Sponsor Message:
Aviation Trip Reports Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Leeds To San Fransisco, KLM And Swiss  
User currently offlineBrianDromey From Ireland, joined Dec 2006, 3915 posts, RR: 9
Posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 13309 times:

Welcome everyone to this Trip Report covering my weekend journey to San Fransisco in the new generation SWISS Business class. A bed above the clouds, they say.



LBA-AMS
This trip was booked on-line at LKM.com, a very easy to use website. A good feature is the ability to change country, paying in a local currency, regardless of country of departure. For example I was bake to pay in Euro for this trip, avoids pesky bank charges.
The 0600 deaorture implies an 0400 start, but a small, price to pay for a weekend of flying! LBA is my local airport, but rarely used by me these days. This would be my first flight through LBA in a few years. I was keen to see what changes there would be.
Security are has been redesigned to cope with increasing numbers of Jet2 and Ryanair passengers travelling across Europe, PIA passengers to ISB in addition to seasonal long-haul charters to north america and the carribbean.
As I had already checked in on-line I picked up a boarding card and proceeded through security, already busy at this hour with KL, FR, LS and TCX passengers, most looking as bleary eyed as I!




A quick e-mail check and browse of the departures area and it was boarding time through gate 10, so no air bridge today. This would be my first time on a Fokker, today my lift would be PH-KZP, a Fokker 70. With 69 passengers today we were soon ready to go. A really friendly and smiley crew today, all from the UK, based at LBA. Both crew were smartly turned out and impossibly cheery for 0540. Announcements in English and Dutch, with the usual welcomes from KLM, AF/KL and skyTeam partners.


The inflight service was a real surprise. It was a very tasy and fresh sandwich with a choice of drinks, more than adequate on such a short flight as this. I’ve certainly never had cream cheese at 0600!



Arrival into AMS was early, we arrived on-stand at 0700, about 20 minutes early. As we disembarked the captain individually thanked the passengers, a nice touch. As with most UK arrivals we were bussed to the terminal. As I was departing to a Shengen country I needed to re-clear security before admission to the central "Schipol Plaza" shopping/dining/lounge area for Shengen area flights.

AMS-ZRH
First port of call would be the Servisair lounge. This lounge is used by most STAR airlines out of AMS, including Swiss and Lufthansa. It seems to be the former BD lounge. Although new sofas appear to have to have been installed, not much has changed since the BD days and the things that have are not improvements. The selection of food and drinks is extremely limited and the coffee is foul and undrinkable. I took a quick run to starbucks and brought it back to the lounge, with a knowing smile from the lady at the desk. No free wi-fi either and the lounge dragons were having a very loud conversation at the desk, I have no problem with the chat, but one level below shouting is not approprtiate. This is a disappointing lounge, the only up-side is that the lounge has plenty of comfortable seating. Probably because frequent travelers simply don't bother, I proceeded to he gate rather earlier than usual.




A significant hike later I arrived at the assigned gate, where pre-boarding was just about to start. Boarding at AMS is odd. After boarding is called everyone is corralled into a holding area before everyone boards all at once. Anyway, the greeting of this LX crew was great and I was soon settled in 2A with a refreezing towelette and bottle of water. Load in business was 10, all of us seated in the first three rows.


Flight time was one hour and the crew were kept busy with a cold breakfast plate, warm pasteries drinks and duty free sales. All of the 5 crew were friendly in the Swiss way, very approachable but discrete and unobtrusive service.


Soon it was arrival time into ZRH and I made my way to the SWISS_Lounge complex. Both the SEN and business/FTL sides were extremily busy, it was hard to find a seat. Good for SWISS, I suppose. It does not seem that long ago that SWISS was anemic and bleeding cash in the style of Alitalia and Olympic. Now the airline is flourishing with an ever expanding route structure and record profits for Lufthansa. It is not so long since tha last renovation but if SWISS plan their continued expansion they need to look at more lounge space, maybe in the new Pier B.

I thought I would share the A340 take off sequence with you all. This is on the SEN/*G side of the lounge and is a cool feature, which caught my eye.





ZRH-SFO
Now was the cause of the trip, the chance to fly LX new business class. I have to admit this layout is pretty ugly. The staggered seats and small distance between the seats give the impression of a cramped, cluttered space. Personally I find the look and texture of the "wood" panels very unappealing, the materials of the seat housing feel somewhat cheap to the touch. The seat fabric and leather armrests are much nicer.




Some images from the web:

(Those two are not my phtos, but represent the cabin better than mine did, all credit to the original poster)
Despite first impressions, once seated things get a lot better, very quickly. I was seated in 10A, which is a great seat for solo flyers. There is a large table area, one each side of the seat and plenty of floor storage too. This seat offers plenty of privacy, as it is on it's own but the rows don't line up exactly, so you cannot directly look across and see anyone. When in bed mode the seat is completely flat and very low to the floor, again very private. The seat has air cushions which adjust every so often, also enhancing comfort. The seat does not have a large range of adjustment. There are basically two modes, "bed" and "lounge" in addition to the "take off" position. I did not have a problem, but others might do. This seat is defiantly an improvement over "old" A340 business class and incomparable to A332 business class. It's great as a seat and a bed, where the surface is not only horizontal but also free of lumps and bumps found in many seats, I managed to get some truly relaxing sleep in this seat.

SWISS business service offers high quality of food and wine, I had a delicious beef starter and chicken main.





Dessert was not so much to my taste, but the accompanying fruit salad was delicious. Choices of tea and coffee and free flowing drinks, as usual. Much more to my liking was the choice of beverages aboard. Not only was the Bombay Sapphire offered from a large bottle it was served with generous measure and regularly topped up. Much more like it!


Mid-flight an ice-cream cone was offered and then this ham and cheese roll, also found on short intra-Europe Y:

quite tasty too.

An hour before landing the trolley came round with some deli options, bread and more drinks. Again very tasty and appropriate for early evening arrival in SFO.


SWISS service is beyond reproach. All the crew were friendly, and attentive too. In boarding I hit my head on the overhead locker while stepping in from the aisle. The attendant for my section rushed over to check I was ok, but later on continually asked about my head. This sort of thing makes a very good impression.

Here are a few snaps of the Red Carpet lounge at LAX and return meal options.


For the return I selected 5A, with the seat next to me blocked. This mini-cabin between First class and Doors 2 is very intimate and there are only 9 passengers in this mini-cabin, ensuring very attentive service.

I’m not sure who designed the tables on these new seats but they are unnecessarily difficult to stow away. Already the area around the table is showing evidence of damage as people just can’t stow the bloody thing. SWISS need to give clear instructions on this, or redesign the table (too late, I would think). Either way something needs to be done. At least two areas of the seat had been bent/were coming away, maybe my first impression of build quality was not so wrong, after all.






ZRH-AMS


I think it is the combination of a strong hard product, attentive crew and reliable schedules which makes SWISS so successful. ZRH is a dream to transfer or use, the main concourses have a relaxing hush about them, even when busy. The terminal is airy and bright.

Yet, for all the brilliance LX always leaves me somehow cold. The service is consistently faultless, yet I somehow prefer Austrian. Maybe it's the purple seats, green carpet and red uniforms. Maybe the sky chef, but I suspect it is the genuine warmth and genuine friendliness with which one is welcomed aboard an OS flight, the service feels more first class than the LX equivalent. Of course OS has not F cabin to worry about and is more of a niche carrier. Maybe think of OS as a boutique hotel, LX more like the Hilton, more mass market appeal, still luxurious and comfortable.

So, SWISS still offer an excellent product. The new “bed above the clouds” business class seat/bed is a fantastic seat, despite a few quality problems with the seat housing and the table. The product exceeds expectations and is competitively priced, what’s not to like?

Brian.


Next flights: MAN-ORK-LHR(EI)-MAN(BD); MAN-LHR(BD)-ORK (EI); DUB-ZRH-LAX (LX) LAX-YYZ (AC) YYZ-YHZ-LHR(AC)-DUB(BD)
11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBAViscount From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 2338 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 13144 times:

Quoting BrianDromey (Thread starter):
This would be my first time on a Fokker, today my lift would be PH-KZP, a Fokker 70.



I had my very first flight on a Fokker 70 just last night on a KL flight AMS-LHR. Nice flight, but being in possession of a business class ticket is a waste of time on those flights. The service was economy, economy food, economy bar offering...had I paid for the ticket myself (and I won't even tell the company I work for that they wasted their money) I would be extremely p*ssed off, although thankfully I made the most of the Crown lounge at AMS before the flight!

I digress...thanks for the nice report!

Cheers.

Andy.



Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barb
User currently offlinelegacyins From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 2042 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 13111 times:

Great TR. How were the loads from ZHR-SFO in C? This flight started in June and the loads in all classes have been in the ninety percent range.

Quoting BrianDromey (Thread starter):
Here are a few snaps of the Red Carpet lounge at LAX and return meal options.

Looks like the SFO RC to me!?!



John@SFO
User currently offlineoa260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26796 posts, RR: 58
Reply 3, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 13104 times:

Hey Brian, been looking forward to this report since you told me your itinerary. Very nice I must say and glad Swiss still as good as ever  

Cool shoes BTW where did you get them?


Chat soon

Philip


User currently offlineLondonCity From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2008, 1452 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 13018 times:

Quoting BAViscount (Reply 1):
I had my very first flight on a Fokker 70 just last night on a KL flight AMS-LHR. Nice flight, but being in possession of a business class ticket is a waste of time on those flights. The service was economy, economy food, economy bar offering..

KLM doesn't offer a proper inflight business class product within Europe like LX, LH, AF, BA etc.

That's why it brands business class as "Europe Select."


https://www.klm.com/travel/gb_en/prepare_for_travel/on_board/travel_classes/index.htm


User currently offlineBAViscount From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 2338 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 12998 times:

Quoting LondonCity (Reply 4):
KLM doesn't offer a proper inflight business class product within Europe like LX, LH, AF, BA etc.

They do on the 737. OK, so the seating isn't as good as on BA, but at least you get a different food offering, coffee in a proper coffee cup, coats stored in a wardrobe etc., which is what I experienced on my flight LHR-AMS on Monday morning, but my Fokker 70 return flight on Friday evening had none of those "frills", which is not really acceptable when you've (or your company has) paid for a return Europe Select ticket.



Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barb
User currently offlineskord From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 562 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 12612 times:

Already the area around the table is showing evidence of damage as people just can’t stow the bloody thing. SWISS need to give clear instructions on this, or redesign the table (too late, I would think). Either way something needs to be done

FUNNY!!! Me and my Partner flew SFO-ZRH 3 weeks ago in C and had exactly the same problem! Twice having to get the Crew to help store the stupid things!
I also see that on the return you took the exact same meal option sa myself, the potatoesserved with the Fillet were absolutely delicious, as was the cooked breakfast!
One thing i did notice with the new seating lay-out is that it allows those seated in the middle seats a much greater sence of space as you are not facing the back of someones head. It also seems to allow you a better view out of the window (altough not a perfect one) but much better than in the traditional 2-2-2 layout.
Thanks for sharing!

SKORD


User currently offlinenethkt From Thailand, joined Apr 2001, 1063 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 11556 times:

Nice food presentation on Swiss business class as usual.
Not sure if the second service is sufficed though, look so tiny.

So the A340 on SFO is 100% new staggered then?

Many thanks for the pics and trip report.
nethkt



Let's just blame it on yields.
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8467 posts, RR: 55
Reply 8, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 10595 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice report & pictures, thanks for sharing Brian.

LX have always had a good hard product in F & J, looks like the new J product is a great improvement over the old one, just need an excuse to try it out!

Rgds

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333,342
User currently offlineRogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1197 posts, RR: 20
Reply 9, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 10568 times:

Hola Brian!

Great report and pictures.

I like the new LX C product. The seats seem comfortable and the food and service look always great on LX, as usual.
I would like to try it in the future as it seems a great improvement on the LX flights with the A332 I have done in the past. I like the idea of the solo seats by the window.

Salut!

Roger



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 10, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 10245 times:

Nice report on this fairly new route and plane. The food looks very delicious.


Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineBrianDromey From Ireland, joined Dec 2006, 3915 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (3 years 7 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 8231 times:

Thanks for all the replies, I'm glad you enjoyed the report.
Quoting legacyins (Reply 2):
Great TR. How were the loads from ZHR-SFO in C?

Loads were really good both directions, I didn't do a headcount but there were only a few free seats.

Quoting oa260 (Reply 3):
Cool shoes BTW where did you get them?

Glad you enjoyed both the trip and the Shoes, the shoes are from Schuh here in Leeds!

Quoting BAViscount (Reply 5):
my Fokker 70 return flight on Friday evening had none of those "frills"

That is odd. Must have been a bad crew, or a catering issue. Passengers in business class "Europe Select" had their Jackets hung up and were served some kin of snack box, with real china cups.
That reminds me that jacket hanging seems not to be offered in Euro C anymore with LX.

Quoting skord (Reply 6):
FUNNY!!! Me and my Partner flew SFO-ZRH 3 weeks ago in C and had exactly the same problem! Twice having to get the Crew to help store the stupid things!

The tables are a true ergonomic nightmare. They are very large though and a good height and range of adjustment. Stowing them shouldn't need the assistance of a crew member. There are a few variation of the seat housing, each with a different table and slightly different stowage, totally confusing!

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 9):
I like the idea of the solo seats by the window.

Yes, the even numbered A seats are the best for space, or the even numbered K seats are closest to the window, the odd K solo seats have a table between the window and the seat.



Next flights: MAN-ORK-LHR(EI)-MAN(BD); MAN-LHR(BD)-ORK (EI); DUB-ZRH-LAX (LX) LAX-YYZ (AC) YYZ-YHZ-LHR(AC)-DUB(BD)
Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic Leeds To San Fransisco, KLM And Swiss
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Trip reports only! Other topics here
  • If criticizing an airline, express yourself in a dignified manner.
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
Vancouver To San Salvador And Back AA AS + Pics posted Tue May 23 2006 12:16:42 by CityFlyer
Trip To The Green Island On Swiss And Ryanair posted Sun Mar 21 2004 22:32:55 by RJ100
Another Short Hop To KL On Firefly And Air Asia posted Sat Nov 27 2010 05:09:59 by ycp81
Berlin To Mumbai Via LHR And Back With IT (Part 1) posted Fri Oct 15 2010 06:11:12 by simfanatic
Trip To Peru On DL And Taca (Lots Of Pics) posted Wed Sep 15 2010 06:01:54 by buck3y3nut
4 CRJ Hops From MDT To The Deep South And Back posted Fri Jul 23 2010 16:55:55 by OB1783P
Flying To Porto. With Miles And Much More! posted Fri Mar 12 2010 06:58:05 by LXfan
Sydney To Europe Without Status And Of Lowly Class posted Sat Mar 6 2010 20:03:54 by VHSMM
A Long Trip From Thailand To Goa. TG, CX And IT. posted Sun Feb 21 2010 02:48:18 by henkybaby
Toronto To Budapest On AC And LH posted Wed Oct 7 2009 11:35:13 by KrisYYZ

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format