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Swiss Flatbed Business Class: PVG-ZRH +More (pics)  
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 28444 times:

Hello dear readers, and welcome to my second report of the year. This time I will be covering my stay in Shanghai, and the return flight back home to Zürich on SWISS in their new’ish Business Class. As always, the report will be accompanied with a lagom amount of pictures that I hope you will enjoy.

For those of you who have missed the first part, you may find it here: Proper Long Haul – Swiss Made: ARN-PVG Y (pics) (by LH4116 Jan 10 2012 in Trip Reports)



Background (China)



Prior to embarking on such a long, and quite frankly very expensive (at least for me) trip to China, I did what any a.netter headed for China should do; Consult our Chinese expert Mr. Gabriel Chew (Gabrielchew). He personally considered Shanghai not to be the most interesting city in China as it’s mostly just a place for business and not much for tourism. He recommended Beijing, which of course to me also seemed quite a bit more interesting. Sadly though my tickets were already booked, and there was not much to to about it.
After having taken the words of our Chinese expert into account, my expectations for the City of Shanghai were set at a rather low. And my Lonely Planet guidebook didn’t seem to make the city appeal more interesting to me. But since this was my first time outside Europe (& North Africa + Turkey for that matter) I figured I’d try and make the best out of my trip.

Having a local guide is a necessity for traveling in China, at least given the cultural and lingual barriers. So I set out to look for one on Couchsurfing, but sadly without much success as most Couchsurfers seem to be traveling away on new year’s. Things were looking quite dark for me, and I was preparing myself for yet another trip in solitude. Luckily, two days prior to my departure I was contacted by a local girl named Danny who seemed more then happy to guide me around the city. Our contact info was exchanged, and we agreed to meet on the day after my arrival. As you’d imagine, I was feeling quite happy at that moment. Almost as if a Christmas miracle had occurred.



Amazing Shanghai



We start off where we last left, in my hotel room. I woke up around 5pm from the sound of the room telephone ringing. Feeling quite tired after my arrival, which made me accidentally fall asleep in front of the TV for a few hours. I rushed out of bed and picked up the phone, to answer to whomever the caller may be. It turned out to be Danny asking if everything was fine with me, and notifying me where to meet the next day. Since it was only 5pm, I figured that going back to sleep would only mess up my day rhythm, so instead I spent the evening wandering the streets of Pudong and the East Nanjing Road.



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View of the famous Pudong Skyline seen from The Bund.




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The sizzlingly vibrant quarters of Lujiazui. The IFC mall and the world famous landmark – The Pudong Apple Store.




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The iconic Oriental Peal Tower. World’s 5th tallest TV-tower.




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The Jin Mao Tower and the World Financial Centre. The two tallest buildings in Shanghai.



I was back at the hotel around 10pm, passed out on my bed and slept for a solid 10 hours.


Day 2 – December 28th 2011



I woke up the following day with the happy thought on my mind that I had incredibly beat jetlag after just one single night. Happy as a clam, I jumped out of bed and skipped my way over to the shower before heading down to the restaurant for some well needed breakfast. As it was around 9am, the breakfast restaurant was crowded with hungry hotel guests which made it practically impossible to take pictures of the buffet. Suryo I’m very sorry again for not keeping my promise.

As this hotel mostly seemed to cater to the Chinese nationals, by judging the guests in the restaurant, the breakfast offerings were mostly Chinese. On offer were several local breakfast dishes such as rotten eggs, black noodles, steamed buns, pale white beef sausages, and the infamously notorious wallpaper-glue porridge Congee that Petteri Finn specifically told me to stay away from. The only western options on offer were toasts with butter and strawberry jam, chocolate cornflakes with melamine milk, greasy fried eggs, weak coffee and colour-water OJ. At first glance, the local dishes looked quite disgusting, but the did in fact turn out to taste quite well. I ate everything except for the rotten eggs and Congee.

Ahead of me today was a full day of sightseeing, and as I wasn’t meeting up with Danny until evening, I decided to go out and explore the city by my own. First on the agenda was a visit to the old town, and the Yu Yuan Gardens.



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View of the ”entrance” to the old town.




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Only 5 percent of the buildings in Shanghai are from the good’ole days. These however may look traditional and old, but they are in fact only replicas.




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The Yu Yuan Gardens. Place was packed with tourists, so I decided not to fork out those 50 RMB for the entrance fee.




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Taking a stroll by the shops at the nearby market. I decided not to buy anything, for obvious reasons.




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Yes, those guys really are everywhere. And for obvious reasons, I had to go in for a delicious Venti Java Chip Frappuccino.



All this sightseeing had left me quite hungry, and I was in need for some lunch. Following the advice of Anthony Bourdain, you haven’t truly been to Shanghai if you haven’t visited the Nanxiang Steamed Bun restaurant for the famous Crab&Pork Dumplings. I must say Mr. Bourdain was right, those dumplings were delicious! One top tip, don’t go to the Foreigner’s section of the restaurant as the prices there are outrageously high. Instead there’s a section for the locals where you order your food over a counter, after payment you receive a token that you place on your table for a passing by waiter to exchange for a basket of steamed goodies. Price: 25 RMB.



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There’s no other place in Shanghai that make dumplings this good!



As the restaurant was quite crowded at this lunch hour, my table was shared by a family of locals who amusingly watched me try and master the art of eating a dumpling the proper way. After many failed attempts, the father finally came to rescue and instructed me in every step of how to master this delicate art form.



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It was quite nice not having to share a restaurant packed with foreigners.



Towards the evening, I met up with Danny at the Ji’an Temple. She had brought along a school mate of hers, who was a german exchange student spending his senior year in China. We had some quite nice chats, and was a bit surprised to hear his negative opinions on Lufthansa and SWISS. The plan for the evening was to head over to a local bar, to attend at a Couchsurfer’s meeting. It was a pretty good evening, and I had the chance to exchange some nice conversations with interesting people from all over the world. I managed to get some valuable tips for my stay in China, that later turned out to be very vital. After a few pints of beer and a Bailey’s shot, I hailed a cab back to my hotel where I later passed out on my bed, and slept for another solid 9 hours.


Day 3 – December 29th 2011



On the agenda for my third day in Shanghai was a visit to the trendy district of Xintiandi, also famously know as The French Concession. The day started with a sturdy and heavy Chinese breakfast, before hopping on the metro to South Hangpui Road. In connection to the metro station was a shopping mall with a food court. Somehow the place really reminded me of Paris, as all of the signs were in french, many of the food places sold french food, and there seemed to be an abundance of french ”Patisseries” and cafés. Prices were cheap, and I figured I’d better get some coffee to manage a full day of sightseeing.



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Since I’ve been fed croissants, baguettes and café au lait since birth (yes, my family come from another ”French Concession”), I figured I’d try something a bit different this time.




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Yes there’s really something french about this place... Except for the people of course.




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The Shibuya of Shanghai? Oh well guess I’ll have to find out in September!




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Well, well, well. Isn’t that a sexy looking shop-sign? Better have a look on what’s inside!



I’m normally not a fan of visiting airline’s booking offices, but this time that sign was just too tempting for me. So it was time to do what our friend Philip (OA260) always do whenever he walks by an airline office, have a look inside!



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It’s a mockup of China Southern’s new First Class seats on their A380.



Quite frankly those seats were not as comfortable as I and most other people would’ve anticipate. The cushion was rock hard, and the lumbar support just felt messed up. Putting the seat in lounge position made it feel just like sitting on a pile of rocks, and not to speak of the rubbish legroom. I was unable to stretch my legs without my feet touching the ottoman console. I really hope the actual seat isn’t this bad.

Feeling quite tired after some six hours of sightseeing, I headed back to my hotel for some relaxing on the bed, and catching up with the latest news on North Korea on CNN. Later during the evening, I met up with Danny at some remote part of the city to have a very traditional chinese dinner at a very rural restaurant. The food in question was what Danny called ”Hot Pot” which was basically a CIY (cook-it-yourself) pot of boiling hot stock, in which you poached your ingredients to be savoured right away in a tiny bowl. It was without doubt one of the strangest dining experiences I’ve ever had, and that was not mainly for the unidentifiable ingredients, but rather the amusement of watching the Chinese locals get inhumanely drunk when consuming what we call ”tiny” quantities of alcoholic beverage. The cigarette smoke however left me with a nasty cold, that forced me to spend the following day tucked in my hotel bed.


Day 5 – 31st December 2011: New Year’s Eve



After recovering from the previous day’s cold, I set out for yet another sightseeing excursion, this time to the ancient town of Qibao. My guidebook claimed that the easiest way to reach Qibao was to take the metro to Hongqiao Airport, and from there this charmy old canal wonderland is just a stone throw away. Sadly this turned out not to be the case, as Qibao was one hour by bus away from the airport. Since I would be meeting Danny later during the day, I was forced to abandon those plans. Instead I decided to cheer myself up with some spotting, from the staff’s cafeteria.



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View of Terminal 2 at Hongqiao Airport.




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The staff cafeteria offered some pretty spectacular views over the runway.



During the Afternoon, I met up with Danny (and a german girl she was guiding for the day) for some late lunch. As I was feeling quite homesick by now, despite having only been away for a few days, I figured I’d introduce her to some Swedish food culture.



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What other place to head for then to IKEA!




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Apart from all the Chinese, you couldn’t tell whether it’s in Sweden or China. I was really feeling like home.




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The meatballs did not taste the same as they do at home, and the mashed potatoes were faux (I’m suspecting it was congee mixed with potato starch and colorant), and so was the coffee.



All in all the meal came as a bit of a disappointment, and besides priced at 19 RMB it wasn’t exactly ”IKEA Cheap”, at least not for China. After the late lunch/early dinner, I headed back to my hotel to dump the camera gear and get freshened up before heading off to the Couchsurfing new year’s party which was held at a nice bar in Luijazui. Following that first Corona came a steady stream of Tequila, Screwdrivers and faux Whiskey (basically it’s apple juice with a dash of Vodka. I bet Fabrizio would love that) before a friendly sole put an end to this wild night of partying, by hailing me a taxi that brought me safely back to my hotel at 5am.


Day 6 – January 1st 2012: Hangover’s Eve



Feeling like a complete dump, I woke up at 2pm with the nastiest hangover ever experienced by mankind. Determined to beat this hangover, I chugged all complimentary water bottles I could find, before hopping in for an icy cold shower. Feeling slightly more refreshed, I headed out to find myself some nice hangover cure food. So as always, I went over to my favourite Japanese restaurant where I drenched my decadence in the wonders of Japanese cooking art, while staring angrily back at people for looking at me like a hobo (well to be fair, I was dressed like a hobo that day. Not that I’d care).



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A five course Japanese dinner including coke and dessert costing me only 57 RMB. And it was delicious!



After finishing my meal, I spent a grand total of 4 hours at the restaurant drinking shameless amounts of the complimentary green tea, and listening to John Mayer’s ”Perfectly Lonely” on my iPhone, before the restaurant manager got get fed up with having me mope there like some schmuck, and kicked me out. With my ass kicked to the curb, I wandered the streets of Peep-Hole’s Square for a few hours before heading back to my hotel well in time to watch this week’s episode of Air Crash Investigation.



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The People’s Square.



Day 7 – January 2nd 2012: The Hangzhou Side Trip



Without a single trace of hangover left in the body, I woke up at 5am to head for the Shanghai South Railway Station, where I would meet Danny for our little side-trip to experience the more traditional parts of China in the city of Hangzhou. Sadly though as I arrived to the station at 6am, Danny was nowhere to be seen, and the departure time for the train soon passed. I later received a phone call from her telling me she’s overslept from staying up till 2am after a fight with her boyfriend. She soon showed up and re-assured me that things were fine, so we went off to have our tickets booked for the next train which left at 7.25am.

Following a slow and agonising 3 hour train ride in what could only be described as the filthiest train I’ve ever experienced in my entire life, we finally arrived in the City of Hangzhou. Upon arrival, I told Danny that I don’t want to be going back home on the same train, so we went off to the ticket counter to upgrade my ticket to the high speed train. Price was a reasonable 74 RMB. Having the ticket formalities done, we went off for some breakfast at a local Halal restaurant. Quite interesting to see the islamic culture in China, and also noting the country’s got one of the largest muslim populations in the world.



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A very delicious bowl of spicy hot Udon.



Feeling warm and stuffed after breakfast, we headed out to the west lake to experience that stereotypically traditional China. As always, Danny was bouncing off the walls in anticipation and she insisted we’d rent two bicycles to cycle around the lake. I was quite reluctant to the idea at first, mainly due to carrying a backpack filled with fragile and expensive camera equipment, and the 500 RMB safety deposit. But in the end, we emptied out wallets and set out for the scenic and beautiful ride around the lake.



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View of the West Lake, seen from our starting point.




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Our first stop along the way was the Lei-Feng Tower, which I thought was a restaurant at first.




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This was however a restaurant. Must say it looks stunningly beautiful.




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Passing by some more lovely scenery along the way.




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...Before stopping by Costa for an overpriced, faux, and quite frankly disgusting Frappuccino or ”Double Chocolate Ice Cool Creamy Cooler Blended Coffee Drink” as they prefer to call it. I’ll never ever set my foot in a Costa shop again, only Starbucks from now on!




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We ended our tour by watching the spectacular sunset take place over the lake. Sorry about the dark picture.



By the end of our tour, the clock had already turned six which meant it was now time for me to head back for the train station to catch my high speed train back to Shanghai. This of course meant saying goodbye to Danny, who was staying over at some relative’s house in Hangzhou. Danny and I became really good friends during my stay, and saying goodbye was not the easiest thing to do, as it was very uncertain whether I would ever return to Shanghai. Some tears were shed as I sat down in the taxi, and as we drove away I could see her disappear into the horizon from the rear-view mirror.

Arriving in Shanghai later during the evening, I savoured my final meal in the city at my favourite Japanese restaurant, looking back at all the wonderful times I’ve spent, I couldn’t help but thinking that this trip turned out to be more then some silly pointless mileage run. I had taken the opportunity to explore a completely different part of the world, with different people and different culture, so vastly remote from the country I call home. The gained experiences from this trip would to me be valued so much more then some silly piece of golden plastic that would end up spending most of its life gathering dust in my wallet, or appearing at the occasional socialising event. The fact that I’m just a University freshmen who had embarked on such a long journey all by himself couldn’t help myself from feeling slightly proud. With all this in mind, I couldn’t care less about the outcome of tomorrow’s flight back home. What was originally planed to become the highlight of the trip was now just transformed into a mere blur, a transition that would soon have taken its place. Tired and exhausted, I made my way back to the hotel to gather up the last of my belongings, before peacefully falling asleep in my comfy hotel bed for the final time.



The SWISS Business Class Experience



Waking up at 5am from the sound of my alarm clock, I was feeling strangely rested and well slept, something highly unusual on the night prior to embarking on a flight, especially such a high proliferated one like this. I peacefully stumbled my way into the shower to conduct my usual morning formalities, before picking up my trustworthy companion and leave the room that has been my home for the past seven days. Riding the elevator down from the 26th floor, I couldn’t help but having a hint of sadness in my troth as I was really going to miss the city of Shanghai, and the profound effect it has had on me. Following check-out, I hopped on the metro to LongYang Road station, from where I boarded the Maglev for the 9 minute journey to Pudong International Airport.


At the airport



Upon disembarking this magnetic levitational engineering marvel, I quickly made my way over to check-in complex C at the departure hall of the airport’s international terminal number two. It was now 7am in the morning, two hours and forty-five minutes prior to my departure for Zürich.



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View of the departures hall at Pudong Terminal 2.



Check-in




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View of the check-in area, dedicated for this morning’s flight to Zürich.



As I approached the deserted Business Class counter, I was greeted by the friendly agent Kelly.


K: -”Good morning, Sir”


Me: -”Good morning to you too”


K: -”Today we have a special offer, you can upgrade your ticket with cash to Business Class for only 6000 RMB or €680” [pointing at sign on the counter]


Me: -”No that won’t be necessary, I’m already flying Business Class this morning”


K: -”Ah, that’s excellent Sir! May I have your passport and travel documents please”


Me: -”Certainly. Is the flight overbooked today?”


K: -”Yes, it appears that Economy Class is overbooked, but Business Class is very empty”



After some minutes of typing on the computer, she calls in the station manager whom of which she exchanges a seemingly violent conversation in Chinese. I was fearing that my low fare class had somehow gotten me downgraded or bumped off the flight, so I worryingly asked what was wrong. [/i]


Me: -”Is there anything wrong with my ticket? Do I still have my seat assignment?”


K: -”We have a slight issue in getting your Silver status printed on the boarding pass for your second flight to Stockholm. We’re afraid you’ll might have to resolve it with the Zürich staff as there’s nothing we can do about it. You still have your seat left, don’t worry about that”


Me: -”Ah okay, that shouldn’t be a major concern I think”



I was handed over the boarding pass for my flight to ZRH with my pre-selected seat 5K in the ”Stübli” cabin, along with a lounge invitation to the Shanghai Airlines Business Lounge and the boarding pass for my SAS flight to Stockholm. I thanked Kelly, and proceeded to have my customs and security formalities taken care of. The emigrations lines were short, and after receiving my exit stamp, I was directed to the security screening. Business Class passengers were eligible for using the fast track lane, and after having had my BP inspected by a friendly chinese officer, I was allowed to step on to the red carpet. With only a handful of passengers there, I was through in less then one minute.


Airside at Pudong



As I had skipped the hotel breakfast that morning, I was feeling quite hungry. With more then three hours to go before getting well fed in the air, I headed over to the lounge for some light breakfast. Finding the Shanghai Airlines Lounge turned out not to be the easiest, since there were lounge signs everywhere. But after consulting the friendly staff at the Cathay Pacific Lounge, I finally managed to find my way over to the SAL Business Lounge. Upon entering the lounge, my BP and invitation card were handed over to a friendly attendant, after which she kept the invitation card and welcomed me into the lounge.



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View of the lounge entrance.



The lounge was divided into two practically indistinguishable sections, one for First and one for Business Class. Apart from the slightly enhanced drinks section that offered a very basic selection of hard liquor, there wasn’t really much more that could tell them apart. That may have been the reason why the attendant came running after me, only moments after entering the lounge.



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The seating areas at the F part, which were practically the same as on the C part. Comfy enough for a short visit.



After having been directed to the ”right” section, my stomach was twiddling from the lack of food, so I instantly headed over to explore what food this lounge had to offer. The offerings for this morning consisted of the rather standard Chinese breakfast items, as described earlier in the report, some (faux) vegetable sushi, and a very basic selection of bread and pastries. The drinks section included a coffee machine that could only make regular coffee and nothing else, and a well stocked fridge with cans and bottles of soft drinks and juices.

There was also a noodle bar in this lounge, ready to make a nice piping hot bowl of spicy Udon. Sadly the bar was closed this morning, so I had to settle with the standard food offerings.



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The hot food on offer this morning was the traditional Chinese breakfast.




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The cold food section only offered vegetable sushi. I could really see what George Clooney referred to as ”cheap sushi” in his feature film Up In The Air.




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Such a shame that the noodle bar was closed. Would’ve loved to feast on one final bowl of Udon before heading back home.



Despite feeling quite hungry, I was still determined not to make myself too stuffed
prior the flight. So I ruled the heavy Chinese breakfast out of the equation, and settled down with some sushi, focaccia bread, yoghurt, OJ and coffee. With still some three hour till lunch, I figured this would be sufficient enough to keep me from hungering. The sushi tasted surprisingly fresh, and the lack of raw fish didn’t make it taste less then the proper stuff. The focaccia bread however was a disappointment since it was extremely dry and chewy, even more disappointing was the fact that it was the only western food item offered in this lounge. The coffee however tasted surprisingly well for Chinese standards. All in all, it was a mediocre breakfast that was sufficient enough to keep the hunger away for a few hours, and I wasn’t expecting much either.



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My light breakfast this morning.



Following breakfast, I still had two hours to kill before the flight, so what better way to spend those then with spotting. The fact that the lounge was situated on some kind of ”balcony” offered some good views over the terminal, and tarmac. I spotted the Delta crew board and prepare their B777-232LR for the looong flight to Detroit. Very soon, I spotted my A340 operating the inbound flight as LX188 arrive on the tarmac. After a closer look at the registration, I was quickly filled with joy as it turned out to be HB-JMI, the newest factory built A340-300 in the SWISS fleet. JMI is in fact a ”proper” E model as it’s equipped with the new Airbus interior, along with the LCD EFIS screens and improved engine thrust. I was really quite hoping to ride on this bird, and it seems like my preyers had been answered. If Planehunter will allow it, the A340 Enhanced would also mean catching a new sub-sub type in my log.

After having spent roughly 60 minutes spotting, I started to get a bit bored. So the remaining 30 minutes were spent exploring the facilities of the lounge. Turns out this lounge has a rather large area dedicated for work, with PC work stations and desks for laptop users. Massage chairs were also available which I thought were quite nice, although I didn’t bother using them.



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One of the many PC work stations available in this lounge.




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The massage chairs. Sorry about the overexposure.



A visit to the lavatorial facilities also revealed that this lounge was equipped with those fancy japanese fully-automatic toilets. Using them was indeed a very strange experience, and further details should not be discussed for very obvious reasons. Let’s just say that the manual ones make the job equally well. Anyways, a quick glance at the screen showed that my flight was now boarding, so I headed off to the gate which was a 2 minute walk away.


LX189 Shanghai PVG – Zürich ZRH



Flight: LX189 PVG-ZRH

Departure: 9.45

Arrival: 15.55

Duration: 13h 10m

Date: January 3rd 2012

Seat & Class: 5K Business Class

Aircraft & Reg: Airbus A340-313E HB-JMI



Upon arriving to the gate, boarding had yet not begun. However the passengers in Economy Class had already formed a long line, whereas the Business line was empty. I figured I’d better not stand in line, as I’d be able to board at my own leisure anyway. So instead, I had a look around the surroundings of the gate area.



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View of the gate area. Note the massive boarding line.



Minutes later boarding was called, and I headed over to the gate to queue up behind the priority line. Interestingly, the agent refused to let the F&C pax board until all families with children had boarded the plane. I found this quite strange as the priority of premium pax and families with children should be equally high. Nevertheless this wasn’t a major issue for me, and soon as all four children’s families had been released down the jetway, the small group of premium pax were allowed to board. First Class boarded from their own jetway that was connected to door 1L, and interestingly only one woman was occupying the F cabin on this flight. What I found even more strange was the fact that she had a FlyingBlue Gold tag attached to her trolley bag. The boarding process was very civilised, and I soon leisurely strolled my way down the glass jetway to door 2L.



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Walking down the massively wide glass jetway.




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Entering this spanking new’ish A340 through door 2L.



At the door, I was greeted by our purser Mark Hammer, a friendly swiss gentleman in his mid 20s who later came to be serving my section. After a thorough inspection of my boarding pass, Mark welcomed me onboard the flight, directing me to the second aisle to the left. Turning left at boarding sure was a nice feeling, and soon I stepped inside this exquisitely beautiful Business cabin on this A340. As expected, the aircraft was fitted with the new interior linings which gave a very nice, crisp and fresh feel to the cabin. Apart from the smaller video screens on the seatbacks, the cabin was pretty much identical to what’s found on the company’s newer A330-300 aircraft.



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Cabin during boarding. With only 3 passengers occupying the ”stübli”, boarding was very quick, calm and civilised.



Soon I found my way to my seat 5K which was a solo seat on the right side of the cabin where the seat itself was in direct proximity of the window, offering some extra privacy and better opportunities for looking out the window. As I sat down, the seat turned out to be pretty hard and despite pushing the softer button it didn’t feel much different. Nevertheless, as time progressed the seat felt more and more comfortable.



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My home for the next 13 hours. Duvets, proper pillows and headphones were placed on all seats.



Like one would expect, the legroom was excellent. Being your average 6ft man, I was able to stretch out my legs completely without touching the seat in front of me. The floor sloping on the seat console in front of me acted as a footrest which gave possibility for some comfortable and ergonomic seating positions. All in all it was a very comfortable seat in the upright position, but then again I don’t have much to compare with.



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The excellent legroom shot!



As mentioned earlier, only three passengers were occupying the ”stübli” on this flight. In the seat in front of me was a german gentleman in his mid 30s, very stylishly dressed hence a bit pretentious as he addressed the crew in very rude and unfriendly manners. In seat 4A was a UM passenger, a 12 year old girl who for some reason gave me some really nasty stares. Of course, I wasn’t going to let myself get offended by a kid so I shot back with the evil eye, to which she retreated back into her twin-console cocoon, and I never saw much of her again during the flight. It turned out that she wasn’t a UM, as both of her parents were in the F cabin, hence the reason why she was served by one of the First Class flight attendants. Her parents were doing a terrible job letting their little princess fly with the low-life scumbags of the Business cabin all by herself. I could really understand that sad’ishly annoyed look on her face, I really could...



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View of from our parking position. A nice looking Virgin Atlantic A340-600 was parked at the adjacent gate.



As the boarding progressed, our purser Mark came out and introduced himself to me and the gentleman in 4K, while distributing the amenity kits. For some reason, we weren’t addressed by our names which to me wasn’t the biggest issue since Jantelagen prohibits that anyway.


M: -”Hello, my name is Mark and I’ll be your purser for this flight. If there’s anything you need during the flight, don’t hesitate to ask me”


Me: -”Thank you very much, I’ll take that in mind”


M: -”May I offer you an amenity kit, Sir?”


Me: -”Yes I’d love to take one, thanks!”



Shortly afterwards, our Chinese purser Sally appeared with a tray of Champagne, Orange Juice and water. I settled for the OJ and Champagne. When that was done, Sally came out to distribute newspapers for those who wanted.


S: -”May I offer you a magazine or a newspaper?”


Me: -”Yes, I’ll have this weeks copy of Newsweek please”


S: [flicking through the pile] -”Sorry, we don’t have Newsweek but I can offer you this” [pointing at the Wall Street Journal]


Me: -”Eh, well I suppose I could settle with that one”



My newspaper was promptly handed to me, along with a refreshing towel. I was quite surprised to find that they didn’t have Newsweek on board as it’s a very standard magazine, nevertheless flicking through the Wall Street Journal while sipping on my Champagne was enough to keep me occupied during the time we spent on the ground.



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Newspaper, pre-departure drinks, wet-towel and amenity kit.



After a short while, it turned out that all the coffee, OJ, Diet Coke and water consumed in the lounge was taking its toll on the bladder, so I quickly asked Mark who happened to be passing by if it was okay to use the lavatory while still on the ground. Most of the times in the past I’ve always received a strict ”no!” when raising the question, but this time turned out to be different as Mark gladly let me inside with a big smile as he opened the door for me.

The Biz lavatory was not as spectacularly fancy those found on SAS and Lufthansa where you have lots of space to move about and a nice view out the window. This was more a standard one like they had in Y, and as for the amenities they were pretty much the same, apart from the mini-tubes of hand lotion.



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Lavatorial view of this new A340.



As I returned to my seat our Maitre De Cabine Catherine came out and distributed the lunch menus for this flight while offering to top up our pre-departure drinks. While she insisted I’d have a second glass of Champagne, I politely declined and settled for an extra glass of OJ as it was still a bit too early for alcohol.



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The menu, and my extra glass of OJ.



Lunch Menu Business Class LX189



Starter: Smoked duck breast with avocado tian


or Tuna tataki and vegetable sushi roll with papaya salad




Seasonal salad with balsamic vinagrette



Main Course: Grilled beef tenderloin with creamy morell sauce. Spaetzle green and yellow courgettes


or Pan fried duck breast with soya sauce. Jade rice and mixed vegetables


or Prawns with coriander Coriander butter, saffron potatoes and broccoli


or Cheese ravioli, cream sauce with herbs. Sauteed spinach, chopped walnuts and Parmesan


Cheese: Cheese selection



Dessert: Orange mousse with citrus salad


or Fresh fruit salad



Swiss chocolates

Espresso, coffee and a selection of teas




Soon it was announced on the PA that boarding was completed, doors were shut and Catherine came around to collect our glasses as the pushback commenced. Meanwhile, the four ”enhanced” (as in added thrust of the E model) CFM branded hairdryers roared to life as the safety video appeared on the screens, and the aircraft began its taxi to the runway. The taxi was a rather lengthy one as we had to go all the way to the northern end of the runway. This gave some interesting views of the exotic traffic at this airport.



.
Taxiing to the runway... Followed by the ”Rijstafel”.



Soon our A340 flying machine had gently lined up on the runway, and as the throttles were rammed the aircraft quickly began accelerating down this 4000 meter runway. With the light premium load on this flight, and the fact that we were flying an E model made the takeoff a lot more powerful then on the outbound flight as we shot up through the sky almost instantly after the nose had been raised.



.
Powerful’ish takeoff.




.
Climbing out over the smog filled skies of Shanghai.



Following takeoff, the plane made a steep turn towards west before continuing the climb to our initial cruising altitude of 35 000 feet. After roughly 15 minutes in the air, the captain turned off the seatbelt sign and the crew got up from their seats to prepare for the drinks service.



.
Breaking through the thick layer of smog and clouds.



Meanwhile, I started to explore the IFE offerings for this flight who sadly turned out to be from the previous month, as they somehow hand’t loaded the new movies on this aircraft. Luckily it turns out that Business Class has a more generous movie selection then Economy, and I quickly managed to find some interesting movies to keep me entertained during the flight. I started off with watching an episode of The Big Bang Theory, followed by The Simpsons. Two very good episodes, although I’m not a big fan of the former show, mainly due to a certain character that really goes me on my nerves.

A closer inspection of the headphones provided reveals that they are NOT noise cancelling, which is very bad considering that most other airlines, even SAS(!??!) offer NC headphones in their Business Class cabins. It would be very nice of SWISS could offer Bose headphones in their C&F cabins, mainly due to the fact that no other airline in Europe provide the QuietComfort to their premium passengers at the moment. Not only would LX have a slight market advantage over the competition, it would also help boosting the overall quality impression of their premium cabins, while at the same time help boosting the sales of the Bose QC headphones, heck why not even hand out 10% discount vouchers prior to arrival to sweeten the deal even more.

Advertising alliances have become increasingly common in the airline industry during the past years, and it would only be a logical step for SWISS to be apart in another one, even though this particular one doesn’t promote a local brand which appears to be the kind of Ad alliances the airline is taking part of exclusively. Nevertheless to say, the headphones were fitted with noise muffling materials inside the ear-cups which helped keeping some of the noise levels out. The quality was acceptable, and I was able to enjoy my movies to their near fullest extent.



.
The mediocre quality headphones provided for Business Class passengers.



Soon Mark appeared from the galley with a tray of table linen, one of which he promptly placed on my table. This was followed by the drink orders for the aperitif service.


M: -”Sir, may I offer you anything to drink before lunch?”


Me: -”Yes, I’ll have a weak Gin&Tonic and some Diet Coke”


M: -”A weak Gin&Tonic you say??” [big grin on his face]


Me: -”Well it’s still quite early, so I’d better start of light this noon”


M: -”Okay then, a weak G&T it is!”



My drinks were promptly poured and placed on my table, after which Mark approached me with a basket of snacks. On offer today was not the cheesy Happy Mix (which appears to have vanished completely from all SWISS flights), but instead a choice of Fairtrade cashew nuts or Dijon mustard gourmet chips. I decided to go for both, which Mark didn’t seem to be minding at all.



.
A rather generous amount of snacks and drinks provided here as well.



After my drinks had been topped up, Mark came around again to take starter orders.


M: -”Have you decided on which starter you would like to eat?”


Me: -”Yes I’ll take the duck please”



A white linen clad tray was later placed on my table, after which I was offered a choice of breads from a basket. I settled with a single slice of wholegrain baguette as I wasn’t too sure on how full this meal would make me, and it would be quite foolish to miss out on all the goodies from stuffing yourself with too much bread. Along with the bread came a small bottle of olive oil.



.
The mouth watering starter dish.



The dish can be best described as a collection of odd ingredients, making up for a serenade of sweet and savoury flavours. Surely at first glance, the combination of duck breast, chopped avocado, mint yoghurt, a cherry tomato and a fine cut piece of mango may have given the indication of this being more of a taster platter where each item shall be enjoyed separately, rather then a complete dish. Making the bold move of mixing a little bit of everything, on the fork soon came to reveal this dish’s full potential as a well composed melange of practically all flavours known to man. All in all, the starter tasted nice and fresh, and I was able to enjoy every single bit of it. The key to a good meal in my opinion is to always provide a proper starter, and in this case it appeared that SWISS had managed to do just so.

Soon, Mark came around once again to collect the starter plates and take orders for the main course.


M: -”Did you enjoy your starter Sir?”


Me: -”Yes, it absolutely delicious!”


M: -”I’m glad to hear. Have you decided on which main course to order?”


Me: -”Yes I’ll have the beef tenderloin, if it’s still available”


M: -”Of course, we still have it. Would you like me to top up your Coke, Sir?”


Me: -”No, I think I’ll switch to the french Chardonnay”



Moments later, Mark brought out the main course and promptly placed it on my tray. I was offered a second round of breads this time, so I settled for another slice of baguette and one of those ever so delicious pretzel buns.



.
The main course.



Beef tenderloin appears to always be a menu option on all SWISS long haul flights in the premium cabins. Having eaten nothing but dumplings and Japanese food for the past week, I was quite looking forward to setting my into a nice juicy steak. The beef did however not taste as well as I had anticipated. While one half of it was cooked to juicy perfection, the other half tasted more like the sole of a shoe. The morel sauce didn’t provide much flavour to the beef either, so I was forced to dump nearly a whole sachet of salt on the beef just to make it taste a little more.
Nevertheless, the beef was at least edible. The Spätzle was indeed an interesting side-serving to the beef, as I couldn’t identify whether it was pasta or potato. I’m suspecting it may have been some sort of noodle or polenta, but at least it had a nice taste to it. The steamed courgettes were bland, and had the texture of being slightly raw, and I didn’t bother finishing those anyway.

All in all, the main course could only be described as unspectacular and mediocre, and I was kind of regretting not taking an extra look at the other menu options as they seemed a bit more interesting now when I think about it.

Mark later appeared from the galley to collect my tray, after which he rolled out the dessert cart to offer me the good stuff.


M: -”Would you like to have some dessert. We have Orange Mousse, fruit salad and cheese”


Me: -”Is it okay if I can have all three?”


M: -”Of course, help yourself. Would you like anything to drink with your dessert, coffee perhaps?”


Me: Yes, I’ll have a nice cup of Nespresso Lungo and some Bailey’s on the rocks, please”


M: -”You got it!”




.
A very generous helping of desserts to end this meal. I’m all about the sweet stuff!



As I was about to start with the cheese, I noticed that something very important was missing on my plate. The crackers!!! So I instantly hit the call button to be served our Chinese Purser Sally who quickly managed to get me two small packets of crackers. However these turned out not to be your usual plain wheat salty ones, but more some form of bland wholegrain ones. Normally I have nothing against eating whole grain, sadly this time it was just the fact that the oat and barley didn’t blend in well with the cheese at all. I am quite surprised that an airline from Switzerland, the land that is basically associated with cheese, cheese and nothing but cheese was unable to provide something so simple, yes so essential as a proper cracker. Nevertheless, the cheese tasted good despite the somewhat odd crackers. Perhaps it’s a Swiss thing not to eat crackers with your cheese, maybe Hannah (Infodesk) can tell us more on that?

The fruit salad and Orange Mousse both tasted great, although it may have been a bit too much fruit for me, and along with the Bailey’s I was almost feeling like falling into a sugary sweet coma. Luckily the exquisitely smooth Nespresso Lungo managed to balance some of that sweetness... Until our Maitre De Cabine Catherine came around with the box of those famously, and ever so delicious Lindt Pralines. I simply couldn’t say no!

Catherine later came around to collect the dessert plates, and offered me a refill on the Nespresso. By now we were already three hours into the flight, and currently cruising over the vast deserts of Mongolia.



.
Cruising over the vast lands of Mongolia, as we round off this in-flight culinary experience.



After the meal service was finished, the cabin lights were dimmed and we were all instructed to close our window blinds. Since I wasn’t in the mood of sleeping my flight away, I decided to just put the seat in a comfortable lounge position, tuck myself in the blanket and watch a nice movie. In the ”pre-selected” lounge position, the seat didn’t feel very comfortable as the lumbar support felt messed up, as was the case with the legrest that didn’t give much support either. However, putting the seat in a near flat position turned out to be very comfortable as I was able to stretch out fully while still being able to see the video screen clear. Along with the massage function the seat was absolutely heaven.

Having already sat through another rubbish thin-air romantic comedy during the meal service, I decided to switch over to more of a proper movie. Steven Soderbergh’s latest production Contagion, featuring Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow seemed like an interesting choice. Having just left China, that film came to be quite scary as it was about a deadly virus originating from a farm in Hong Kong spreading through the world like a wildfire, killing thousands of victims along its way. Perhaps not the best film to watch on a plane after having spent a week in an exotic land, indulging food that could have been in the hands of God knows who. The ending of the film however left me with quite a huge laugh that woke up everyone in the cabin. Yes, the ending scene where the pig ate the bat’s poop was just too hilarious for me.

Not being in the mood for watching another film just yet, I got up from my seat for a quick hydration run to the galley, where Catherine was just setting up the self-service snack area. On offer apart from hydrating beverages such as water, cold tea, OJ and coke, were also several kinds of snacks such as dried apricots, crostini sticks, chips and bananas. I chugged a few glasses of water before returning to my seat.



.
View of the self-service bar area.



As I returned to my seat, I wasn’t in the mood of going to sleep just yet. So instead I decided to have a closer look of the seat itself, and trying out all the features.



.
The seat in its fully-flat position. It was very comfy by the way, and not as low to the floor as one might first imagine.




.
The nice SWISS-branded fabric headrest cover. Just about the right size, and not
ridiculously oversized like the ones SAS have in their Business Class.




.
The rather spartan seat controls. Basically all buttons except the three bottom ones were useless.




.
The IFE controller, identical to the ones found in Economy Class. Both the handsets and the screens have been re-used from the old Business Class seats.




.
The fibre-optic reading light that came in very handy during the flight, as the cabin was darkened throughout most of it.




.
And of course, the faux (don’t even mention it P) wooden paneling, which I thought provided some nice earthy tones to the cabin.




.
Apart from the basic contents, this literature compartment also contained a seat instruction sheet, and that pathetic stereotypical F&C Magazine.




.
As mentioned earlier, the full-flat position was very comfortable. My size 10 feet fit perfectly in that little compartment at the end, not feeling cramped at all.



After having toured around the seat for a good 10 minutes, I started to feel a bit drowzy so I kept the seat in its full-flat position, grabbed myself a blanket and a pillow, and went to sleep for about one hour or two. After waking up, I spent some 30 minutes just enjoying the spectacular views from the window as we cruised over the vast no-man lands of Siberia. I could literally sit and watch throughout the rest of the flight as it was just so fascinating to watch the scenery change so rapidly as we cruised along. The man in seat 4K however was not happy with me keeping the blinds open for too long, so out of politeness I was forced to shut them.

Not being in the mood for sleeping, I decided to go ahead and watch the second film on my agenda. The movie this time was ”Another Earth”, a low budget art-house cinema production = my cup of tea!



.
Relaxing with a nice film.



Half ways through the film, our Chinese purser Sally came around to offer some mid-flight snacks.


S: -”Hello Sir, can I get you any snacks or drinks?”


Me: -”Yes, do you still have the Mövenpick Ice Cream?”


S: -”No, we only serve Mövenpick on flights from Switzerland. We do however have Chinese branded ice cream”


Me: -”Arrgh, okay... I’ll have some of that then. Can I have a cup of mint tea, and some Bailey’s with that”


S: -”I will bring those for you!”




.
A selection of delicious items caught in the midst all this Bookehliciousness. You’re welcome Lee!



Being comfortably tucked in the flatbed, watching a great movie with a tub of ice cream in my hand, I couldn’t help but feeling much like home. This is basically how I spend my weekend nights at home, and I must say that I was really starting to get the airline’s old slogan ”Your Home at 10 000 Meters”. With the flight being this enjoyable, it was quite sad to


SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
40 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 1, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 28614 times:

With the flight being this enjoyable, it was quite sad to see the clock counting down the hours till reaching our destination. The hours simply seemed to fly away, and I was doing my best to make the most of those 6 short remaining hours of the flight.



.
Moody shot of the Moon and the winglet... Or Swisslet, as I prefer to call it.



After finishing my third movie, Catherine appeared from the F class galley with yet another round of mid-flight snacks. This time I was offered a selection of sandwiches and petit fours to which I gladly accepted to try one of each. The sandwiches were quite similar to the ones I was served on my outbound flight in Economy, a dried-beef pretzel bun and a sun-dried tomato and mozzarella focaccia sandwich. Not much spectacular, but they tasted nice and fresh, and were able to keep me full for a few more hours.

After the main meal service, my internal clock reset itself to 3pm to which it remained throughout the flight, as way to deal with the jetlag upon arrival. Since it was 3pm in the afternoon, I figured it was time enough to hit the alcohol which quite frankly every simpleton barbarian has to do when flying Business Class, for the sole purpose of getting some bang for the buck. A Rum&Cola was ordered from Catherine who just happened to be passing by.



.
Rum&Cola... Too bad they didn’t have dark Baccardi.



With another two hours to go before the second meal service, I decided to spend them on watching the last film on my agenda. The choice fell down to Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts latest feature ”Larry Crowne” which turned out to be better then I’d expected. One thing that I found quite interesting was how Julia Roberts still manages to look so gorgeous, despite her age of almost 50.

As I finished the movie, the plane was now cruising over the baltic states, which brought my minds to the ARN meet and the TLL side trip that would take place in a little less then two weeks. With roughly two hours before landing in Zürich, I could hear noises from the galley indicating that the second meal service would soon commence.



.
Cloudy skies over the Baltics this afternoon.



Soon Catherine came out with a tray of table linen, one of which she promptly placed over my table. This was followed by the cart being rolled down.


C: -”Sir, may we offer you anything to eat? On offer today we have penne pasta with black olives, pesto, and sundried tomatoes. Or roasted chicken fillet with grilled summer vegetables, and tzatziki sauce.

[i] Me: -”I’m feeling quite hungry, so do you mind if I take both?”


C: -”No, not at all. Help yourself! What would you like to drink, Sir”?


Me: -”I think some Champagne would suit this food quite well”


C: -”That’s an excellent choice. I’ll get you some water too”




.
The ”light” meal served prior to landing. Slightly unsubstantial, but still very good.



In comparison to most other airlines in Europe, the second meal service was quite a bit unsubstantial. Heck even SAS manages to serve a full hot meal prior to landing. Nevertheless, considering the fact that I had been fed various snacks and drinks earlier during the flight I suppose they made up for the lacking 2nd meal.

The pasta salad tasted nice and fresh, although not much to write home about since it was lacking contents in my opinion. The chicken breast however had a nice and juicy flavour to it, and mixed along with the grilled veggies and tzatsiki it was simply heaven on the taste buds. Catherine even came around to offer second servings, which I simply couldn’t say no to. Refills on the Champagne were kept constant as well.

Feeling quite stuffed, Mark came back after his few hours of absence to clear my plates.


M: -”Did you enjoy your meal, Sir?”


Me: -”Yes, everything tasted wonderful. I’m still in the mood for dessert, if you have any to offer?”


M: -”Sorry, I’m not too sure if we have any desserts left. Let me go and check”



I found it quite strange that dessert wasn’t even on the menu for this 2nd meal service, which of course gives the impression of a lacking meal. However, Mark soon re-appeared with some leftover desserts from the mid-flight snack service. Along with them, I was served a cup of coffee and a double-shot Bailey’s without even asking for it. Good job SWISS!



.
The dessert consisting of mille-feux, chocolate mousse, Bailey’s and coffee.



As you’d might imagine, I was feeling incredibly stuffed hence a little bit drunk’ish from all the food, Champagne and Bailey’s. Finishing up those last desserts turned out to be very difficult, but manageable at the end. By the time I had finished, we had already begun our descent into Zürich Kloten Airport, and the crew began preparing the cabin for landing. This of course meant having my table cleared by Mark who by the way forgot to come around with the SWISS chocolates. Well not that it would matter anyway, since chocolates would be the last thing to crave for after my frenzy of sugary sweets and alcohol. I put the seat in a slightly reclined position, and enjoyed the views from my window as we made our approaches to the runway.



.
Getting close to Zürich now...



Soon, the gunshot heard through the cabin which meant that the landing gears had been deployed. This was later followed by a very smooth touchdown on the runway at ZRH.


Coming in for the final approach.




.
Touchdown... Sorry about the overexposure.



Following touchdown was a quick taxi to our gate at the E satellite terminal, after which the engines soon turned off and the aircraft was docked to the jetway. For some reason, only one jetway was connected to the aircraft which meant that all passengers would de-board from door 1L. The crew were very strict with letting the First Class passengers leave the aircraft first, before the small group of Business Class pax followed by the massive heard from Economy could de-board the aircraft.



.
Parking next to a ”bog standard” British Airways A319 – Dedicated to Eric and Fabrizio.



I wanted to make the most of my time in the aircraft, so I remained seated until everyone had left the plane. On my way out, I stopped by the galley at door 2L, and asked Catherine for a little souvenir to bring to my friend in Frankfurt. Without hesitation, Catherine handed me over the ”souvenir” with a big smile and wished me a pleasant day. I thanked her, and made my way out of the aircraft and up the glass jetway. For some reason, we were required to pass through a second security screening upon arrival at the E gates, and for some reason they didn’t have a fast track lane for Premium passengers. Despite the long queues, and being forced to put my Doctor Martens on the belt, I was through in less then five minutes. Shortly afterwards, I made my way down to the passport control which was done in a breeze, before hopping on the ”moo-moo-baah-baah” train to the main terminal. With a four hour layover in Zürich, I headed over to the SWISS Business Lounge for a refreshing and hydrating shower, some drinks, and a little bit of relaxation.

The report ends here.


Conclusions.



What concludes this trip to China is not some pointless, mundane waste-of-time-and-money mileage run to get some goldy piece of plastic. Instead, this trip turned out to be more like a proper holiday, the chance to meet new people and experience a whole new culture.

As for the flights, I’m very glad to have gotten the chance to try out SWISS long haul Business and Economy products. By judging from the outbound flight, the crew in Business also worked very hard to provide a consistent and friendly service. They were always willing to take that extra step to bring a smile to the costumer’s face. In this case, my experience in SWISS Business could only be described as flawless, with Mark and his colleagues doing a great job serving the ”stübli” cabin. With the light passenger load, the service felt very personal, and I was treated indifferent from any other passenger. The food however was not the airline’s strongest side, it may have tasted okay but it was far from the best. I recall having better meals in Economy Class. There are however some room for improvements such as offering pot roasts as an alternative to the steaks, and maybe serving up a hot dish for the pre-arrival meal.

All in all, both products provided excellent value for the money. Those €800 for the Biz ticket were worth every penny, and I wouldn’t mind booking another trip with them as soon as they have a good sale again...



That’ll mark the end of this report. Thanks for reading, and comments are much appreciated!

//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27254 posts, RR: 60
Reply 2, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 28229 times:

Hey Jonas ,


Very nice report and pics and more importantly a nice read .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
. So it was time to do what our friend Philip (OA260) always do whenever he walks by an airline office, have a look inside!

Haha has to be done . There are some interesting ones . Nice they have a mock up seat there .

Glad you had a good LX J experience.

Regards

Philip  


User currently offlineAvianca From Venezuela, joined Jan 2005, 5934 posts, RR: 40
Reply 3, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 28155 times:

great report! would love to see more LX service to LATAM!

the food seems to be fantastic, not only the food provided by LX but also the chinese goodys you enjoid during your stay!

Would say a great bargain for this business class flight! I am noramlly also a cheap flyer but in the lasts month I had several chances to enjoy business class due to cheap prices or free upgrades, on domestic Peruvian flights on TACA, LIM-UIO-MDE on AEROGAL, AirFrance LIM-CDG-LIM, LAX-LIM on LAN or LIM-EZE-LIM on LAN and I have to say it is really a differnt way to fly and I love it!

cheers and thanks for this wonderful report!

saludos
Avianca



Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
User currently offlineGVAJFKflyer From Switzerland, joined Aug 2009, 101 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 27849 times:

Thanks for the very enjoyable second instalment of your trip report. Shanghai looks very interesting and your trip on LX J certainly sounded wonderful (in spite of the apparently slightly disappointing meals).

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
It’s a mockup of China Southern’s new First Class seats on their A380.

Looks just like Air France's !

Best

GVAJFKflyer


User currently offlineInitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1066 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 27848 times:

Hey Jonas,

I must say this is a WONDERFUL report! The best I've seen from you so far! Pictures were wonderful and of course it further enhances the quality of the report with your fisheye pictures.

Quoting LH4116:
The Jin Mao Tower and the World Financial Centre. The two tallest buildings in Shanghai.

I've been there on my previous visit to Shanghai, even had dinner in Jin Mao Tower.   The views were spectacular from the 67th floor!

Quoting LH4116:
As it was around 9am, the breakfast restaurant was crowded with hungry hotel guests which made it practically impossible to take pictures of the buffet.

I had a pretty empty hotel during my visit to Shanghai (in fact it's located in a University) and so the buffet was quite empty too. But what you experienced is true-China style!

Quoting LH4116:
On offer were several local breakfast dishes such as rotten eggs, black noodles, steamed buns, pale white beef sausages, and the infamously notorious wallpaper-glue porridge Congee that Petteri Finn specifically told me to stay away from. The only western options on offer were toasts with butter and strawberry jam, chocolate cornflakes with melamine milk, greasy fried eggs, weak coffee and colour-water OJ.

I would say the offerings do not defer much. Out of my 8 nights stay there, I did not visit the breakfast buffet more than twice. The food there was terrible!

Quoting LH4116:
Only 5 percent of the buildings in Shanghai are from the good’ole days. These however may look traditional and old, but they are in fact only replicas.

This has got to be Cheng Huang Miao, which can be recognised by the buildings. Nothing much there to see and do though, did you just stay for a while?

Quoting LH4116:
Yes, those guys really are everywhere. And for obvious reasons, I had to go in for a delicious Venti Java Chip Frappuccino.

I remember some guys saying that it's an eye sore having it there since it's a "traditional" place.  
Quoting LH4116:
Crab&Pork Dumplings

These look absolutely delicious!

Quoting LH4116:
As the restaurant was quite crowded at this lunch hour, my table was shared by a family of locals who amusingly watched me try and master the art of eating a dumpling the proper way. After many failed attempts, the father finally came to rescue and instructed me in every step of how to master this delicate art form.

LOL. I'm trying to imagine you having to play around with the dumpling and getting all stressed up before the father tries to help you. Did he speak English though?

Quoting LH4116:
The food in question was what Danny called ”Hot Pot” which was basically a CIY (cook-it-yourself) pot of boiling hot stock, in which you poached your ingredients to be savoured right away in a tiny bowl.

You've got a great guide there! One of the best dishes in Chinese history! In fact, I just had that for my Chinese New Year reunion dinner.

Quoting LH4116:
the mashed potatoes were faux (I’m suspecting it was congee mixed with potato starch and colorant)

I'm still not really getting the faux thing, but were the potatoes really that bad?

Quoting LH4116:
A five course Japanese dinner including coke and dessert costing me only 57 RMB. And it was delicious!

Finally something decent.   Looks wonderful with a wonderful price!

Quoting LH4116:
the filthiest train I’ve ever experienced in my entire life

This is why I don't take trains in China, except for the HSR of course. Any pictures to share?

Quoting LH4116:
west lake
Lei-Feng Tower

Reminds me of my Hangzhou visit!

Quoting LH4116:
By the end of our tour, the clock had already turned six which meant it was now time for me to head back for the train station to catch my high speed train back to Shanghai. This of course meant saying goodbye to Danny, who was staying over at some relative’s house in Hangzhou. Danny and I became really good friends during my stay, and saying goodbye was not the easiest thing to do, as it was very uncertain whether I would ever return to Shanghai. Some tears were shed as I sat down in the taxi, and as we drove away I could see her disappear into the horizon from the rear-view mirror.

Indeed it's a sad moment having to part with friends from overseas. But hey, even though it is uncertain that you will return to Shanghai, there's the chance she might visit Sweden!

Quoting LH4116:
I boarded the Maglev for the 9 minute journey to Pudong International Airport.

How was the experience?  
Quoting LH4116:
Today we have a special offer, you can upgrade your ticket with cash to Business Class for only 6000 RMB or €680” [pointing at sign on the counter]

Did you not look like a J passenger? I'd feel slightly insulted if I approached the counter and get asked this question, lol.

Quoting LH4116:
SAL Business Lounge

One of the worst lounges I've ever been to, but it seems like it's the different case for you.

Quoting LH4116:
The hot food on offer this morning was the traditional Chinese breakfast.

Don't even recall seeing any hot food on offer, only sandwiches!

Quoting LH4116:
the agent refused to let the F&C pax board until all families with children had boarded the plane

Very strange indeed, never heard of it.

Quoting LH4116:
Being your average 6ft man, I was able to stretch out my legs completely without touching the seat in front of me.

I guess the LX J class seats would be pretty much suitable for me too.  
Quoting LH4116:
a 12 year old girl who for some reason gave me some really nasty stares

Probably she was thinking, "hey, why aren't you taking pictures of pretty little me?!"

Quoting LH4116:
A closer inspection of the headphones provided reveals that they are NOT noise cancelling

One word: bad!

Quoting LH4116:
The ”light” meal served prior to landing. Slightly unsubstantial, but still very good.

Looks real nice! In fact my stomach is growling already.

Quoting LH4116:
I stopped by the galley at door 2L, and asked Catherine for a little souvenir to bring to my friend in Frankfurt.

So, what was the souvenir?

Regards,
Daniel



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1961 posts, RR: 24
Reply 6, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 27798 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Good report! I love your photos with the fish-eye lens .. It is definitely something I'd like to buy next for my new Nikon!

Swiss J looks very nice; food looks good, and of a high standard. I also love flying in the A340; probably my favorite long-haul aircraft after the 747.

Best,

Matthew


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6903 posts, RR: 77
Reply 7, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 27325 times:

Hi Jonas,

great second part of your series - good writing style and high-quality pictures as usual! I had been waiting for this report. Good to hear you enjoyed SWISS Business Class - I hadn't expected anything else.

Your trip brings back many memories of my SWISS flights last year.
Fully Flat Bed To SFO: SWISS' New Business Class (by PlaneHunter May 7 2011 in Trip Reports)
Superb Stübli & Crew: LAS-LAX-ZRH-MUC, LX J Class (by PlaneHunter Jul 20 2011 in Trip Reports)

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I was handed over the boarding pass for my flight to ZRH with my pre-selected seat 5K in the ”Stübli” cabin

I told you that it would be a good seat! I had 5G on the way back last year.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
If Planehunter will allow it, the A340 Enhanced would also mean catching a new sub-sub type in my log.

Oh, it's totally up to you!  

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
With only 3 passengers occupying the ”stübli”, boarding was very quick, calm and civilised.

Nice! There were a few more people in the Stübli last year, but it still felt very private.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
In the seat in front of me was a german gentleman in his mid 30s, very stylishly dressed hence a bit pretentious as he addressed the crew in very rude and unfriendly manners.

Shame on him!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
It turned out that she wasn’t a UM, as both of her parents were in the F cabin, hence the reason why she was served by one of the First Class flight attendants. Her parents were doing a terrible job letting their little princess fly with the low-life scumbags of the Business cabin all by herself.

Ridiculous. I'd never let my kid sit in another cabin. Probably I overread it - but was F Class full?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
With the light premium load on this flight, and the fact that we were flying an E model made the takeoff a lot more powerful then on the outbound flight as we shot up through the sky almost instantly after the nose had been raised.

Hm, I doubt that you can really feel the power difference between an E and an X model under similar conditions.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The beef did however not taste as well as I had anticipated. While one half of it was cooked to juicy perfection, the other half tasted more like the sole of a shoe. The morel sauce didn’t provide much flavour to the beef either, so I was forced to dump nearly a whole sachet of salt on the beef just to make it taste a little more.
Nevertheless, the beef was at least edible. The Spätzle was indeed an interesting side-serving to the beef, as I couldn’t identify whether it was pasta or potato. I’m suspecting it may have been some sort of noodle or polenta, but at least it had a nice taste to it. The steamed courgettes were bland, and had the texture of being slightly raw, and I didn’t bother finishing those anyway.

All in all, the main course could only be described as unspectacular and mediocre, and I was kind of regretting not taking an extra look at the other menu options as they seemed a bit more interesting now when I think about it.

Oh, that's bad. I was totally satisfied with my main courses.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
In comparison to most other airlines in Europe, the second meal service was quite a bit unsubstantial. Heck even SAS manages to serve a full hot meal prior to landing. Nevertheless, considering the fact that I had been fed various snacks and drinks earlier during the flight I suppose they made up for the lacking 2nd meal.

I didn't get a hot second meal on the ZRH-SFO flight either, but I didn't miss it. I'm a good eater, but I wasn't hungry enough for another hot meal. I doubt that it's really necessary - should they offer it just because the others have it? I'm sure SWISS has an idea about the passengers' demands.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to create this outstanding report!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineMH017 From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 1692 posts, RR: 30
Reply 8, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 27106 times:

Hi Jonas,

Great TR: nice photography too, although a bit too many fish-eye pictures IMHO...

Really like LX Business Class - both the seat and catering look very nice indeed !

'Rijstafel' actually should be spelled Rijsttafel  

Thanks for sharing this LX report...

Cheers,

MH017/Pieter...



don't throw away tomorrow !
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 9, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 26943 times:

Hi Jonas

Great return report as wel! Enjoyed the read, PVG does not look that bad at all!

Swiss J class looked fairly nice as well, good seating. Good food! only the last meal could be a bit bigger!
Thanks for sharing!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
It’s a mockup of China Southern’s new First Class seats on their A380.

Looks a bit like AF...


Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4277 posts, RR: 51
Reply 10, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 26826 times:

Hi Jonas,

thanks for the report. Quite a bit of writing, definitely a better writing style this time.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
the return flight back home to Zürich on SWISS in their new’ish Business Class.

How new is this? I think it's around already for some time now.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
As always, the report will be accompanied with a lagom amount of pictures

Thank you

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Having a local guide is a necessity for traveling in China

Is it? I am sure that it's not neccesary to have one.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
On offer were several local breakfast dishes such as rotten eggs

Sure? Rotten eggs? Never heard that Chinese eat that, especially not in a hotel

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
my table was shared by a family of locals who amusingly watched me try and master the art of eating a dumpling the proper way.

You didn't feel relaxed in this setting I suppose 
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Somehow the place really reminded me of Paris, as all of the signs were in french, many of the food places sold french food, and there seemed to be an abundance of french ”Patisseries” and cafés.

Well, get used to this 'French thing'. Asians tend to love everything that has to do with France. You'll get to see this again when visiting TYO. It's shouldn't be a surprise anymore.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The Shibuya of Shanghai?

No way, Shibuya is 'much more'. More people, nicer scene, bigger, more lights etc. Plus a nice Starbucks overlooking the square (you can see the picture on my FB)

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
What other place to head for then to IKEA!

Really? Didn't you feel ashamed a bit to bring the ladies there?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The meatballs did not taste the same as they do at home, and the mashed potatoes were faux (I’m suspecting it was congee mixed with potato starch and colorant), and so was the coffee.

Maybe you have been in a faux IKEA Jonas... It's China after all...

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
So as always, I went over to my favourite Japanese restaurant

Which restaurant if I may ask? Never heard you talking about it.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I spent a grand total of 4 hours at the restaurant drinking shameless amounts of the complimentary green tea, and listening to John Mayer’s ”Perfectly Lonely” on my iPhone, before the restaurant manager got get fed up with having me mope there like some schmuck, and kicked me out.

Good job by the manager  
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Following a slow and agonising 3 hour train ride in what could only be described as the filthiest train I’ve ever experienced in my entire life,

Come on, you're in China, so get used to the difference with your home country. You should take it all as an experience. Now you sounds a bit spoiled again. Shame.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The cold food section only offered vegetable sushi. I could really see what George Clooney referred to as ”cheap sushi”

Vegetable Sushi is probably slightly cheaper yes. But, it's not uncommon. Especially in a lounge with so many people (and different tastes), vegetables are eaten by most of the people hence a good choice to serve this.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Walking down the massively wide glass jetway.

Nice jetway. Wish that AMS can get those too.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Soon I found my way to my seat 5K which was a solo seat on the right side of the cabin

Nice seat, but no trouble with lights/sounds from the galley behind you?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I quickly asked Mark who happened to be passing by if it was okay to use the lavatory while still on the ground. Most of the times in the past I’ve always received a strict ”no!” when raising the question, but this time turned out to be different as Mark gladly let me inside

As long as the seatbelt sign is off, I never had a problem. Though I usually don't visit the loo so often.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Followed by the ”Rijstafel”.

Your spelling is incorrect also this time   Pieter corrected you. Plus it's not really Indonesian, so why calling GA like this?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
With the light premium load on this flight, and the fact that we were flying an E model made the takeoff a lot more powerful then on the outbound flight as we shot up through the sky almost instantly after the nose had been raised.

The premium load hasn't anything to do with this at all. Can't really comment about the 'E' model, but I doubt that there is much difference from previous models.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
It would be very nice of SWISS could offer Bose headphones in their C&F cabins, mainly due to the fact that no other airline in Europe provide the QuietComfort to their premium passengers at the moment.

Why Bose? e.g. Panasonic also have very good noise cancelling headphones. Plus it seems that the clientele is happy about it, otherwise they would've been changed already (I think)

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The beef did however not taste as well as I had anticipated.

Beef is a difficult thing, especially on an aircraft I heard. I would always advise to take something else.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
A very generous helping of desserts to end this meal. I’m all about the sweet stuff!

Cheese isn't exactly sweet, plus cheese and Baileys... not really my thing to combine

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
As I returned to my seat, I wasn’t in the mood of going to sleep just yet. So instead I decided to have a closer look of the seat itself, and trying out all the features.

Come on, inflight with both shades fully open?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The man in seat 4K however was not happy with me keeping the blinds open for too long, so out of politeness I was forced to shut them.

Fully understandable. Try to behave in the future. You can picture the seat also prior landing, of before takeoff for example.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I found it quite strange that dessert wasn’t even on the menu for this 2nd meal service,

As far as my memory goes, I never received a dessert on longhaul 2nd business class meal services. So it seems not strange.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Parking next to a ”bog standard” British Airways A319 – Dedicated to Eric

Thanks. But you were on a 'bog standard' LX A340 too.

Looking forward to your Air Baltic experience and tripreport.

Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineCXB77L From Australia, joined Feb 2009, 2679 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 26680 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Excellent trip report, Jonas, I really enjoyed reading it. Very well structured, with nice pictures from your holiday, and just the right balance of text and photos. Well done.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 10):
Sure? Rotten eggs? Never heard that Chinese eat that, especially not in a hotel

Not 'rotten' as such. 'Preserved' ... or 'cured'. I believe he means 'Century Eggs', which are often served as an ingredient in Chinese porridge: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Century_egg

It's not to everybody's taste, but it's one of my favourite Chinese ingredients.



Boeing 777 fanboy
User currently offlineLH4532 From Germany, joined Sep 2011, 81 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 26555 times:

Guten Tag Jonas ,

It has been worth the time waiting for the second part of your TR series to be online . I remember talking about it last Saturday . I would not have expected that it would online that quick . I found out that it was online after school . Great "surprise"   . It was very kind of Danny showing you around .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
”We have a slight issue in getting your Silver status printed on the boarding pass for your second flight"

I remember that we talked about this issue .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
View of the lounge entrance.

It does look very modern .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
My light breakfast this morning.

Good choice . You got enough during your flight .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
My home for the next 13 hours. Duvets, proper pillows and headphones were placed on all seats.

Very nice looking seat . I like the colours of it .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
”Is it okay if I can have all three?”

That would also have been my question   .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I decided to switch over to more of a proper movie.

Watching "Contagion" is sure a good choice after a trip in China . Ha ha ha . But it is an interesting movie .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
No, we only serve Mövenpick on flights from Switzerland.

It is too bad that they do not offer Mövenpick on flight to Switzerland . They should be on offer on all flights , I would say.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The ”light” meal served prior to landing. Slightly unsubstantial, but still very good.

It is enough for a light afternoon snack after eating a lot prior to that .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
On my way out, I stopped by the galley at door 2L, and asked Catherine for a little souvenir to bring to my friend in Frankfurt. Without hesitation, Catherine handed me over the ”souvenir” with a big smile and wished me a pleasant day.

Thank you very much , Jonas !!!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
By judging from the outbound flight, the crew in Business also worked very hard to provide a consistent and friendly service.

I am sure they have given their best and hardest effort .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
With a four hour layover in Zürich, I headed over to the SWISS Business Lounge for a refreshing and hydrating shower, some drinks, and a little bit of relaxation.

Another good choice . I hope the DB Lounge was also good place to wait for Johannes at FRA .


I enjoyed reading this Trip Report . Your pictures are very clear and of very good quality . Keep up the good work .


I´m looking forward to the other TR ( you know what I am talking about   .


Daniel ( LH4532 )


User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1772 posts, RR: 30
Reply 13, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 26539 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hello Jonas de Casablanca,

Excellent report you’ve posted here Jonas: well written and accompanied with - indeed - a lagom of crisp clear pics. I also loved your Shanghai experience, but I don’t think China will ever be high on my to-travel-to list. Nevertheless, you have portrayed it all in a most positive way.
You took good advantage of Swiss’ business class: trying out everything to it’s extent and availability without being the ‘demanding’ passenger like that gentleman in 4A. I guess after eating all dishes and some of them even twice, you must’ve felt really knocked out  

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
the report will be accompanied with a lagom amount of pictures that I hope you will enjoy.

Good rephrasal and yes, I enjoyed them.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Luckily, two days prior to my departure I was contacted by a local girl named Danny who seemed more then happy to guide me around the city.

That made me laugh at first instance since the name Danny is not associated to a ‘local girl’ at first   

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
What other place to head for then to IKEA!

The ‘real’ IKEA like from Sweden or the copycat (mind you I don’t use the word ‘faux’ here  ) IKEA from China?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Some tears were shed as I sat down in the taxi, and as we drove away I could see her disappear into the horizon from the rear-view mirror.

I’m touched...

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Her parents were doing a terrible job letting their little princess fly with the low-life scumbags of the Business cabin all by herself. I could really understand that sad’ishly annoyed look on her face, I really could...

I don’t know the background on this situation but I think it would be really selfish of the parents of them travelling in First and the daughter in Business.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Taxiing to the runway... Followed by the ”Rijstafel”.

As mentioned already by user MH017, it’s rijsttafel with the double ‘t’  

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Luckily it turns out that Business Class has a more generous movie selection then Economy

I can’t believe that the offerings are different in C than in Y?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The nice SWISS-branded fabric headrest cover. Just about the right size, and not
ridiculously oversized like the ones SAS have in their Business Class.

I like the fact that you can be so lyrical about a stupid piece of cloth, something I use to do the dishes at home 

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Instead, this trip turned out to be more like a proper holiday, the chance to meet new people and experience a whole new culture.

That’s what travelling is more or less about.

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 26522 times:

Hej Jonas!

Great tripreport as usual!
Really nice pictures of Shanghai, seems like you had a great time there!
LX seems really good, their Business product does seem to be one of the best ones in Europe.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Having eaten nothing but dumplings and Japanese food for the past week,

And the plate of köttbullar!  
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
As mentioned earlier, the full-flat position was very comfortable.

Wow, that seat sure looks great. I wonder if SAS will install something similar in the rumored longhaul business cabin remake.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Moody shot of the Moon and the winglet... Or Swisslet, as I prefer to call it.

Gotta love those winglet shots! The LX winglet do indeed look great.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I put the seat in a slightly reclined position, and enjoyed the views from my window as we made our approaches to the runway.

Interesting, do Swiss allow you to be slighty reclined during landing in the Business Cabin, or did you just live slightly on the wild side that day?

Martin


User currently offlineLuxair747SP From Germany, joined May 2010, 511 posts, RR: 17
Reply 15, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 26161 times:

Hi Jonas,

very nice report about LX C-class as well as excellent pictures of the product.
Also a good touch, that they let you try all choices of the food.

Looks as you had a pretty decent flight  

THanks a lot for sharing!
Cheers
Johannes


User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 16, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 26008 times:

Hello guys, thanks for the round of replies. I'm glad you all enjoyed the report!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 2):
Haha has to be done . There are some interesting ones . Nice they have a mock up seat there .

Hi Philip. Yeah I've walked by the offices of some interesting carriers like Iran Air and Iraqi Airways, but never bothered to enter. Suppose I'll have a closer look next time, maybe they have some interesting on show  
Quoting Avianca (Reply 3):
the food seems to be fantastic, not only the food provided by LX but also the chinese goodys you enjoid during your stay!

Yes, Shanghai is pretty famous for its food. Such a shame though that I didn't stay longer, to experience all cuisines.

Quoting Avianca (Reply 3):
Would say a great bargain for this business class flight!

Yes, it was a really good price. Although I kind of regret booking when I saw the LH 11/11/11 sale. Oh well, let's just hope they come up with a similar sale soon.

Quoting GVAJFKflyer (Reply 4):
Looks just like Air France's !

Hmm, quite similar but not completely. I believe this seat is made by EADS Sogerma, same model as Airbus used in their demo A380. AF seat could be the same with some modifications.

Quoting Initious (Reply 5):
I've been there on my previous visit to Shanghai, even had dinner in Jin Mao Tower.

Hey Daniel. Yes, wanted to visit the Jin Mao Tower, but wasn't sure whether they charged those silly entrance fees. It would've been a cool experience though.

Quoting Initious (Reply 5):
I did not visit the breakfast buffet more than twice. The food there was terrible!

Yes, I only went to the buffet three times. It was possible to find much better breakfast at some restaurant for very cheap prices.

Quoting Initious (Reply 5):
This has got to be Cheng Huang Miao, which can be recognised by the buildings. Nothing much there to see and do though, did you just stay for a while?

That could very much be the name of the place, all I got from my guide book was "Old Town". I stayed there for a few hours, quite nice to just have a look around the place.

Quoting Initious (Reply 5):
Did he speak English though?

Haha, not a single word of English. Only a series of gestures, nods and the "che che" at the end  
Quoting Initious (Reply 5):
One of the best dishes in Chinese history! In fact, I just had that for my Chinese New Year reunion dinner.

It was a great dish indeed, although a bit spicy. But one gets used to it after a while.

Quoting Initious (Reply 5):
I'm still not really getting the faux thing, but were the potatoes really that bad?

Well I'm from Sweden after all, and we know our mashed potatoes. This was more like thick wallpaper glue.

Quoting Initious (Reply 5):
This is why I don't take trains in China, except for the HSR of course. Any pictures to share?

Price difference to the high speed train was minimal, so I don't see why my guide insisted in taking the slow train. I was too tired on the train back home to take pics, but the seating was very similar to the airlines.

Quoting Initious (Reply 5):
Did you not look like a J passenger? I'd feel slightly insulted if I approached the counter and get asked this question, lol.

Hehe, of course I don't look like a typical J pax. How many solo traveling teens with Dr Matens and jeans fly Business Class?  
Quoting Initious (Reply 5):
How was the experience?  

Well, if you read the previous part you'll know how the experience was   But I was quite disappointed that the train only went to 300 as it was quite early in the morning.

Quoting Initious (Reply 5):
One of the worst lounges I've ever been to, but it seems like it's the different case for you.

Yeah, the lounge standards in EU and Asia differ. The SAL was quite standard EU, but I assume terrible in comparison to the Silver Kris Lounges, or Royal Orchid. The LH Business Lounge in MXP and the Menzies Business Lounge ARN are the two worst I've been to.

Quoting Initious (Reply 5):
So, what was the souvenir?

A teacup  
Quoting 767747 (Reply 6):
Good report! I love your photos with the fish-eye lens .. It is definitely something I'd like to buy next for my new Nikon!

Hey Matthew, thanks for reading. Yes the Fisheye is a great addition to the camera bag, although it hasn't been much used lately since I got the wide angle. But if you know you'll use it a lot, you should definitely get one.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
I told you that it would be a good seat! I had 5G on the way back last year.

Hi PH. Yes, thanks a lot for the advice, really a great place to be seated. How comes you didn't pick the A and C seats in row 5 instead?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
Ridiculous. I'd never let my kid sit in another cabin. Probably I overread it - but was F Class full?

F class had two or three people in it. But the girl was let in the cabin from time to time, so I suppose it wasn't that much of a problem. Maybe her parents didn't have an extra e-voucher, who knows  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
I didn't get a hot second meal on the ZRH-SFO flight either, but I didn't miss it. I'm a good eater, but I wasn't hungry enough for another hot meal.

Yes, your meal looked really good. Especially the paté and Rösti potatoes. But yes, I was able to get 2nd servings so it wasn't that much of an issue for me.

Quoting MH017 (Reply 8):
'Rijstafel' actually should be spelled Rijsttafel  

Hey Pieter, thanks for reading. Haha, yes seems like I keep mis-spelling that word all the time.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 9):
Swiss J class looked fairly nice as well, good seating. Good food! only the last meal could be a bit bigger!

Hi Marc, thanks for reading and I'm very glad you enjoyed it. I suppose this was the best flight of the year, and it'll probably remain so  
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 10):
thanks for the report. Quite a bit of writing, definitely a better writing style this time.

Hoi Eric, thanks for reading. Well there was not much that made me angry or annoyed that day, so yes my attitude may have been improved. But I'm an open minded guy, just like the Dutch  
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 10):
How new is this? I think it's around already for some time now.

I think it was introduced on the A333 in 2009, and on the A343 as of 2011. So it's pretty new.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 10):
Sure? Rotten eggs? Never heard that Chinese eat that, especially not in a hotel

Well, that's what my dad called it. But sure it's not rotten eggs.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 10):
Well, get used to this 'French thing'. Asians tend to love everything that has to do with France. You'll get to see this again when visiting TYO. It's shouldn't be a surprise anymore.

Yes, I quite like this francofile thing the Asians seem to have. Perhaps a reason why JAL have such a big presence at CDG?  
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 10):
Really? Didn't you feel ashamed a bit to bring the ladies there?

Haha, no why would I? I would however never bring a date to IKEA, that's just stupid.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 10):
Maybe you have been in a faux IKEA Jonas... It's China after all...

Hmm, well I checked the warehouse up on the website and it was listed as a real one, so I'll stick with that  
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 10):
Which restaurant if I may ask? Never heard you talking about it.

I mentioned it a few times, although just that I ate a lot of Japanese food. The place was right across the street from the Shanghai Stadium Metro Station. I don't remember the name, since the font used for the sign was difficult to read. The name was something with T, like Takido or something...

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 10):
Come on, you're in China, so get used to the difference with your home country. You should take it all as an experience. Now you sounds a bit spoiled again. Shame.

Well, it wasn't too fun to end up in the smoker's car after just having recovered from a cold. But I've taken some bad trains in Morocco as well, so yes I'm used to the experience.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 10):
Nice seat, but no trouble with lights/sounds from the galley behind you?

Actually it was very dark and quiet. The curtain was closed very properly, and with the headphones on I didn't head much from the galley during those few times they did stuff there.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 10):
Plus it's not really Indonesian, so why calling GA like this?

Don't know. I just like the word Rijsttafel, and the fact that they serve makes me want to call them that  
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 10):
Why Bose?

Because Dr Amar G Bose invented the noise canceling headphones back in the late 70s, and the company who invented them makes the best NC headphones on the market. Also the brand is very strong.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 10):
Cheese isn't exactly sweet, plus cheese and Baileys... not really my thing to combine

Hehe, yes I drank the Bailey's along with the coffee afterwards. Had some water with the cheese.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 10):
Come on, inflight with both shades fully open?

I opened the shades at the same time as the man in 4K opened his, so that way he wasn't too bothered. I may however have kept them open for too long, but to be fair he opened them as well at those times when I was tucked in and wanted to relax. I guess that makes us both people with lacking manners  
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 10):
Thanks. But you were on a 'bog standard' LX A340 too.

I think this was a very special A340, since it had the special interiors. Just my opinion  
Quoting CXB77L (Reply 11):
Excellent trip report, Jonas, I really enjoyed reading it. Very well structured, with nice pictures from your holiday, and just the right balance of text and photos. Well done.

Hey there, thanks for reading! I'm really glad you enjoyed. IMHO a report shouldn't contain an overly amount of pictures.

Quoting CXB77L (Reply 11):
Not 'rotten' as such. 'Preserved' ... or 'cured'. I believe he means 'Century Eggs', which are often served as an ingredient in Chinese porridge: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Century_egg

I see, so that's the name of the dish. Suppose the preconceived notions about the dish, and my Scandinavian tastebuds prevented me from trying them out. Maybe next time.

Quoting LH4532 (Reply 12):
I remember talking about it last Saturday . I would not have expected that it would online that quick

Hejsan Daniel. Yes I was actually very close to finishing the report, but decided to go to sleep so that I wouldn't miss my train to CPH  
Quoting LH4532 (Reply 12):
I remember that we talked about this issue .

From now on I'll make sure that the status is ALWAYS printed on the BP.

Quoting LH4532 (Reply 12):
That would also have been my question   .

Well not surprising since we both share the big appetite  
Quoting LH4532 (Reply 12):
It is too bad that they do not offer Mövenpick on flight to Switzerland . They should be on offer on all flights , I would say.

Agree. It shouldn't be too hard for them to load a few extra ice creams on the inbound flight.

Quoting LH4532 (Reply 12):
Another good choice . I hope the DB Lounge was also good place to wait for Johannes at FRA .

The DB Lounge was fine enough for me. Much better then sitting at the public areas.  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 13):
You took good advantage of Swiss’ business class: trying out everything to it’s extent and availability without being the ‘demanding’ passenger like that gentleman in 4A.

Hoi Nils! Well since you know me quite well, I did the best I could to get some bang for the buck I spent on the ticket. So naturally one would have to try everything out  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 13):
I guess after eating all dishes and some of them even twice, you must’ve felt really knocked out

Yes, I was very full when we landed. I didn't bother eating anything in the lounge since I would be quite well fed on my SAS flight.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 13):
That made me laugh at first instance since the name Danny is not associated to a ‘local girl’ at first   

Some people in China prefer to have a western nick name. I think it's pretty common in Asia, since the Asian names are often hard to pronounce and remember for us westerners.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 13):
The ‘real’ IKEA like from Sweden or the copycat (mind you I don’t use the word ‘faux’ here &nbsp Wink IKEA from China?

IKEA proven to be quite consistent wherever you go in the world it seems. Apart from the rubbish mashed potatoes it was pretty much like IKEA at home, proper in other words 
Quoting sultanils (Reply 13):
I can’t believe that the offerings are different in C than in Y?

Of course, airlines need to differentiate their products so a logical step is to offer more movies in the premium cabins. On LH for instance they only have 20 movies in Y whereas C have 50. At least that's what I read  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 13):
That’s what travelling is more or less about.

Yes, pretty much. Although many Swedes particularly in my age are more interested in traveling for the sole purpose of getting drunk, and nothing but getting drunk. Quite pointless and wasteful if you ask me.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 14):
LX seems really good, their Business product does seem to be one of the best ones in Europe.

Hej Martin. Yes LX were recently awarded for the best Business Class in Europe, suppose that may be true if Turkey is excluded from Europe.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 14):
Wow, that seat sure looks great. I wonder if SAS will install something similar in the rumored longhaul business cabin remake.

SAS is claimed to install the "pod seats", similar to those found in Alitalia and Asiana. 1-4-1 layout with full flat seats. I really hope those rumors are true.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 14):
Interesting, do Swiss allow you to be slighty reclined during landing in the Business Cabin, or did you just live slightly on the wild side that day?

There's a tiny green LED light at each seat which indicated if the seat is fully upright, if not the light is red. I was quite surprised that no one of the crew bothered to tell me to keep the seat upright, or maybe they just wanted to provide some good service.

Quoting Luxair747SP (Reply 15):
Also a good touch, that they let you try all choices of the food.

Hi Johannes. Yes I suppose the light load made it possible for me to sample all food, since they're usually over catered.

//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineAvianca From Venezuela, joined Jan 2005, 5934 posts, RR: 40
Reply 17, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 25986 times:

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 16):
Hehe, yes I drank the Bailey's along with the coffee afterwards. Had some water with the cheese.

next time go with a Port or a Redwine... hmmm I love cheese and specially on airplanes!



Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1843 posts, RR: 20
Reply 18, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 25865 times:

Hi Jonas

Thanks for the interesting report. I'm amazed and impressed at the amount of detail you put into it. Very interesting and certainly a good read.

A full flight in Economy but nearly empty in the premium cabin does not sound too good. Even so, for you as the passenger it obviously makes for a comfy ride home.

In any case, SWISS doesn't look half bad. But I think for Business Class my heart still belongs to SAS.

Thanks for posting!

Cheers,
William


User currently offlineroberts87 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2011, 1014 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 25560 times:

A very nice read! Thanks for putting all the time and trouble in this report, also the great detail in your report about Shanghai itself.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
As the restaurant was quite crowded at this lunch hour, my table was shared by a family of locals who amusingly watched me try and master the art of eating a dumpling the proper way. After many failed attempts, the father finally came to rescue and instructed me in every step of how to master this delicate art form.

Nice.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
This was however a restaurant. Must say it looks stunningly beautiful.

Indeed it does.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
What other place to head for then to IKEA!

LOL, perfect place for Swedes that feel home sick.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Apart from all the Chinese, you couldn’t tell whether it’s in Sweden or China. I was really feeling like home.

I read a rather interesting article about IKEA in China in the Wall Street Journal, last month. Apperantly, the IKEA restaurant is used as a meeting place for 'older' (divorced or widdowed') singles that are looking for a date.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The meatballs did not taste the same as they do at home, and the mashed potatoes were faux (I’m suspecting it was congee mixed with potato starch and colorant), and so was the coffee.
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
A five course Japanese dinner including coke and dessert costing me only 57 RMB. And it was delicious!

Looks delicious!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The lounge was divided into two practically indistinguishable sections, one for First and one for Business Class. Apart from the slightly enhanced drinks section that offered a very basic selection of hard liquor, there wasn’t really much more that could tell them apart. That may have been the reason why the attendant came running after me, only moments after entering the lounge.

So sneaking back into the F section  
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Cabin during boarding. With only 3 passengers occupying the ”stübli”, boarding was very quick, calm and civilised.

That cabin looks very nice... very warm and elegant.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
All in all, the main course could only be described as unspectacular and mediocre, and I was kind of regretting not taking an extra look at the other menu options as they seemed a bit more interesting now when I think about it.

From the pictures the meal looks quite delicious. Too bad it didn't lived up to the expectations.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The ”light” meal served prior to landing. Slightly unsubstantial, but still very good.

I would have needed both choices as well, to make it fill my belly after a long flight.


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6648 posts, RR: 55
Reply 20, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 25452 times:

Hi Jonas !

Thanks for a great report with great pictures ! I think this is your best report yet!

Very nice pictures from China and glad you had a great experience there. Great that you tried some local hang outs as well as meeting local people including Danny.

Swiss in J looks fantastic as always and seat looks very comfortable.

Looking forward to your next report!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlinereifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1380 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 25388 times:

Hi Jonas, thanks for sharing this great experience.
I really enjoyed your Shanghai description, I'm glad you had such a good time and hopefully you will be travelling soon again somewhere. I personally preferred Beijing and Hong Kong over Shanghai, but still they're all exciting cities.


User currently offlineghifty From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 891 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 25273 times:

Wow. Beautiful trip report.. the pictures you take are quite amazing. What exact lens do you use, id you don't mind me asking?

You actually liked Another Earth? I love art-house, but that movie was quite interesting.

[Edited 2012-01-24 16:42:42]


Fly Delta Jets
User currently offlinenethkt From Thailand, joined Apr 2001, 1090 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 24710 times:

Dude!!
What a perfect 5 star tripe review! Love love love!!!
Nothing to say much on here   Just keep up these wonderful work!!!
Later,
net-hkt

BTW, they keep using same menu cover for over 5 years (or more) lol



Let's just blame it on yields.
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2487 posts, RR: 53
Reply 24, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 24434 times:

Hi Jonas,

Excellent follow up of your China trip.   

I really enjoyed your LX J covering as I was curious about how you experienced your first long haul premium service. But somehow I like the sweet moments you shared with Danny a bit more.

Never mind for not taking a picture of the breakfast buffet. You did keep your promise of doing culinary adventure. Though without photos I can hardly imagine the rotten eggs and supposedly wallpaper-glue porridge Congee.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
After many failed attempts, the father finally came to rescue and instructed me in every step of how to master this delicate art form.

Show us how you do it, master!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
But after consulting the friendly staff at the Cathay Pacific Lounge, I finally managed to find my way over to the SAL Business Lounge

How nice of CX Lounge staff members.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
In the seat in front of me was a german gentleman in his mid 30s, very stylishly dressed hence a bit pretentious as he addressed the crew in very rude and unfriendly manners.

Pathetic figure! Was that Mr. 4K?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Followed by the ”Rijstafel”.

It’s “Rijsttafel”, Jonas. I know Pieter, Nils and Eric have corrected you, but I could not refrain from doing the same. Besides, why didn’t you just say “Garuda”? It is less fault sensitive.   


Thank you for sharing.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
25 JL418 : Hi there Jonas! first of all, congrats for your TR. It seems that you've been genuinely impressed by Shanghai, a place I'm not really "drooling" to vi
26 FLIEGER67 : Hi, Jonas, well done. Such a good read, beside that LX biz ride I especially like you´re personal impression about acutal live in China and also you
27 AA94 : Wow. I'm blown away. You've managed to capture, IMO, the entire essence of everything that travel should be about. Your report is not only visually st
28 Post contains images LH4116 : Hello guys, thanks again for all the replies. I'm really glad you enjoyed reading! Hehe, yes when I came to think about it, a glass of Port would've g
29 Post contains images The777Man : I ended up in NRT instead with my son. C both ways The777Man
30 gabrielchew : Jonas, looks like you had a great time in Shanghai - flights loked very good on LX. Good to hear that you consulted the best! Together we'll spread th
31 Post contains images infodesk : Hi Jonas, Thanks for this installment and your insight into C Class on Swiss. It seems they didn't disappoint. Interesting to see the amenity kit, the
32 Post contains images abrelosojos : I owe you an email ... it is coming, I promise . Great trip report - thanks for sharing it. LX seemed slightly above average on this trip to me - I am
33 Post contains links and images signol : Hi Jonas, thank you for continuing with your Chinese report. I find fascinating the pictures and description of your time in Shanghai, it's not somewh
34 Post contains images LH4116 : Hello guys, thanks again for the replies. I'm glad you all enjoyed reading! Hey Gabriel! = I hear, I hear! Hehe, no I figured I'd stay away from that
35 AlwaysOnAPlane : Hiya Jonas, Sorry for the late reply. I read your story the other day but didn't get chance to get back to you straight away. I was looking forward to
36 Post contains images FlyingFinn76 : Hi Jonas, Great stuff again, a very well written account of your time in China and the return journey. You even managed to keep your attitude mostly a
37 Post contains images LH4116 : Hey Petteri and Lee. Thanks for your replies! No need for apologizing, I'm just glad you've read it and enjoyed it South Korea seem very interesting i
38 Post contains images 717Flyer : Hi Jonas, First of all, sorry for my late reply, and secondly, what an amazing report! Come on, there is many other hungry A.netters as well! I've had
39 SR117 : Hey Jonas First of all, thanks a lot for taking the time to put together this excellent report. Flights are interesting and we all love them, but the
40 Post contains images LH4116 : Hi 717Flyer, and Ricardo. Thanks for your replies Well if I knew you had an obsession for hotel breakfasts, I would've sent my apologies to you as wel
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