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BSL-BCN And Back - LX RJ-100 (C) [pics+vids]  
User currently offlineManuCH From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 3011 posts, RR: 47
Posted (4 years 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 8809 times:
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Here we go again - it's summer vacation time! After a few years of city trips, my partner and I decided to go for a beach trip this time. Our final destination: Sitges, Spain, just about 40 km south-west of Barcelona.

In this trip report I'll tell you about the onward and the return trip (that's 2 legs).

Our vacation started on July 24th. We went to Basel to attend the Basel Tattoo show. For those who like military music and drills, I can wholeheartedly recommend this. In case you're interested, here are some pictures I took during the Tattoo:

http://picasaweb.google.com/ManuCH1176/BaselTattoo2010

As we were in Basel already, we decided to start our trip to BCN from BSL airport. We rarely ever travel from there, so it was a welcome change.

But let's take a step back and start from the beginning. Our trip began in Locarno, where we live. This time we chose to take the train, as there are no plane connections between LUG and BSL.

Our train to Basel
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6Rmtsg8wI/AAAAAAAADak/xnwAD3Pa2Ss/s800/bcntripreport%20%20035.jpg

The (empty) First Class carriage, unfortunately a quite old one
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6RnQRTk3I/AAAAAAAADao/m5v5dDAhLRM/s800/bcntripreport%20%20036.jpg

A typical Basel Ferry Boat, with a piper on board (because of the Tattoo)
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6RnwqJ4KI/AAAAAAAADas/ZAl_RVLNjfU/s800/bcntripreport%20%20037.jpg

Basel, Switzerland - Barcelona, Spain

Date: 25. July 2010
Flight: LX 1934 (BSL-BCN)
Airplane: Avro RJ-100
Class: C
Seat: 1A
ETD: 09:45
ETA: 11:35

After our Basel visit, we took the bus from the city to BSL airport. The trip takes about 10 minutes, and buses run every 15 minutes. A pretty good service.

Once we arrived there, we only had to drop off our bags - for the first time we actually tried out the mobile boarding pass, wondering if the scanners could cope with the iPhone screen. They did, indeed.

The mobile boarding pass


After dropping off our bags (which took about 1 minute), we proceeded to the airport restaurant to have some breakfast.

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6RpSOaeSI/AAAAAAAADa8/wUP1wk4sV44/s800/bcntripreport%20%20040.jpg

As you can see, the place was quite empty - and so was the rest of the airport. It's a real shame: in BSL there's a great infrastructure, and it really appears like a major airport. But there was nobody around. Only a few dozen flights depart and arrive every day.

We had plenty of time, so we went for a quick look from the panoramic terrace (which unfortunately has a plexiglas wall all around it, spoiling the fun for photographers).

Panoramic terrace (where is everyone?)
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6Ro3SBLmI/AAAAAAAADa4/zzkHoLwv53I/s800/bcntripreport%20%20039.jpg

The tarmac - deserted as well
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6RoXxkHBI/AAAAAAAADaw/8-9bLOUN5OM/s800/bcntripreport%20%20038.jpg

Some empty room which could for sure be used for something, if only there were more passengers traveling through BSL
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6RpxNM2XI/AAAAAAAADbA/rqsgQGxGQuk/s800/bcntripreport%20%20041.jpg

We went through security (which also took about 1 minute, just like the bag drop off) and proceeded straight to the Swiss lounge. Yes, Swiss had a nice offer for European Business flights, making them only about $50 per leg more expensive than Y, so it was a no-brainer. The quirks you get are the usual ones: lounge access, priority check-in, seats in the front of the aircraft, meals and better service in general. The seats are not any larger than regular Y on European flights, but still we thought it was worth it. And we were right!

We were astonished by how nice the BSL Swiss lounge is. The pictures speak for themselves:

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6RqTlyE2I/AAAAAAAADbE/Tq2-2J9xUIU/s800/bcntripreport%20%20042.jpg



http://lh6.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6RrKlvSSI/AAAAAAAADbM/VntDf6iONi8/s800/bcntripreport%20%20044.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6RrKlvSSI/AAAAAAAADbM/VntDf6iONi8/s800/bcntripreport%20%20044.jpg

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6RsooDw3I/AAAAAAAADbU/MZg5J_FC7q4/s800/bcntripreport%20%20046.jpg

We actually found it much nicer than the Business lounge in ZRH. Guess what? It was empty as well. A great place to relax and chill out before a flight. Oh, and we had our second breakfast of the day  

About 20 minutes before our planned departure time, our flight was called, so we proceeded to the gate.

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6Rs9qRj4I/AAAAAAAADbY/5uJchswBj5U/s800/bcntripreport%20%20047.jpg

It appears to be a full flight...
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6RtTX1pAI/AAAAAAAADbc/jvFG0DwB514/s800/bcntripreport%20%20048.jpg

The view from my window
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6Rtn-20jI/AAAAAAAADbg/09a9hA7wsqc/s800/bcntripreport%20%20049.jpg

The view from my seat to the other side
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6RuC_5W5I/AAAAAAAADbk/p2YtCs4JQMg/s800/bcntripreport%20%20050.jpg

As soon as we sat down, we received our "welcome aboard water bottle" and we could pick among a choice of newspapers.

Soon we were on our way - we pushed back and went straight to runway 15 for take-off.

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6Ruj6b-3I/AAAAAAAADbo/8qdtZczmxrc/s800/bcntripreport%20%20051.jpg

Here's the take-off video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSQSi9ORUUY

Weather was very nice in Basel, and remained so during the entire flight. There was no turbulence whatsoever.

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6Ru7pkTPI/AAAAAAAADbs/B3q-Z6sRdXE/s800/bcntripreport%20%20052.jpg

Shortly after take-off, we were asked what we wanted to drink. We chose orange juice (although we were offered champagne - but it was a bit too much at 9:30!). Not long thereafter, we were served our (third!) breakfast.

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6RvJKGEBI/AAAAAAAADbw/FjkBWi69S7E/s800/bcntripreport%20%20053.jpg

Yes, that's one of the perks you get when traveling Business in Europe. It was actually very good, and consisted of some fruit, bread, croissant and a yogurt. Of course there was a choice of coffee or tea.

The "Maitre de Cabine" (that's what LX calls the purser) was very nice and kept asking if he could bring us something else to drink, extra bread or whatever we wanted. This was quite surprising on such a short flight. And here comes the best part: Business load was 2 seats (out of 4 available that day). Just the 2 of us. Fun!  

After only 1 hour and 20 minutes, we landed in BCN, almost 15 minutes early. Here's the landing video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQUr26Pzj0c

A quick snapshot during roll-out
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6RvrkJhyI/AAAAAAAADb0/-LdkUKr7dmE/s800/bcntripreport%20%20054.jpg

Our jet bridge waiting for us
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6Rv-CqfzI/AAAAAAAADb4/KFjhbjhrvGs/s800/bcntripreport%20%20055.jpg

Now the wait could begin - it took our bags almost 30 minutes to arrive. That was a bit more than we would have liked, but we were on vacation after all. So no need to get fussy. We went straight out of the terminal and took a taxi to Sitges. The trip took about 25 minutes.

At this point, it was beach time! If you wish to see more about the non-aviation part of our trip, feel free to browse through the following web album:

http://picasaweb.google.com/ManuCH1176/Sitges2010


Fast forward, 1 week later it's time already to head back home.

Barcelona, Spain - Basel, Switzerland

Date: 01. August 2010
Flight: LX 1935 (BCN-BSL)
Airplane: Avro RJ-100
Class: C
Seat: 1B
ETD: 12:10
ETA: 14:05

Our taxi waited for us in front of our hotel at 9:30, as we were told to be at the airport about 2 hours before departure. As usual, this turned out to be a bit too early. But hey, it's better to be early than late!

Check-in area in BCN
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6RwRj5NvI/AAAAAAAADb8/inW5eNElOAQ/s800/bcntripreport%20%20056.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6Rw53wAAI/AAAAAAAADcA/2yDMgF-MlgE/s800/bcntripreport%20%20057.jpg

We had already checked in and had our mobile boarding passes, so we only had to drop off the bags once again. The nice Swiss check-in agent made sure we had our boarding passes. I said "sure, we have them in the phone, want to see them?" - "No, I was just asking to make sure" - "Great, the mobile ones do work here, right?" - "Of course they do, sir".

We then strolled around the airport, and saw the self service check-in desks. Guess what? There was nobody using them! Either self service is not catching up in Spain, or it was just a coincidence.

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6RxANG3YI/AAAAAAAADcE/4wB2Bdb4XjU/s800/bcntripreport%20%20058.jpg

We passed security in a breeze. I actually love the way security is organized in BCN: you have all the time in the world to get your stuff out (laptop and whatnot) before standing in line at the x-ray machine. There are several tables before the actual lines. This means that slower people don't slow down the whole process, because they stand in line only when they have all their stuff together.

Descending the escalators after security
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6Rx_m32KI/AAAAAAAADcQ/jut2vTZtKmU/s800/bcntripreport%20%20060.jpg

The airside shopping area
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6Ryr0Ng0I/AAAAAAAADcU/pDa0PAlKNLM/s800/bcntripreport%20%20061.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6RzAvfPhI/AAAAAAAADcY/lg238U_EtsM/s800/bcntripreport%20%20062.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6Rz6p7CxI/AAAAAAAADcc/K-Lffnnhpzs/s800/bcntripreport%20%20063.jpg

For some reason, there were several cars being advertised: the Audi A1, the Volkswagen Touareg (including a live snake underneath it), the Mercedes SLS and the Alfa Giulietta.

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6RxbnCmSI/AAAAAAAADcI/OqOdO4fUfJU/s800/bcntripreport%20%20059.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6R0omMKaI/AAAAAAAADcg/vZdw9JztyxU/s800/bcntripreport%20%20064.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6R1OS_pbI/AAAAAAAADck/COkApu2Kp4w/s800/bcntripreport%20%20065.jpg

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6R11Suj7I/AAAAAAAADco/Az03YzAmKSQ/s800/bcntripreport%20%20066.jpg

After shopping around a bit (but not buying anything), we proceeded to the Spanair VIP lounge. This was our first and only disappointment during our entire trip: the lounge looked shabby, with demotivated personnel, stains on the couches and tables full of stuff left there by previous passengers which wasn't cleaned up. Not really a service you would expect from something called "VIP lounge".

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6R2RTJX-I/AAAAAAAADcs/fdIv3sPg_0A/s800/bcntripreport%20%20067.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6R27_wsRI/AAAAAAAADcw/SOTnydtHEHU/s800/bcntripreport%20%20068.jpg

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6R3I7VVZI/AAAAAAAADc0/5Yntkd37csI/s800/bcntripreport%20%20069.jpg

After about an hour, we had enough of it and proceeded to our gate.

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6R3u1AT3I/AAAAAAAADc4/c7b3SNJgFQA/s800/bcntripreport%20%20070.jpg

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6R4dY0DmI/AAAAAAAADc8/R53kMFmq2k8/s800/bcntripreport%20%20071.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6R47E7zDI/AAAAAAAADdA/uwFNJ5P100c/s800/bcntripreport%20%20072.jpg

While at the gate, I started taking some random pictures, and after a while I sat down. After a few minutes I was approached by a Spanish police officer. He asked me (in Spanish) to see the pictures I took. I asked him to repeat in English as I wasn't sure if I understood it correctly (I don't speak Spanish) - guess what? He repeated it in Spanish. A fellow passenger translated it for me. On one of the pictures I had inadvertently photographed him and one of his colleagues. He asked me (still in Spanish) to delete the picture as it was "not allowed to take pictures of policemen". I was quite sure that this was some random power trip rule, but I didn't want to argue with a Spanish policeman 10 minutes before boarding, so I went ahead and deleted the picture. He was happy and went his way. Reasonable, isn't it?

Our "Jumoblino" waiting for us
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6R5EEuoLI/AAAAAAAADdE/2MM-MHtSsVc/s800/bcntripreport%20%20073.jpg

Our gate
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6R5sUOTzI/AAAAAAAADdI/QlhUoO3jeSM/s800/bcntripreport%20%20074.jpg

Soon, boarding started, and we got onto the jet bridge.

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6R6TxlAQI/AAAAAAAADdM/l6ZriTG_rlo/s800/bcntripreport%20%20075.jpg

Crowded...
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6R6xoFjuI/AAAAAAAADdQ/V_JMq8BEN_U/s800/bcntripreport%20%20076.jpg

...but at least there was air conditioning
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6R7LBL3qI/AAAAAAAADdU/kDDSjNPw9TE/s800/bcntripreport%20%20077.jpg

This time I took seat 1B and my partner took seat 1A. Business load was 3 (out of 4 available seats).

Just like last time, we were offered our "welcome aboard water bottle" and a newspaper. Soon we took off (about 15 minutes late).

When we were airborne, service started, and we received our lunch. Swiss gave it a nice touch: as it was August 1st, Switzerland was celebrating the National Day, so we were served a classical Swiss dish, along with a choice of wine. Outstanding!

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6R7vigbPI/AAAAAAAADdY/D-pU_ghQN_g/s800/bcntripreport%20%20078.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6R70UXfVI/AAAAAAAADdc/grdHR1FmhqY/s800/bcntripreport%20%20079.jpg

The "Maitre de Cabine", Mrs. Ketterlin, was very nice. She kept chatting with us and making jokes. For instance, she wanted to make sure that we got enough wine so that we'd be able to sing the Swiss National Anthem at some point during the flight. Luckily for everyone else on board, this did not happen  . Along with our coffee, she offered us a Bailey's on the rocks. Jummy! Just perfect to end a perfect vacation.

We were actually so enthusiastic about the flight and about Mrs. Ketterlin's service that we are writing a positive feedback to Swiss about her. The service she offered was really what I'd call "above and beyond". You could see that she really cared about her job and that she went out of her way to make our trip a special one, even if it was only such a short European flight.

Soon, we were over Switzerland already. We entered the country over Geneva and went north to Basel.

Lake Geneva
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6R8QSROvI/AAAAAAAADdg/sM7DV9pz4qQ/s800/bcntripreport%20%20080.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6R8_j9DNI/AAAAAAAADdk/yTld4csVQ_U/s800/bcntripreport%20%20081.jpg

Landing was smooth and perfectly on-time.

Our stand neighbor
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6R904BSTI/AAAAAAAADds/2S8Zar3-BjY/s800/bcntripreport%20%20082.jpg

We deplaned through a stair and walked right into the terminal, to the baggage claim. We had to wait about 20 minutes to get the bags - still a bit too much, considering that BSL was really empty at that time.

Waiting for the bags
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6R-J98pmI/AAAAAAAADdw/P2IDm8Y7oI0/s800/bcntripreport%20%20083.jpg

We then got out and hopped onto the (very crowded) bus from BSL to the city center.

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6R-j1bQ9I/AAAAAAAADd0/QL4LsZ0hFuI/s800/bcntripreport%20%20084.jpg

45 minutes after getting off the plane we were in Basel, still a few minutes early to catch our train back to Locarno. We bought some drinks and magazines to kill the 4 hours on the train, and off we went back home.

First Class carriage on the ICN train (definitely better than the one we took 1 week earlier)
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_QwopX33P8IE/TF6R-yZG-1I/AAAAAAAADd4/KPdqbDidY4I/s800/bcntripreport%20%20085.jpg

What can I say? It was a perfect vacation. Thank you to Swiss for turning our average short intra-European hop into a special flight. It doesn't take much to do so, and this was the proof that Swiss does care about its passengers, and that they do distinguish themselves from other carriers with their service.

I hope you enjoyed this Trip Report, even if it was only a short trip in a small plane. I'm looking forward to your comments!

Here are my other trip reports:

LUG-ZRH-TXL On 0D, LH And LX (pics + Vids) (by ManuCH Jul 29 2006 in Trip Reports)
LX LUG-ZRH-YUL (Y) And YUL-ZRH-LUG (C), Pics+vids (by ManuCH Jul 11 2009 in Trip Reports)


Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinerogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1209 posts, RR: 20
Reply 1, posted (4 years 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 8649 times:

Hola ManuCH!


Thanks for this TR.

I took the same flight, opposite directions though, two years ago to fulfill my desire to fly an AVRO... as far as I know there are no AVROs flying in Spain. It was pretty much the same, full on both flights, I think LX is doing quite well in this route despite EZY competition.

I remember the flight back was very windy when approaching BCN and the plane was swinging from side to side and we had some quick descent when lining up for the airport above the sea, some screams could be heard on the cabin... The plane was so full that five of us were seating on the C section, at the time no rule to free the middle seat was applied.

For better views when flying to BCN choose the F seats as you get to see the city and the coast, as usually, I'd say 85% of the times, landings will take place on 25R.

Sitges is a great place for a vacation and you were lucky on that week as the weather has been pretty rainy after that... I am sure you had a great time.

BSL airport amazed me as much as you commented on, the airport is huge and LX lounge is actually one of the best I have seen in Europe, excellent seating, great views and the day I was there I think there were five of us.., it was a Sunday morning so probably not the best time to see it full. No wonder you were disappointed with Spanair version in BCN, it is really poor that a company that wants to become the major operating one at the airport has such a poor
lounge, the only thing I like are the computers and the booze section...

Does BSl still show the 'border' (police officer booth chekcing your ID when walking to the otyer end of the airport in the middle of the departure area) between Switzerland and France? I was there before the Schengen treaty came into effect in Switserland.

If you ever come back drop me a line.

Salut!

Roger



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlineManuCH From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 3011 posts, RR: 47
Reply 2, posted (4 years 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 8612 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 1):
I think LX is doing quite well in this route despite EZY competition.

Well, especially in these days that EZY has tons of cancellations and delays (>2 hours) in GVA, I can imagine why this is so.

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 1):
The plane was so full that five of us were seating on the C section, at the time no rule to free the middle seat was applied.

Funny thing I forgot to mention: when boarding our return flight, 2 guys were sitting in our seats, yapping away on their phones (in French). I nicely told them (again in French) "excuse me, these are our seats". I only got a blank "WTF?" stare back. I then tried again "Listen, this is 1A and 1B, the seat numbers we have on our boarding passes. You need to move to your seats". They reluctantly moved away, cursing something. It then turned out that they had 2 seats which were not close to each other, and they just sat in the first 2 adjacent seats they could find (EZY style).

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 1):
For better views when flying to BCN choose the F seats as you get to see the city and the coast, as usually, I'd say 85% of the times, landings will take place on 25R.

You're right, we landed on 25R and took off again 1 week later on 25L. It was nice to see the sea from the left side.

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 1):
Sitges is a great place for a vacation and you were lucky on that week as the weather has been pretty rainy after that... I am sure you had a great time.

We sure did! We'd come back anytime. It is now officially my favorite beach place  
Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 1):
Does BSl still show the 'border' (police officer booth chekcing your ID when walking to the otyer end of the airport in the middle of the departure area) between Switzerland and France?

No. There still are separate exits (towards Switzerland, Germany or France) and there are different customs officials, but people may travel freely among these countries thanks to the Schengen agreement. Thus, there is no officer checking IDs anymore.



Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
User currently offlinereifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1357 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (4 years 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 8606 times:

Thanks for the report! Flown BCN-BSL as well and was able to use the Business Upgraade offer for only 50 EUR. The lounge in BSL is indeed very nice but I agree that BSL seems way to big.

Now that Switzerland is Schengen area as well, the airport is very strange and makes no sense anymore. There is still a border control office between the Swiss and French part, but you can just walk through. Which is even more strange is on arrivals: If you arrive from a non Schengen country you are supposed to choose if you wish to exit on the french or swiss side. Therefore there are 2 passport booths before entering luguage reclaim area: One with Swiss officers, one with french. Which is strange is that directly behin the booths all people come together again and when they exit the luguage reclaim area they can choose again if they want to get out to the french or swiss border. This means that a traveller can enter Schengen through Swiss officers passport control but pass luaguge customs with french officers and vice versa, although they are of course supposed not to to this. This is silly. It would be enough if only french or swiss immigration would take care of this and not both and the both sign an agreement or something. this is not efficient and tax payers need to pay for nothing... very bureaucratic


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6782 posts, RR: 77
Reply 4, posted (4 years 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 8519 times:

Hi Manu,

very nice report with high-quality pictures, well done!

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
Once we arrived there, we only had to drop off our bags - for the first time we actually tried out the mobile boarding pass, wondering if the scanners could cope with the iPhone screen. They did, indeed.

Great feature!

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
Panoramic terrace (where is everyone?)

That doesn't look bad - but the lack of planes is definitely a problem.  

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
While at the gate, I started taking some random pictures, and after a while I sat down. After a few minutes I was approached by a Spanish police officer. He asked me (in Spanish) to see the pictures I took. I asked him to repeat in English as I wasn't sure if I understood it correctly (I don't speak Spanish) - guess what? He repeated it in Spanish. A fellow passenger translated it for me. On one of the pictures I had inadvertently photographed him and one of his colleagues. He asked me (still in Spanish) to delete the picture as it was "not allowed to take pictures of policemen". I was quite sure that this was some random power trip rule, but I didn't want to argue with a Spanish policeman 10 minutes before boarding, so I went ahead and deleted the picture. He was happy and went his way. Reasonable, isn't it?

That's ridiculous. What do these guys when facing hundreds or thousands of people during a demonstration?


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineContact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 13
Reply 5, posted (4 years 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 8361 times:

Hi Manu,

Great report with fantastic pictures - I enjoyed reading and watching a lot!

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
As you can see, the place was quite empty - and so was the rest of the airport. It's a real shame: in BSL there's a great infrastructure, and it really appears like a major airport. But there was nobody around. Only a few dozen flights depart and arrive every day.

Indeed, BSL does offer a great infrastructure. I think it was designed when Crossair still used BSL as a hub and there was much more traffic than today.
The panoramic terrace looks nice anyway, even with the glass.

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
When we were airborne, service started, and we received our lunch. Swiss gave it a nice touch: as it was August 1st, Switzerland was celebrating the National Day, so we were served a classical Swiss dish, along with a choice of wine. Outstanding!

A very nice idea.

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
We were actually so enthusiastic about the flight and about Mrs. Ketterlin's service that we are writing a positive feedback to Swiss about her. The service she offered was really what I'd call "above and beyond". You could see that she really cared about her job and that she went out of her way to make our trip a special one, even if it was only such a short European flight.

Really great: as you say, it often doesn't take much to make a flight memorable and it is great that the crew on your flight did.

Regards
Christoph


User currently offlineSR4ever From Luxembourg, joined Mar 2010, 800 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (4 years 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 8089 times:

Many thanks for this very interesting TR  Wink
Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
The (empty) First Class carriage, unfortunately a quite old one

Not so old, as it's hardly 20 yrs old. But I agree that it's rather shabby. Refurbishment underway, though. Wasn't there any 1st-class Panorama car on your IR Locarno-Basle?

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
As you can see, the place was quite empty - and so was the rest of the airport. It's a real shame: in BSL there's a great infrastructure, and it really appears like a major airport. But there was nobody around. Only a few dozen flights depart and arrive every day.

Yes, a lot of money was invested at BSL in the 1990s, so that Crossair could expand and operate here its "Swiss Cross" hub.
The amount of destinations flown by LX from BSL at that time was just amazing.

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
After shopping around a bit (but not buying anything), we proceeded to the Spanair VIP lounge. This was our first and only disappointment during our entire trip: the lounge looked shabby, with demotivated personnel, stains on the couches and tables full of stuff left there by previous passengers which wasn't cleaned up. Not really a service you would expect from something called "VIP lounge".
Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 1):
No wonder you were disappointed with Spanair version in BCN, it is really poor that a company that wants to become the major operating one at the airport has such a poor
lounge, the only thing I like are the computers and the booze section...

Looks very disappointing, while the Spanair lounge in BIB, an airport ranking below BCN in Spanair's network, is well-kept.

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 2):
think LX is doing quite well in this route despite EZY competition.

Well, especially in these days that EZY has tons of cancellations and delays (>2 hours) in GVA, I can imagine why this is so.

The hub which LX had at BSL in SR days is unlikely to revive. What made it possible at the time is no longer here, namely:

- congestion at ZRH
- ZRH outside the EU common aviation area (even though 8th Freedom is not yet included in the EU-CH Bilateral Agreement on Air Transport)
- LX-SR rivalry

Similarly, I don't think we will see LX re-connecting BSL with airports with low yields (Eg: ALC, SVQ) or too little potential to be connected to BSL on a point-to-point basis only (Eg: HEL, GOT, BIB, FLR).

However, a bit more point-to-point traffic by LX with major European airports wouldn't hurt: AMS, CPH, BBI, FCO, MAD, NCE seem the most obvious ones to me. On these routes (except CPH), EZY currently operates some 1-2 daily flights in average (3 to SXF and 4 to AMS), but LX would have a chance.

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
We then got out and hopped onto the (very crowded) bus from BSL to the city center.

A good rail link, with Swiss mainline trains serving BSL exactly the same way as they do in GVA and ZRH, is really missing here...


Regarding the split of the Airport between France and Switzerland, it is indeed not as obvious as it was before Switzerland joined the Schengen area, but there are still 2 distinct customs territories within MLH/BSL: EU and Switzerland.

[Edited 2010-08-08 16:23:09]

User currently offlineEL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1309 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (4 years 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 8045 times:

Hello ManuCH,

Thank you very much for this report, AVRO jets are always nice. Costa Brava is getting very popular destination for us Israelis also.

I like Basel Airport, when I was there, in 2007, it looked like a Swiss settlement in the middle of France.

Isn't it easier for you to fly out of MXP or ZRH then BSL?

Thx again,

LY



"In our country, those who do not believe in miracles are irrational" - David Ben Gurion.
User currently offlineManuCH From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 3011 posts, RR: 47
Reply 8, posted (4 years 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 7808 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

Thank you everyone for the nice comments!

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 7):
Isn't it easier for you to fly out of MXP or ZRH then BSL?

ZRH would definitely be easier: there is an LX feeder flight from LUG operated by Darwin Airline on a Saab 2000 going there. That's what he usually do. But this time we happened to be already in Basel for another event, so we decided to book from there.

Forget MXP, I never fly out of there as a matter of principle. You never know if there will be a strike; I find the airport to be a total chaos with demotivated staff and really over-crowded (even LHR and JFK have a more orderly appearance); it can take ages to get your bag (if it doesn't get lost); you have to get there by car from Locarno (no railway connection), and Milano during peak times is a nightmare: this means that if your flight leaves at 7:30 you have to get up at 3:00 AM.
And MXP is LUG's biggest competitor in the area of Southern Switzerland - if I can do anything to add pax movements to LUG to sustain it economically, I will do it. It's our home airport after all, and I don't want it to close anytime soon...

Quoting SR4ever (Reply 6):
Wasn't there any 1st-class Panorama car on your IR Locarno-Basle?

Yes there was, but we chose not to use it as it was a very sunny day and I wanted to get some sleep, which is hard in the panorama car with its big windows  



Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1454 posts, RR: 33
Reply 9, posted (4 years 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 7777 times:

Hi Manu,

Thanks for this nice LX report. When Swiss have these special upgrade offers they're worth taking, as can be seen from your trip. It seems you had really excellent service. Yes, Basel is a nice airport with a very impressive lounge which sadly always seems to be empty.

What a nice touch with the August 1st meal!

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
I actually love the way security is organized in BCN

I think this seems to be the case in Spain. I remember it being like this in ALC, much better and less stressful for everyone involved.

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
We had to wait about 20 minutes to get the bags - still a bit too much, considering that BSL was really empty at that time.

My experience too. I once flew business into BSL on LX and despite the priority tag, my bag came last ........

Happy flying
Infodesk   



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4268 posts, RR: 51
Reply 10, posted (4 years 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 7107 times:

Hi Manuel,

thanks for this great report on LX. You got good service with them, according the expectations!

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
And here comes the best part: Business load was 2 seats (out of 4 available that day). Just the 2 of us. Fun!
Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
This time I took seat 1B and my partner took seat 1A. Business load was 3 (out of 4 available seats).

I didn't expect all 4 seats would be available for sale here. Since LX usually keeps the middle seat unused on 3-3 layouts. This 2-2 layout is then to be expected also 1 for sale, 1 for your comfort. Like what LH does on the Regional fleet (Emb910/CRJ700/900).

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
I actually love the way security is organized in BCN: you have all the time in the world to get your stuff out (laptop and whatnot) before standing in line at the x-ray machine.

Yes I have to agree. BCN security is a positive thing to mention, calming atmosphere and staff is usually friendly.

Grüße,
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlinetk747 From Australia, joined Sep 2009, 341 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (4 years 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 7103 times:

Great report, I love reading LX reports! The Swiss food presentation always looks so classy and typically Swiss . The lounge in BSL looks very interesting and distinctive and the photos of the mountains are stunning.

Thanks.


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