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Proper Long Haul – Swiss Made: ARN-PVG Y (pics)  
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1709 posts, RR: 14
Posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 28120 times:

Ni hao fellow a.netters, and welcome to my first trip report of the year. This time I’ll be featuring a series of three reports covering my trip to Shanghai, China with Swiss International Airlines and Scandinavian Airlines, in Economy and Business Class. This part is the first part, and it’ll cover my outbound trip from Stockholm via Zürich to Shanghai in Economy Class. As always, the report will 
be accompanied with a lagom amount of high quality pictures, that I know you will enjoy!


Background



Gold status, some of us have it some of us don’t. For me getting gold has for some reason been a bit of a life objective. Ever since I first came in touch with the whole frequent flyer status thing, when I was 10. Of course finalising this objective may not be the easiest thing in the world, at least not for a 10 year old. And as the years passed by, I basically stopped caring until the thought once struck me earlier last year, when I came over an airline whose programme required a very reasonable amount of mileage for gold status.

So I asked myself the question ”will I be able to pull it off before turning 20?”. I decided to accept this seemingly easy challenge, and began looking for flights that would generate just the right amount of mileage needed, for the cheapest price possible.
A very common method of collecting Star Alliance miles is of course doing mileage runs with the SWISS EU Business Class Saver fares. This is something many people on the forum have done before, most notably Roger (RogerBCN) and of course the pioneer of this whole project Philip (OA260) who have been doing this for years.

For a while, this to me was the way to go. But after some thoughts and consideration, I simply couldn’t justify spending all that money on flying somewhere for the sole and only purpose of earning the miles. I don’t really think spending €500 per trip, just to get four 1-2hr segments in a dull A320 in the same cramped Y class seats, eating cold cuts from a slightly enhanced tray. To then spend the night in a deserted airport terminal, and in the wee hours hop back on the same dull A320 that brought you there six hours earlier. Of course to get some bang for the buck one would have to spend 9 hours of utter boredom in a lounge, before arriving back home in the afternoon with a massive sleep deprivation looking like a wreck, and then have the old lady (yes it’s mom) whining at you for why you keep going on those crazy trips.

Not only would this be a major inconvenience for me, and a waste of time and money. Reporting these flights would be far from exciting, since the forum is already flooded with these reports, and by now people know pretty much the whole deal.



Booking & Preparation


The fact that I would have to go on several of those trips, made it simply unjustifiable. So I began looking for alternative ways to earn those miles. With me being me, I chose not to go look for the cheapest alternatives, but more the ones that offered me the best value for the money.
After weeks of searching the web, I managed to come over a good itinerary. Our beloved airline SWISS were having a great Business Class sale on selected destinations in Asia. Among those were Tokyo, Mumbai, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. BOM and PVG were the ones with the most reasonable price tag of €1600 for a round trip in C. For me the choice was pretty simple, PVG. This mainly due to the fact that the flight time was the longest, and secondly I’m not a big fan of India.

A return trip in Business Class would earn more miles then needed, so in order to keep the costs down I chose the outbound segment to be in Economy, earning me just the needed amount of miles. Not only would this save me €600, it would also give me the chance to sample both Y & C products that SWISS offer on the A340. All in all at €1000 for a round trip this seemed like a fair compromise.

The fare was available for a 7 night stay over new year’s. So with no further due, the good’ole proper VISA card made its appearance, tickets were booked in a heartbeat and e-ticket issued to my mail minutes later. This of course came with the cost of a rather massive crater in the wallet that month, but I was able to survive by implementing my notorious ”el-cheapo” lifestyle.

Hotels in Shanghai turned out to be rather cheap, so after a brief search I managed to find a reasonably priced Holiday Inn Express, located around 2 miles from the city centre. The reason why I chose it was due to it offering the best value for the money, and of course it felt safer staying with a chain. Total cost for a week was €150, with breakfast included in the room rate, which was justifiable enough for me to travel alone this time. The Chinese Visa and vaccinations ended up costing me an additional €90, slight on the hefty side but I got it cheap since the visa was applied for in person at the Chinese Consulate in Stockholm, and the vaccination was taken at a proper legitimate, state owned hospital. All set and ready to go!


December 26th 2011



Stockholm, Sweden, the morning of boxing day. I woke up at 5am at my father's place after a terrible night's sleep. As usual it was caused by my constantly returning pre-flight excitement, and worries about the potential jetlag that would risk ruining my holiday. Feeling like a wreck, I stumbled my way into the kitchen to find the old man preparing me a hearty, substantial breakfast. Dad insisted in having me well prior to embarking on such a long journey. I could only thank the man and try stuffing myself with as many pancakes as humanly possible.

Following breakfast was a warm and refreshing shower, which was interrupted by dad banging on the door urging that I'd come out immediately. Yeesh, he insisted that I'd be at the airport 2hrs prior to departure, even though I had already done the iPhone check-in the previous day, and was only traveling with hand luggage. Nevertheless to say, I decided not to argue with the man and simply obliged to his advice. Nice that he cares at least, unlike mom who one time overslept and somehow still managed to make it on to her flight by pulling over the Swebus Airport Shuttle in the middle of the highway (the car was parked in a ditch, and it took hell to get it back).

After the shower, I squeezed into my skinnyjeans (that I later changed after realising them not being the ideal clothing for spending 13 hours on a plane), picked up the camera-backpack and bid the old man goodbye, before hiking over to the train station to catch the commuter train to Märsta, and from there the bus to Arlanda. As usual the ride was slow and agonising, but dirty dirt dirt cheap compared to the AEX. By now most of you already know me, I'm all about the cheap so...


At the airport


At 7am sharp, I stepped off the bus at Arlanda's Terminal 5 after having spent the previous hour savouring the joys of Stockholm's public transport system.



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Exterior view of Arlanda Terminal 5.



With nearly 3 hours to go, I headed over to the SWISS check-in counters to pick up some proper boarding passes. Yes I still hate them, but the iPhone BP's required internet connection which could result in a juicy roaming bill, not to speak of the risk of sudden battery death (iOS5 thankyouverymuch).



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View of the departure hall of the non-SAS concourse. Not my favourite part to be honest.



Check-in



As I reached the sole manned counter, a small line had already formed. Given the time of the year it was no surprise that the line wholly consisted of the typical fly-once-a-year holidaymakers, with screaming kids and oversized luggage. I quickly managed to cut one big family in line, and was soon greeted by the friendly young Menzies ground agent Andreas.


A: -"Good morning Sir, how may I help you?"


Me: -"Good morning to you too, I would like to collect my boarding passes"


A: -"Certainly, may I have your passport please. Do you have any luggage to check in?"


Me: -"No, I'm only traveling with my backpack today"


Me: -"By the way, how is the load factor in Economy on my 2nd sector to PVG?"


A: -"It appears to be overbooked Sir"



After some typing on the computer, and a thorough inspection for my Chinese visa, I was handed over the BP's with my Star Alliance Silver status clearly printed on them. After wishing Andreas a pleasant day, I wandered over to the security area which was quite crowded this morning. It took me about 5 minutes to get through, and the check was passed with flying colours.


Airside at Arlanda



Once airside it was now a little less then two hours before boarding would commence. Since I was flying as a statusless'ish Economy Class passenger this morning, there was no lounge to speak of. So I did what any other sane person would do - head to Starbucks!



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I’m saying this again. This is Sweden’s first, one and only Starbucks in the history of mankind!



This was in fact my first time visiting the well spoken of Starbucks at Arlanda, and as expected it was packed with the stereotypical lightly dressed, sunburned, slightly drunk Swedish holiday charter pax. I settled down with an overpriced, and quite frankly disgusting Café Americano at one of the tables in the far corner.



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My Americano along with my passport and proper BP.



In the adjacent table were two girls of the aforementioned kind, having a loud and annoying conversation. I wasn't in the best mood this morning, and not happy with putting out with this. Being a Swede has its duties, to oblige jantelagen at all costs so instead of snapping at them (like the any other nationality's citizen would've done) I simply left, without finishing the coffee.

Back at the dull boredom of T5 airside, I realised that statusless Y and LCCs for that matter represent everything I hate about air travel, the same way PCs represent everything I hate about computers. So in sheer desperation I headed of to floor 3 to try and hitch a lounge hike. By judging Daniel's (LH4532) recent success, I was feeling quite optimistic. But sadly no dice, basically the people just ignored me and walked by. I know, I know it's undignified. With 10 minutes prior to boarding, I gave up and headed for the gate. Feeling quite down, hence fed up with all the propaganda from our right wing populist government, I made myself the promise to never ever in the history of mankind admit a lounge hitchhiker (a stranger i.e). Yeesh, get your own status you schmucks!



.
Arlanda should really be awarded for the dullest airport in the known World.



LX1249 Stockholm ARN – Zürich ZRH



Flight: LX1249 ARN-ZRH

Departure: 9.45

Arrival: 12.10

Duration: 2h 25m

Date: December 26th 2011

Seat & Class: 17A Economy Class

Aircraft & Reg: Airbus A320-214 HB-IJO



As I arrived to the gate, it turned out to be quite packed. Mostly Swedes heading off to ski holidays in the Swiss Alps. Among them was Swedish rapper ”Petter”, who for some reason gave me complementing looks on my Doc Marten boots, well he was wearing some pretty nice Docs too, so what else to do but the same.



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View of the crowded gate area.



Soon the expected A320 machine arrived at the gate. Inbound flight was a five minutes late, but luckily our boarding was on time. At 9.25 boarding was called, Star Gold, Business and families were allowed to board first. Followed by the rest of Economy Class. As usual I decided to board the plane as one of the last ones, hopefully this habit will soon change.



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The A320 that will do the honours of flying me this morning.



Upon entering the aircraft, I was greeted by the friendly Maitre De Cabine, who was a very senior male steward in his 60s. Crew for this flight also consisted of one younger male serving the Business section, and two females. The flight appeared to be sold out in both cabins, and I soon found my way to row 17 where I dumped by bag and Docs in the overhead, before settling down in the window seat on the A side.



.
Entering the aircraft.



The cabin was fitted with the nowadays ubiquitous slimline Recaro seats, clad in soft leather by LX. Seat pitch was 32" and the legroom was just fine enough for my likings.



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Legroom shot. Quite decent, or ”Industry average” as one known venezuelan author would put it.




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The basic contents of the seat pocket, or in this case the rather euphemistic sounding ”literature compartment”.




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View from our parking position. Apron looks surprisingly empty for being boxing day.



Shortly after settling in, the boarding was completed and the machine pushed back. The CFM-56 engines screeched to life as the safety video came on the screens. This was followed by a short taxi to runway 01L/19R, before conducting a rather heavy take off.



.
A quite unspectacular Arlanda takeoff.



Following take off was a moderately steep climb and 25 degree left turn towards east, giving some spectacular views on the Stockholm Archipelago. Seatbelt sign was turned off 20 minutes into the flight, after which the captain came on the blower announcing the flightpath waypoints down to ZRH, and adding that both weather and traffic situations are excellent. 



.

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Some nice last views of the good’ole motherland.



Meanwhile, I could hear noises from the galley indicating that service would soon commence, which it soon did. LX as we all know is a proper airline, and service today consisted of a hot snack and a full drinks service. Today a vegetarian mini-calzone was offered, followed by a round of drinks. I settled for some diet coke and OJ.



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The veggie Pizza.




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It really look a while for the drinks to be served.



The pizza was hot and delicious, vegetarian filling was difficult to identify, but I'm suspecting it must've been Pesto, Mozzarella and tomato sauce. All in all, very sufficient for a flight of this duration. Following the snack, the crew came around to offer the oh-so delicious SWISS chocolates and an additional round of drinks.



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The SWISS Chocolates. I declined the coffee due to its negative effects on jetlag.



After the trash had been cleared, I took my usual walk down the cabin and visited the lavatory.



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View of the full cabin on this A320.



Amenities in the Y class lav were really quite extraordinary. Apart from the very well smelling soap SWISS offer the Valmont hand and facial lotions. A very nice touch indeed, and my hands both felt and smelled like heaven.



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Blue lavatory, just like on my AF flight a few months earlier. Doubt this plane used to belong to VN. The blue must likely be a factory standard colour from Airbus.



The flight seemed to pass very quickly, and soon we began our descent to ZRH. During our descent we were put in a holding pattern, which offered some spectacular views of the Swiss landscape. Before touching down on the runway.



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The lovely green Swiss landscape. Too bad about the tinted windows.




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Short on finals...




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...And touchdown!



Touchdown was very very smooth, and was followed by a quick taxi to the A concourse of ZRH's Terminal 2 before parking next to a company A319.



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View from the parking position at our arrival gate in ZRH.



Since my connection time in ZRH was less then 25 minutes, I quickly grabbed my stuff from the overhead and squeezed my way out of the aircraft. I bid the crew adieu as I ran up the jetway, and towards the satellite E concourse where my flight to Shanghai was departing. Before jumping on the "moo moo baah baah" train, I had to clear passport control. We've all heard the stories of how civilised the ZRH transfers are, and this was 100% true. The EU line was deserted, and I was greeted by a friendly passport controller who quickly made sure that my face wasn't any of the terrorists on his screen, I was handed back my passport before running down to the train. Ride took roughly a minute, and as the pax were released the escalators quickly became congested. 



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Despite spending a mere 5 minutes in this place, I really liked what I saw. So calm and civilised.



LX188 Zürich ZRH – Shanghai PVG



Flight: LX188 ZRH-PVG

Departure: 13.05

Arrival: 7.40 (+1)

Duration: 11h 35m

Date: December 26th 2011

Seat & Class: 23K Economy Class

Aircraft & Reg: Airbus A340-313X HB-JMC



Soon I arrived at E47 only to find the place completely packed. Two equally long lines were formed, one for Y and one for C and *G. I saw no point in standing at the back of the Y line like some schmuck, so instead I went to have my visa checked at the booth, and waited by the gate counter as the pax were boarding. With the flight being overbooked, some lucky peeps would also get op-uped so what more entertaining way then to watch that action.



.
View of the very crowded gate E47.



Quickly a german gentleman  with Senator status in his 30s got the lucky beep, and he was very thankful. Sadly he ended up declining the upgrade as he wanted his Chinese girlfriend (who also got upgraded) to sit next to him, so he got the bulkhead in Y. I seriously wanted to attack the man, I mean who the devil would rather be stuck in Y with the so called "better half" then have all the Biz amenities for free with the only catch of not seeing this so called half for 11 hours. Personally I would've been willing to have my partner bumped off the flight for an upgrade, hmm maybe that's why I'm still single lol.

Anyways as this drama was to unfold, a Chinese  woman in her 40s stepped off the line, flashing her home printed BP with the HUGHE letters GOLD written on it, quickly snagged the two upgrade seats. Yes, she literally took them from the agent. At least she didn't mind being away from her husband for 11 hours. Many say that *G never get op-ups, clearly this wasn't the case as the sophisticated revenue management's op-up hierarchy food chain principles get thrown out the window. So it appears that *G takes the shame out from asking for an upgrade. That's worth noting... Well she also flashed her black AMEX card hmm...

Soon the lines had shrunk, and it was now my turn to board the flight. My lowly *S on a lowball airline, and my lowball booking class gave me the expected green light. Touche, but at least I have a good seat in Economy.



.
Walking down the jetway for my first ever long haul flight!



Upon entering the A340 from door 2L, I was greeted by a friendly asian male purser, who after a quick inspection of my BP directed me to the right. Boarding process slow, and at one point completely halted by a group of spanish students clogging up the aisle when attempting to squeeze their oversized hand luggage into the bin. This left me standing for a while in the business cabin. While looking around this exquisitely gorgeous cabin, I really began to regret not forking out those extra €500 for the outbound flight.

Those earthy warm tones were really soft and gentle to the eye, it felt almost as if being in a cozy Swiss mountain cabin, illuminated by the golden sunlight shining through the windows. So peaceful and tranquil. Sadly this little daydream came to an abrupt end, as the man whose seat I stood next to was giving me that ever so immature, pretentious and silly "hey-look-at-me-being-oh-so-important-n-better-then-you-cuz-I'm-in-biz" look, yes some people even do it when seated in 1st Class on a commuter train, that's just sad. Anyways, I don't exactly get envious or offended by this kind of behaviour, so I simply ignored the man and walked away.

Soon I reached my row 23, which was located in the smaller front section of the Economy Class cabin. To my surprise, the cabin also had some traces of earthy warmness which took some of the pain away. When settling down in my bulkhead seat, I was surprised to find the legroom so generous. Normally bulkhead seats have terrible legroom, but now I was able to fully stretch out my legs with only the toe tips touching the wall. Yes I'm 6 foot tall. Other comfy seating positions were possible too. The only downside with the seat was the rock hard cushion (I bet the Chinese loved it), but after a while that got comfy too.



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Legroom shot of my bulkhead seat. Much much better then expected, and the babies were nowhere to be seen!



As the boarding progressed, my seatmate a Chinese gentleman in his 30s arrived. We didn't talk much during the flight, although he spoke perfect queen’s english.

Being seated right behind the Biz cabin, I couldn't help peeking through that open curtain to see whatever wonders were taking place there. Very well, soon this flight attendant, a gorgeous blonde woman of flawless nature (I hear you Markus, I hear) appeared with a tray of champagne. Her smile let alone would justify me enough to fork out those extra €€€, and I was banging my head against the wall in sheer anger and regret. She looked exactly like a 10 year older version of a girl, I used to date a while ago. But that's a different story.



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View from our parking position at gate E47.



Soon the purser came over the horn announcing that the boarding had been completed. This was followed by a pushback, and the sound of the four CFM branded hairdryers being spooled to life for this 11hr 35min hop over the Eurasian subcontinent. A safety video was shown on the screen as we taxied to the runway. Of course as we all know, at this time of the day it's long haul rush hour in ZRH, and we had to wait for a few heavies in front of us to depart before it was our turn.

Soon our fully loaded A340 machine had turned onto the runway, in front of a group of enthusiastic spotters to whiteness this show. Throttles were rammed to their frontmost detent, and the machine slowly began to roll. In true ZRH A340 fashion the takeoff was extremely heavy, heavier than anything I've ever experienced before as the plane took up every single inch of runway. The plane really felt like a goose forcing its way up in the sky, as we were hanging dangerously low over the treetops for several seconds. A single engine malfunction could send us all to a fiery death down below, at least that's what I was thinking in those seconds as engine number 4 was shaking violently. "Note to self" as Petteri Finn would say "Fly a Tripple7 next time".



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Heeeavy takeoff from ZRH. Sorry about the poor quality.



Soon our A340 began to catch some speed, and the climb became more stabile. We made a left turn towards the alps as we continued the climb to our initial cruising altitude of 36000 feet.



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Slowly but steadily climbing, with the alps visible from a distance.



Roughly 20 minutes into the flight, the seatbelt sign was turned off, and I pulled out the IFE screen from under my armrest to explore what the entertainment system has to offer. But before that, I grabbed my Bose In-Ear headphones from the bin, as the complimentary ones are as we all know faux. Sadly the movies/tv/music was not working, and I was later told by the crew that the system will be re-booted.



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The slightly outdated IFE controller. Buttons were worn, but it still did the job well.



Meanwhile our purser Herman, a friendly franco-swiss gentleman in his 50s appeared with the drinks cart.


H: -"Sir, what would you like to drink?"


Me: -"I'll have a Gin&Tonic and some Diet Coke."


H: -"Would you like me to make that G&T double, Sir?"


Me: -"No thanks, that would be too much alcohol for me. But I'd gladly take a 2nd can of tonic, please."


H: -"Sure, I'll get that for you then."



My drinks were promptly handed over along with a pack of salty nibbles, that my Chinese seatmate stuffed in his mouth all at once. It's nice at least that LX serve their own branded snacks nowadays, and not that cheesy Happy Mix.



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A generous serving of pre-lunch drinks.



Soon Herman re-appeared to collect the empty cans and glasses. He had a very funny way of addressing the passengers with the word "Finished?", in their native launguage. I heard him say it in german, french, spanish and even swedish as he worked his way down the aisle. Service was really warm and friendly.

Now the second act of the show took place as Herman came around again to take lunch orders.


H: -"Sir, what would you like to eat? We have vegetable lasagne or roast turkey."


Me: -"I'll have the turkey please."


Seat mate: -"I'll have the turkey too!"




Dinner Menu Economy Class LX188


Starter: Green salad with letteuce


Main Course: Roast turkey breast with red cabbage, boules of polenta, and gravy sauce


Dessert: Almond cake with puff pastry crusting, topped with flour sugar


[i] Cheese: Emmentaler from Switzerland


Bread & Butter


A selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages


Coffee or Tea





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The lunch served on this flight.



According to Photophil's recent discovery, airlines save hundreds of thousands of €€€ annually, by cutting down on the contents in the starter salad. In this case, stripping it down even further would've just resulted in an empty bowl of air. This was perhaps the least substantial starter I have ever eaten in my entire life. I think this whole fuss about it being a Swiss thing is just some lameass excuse for serving up a lacking starter.

The main course however was a lot more to write home about. As I opened the lid, I could really see why the Maitre De Cabine was referring to this as a Christmas flight. It Christmas turkey lunch for Christ's sake! Red cabbage tasted nice and lagom sour. The Chinese man left it untouched though, suppose different cultures have different tastes. At first glance, the polenta looked like mashed potatoes, but when sticking the fork in I noticed the rubber-like texture. They were a bit on the bland side, but still fully edible. A generous helping of turkey breast was provided, and it tasted nicely soft and tender. Along with the gravy sauce it was like heaven on the taste buds. All in all, a very good main course for economy class.

Once again Herman in his charmy fashion came to collect the meal trays. As usual, the dessert was taken off the tray to be savoured at a later time.


H: -"Would you like to have some coffee or tea, Sir?"


Me: -"Yes I'll have a cup of coffee, and some Bailey's, please.


H: -"Bailey's on the rocks, I presume?"


Me: -"Most certainly yes. Thank you!"




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Ending the lunch with some coffee, dessert and Bailey’s.



Almost instantly, I realised that the coffee would make it harder for me to relax, hence the risk of worsening the effects on jetlag. So I skipped it, despite tasting very weak. My expectations for airline desserts are often kept at its lowest, especially when they're not served in a bowl. Luckily this time, the almond cake was a proper almond cake and not just some dry, faux flavoured spounge cake. It went perfect along with the cold Bailey's. All in all, a great dessert.

It was now two and a half hours into the flight, and the dark side of the planet was rapidly approaching us as we cruised over Azerbaijan and Georgia. With the IFE still out of order, I decided to have a look around the cabin and a visit to the loo, which was conveniently located at the back of our mini-cabin.



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View of the front Economy Class mini-cabin.




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Lavatorial view.



The lavatory was nothing out of the ordinary, just a tad bit smaller then your usual A320 lav. Amenities were exactly the same as offered on my earlier flight that day. On my way back, I took a de-tour by the galley to ask Herman if the IFE will be up and running anytime soon. -"We're working as hard as we can to have it fixed."

As I returned to my seat, the aircraft had now reached the edge of night. This gave some pretty spectacular views of the sunset, that lasted for well over one hour. It was quite reassuring though that the sun would be up towards the end of our flight. Pretty cool when you wrap your mind around that thought. As the sun had set, my mind instantly reset the clock to 3am to which it remained throughout the flight until the sun had risen again. This let alone came to be a vital help for dealing with the jetlag upon my arrival.



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Crossing the edge of night.



Soon, the Maitre du Cabine came over the PA with great rews announcing that the IFE system was now up and running. Cheers sounded through the cabin, and I hurried back to my seat from a quick water run to the galley.

I started off with watching an episode of How I Met Your Mother, followed by Will Ferrel's latest feature Everything Must Go. A film I'd been looking forward to see and had saved for this flight. Sadly my joy came to an end, as the system reboot had messed up the titles. So instead it showed some cheesy awful romantic comedy with Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon. Two actors I absolutely hate, and 10 minutes of that film simply became unbearable for me. So I switched over to Justin Timberlake's latest feature Friends With Benefits, that too turned out to be complete rubbish. I put the screen back in the armrest and went to sleep. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge lover of film, mostly art-house cinema, A-list features and proper comedies. However I'm not a fan of these cheesy thin-air romantic blockbusters, who completely lack any substance by simply being highly satiric reproductions of the dull, boring society we live in. Not to mention the poorly talented people who star in these movies.

After some two hours of faux sleep, I still felt that I had a hard time getting relaxed. So I hit the call button to order in a little nightcap. A Chinese stewardess came to answer my call.


C: -"How may I help you, Sir?"


Me: -"I would like to have a Gin&Tonic, if that's alright?"


C: -"Eh, gin and tonic you say?" [strange look]


Me -"Yes, that's correct"


C: -"Sorry, if you want something you have to get it from the galley yourself. We don't want to be running up and down the aisle in the middle of the night" [runs away]



Quite frankly the response she gave me was a bit rude, and not something one would expect on SWISS. Sure, some people have the norm of not hitting the call button when flying Y, but that's none of the crew's business really. I was left quite stunned, and was not in the mood for getting up. Surprisingly, minutes later she re-appeared wity my G&T. Disaster averted, and you all know the alternative outcome of this story... The drink was chugged, and I passed out for a few hours.

When I woke up again, the first thing I came to see was Herman fully dressed in a Santa's costume handing out the famous and oh-so yummy Mövenpick ice creams. Like a child, I eagerly reached for the ice cream as Herman was about to hand it to me. However, he jokingly refused by pulling it away and insisted I'd keep my hands down, so that he personally could place it on my table. Yes so it seems, Santa only want good kids. As you'd expect, the ice cream was finished in two bites after which I fell back asleep. My sleeping position was very comfortable, I simply reclined the seat fully, and put my legs up against the wall. Who says you can't sleep in Economy?!  

I woke up again at 4am Shanghai time, by Herman rolling out the trolley for the mid-flight snack service. The snacks consisted of cup noodles and pretzel bun with that Swiss dried beef. Since I wasn't feeling too hungry, I went for a pretzel bun. It was delicious. Unable to fall back asleep, I spent the reminder of the night watching some TV shows on the IFE. Friends, Two And A Half Men, and Modern Family. Very good episodes on all three shows.

As our flying vessel cruised over the vast lands of Mongolia, the sun began to re-appear at the end of the horizon. I could feel my internal clock re-adjusting itself, with the yawns and drop of body temperature we human beings experience at this time of day. I was starting to feel really hungry as well. Luckily breakfast was soon to be served as Herman came by with the hot towels, followed by the breakfast cart. Must say that the hot towels are a really nice touch, especially for Economy Class. Breakfast was served roughly 90 minutes prior to arrival.



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Breakfast service began with hot towels.




Breakfast Menu Economy Class LX188


Hot option: Omelette with steamed spinach, Rösti potatoes, and tomato ratatouille


Peach yoghurt


Orange juice


A selection of breads, butter and preserves


Coffee or tea.





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The rather generous breakfast tray.



To be completely honest, I wasn't expecting a breakfast of this amount to be served. My mind was set on the rather usual but highly euphemistic dry croissant + Danone brekkie, most airlines seem to serve nowadays. Nevertheless, I was pleasantly surprised by the food on my tray.

I don't recall having a hot breakfast on a plane since the late 90s, and sadly the omelettes haven't improved over the years. It tasted just as bland now as it did back then. The same goes for the Rösti potatoes and the spinach. They didn't taste much better despite dumping that whole sachet of salt on them, nevertheless they were still fully edible. As for the ratatouille, it was just too much of a strange combo for my Scandinavian taste buds, but it helped taking some blandness off those eggs. All in all a rather mediocre brekkie main course. Luckily the breakfast had me stuffed, thanks to Herman providing me with a steady flow of pretzel buns and jam.



.
Sunrise over eastern China.



As the trays had been cleared, the sun had already risen as we sailed along over the eastern parts of the Chinese mainland. The captain soon came over the PA announcing that landing will take place in approximately 30 minutes. Shortly afterwards, the nose of our hairdryer propelled machine tipped downwards, as the engine thrust decreased and speed brakes applied. Meanwhile Herman and the rest of the crew began preparing the cabin for landing. Biz curtain was drawn open, shades up, seatbacks up, video screen down. 


As Herman came by again, he pointed out that my backpack had to be placed in the overhead bin during landing. He pointed at the empty bin of the adjacent Business Class row, and urged me to put the bag there. Well I wasn't complaining about this, at least my stuff would be enjoying the luxurious wonders of premium air travel for the short reminder of the flight. As I got up from my seat to stove the bag, I instantly noticed how clean, crisp and fresh the air in the Business cabin was. With a gentle hint of lemon, it was like a fresh breeze of mountain air washing through my lungs. I think the superior air quality should play a bigger role in how airlines market their premium cabins, surely a major trace of product differentiation. Shortly after getting back to my seat, Herman and the Chinese girl came around with a basket full of SWISS chocolates. I shamelessly stuck both my hands into the basket in order to grab as many of those rare delicious treats as I could. The Chinese girl did not look happy.



.
Descent in progress...



Soon our flying machine plunged into the smog filled skies of Shanghai, and this not so bad flight was about to come to a much anticipated end. Following some hard turns to the left and the right, our plane had now lined up with the runway of Shanghai's Pudong International Airport. From a distance, I could see the sun shining high over the sea, offering me some spectacular views. This came to be interrupted by what could only be described as the sound of a gunshot, which fortunately turned out just to be the sound of our landing gear being deployed.



.
Into the smog we go!



Since I was seated on the right hand side of the aircraft, the only views I got from the approach were the dull, flat Chinese wastelands. Oh well I wasn't exactly missing out on anything as I would be spending a full week in the city. Soon as our A340 came in over the runway threshold, and condensation began to form on the wings, a phenomena I haven't witnessed in years. This was followed by a smooth touchdown, and a taxi to our gate at the international terminal 2 at Pudong.



.
Short on finals....




.
...And touchdown!



People were more then eager to get off the plane, which resulted in some huffing&shuffling through the aisle. I decided to remain seated until everyone had left the plane, to have a closer look at the new seats in Business Class that I would hopefully occupy on my flight back home.



.
Taxiing to our gate at Pudong’s Terminal 2.




.
Parking next to the Rijstaffel, after nearly 12 hours in the air.



As I sat and waited for the last pax to de-board, out of nowhere the gorgeous blonde flight attendant showed up from the Business section. The 11 hour flight had surely taken its toll on her, as her makeup was faded, skin looked dry, and her hair was a bit scruffy. In the midst of all these circumstances, that mesmerisingly beautiful smile still remained the same as she approached me.


B: -”Hello Sir, are you waiting for someone?”


Me: -”No I just want to have a quick look around the cabin, if that’s okay”


B: -”Of course! Let me show you around. Suppose the Economy section isn’t that interesting, follow me.



As you’d might imagine I was one happy man at that moment, getting a private tour around the plane by the cutest attendant. She apologised for the Business cabin looking like a mess. Well not that messy compared to Economy, and besides if she only knew what pile of garbage I left under my seat! Sadly there wasn’t much time left before the gate would close, so that meant no time to try out the seats. We did however have a nice chat about the seats in F, and I was told that there will likely be new seats installed on the A343 during 2012. At the end of the tour, she gave me the question any plane nut would die to hear.


B: -”I assume you want to have a look in the cockpit as well?”


Me: -”That would be great, thanks!”



I was let in the cockpit with only minutes left before the gate would close, so there was not really much time to chat with the pilots. Just the usual ”Hello, nice plane” and a quickie picture. Must say, it felt slightly more cramped then the usual A320 cockpit, or maybe that’s just me?



.
Fresh, crisp and modern looking LCD cockpit on this A340-300. It’s one of the later production models.



My short visit came to an abrupt end as one of the steward urged me to come out of the cockpit and leave the plane as the gate was closing at the very minute. Yes they even sent an agent to come and look for me. So I bid the crew, including the gorgeous blondie (hoping and praying she’d be working on my flight back home in Biz the next week) goodbye before running up the glass jetway and down to the immigrations and baggage hall. The immigrations was a breeze, and after having my passport and visa stamped, I was allowed to enter the country. Since I didn’t feel like spending much more time at the airport, I quickly made my way down to the railway station and hopped on the Maglev to metropolitan Shanghai. Ticket was silly cheap at only €4 it’s a steal, at least comparing to the rubbish Arlanda Express at home  

.
Riding the Maglev for the first time. It’s f*cking fast!




Arriving in Shanghai




.
Arriving at the well recognised LongYang Road station.



As I stepped off the Maglev at LongYang station, it was now 9.30am local time. Despite being 2.30am back home in Sweden, it still felt much like morning and somehow I didn’t feel jetlagged at all. It was more like waking up after a poor night’s sleep. And also considering the long distance traveled in such a relatively short time, the flight didn’t feel that long at all. To me it was just like having stepped off a 4hr flight within Europe.

The first thing I noticed when arriving was the lack of credit card terminals at many of the shops. Heck most people didn’t even seem to know what a VISA card was. So I simply had to abandon my plans of a cash-less holiday, and go to the HSBC ATM machine to withdraw some RMBs. When that was done, I bought a metro daypass and headed off to the Pudong District for some sightseeing and lunch. The first impressions of Shanghai and China were much better then expected. The streets were nice and clean, it felt safe to carry a backpack with filthy expensive camera equipment since there were surveillance cameras everywhere (and I’ve been told that the Chinese government have stricter punishments if crime is committed against foreigners). One top tip though, stay away from McDonald’s! It’s really filthy and disgusting.

After some more sightseeing and Starbucks Frappuccinos to keep me awake, it was now 2pm and check-in for my hotel had opened. I picked the Holiday Inn Express Zhabei, located near the Shanghai West Railway station. The hotel was easy to find as it was located some 300 meters from the Metro exit for line 4. However location may have been slight on the off-side, but the proximity to the metro helped solving that. At 200 RMB per night with breakfast included it was really a bargain.



.
View of my room at the top floor. Great views of the city, especially at night.




.
A Fisheye view of the bathroom. It was nice, fresh and well-stocked with amenities.




Conclusions



This was my first flight on SWISS, and my first long haul flight. My general impression of the airline can only be described as excellent and nearly flawless, at least for Economy class. The service on the short haul sector was generous, and perfectly adequate for the duration of the flight. Comfy seating, and clean aircraft. ZRH will most definitely be used for future travels as the airport proved to be as civilised and efficient as people claim, despite the rush hour.

The long haul sector is perhaps where LX shined the most. While the seats may not have been super comfortable, and the entertainment system may have lacked some choices, the food and beverages provided were great both in terms of quality and quantity. And of course at last not to mention the crews. Very friendly, very professional, they really know how to deliver those extra small friendly touches that can make or break the in-flight service experience.

All in all SWISS is an airline that completely corresponds to my philosophy that the small details make up for the big picture. While many airlines consider the small touches and miscellaneous nick-nack as unnecessary expenses, tiny meaningless stuff that the passengers won’t notice anyway, SWISS have gone against the stream and focused their service concept around those details. In a sense of way the airline’s service culture may resemble the art of watchmaking, where every tiny component plays a crucial part in forming a masterpiece, a work of art, a piece of machinery that will be guaranteed to last for decades to come. Oh well, now I’m just getting ahead of myself
 


That will end this first installment of my trip to China. Stay tuned for the next part featuring some Shanghai highlights and the SWISS fully flat Business Class.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to leave comments. They’re much appreciated.
//Jonas


SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
49 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3035 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 27935 times:

Very nice report Jonas, hope you enjoyed Shanghai!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
A: -"It appears to be overbooked Sir"

Why didn't you enquire about an upgrade? Or better, ask to be IVDBed and put on the next day's flight in C and with some helathy compensation

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Arlanda should really be awarded for the dullest airport in the known World.

Trust me, there are plenty of worse airports out there than ARN

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The pizza was hot and delicious, vegetarian filling was difficult to identify, but I'm suspecting it must've been Pesto, Mozzarella and tomato sauce. All in all, very sufficient for a flight of this duration. Following the snack, the crew came around to offer the oh-so delicious SWISS chocolates and an additional round of drinks.

Looks very nice

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
C: -"Sorry, if you want something you have to get it from the galley yourself. We don't want to be running up and down the aisle in the middle of the night" [runs away]

Awful thing to say! Sounds like Aeroflot! Surely that's her job? At least she did bring you a drink in the end.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The rather generous breakfast tray.

Looks filling

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):

The first thing I noticed when arriving was the lack of credit card terminals at many of the shops. Heck most people didn’t even seem to know what a VISA card was.

Ah yes, the Chinese love cash. Very few places take card. It's a common sight to see people with huge wads of red 100 notes in banks.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
At 200 RMB per night with breakfast included it was really a bargain.

Good value. There has been a bit of a bloodbath in accomodation over the past few years. When I first went to China in 2003, accomodation choices were AWFUL. So many new chains of m/hotel have sprung up, brings and plummeted and quality increased dramatically.



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-JMK,JTR-LHR-WAW,MSQ-FRA-EZE,IGR-EZE-CUN,MEX-FRA-LCY,LHR-TXL-LHR
User currently offlinenipoel123 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2011, 261 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 27793 times:

Lovely report, I'm glad you enjoyed your first long-haul trip. I've got one coming up this summer, but then westbound. KL 74M, there even is a chance I get on a MD11!

Lots of good pictures, and great discriptions. And a cockpit visit is always much appreciated of course!

Looking forward to the second part of your trip,

Nick



one mile of road leads to nowhere, one mile of runway leads to anywhere
User currently offlineplanejamie From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2011, 576 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 27786 times:

Brilliant trip report, SWISS certainly know how to please customers, my LX experience wasn't as great (back in the A330-200 days) RUH-ZRH-MAN but was acceptable (they had cradle seats, no flat beds!). Anyway, nice to see a long haul economy sector on LX and to Shanghai. I visited Hong Kong and I felt the same with security, it was very clean and I felt fine walking round even with massive crowds of people, I never once saw someone stealing or trying to avoid paying for trains etc.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
After the shower, I squeezed into my skinnyjeans (that I later changed after realising them not being the ideal clothing for spending 13 hours on a plane)

I'd have stuck with the Skinny Jeans rather than Chinos, I always wear skinnies, can't beat them (that and tight brightly coloured hoodies with a t-shirt in a complementary colour and one of several pairs of converses)... Then again haha, this isn't fashion.net... hehe (or Grindr for that matter...)


User currently offlineGjunnar From Germany, joined Sep 2001, 155 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 27617 times:

Thanks for this very good trip report. I always love reports about SWISS, particularly if they are as positive as this. The sometimes higher air fares of LX seem justifiable if the value you get back is so remarkable and satisfying.
It was espcially interesting to read a report about LX188 - a flight that will soon be covered by a PilotsEYE video (a German production, like justplanes); it is supposed to come out & be shipped starting in 4 weeks.

[Edited 2012-01-10 11:25:21]

User currently offlineSloAir From Slovenia, joined Jul 2010, 339 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 27179 times:

Hi Jonas,

a very interesting TR, I had fun reading it. The pictures are high quality, just like you promised, but maybe a bit small?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Despite spending a mere 5 minutes in this place, I really liked what I saw. So calm and civilised.

You described it perfectly, calm and civilised, these two things make ZRH one of my favourite airports in Europe.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Quickly a german gentleman  with Senator status in his 30s got the lucky beep, and he was very thankful. Sadly he ended up declining the upgrade as he wanted his Chinese girlfriend (who also got upgraded) to sit next to him, so he got the bulkhead in Y. I seriously wanted to attack the man, I mean who the devil would rather be stuck in Y with the so called "better half" then have all the Biz amenities for free with the only catch of not seeing this so called half for 11 hours. Personally I would've been willing to have my partner bumped off the flight for an upgrade, hmm maybe that's why I'm still single lol.

Haha, I'm with you on this one if it was me, if they both got upgraded I would definitely take the upgrade. If only I was upgraded and my girlfriend wasn't I would have (probably  ) stayed with her in economy.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Walking down the jetway for my first ever long haul flight!

Congrats, long hauls are great. Hope you take many more so we can enjoy some more interesting stories  
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
This let alone came to be a vital help for dealing with the jetlag upon my arrival.

Every long haul trip I take I have less problems with jetlag. Maybe because I'm not thinking about it that much anymore. But on my first long-haul trips to the US and Canada I had a some problems on the way back.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
C: -"Sorry, if you want something you have to get it from the galley yourself. We don't want to be running up and down the aisle in the middle of the night" [runs away]

She could have told you that in a nicer way, it sounds quite rude.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The rather generous breakfast tray.

Wow! It looks very generous, even more than some business class meals I've seen! Good job by LX.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I shamelessly stuck both my hands into the basket in order to grab as many of those rare delicious treats as I could. The Chinese girl did not look happy.

I don't blame her, it is logical that every person gets one chocolate, not the whole basket  
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
B: -”Of course! Let me show you around. Suppose the Economy section isn’t that interesting, follow me.

That is super nice of her, I'm very jealous. A nice blonde FA showing you around on a private tour of the A330, awesome!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Riding the Maglev for the first time. It’s f*cking fast!

I would go to PVG just to ride on the Maglev.

All in all a fantastic report, I've thoroughly enjoyed it. Looking forward to the second part already.

Blaž



Visit Ljubljana
User currently offlineAlwaysOnAPlane From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2010, 305 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 27057 times:

Hi Jonas.

Really good to get this outbound story from you. Well, as ever, SWISS look to be delivering the goods.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
So in sheer desperation I headed of to floor 3 to try and hitch a lounge hike.

Might be worth checking on FlyerTalk before you set off next time maybe? People post the airports they will be at and at what time with the offer of guesting people in. I guess your almost *G now so not much use soon, but worth remembering for future. In fact, I have had people contact me from that site asking if I fancied some time in a lounge courtesy of them. Pretty cool.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Today a vegetarian mini-calzone was offered, followed by a round of drinks.

That looks great even by LX standards.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Anyways as this drama was to unfold, a Chinese  woman in her 40s stepped off the line, flashing her home printed BP with the HUGHE letters GOLD written on it, quickly snagged the two upgrade seats.

Talk about pro active stance in getting an upgrade. I guess if you dont try? I was under the impression that even FTL trumps non M&M *G on LH/LX and the like? There must have been some FTL around for those upgrades before her.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The plane really felt like a goose forcing its way up in the sky

Yea, a stuffed one. My last long haul on a A340 from LAX-ZRH climbed at 1000 fpm. That was the best it could muster.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
B: -”Hello Sir, are you waiting for someone?”


Me: -”No I just want to have a quick look around the cabin, if that’s okay”


B: -”Of course! Let me show you around. Suppose the Economy section isn’t that interesting, follow me.

Really nice touch. Good to see the crews know there are folks out there who live for this stuff.

Thanks for the post Jonas. Great photos too.
Cheers, Lee.


User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 27046 times:

Hej Jonas!

Great tripreport! Your photos are really stunning too!
Nice to read you had a good experience with Swiss, their economy service within Europe seemed really nice.
Awesome to get that cockpit visit offered to you without asking!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Among them was Swedish rapper %u201DPetter%u201D, who for some reason gave me complementing looks on my Doc Marten boots, well he was wearing some pretty nice Docs too, so what else to do but the same.

Wow, that's a nice anecdote!  
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Fresh, crisp and modern looking LCD cockpit on this A340-300. It%u2019s one of the later production models.

Looks like it's straight out of the factory!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I quickly made my way down to the railway station and hopped on the Maglev to metropolitan Shanghai.

Now that's a trainride I wish to try some day.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Stay tuned for the next part featuring some Shanghai highlights and the SWISS fully flat Business Class.

Looking forward to that one!

Martin


User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 43
Reply 8, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 26710 times:

Nice report, I'll be on LX 188 in F end of this month. Looks promising.

LH747



Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1882 posts, RR: 25
Reply 9, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 26539 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Good report! Nice review of Swiss. Looks like a decent way to fly to Shanghai!

Service looks to be a high standard from ARN-ZRH, and okay for ZRH-PVG.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Green salad with letteuce

Wow, that is hilarious! What a way to make just lettuce sound like an appetizer!  

Thanks for sharing,

Matthew


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6403 posts, RR: 55
Reply 10, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 26080 times:

Hi Jonas!

Thanks for a great trip report with very nice pictures!

It seems Swiss provided great service on both flights; meals looks great and Herman seems like a very good flight attendant to get you things you need by providing great service.

Seems like the hotel you got was a very good deal and looks nice too! Cool with the Maglev train. I really need to try that. Perhap I'll go to China later this year including PVG.

I think by flying Swiss in Y you have set your expectations very high for future travels.......I think not much in Y will top LX.

Very much looking forward to the next part.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly...T5, CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlinejetlag73 From France, joined Sep 2011, 67 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 26024 times:

Hi Jonas,

Excellent TR, love the tone.

About upgrades, I've been *G for 5 years now with SQ, all flying Y, and only got upgraded twice.
Mind you, SQ has that (justified) reputation of never upgrading pax, even their once beloved PPS members.
But I heard many *Alliance carrier do regular upgrades for *G, like AC, LH, LX, or even TG.
Guess I'm on the wrong airline...

Can't wait for your C class report

Cheers, and bravo again !

Enzo


User currently offlineMIAspotter From Spain, joined Nov 2001, 2650 posts, RR: 25
Reply 12, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 25640 times:

Hi Jonas.

Very amusing and interesting report, I love LX and love reading about it, glad you had an enjoyable experience.

ZRH is definitely heaven to transit, so quiet and efficient, I haven´t been there for a few years but I guess it´s still the same, I want to go and check out the new pier B.

Last year when looking at flights to HKG LX was offering me a return fare BCN-ZRH-HKG for 600€, I gave it so much thought but in the end settled for a 650€ QR ticket just to experience those much talked about ME carriers.

They were not bad, but I should have gone with LX. (I learned my lesson)

Service on LX economy seems to be adequate, you snagged a decent seat as well, but the attitude from the Asian F/A was unaceptable, but I experienced the same with the Asian crews onboard Qatar to HKG, they were a bit ¨Hmmph¨ but at least Herman was there to give balance, by the way you described him he reminded me of a crew member I had on a DL flight between ATL and BCN, he was very chirpy, joking with the PAX and during the meal service he was wearing a FC Barcelona T-shirt 

Can´t wait to read the return leg and do please share some pics of Shanghai.

Oh and hope the cute blonde F/A is featured on that report hehe.

MIAspotter.



I think, therefore I don´t fly Ryanair.
User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4207 posts, RR: 51
Reply 13, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 25488 times:

Hi Jonas,

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
As always, the report will 
be accompanied with a lagom amount of high quality pictures, that I know you will enjoy!

Well, let me see first. Then I'll let you know if I like  
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Not only would this be a major inconvenience for me, and a waste of time and money. Reporting these flights would be far from exciting, since the forum is already flooded with these reports, and by now people know pretty much the whole deal.

Should we stop flying aroud Europe and not reporting anymore? Your LX longhaul is just plain standard stuff too imho, but 'new' for yourself

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Our beloved airline SWISS were having a great Business Class sale on selected destinations in Asia. Among those were Tokyo, Mumbai, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. BOM and PVG were the ones with the most reasonable price tag of €1600 for a round trip in C. For me the choice was pretty simple, PVG. This mainly due to the fact that the flight time was the longest, and secondly I’m not a big fan of India.

How about HKG or TYO then?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Total cost for a week was €150, with breakfast included in the room rate,

Good price indeed. Breakfast is standard included at HI Express

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I headed over to the SWISS check-in counters to pick up some proper boarding passes.

I thought you dislike them...

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Yes I still hate them, but the iPhone BP's required internet connection which could result in a juicy roaming bill, not to speak of the risk of sudden battery death (iOS5 thankyouverymuch).

There you go. Next time, make a screenshot on your iPhone with the barcode and no need to make connection.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Me: -"No, I'm only traveling with my backpack today"

Hard to believe. 1 week with a backpack. I guess you didn't bring home a load of souvenirs?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
So in sheer desperation I headed of to floor 3 to try and hitch a lounge hike.
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I made myself the promise to never ever in the history of mankind admit a lounge hitchhiker (a stranger i.e). Yeesh, get your own status you schmucks!

First you act this badly yourself, and a while later you are sounding slightly selfish to say that you would never ever take somebody else in.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
As usual I decided to board the plane as one of the last ones, hopefully this habit will soon change.

I don't think your habit will change. Once you have *G, you will make most of your lounge visit and stay there until the last boarding call is made  
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
LX as we all know is a proper airline, and service today consisted of a hot snack and a full drinks service.

Nice meal for Euro Y

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The blue must likely be a factory standard colour from Airbus.

It is, indeed.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I really liked what I saw. So calm and civilised.

That's Switzerland for you... also out of the airport.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Sadly he ended up declining the upgrade as he wanted his Chinese girlfriend (who also got upgraded) to sit next to him, so he got the bulkhead in Y. I seriously wanted to attack the man, I mean who the devil would rather be stuck in Y with the so called "better half" then have all the Biz amenities for free with the only catch of not seeing this so called half for 11 hours

Indeed, fully understandable. Maybe you should rethink your opinion on this again, and indeed this might be one of the reasons that you didn't succeed yet   Not even in China?  
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
While looking around this exquisitely gorgeous cabin, I really began to regret not forking out those extra €500 for the outbound flight.

500 Euro's is a lot of money Jonas ... you talk too easy about it.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Much much better then expected, and the babies were nowhere to be seen!

Can be different. Quite often you'll find the baby basinets on the bulkhead on these longhaul flights, and then you might have a not so relaxed flight.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The plane really felt like a goose forcing its way up in the sky, as we were hanging dangerously low over the treetops for several seconds. A single engine malfunction could send us all to a fiery death down below, at least that's what I was thinking in those seconds as engine number 4 was shaking violently. "Note to self" as Petteri Finn would say "Fly a Tripple7 next time".

Standard A340 takeoff. Even with engine failure, it would not crash but just continue and if needed all the way to PVG

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
With the IFE still out of order, I decided to have a look around the cabin

Quite bad, so long without IFE. But standard happening on longhauls, it happens to me on basically every flight but resolved much faster.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Sorry, if you want something you have to get it from the galley yourself. We don't want to be running up and down the aisle in the middle of the night" [runs away]
Quite frankly the response she gave me was a bit rude, and not something one would expect on SWISS. Sure, some people have the norm of not hitting the call button when flying Y, but that's none of the crew's business really. I was left quite stunned, and was not in the mood for getting up. Surprisingly, minutes later she re-appeared wity my G&T.

It's not uncommon that pax have to do self-service in the night for Y-class. And, walking a bit is good for your blood transportation in the body. She could've addressed more nicely maybe, but she's right. Do it yourself  
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):

To be completely honest, I wasn't expecting a breakfast of this amount to be served. My mind was set on the rather usual but highly euphemistic dry croissant + Danone brekkie, most airlines seem to serve nowadays.

On Euro-Asia flights, this is a standard breakfast tray for Y-class. I never got less, similar trays are given on JL, KL, MH etc

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Ticket was silly cheap at only €4 it’s a steal, at least comparing to the rubbish Arlanda Express at home

Indeed cheap. But you're in a different world Jonas, never forget. Salaries in China are lower on average too, so then EUR 4,- fares are also expensive for the Chinese citizens.

Well, the pictures are nice indeed, please include some city-pics in your next episode or on your facebook page.
It was an interesting read again. Thanks

Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1065 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 25464 times:

Until about 1 year ago the main meals on LX long haul were tasteless. They seem to have finally put an effort in making them excellent. The one thing I cannot stand is the "Lettuce" something they decided to copy from the US airlines. But at least they give you a decent piece of cheese.

I like the decent legroom and the entertainment system I find pretty good compared to AA and UA. COs is also pretty good.

As to Starbucks, I avoid their regular coffee like the plague.

[Edited 2012-01-11 04:16:44]

User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26500 posts, RR: 58
Reply 15, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 25375 times:

Hi Jonas ,

Great report and I have been looking forward to this one   Great to see the LX longhaul offers a decent product in Y and the meals look better than I thought they would be . Really nice to see this .

Great photos by you I expected nothing else !!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
and of course the pioneer of this whole project Philip (OA260) who have been doing this for years.

Funny you should say this . 30th January is the 5th Anniversary of my first ever TR and of course it was a Swiss J class one  

Thanks for the report and I really am waiting for the return one  

Regards

Philip  



AEGEAN-OLYMPIC AIR - ΟΛΥΜΠΙΑΚΗ " μέλος στη Star Alliance
User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1576 posts, RR: 30
Reply 16, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 25224 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi Jonas,

Lovely review of ‘the Swiss’! In your own ‘black or white’ style of course   And you even managed to use the word ‘faux’ only twice in this well documented piece. Are you kicking off? (hmm, guess not…). Nice pics throughout, lovely weather en route, good meals and a somewhat bitchy Chinese (Asian descent is maybe more appropriate) F/A, just the way it has to be.
Great you were treated to a cockpit visit in the end, that’s always a nice bonus (and included in the bargain flight price as well   

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I decided to accept this seemingly easy challenge, and began looking for flights that would generate just the right amount of mileage needed, for the cheapest price possible.
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
With me being me, I chose not to go look for the cheapest alternatives, but more the ones that offered me the best value for the money.

Now what else should we expect from you?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
By now most of you already know me, I'm all about the cheap so...

You wear your modesty very proudly Jonas.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Being a Swede has its duties, to oblige jantelagen at all costs so instead of snapping at them (like the any other nationality's citizen would've done) I simply left, without finishing the coffee.

How’s that for a statement 

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Among them was Swedish rapper ”Petter”

For a moment you nearly got me there as I spontaneously added the letter ‘i’ in the end. Giving the whole another meaning lol! Btw I wonder how rapping in Swedish sounds like…

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I seriously wanted to attack the man, I mean who the devil would rather be stuck in Y with the so called "better half" then have all the Biz amenities for free with the only catch of not seeing this so called half for 11 hours.

Jonas (x3)… Without a doubt I would rather be stuk in Y with my better half than alone in C. I made a promise on those things some years ago: ‘…for bad and for worse…’.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Personally I would've been willing to have my partner bumped off the flight for an upgrade, hmm maybe that's why I'm still single lol.

Glad you got the point yourself  

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
at least my stuff would be enjoying the luxurious wonders of premium air travel for the short reminder of the flight.

Was it noticeable afterwards?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I think the superior air quality should play a bigger role in how airlines market their premium cabins, surely a major trace of product differentiation.

You make me lol! Premium air quality in higher fare class cabins?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Parking next to the Rijstaffel

Nearly… it’s ‘rijsttafel’  

Sultanils

[Edited 2012-01-11 06:29:20]


In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineROGERBCN From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1194 posts, RR: 20
Reply 17, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 25034 times:

Hola Jonas!

Excellent Trip Report. LX always impresses me on all their products, Y is no exception.

You got really lucky with a bulkhead seat, for such a long trip they are really convenient, although they might be a little bit narrower than regular seats on Y they are really comfortable as it comes to legs and moving around.

Great to the food as well, it looks really nice and apart from the presentation it looks very much like some J airlines food, breakfast looked especially abundant and consistent.

Disappointed to see the answer of the FA when you asked for a Gin-Tonic, BTW what else?; although she brought it to you in the end, so it seems she reconsidered her answer or maybe someone else told her to assist passenger's needs, and safety of course, is her main concern when working.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
most notably Roger (RogerBCN)

hehehe... thanks for the mention, as I have traveled extensively to get miles, I have already started using them and will keep so in the following months. Last year I used all my KL miles, this year I have used some of the M&M this summer to try First class and recently I ate up all my IB points to travel to LAX (report coming soon).
As part of this hunger for miles I am collecting some more next month on the 11.11.11 LH sale.

Anyway, I am looking forward to reading the return on J soon.

Salut!

Roger



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlineLX138 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2009, 386 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 25024 times:

Good report, the LX A340's have got to be some of the best examples out there - I've flown on good old -JMC to NRT!

Even though its an original cabin version -300 it feels great.

I hope the picture of you at the seat just before breakfast shows a spillage of drink or something over you rather than something else!  



StarWorld Team - The ultimate airline alliance
User currently offlineFabo From Slovakia, joined Aug 2005, 1211 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 24933 times:

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
the Blonde


Thats all I wanted...


j/k

Nice report. Swiss looks so good in many of the tripreports I read, should I look for a longhaul, I guess they would be one of the first I would look at.

Although the fact that they went all Airbus is a bit bugging me, but what can you do. They couldnt have flown those MDs forever, and if A suits them better than B, who am I to judge?



The light at the end of tunnel turn out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 2985 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 24722 times:

Hi Jonas,

Thanks for taking the time to put together this detailed report (even more so if you wrote it on your phone whilst still en route!)

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
A return trip in Business Class would earn more miles then needed

So you get enough miles for *G with one long haul in Y/C and a couple of discounted Y short sectors? I really must sign up for a EB card  
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
sudden battery death (iOS5 thankyouverymuch)

Does Klaus read this forum?   It's a design point, so you don't hurt your eyes by doing too much  
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
. I settled down with an overpriced, and quite frankly disgusting Café Americano at one of the tables in the far corner.

If that was your first visit, then try something else next time. I hate all coffee, but my wife loves it, and they do a good hot chocolate (and passable tea)

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Back at the dull boredom of T5 airside

Looks like any other airport to me...

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I realised that statusless Y and LCCs

You like the perks, but I'd rather stay travelling, in Y on FR if the only other option is staying at home watching TV  
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Docs in the overhead,

So you walked around in socks on board, including in the lav? Think of how many people missed the bowl  
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The veggie Pizza

That looks very good for Y on a short sector.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Despite spending a mere 5 minutes in this place, I really liked what I saw. So calm and civilised.

Looks a bit like Arlanda to me  
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Zürich

So you didn't have time to ask a question at the infodesk?  
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
who the devil would rather be stuck in Y with the so called "better half"

Anyone who has a better half  
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
hey-look-at-me-being-oh-so-important-n-better-then-you-cuz-I'm-in-biz" look, yes some people even do it when seated in 1st Class on a commuter train

"realised that statusless Y and LCCs for that matter represent everything I hate about air travel"

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
babies were nowhere to be seen!

There aren't any bolts in that bulkhead to attach the bassinet to.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
A single engine malfunction could send us all to a fiery death down below

Not at all, multiple engine failures could occur and you'd still be safely airborne. Remember the Nationwide 737 incident at CPT. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationwide_Airlines

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
It Christmas turkey lunch for Christ's sake! Red cabbage tasted nice and lagom sour. The Chinese man left it untouched though

Did you ask him if you could have his leftovers? :

"hitch a lounge hike"

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
C: -"Sorry, if you want something you have to get it from the galley yourself. We don't want to be running up and down the aisle in the middle of the night" [runs away]

That may sound rude, but English (or Swedish) probably wasn't her first language.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I wasn't expecting a breakfast of this amount to be served

That does look impressive.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I shamelessly stuck both my hands into the basket in order to grab as many of those rare delicious treats as I could.

Yum, free chocolate!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Must say, it felt slightly more cramped then the usual A320 cockpit, or maybe that’s just me?

Probably if the cockpit is the same size, you expect it to be bigger as the plane is bigger.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Ticket was silly cheap at only €4 it’s a steal, at least comparing to the rubbish Arlanda Express at home. Riding the Maglev for the first time. It’s f*cking fast!

The AEX is vrey nice, just expensive (like the Heathrow Express. There are of course cheaper alternatives)

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
At 200 RMB per night with breakfast included it was really a bargain.

A very good price.

Thanks again Jonas, and looking forward to the rest of the reports, and some pics of Shanghai. Did you manage any domestic sectors?

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1689 posts, RR: 18
Reply 21, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 24717 times:

Hi Jonas

Thanks for the interesting report. I hope you don't mind me saying but I'm somewhat surprised and impressed by your desire and determination to reach Gold status ever since you were a kid of only 10. When I was that age I don't think I even knew things like FFPs actually existed. Then again maybe I'm just showing my age in that when I was 10 the airlines didn't actually have FFPs yet and didn't need them because passengers were still willing to pay decent prices...

Thanks for sharing!

Cheers,
William


User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1709 posts, RR: 14
Reply 22, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 24656 times:

Hello Everyone, thanks for all the replies so far. I'm glad you enjoyed reading the report!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
Why didn't you enquire about an upgrade? Or better, ask to be IVDBed and put on the next day's flight in C and with some helathy compensation

Hey Gab. Well I did ask them man if he could put me up as SFU on the manifest, in case there would be any op-ups, but he refused and claimed only ZRH could do that. Also the staff at the gate counter in ZRH were really quite rude, and refused to even notice me, despite asking.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
Ah yes, the Chinese love cash. Very few places take card. It's a common sight to see people with huge wads of red 100 notes in banks.

Yeah, only Starbucks and some fancier places seem to take cards. One upper class'ish Chinese girl looked at me like a hobo who's never used a CC, when I inspected the wear on my VISA. Hehe  
Quoting nipoel123 (Reply 2):
Lovely report, I'm glad you enjoyed your first long-haul trip. I've got one coming up this summer, but then westbound. KL 74M, there even is a chance I get on a MD11!

Thanks for reading. Looking forward to your report, the KLM MD-11 sure is a lovely plane that I'd love to fly some day soon.

Quoting planejamie (Reply 3):
I'd have stuck with the Skinny Jeans rather than Chinos, I always wear skinnies, can't beat them (that and tight brightly coloured hoodies with a t-shirt in a complementary colour and one of several pairs of converses)... Then again haha, this isn't fashion.net... hehe (or Grindr for that matter...)

Hehe, well I love skinny jeans and I wear them every day. However wearing them for 13 hours in Economy would only make them stretchy and untight, and quite frankly it would be uncomfy at least for me. I had my skinnies on for the return flight  
Quoting Gjunnar (Reply 4):
The sometimes higher air fares of LX seem justifiable if the value you get back is so remarkable and satisfying.

Hey there. Well from Sweden LX are actually among the cheapest ones, along with LH. So with that in mind they provide great value for the money  
Quoting Gjunnar (Reply 4):
It was espcially interesting to read a report about LX188 - a flight that will soon be covered by a PilotsEYE video (a German production, like justplanes); it is supposed to come out & be shipped starting in 4 weeks.

Yes, I saw the trailer for that one. It's a really nice show, captures the everyday of pilots unlike anything I've ever seen before.

Quoting SloAir (Reply 5):
a very interesting TR, I had fun reading it. The pictures are high quality, just like you promised, but maybe a bit small?

Hey Blaz, thanks for reading. I like that picture size as pics sometimes can be blurry or slight unsharp, having the slight smaller size helps concealing those imperfections. Also some quality is lost when uploading to Flickr.

Quoting SloAir (Reply 5):
If only I was upgraded and my girlfriend wasn't I would have (probably &nbsp Wink stayed with her in economy.

Hehe, well surely you could've told her you'd buy her something nice when you arrive. I think she'd understand, given your passion to aviation and flying  
Quoting SloAir (Reply 5):
Hope you take many more so we can enjoy some more interesting stories  

I booked the Tokyo with SU in September, yes that will be another adventure 
Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 6):
I guess if you dont try? I was under the impression that even FTL trumps non M&M *G on LH/LX and the like?

Hey Lee. Well I'm a Swede, and jantelagen tells us not to ask for anything you haven't purchased. But yes I think FTL's are over *G in the op-up foodchain.

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 6):
Might be worth checking on FlyerTalk before you set off next time maybe?

Actually, I contacted a guy the previous day on the Swedish version of FT. He was supposed to meet me there at that hour, but somehow the bugger didn't show up.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 7):
Great tripreport! Your photos are really stunning too!

Thanks Martin, I'm glad you enjoyed.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 7):
Looks like it's straight out of the factory!

Hehe, yes clean indeed. Or just the SWISS pilots being extra pedantic  
Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 8):
Nice report, I'll be on LX 188 in F end of this month. Looks promising.

Look forward to reading that one. Long time since we something from you!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 10):
It seems Swiss provided great service on both flights; meals looks great and Herman seems like a very good flight attendant to get you things you need by providing great service.

Hi Lars. Yes Herman did a great job providing those small personal touches, completely living up to the airline's service philosophy.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 10):
Cool with the Maglev train. I really need to try that. Perhap I'll go to China later this year including PVG.

Really, you haven't tried? Thought you'd been to PVG a dozen times  
Quoting The777Man (Reply 10):
I think by flying Swiss in Y you have set your expectations very high for future travels.......I think not much in Y will top LX.

Well, actually no. Economy Class is never much to expect from since the prices are often so low. I don't expect this kind of personal service when flying Y. ALAS the crew are not rude, I'm more then happy. Anyways my expectations were pleasantly exceeded this time  
Quoting jetlag73 (Reply 11):
Mind you, SQ has that (justified) reputation of never upgrading pax, even their once beloved PPS members.

Ouch, seems like you picked the wrong FFP. It's interesting how PPS is one of few FFPs where regular status pax are expected to earn status based on revenue and not mileage. Quite sad that they don't upgrade those high revenue pax, but I suppose SQ is in a class of its own by taking their products very very seriously. SAS always upgrade on long haul flights though  
Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 12):
Very amusing and interesting report, I love LX and love reading about it, glad you had an enjoyable experience.

Hey there, thanks for reading. Glad you enjoyed  
Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 12):
Last year when looking at flights to HKG LX was offering me a return fare BCN-ZRH-HKG for 600€, I gave it so much thought but in the end settled for a 650€ QR ticket just to experience those much talked about ME carriers.

Well there are far cheaper tickets then that. I believe LH sometimes offer HKG for as low as €400, same with QR and EK. Still a good price, and of course QR must've been nicer as it includes 4 widebody segments (?)  
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 13):
Well, let me see first. Then I'll let you know if I like  

Hoi Eric, thanks for reading. Jaja, I got ahead of myself there  
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 13):
Should we stop flying aroud Europe and not reporting anymore? Your LX longhaul is just plain standard stuff too imho, but 'new' for yourself

No. I'm just saying, reporting the LX EU C is not much exciting, and besides the forum is full of those reports. However not too many LX long haul reports, so I figured it would be fun to contribute to something new and interesting.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 13):
How about HKG or TYO then?

They were around €500 more, and Tokyo offered less mileage due to the distance.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 13):
There you go. Next time, make a screenshot on your iPhone with the barcode and no need to make connection.

Thanks for the tip! Although I've no idea how to make a screenshot on the iPhone  
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 13):
Hard to believe. 1 week with a backpack. I guess you didn't bring home a load of souvenirs?

Well I'm a good packer, and I don't see a point for bringing more clothes then I need. I brought my chucks as an extra pair of shoes, and I threw them in the garbage at the hotel before heading back home for the airport. I got a small souvenir from my guide, a keyring haha  
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 13):
First you act this badly yourself, and a while later you are sounding slightly selfish to say that you would never ever take somebody else in.

Of course I'll guest the people I know, but if some stranger comes by I'd tell him to f*ck off. Except if it's a girl of course, hehehe 
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 13):
Indeed, fully understandable. Maybe you should rethink your opinion on this again, and indeed this might be one of the reasons that you didn't succeed yet   Not even in China?  

So you would seriously give up the upgrade even if it was for free, and you both got C but only different seats on different rows? I didn't go to china for the women, when we've already the goed stuff at home  
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 13):
500 Euro's is a lot of money Jonas ... you talk too easy about it.

It's a lot of money yes. But still quite decent value for them. Oh well...

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 13):
Quite bad, so long without IFE. But standard happening on longhauls, it happens to me on basically every flight but resolved much faster.

It wasn't really much of a problem as the meal service followed by spectacular sunset kept us (or at least me) occupied for those hours.  
Quoting lychemsa (Reply 14):
Until about 1 year ago the main meals on LX long haul were tasteless. They seem to have finally put an effort in making them excellent.

Yeah they did in fact do a remake in their Y meals not too long ago. On their FB page they even posted pics of the meal tasting, where they let pax judge the meals.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 14):
The one thing I cannot stand is the "Lettuce" something they decided to copy from the US airlines. But at least they give you a decent piece of cheese.

Also Lufthansa and SAS have jumped on the letteuce train. Only AF that offer a decent starter in Y it seems  
Quoting lychemsa (Reply 14):
As to Starbucks, I avoid their regular coffee like the plague.

True, their regular coffee and cappuccinos are quite unspectacular, only overpriced. The Frapps are basically the only thing that makes me justify paying those prices.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 15):
Great photos by you I expected nothing else !!

Thanks Philip! 
Quoting OA260 (Reply 15):
Funny you should say this . 30th January is the 5th Anniversary of my first ever TR and of course it was a Swiss J class one  

Hehe, well I suppose you've always been a source of inspiration for many of us on the forum  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 16):
Lovely review of ‘the Swiss’! In your own ‘black or white’ style of course

Hoi Nils. Well suppose my writing style is a tad polarized  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 16):
And you even managed to use the word ‘faux’ only twice in this well documented piece. Are you kicking off?

To be fair, the word faux actually described faux things (i.e faux as in faux, and not faux as in me saying something is shite)  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 16):
For a moment you nearly got me there as I spontaneously added the letter ‘i’ in the end. Giving the whole another meaning lol! Btw I wonder how rapping in Swedish sounds like…

Have no idea how those two would ever get along. Yeah rapping in Swedish doesn't sound much different then in Chinese, Dutch or French for that matter  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 16):
Jonas (x3)… Without a doubt I would rather be stuk in Y with my better half than alone in C. I made a promise on those things some years ago: ‘…for bad and for worse…’.

Well in this case both got upgraded. Surely you and your wife could sit away from eachother but in some extra luxury?  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 16):
Glad you got the point yourself  

Women love a-holes. I still don't understand!  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 16):
Was it noticeable afterwards?

Yes, my stuff smelled nicer.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 16):
You make me lol! Premium air quality in higher fare class cabins?

Well the difference is hughe as there are less people in C to share the same oxygen. Also less vaporizing body fluids for that matter.  
Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 17):
although they might be a little bit narrower than regular seats on Y they are really comfortable as it comes to legs and moving around.

Hola Roger! Well I'm still young, and a bit on the thin side so it wasn't a big concern for me. Some centimeters left on the sides. But in a few years this opinion will be different  
Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 17):
Great to the food as well, it looks really nice and apart from the presentation it looks very much like some J airlines food, breakfast looked especially abundant and consistent.

Food was great indeed. A proper plate, and a proper salad and it could've been a biz meal, lol. At least the cutlery was metal  
Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 17):
this year I have used some of the M&M this summer to try First class

Wow, you still have miles left!?

Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 17):
As part of this hunger for miles I am collecting some more next month on the 11.11.11 LH sale.

Really looking forward to that report. And yes, kind of regret jumping the gun on LX, instead of booking the LH one as it gave twice the miles  
Quoting LX138 (Reply 18):
Even though its an original cabin version -300 it feels great.

Yes, exactly my thought. Cabin was very nice. Although JMI has the new interior, and on some of the newer ones have the new interior only installed before door 2L.

Quoting Fabo (Reply 19):
Thats all I wanted...

Hahaha, well even if I had I wouldn't share them with you guys  
Quoting Fabo (Reply 19):
They couldnt have flown those MDs forever, and if A suits them better than B, who am I to judge?

I prefer an airbus over a boeing any day!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
Awful thing to say! Sounds like Aeroflot! Surely that's her job? At least she did bring you a drink in the end.
Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 12):
but the attitude from the Asian F/A was unaceptable, but I experienced the same with the Asian crews onboard Qatar
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 13):
It's not uncommon that pax have to do self-service in the night for Y-class. And, walking a bit is good for your blood transportation in the body. She could've addressed more nicely maybe, but she's right. Do it yourself  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 16):
and a somewhat bitchy Chinese (Asian descent is maybe more appropriate) F/A, just the way it has to be.
Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 17):
Disappointed to see the answer of the FA when you asked for a Gin-Tonic, BTW what else?;

About the little situation with the somewhat rude flight attendant. Getting a G&T from the galley is not a big concern for me. Although at that time of the flight and given the fact that I was tucked in with a blanket, pillow and all trying to get some sleep. I wasn't exactly in the mood to get up from my seat, as I'd just have a hard time relaxing again.

Quoting signol (Reply 20):
If that was your first visit, then try something else next time. I hate all coffee, but my wife loves it, and they do a good hot chocolate (and passable tea)

Well it was my first time visiting the ARN Starbucks, not my first time trying out Starbucks   I have avoided it for quite some time now, since it's far from the nicest place to be, at least on daytime.

Quoting signol (Reply 20):
So you walked around in socks on board, including in the lav? Think of how many people missed the bowl  

Yes, I always take my shoes off in-flight. I do keep an eye on the toilet floor. If it's wet or stained I use another one.

Quoting signol (Reply 20):
So you didn't have time to ask a question at the infodesk?  

She was off during the X-mas holiday, so no time for a visit. Not that there would be much time anyway  
Quoting signol (Reply 20):
There aren't any bolts in that bulkhead to attach the bassinet to.

There were indeed bolts for the basinet, they were just not visible in the pics. Actually there were a family with babies in the Business cabin.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 21):
Thanks for the interesting report.

Hi William, thanks for reading!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 21):
Then again maybe I'm just showing my age in that when I was 10 the airlines didn't actually have FFPs yet and didn't need them because passengers were still willing to pay decent prices...

Hehe, well I suppose back then crude oil wasn't priced at $150 per barrel  

//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineplanejamie From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2011, 576 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 24538 times:

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 22):
Hehe, well I love skinny jeans and I wear them every day. However wearing them for 13 hours in Economy would only make them stretchy and untight, and quite frankly it would be uncomfy at least for me. I had my skinnies on for the return flight  

Haha that's true, then again, I've not done 13 hours in Economy... ever! I wear mine everyday  

When do you think the return TR will be up?


User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 24, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 24177 times:

Hi Jonas,

I have to say your reports have certainly improved over the years, while your attitude really hasn't...

Anyway nice to read the first part about your Chinese jaunt, and thank you for not overusing the word "faux" this time, I think there was only mention of it.

Oh and I'm glad that you have discovered self irony. It helps if you don't take yourself too seriously.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
amount of high quality pictures,

Why don't you leave that for us to decide?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
So I asked myself the question ”will I be able to pull it off before turning 20?”. I decided to accept this seemingly easy challenge, and began looking for flights that would generate just the right amount of mileage needed, for the cheapest price possible.

Wow, many people try to make their first million by 20 etc., but this certainly is a bit different. One could say you are slightly obsessed with the matter.

Now having completed the challenge (in theory at least) what's your next objective? To join the mile high club?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Of course to get some bang for the buck one would have to spend 9 hours of utter boredom in a
lounge, before arriving back home in the afternoon with a massive sleep deprivation looking like a wreck,

No, nine hours is a lot of time to make a city visit at ZRH or any of the Swiss European destinations. And besides you can always sleep in the lounge and in the plane.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
the good’ole proper VISA card
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
some proper boarding passes.
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
proper BP.

Ahh, it's all about "proper" now. Not faux any more I see.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Nice that he cares at least, unlike mom who one time overslept and somehow still managed to make it on to her flight by pulling over the Swebus Airport Shuttle in the middle of the highway (the car was parked in a ditch, and it took hell to get it back).

What? Your mother is starting to sound quite a character, I can see where some of your traits come from!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
A: -"Good morning Sir, how may I help you?"

I refuse to believe that he called you a "Sir", as it just doesn't work that way in the Swedish language, plain and simple.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
A: -"It appears to be overbooked Sir"

Now the million dollar question: why the hell didn't you ask him to add you to the VDB list?! You had a reasonable chance of getting bumped, free hotel room and food and lots of money and even potentially an upgrade on a later flight - that sounds like Jonas heaven to me!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I realised that statusless Y and LCCs for that matter represent everything I hate about air travel, the same way PCs represent everything I hate about computers.

Never knew you were so elitistic.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
So in sheer desperation I headed of to floor 3 to try and hitch a lounge hike

REALLY?! That is the weirdest thing I've heard (well, read) for a looooong time. People really do desperate things like this?

I think you should work on your strategy, how about getting a piece of cardboard, writing "Will work for lounge access" or "Unemployed, need lounge access" on it and then sitting in front of the lounges in a Romanian gypsy position. That will work wonders, I'm sure.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
and Docs in the overhead, before settling down in the window seat on the A side.

You put your shoes up and sat there on your socks? LOL.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The lovely green Swiss landscape. Too bad about the tinted windows.

Interesting, considering it indeed was Boxing Day.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Since my connection time in ZRH was less then 25 minutes,

No, I don't believe this. The MCT is already 30 mins.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
With the flight being overbooked, some lucky peeps would also get op-uped so what more entertaining way then to watch that action.

So again, why didn't you ask about a bump?!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
"Note to self" as Petteri Finn would say "Fly a Tripple7 next time".

Hah, you got that right! A 346 would do as well.

But that's standard A340 classic take off, the other day I was watching an AY A340 taking off and it was almost painful seeing it hanging so slow and seemingly not ascending at all.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Me: -"No thanks, that would be too much alcohol for me. But I'd gladly take a 2nd can of tonic, please."

Come on, you are a Swede and on a sort of a holiday so do what your kinmen do and get wasted. After all it's free and helps you to sleep!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The lunch served on this flight.

Looks very good, well apart from the salad thingy, so vividly described by you.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Almost instantly, I realised that the coffee would make it harder for me to relax, hence the risk of worsening the effects on jetlag.

Come on, you seem to be awfully worried about jetlag. You are young and on a holiday (so no need to be somewhere sharp at a certain time) so it shouldn't be too bad for you. As for relaxation, just get some additional G&Ts and you are fine.

Then again one of the worst flights I ever had was OS VIE-KUL since that flight left Vienna around one in the afternoon on a Sunday and landed at Kuala Lumpur around five Monday morning and I had to be in the office at nine. The thing was that the flight was continuing all the way to MEL (the tag ons to SYD/MEL have since been dropped by OS) and most of the passengers were continuing there (there were around 20 of us who disembarked at KUL), opting to sleep on the second segment only. So I caught maybe an hour of shuteye on my flight as all the people were just running around, being noisy and even the cabin lights were not dimmed at all. I was VERY happy that the hotel allowed me to check in at 7 so I could have at least a shower and some shuteye before the workday.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Reese Witherspoon. Two actors I absolutely hate,

Come on. "Walk the Line" is one of my all time favorite movies, Ms. Witherspoon is great there as June Carter. Just thinking of that scene where her & Mr. Cash do the famous duet of "Jackson" gives me shivers. That movie is a permanent feature on my Ipod!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Breakfast service began with hot towels.

Quite a bit more than I expected! Didn't really expect a hot breakfast to be honest with you.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The rather generous breakfast tray.

LOL, did you pee your pants?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
at least comparing to the rubbish Arlanda Express at home  

Arlanda Express isn't rubbish, it's a very nice and fast train. Sure it costs a lot of money, but that's Sweden and the social democrats for you.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
he first thing I noticed when arriving was the lack of credit card terminals at many of the shops. Heck most people didn’t even seem to know what a VISA card was. So I simply had to abandon my plans of a cash-less holiday, and go to the HSBC ATM machine to withdraw some RMBs.

Did you really think that you could survive only on plastic, in China of all places? It still is a very much traditional, cash based society.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
One top tip though, stay away from McDonald’s! It’s really filthy and disgusting.

So how's that different to the Vesterås branch? Or any other MickeyDees actually?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I picked the Holiday Inn Express Zhabei, located near the Shanghai West Railway station.

That price was indeed good and the hotel looks nice. Some nice mileage earnings there as well considering the price. Maybe I should do a mattress run to China.


25 Post contains images 717Flyer : Hej Jonas! You never fail to surprise me - and that's in a positive way. You have written a really nice and detailed report and together with your det
26 FLIEGER67 : Hey, Jonas, congrats, good work. A really enjoyable read together with well done pictures. LX looks like really ok and recommendable on you´re flight
27 JL418 : Hi Jonas, thanks for posting! It's been an interesting read and pretty funny, with some bits and pieces that actually made me giggle (like you trying
28 flightsimboy : I really liked your report, but you can come across as a snotty little brat!!!. Looking forward to the return trip.
29 FlyingFinn76 : A small intervention: They have those at HEL too! Never seen coppers use one (and no, they don't have their own mini Paddywagons there either) but the
30 Post contains images LH4116 : Hello everybody. Thanks for the second round of replies, I'm glad you enjoyed the report Hopefully it'll be out by the end of next week. Well, all my
31 Post contains images GVAJFKflyer : Is that compliant with jantelagen ? That's definitely not. That's more like it More seriously, I'm sorry about this specific part of your LX experien
32 flightsimboy : You don't even know me, so you shouldn't even be asking me to!
33 Post contains images LH4532 : Hello Jonas , I have been looking forward to read the first part of your TR . It was very nice for me reading it . Good to know it , was your first lo
34 Post contains images akhmad : Hi Jonas, Very nice report. When you told me about your trip to China, I looked forward to reading your experience. Did you manage to have some culina
35 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Hi Jonas, I finally found some time to read this great report! SWISS' long-haul Y Class product looks impressive, the catering in particular is awesom
36 JL418 : Mh... no. I know it sounds horribly geeky but I was loving the airport!
37 palmjet : Hi Jonas I re-read your report today and again, it's fantastic. I really enjoyed reading about your flight to Shanghai. Great pics too. You certainly
38 MSS658 : Hi Jonas Great trip report, thanks for sharing. I have flewn with LX shorthaul from BRU to NCE and was pretty pleased as well! Longhaul looks good as
39 Post contains images LH4116 : Hello again, thanks for the replies! Hehe, well I suppose that could take the shame out of asking, so I'd say it's partially. Well she said that they
40 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Hi again, Jonas... 9 hours at a time? What do you do there? Hmm, that's a very idealistic view. PH
41 Post contains images stipica : Hi LH4116 ! not know what to say ... congratulations on the flight ... I think you have talent for photography and writing ... hope that some of the c
42 Post contains images LH4532 : For basic members they print M/M on the boarding passes . Ha ha . See you on Saturday !!!
43 Post contains images infodesk : Hi Jonas, It’s great that after a few of your recent trips where you weren’t too happy with the service, you seem to have found a carrier that sui
44 LXA333 : Nice! Flying LX 17 next week. Never get bored of flying those a330-300s.
45 FlyingFinn76 : Haha, I guess the truth hurts, doesn't it?!
46 Post contains images roberts87 : Hi Jonas, Thanks for posting! I really enjoyed reading it, as usual. I didn't read all of the other comments, so I apologize if I'm commenting on stuf
47 Post contains images LH4116 : I usually spend those hours with school work, or just relaxing. It's really nice, and I get productive in the Lounges. Don't ask me why Hey Stipica,
48 Pelle : Would you mind elaborating a bit on the above? I'm just interested to know exactly what it is about "statusless Y" and LCC's that you hate.
49 LH4116 : Well firstly I'm not a big fan of this whole airport scene. The long lines, sterile environment of airport terminals, overpriced food, the stress, th
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