hip pocket to read out the names of the flight captains. He then gives the safety procedures in Spanish and translates to English. The English one sounds pretty much like this:
"Welcometo Bibaaerobus, zoisjwek sdhkjhweoi kjhadkhfd captain Enrique. klsiouwenclkjsd seat belt, skdlwi ouchlk metal latch. liouwckl jwoiq auotiulk shekjl oxygen mask. iouwjbkxkj iwoiudh jkjzjhd seat. aiwyjkhcjkw siuwybxl spouwui cggqh Acapulco at 10:30. kwoiusn xkcjsklj happy journey!!!"
Yes!!! I'm serious, it very close to what you just read. I could just catch a word or two, here and there.

Take-off was not just noisy but whole flight vibrates so much, you feel as though it's gonna explode. Everything vibrates, the floor, the fuselage, the seats, the baggages, the people...every damn thing. The seats may be slightly uncomfortable for people without strict diet, it is not expandable and leg space is just enough for 8 year olds.

Time for snacks. Choose whatever you want...juices, peanuts, chips, sandwiches, coffee, cookies....BUT PAY!!! Every seat contains a menu with prices marked. Not even water is served for free. Though it's a cheap flight, the prices are a tad expensive.

Landing was pretty much same as take-off except for some weird noise, like those made by pulleys while heaving a heavy object. Vibrations were of slightly higher strength more like a violent turbulence. The more hilarious and ridiculously surprising part was, there was a loud applause by the passengers when after the successful landing.

With all this I would still travel in Vivaaerobus, it lives up to its punch line. It's indeed cheap in all aspects.

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