Knightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1429 posts, RR: 17 Posted (1 year 3 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 8696 times:
Hello and welcome to my latest trip report.
This report covers a trip I did to Rome in March 2012. I had no particular reason to undertake this trip really. No particular reason except perhaps for that itch to get on a plane and go somewhere nice.
Here are the flight details:
Date: 17. March 2012 From: BSL To FCO Airline: LX Aircraft: Avro RJ100 Cabin: J Seat: 1F
Forgive me for using the old logo, I can't stand the new one. I find it uninspired, boring and bland.
And here's the route. Quite simple really.
The story begins, as ever, on the main square in front of the Swiss railway station in Basel. From here I catch the bus number 50 to the airport, a journey of around 15 minutes. As you can see, splendid flying weather!
I've already done OLCI, so I decide to go up to the top floor of the terminal to check out the 'Illuminator'. A sculpture by Tinguely. It's rather a strange piece. But I like it. It used to hand from the ceiling at the railway station when I was a kid.
Trust me, it's art darling...
From the top floor you also have a good view of what's going on in the terminal.
I take the fast track through security and am airside a short while later. On my way to the SWISS lounge I spot this in the distance. What a sad sight me thinks!
And here's something unusual. Basel airport is built on French soil but has an access road from Switzerland. France and Switzerland are both part of the Schengen treaty. Even so, when you depart to a non-Schengen country from Basel, you have to go through the passport control of the country you're departing from. I'm not quite sure what the whole point of this is. After all, my understanding was that with Schengen it wouldn't really matter.
And here's the lounge. I'm sure you recognise it from my previous reports.
The flight leaves at 10h35. Catering ex BSL is always a bit of a wild card, so I decide to have some breakfast in the lounge.
A few minutes behind schedule, my flight show up on the screen as 'boarding'. So I make my way to the gate to find a surprisingly long queue.
Here's my chariot to Rome.
And here are a few shots I took of our neighbours.
Jonas, for you. this one was heading to CMN.
I took this picture to get the reflection of our plane.
There was only one row of business class on this flight and there was one other person seated in J who had the window on the opposite side. The Maitre d' brought me a bottle of still water, a refreshing towel and asked my if I cared for a newspaper. He did I great job taking care of us, especially given that the flight was full in the back and only too 80 minutes.
I'm guessing the aircraft must have been one of those taken over from BA.
As we taxied out I got a closer look at the sad looking -600.
Any information on this one, anyone?
Take off was from runway 15. The poor Avro had quite a struggle to get airborne with such a healthy load and we leveled off quite soon to gain enough speed to retract the flaps. For noise abatement reasons we did a 90 degree right hand turn to avoid the city, followed by another 90 degree left turn to point us in the direction of Rome.
Very soon we were crossing the alps, still covered in snow.
Around about the same time the crew sprang in to action and started its meal service. I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised. SWISS have definitely improved the quality of their offerings in J.
The meal consisted of an Orrechiette pasta salad with olives, capers and sun dried tomatoes with Ruccola and a creamy dressing on a bed of thinly sliced beef.
Both passengers received a side plate with two freshly warmed buns and Darvida crackers with butter.
Dessert was rather tasty and very nicely presented. It was made of semolina, whatever it was!
With that I ordered a peppermint tea.
Shortly after the trays had been removed we already started out descent over some lovely scenery.
Touch down was in a southerly direction. I think they must have been rather busy as we did quite a few turns before we were finally established for the approach. Here are a few shot I took while taxiing to our gate.
This is the new pier under construction.
What can I say? I couldn't resist...
Turning on to our stand.
Stay tuned for some pictures I took in Rome and the return leg, which featured a delay of one hour for a really dumb reason.
Knightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1429 posts, RR: 17 Reply 1, posted (1 year 3 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 8606 times:
Apparently the fastest way into the city is the Leonardo Express to Roma Termini station. The ticket costs 14 Euro one way. The call this an Express really requires quite a stretch of the imagination. I'm not quite sure what I was expected but I was somewhat taken aback when something rolled into the station that in Switzerland would not qualify for more than a regional train. But still, it got me to where I was heading safely and within a reasonable time.
Next are a few pictures taken around Rome.
Blessed be Italian food. So good!
The Spanish Steps. Now that's a lot of tourists!
The beautiful Trevi fountain.
The Vittorio Emanuele Monument. My mum always says it reminds her of a giant wedding cake.
The pope greeting the pilgrims from his office.
And here my favourite: the Pantheon. It was built by the Romans nearly 2000 years ago and it's still standing in its entirety. It is used today as a church. the dome or Rotunda remains today the largest unsupported dome in the world.
There is an opening at the very top of the dome. It is uncovered.
Knightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1429 posts, RR: 17 Reply 2, posted (1 year 3 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 8463 times:
Date: 18. March 2012 From: FCO To: BSL Airline: LX Aircraft: Avro RJ100 Cabin: J Seat: 1D, aisle
the flight was scheduled to leave at 17h30. Being not quite sure how reliable the Leonardo Express would be on the return I decided to make an early start. I arrived at the airport around 15h30.
At the check-in counter I was issued my boarding card, an invitation to the bleak Mosaici lpunge and a permit to use the fast track line at security. As it turned out the security line was everything but fast, mainly because the ragazze and ragazzi were too busy flirting with each other. Still, being reserved for premium passengers only, although the queue did not move very quickly, at least there not too many people ahead of me and I was through in about 20 minutes.
The Mosaici lounge is a contract lounge and basically a rat hole in urgent need of a renovation. Apparently there was in fact no more room for a lounge but then fortunately the rat decided to move out and head somewhere nicer...
Drink were not openly available and had to be ordered at the bar. There were no more plates for the sandwiches by the time I reached the bar. But that was okay, because they'd also run out of Sandwiches by then. At least I was lucky enough to get the last glass for my drink. After that it was plastic cups all round. The sheer luxury and sumptuousness of it all...
Eventually I had enough of the lounge and headed to the departure gate, where boarding started a short while after. So far we were still on time.
The Maitre d' was a right grumpy old bugger. But I guess he did his job well enough. On this leg we were four passengers. Fortunately I was seated on 1D and the middle seat stayed empty. Same routine as the outbound with water, towel and newspapers offered before departure.
And then it happened. Just as we were about to close the door and leave, the copilot noticed that the fuel guy had accidentally put more than one ton of kerosene more into the left wing tank than he had in the right wing tank. This led to some confusion and no less than nine Italians standing round the aircraft at one point gesticulating wildly and talking at the same time. The kerosene would have to be removed. Eventually the process, which according to the captain would last some 20 minutes took close to an hour. At least the view was good while we waited...
And then, finally we were on our way. The meal on the return was even better than what we'd been served on the outbound: chicken breast roulade filled with soft cheese and herbs with tomatoes and mozzarella on grilled zucchini. This was served with warm bread and two different types of cheese. The cheese was beautifully presented on a stone plate. Dessert was panna cotta with rosemary and apricot coulis.
And a coffee with that.
That concludes this report. I hope you enjoyed it and look forward to your comments. SWISS gave a very solid performance. The first crew was much better than the second, but even the latter were still okayish. The big plus on the return was the food which was simply outstanding.
LH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1673 posts, RR: 15 Reply 3, posted (1 year 3 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 8338 times:
Hi William, nice report!
I didn't really expect to see a positive SWISS report from you, and I must say I'm quite surprised by the outcome. The new improved service in Eurobiz looked fantastic, really seems to make LX into the no 1 carrier in Europe for short-haul business class. I would say it's rather unlikely that I would consider flying Biz on a European flight, however if LX have some cheap long haul deals I'll make sure to book the "transfer flights" as LX. When that'll be is still somewhat uncertain, but hopefully the service will remain the same
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter): Forgive me for using the old logo, I can't stand the new one. I find it uninspired, boring and bland.
I had the similar reaction at first, new logo looked cheap and tacky. However after a while it kind of grows on you. But still the old box logo is still the most stylish looking one!
Now that's a massive overprice! But then again it seems like everything in that city is. I'm planning on spending two nights there in September, however not too keen on spending too much money there. Is the food and such expensive too?
I won't stop complaining until SAS reintroduces free service in Economy Class!
MSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2256 posts, RR: 14 Reply 5, posted (1 year 3 months 21 hours ago) and read 7511 times:
Great trip report you have there! It was great to read!
Seems like Avroflying has been prettty popular the last days. just makes me more exciting about my upcoming SN trip!
LX service in J looks very good actually!
Thanks for giving us the Rome pictures, been there in 2003 and found it wonderfull
sultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1207 posts, RR: 29 Reply 6, posted (1 year 3 months 20 hours ago) and read 7388 times:
Nice little report once again. Although your were not in the eternal city for an internity, you were still able to catch a glimpse of all the major sights in town. Still, with that amount of tourists around, I would feel quite uncomfy
moosecamel88 From Singapore, joined May 2011, 46 posts, RR: 1 Reply 7, posted (1 year 3 months 16 hours ago) and read 7136 times:
Thank you for posting a report on LX, which happens to be my favourite European airline!
I'm glad you're satisfied with the service on board! Food really looks delicious for both sectors! Nice pictures of Rome. I was there 2 years ago and the whole city was like a huge museum to me. There's so many interesting and beautiful districts that one can get lost by just wondering around!
lukeyboy95 From Papua New Guinea, joined Apr 2008, 953 posts, RR: 34 Reply 8, posted (1 year 3 months 13 hours ago) and read 6837 times:
Really enjoyed that report - neatly written and presented with no surplus photos.
There are alot of LX reports up at the moment, and all of them seem to point to a very solid product. This is pleasing to see. I thought your catering looked perfect on both runs, shame the FA's weren't a bit more animated, but the emphasis is probably more on efficiency here.
Knightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1429 posts, RR: 17 Reply 9, posted (1 year 3 months 11 hours ago) and read 6663 times:
Quoting LH4116 (Reply 3): I didn't really expect to see a positive SWISS report from you, and I must say I'm quite surprised by the outcome.
Yeah, I figured somebody might comment on that. One has to stay fair and objective. The flights really were good.
Quoting LH4116 (Reply 3): I had the similar reaction at first, new logo looked cheap and tacky. However after a while it kind of grows on you. But still the old box logo is still the most stylish looking one!
Well, I'm still waiting for it to grow on me. The cubes were just so cool...
Quoting LH4116 (Reply 3): Hmm, maybe the airport was built before the Schengen agreement was even invented?
Well yes, but he passengers are not in any way separated before passport control so why should you separate them just for the passport control.
Quoting LH4116 (Reply 3): Although that tailfin logo looks very similar to the secret SAS Pandion. Maybe they ripped it off
Actually I think their livery looks a lot like that of Gulf Air, but with the white in front instead of the back.
Quoting LH4116 (Reply 3): Now that's a massive overprice! But then again it seems like everything in that city is. I'm planning on spending two nights there in September, however not too keen on spending too much money there. Is the food and such expensive too?
The train certainly is not worth the 14 Euro you pay. The food did not strike me as being expensive as long as you stay away from the tourist places. There are quite a few reasonable restaurants in the Lepanto and Trastevere areas.
Quoting 767747 (Reply 4): Good report! It looks like you had a nice time in Rome - its a great city, but I definitely don't miss all the tourists. It's wild there!
Swiss always looks to serve really nice meals intra-europe in J class ...
Thanks for sharing!
Thanks, glad you enjoyed the report. The tourists really were something nasty. And there is seemingly no escaping them. Every corner you turn thinking you'll be able to get away from them and there they are again!
SWISS certainly was a surprise. After all their recent cost saving measures I was kind of expecting the worst. Fortunately I was wrong!
Quoting MSS658 (Reply 5): Seems like Avroflying has been prettty popular the last days. just makes me more exciting about my upcoming SN trip!
Perhaps it's the MD-80 effect. Anetters are realising that the Avro is increasingly becoming a rare bird. I hope you'll be posting a report on your trip. By the way, SN is taking over the BSL-BRU route from LX. As soon as I found out I booked a trip from ZRH to ARB with LX and then with SN from Bromma via BRU to BSL. Only to find out that the BRU-BSL leg will be operated, surprisingly, by an OS Dash-8 on that date.
Good to hear from you. Hoe have you been keeping?
Quoting sultanils (Reply 6): Although your were not in the eternal city for an internity, you were still able to catch a glimpse of all the major sights in town. Still, with that amount of tourists around, I would feel quite uncomfy
Tell me about it! I had my most comfy pair of shoes on but by the time I got back to Basel my feet were killing me and I was exhausted!
Quoting sultanils (Reply 6): A sad and a beautiful sight at the same time. I think the livery is gorgeous and my first guess is that it belongs to some filthy rich sjeikh or something?
Indeed, the livery on that thing if totally cool. I'm not sure who the owner is. If I remember correctly the aircraft was parked up by the Jet Aviation hangar for a long time before it was moved to its current position.
Quoting moosecamel88 (Reply 7): Nice pictures of Rome. I was there 2 years ago and the whole city was like a huge museum to me. There's so many interesting and beautiful districts that one can get lost by just wondering around!
that's precisely what I thought. It's like walking through a huge open air museum that people still happen to live in. There's just so much to see it leaves you speechless!
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 8): Really enjoyed that report - neatly written and presented with no surplus photos.
Thanks. Now that's a real compliment coming from you after that beautifully written trip report about your African adventure.
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 8): I thought your catering looked perfect on both runs, shame the FA's weren't a bit more animated, but the emphasis is probably more on efficiency here.
Oh well, can't win 'em all I guess!
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 8): What alot of people Italy still attract. Thats great, I hope it is helping somewhat with their economic woes.
Judging by the very expensive shops near the Spanish steps and in the via Barberini somehow I think they really ain't bothered. Most of the shoppers seemed Italian. The tourists were all outside enjoying the sun.
Well, as always, thanks to all of you for taking the time to read and comment. It's much appreciated.
infodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1256 posts, RR: 33 Reply 14, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 4865 times:
Always a pleasure to read about Swiss. The meals looked very good on this relatively short flight, particularly the one on the return leg. Thanks for the nice pictures of Rome too, especially the beautiful blossom and the yummy cakes
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter): Forgive me for using the old logo, I can't stand the new one. I find it uninspired, boring and bland.
I didn't realise they'd put it at the airport. But did it always have a goat's head in it?! I prefer the fountain at Barfüsserplatz
I like LX's advert you photographed at BSL. However, quite where they are heading at Basel with so many axed routes remains to be seen.
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter): Apparently there was in fact no more room for a lounge but then fortunately the rat decided to move out and head somewhere nicer...
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter): Drink were not openly available and had to be ordered at the bar. There were no more plates for the sandwiches by the time I reached the bar. But that was okay, because they'd also run out of Sandwiches by then. At least I was lucky enough to get the last glass for my drink. After that it was plastic cups all round. The sheer luxury and sumptuousness of it all...
Sounds like a lounge of the highest possible calibre!
Knightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1429 posts, RR: 17 Reply 15, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 4726 times:
Quoting infodesk (Reply 14): Thanks for the nice pictures of Rome too, especially the beautiful blossom and the yummy cakes
Actually the idea was to just have something light before doing some serious sightseeing in the afternoon. But then we kind of got stuck....
Quoting infodesk (Reply 14): I didn't realise they'd put it at the airport. But did it always have a goat's head in it?! I prefer the fountain at Barfüsserplatz
Yeah, the fountain is lovely. Especially in winter when it freezes over. As for the goat, I guess it must have always been there. But in the railway station perhaps it was too high up to notice.
Quoting infodesk (Reply 14): I like LX's advert you photographed at BSL. However, quite where they are heading at Basel with so many axed routes remains to be seen.
Well I think LX's operation in Basel as SWISS only ever served the purpose of irritating Easyjet and was never intended to make money. But that is a luxury you can only keep up as an airline during the fat years. And they're definitely over!
Thanks for posting Hannah! When can we expect your next report?