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Swiss Longhaul: Delhi To Chicago In J & Y Via ZRH  
User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2191 posts, RR: 15
Posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 22546 times:

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the third and final installment of my visit to India and Thailand this past summer, highlighting my return journey back to Chicago on SWISS in longhaul Business class and Economy Class.

To view my first trip report documenting United (formerly Continental’s) nonstop service from Chicago to Delhi (via Newark), click here. To read my second TR detailing Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways services in Thailand, click here.

Background

As noted in my first trip report, my sister and I had booked a “nested” itinerary to Thailand from India, but we were scheduled to fly Star Alliance between the US and India. On the outbound journey, we flew United nonstop from Newark to Delhi. On the return sector, she was headed back to New York, and myself to Chicago, so we opted to take SWISS from Delhi to each of these cities via Zurich. We would separate at ZRH and fly into O’Hare and JFK, respectively.

At this juncture, we had just disembarked from TG flight 315 from BKK, arriving just close to 21:00 local Delhi time.

Delhi airport was in its usual state at the pre-morning hours before the European and USA nonstop departures. Lots of interesting spotting opportunities abounded, heading to destinations across Asia, Europe, Africa, North America and the Middle East.

Pre-departure

We had to clear immigration at DEL, re-claim luggage and re-check our bags to our final destinations, since we were on separate reservations ex-Thailand and onward to the USA. Our TG flight landed in Delhi around 8:42 PM local time, and we were cleared of formalities around 10:10 PM thereafter exiting in the arrivals area on the lower level.

After showing our onward travel documents to the non-English speaking man guarding the elevators back up to the Departures level (which took approximately 5 mins to scan through 2 printed pages between both my sister and I) we were permitted to take the lift up, but were subsequently “held” in the waiting zone before being granted access to proceed to the check-in counters. The “hold” zone is literally encompassed by see-through glass walls designed to minimize congestion in the MASSIVE check-In hall at T3. The utter usefulness of this quarantining is questionable at best.

The uniformed airport personnel at Delhi IGI continue to make me cringe; I think the place is run by a bunch of monkeys. At any given point, whether you’re trying to re-enter the Departures level, pass through security screening, move through immigration, or even try and exchange your foreign currency, you’re likely to come across an airport employee displaying minimal intelligence. People are arbitrarily stopped and told to wait in places without further instruction nor explanation. There is never any consistency when it comes to moving passenger flows.

Back to the situation at hand, the hair-brain manning the exit, for some reason, did not think that 2.5 hours before the LX 147 Departure to Zurich was soon enough for us to make it over to the counter. The sadness/irony of the whole situation was that you could see the LX counters directly from the HOLD area, and there were several marked counters, fully-staffed, with a small-sized queue of passengers lining up to be checked in.

Fortunately for me, I know how to handle these obnoxious situations in India: all it takes is moving to someone else and ignoring the lead of one “staff” individual. Particularly a non-uniformed personnel with a walkie talkie. Problem solved in seconds.

You’d think that with this complete lack of transparency, I’d be moving through a system designed entirely by United Airlines.

The ground staff at the LX check-in counters were phenomenal people. I made sure to send a thank-you e-mail note to them after my journey concluded. They were the one bright spot in an otherwise poor airport experience from an HR perspective.

Seat selection was unfortunately not available online (as we booked through Orbitz). This was handled by calling the regional sales office in Chicago, and I was able to secure window seats for both the Princess and myself for both segments. These were re-confirmed upon check-in at the gate, and we headed towards immigration and security.

I’ll spare you separate rants about the awful/inefficient security screening situation at DEL. Painful memories not worth recalling.

Here are the FIDs for the evening:

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Once airside, we snacked on some Dominoes Pizza (after 10 days of eating nothing but curry, we were ready to re-adjust to our western stomachs). The hours were slowly trickling down before we’d finally be back home in our respective US cities. At this juncture, we were killing time. We moved to the gate space to chit-chat and reflect on our trip thus far.

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KQ has recently started nonstop services to DEL, as part of an African “push” recently by both it and ET. Note the KL MD-11 in the background. I was originally supposed to fly on that plane, but the Princess mandated that I accompany her during all segments if possible  

One thing that Delhi airport has managed to retain despite the terminal “upgrades” from the old T2 to the new T3 is the adrenaline “rush” surrounding boarding the long-haul flights.


next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2191 posts, RR: 15
Reply 1, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 22546 times:

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Today, I was flying on SWISS Business Class for the Delhi-Zurich sector, and then Economy on the Zurich-Chicago leg.


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Photo © Gilbert Hechema

HB-JHF “Bern” was delivered to SWISS on April 16, 2010

SWISS Business class features a fully lie-flat seat at 20.5” with a 60” pitch. The seats come replete with a reading light, an AC Power adaptor, and a personal TV. The seats are padded and angled in a 1-2-1 configuration on the A330.

The seat is very comfy with ample space to stretch out and store your belongings. Per usual, LX follows the classic European “IKEA”-design, as coined by Alex, but I don’t mind this as much as some others seem.

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The amenity kit was very unique: a metallic box engraved with the SWISS Airbus A340. Inside it one could find the standard products available: toothbrush, eyeshade, pen, earplugs (very useful) and the usual facial creams and moisturizers.

Flight attendants passed about the cabin offering pre-departure drinks of either Sparkling Wine or Mango Lassi. I helped myself to a bit of bubbly (why not?) and browsed over the menu options in the meantime.

Business class was about half-full at the summer holidays for Indians had subsided.

On the late evening departures out of Delhi, most European carriers offer a light meal service to the night owls still awake, but Breakfast is primarily the main event. SWISS does a good job of minimizing sleep interruptions by requiring passengers to fill out their selections on the breakfast forms prior to pushback. Because the departure time out of DEL is fairly late, and the arrival time into ZRH is decently early during the summer months, passengers have the options of sleeping through the entire 8 hour flight.

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Perhaps I am a cop-out, but after 10 days in of traveling throughout Asia, I am ready to re-adjust my Western-oriented palate on this occasion. I opted for a Smoothie, Croissant, Fruit, and Omelet when the breakfast service commenced.

Prior to the actual pushback, I noticed that we were parked in view of the Lufthansa 747-8I! It has commenced service from Delhi to Frankfurt just 5 days prior on 06AUG12.

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Taxi was very long. My thoughts kind of mulled over many things from my amazing trip, but I was obviously switching gears back from vacation mode to work mode, so that gave me a lot to think about. Very soon, the wheels were up and the illuminated views of Delhi were present from far below. Seeing Delhi at night from several thousand feet in the air is probably my fondest memories of the place in my 20 years of frequent visits.

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Once airborne, I perused through the SWISS IFE system, watching an episode of Modern Family as I awaited the meal service to begin.

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Similar to Lufthansa, SWISS’s IFE provides a small selection from a wide variety of genres, but the spread of options are somewhat limited in nature. Not exactly the most rich selections (i.e. no more than 20 films to choose from) and a small selection of TV programs. The Audio selection is so-so, but the moving map is pretty stellar.

Despite coming off of 12 hours of travel at this point, I also decided to stay awake for the light meal service once in the air.

Half of the cabin decided to go “lights-off” for the first meal service, but I was willing to stay awake in light of the fact that i hadn’t eaten in awhile, and I wasn’t feeling sleepy.

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I had a glass of Duval-Leroy Brut to accompany the snack service. For the main event, we were served smoked perch, grilled asparagus, waldorf salad, and a side of cake (praline Gâteau).

SWISS also was offering some warm breads and hot Indian savory snacks, such as the chicken pastry you see in the corner of the photo.

The snacks were eclectic, for sure, but complemented each other well and weren’t too filling or heavy. Ideally, the right amount of sustenance. It wasn’t what I would consider a lavish affair (All Nippon C Class wins the award in that category - TR in the works), but it was elegant and tasteful - essentially, it reflected the personality of SWISS.

After the trays were cleared, I tried to get some slumber.

Despite the comforts and ergonomics of the new SWISS Business Class seat, I failed to get a decent amount of rest. It remains a mystery as to why this was the case. I wouldn’t pin-point it on any discomforts of the seat, but I felt like I spent most of my time tossing and turning. It shouldn’t have been an issue given that I was on normal sleep cycles, but few tricks seemed to gain much traction.

At any rate, I ultimately dozed in and out before giving up altogether and just kind of stared at the moving map for several hours and listened to music in reclined position. I was not really bored, but I wasn’t necessarily entertained either. Perhaps at some comfortable level of homeostasis, I was able to maintain mental sanity and the hours slipped bye.

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The crew noticed that I was the first (and only) member of the Business Cabin still awake roughly 90 minutes prior to landing, and asked me if I was ready for breakfast. The young female cabin attendant stationed at my seat was of Indian origin. I assumed she was in charge of multilingual purser duties in Hindi.

Breakfast was pretty SOP (standard operating procedure). A few slices of mushroom omelet with grilled chicken sausage and cherry tomato. Sliced fruit, yogurt and croissant side accompaniments, plus coffee and a “smoothie” which was essentially a blend of mango pulp, “Lassi” style.

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While still tasty, and filling, SWISS could have definitely been a bit more imaginative in designing this portion of the menu. Catering is something I pay close attention to in critiquing on-board services, and sans for the Lassi, I felt that SWISS could have made some marginal improvements here. For an airline that brands itself with slogans such as, “Taste of Switzerland,” a plain omelet in a premium cabin is a bit dull and uninspiring, knowing full well that this is hardly a step-up from what was being served in Y.

Perhaps I should have been a bit more adventurous and attempted the Indian entree, which consisted of Chole Masala, Subzi, an Paratha (not pictured)

Between those two options, there was also a cold-cuts and cheese option.

I will give SWISS credits for providing options across the menu, but again, something more could have been done here. If United BusinessFirst is willing to offer four options for the main meal, then so could LX. Perhaps a muesli or masala omelet would be more innovative and exciting. I tried to reconcile it with the fact that perhaps the catering ex-ZRH was far superior rather than being prepared in India.

These were my breakfast views, just FYI:

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Trays cleared, I walked around the now-abuzz cabin to stretch my legs. As someone who is fascinated by the travel/airline industry, my latest habit on long-haul flights is to interact with the crew. I can think of no finer resource to learn about the glamor of international travel than someone who does it full-time for a living, and in almost every case, the F/A’s on these long-haul routes are more than happy to break out of their normal “service” shells and speak with their guests about places they’ve traveled and sights they’ve seen.

Being from Chicago, moreover, it’s always fun to ask the crews if their schedules have ever taken them to my Windy City, which is always a delightful topic. In this case, I started speaking with the head purser about her journeys across to globe. Originally from Geneva, she talked to me about how much she enjoyed the Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue (I’ve seen the LX crew checking into the Westin hotel there on occasion, along with EI). She told me her favorite place to travel is Shanghai for the shopping (who’da thunk). SWISS is such a funky little carrier: big player from a tiny company, arguably a crown Jewel making its contributions to the Lufthansa Group. The little Red airline speaks high volumes.

It was marvelous to speak with her. She also asked where I was sitting, as well as my sister in Y, in case we needed anything. Shortly before we began to descend into Zurich, she presented me with a gift of chocolates.

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Now that is service with a heart! Very gratuitous and fondly appreciated.

We began our approach into Zurich, and I observed some beautiful sunrise photos across Southeastern Germany, Lake Constance and the surrounding areas around Kloten. Cue: “you’ll find us chasing the sun.”

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Approach into a sleepy ZRH just slightly after sunrise was beautiful and smooth. Notably, most of the major Asian flights were arriving into Zurich around this time.

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The odd-ball shock of the day was seeing this Kingfisher A330 (VT-VJP) stored at ZRH. This was alarming as seeing old IT aircraft lying around random airports was almost eerily becoming a theme in my journeys (read: Terminal 2 at DEL). Of course, post-trip I did my research to discover that this bird was here after being returned to it lessor to IT’s financial difficulties earlier this year. Again, broke my heart to see this sight...

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next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2191 posts, RR: 15
Reply 2, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 22546 times:

Transfer



Well folks, I’m going to go out and say it: Zurich airport, despite its beauty and modernized design, is probably one of the world’s most boring places to transfer in Europe. I was sincerely disappointed by the passenger experience at this semi-major intercontinental connecting hub. It had been over 15 years since my last transfer at ZRH (which must have been when I was a young chap) but I don’t recall it being THIS bad! Even CDG is more interesting than ZRH!

For starters, the terminal transit between Terminals B and E is somewhat of a hassle. Lots of walking and not really great signage.

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The real disappointment arises at Terminal E. Star Alliance does not have a designated Club space in the non-Schengen Terminal for paid cardmembers or passengers with Gold status or above. There are two SWISS Business lounges in Terminals 1 and 2 (near the A and B gates) but the lounge in the E gates is for CONTRACT only: eligible for passengers on Air Canada, Turkish and Singapore Airlines.


This is a huge problem, in my opinion. The contract lounge is located above the terminal and appeared beautiful on the outside (light-flooded with observatory views of the airport). The only way we would be able to access any lounge would be to exit the sterile area, head back pre-Security to Terminals 1 or 2 and use the Star Alliance-branded lounge in the other terminals.

But how exactly can SWISS not have a Star Alliance-designated lounge near the gates for its intercontinental flights? I was shocked by this: not only do you have elite members flying on partner carriers such as Thai, United and US Airways, but also you have all of your Star Alliance elite passengers traveling on intercontinental long-haul flights on SWISS!!! This was a real shocker and I was unhappy about this.

This was the potential “view” from just outside the entrance to the lounge.

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The situation would have been better had the airport not been so boring. There are literally a handful of bars and cafes, plus a few duty free stores and other souveniory places selling overpriced tchotchkes like Switzerland-branded this, that and the other. I honestly don’t understand by people would pay anywhere from 1.5 to 2x the price for Toblerones, Lindt, Milka, etc. when they can literally by the same chocolates at the grocery store down the street corner.

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We settled for a very expensive “meal” a.k.a. a cup of Americano and a measly portion of Muesli for $13 USD. Like I said, even CDG wasn’t that bad: I think there, for $16, I at least got a square meal!

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One thing that Kloten does have going for it is the natural light that flows through the windows, and of course the beautiful Switzerland countryside surrounding it entirely, but overall, the lack of provisioning was such a major buzz-kill. I was shocked to later discover that the mid-field terminal “E” was as new as 2003. Seriously?! Who was consulted to design this horrendously boring place?!

With a three hour layover, and our departing gates at opposite ends of the terminals, my sister and I said good-byes to each other literally 90 mins before our respective departures (the JFK and ORD flights leave at the same time). There was pretty much nothing we could do to save ourselves from boredom at that point; plus, we were tired and eager to get on these flights and sleep. No wi-fi access, and few ports around, I did something I rarely do: hang out at the gate area and just sit.

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This would be my ride to Chicago today. Unlike the bird from DEL, this guy was painted in the NEW SWISS livery, which features an enlarged font of the airline title on the fuselage, and removal of the older branding, which I call the “instaframed” boxes, from the engines.

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Fortunately for me, the boarding time seemed to arrive rather quickly. Today, I was flying on flight number 2608, aka the “2nd summer” Swiss flight that the carrier recently tested this year 4x per week IN ADDITION to the daily flight to Chicago (makes me happy). Swiss flights 7/8 normally leave ZRH between noon and 1 PM Zurich time, and land in Chicago between 3-4PM. The 4x summer-seasonal extra flights leave for Chicago 3 hours earlier as a 9 AM departure from ZRH, with a noon arrival into ORD.

I was SO HAPPY that the earlier option was available to me when I booked on Orbitz, seeing that the inbound flight from DEL arrived at 6 AM. I honestly don’t think that given the option of flights 7/8, I could have dealt with 3 hours of lonely nothingness, mixed between time zones and other things.



next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2191 posts, RR: 15
Reply 3, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 22546 times:

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Today’s service for me would be in Y class.


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Photo © Patrick Simon
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Photo © Marcelo F. De Biasi

HB-JHK “Herisau” was delivered to SWISS on January 11, 2012.

I was seated in seat 30A, window. The economy class seat on SWISS is comfortable, with a standard 32” pitch. No electrical connections, but there is a personal TV 9” in width, with over 42 movies, 40 TV programmes, 16 music channels, 15 games, and 300+ music CDs, per listed on www.swiss.com.

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As I mentioned on the previous sector, the moving map feature on SWISS is top of the line. I absolutely adore airlines that integrate satellite views into the moving maps, and SWISS was no exception to this.

The take-off and fly around Kloten airport was, by far, one of the most beautiful, extraordinary sights of surrounding scenery I had ever seen from an airplane, especially from a land-locked country.

There were some beautiful contrails from sister SWISS widebody planes arriving into Zurich from the Americas. Enjoy.

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Once airborne, SWISS began the on-board meal service, roughly an hour in-flight. My insomnia situation showed little sign of abatement, so I hit the bottle. Red wine and a biscuit snack for 30A, and I did not show signs of slowing.

I decided to settle on Wedding Crashers and settled in as we crossed the English Channel. We flew directly over London, so notice some pics of the good ‘ol London down as we cruised along.

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The downside of my insomnia factor was that I was rapidly depleting through the limitations of the IFE. Now, of course, I have the attention span of a 4-year old and hence, sitting through movies can be challenging for me as-is, so I struggled to find film selections that I was vaguely familiar with.

The lunch service started roughly after we began crossing over the Irish Sea. The options were either a Chicken Breast with Polenta or Penne with Tomato sauce.

The penne came with a delicious, rich chunky tomato-based sauce with olives and capers. Happy was I to glorify a dish that I hadn’t eaten in several weeks (and hoping the carbs would lull me to sleep).

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Of course the CHEESE was phenomenal (i.e. my achilles heel) but the salad was garbage. Direct copycat of Lufthansa. Dessert was an interesting apricot coffee cake which was decent.

At this juncture, probably three bottles of red wine in, I struck up a conversation with my seatmate. She was from South Bend, Indiana (where I attended college) and had immigrated to the U.S. from Thailand. We chatted for probably a good hour about life. Don’t you love those moments?

Once the trays cleared, I drank some tea after the movie concluded, used the restroom, and pretty much just sat in my seat and stared at the moving map after my movie concluded. I wasn’t necessarily bored, but I had run out of things to do, and was too sleep-deprived to concentrate on reading materials. I may have floated in and out of sleep, but the hours just sort of slipped by. I guess this whole long-haul flights thing was becoming second nature to handle.

http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r517/Aviation_D/16ae77cc35daa2750017a341302dc0d2.jpg

We were served a “movie snack” roughly 90 mins before landing, which was GHASTLY! It consisted of rock-hard ice cream, and some disgusting pizza-esque wrap. I felt like it was straight out of a garbage canister. It was so horrid that I did not even bother to take a picture of it. Next to the lounge disaster in ZRH, this was definitely the low point of the experience on LX.

4 hours melted into 2 which became 1 and before long, we were heading straight southbound along the coastline of Lake Michigan, preparing for our descent into ORD. Turbulence was ROUGH. I was surprised at my relative state of tranquility in spite of the 36-hour journey. It was as though it went by at lightning speed, fairly painless and hassle-free despite 3 layovers, 4 Customs formalities, and 3 baggage retrievals.

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The immigration line at ORD was a painful reminder of why I should stop procrastinating with the whole applying for Global Entry situation, but that is neither here nor there.

I was literally home within 60-90 mins of landing, and had the entire afternoon/evening to take care of things. The timing of the extra SWISS flight over the summer is absolutely perfect!
Flight OTP and logbook:




next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2191 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 22546 times:

Afterthoughts:

SWISS is a really solid airline. We made the right choice in flying them home to Chicago. Without question, I would definitely fly on them again if the price and scheduling was convenient.

Product-wise, I will readily admit that it is pretty aligned with Lufthansa. But despite this, there is a tangible sense of “warmth” and hospitality on-board the airline that remarkably has retained the character traits of Switzerland and thankfully not adopted the German style of efficiency over quality. They’ve certainly strayed from the Swissair experience I remember back as a child flying them in 1996/1997 from ATL to DEL via ZRH, but the industry will never resemble those roaring days again, so it’s an unfair comparison.

The crew is outstanding. They perform their jobs VERY well in the designated classes of services, both on the ground and in the air. It is rare that I deliver Thank-You notes in the service industry since I set very high-standards for the Star Alliance carriers, and during this journey, I had two notable interactions (both with the ground staff at DEL and on the DEL-ZRH flight) that prompted me to contact the airline and commend them for going above and beyond. Well, done, LX!!

Seats and IFE are nothing to brag about. European network carriers are European network carriers. There’s a standardized way of design and implementation that is pretty much used as the norm across all of the majors. Granted, I haven’t flown in too many premium cabins on these airlines, but the YCL seat and IFE options are more or less consistent across BA, LH, AF, KL and LX. I will say that at least in the interim, KLM stands out as the clear winner in this category slightly ahead of the others. For reference, see my TR here.

Sure, SWISS is not All Nippon Airways or Thai when it comes to catering in Y class (wow, I really have spread my Star Alliance wings this past year!) but it’s definitely well ahead of United. Except for the movie snack - that was disgusting. However, in C class it is painfully obvious that the options are basically YCL meals served on finer China and in larger portions. All it takes is referencing the menu. This is a practice even United doesn’t follow in International BusinessFirst, and definitely not the Asian carriers even on medium-range C Class flights. If I had a bone to pick, it would be in this arena.

Zurich airport was probably the biggest disappointment of all. I never thought I’d say this, but it almost makes me want to go back to Frankfurt (oy). The lack of Star Alliance Premier love was very frustrating. The airport couldn’t even overcompensate with a more pleasurable terminal transfer experience. The only good that ZRH airport does is serve as an ideal playground for doing Yoga practice or meditations given the ample lighting and clean interior. That being said, why fly 4000 mi + to Zurich when I can walk 30 seconds outside my apartment to get the same experience in the Yoga studio or gymnasium?

F and B options are overpriced and boring. For a country that can really do something exceptional in this category, ZRH fails considerably.

It is really a shame that few airports in Europe are like Barajas and Schiphol. It’s an even bigger shame that both of these are OneWorld and SkyTeam fortresses, which does nothing for me  

At the end of the day, SWISS really is a nice gem in the Lufthansa Group. They’ve come such a long way since 2002. I only hope that they can continue the uphill climb, and take on more 21st-century practices like Delta and become a leader in travel experience for mainland European fliers.

As always, thanks for reading. Comments and feedback are always appreciated!

Best,

IrishAyes

Bonus pics: Chicago summertime

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Kayaking down the Chicago river

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Fireworks on Navy Pier

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Chicago Air and Water Show 2012

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Chicago Air and Water Show 2012

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Navy Pier

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AA ad: Navy Pier

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AON Center

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Marina

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Lakefront path

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South Loop

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South Loop



next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 5, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 22545 times:

Hey there, nice report! Always good to see reports on SWISS, a great airline with some really high quality and consistent products. Looks like you had some nice flights, although must've been hard to be slumming it down in Y after having flown in C. I would've preferred to get the Y part overdone first, and then enjoy C  

Regarding the lounges, yes it's quite a shame that there's no SWISS Lounge in the E concourse. Most passengers are expected to use the lounges located near the A gates in the Schengen area, but there's also the non-Schengen D gates lounge which you can also use. Not sure whether you had a Schengen visa or not (or whether you needed one) but you could have used your arriving J boarding pass to access the arrivals lounge, which would've spared you that overpriced coffee, if you had time i.e

Cheers!



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1203 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 22545 times:

The good thing with SWISS is that they still offer 32" legroom and decent entertainment.

I can't stand the lettuce starter. The main dishes though have considerably improved. The cakes are too small.

As to the lousy snack I agree. They used to serve nice sandwiches for a snack and a cookie. To save money they switched to that tiny awful wrap.

Even the US carriers serve better snacks.


User currently offlinecaleb1 From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 364 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 22545 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Enjoyed your report. By the way, I noticed you mentioned attending school in SBN. Are you a Domer, by chance? If so, go Irish. Again, thank you for your report.

User currently offlinedavidho1985 From Hong Kong, joined Oct 2012, 350 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 22545 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):

May I ask the name of this apps???

Thanks!


User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2191 posts, RR: 15
Reply 9, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week ago) and read 22545 times:

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 5):
Hey there, nice report! Always good to see reports on SWISS, a great airline with some really high quality and consistent products.

Thanks for reading! Yes, they are a great airline.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 5):
Looks like you had some nice flights, although must've been hard to be slumming it down in Y after having flown in C. I would've preferred to get the Y part overdone first, and then enjoy C  

Haha, it wasn't all that bad. I actually had felt guilty about the fact that my sister wasn't upgraded and I was on the DEL-ZRH flight (although she still arguably got more sleep in Y than I did in C). Plus, I was in good spirits.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 5):
Regarding the lounges, yes it's quite a shame that there's no SWISS Lounge in the E concourse. Most passengers are expected to use the lounges located near the A gates in the Schengen area, but there's also the non-Schengen D gates lounge which you can also use. Not sure whether you had a Schengen visa or not (or whether you needed one) but you could have used your arriving J boarding pass to access the arrivals lounge, which would've spared you that overpriced coffee, if you had time i.e

It's more than a shame; it's embarrassing for Zurich. Because we were transiting intercontinental, it never occurred to me that we'd have to leave the E concourse for this purpose. Frankly, my sister prefers to just sit and wait in designated spaces rather than go off exploring, and seemed apprehensive about leaving the Terminal just for the lounge. In hindsight, I should have convinced her to come with me. Sigh.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 6):
I can't stand the lettuce starter. The main dishes though have considerably improved. The cakes are too small.

My favorite commenter. I was going to channel you in the TRs, but I've already done that so many times haha. I know your standards. The lettuce was a disaster. I actually don't think I ate the cake....not a huge dessert person  

Although, I can't wait to show you my pics from UA BusinessFirst that I flew the other week. The ice cream Sundae cart was unreal.

Quoting caleb1 (Reply 7):
Enjoyed your report. By the way, I noticed you mentioned attending school in SBN. Are you a Domer, by chance? If so, go Irish. Again, thank you for your report.

Thanks man! I appreciate it.

I am a Domer, but I graduated in 2010. I live and work in Chicago now. Are you from ND? Thanks much for the kudos. This is an exciting year to be a Fighting Irish football fan. Go Irish!

Quoting davidho1985 (Reply 8):
May I ask the name of this apps???

Mobiata travel apps. They're the bomb dot com.



next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
User currently offlineadamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1161 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (1 year 10 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 22545 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi IrishAyes,

Nice to see your journey back home online with SWISS. Another great report with many nice pictures thanks for sharing it with us!
This must have been quite an exhausting trip as you barely got any sleep! I would have chosen for Y class first and then J class myself but oh well
Anyway SWISS J class looks quite ok here, I like the seat although the breafast doesn't look very nice as you mentioned correctly it is more like a Y class meal.The Y class meal looks quite ok and that "movie snack" doesn't sound nice at all!
It is always great to have nice interactions with ground crew, crew and fellow passengers  
Shame about there being no lounge at the E terminal, didn't know that myself, pretty poor. You should have payed a visit to the great E deck spotting terrace , it offers great views!

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Note the KL MD-11 in the background. I was originally supposed to fly on that plane, but the Princess mandated that I accompany her during all segments if possible

That is quite nice of you  Shame you didn't fly the quite rare MD-11 nowadays. Flew a KLM MD-11 myself a little over a week ago, such a great flight!

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):

These were my breakfast views, just FYI:

Beautiful!

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Shortly before we began to descend into Zurich, she presented me with a gift of chocolates.

Very nice of her!

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 3):
The 4x summer-seasonal extra flights leave for Chicago 3 hours earlier as a 9 AM departure from ZRH, with a noon arrival into ORD.

What time does it depart back to ZRH again?

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 4):
It’s an even bigger shame that both of these are OneWorld and SkyTeam fortresses, which does nothing for me

Why not join a OW or ST alliance aside?

Thanks again,

Brendan


User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1273 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (1 year 10 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 22393 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hey IrishAyes!!

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
On the return sector, she was headed back to New York, and myself to Chicago, so we opted to take SWISS from Delhi to each of these cities via Zurich. We would separate at ZRH and fly into O’Hare and JFK, respectively.
Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Today, I was flying on SWISS Business Class for the Delhi-Zurich sector, and then Economy on the Zurich-Chicago leg.

Looks like you two got seperated the moment you boarded the flight in Delhi until meeting briefly again in Zurich!

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Note the KL MD-11 in the background. I was originally supposed to fly on that plane, but the Princess mandated that I accompany her during all segments if possible

Was not the "Princess" upset that you were not able to accompany her in Y class on the DEL-ZRH sector lol. Nice of you accompanying her on most of your sectors.

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
The uniformed airport personnel at Delhi IGI continue to make me cringe; I think the place is run by a bunch of monkeys. At any given point, whether you’re trying to re-enter the Departures level, pass through security screening, move through immigration, or even try and exchange your foreign currency, you’re likely to come across an airport employee displaying minimal intelligence. People are arbitrarily stopped and told to wait in places without further instruction nor explanation. There is never any consistency when it comes to moving passenger flows.

In comparison the check in and boarding at KHI is a lot more civilized. The only issue I have there is the so called smoking lounge situated at one of the gates, usually the one used by EK that is just a glass enclosure with an opening at the top that does nothing but still cause the smell of second hand smoke to reek close to the gates around the area...made me want to throw up the last time.

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Once airside, we snacked on some Dominoes Pizza (after 10 days of eating nothing but curry, we were ready to re-adjust to our western stomachs).

I barely touch anything Western when back home, because firstly it's so overpriced and secondly I barely eat stuff like Pizza Hut, McDonald's, etc out here, so why even bothere attempting to eat it there, unless it's some fusion created item like tandoori pizza (skip on the bread and scoop out the filling lol)

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Per usual, LX follows the classic European “IKEA”-design, as coined by Alex, but I don’t mind this as much as some others seem.

Being an IKEA fan, and a SWISS fan as well, I would have been in some kind of wierd furniture/aviation heaven!!

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Flight attendants passed about the cabin offering pre-departure drinks of either Sparkling Wine or Mango Lassi.

Nice to see a local touch being offered.

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
For the main event, we were served smoked perch, grilled asparagus, waldorf salad, and a side of cake (praline Gâteau).
Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
SWISS also was offering some warm breads and hot Indian savory snacks, such as the chicken pastry you see in the corner of the photo.

I would have attempted the Indian choices only to see how authentic it tasted. What were the Western Style hot snacks on offer, as you mentioned the chicken pastry was the Indian savoury snack?

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
The young female cabin attendant stationed at my seat was of Indian origin. I assumed she was in charge of multilingual purser duties in Hindi.

I had no idea LX hired local staff? Do you know how many more FAs were of Indian origin?

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Breakfast was pretty SOP (standard operating procedure). A few slices of mushroom omelet with grilled chicken sausage and cherry tomato. Sliced fruit, yogurt and croissant side accompaniments, plus coffee and a “smoothie” which was essentially a blend of mango pulp, “Lassi” style.
Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Perhaps I should have been a bit more adventurous and attempted the Indian entree, which consisted of Chole Masala, Subzi, an Paratha (not pictured)

Compared to the Indian Snack offering earlier the Indian breakfast does seem to have more options. However it being a indian entree there is no meat dishes available. Had this been out of KHI it would definitely have had some meat choices in it. We were served Chole and Kheema in Y class in EK and it was great lol. Well we all know how good EK is with their catering.!

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
I will give SWISS credits for providing options across the menu, but again, something more could have been done here.

The Indian and Western choices are hardly options considering that the other fruit and yougurt options are very basic. They could have provided some kind of other option maybe?

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
As someone who is fascinated by the travel/airline industry, my latest habit on long-haul flights is to interact with the crew. I can think of no finer resource to learn about the glamor of international travel than someone who does it full-time for a living, and in almost every case, the F/A’s on these long-haul routes are more than happy to break out of their normal “service” shells and speak with their guests about places they’ve traveled and sights they’ve seen.

I have managed to talk to quite a few FAs myself, who sometimes think you've just come for a glass of water!! And it is quite interesting to find how you can sometimes come across FAs like the only Emirati FA in Etihad who was on my last flights with EY!! But then you could also be in the way of some FAs who would prefer to gossip about life on the ground instead lol

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Shortly before we began to descend into Zurich, she presented me with a gift of chocolates.

That is very nice of her! Reminds me of the EK purser who handed me a tin of mixed nuts from the First Class cabin on my flight to JFK!! She was actually also the one to ask me to talk a bunch of her FAs who were seated at the back while remaining on duty between meal services.

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
I honestly don’t understand by people would pay anywhere from 1.5 to 2x the price for Toblerones, Lindt, Milka, etc. when they can literally by the same chocolates at the grocery store down the street corner.

Just so they can say "Ooh these are the ones we actually got from Switzerland lol

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
We settled for a very expensive “meal” a.k.a. a cup of Americano and a measly portion of Muesli for $13 USD.

That is insane!! For USD $13 one would have got breakfast and lunch at a food court!!

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
One thing that Kloten does have going for it is the natural light that flows through the windows, and of course the beautiful Switzerland countryside surrounding it entirely,
Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
The take-off and fly around Kloten airport was, by far, one of the most beautiful, extraordinary sights of surrounding scenery I had ever seen from an airplane, especially from a land-locked country.

One of the reasons I love Zurich so much, and one of the reasons I would definitely like to transit again through it again.

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Enjoy.

Thoroughly enjoyed the take off views out of Zurich!!! Thanks for sharing!!

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
We chatted for probably a good hour about life. Don’t you love those moments?

It's amazing how you can learn so much from your seatmates...Esp considering the off duty EY Japanese FA who sat at the side of me and told me so much about Japan, her people and their culture. Thanks to her my tray goes back to the FAs collecting it in an even better shape than when I got it, everything neatly folded and placed in order on the tray!!

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
It was so horrid that I did not even bother to take a picture of it.

It must have truly been horrendous!!

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
ORD

Nice to see AI at ORD...They have disappeared from YYZ for a long time now.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 4):
The crew is outstanding. They perform their jobs VERY well in the designated classes of services, both on the ground and in the air. It is rare that I deliver Thank-You notes in the service industry since I set very high-standards for the Star Alliance carriers, and during this journey, I had two notable interactions (both with the ground staff at DEL and on the DEL-ZRH flight) that prompted me to contact the airline and commend them for going above and beyond. Well, done, LX!!

Always nice to compliment crew, but even nicer to grab a photo of them for all to see lol

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 4):
AA ad: Navy Pier

Who did that AA jet some 4 year old kid!! Phatetic!!

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Prior to the actual pushback, I noticed that we were parked in view of the Lufthansa 747-8I! It has commenced service from Delhi to Frankfurt just 5 days prior on 06AUG12.

Wow, those 747-8i jets look awesome. Cannot wait for one to come to YYZ


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6811 posts, RR: 77
Reply 12, posted (1 year 10 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 21519 times:

Hi IrishAyes,

very nice report - and pretty cool intro picture! LX seems fine as usual.

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Seat selection was unfortunately not available online (as we booked through Orbitz).

Ah, sounds familiar...

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 1):
Per usual, LX follows the classic European “IKEA”-design, as coined by Alex, but I don’t mind this as much as some others seem.

Ikea furniture looks much cheaper IMO, LX's wooden elements are rather classy.

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):

Similar to Lufthansa, SWISS’s IFE provides a small selection from a wide variety of genres, but the spread of options are somewhat limited in nature. Not exactly the most rich selections (i.e. no more than 20 films to choose from) and a small selection of TV programs. The Audio selection is so-so, but the moving map is pretty stellar.

Absolutely true, Swiss' IFE is nothing to write home about.

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):

Perhaps I should have been a bit more adventurous and attempted the Indian entree, which consisted of Chole Masala, Subzi, an Paratha (not pictured)

Yes, why not? I got a superb breakfast on my LAX-ZRH flight last year.

Superb Stübli & Crew: LAS-LAX-ZRH-MUC, LX J Class (by PlaneHunter Jul 20 2011 in Trip Reports)

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):

We settled for a very expensive “meal” a.k.a. a cup of Americano and a measly portion of Muesli for $13 USD.

Wow, what a rip-off!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2191 posts, RR: 15
Reply 13, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 20681 times:

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 10):
Nice to see your journey back home online with SWISS. Another great report with many nice pictures thanks for sharing it with us!

Thanks, Brendan! I appreciate the commentary. Always nice to hear your feedback.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 10):
Anyway SWISS J class looks quite ok here, I like the seat although the breafast doesn't look very nice as you mentioned correctly it is more like a Y class meal.The Y class meal looks quite ok and that "movie snack" doesn't sound nice at all!

Yeah. Unfortunately, that seemed to be the case :-

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 10):
That is quite nice of you  Shame you didn't fly the quite rare MD-11 nowadays. Flew a KLM MD-11 myself a little over a week ago, such a great flight!

I know, right? I'm not sure how I'm going to get to fly on it again. In its defense, the MD-11 and the A330 are swapped on the KL AMSDEL flight routinely so it could have not materialized at all. I will find a way to fly on it though before it is too late.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 10):
What time does it depart back to ZRH again?

Uhh this was what I found for S12:

LX2608 ZRH0955 – 1235ORD 333 x135
LX2609 ORD1450 – 0620+1ZRH 333 x135

It appears that regularly scheduled LX flight 8 arrives from ZRH at 1540, per below, and 2609 departs ORD before then, so they rarely overlap. HOWEVER, there was either a contrails aviation pic (or maybe it was even here on anet) showing an IRROPs situation where 2609 was clearly delayed and both LX birds were at T5. So cool!!!

LX008 ZRH1255 – 1540ORD 333 D
LX009 ORD1925 – 1100+1ZRH 333 D

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 10):
Why not join a OW or ST alliance aside?

Sigh. I did have DL match my status for a brief period, but I don't travel often enough (not more than 75,000-100,000 mi per year at most) to divide up my status between two loyalty programs. In Chicago, it just doesn't make sense. I've also put my stock into other baskets (lounge memberships, mileage accrual cards, etc) which have made it harder for me to fly OW or ST. I might add that if Delta had a hub at Chicago, I would jump instantaneously.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 11):
Looks like you two got seperated the moment you boarded the flight in Delhi until meeting briefly again in Zurich!

LOL Pretty much!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 11):
Was not the "Princess" upset that you were not able to accompany her in Y class on the DEL-ZRH sector lol. Nice of you accompanying her on most of your sectors.

Oh she was livid. But it was her own fault, and she's aware of it. She outsources all of her travel planning to her secretary, and in doing so, she splits her loyalties between different airlines because she books based on fare and schedule, which is her problem, not mine. She'll do things like fly B6 to LAS and DL back, and AA to DFW and WN to MDW from NYC airports. It's highly illogical.

In fact, just yesterday she pitched a fit because AA charged her for a checked bag on a recent flight to DFW, which she deemed "the ultimate insult" but she was an idiot and did not consolidate her travel to attain Gold status again last year and her benefits were revoked. It's not rocket science.

I continually remind her to allow me to take charge of her travel planning, but she neglects to do so every time. Not my problem. Unfortunately, I will admit that living in Manhattan makes it tough for her to stick with UA/Star because she hates traveling to EWR when it can be avoided.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 11):
I would have attempted the Indian choices only to see how authentic it tasted. What were the Western Style hot snacks on offer, as you mentioned the chicken pastry was the Indian savoury snack?

The western style was the perch, waldorf salad and asparagus (amalgam) and not sure what the Indian choices were. In all honesty, the service was a bit harried and not really promoted very well. I just kind of wanted some quick filler items.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 11):
I had no idea LX hired local staff? Do you know how many more FAs were of Indian origin?

Ohhh yes. So does LH, AF, KL, AY, you name it. It always amazes me that the European crews are willing to hire Hindi-speaking staff on the Europe-India flights, but US carriers don't even bother. Kind of sad, IMO, but it also does have a benefit: it keeps the purser announcement messages to a minimum   

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 11):
Compared to the Indian Snack offering earlier the Indian breakfast does seem to have more options. However it being a indian entree there is no meat dishes available. Had this been out of KHI it would definitely have had some meat choices in it. We were served Chole and Kheema in Y class in EK and it was great lol. Well we all know how good EK is with their catering.!

I know, right? Beggars can't be choosers, I guess.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 11):
But then you could also be

This is very true.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 11):
One of the reasons I love Zurich so much, and one of the reasons I would definitely like to transit again through it again.

Yeah, but the airport experience was so terrible!!!! One could argue that the views from flying into LAX or MIA are pretty from the surrounding water, but we all know the airports there are so miserable  
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 11):
Nice to see AI at ORD...They have disappeared from
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 11):
Always nice to compliment crew, but even nicer to grab a photo of them for all to see lol



Aahh. I know. This is a space you've ventured into and feel very comfortable doing, yet I've missed the boat. I highly regret not taking a pic of the crew on my recent 788 flight from SEA to NRT on ANA. Ugh, I can't even begin to tell you how phenomenal they were. It just doesn't even compare. I ought to take a page out of your book.

Thanks for the comments, hope all is well in Toronto!

[quote=PlaneHunter,reply=12]Hi IrishAyes,

very nice report - and pretty cool intro picture! LX seems fine as usual.

Thanks, PH. Always nice to hear feedback from the TR legends like yourself  Smile

[Edited 2012-11-23 14:54:44]


next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
User currently offlineEddieDude From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 7584 posts, RR: 42
Reply 14, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days ago) and read 20313 times:

Hello IrishAyes!

I was looking forward to this installment with a lot of enthusiasm, and I am glad it is finally here. Thanks a lot for taking the time to put the report together and for the awesome pics. As always, your report is amazing.  

I am jealous of your DEL-ZRH segment in J. Save for one YYZ-MEX and one MEX-JFK flights this year, all my travel has been on Y and that has seriously got to change hehe.

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
We had to clear immigration at DEL, re-claim luggage and re-check our bags to our final destinations, since we were on separate reservations ex-Thailand and onward to the USA. Our TG flight landed in Delhi around 8:42 PM local time, and we were cleared of formalities around 10:10 PM thereafter exiting in the arrivals area on the lower level.

After showing our onward travel documents to the non-English speaking man guarding the elevators back up to the Departures level (which took approximately 5 mins to scan through 2 printed pages between both my sister and I) we were permitted to take the lift up, but were subsequently “held” in the waiting zone before being granted access to proceed to the check-in counters. The “hold” zone is literally encompassed by see-through glass walls designed to minimize congestion in the MASSIVE check-In hall at T3. The utter usefulness of this quarantining is questionable at best.

The uniformed airport personnel at Delhi IGI continue to make me cringe; I think the place is run by a bunch of monkeys. At any given point, whether you’re trying to re-enter the Departures level, pass through security screening, move through immigration, or even try and exchange your foreign currency, you’re likely to come across an airport employee displaying minimal intelligence. People are arbitrarily stopped and told to wait in places without further instruction nor explanation. There is never any consistency when it comes to moving passenger flows.

Back to the situation at hand, the hair-brain manning the exit, for some reason, did not think that 2.5 hours before the LX 147 Departure to Zurich was soon enough for us to make it over to the counter. The sadness/irony of the whole situation was that you could see the LX counters directly from the HOLD area, and there were several marked counters, fully-staffed, with a small-sized queue of passengers lining up to be checked in.
Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
I’ll spare you separate rants about the awful/inefficient security screening situation at DEL. Painful memories not worth recalling.
Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
One thing that Delhi airport has managed to retain despite the terminal “upgrades” from the old T2 to the new T3 is the adrenaline “rush” surrounding boarding the long-haul flights.

Very harsh words on DEL. I am sorry that using that airport is frustrating.

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Note the KL MD-11 in the background. I was originally supposed to fly on that plane, but the Princess mandated that I accompany her during all segments if possible  

Oh man, you lost a unique opportunity. That is a very nice brother taking care of his little sister. Ever flown on the MD-11 before?

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
The real disappointment arises at Terminal E. Star Alliance does not have a designated Club space in the non-Schengen Terminal for paid cardmembers or passengers with Gold status or above. There are two SWISS Business lounges in Terminals 1 and 2 (near the A and B gates) but the lounge in the E gates is for CONTRACT only: eligible for passengers on Air Canada, Turkish and Singapore Airlines.

This is a huge problem, in my opinion. The contract lounge is located above the terminal and appeared beautiful on the outside (light-flooded with observatory views of the airport). The only way we would be able to access any lounge would be to exit the sterile area, head back pre-Security to Terminals 1 or 2 and use the Star Alliance-branded lounge in the other terminals.

But how exactly can SWISS not have a Star Alliance-designated lounge near the gates for its intercontinental flights? I was shocked by this: not only do you have elite members flying on partner carriers such as Thai, United and US Airways, but also you have all of your Star Alliance elite passengers traveling on intercontinental long-haul flights on SWISS!!! This was a real shocker and I was unhappy about this.

Yes, that is terrible. It is a real pity. I hear one of the LX ZRH lounges has a really long bar and that it is a very nice place to spend time before a flight or between flights.



Next flights: MEX-GRU (AM 77E), GRU-GIG (JJ A320), SDU-CGH (G3 73H), GRU-MEX (JJ A332).
User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2191 posts, RR: 15
Reply 15, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 16260 times:

Quoting EddieDude (Reply 14):
I was looking forward to this installment with a lot of enthusiasm, and I am glad it is finally here. Thanks a lot for taking the time to put the report together and for the awesome pics. As always, your report is amazing.  

Thanks man! Sorry it took me so long to comment back. I've been underwater recently between work, teaching/training, traveling, etc.

Quoting EddieDude (Reply 14):
I am jealous of your DEL-ZRH segment in J. Save for one YYZ-MEX and one MEX-JFK flights this year, all my travel has been on Y and that has seriously got to change hehe.

Hey, you're a high-roller. If I can finagle it, then you can as well.

Quoting EddieDude (Reply 14):
Very harsh words on DEL. I am sorry that using that airport is frustrating.

Like much of India. I'm trying to do a better job of refraining from being so callous towards that country on these forums. I don't intend to offend anyone, but I feel like I've seen a much more gritty side of the country that has affected me on a personal/familial level and it's very difficult to reconcile those feelings compared to what others have experienced. Then again, it's all relative, isn't it?

Quoting EddieDude (Reply 14):
Oh man, you lost a unique opportunity. That is a very nice brother taking care of his little sister. Ever flown on the MD-11 before?

I know. I am really, REALLY trying hard to find a way to get on the KLM MD-11 this summer. My options are limited to YUL and LAX. Despite having accumulated enough SkyPesos for an award ticket, the availability is not there!! Such an annoying program. Why do I even bother?! I might just have to wait until another time. I feel it will be random.

And yes, I have flown the MD-11, ironically, on a similar sector: ZRH-DEL-ZRH. It was December 1996/January 1997, on SWISSAIR!

Quoting EddieDude (Reply 14):
Yes, that is terrible. It is a real pity. I hear one of the LX ZRH lounges has a really long bar and that it is a very nice place to spend time before a flight or between flights.

Very annoying. But, we were 2/3. So, what can you do? Thanks for the comments!



next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
User currently offlinekann123air From United States of America, joined Jun 2009, 968 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 16124 times:

Great TR!! I might be wrong, but is that a UA plane that you saw while flying?

Hope to try Swiss someday....



Moving forward with the New American
User currently offlineplaniac787 From India, joined May 2012, 240 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 14766 times:

Hey buddy hows it going?

Another fantastic report on your end which I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
I think the place is run by a bunch of monkeys.

Well I dont think that is entirely true. Yes sometimes they can be unreasonable with you but we as Indians living in India have much high tolerance to all that. Plus I dont think they are all that bad. They are simply doing there jobs but ofcourse since they are uniformed they feel they have a little to much power. Trust me these guys are not worth it. In fact I let them be in there delusional state and let them feel high and mighty at times...because they really dont get much from the government.


Overall I think you had a pretty standard swiss experience. I would have ordered Indian food all the way but then I have my own reasons.. The seats on swiss IMO are the best J class seats on an european carrier... Sad to know you could not catch up on your sleep though

The food presentation can be a bit better and I am really surprised seeing this on a swiss J class flight...

I have never connected to another flight via zrh so cant say much about the transfer experience so right now your word will do  

Why did you not try the lh lounge at delhi? Its pretty neat!

Thanks and keep writing

Cheers

Pradat



Be the change you want to see in the world- M.K.Gandhi
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2476 posts, RR: 53
Reply 18, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 12463 times:

RA!!!

What a delightful read of the odyssey with your sister! I love your reference to her, “The Princess”! 


Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
On the return sector, she was headed back to New York, and myself to Chicago

I didn’t know she was living in US as well. How nice! Good reason to shuttle between New York and Chicago!

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Our TG flight landed in Delhi around 8:42 PM local time, and we were cleared of formalities around 10:10 PM

Oh no! Did it really take that long? We were through within twenty minutes.

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
I know how to handle these obnoxious situations in India: all it takes is moving to someone else and ignoring the lead of one “staff” individual. Particularly a non-uniformed personnel with a walkie talkie. Problem solved in seconds.

Thanks for the tip.

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
I’ll spare you separate rants about the awful/inefficient security screening situation at DEL. Painful memories not worth recalling.

What a shame! We did not encounter any problem during security screening, except for a pair of scissors in our first-aid-kit.

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
we snacked on some Dominoes Pizza (after 10 days of eating nothing but curry, we were ready to re-adjust to our western stomachs).

Oh dear, you make me craving for curry!

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
but the Princess mandated that I accompany her during all segments if possible   

Did you try to talk her into flying KLM instead?

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 1):
Flight attendants passed about the cabin offering pre-departure drinks of either Sparkling Wine or Mango Lassi.

Mango Lassi for me!

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 1):
a light meal service to the night owls still awake, but Breakfast is primarily the main event.

I would gladly be the night owl with all of those tantalizing Indian options!

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 1):
Perhaps I am a cop-out, but after 10 days in of traveling throughout Asia, I am ready to re-adjust my Western-oriented palate on this occasion

In my case, my palate remained Eastern-orientated even after 20 days of traveling throughout Asia and Australia last year!  


Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 1):
Seeing Delhi at night from several thousand feet in the air is probably my fondest memories of the place in my 20 years of frequent visits.

Memories! I have similar feelings at every departure from my hometown airport of Semarang.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 1):
The Audio selection is so-so,

Hmm, so I assume no satisfying selection of dance, 80’s or 90’s hits?

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 1):
but I was willing to stay awake in light of the fact that i hadn’t eaten in awhile, and I wasn’t feeling sleepy.
Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 1):
hot Indian savory snacks, such as the chicken pastry you see in the corner of the photo.

  


Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 1):
The young female cabin attendant stationed at my seat was of Indian origin. I assumed she was in charge of multilingual purser duties in Hindi.

I was wondering whether there were also Indian cabin attendants on board.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 1):
Perhaps I should have been a bit more adventurous and attempted the Indian entree, which consisted of Chole Masala, Subzi, an Paratha (not pictured)

    


Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 1):
she presented me with a gift of chocolates.

How sweet! Are these different chocolates to the ones Swiss gives out before landing?

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 3):
The penne came with a delicious, rich chunky tomato-based sauce with olives and capers.
Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 3):
Dessert was an interesting apricot coffee cake which was decent.

Outstanding meal in Y! It reminds me of our own experience in 2009!

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 4):
It is really a shame that few airports in Europe are like
Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 4):
Schiphol.

Thank you!   


Thank you for this awe-inspiring journey! Maybe it’s about time for us to fly with Swiss again. It has been nearly four years ago. Many thanks also for the charming summertime pictures of The Windy City.  


Have a nice weekend,
Suryo  

[Edited 2013-05-10 10:02:57]


Friends forever
User currently offlineglobalflyer From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 929 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 11627 times:

Hi Rohan...how did I miss all three of these TRs??? What a fantastic trio of TRs and of course great pictures! I had the opportunity to fly LX from JFK ZRH DXB last year and really enjoyed it. I was in Business Class and they did a great job. Agree with you about ZRH being sterile. I think that VIE is even worse! I just applied for Global Entry myself. Hope it works out. You looked fantastic on the elephant in Thailand!


Landing on every Continent almost on an annual basis!
User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2191 posts, RR: 15
Reply 20, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 10673 times:

Quoting kann123air (Reply 16):
Great TR!! I might be wrong, but is that a UA plane that you saw while flying?

Thanks for reading! And no, it was a sister SWISS A333, likely inbound to ZRH.

Quoting kann123air (Reply 16):
Hope to try Swiss someday....

They're definitely worth trying out!

Quoting planiac787 (Reply 17):

Hey buddy hows it going?

Another fantastic report on your end which I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

Thanks, P!

Quoting planiac787 (Reply 17):
Well I dont think that is entirely true. Yes sometimes they can be unreasonable with you but we as Indians living in India have much high tolerance to all that. Plus I dont think they are all that bad. They are simply doing there jobs but ofcourse since they are uniformed they feel they have a little to much power.

Thanks for the insight and observation. I guess it's a double standard. My expectations and perceptions obviously differ from the locals, and perhaps I am just too fed up with the bureaucracy despite having to deal with it on a very limited basis.

Quoting planiac787 (Reply 17):
Trust me these guys are not worth it.

Agreed

Quoting planiac787 (Reply 17):
In fact I let them be in there delusional state and let them feel high and mighty at times...because they really dont get much from the government.

Yeah. Vicious cycle, I suppose.

Quoting planiac787 (Reply 17):
Overall I think you had a pretty standard swiss experience. I would have ordered Indian food all the way but then I have my own reasons..

Very standard. Not something to write home about, but pleasant and reliable. It is, however, a mimic/copycat of Lufthansa, so I suppose you having flown LH often probably can relate.

Do you think from now on I should stick to having the Hindu/Veg meals out of DEL? I did this when I flew CO back from DEL to EWR a few years ago and the Indian Vegetarian meals were FAR superior to the Western meals, in Y.

Quoting planiac787 (Reply 17):
The seats on swiss IMO are the best J class seats on an european carrier... Sad to know you could not catch up on your sleep though

Yeah. I think part of it was the guilt on behalf of having the Princess in Y....

Quoting planiac787 (Reply 17):
The food presentation can be a bit better and I am really surprised seeing this on a swiss J class flight...

Again, likely a Lufthansa standard inherited and imposed onto Swiss. This is something I've similarly noticed (and commented on) in your LH TRs.

Quoting planiac787 (Reply 17):
I have never connected to another flight via zrh so cant say much about the transfer experience so right now your word will do  

It's terrible if you're having to depart from the long-haul pier. I was honestly shocked. Even in MNL, where there was only ONE Star carrier operating out of the Cebu Pacific terminal with a single daily 767 to Narita (ANA) the airline bothered to offer some sort of lounge option for Star Golds and United Club card holders. Just unbelievable.

Quoting planiac787 (Reply 17):
Why did you not try the lh lounge at delhi? Its pretty neat!

Wasn't an option   I don't think that Delhi has a designated Star Gold lounge, either? It's just the Green Lounge, the Clipper Lounge and the Maharaja lounge, no?

Quoting planiac787 (Reply 17):
Thanks and keep writing

Cheers

Pradat

Thanks and I appreciate the commentary!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 18):
RA!!!

What a delightful read of the odyssey with your sister! I love your reference to her, “The Princess”! 

So good to hear from you, Suryo. Thanks for stopping by!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 18):
I didn’t know she was living in US as well. How nice! Good reason to shuttle between New York and Chicago!

Yup! She is in NYC and we see each other decently often.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 18):
Oh no! Did it really take that long? We were through within twenty minutes.

Yeah. Must have been just an off day?

Quoting akhmad (Reply 18):
Did you try to talk her into flying KLM instead?

Gah! No, I couldn't. She isn't an aviation fanatic and prefers taking nonstop flights   so it was either I fly with her on UA/LX, or take KL and have her fly alone.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 18):
I would gladly be the night owl with all of those tantalizing Indian options!

I KNOW! They looked yummy.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 18):
In my case, my palate remained Eastern-orientated even after 20 days of traveling throughout Asia and Australia last year!  

Ha. Home is where the heart is  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 18):
Memories! I have similar feelings at every departure from my hometown airport of Semarang.

 
Quoting akhmad (Reply 18):
Hmm, so I assume no satisfying selection of dance, 80’s or 90’s hits?

You know me too well!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 18):
How sweet! Are these different chocolates to the ones Swiss gives out before landing?

No, I think these were gratuitous! So nice of her!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 18):
Thank you for this awe-inspiring journey! Maybe it’s about time for us to fly with Swiss again. It has been nearly four years ago. Many thanks also for the charming summertime pictures of The Windy City.  

Aaw. Thanks for the comments and for the readership, much appreciated!

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 19):
Hi Rohan...how did I miss all three of these TRs??? What a fantastic trio of TRs and of course great pictures!

Wow! Thanks man! I appreiate it.

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 19):
I had the opportunity to fly LX from JFK ZRH DXB last year and really enjoyed it. I was in Business Class and they did a great job.

Yay! It's a solid airline.

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 19):
Agree with you about ZRH being sterile. I think that VIE is even worse! I just applied for Global Entry myself. Hope it works out. You looked fantastic on the elephant in Thailand!

Thanks bud! Yeah, I'll avoid VIE from now on per your advice haha.

Take care and talk soon!

IrishAyes



next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
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