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SWISS_FIRST_CLASS: Zürich > Bangkok (1/9)  
User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1826 posts, RR: 19
Posted (2 years 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 14685 times:

The summer season is slowly drawing to an end and so the time has come for me to take my summer vacation ahead of the coming autumn semester. I am heading for Southeast Asia once more. My final destination is the island of Con Dao, off the cost of Vietnam. During the course of this journey I will sample a cornucopia of different airlines. They are, in order of appearance:
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/swiss_logo.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/egypt-air-airline-logo-12.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/Turkish_airlines_logo.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/VR_Vietnam_Airlines_Logo.gif

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/Thai-Airlines-Logo_2008.jpg

ROUTING
So what will I be doing on this trip?

First leg: Zürich to Bangkok
Swiss International Air Lines, First Class, A340-300

Second leg: Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur
Royal Jordanian, Business Class, A330-200

Third leg: Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok
Egypt Air, Business Class, B777-300

Fourth leg: Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh City
Turkish Airlines, Business Class, A340-300

Fifth leg: Ho chi Minh City to Con Dao
Vietnam Airlines (operated by VASCO) Economy Class, ATR-72

Sixth leg: Con Dao to Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam Airlines, Economy Class, ATR-72

Seventh leg: Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi
Vietnam Airlines, Business Class, A321

Eighth leg: Hanoi to Bangkok
Qatar Airways, Business Class, B777-300

Ninth leg: Bangkok to Zürich
Thai Airways, First Class, A340-600

In addition, some admittedly seriously crap planning on my part means that two hours after my arrival back in Zürich from Bangkok I’m already heading off again on a business trip to Helsinki. As ever, my most convenient option is via Amsterdam with KLM. This also gives me another chance to sample the B737-900. So that also would include:
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/KLM-Logo.png

But then that goes wrong, and instead I end up flying with:


and

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/lufthansa_logo.jpg

So eventually, this is what the entire routing looks like on a map:
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/map.jpg

I’ll divide the journey into a number of bite-size trip reports, which I’m hoping will be a bit easier for you to digest.

This first part covers the journey from Zürich to Bangkok in First Class on Swiss International Air Lines. I hope you enjoy!

31 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1826 posts, RR: 19
Reply 1, posted (2 years 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 14748 times:

‘There’s no hell on earth that’s like a woman’s scorn’. Or so they say. Actually, so says the sublime Annie Lennox in the lyrics of one of her songs. The woman in this case is Hannah aka Infodesk. She told me off in my last trip report for skipping the part about how I get to the airport by train. So in a desperate plea to escape her wrath, let’s start, as usual, with the ‘Getting to the airport’ chapter and some comments on the weather at my current location. Read on…!

Date: 30. August 2012
Airline: Swiss International Air Lines
Aircraft: A340-300
From: Zürich
To: Bangkok
Cabin: First Class
Seat: 1A

GETTING TO THE AIRPORT – part one

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It looks like I’ve picked the right moment to make my escape. We’ve had some very strange weather this summer. After a somewhat unspectacular June and July, August rolled on with a vengeance and a heat wave. With temperatures unusually high at as much as 37 degrees Celsius, in some communities even the schools were ordered to close down temporarily. At least it didn’t last too long and after only two weeks of glorious sunshine we’re back to the drizzle and the moderate temperatures. Not that I mind, though.

I reach the airport train with only one minute to spare before the doors close and we start moving.
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I’m somewhat restricted today, slowed down by the three bags I’m carting along with me. The small black suitcase is for my trip to Helsinki. The larger aluminium case is for the trip to Asia. Initially the plan had been to dump the black case in a locker at the airport for when I return from Bangkok and then to just swap them. But then I found out that the lockers are only available for up to 72 hours. After that they come and remove your stuff and you can go claim it at the lost and found. And this, quite frankly, I find a bit iffy, especially given that I have my computer in the black case, which I’ll be needing in Helsinki.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/P1050929.jpg

But luckily a friend of mine who works at the airport agrees to adopt my case temporarily and take it home until I return.

I guess that just leaves one thing I owe an explanation for: if the Swiss flight to Bangkok doesn’t leave until 22h45, what on earth am I doing taking the 15h40 train from Basel? Quite simply, I still have one last meeting to attend at 18h00 before I am well and truly on vacation.

Zürich Airport is on the railway line to where my office is. So when the train arrives at the airport, I’ll briefly go upstairs, dump my cases in a locker for a couple of hours, go to the office for the meeting, then return to the airport, collect my luggage, meet my friend and leave one case with him before eventually heading for the First Class lounge. At which point I’m guessing I’ll definitely be in need of a holiday.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/P1050938.jpg

GETTING TO THE AIRPORT - Part II
The meeting goes well. So well in fact that I wonder why on earth we had to have a meeting in the first place. As I make my way back to the airport by train it really starts pouring down and I decide I’ve definitely chosen the right time to make an exit.

AT THE AIRPORT
I return to the airport and still have some time to exchange some Swiss Franks. The Vietnamese currency is called a Dong, which is somewhat unusual. No matter how savvy you are in intercultural matters, to me it’s still slightly kinky. Anyway, I exchange CHF300 and in return I receive no less than 5’300’000 Dongs, a fat wad of green and red banknotes with the kind and benevolent face of Uncle Ho on them beaming at you!

CHECK-IN
I then make my way to Check-in 1. It’s quite amazing just how quiet the airport is around this time of day. The place looks deserted.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/P1050940.jpg

I’m meeting my friend in front of the First Class Check-in lounge. He duly arrives. I head inside the check-in lounge and receive my boarding pass for the flight to Bangkok. Quite unusually, I’m sitting on 1A tonight. My normal seat is 1K on the right hand side. But that’s okay, it makes no difference.
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After that we head over to a café for a drink before I depart. The café is located right in front of security in what’s left of the original airport terminal building from the 1950s.
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And then, at around 21h00 we part and I make my way through security. Here there has been a vast improvement at Zürich airport me thinks. With the opening of the new centralised security check, First Class passengers go through security before heading for the lounge, rather than having to go through security before they take the shuttle across to the E dock. The only complaint, if you want to be pedantic, is that there is no separate lane for First Class passengers and they have to share security with the Business Class riffraff. Just behind security is also quiet.
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THE LOUNGE
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As usual in the lounge, the main area towards the left of the reception area is comfortably full, certainly not crowded. So I decide to check out the area on the other side of the reception and once again I have the whole place to my self!
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The First Class loos.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/P1050964.jpg

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I’m planning to eat on the plane, so I just have a small canapé with Mozzarella, tomatoes and peppers and make myself a small cheese sandwich to tie me over. To drink I have a Canada Dry Ginger Ale.
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At 22h00 I return to the reception area for the shuttle across to the E dock. Passport control is quickly done, and then we’re off.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/P1050975.jpg

Once I arrive at the E Dock on the other side of runway 28, boarding for my flight is just beginning. I take a picture of the Korean Air flight, which is running considerably late tonight, and then join the queue for boarding.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/P1050980.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/P1050979.jpg

BOARDING
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/P1050983.jpg
A first glimpse...
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/P1050982.jpg

There are two airbridges attached to the aircraft, but the L1 door is closed, so all passengers have to board through the L2 door.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/P1050984.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/P1050985.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/P1050986.jpg

THE CABIN AND SEAT
The cabin is in good condition. Tonight’s flight is showing a very healthy load, the First Class cabin is nearly completely full with seven out of eight seats taken.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/P1050992.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/P1050988.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/P1050989.jpg

By the looks of it Swiss also has new cushions or at least cushion covers.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/P1050987.jpg

The usual Bally amenity kit, slippers and earphones have already been placed at my seat when I arrive.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/P1050993.jpg

SERVICE
As soon as I am seated the First Class service begins. Service is done by two middle aged and friendly female flight attendants. I am asked if I would like a newspaper and a drink. I choose the Neue Zürcher Zeitung and a glass of still water with a slice of lemon.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/P1050990.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/P1050991.jpg

A short while later I am brought an amuse bouche of crab cake with a mango and zucchini salsa and a few butter sticks.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/P1050994.jpg

As soon as I finish that, the plate is removed and I am brought a scented, warm towel to refresh myself.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/P1050995.jpg

DEPARTURE
Departure is from runway 34. As usual there are quite a few departures this time of night, we are number three in the departure sequence and I count a further three widebodies behind us. Meanwhile the Korean Air flight still sits at the gate. Given the strict night ban in place in Zürich these days, I wouldn’t be too sure that bird will be leaving tonight…

Take-off is the usual lame A340-300 ‘will-he-make-it-before-the-end-of-the-runway’ departure. The acceleration and climb are barely perceivable. As soon as we get airborne we experience some significant turbulence which last for the first 45 minutes or so of the flight. Once the lights go on again and we are free to move, the flight attendant brings me my pjs and I go and change for the night.

THE MEAL
The table is set with all the usual trimmings. I have my own breadbasket and a saucer of olive oil to dip the bread in.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/P1050997.jpg

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With the meal I have sparkling mineral water with lemon.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/P1050996.jpg

And then we start...

First course: Balik Salmon with Crème Fraîche, chives and blinis. My favourite!
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http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/P1060005.jpg

Second course: Cream of sweet corn soup with popcorn. Very tasty, Swiss do a good soup.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/P1060006.jpg

Third course: Mixed salad with croutons, cherry tomatoes and boiled egg. Excellent, they seem to have a new Italian dressing and it’s very tasty.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/P1060008.jpg

Fourth course: Zürich style shredded veal in a creamy mushroom sauce with Rösti and carrots sautéed in butter. Now this is simply outstanding. This is a signature dish you get in most self-respecting restaurants in Switzerland. Even so, I really don’t think I’ve ever had one in a restaurant that tasted this good. The sauce is rich and creamy and you even make out the white wine used for the sauce. Even the Rösti is cooked to perfection and has remained crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.
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http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/P1060010.jpg

Fifth course: A platter of assorted Swiss cheese with mustard seed chutney, walnuts, grapes, crackers and dried prunes and apricots. I’m stuffed!
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The flight attendant tries to convince me to have dessert. But I decline and admit defeat.

After the meal I have a chat with one of the flight attendants. I tell her how much I like those aluminium vanity kits they have in Business Class and that it’s a pity they don’t have them in First Class. A while later she returns to my seat and hands me one of the vanity kits we’d been talking about. ‘It’s a present’ she says. How sweet! I thank her for having thought of me and for taking such good care of us on board. She seems genuinely pleased by this. And so am I! This woman is starting to restore my faith in Swiss hospitality.
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After that it’s off to bed. Good night!


User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1826 posts, RR: 19
Reply 2, posted (2 years 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 14675 times:

I awake about two hours out of Bangkok. Perfect timing because it gives me enough time for a leisurely breakfast. I don’t like being rushed in the mornings.

I change back into my normal clothes. When I return to my seat the flight attendant has already placed a nice cup of coffee there for me with a glass of water.
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http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/BKK%202012%20I/P1060017.jpg

She asks me what I’ll be having with breakfast and I ask for just an orange juice. Next she sets up the table again for the meal.
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Breakfast consists of Zopf, a typically Swiss bread, and a croissant. With this I have some cherry jam and butter.
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Apricot yoghurt.
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French toast with berries.
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After the meal the table is cleared again and the flight attendant asks me if there’s anything else I’d like. So I ask for a bottle of still water. After that I lean back to enjoy the views and nap some more before we land.

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ARRIVAL
Our route into Bangkok is a circuitous one and we even do a loop in a hold pattern.
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I'll be seeing you later.
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Once we land, I bid the crew farewell and disembark. On the other side of the airbridge there is a Swiss ground attendant holding up a sign with my name on it. She asks me to follow her to a golf mobile. I get on board and she whisks me off to the transfer security check. From there we head one floor up to the Royal Jordanian transfer counter. And what happens there you will read in the next report.
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CONCLUSION
In summary it’s not a bad flight I have with Swiss. The crew is professional and efficient but still manages to be friendly and give the whole experience a personal touch. The tempo of the service is good and the food is very tasty.

Over all though, I must say I am slightly alarmed by the state of Swiss’ First Class. Quite evidently they have made a few changes to their service in a bid to save costs. The cheese for example comes proportioned on a plate, where it used to be presented on a stone platter for you to choose as you liked.

Apart from that, considering the huge song and dance they made around their rebranding, the new logo is conspicuously absent in the First Class cabin. For example they haven’t even managed to replace the logo on the menus they distribute in First Class, which should hardly be that difficult. There are a few other such discrepancies from which the only conclusion I may deduce is that the First Class product is not top of the list of the airline’s priorities in terms of maintaining the brand identity and integrity.

To be continued...


User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 3, posted (2 years 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 14528 times:

Hi William

Great report about LX F! Sure beats anything in Y.
I'm quite surprised that LX is not making it's work on updating the 340's with the latest product as well.
Lounge and offerings look ok as well, however it seems like LH does beat them.

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlinerogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1209 posts, RR: 20
Reply 4, posted (2 years 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 14515 times:

Hola Knightsofmalta!

Excellent report  

Seeing the first post I was really impressed by the amount of airlines you are showing in this report; after such a combination you will be able to retire and ask for pension benefits form a.nets, I think you are among the few who has achieved such a combination. Congratulations!

Really nice to see the First experience on LX. I clearly remember my excitement when taking them for the first time last year to SFO. As you mentioned it seems they are cutting down costs with the pattered dishes, last year, they had starters, cheese and dessert from the trolley which gave a really nice touch and contributed to feel the exclusivity of flying First.

BTW, 1A was my seat as well on that flight. Did you get the plane registration?

Very nice of the crew to give you a C amenity kit; I got one when coming back from ORD, with a nice AVRO though.

KE flights were delayed those days due to the typhoon around Korea those days, I was in ORD the day before and the flight was about 8 hours delayed. I hope they made it home safe and sound.

Hope to read the rest of your reports soon.

Salut!

Roger



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlineIdeekay From Switzerland, joined Jun 2012, 210 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (2 years 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 13928 times:

Hi Knightsofmalta,

First, I'm very excited to see the following TR's, so many different airlines from Vietnam Airlines to Finnair!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 1):
At 22h00 I return to the reception area for the shuttle across to the E dock. Passport control is quickly done, and then we’re off.

Never seen this in a TR but seems like you had a nice ride!

As I see you got only the best on LX. But I still wonder how did you got 5 course in, I would be full from 3 of it.  


Nice TR and thank you for the first part, keep the other parts comming!
- Ideekay

[Edited 2012-09-16 03:49:59]

User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (2 years 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 13612 times:

Hello William!

Great report on LX First class. Glad to see that they still offer a solid product, even with an almost full First cabin.
Very nice to see the SAS A340 in the background on your picture from BKK, it's rumored they will cancel that route when they open SFO next spring.

It will be very interesting to read about your RJ experience, I considered that flight for my upcoming Asia trip in October but I didn't end up going to either Bangkok or KL.

Martin


User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1826 posts, RR: 19
Reply 7, posted (2 years 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 13204 times:

Hi Marc

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 3):
Great report about LX F!

Thanks!

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 3):
Sure beats anything in Y.

Yep, there are worse ways to travel than Swiss First Class.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 3):
I'm quite surprised that LX is not making it's work on updating the 340's with the latest product as well.

Yeah, that's been discussed in the Swiss forum a number of times. The new First Class cabin is more modern and stylish but at the end of the day, I personally find the old seat I had on this flight more comfortable.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 3):
Lounge and offerings look ok as well, however it seems like LH does beat them.

That's probably true. Although I think Swiss is always more personal, which gives them an advantage.

Hi Roger

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 4):
Excellent report

Thank you!

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 4):
Seeing the first post I was really impressed by the amount of airlines you are showing in this report; after such a combination you will be able to retire and ask for pension benefits form a.nets, I think you are among the few who has achieved such a combination. Congratulations!

Well that's a relief. For a moment while writing this up I thought 'they're going to think I'm insane'. Although I only did one detour in that I did not fly straight from KUL to SGN and instead flew via BKK to catch Egyptair.

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 4):
As you mentioned it seems they are cutting down costs with the pattered dishes, last year, they had starters, cheese and dessert from the trolley which gave a really nice touch and contributed to feel the exclusivity of flying First.

Actually I did some research. Apparently they've introduced new menus from 1 September 2012. But as you say, with the end of the open trolley service they used to have, the product has lost some of its First Class feel.

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 4):
BTW, 1A was my seat as well on that flight. Did you get the plane registration?

It was too dark, but I can find out. Probably Planehunter would know.

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 4):
Very nice of the crew to give you a C amenity kit; I got one when coming back from ORD, with a nice AVRO though.

Those kits are nice. A bit like the KLM Bols houses you can collect.

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 4):
KE flights were delayed those days due to the typhoon around Korea those days, I was in ORD the day before and the flight was about 8 hours delayed. I hope they made it home safe and sound.

Of course, that makes sense! I completely forgot about that. I'll have to ask a friend who works at the airport if they managed to leave that evening.

Hi ideekay

Quoting Ideekay (Reply 5):
First, I'm very excited to see the following TR's, so many different airlines from Vietnam Airlines to Finnair!

Yeah, I did kind of go to town. But I'll try an upload them as soon as possible.

Quoting Ideekay (Reply 5):
Never seen this in a TR but seems like you had a nice ride!

It beats the shuttle train any day!

Quoting Ideekay (Reply 5):
As I see you got only the best on LX. But I still wonder how did you got 5 course in, I would be full from 3 of it.

You see, that's why I only had very little. Probably if I'd not had the cheese I might have been able to squeeze in dessert!

Hi Martin

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 6):
Great report on LX First class.

Thank you.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 6):
Glad to see that they still offer a solid product, even with an almost full First cabin.

Yep, the two ladies did a great job. Very unhurried and relaxed but efficient. You didn't have to wait long for anything.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 6):
Very nice to see the SAS A340 in the background on your picture from BKK, it's rumored they will cancel that route when they open SFO next spring.

Every time I see an SK A340 I wonder if it's Godfred Viking, with which I flew to Beijing and back last year. But I couldn't read the name. It would be a pity if they really do pull the plug on Bangkok in favour of SFO. SK should be expanding its long-haul network, not shuffling it around!

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 6):
It will be very interesting to read about your RJ experience, I considered that flight for my upcoming Asia trip in October but I didn't end up going to either Bangkok or KL.

So where are you heading instead?

Thanks for taking the time to comment, gents!

Cheers,
William


User currently offlinereadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3263 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (2 years 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 12929 times:

Now that was a very good TR.
Love the food. You got the amuse bouche of crab cake before take-off, wow.
PopCorn in a soup,great idea !
That main course looked brilliant,could almost smell it.  
What a great way to have breakfast French toast with berries. Hmmm.

Nice detailed pics, expensive camera?
Thanks William.



you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (2 years 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 12883 times:

Hi again!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 7):
Every time I see an SK A340 I wonder if it's Godfred Viking, with which I flew to Beijing and back last year.

That's one of the two SAS A340's I have logged, from a CPH-DXB-CPH round trip last year.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 7):
So where are you heading instead?

HKG and TPE.

Martin


User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1826 posts, RR: 19
Reply 10, posted (2 years 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 12694 times:

Hi readytotaxi

Quoting readytotaxi (Reply 8):
Now that was a very good TR.

Thank you!

Quoting readytotaxi (Reply 8):
Love the food. You got the amuse bouche of crab cake before take-off, wow.

They serve that with the welcome drink. The butter sticks that come with that were rather nice too, very rich.

Quoting readytotaxi (Reply 8):
PopCorn in a soup,great idea !

I thought that was a brilliant idea. I was curious about the soup but it was a nice combination with the popcorn.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 9):
That main course looked brilliant,could almost smell it.

The main was certainly outstanding. Funnily enough not many people chose that. I guess because it's such a typically Swiss dish you get in most restaurants.

Quoting readytotaxi (Reply 8):
What a great way to have breakfast French toast with berries. Hmmm.

It certainly made a change from the usual omelet I have on Swiss.

Quoting readytotaxi (Reply 8):
Nice detailed pics, expensive camera?

No, it' s a very simple affair I use for travel. All you have to do is point ans shoot. It's a Panasonic Lumix TZ8 with a Leica lens.

Hi again Martin

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 9):
That's one of the two SAS A340's I have logged, from a CPH-DXB-CPH round trip last year.

I think Godfred Viking is their first A340.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 9):
HKG and TPE.

Good choice. Hong Kong is one of my all time favourites and Taipei is nice as well, very interesting. If you're in the vicinity, I can definitely recommend going all the way to the top of Taipei 101.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Cheers,
William


User currently offlineAvianca From Venezuela, joined Jan 2005, 5925 posts, RR: 40
Reply 11, posted (2 years 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 12256 times:

wow what a report, and specially its just the start of a complete series...!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
My final destination is the island of Con Dao, off the cost of Vietnam.

sounds great, and some of exotic!

I am right now planing for next year a very exotic trip from Venezuela to Phillipines to be exact "El Nido" island, can imagine its quite similar to Con Dao?!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 1):
‘There’s no hell on earth that’s like a woman’s scorn’. Or so they say. Actually, so says the sublime Annie Lennox in the lyrics of one of her songs. The woman in this case is Hannah aka Infodesk. She told me off in my last trip report for skipping the part about how I get to the airport by train. So in a desperate plea to escape her wrath, let’s start, as usual, with the ‘Getting to the airport’ chapter and some comments on the weather at my current location. Read on…!

yeah, never execute an womens advise!  
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):

It looks like I’ve picked the right moment to make my escape. We’ve had some very strange weather this summer. After a somewhat unspectacular June and July, August rolled on with a vengeance and a heat wave. With temperatures unusually high at as much as 37 degrees Celsius, in some communities even the schools were ordered to close down temporarily. At least it didn’t last too long and after only two weeks of glorious sunshine we’re back to the drizzle and the moderate temperatures. Not that I mind, though.

well thats I think is one of the points why I left Euroep (Germany) years ago.. the weather sucks most part of the year!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I’m planning to eat on the plane, so I just have a small canapé with Mozzarella, tomatoes and peppers and make myself a small cheese sandwich to tie me over. To drink I have a Canada Dry Ginger Ale

the lounges seems to be not bad, but no way you can compare it to the LH First Class terminal in FRA or? well I can only judge from pictures, I am already happy to catch from time to time business class,

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Once I arrive at the E Dock on the other side of runway 28, boarding for my flight is just beginning. I take a picture of the Korean Air flight, which is running considerably late tonight, and then join the queue for boarding.

I am surprised that the boarding is not directly done from the tarmac as LH is doing or?

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
First course: Balik Salmon with Crème Fraîche, chives and blinis. My favourite!

looks good but I am wondering why they are not serving the good old caviar!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Fourth course: Zürich style shredded veal in a creamy mushroom sauce with Rösti and carrots sautéed in butter. Now this is simply outstanding. This is a signature dish you get in most self-respecting restaurants in Switzerland. Even so, I really don’t think I’ve ever had one in a restaurant that tasted this good. The sauce is rich and creamy and you even make out the white wine used for the sauce. Even the Rösti is cooked to perfection and has remained crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.

looks amazing, but if I am not wrong the true Züricher Geschnetzeltes is done by Veal Kidney, (for me a now way, so the way the served it to you 10000 better).

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Fifth course: A platter of assorted Swiss cheese with mustard seed chutney, walnuts, grapes, crackers and dried prunes and apricots. I’m stuffed!

I love cheese, I think its my favourite course when travelling busienss class.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):

French toast with berries.

Looks also very good, but I am in generally not a fan of sweet breakfasts, first the Zopf (is in Switzerland also popular the Nut Zopf version?) and Croissant with preserves and than the French toast, I like much more cold cuts for breakfast!

thanks for the great report and looking forward for the next one!
Cheers
Avianca



Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1269 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (2 years 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 11850 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 4):
Did you get the plane registration?
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 7):
It was too dark, but I can find out. Probably Planehunter would know.

I know I'm not PH lol, but I'll answer this for now. It's HB-JMG. It's also on the nose and nose gear of the aircraft though not clear enough due to the camera shake.

Will comment on the rest of the report later.


User currently offlinenethkt From Thailand, joined Apr 2001, 1086 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (2 years 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 11758 times:

Absoultely a real First class service and first class trip report.
Thank you for all the pictures. Really looking forward to the next parts.
Hope you had great time in Thailand  
Keep Smiling or smilzing as Tyra says....
Net-hkt



Let's just blame it on yields.
User currently offlineHachikoDog From Finland, joined Dec 2010, 13 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 11652 times:

Liked the window view photos. Good review of LX F.

User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1092 posts, RR: 31
Reply 15, posted (2 years 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 11374 times:

Hi William.

Fantastic to know this is only the start of an aviation adventure with you. Also reassuring as that you are of the group of reporters who like to add alot of destination photos... so this should be interesting too.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 1):
I’ll divide the journey into a number of bite-size trip reports, which I’m hoping will be a bit easier for you to digest.

How considerate!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 1):
GETTING TO THE AIRPORT – part one

phew....

The meal (in particular the main) looked top notch. If the rostie is crisp on top then that was suggested it was partly cooked on board no? Deelish. . .

Where you keeping a clear head too?

Luke



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1718 posts, RR: 30
Reply 16, posted (2 years 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 11267 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hello William,

Good to see another series of you in the making. I'm already quite curious as to how your stay in Vietnam was. I've been there with the Mss' some 5 years ago and we had a lovely time! We also flew VN but not VASCO. So I'm quite curious about that one. We also didn't visit the island of Con Dao...
The service and food on this ZRH-BKK look absolutely great!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The larger aluminium case is for the trip to Asia.

I really love that sticker with I love Air Malta!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Quite simply, I still have one last meeting to attend at 18h00 before I am well and truly on vacation.

Work work work, it doesn't stop until it finally does.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
When I return to my seat the flight attendant has already placed a nice cup of coffee there for me with a glass of water.

Good to see this proactive level of service.

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1826 posts, RR: 19
Reply 17, posted (2 years 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 11124 times:

Hi Avianca

Quoting Avianca (Reply 11):
wow what a report, and specially its just the start of a complete series...!

Thanks.

Quoting Avianca (Reply 11):
I am right now planing for next year a very exotic trip from Venezuela to Phillipines to be exact "El Nido" island, can imagine its quite similar to Con Dao?!

I've heard of el Nido, please remember to write a trip report when you go!

Quoting Avianca (Reply 11):
well thats I think is one of the points why I left Euroep (Germany) years ago.. the weather sucks most part of the year!

Well, I like the variety with the seasons, but a bit less rain would be nice sometimes actually.

Quoting Avianca (Reply 11):
the lounges seems to be not bad, but no way you can compare it to the LH First Class terminal in FRA or? well I can only judge from pictures, I am already happy to catch from time to time business class,

Well, the LH First lounge is very nice. But to be fair, there is a difference in the scale of the Swiss operation compared to the Lufthansa one.

Quoting Avianca (Reply 11):
looks good but I am wondering why they are not serving the good old caviar!

The caviar service was terminated when it was still Swissair and to be honest, I prefer the Balik salmon.

Quoting Avianca (Reply 11):
looks amazing, but if I am not wrong the true Züricher Geschnetzeltes is done by Veal Kidney, (for me a now way, so the way the served it to you 10000 better).

I prefer the recipe without the kidneys too. But you're right, the traditional recipe would be with kidneys.

Quoting Avianca (Reply 11):
I like much more cold cuts for breakfast!

There were cold cuts and cheese available. I couldn't resist the French toast...

Hi flightsimboy

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 12):
I know I'm not PH lol, but I'll answer this for now. It's HB-JMG. It's also on the nose and nose gear of the aircraft though not clear enough due to the camera shake.

You sure, I thought it was JMD.

Hi nethkt

Quoting nethkt (Reply 13):
Absoultely a real First class service and first class trip report.

Thank you!

Quoting nethkt (Reply 13):
Thank you for all the pictures. Really looking forward to the next parts.

My pleasure, I'll upload the next part some time this week, I hope.

Hi Hachikodog

Quoting HachikoDog (Reply 14):
Liked the window view photos. Good review of LX F.

Thanks, glad you liked the report.

Hi Luke

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 15):
Fantastic to know this is only the start of an aviation adventure with you. Also reassuring as that you are of the group of reporters who like to add alot of destination photos... so this should be interesting too.

Yep, I did take quite a few pictures which will be coming up in the next parts. Not sure if I managed to capture the atmosphere though. Especially Vietnam is hard to define.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 15):
The meal (in particular the main) looked top notch. If the rostie is crisp on top then that was suggested it was partly cooked on board no? Deelish. . .

Dunno really, but I was wondering how they prepare the food too.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 15):
Where you keeping a clear head too?

Yes, always on a plane.

Hi Nils

Quoting sultanils (Reply 16):
I'm already quite curious as to how your stay in Vietnam was. I've been there with the Mss' some 5 years ago and we had a lovely time!

All will be revealed in due course. But I must say, Vietnam took my breath away!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 16):
The service and food on this ZRH-BKK look absolutely great!

Yes, luckily they were having a good day!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 16):
I really love that sticker with I love Air Malta!

I now also have a sticker from Vietnam Airlines and one from Qatar Airways.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 16):
Work work work, it doesn't stop until it finally does.

And by the time you return your mail box is jammed full of email...

Well, as ever, thanks to all of you for taking the time to comment. Much appreciated.

Cheers,
William


User currently onlineadamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1161 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (2 years 3 days ago) and read 11029 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hello there William,

Nice to see a report from you again.
Like always excellent report, thanks for sharing!
All in all LX F still looks quite nice, the food looks absolutely delicious!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
My final destination is the island of Con Dao, off the cost of Vietnam. During the course of this journey I will sample a cornucopia of different airlines. They are, in order of appearance:

That sounds like a fun vacation place and a very impressive list of airlines and classes my friend  

Looking forward to the next report!

cheers,

Brendan


User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1269 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (2 years 3 days ago) and read 10981 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 17):
You sure, I thought it was JMD.

Contacted [UTC] Callsign Flightnumber Routing Registration Operator Type
2012/08/30 21:01 SWR180 LX0180 ZRH-BKK HB-JMG Swiss A343

Contacted [UTC] Callsign Flightnumber Routing Registration Operator Type
2012/08/30 00:24 SWR180 LX0180 ZRH-BKK HB-JMD Swiss A343

From these details on www.libhomeradar.org it would appear that HB-JMD left the night before your flight, while HB-JMG was the one you flew on. We'll let PH decide  


User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1459 posts, RR: 33
Reply 20, posted (2 years 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 10789 times:

Hi William,

A really super report, thank you. I look forward to reading the next 8 installments!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
In addition, some admittedly seriously crap planning on my part means that two hours after my arrival back in Zürich from Bangkok I’m already heading off again on a business trip to Helsinki.:
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
But then that goes wrong, and instead I end up flying with

It would not be a trip of yours without something unplanned happening, would it?.......

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 1):
Or so they say. Actually, so says the sublime Annie Lennox in the lyrics of one of her songs. The woman in this case is Hannah aka Infodesk. She told me off in my last trip report for skipping the part about how I get to the airport by train. So in a desperate plea to escape her wrath, let’s start, as usual, with the ‘Getting to the airport’ chapter and some comments on the weather at my current location. Read on…!

I laughed out loud at this and got some strange looks! Well, all is forgiven, you have redeemed yourself and I enjoyed your photos very much, especially the raindrops on the windows! I set you a challenge for your next trip: instead of photographing Rheinfelden, snap my local station   (Clue, my car has AG on it...)

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
But then I found out that the lockers are only available for up to 72 hours. After that they come and remove your stuff and you can go claim it at the lost and found. And this, quite frankly, I find a bit iffy, especially given that I have my computer in the black case, which I’ll be needing in Helsinki.

That's true, but there is the left luggage office. And next to that is an information desk. I'd have done you a special price  
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Quite unusually, I’m sitting on 1A tonight. My normal seat is 1K on the right hand side. But that’s okay, it makes no difference.

Spoken like a true frequent flyer!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
After the meal I have a chat with one of the flight attendants. I tell her how much I like those aluminium vanity kits they have in Business Class and that it’s a pity they don’t have them in First Class. A while later she returns to my seat and hands me one of the vanity kits we’d been talking about. ‘It’s a present’ she says. How sweet! I thank her for having thought of me and for taking such good care of us on board. She seems genuinely pleased by this. And so am I! This woman is starting to restore my faith in Swiss hospitality.

And to think I had to buy mine off Ebay!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Over all though, I must say I am slightly alarmed by the state of Swiss’ First Class. Quite evidently they have made a few changes to their service in a bid to save costs. The cheese for example comes proportioned on a plate, where it used to be presented on a stone platter for you to choose as you liked.

Well, you see the fine details, to my untrained, only used to Y-class eye it looked absolutely divine, every single course. They may be cutting costs, but I'm guessing the tickets haven't got any cheaper......

Happy flying
Infodesk   

[Edited 2012-09-17 11:50:58]


"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1826 posts, RR: 19
Reply 21, posted (2 years 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 10258 times:

Hi Brendan

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 18):
Nice to see a report from you again.
Like always excellent report, thanks for sharing!

Thank you!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 18):
That sounds like a fun vacation place and a very impressive list of airlines and classes my friend

Vietnamwas brilliant. As for the many airlines I sampled, I was actually rather surprised myself at how many there were, given that I was only gone for a bit more than two weeks!

Hi flightsimboy

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 19):
From these details on www.libhomeradar.org it would appear that HB-JMD left the night before your flight, while HB-JMG was the one you flew on. We'll let PH decide

Well okay, in that case I believe you. Thanks for the clarification.

Hi Hannah

Quoting infodesk (Reply 20):
It would not be a trip of yours without something unplanned happening, would it?.......

One of my students recently commented that statistically this kind of thing should be happening far more often to me...

Quoting infodesk (Reply 20):
I laughed out loud at this and got some strange looks! Well, all is forgiven, you have redeemed yourself and I enjoyed your photos very much, especially the raindrops on the windows! I set you a challenge for your next trip: instead of photographing Rheinfelden, snap my local station (Clue, my car has AG on it...)

Thanks, Ma'am. You'e very gracious. As for the challenge, you're on!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 20):
That's true, but there is the left luggage office. And next to that is an information desk. I'd have done you a special price

If I succeed, do I get a further reduction?

Quoting infodesk (Reply 20):
And to think I had to buy mine off Ebay!

What model have you got on the front, or do you have all of them?

Quoting infodesk (Reply 20):
Well, you see the fine details, to my untrained, only used to Y-class eye it looked absolutely divine, every single course. They may be cutting costs, but I'm guessing the tickets haven't got any cheaper......

Alas, no. The ticket prices have remained the same. Typical!

Thanks for taking the time to comment lady, gents.

Cheers,
William


User currently offlinechristao17 From Thailand, joined Apr 2005, 941 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (2 years 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 10235 times:

Nice review; thanks for sharing with us. The only thing I wish you had included was a wide shot of the seats. Hard to have a clear idea of what the accomodations are without such a picture.


Keeping the "civil" in civil aviation...
User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1826 posts, RR: 19
Reply 23, posted (2 years 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 10227 times:

Hi christao17

You're quite right. Here's a picture of the Swiss First Class seat I took last year on my return flight from Bangkok to Zürich.

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Malaysia%20July%202011/P1010664.jpg

It's basically still the original design of the old Swissair First Class seat, just using different materials and patterns.

Cheers,
William


User currently offlinewin1290 From Thailand, joined Jan 2012, 280 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (2 years 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 9723 times:

Hi Knightsofmalta,

Very nice trip report, I absolutely enjoy reading this and your previous reports too. I quite like the design/decoration of the lounge, I think it looks classy. SWISS seems to offer a very personal inflight service even with the near-full F cabin, and the food looks absolutely delicious! especially the main course.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
During the course of this journey I will sample a cornucopia of different airlines. They are, in order of appearance:

Wow! That is one impressive list of airlines and routes, really looking forward to reading the coming parts.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 1):
At 22h00 I return to the reception area for the shuttle across to the E dock. Passport control is quickly done, and then we’re off.

Were you able to pick a car model of your choice? if you were, what was the other models available?

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 1):
A while later she returns to my seat and hands me one of the vanity kits we’d been talking about. ‘It’s a present’ she says. How sweet

Thats very nice!

Thank you,

Win


25 AlwaysOnAPlane : Hi William. Great to read the first part of your Asia trip and something I will be following further as you post. Always good to leave during a spell
26 Post contains images skyhawk707 : Hallo KnightsofMalta, Your TR hit home as i was reading through i was saying too myself i was just there a few weeks ago. Oh look I remember that at t
27 Knightsofmalta : Hi Win Thanks, that's very nice of you to say. Actually, in preparation for my trip with TG I read all your reports. The service certainly was very pe
28 lukeyboy95 : Yes funnily enough I was a little bit put out by the quality of the photos when I returned from there. Of course some things just can't be photograph
29 Knightsofmalta : Hi there Luke That's exactly what I mean. At the time, when I was in Hanoi for example, it didn't bother me in the least that the buildings were old,
30 reifel : Thank you very much for sharing. Seems that LX took very good care of you. I was wondering if all the travels were on one ticket, because otherwise ho
31 Knightsofmalta : Hi Reifel My pleasure! Yes, I can't complain really. No, the RJ flight was on a different ticket. The LX agent didn't know I was connecting to RJ unti
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