SloAir From Slovenia, joined Jul 2010, 336 posts, RR: 6 Posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 13671 times:
Some of you might have read my trip report about the LHR-IAH flight with Continental that I took in November and had a 12 hour delay. Now, almost two months later, I am on my way to the USA again for a family vacation in New York. This time we have chosen LX as our carrier and therefore ZRH as our transit airport. And just like the last time the flights did not go smooth, this time it was not a mechanical fault but a weather issue.
Here is how our itinerary looked like for today:
I was checking the weather forecast regularly the week before departure and it showed some light snow on the 26th, sometimes it was predicted to be cloudy, some other days it said there was going to be around 2-4 cm of snow. That's how it looked like on Christmas eve.
When I woke up on Christmas day, one of the first things I did was check the weather report – and here comes the first shock. Heavy snow predicted for Sunday afternoon and night with heavy winds and around 35 cm of snow (14 inches). It did not look good.
During the day the weather forecast changed again, predicting a more bearable amount of 9 cm of snow in the afternoon and moderate winds. It looked better but in the evening it got worse again. We could not do anything about the weather so we went to bed, hoping, that we would arrive to NY just before the blizzard.
In the morning there was a big snow shower in Ljubljana. Was this the taste of things to come?
After a quick 20 minutes drive we arrived to Jože Pučnik international airport or Brnik airport or Aerodrom Ljubljana.
The parking garage is usually quite full, but today it was pretty empty.
We parked on the 1st floor and made our way to the terminal building past the rent a car parking spaces.
Control tower in Ljubljana.
Check-in area. It was empty at this time (only four flights departing in the next few hours).
We handed our documents to the friendly check-in agent. We had a nice talk about our worries of snow storms in the NY are and she guaranteed us that they will take good care of us in Zurich.
Business class check-in, also used for baggage drop off for those, who check in online via the airport website (www.lju-airport.si). It has a nice red carpet.
There were two very early flights to France and four flights during the usually the most busy period between 7 and 8 in the morning (MUC, VIE, FRA, ZRH).
The way to security check
Santa – a pioneer in flying Great idea to put him and some presents up there.
There is a separate line for business passengers, but I have never used that as the line is usually not very long. Today, there was no one in line so I did not have to wait.
I beeped on the metal detector, that has not happened to me in LJU for a few years now. They searched me and I had to put my shoe on at a time in a machine to check them. Interestingly I did not beep in ZRH although I was dressed exactly the same as in LJU and had nothing in my pockets.
The old waiting room looks much better now with the new seats.
Stairway to the upper part of the terminal
A few paintings on display
Another look at the flights departing this morning
S5-AAN to CDG
Police vehicle covered with snow.
The upper duty free store was not opened yet.
Expensive compared to other machines in the city.
Children’s play area. I read in an article about how to make a good airport and one of the advices was to have a place for children to play. Looks like LJU is following that plan
Gate 1 for the flight to FRA
S5-AAL will operate that flight. Meanwhile, S5-AAN is waiting for deicing.
Deicing before this CRJ900 departs for CDG.
I think that this is S5-AAI, my CRJ200 for my flight to ZRH.
Back downstairs I walked through the duty free store on my way to the business lounge.
I loved the LOO-BLA-NAH shirt you get your shirt in a nice bag.
Entrance to the business lounge
You go up the stairs and then there is a hallway to the main area with some rooms on the right side.
You can get a massage here.
MTV Adria was on TV. There was a remote at the table so you could change that.
Snacks and drinks
Table for used inventory
I doubt anyone used this in the last few years. I don’t know if you can even get a Telekartica anymore.
Boarding started a few minutes later than predicted on the boarding pass.
That was not a problem as there were only 30 PAX on this flight and we were all on the bus in no time.
S5-AAI was waiting for us at PSN 33.
And as predicted S5-AAI was waiting for this short hop to ZRH
The plane was covered with snow on the top.
FA waiting to greet us at the door. I like JP uniforms.
On the top of the stairs, engines still covered.
Cabin view during boarding. There were 5 rows of business class with only four passengers.
Snow on my window
More than enough legroom for the short flight
Some holiday spirit on JP
Safety information were demonstrated in Slovene, English and German. They were finished before the engines were started.
‘Let bo trajal eno uro’ (The flight will take us one hour)
‘The flight will take us one hour and thirty minutes’
‘Flug .. ein hur’ (something like that, I am not good in German)
It seems that English speaking passengers will fly an extra 30 minutes on this flight It was a small (and only) mistake by the FA. She did speak all three languages fluently.
Deicing was quick and so was the taxi to runway 13 and we were soon in the air.
Over the clouds
Breakfast was a pleasant surprise – it used to be a cold plate but not today.
Great breakfast for a one hour flight
Specially produced for Adria
The seat in front of me (4A)
We soon started our descent into ZRH.
It was great looking down on the landscape covered with snow.
Here are some more pictures of our approach.
Welcome to ZRH, the outside temperature is -13 degrees
We parked at a remote position and a bus was already waiting for us.
A quick ride to the terminal we found ourselves in the ‘Transfer area A’. Our flight was not on the display yet (only flights until 12:45, we were scheduled to depart at 13:00). So I decided to go and check with the supervisor at the transfer center, if she had information about our gate today, as it was not written on the boarding pass.
‘Excuse me, I was wondering if you have the gate information for flight LX14 to New York?’
‘Oh, don’t you know? That flight was cancelled!’
Ahhhhh…… My hearth started to beat a little faster… Again another awful message just before my TATL flight. Two months ago at LHR, while I was waiting for boarding my flight to Houston, there was a similar message: ‘This is an announcement made for all passengers traveling on the 10:45 service to Houston. This flight is now delayed until 21:15 in the evening.’ But this time it was worse, in LHR we eventually departed and I was able to enjoy a long-haul flight on CO, this time I almost knew that I was not going to make it to the USA.
We gathered together and went to the transfer center. There was no one in line at the first class counter so the friendly female agent called us over and we explained our situation.
‘Were did you arrive from?’
‘Lugano?! They should have not sent you here!’
‘No, no, Loo-bla-nah.’
‘Aha, ok, you were already on your way when the flight was cancelled.’
She firstly checked if there was any room left at the flight to JFK that was just closing, but it was fully booked. Both flights for tomorrow were booked as well.
‘I can send you through Boston. You fly to Boston today and to New York tomorrow?’
That offer was quite tempting, but I have looked at the weather report for possible diversion airports and I have read on airliners.net that Boston may be affected too. And that operations on Monday may not be normal yet. Since we had a return ticket back on Wednesday, departing on Tuesday was not a good option. We wouldn’t mind flying to New York for just one night, but spending two nights in ZRH was too much. So we decided to be rebooked on the evening home back to Ljubljana.
We received our new boarding passes and coupons for the unused ZRH-JFKZRH ticket. CNLD DUE HEAVY SNOW was the reason for the cancellation stated on this coupon.
We went to the lounge slowly realizing that we would not see New York this time.
Annuliert! You do not need to speak German to know what this means.
The lounge was mostly empty and very quiet. It had a very calm atmosphere and I felt relaxed.
Longest attended bar worldwide…
View outside from the bar in the second floor of the lounge.
Fried rice with chicken. It was the only hot food offered in the lounge. It was good and spicy.
Reports on severe weather in the US were on the news the whole day.
A great sofa where we spent a lot of time. It is great for relaxing.
A lot of rice
One of two places where you could get food
Free (a little slow at times) internet
I did not see this offered in any other lounge
US airways flight to PHL departing at around 12:15. We were suppose to depart just 45 minutes later
The whole time in the lounge I was checking status of flight LH410 MUC-JFK. I’ve been on that flight two times before and it took off on time and was on its way to JFK as planned.
At around 12:30 we decided to try and find the observation deck, as most long-haul flights depart around one o’clock.
However you have to take a bus and the next one was in 30 minutes and the last one back was in an hour so we decided not to go and just spend some time outside.
Business class check-in
You can’t miss whose home airport is this
Back airside I went looking for some planes.
Not much to see on this side
We had a look at the numerous shops
And then return to the lounge to wait for our flight.
More bad weather reports
Blizzard warning for NY/NJ/CT was a very popular topic
Not so good looking arrivals information page at JFK airport
It was a good thing we did not decide to go via BOS
Our gate was going to be A03
And half an hour before boarding we started to make our way there. Security was quick an easy with no line.
You are requested to wait in the waiting area until your flight is called and then go downstairs to the bus.
Some LX aircraft
No flights boarding at this time
Boarding for our flight was called on time.
-3 degrees in LJU
30 PAX on this flight, same as on the morning flight
You can’t miss your bus
There are displays even on the inside of the bus. Nice feature.
A short ride and we stopped in front of S5-AAJ. Well, at least I flew on two different Adria CRJ200 planes and neither of them was S5-AAD. On my previous trips in the past few years I ended up on that aircraft almost every time It was a nice change.
Boarding in progress
Cabin view during boarding. Interestingly, S5-AAI had purple seatbelts and S5-AAJ seatbelts were grey.
Bottles of water were distributed before the doors were closed.
Right after all PAX were in their seats the doors closed. We then remained on the stand for around 20 minutes, then the captain came out of the cockpit, FA opened the door for him and he did another walk around. He was back in less than a minute, doors closed again and within five minutes engines slowly came to life.
We stopped for deicing.
From there it was a quick taxi to runway 32 and we were soon on our way.
Takeoff was powerful, but climb out was very slow with many turns. Probably due to noise reduction reasons?
Dinner was good. The bread was warm.
Reflection of the leftovers of my meal in the window. The only ‘outside view’ I have from in flight as it was very dark.
JP magazine and safety card for our CRJ200
Flight was over quickly and we started our descent into LJU.
Tomačevo, Nove Jarše, Črnuče, Bežigrad, some of the parts of Ljubljana seen in this picture.
In the middle of this picture are Stožice football stadium and arena, where the finals of the Eurobasket 2013 championship are going to be played. At the football stadium a very important game between Slovenia and Italy is going to be played in March.
Train station in Zalog
An overview of Ljubljana
We landed on runway 31 and a follow me vehicle guided us to our parking position.
Turn left! (Sorry for the bad picture)
I was supposed to be landing at John F. Kennedy international airport at this time. Instead, I landed back at Jože Pučnik international airport, where I have started my ‘vacation’ earlier today.
I was prepared for our bags to be lost somewhere in ZRH, but all of them had made it into LJU with new baggage tags.
Well, one of the positive sides of our flight being cancelled was that parking was cheaper than it would be if we would arrive on Thursday
The same picture I made this morning – only two things changed – the weather and my mood.
Well, I was looking forward to see New York covered in snow and I was hoping that we would arrive just before the storm, but Swiss decided to play it safe and not even fly to JFK. I can understand their decision, it was probably cheaper and easier to rebook PAX to other flights instead of having an aircraft stuck at JFK or even diverted to some other airport. I was surprised however that the flight was cancelled so early.
LH410 landed in JFK on-time, but the return flight LH411 was cancelled. Today (Monday the 27th) both LX14 and LH410 were cancelled as well.
The cancellation did cause us some inconvenience – we had booked a hotel, musical, train tickets… Now we have to fight for refunds.
I was really looking forward to Swiss C class, I haven’t flown them before and wanted to try it. No such luck this time, maybe some other time.
And I do not know, If we would have departed on-time at 13:00 LT, would we be able to land at our scheduled arrival time (16:05 LT)? Or would we be diverted?
Well, thank you for reading this report, I am sorry I was not able to review LX C class, but I might do that some other time. If you are interested in my report about the 12 hour delay because of a technical fault on our CO B777-200, you can find it here:
aflyingkiwi From New Zealand, joined Nov 2010, 488 posts, RR: 3 Reply 2, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 13230 times:
Well you seem to be very unfortunate with delays and cancellations (The CO delay and now this). LX though did seem to treat you well though. On a different note, I have to say I'm quite impressed by what Adria served on your flight, do you have any idea what was served in Y?
Quoting SloAir (Thread starter): US airways flight to PHL departing at around 12:15. We were suppose to depart just 45 minutes later
Did you ask if you could be rebooked on this flight considering that LX and US are both in the Star Alliance
Quoting luv2fly (Reply 1): On a different note, I have to say I'm quite impressed by what Adria served on your flight, do you have any idea what was served in Y?
This is what I was served on my LJU-MUC flight (the flight duration is about the same as LJU-ZRH flight):
On longer flights (LGW, CDG, BCN...) you get a sandwich, usually there is a choice between cheese or meat sandwich:
Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 2): Did you ask if you could be re-booked on this flight considering that LX and US are both in the Star Alliance
I didn not even know there was an US ZRH-PHL flight at that time, but it was probably full - she said that the only option was the flight to BOS.
Quoting debonair (Reply 3): No other options *-Alliance options?! Maybe via LH-hub at MUC or FRA?!
Since the weather forecast was bad we were expecting most of the flights to be cancelled. MUC-EWR was cancelled and later flight from FRA was delayed until monday the 27th. Looking at news reports and forum posts on the blizzard in New York I think that postponing our trip was not such a bad idea.
ba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8263 posts, RR: 56 Reply 6, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 11148 times:
Interesting story, thanks for sharing your experience of the recent weather - you don't seem to have much luck when travelling to the states, at least of late!
Quoting SloAir (Thread starter): I beeped on the metal detector, that has not happened to me in LJU for a few years now. They searched me and I had to put my shoe on at a time in a machine to check them. Interestingly I did not beep in ZRH although I was dressed exactly the same as in LJU and had nothing in my pockets.
SloAir From Slovenia, joined Jul 2010, 336 posts, RR: 6 Reply 7, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 10759 times:
Quoting lychemsa (Reply 5): Many people have arrived with lost baggage apparently.
When I went out of the airport for a walk I went through bagagge reclaim and it was a zoo! Baggage carts all over the place with hundreds of suitcases on them, most of them with ZRH or FRA as destination.
Quoting lychemsa (Reply 5): A good lesson to buy "travel insurance" in case of unforeseen problems.
Luckily we did opted for the insurance so we have a choice of a refund or we can use the ticket to JFK some other time. Probably not in the winter
The bad side is that two of my family members would get Frequent traveller status with Miles&More and now all their status miles will expire at the end of the year. We have written an email to M&M about this but no response yet...
Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 6): you don't seem to have much luck when travelling to the states, at least of late!
This was suppose to be my 5th trip to the US, so I still have more than 50% of smooth trips
Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 6): Not bad at all, the evening meal back looked pretty reasonable for such a short flight too.
It tasted great too, it was a salad with turkey and it came with balsamic dressing on the side. Both pieces of bread were warm and fresh.
infodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1241 posts, RR: 34 Reply 9, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 9823 times:
So sorry to hear that more travels plans were ruined by the all too present snow this winter. What a disappointment to get to Zurich and find your flight was cancelled. Still, you made up for it with all the nice pictures you took of the airport.
The situation with the viewing terrace isn't ideal, but when the new Dock B is opened there should be a very fine new one.
Btw, your food on JP looked very good indeed for a relatively short flight.
"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper