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London City-Athens: Swiss Business (with Pics)  
User currently offlineCambrian From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 619 posts, RR: 5
Posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 11896 times:

Anyone who has seen any of my posts will quite soon realise that I am a huge fan of Swiss International Air Lines. As I travel a lot in Europe for both work and pleasure, I prefer to take Swiss wherever I can due to their good service, relatively cheap business class fares and ease of connecting in Zurich (used to be the same in Geneva, but they have cut back on destinations and frequencies from GVA).

Another big plus for me is that I can call Swiss and get through to someone 24 hours a day without having to press lots of buttons and wait forever on hold. It is so easy to simply call up and request a preferred seat, whereas doing this with BA is very difficult.

As I live in the West End of London, being able to fly in and out of City airport is another incentive, as I actively try to avoid Heathrow whenever I can manage it. I also booked to travel out on the Bank Holiday Monday, hoping to avoid the crowds.

I had to go to Athens for a few days. Swiss had good connections from LCY via ZRH to ATH, or at least they were good from my point of view with a 2 hour stopover each way, giving me some time for spotting and shopping in ZRH, with time left over for a few beers in the superb bar that Swiss have inside their lounge.

I booked my ticket via their website and got a good deal- £475.00 including taxes.  veryhappy 

Swiss always have good business class prices for travel within Europe on their website, and the booking process is very simple, especially if you are a Travel Club member.

Monday, August 29th
LX459 London City- Zurich
Dep LCY: 15.10 Arr ZRH: 17.55
Swiss Business Class

BAe RJ-100
Seat Allocation 3A


I took a taxi from my home in the centre of London eastwards along the Thames, through the City and Docklands to City airport. It took around half an hour in light Bank Holiday traffic. Although Swiss advertise check in as late as 14.55 for a 15.10 departure, I arrived at the airport just after 2pm. There were no queues at the business class check in, and the agent advised me that, with a load of 40 passengers, it would not be a busy flight today. veryhappy 

I checked my bags through to Athens. The agent stuck priority tags onto my bags. Swiss seem to be very meticulous about this. I once had a row with a BA check in agent who refused to tag my back as Priority when I was flying in First- she told me that it made no difference anyway(!) but that's another story...

As there is no lounge at LCY, business class passengers are given a £4.00 voucher to spend on refreshments whilst waiting for the flight to leave.
I took the escalator up to Security, passed through very quickly and found a seat by the window where there are excellent views of the apron. As you can see from the photos, it was a beautiful day to fly.

Euromanx RJ-70, due to depart to IOM.


It was a relatively quiet day at LCY- there were a few VLM departures to Antwerp, Manchester and Liverpool, as well as the EuroManx to Douglas. There was also an LX Saab in Crossair colours waiting to depart to BSL.

The incoming aircraft from ZRH arrived on time at 14.40


HB-IXV taxiing to Gate 9 at LCY


After spending my £4 voucher on coffee and chocolates, the flight was called, departing from Gate 9. Although LCY is wonderfully small, it does feel like something of a trek to Gate 9!

As the flight was only 40% full, boarding was quickly done through both the front and rear stairs. As this was my first flight on an RJ-100, I was excited to say the least! I was expecting the cabin to be feel cramped and small, but I was pleasantly surprised. The cabin was showing some signs of wear, however.

Pre-flight drinks were served, and the crew busied themselves, handing out towels, hanging jackets and generally settling passengers in for the 1.15 flight to Zurich.

The Maitre de Cabine asked if I would prefer to move to Row 1 on the right-hand side, as there were lots of free seats, so I did. After clearing glasses and performing the safety demo, we were soon taxiing down the runway to do a 180 degree turn before taking off in towards Canary Wharf. I was looking forward to experiencing the STOL capabilities of the RJ-100 and, probably helped by the light load, I was not disappointed!

On take off we turned sharply to the right over Stratford and headed eastwards down the Thames. There were some wonderful views of the Thames estuary during the initial part of the flight, and I noticed how manoeuvrable the RJ100 seemed compared to other aircraft such as the ATR that I have taken from LCY.

The attendant serving the business class cabin came around to take orders for aperitifs. Of course, it had to be the superb Nicolas Feuillatte champagne that Swiss offer. Of course, Swiss crew are impeccably trained, and always pour the champagne very correctly, displaying the label and holding the glass by the base.

Lunch was served as we overflew Brussels, and the Captain made an announcement that our routing would be Brussels- Luxembourg- Basel- Zurich, and that we would be arriving 10 minutes early. This was not a problem for me as I would have just over 2 hours in Zurich anyway.

Lunch: Salad with Hot Chicken and Potato Rosti


I was surprised to get a hot meal on this flight, as whenever I flew to ZRH from LHR, we always had a cold meal. I am wondering if both sectors to and from City are catered from Switzerland?

Although the salad looks quite overwhelming in the photo, it was very tasty and the hot chicken was a good accompaniment. More bread and cheese was repeatedly offered.

This was followed by Movenpick icecream in a choice of flavours


Next it was time for coffee, and the delicious chocolates that they hand out on Swiss. veryhappy 



Although the flight was relatively short, it amazes me that the service feels so unhurried and relaxed. The light load helped, but this is also the case on busier flights that I have taken with Swiss. Whereas other airlines almost throw the food at you and disappear, on this flight I was constantly being offered refills of champagne and coffee. Swiss crew are consistent in making passengers feel welcome on board, and it makes the flight go very quickly.

I just had time to buy a travel adaptor from the duty free trolley and we began our descent into Zurich over pristine towns and villages and the beautiful Swiss countryside.

Swiss have rationalised the allocation of gates at ZRH to make connecting easier, and it was only a short walk to the Swiss lounge. We arrived shortly before 18.00, and I was interested to note that the gate for my onward flight at 20.25 was already displayed. Why is it that at Heathrow the gate often appears seemingly at the last minute?!

Zurich airport provides very easy connections, and the Airside Center is a breathtaking piece of architecture.

The Airside Center at Zurich



Late afternoon at ZRH


Edelweiss A-330 (apologies for reflection in photo!)


After a wander around and a look in the shops, I headed for the Swiss Lounge. Since my last visit, in addition to the model of the Swiss A340 that welcomes you at the entrance, there is now also a Lufthansa A340- signs of the increasing closeness of the 2 carriers.

As a regular user of the Swiss Lounge, I prefer the bar rather than the main lounge area, purely because it tends to be quieter. Swiss makes a big deal of the bar at Zurich being the longest bar in the aviation world. I have even seen magazine ads about this, and there is a sign in the lounge to this effect.

Having said that, it is certainly impressive!


My only criticism is that there is only 1 departure screen at the very far end of the bar. Most people tend to congregate near the entrance, so this means that passengers have to walk the length of the bar to see flight information. Perhaps this is Swiss's way of subliminally imprinting on our minds that this is indeed the longest bar in the aviation world...

Entrance to the bar


I really like the lamps, which are available for purchase on the Swiss website.
I think that you would have to be a total fan of Swiss to buy one, although I have bought a polo shirt, mouse pad, model plane and note bloc from the site, so the lamp is probably just a matter of time!

Time passed quickly and it was soon time to board my onward flight. It was departing from Gate A62- immediately adjacent to the lounge after security, so there was no need to hurry at all.

Monday, August 29th
LX1842 Zurich- Athens
Dep ZRH: 20.25 Arr ATH: 23.55
Swiss Business Class

Airbus A321
Seat Allocation 4A


When I arrived at the gate there was no queue to board, and upon taking my seat I noted that the loads for the flight were about 50% in Business and 80% in Economy. The Swiss A321 fleet has not been refurbished along the lines of the A320's and are littled changed since the time of Swissair. I didn't get the reg, unfortunately.

Cabin View from my seat- Note the timetables available to take away- how many airlines still do this, I wonder?


It was time for more towels and pre-flight champagne. We were then informed of a slight delay of 15 mins due to heavy departure traffic at Zurich, but this would not impact on our on time arrival in Athens. After the safety demo on the drop down LCD screens, the safety announcement was played in German, English and Greek. There was also a selection of Greek newspapers and magazines such as The Economist, Newsweek, Vogue etc.

We took off just after the sun went down and immediately headed south over the city of Zurich. Our routing would take us east over Austria, then over Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Macedonia entering Greece north of Thessaloniki. As it got dark very quickly, there were no views of the Alps to be had.

During the flight promotional videos about Swiss and events in Switzerland are played. I noticed that LH is now figuring very prominently in these.

The aperitif service began with pretzels and a choice of drinks- yet more champagne. On this flight orders were taken individually for both drinks and food, with two crew members working the business class cabin.


This made for very unhurried, personalised and pleasant service on a flight of 2h 20 mins. In fact, the meal was also served course by course, the first course being a lovely, and very refreshing gazpacho.



And of course, the giant-sized pepper mill was reguarly brandished by the crew at every opportunity. I think that it is a really nice touch.  veryhappy 

The main course was a choice of beef or curried tofu. I think that everyone opted for the beef.

Main Course: Beef Stroganoff with Spatsle and Green Beans


It was very tasty, washed down with white wine from Switzerland.

Next came more Movenpick ice cream


Followed by coffee and chocolate- lots of it!


The service and quality of the food and presentation was very high, especially for an intra-European flight. By now I was feeling a bit tired, but the unhurried service made the flight pass quickly, and soon we were making our descent over the island of Evvia and Attica. I always feel excited to arrive in Athens at night, and the infrastucture relating to the new airport gives a very modern image of Greece in the 21st century.

We were bumped around quite a bit on final approach due to a fairly strong crosswind, but made a smooth touchdown on schedule.
The airport was fairly quiet in terms of arrivals at that late hour. An El Al flight from TLV and the AF flight from Paris were recent arrivals.
As I have witnessed on some Swiss flights in the past, the Captain came out of the cockpit to bid farewell to the passengers. It is a nice touch.

Whilst not approaching the architectural heights of Zurich, Athens airport is very modern, clean and user friendly. My only gripe is the €1 charge for a trolley at baggage reclaim. Passport control was very fast with no queues, and the bags took about 15 minutes to appear on the belt, with business class bags emerging first.

I then cleared customs and took a cab to my hotel.

After a few days in the beautiful Athens sunshine, it was time to head home.


Friday, September 2nd
LX1831 Athens- Zurich
Dep ATH: 14.20 Arr ZRH: 16.05
Swiss Business Class

Airbus A321
Seat Allocation 4A


Although the Syntagma metro station was outside my hotel and the metro is very good for getting to the airport, I decided to take a cab again. There is also a very good express bus service from Syntagma Square.

The taxi driver asked me which airline I was flying, and dropped me at the correct entrance for Swiss check in. There was only 1 person ahead of me checking in, but this being a Friday afternoon, the flight would be full.

I checked my bags through to LCY and also collected my boarding card for the onward flight from Zurich. One thing surprised me- I gave the check in agent my passport, and she retrieved my booking without even needed my itinerary or booking reference, so I am assuming that she retrieved my booking using my surname?

I was given an invitation to the Swissport lounge also.
At Athens airport, the shops are better in the Schengen area, and passengers can go into the Schengen area of the terminal, shop, and then go back to the non-Schengen area. However, this means that you can buy something in Duty Free and then re-enter the terminal, and in theory, hand over your purchases to someone else.

I had a quick browse around the Schengen shops (can't wait until Switzerland joins in 2007....) and then went back to the non-Schengen boarding pass control. There are always queues here as this part of the terminal handles intercontinental flights. Today, there were lots of people taking the SQ flight to Singapore, and an LY742 to TLV. In some ways, the design of the terminal at ATH is very good in that there are mutiple security checkpoints, depending upon the gate that your flight is leaving from.

I made my way to the Swissport lounge at the far end of the terminal. This occupies a corner position with views over both runways and the satellite terminal- one of the best spotting locations at Athens.

The lounge is used by a host of other airlines- notably EK, QR, RJ and many others that I can't recall. Another bonus is that each airline offers its own magazine, so you can come away with lots of reading matter!
There is quite a good selection of food and drinks on offer also, and it feels quite spacious. It has a very modern feel. In fact, the furniture is from Habitat.

Boarding time approached and we were duly called for the flight. Security was quite fast, despite getting caught up with the El Al passengers.

HB-IOK- waiting to take me back to Zurich.


Although the flight was full, boarding was quick and easy, and I found myself once again in a Swissair identi-kit A321. By now I knew the drill- towels and pre-flight champagne.



I was glad to see that service standards were consistent despite the full load.

We were parked next to the LY742. Looking closely at the nose section, I noticed that the nose section could be opened for cargo.


Pushing back


This time, safety announcements were in German, English, French and Greek.

Glasses were quickly cleared away as we pushed back for the relatively short taxi to the holding point. I took some photos from my seat as we began the takeoff roll- not very good quality...

The satellite terminal at ATH- mainly used for charter flights, I think


In this photo there is a Jet Airways A340 parked- I didn't know that they flew to Athens. Also OS, EK and SK aircraft, together with the LY 742 being towed out.


The control tower at ATH
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/DSC01898.jpg

We headed north east from the airport and then turned north west on a routing that would take us over the Corinth Canal, Gulf of Corinth and Corfu, before following the heel of Italy and tracking the east coast and Adriatic Sea, Milan, Lake Maggiore and Lake Constanz on approach into Zurich.

Overflying the heel of Italy.


One of the reasons why I like Swiss so much is that they are consistently good, with friendly crew who are welcoming and at least give the appearance that they enjoy their jobs. I have to say that on this flight, the female Maitre de Cabine was quite severe, almost to the point of being almost scary! It is not that she was rude, but she was definitely on the brusque side of efficient, and quite forbidding. I think that this was noticed by my fellow passengers, many of who made faces or remarked to each other. But her colleague was very jolly and friendly, and mitigated the shortcomings of her co-worker somewhat.

This photo seems to encapsulate the service ethos of LX...


Aperitifs were served with pretzels- same selection as on other flights.


This time I decided to go for a refreshing gin and tonic. Again each course was served individually.

I had a "Groundhog Day" moment when the gazpacho made another appearance.


Main Course served separately- Beef with Mashed Potato and Red Cabbage, washed down with Swiss wine- and very nice too!



On this flight, instead of ice cream, dessert was an amaretto mousse- very tasty. The inflight information did mention the availabilty of ice cream on long haul flights.



After the meal was cleared away, coffee was served, with more "Thank You For Flying Swiss" chocolates. This was followed by glasses of iced water and hot linen towels instead of the usual plastic wrapped wipes.

We had some good views of the Alps, but cloud cover increased as we crossed the mountains, causing some mild turbulence.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/DSC01909.jpg

As we neared Zurich, flight connection information was displayed for the many connecting passengers. There was also information about our arrival gate and which belt would be used for luggage- indicative of the super-organised Swiss!
We would be arriving at Gate A63- again, almost adjacent to the Swiss lounge, so no long walks, even though I would have 2 hours to kill.

Soon we were over Lake Constanz and then the familiar Swiss landscape came into view on our final approach into Zurich.


I was in no hurry to disembark, and I made my way back to the Airside Center. Before going to the Swiss Lounge, I decided to have a ride on the Skymetro to the E Gates. The station is directly underneath the Airside Center, and trains are fast and regular. Needless to add, everything is well laid out and spotlessly clean.

Skymetro staion at Terminal E


This photo gives some idea, but does not entirely convey the enormous and impressive scale of this building.

View of the A Gates and control tower from Terminal E.


Then I took the train back to the Airside Center and bought some Navyboot shoes.
Then I took some shots of my favourite tails (apologies for the quality- the windows need cleaning badly at ZRH!)

Heaven for Swiss nerds like me....


Friday afternoon scene at ZRH
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/DSC01926.jpg

I headed back to the bar in the Swiss Lounge to wait for my flight. It was a lot busier than on the outward journey, and quite smoky this time.
After a couple of beers, I made the very short trip back to the gate where the RJ100 was waiting to take me on the final leg of my trip.

As it was a Friday night commuter service, this time there was a long queue for boarding. I also spoke to a few people who had been re-routed by BA from a BA flight to Manchester which was delayed. They were thus re-routed on Swiss to LCY, and onwards by VLM to MAN.

As a result, the flight was 100% full. I didn't take any photos on this flight, but the service was very similar to the other flights on this trip. As usual for a Friday night, there would be an ATC-related delay- but only of 20 minutes or so. The captain emerged from the cockpit, picked up the intercom and stood in the aisle to inform us of the delay. In case an earlier slot came available, no pre-flight drinks were served, and the airbridge was retracted in preparation for departure.

Another powerful RJ-100 takeoff, and we were heading home towards London.
This time the meal was served from a trolley- hot chicken salad with rosti- identical to the outward trip, or spinach gnocchi. I opted for the latter, which was very good, followed by more Movenpick ice cream and coffee. This flight was unremarkable except for the behaviour of a fellow passenger that was frankly odd. This guy did not stop pestering the crew for the duration of the flight, even trying to interrupt the safety demo. He was incredibly demanding throughout the flight, spilt wine over his neighbour and had to be barred from using the toilet on approach into LCY.

My poor impression of this guy was confirmed at baggage reclaim where he tried to proposition 2 different women!

The approach into LCY was made over the City, and the views were spectacular as always. For the first time I had the impression that the approach into LCY really is very steep!

The ramp was busy as usual for that time of day on a Friday evening, and the return to Gate 9 marked the full circle of my trip. Passport control was quick and efficient, and my bags were amongst the first to emerge on the carousel.

I then took a cab home, glad to avoid the usual Friday night scrum at Heathrow.

All in all I was very happy with the Swiss experience on this trip. All flights were punctual and the Swiss crew (with one exception) really gave me the impression that my custom was valued.

The training of Swiss crew is evident in the way that they interact with and serve passengers, and it leaves most other airlines, and BA in particular (one of my few points of comparison on this route) in the shade. For most people, connecting to go from London to Athens is a pain, but for airline nerds like us, and Swiss aficionados in particular, it is a pleasure.

On top of this, the attractive fare, Swiss Travel Club miles, and the excellent service from start to finish, makes Swiss the only way to travel in Europe!

I hope that you enjoyed the report. Hope that it wasn't too long!

Any questions and comments are welcome.
Thanks for reading it.

28 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineB742 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 3766 posts, RR: 19
Reply 1, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 11851 times:

Excellent trip report!

I think Swiss are a great airline!  Smile

Nice pics!

I wonder why the 9W 343 was at ATH, maybe a diversion from the LHR-BOM-LHR route? Or was it operating for GF on lease from 9W?

Rob!  Smile


User currently offlineMhodgson From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2002, 5047 posts, RR: 25
Reply 2, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 11822 times:

£432 sounds like a bargain for the service you received!


No trees were harmed by this message. However, several million electrons were terribly inconvenienced
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8502 posts, RR: 55
Reply 3, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 11811 times:
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Very nice indeed and some super photo's.

I must say the food served looks superb and yes, the pre-departure drinks is a nice aspect, it is a shame BA don't do this, though it's not the be all and end all.

I've only flown 1 round trip on LX and that was in 'Y', just before they introduced charging for food/drinks so I can't really comment on the service, plus I was so tired I pretty much slept the whole of both flights.

It's such a shame LX have joined Star, they would have been a real asset to OneWorld.

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 43
Reply 4, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 11812 times:

Great report, looks like LX service is pretty good on some routes.

However, the price seems outrageous to me (at BKK) - I paid EUR 185 to fly CX/AY J to SIN next weekend and EUR 160 for KQ C BKK-HKG-BKK at the end of the month. But obviously the markets are different.

Your LX service is much better than the crap they try to serve on BKK-SIN (total joke) for example.



Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offlineBAViscount From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 2338 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 11802 times:

Excellent report Cambrian - really enjoyed it!

LCY is the only one of London's airports that I have yet to fly from...infact, believe it or not, I've never even been there for a bit of spotting! Last autumn I had the chance of a great fare on Swiss from LCY to GVA, but changed my mind at the last minute and made a trip to Venice instead! However, reading your report has made me determined not only try Swiss, but out of LCY too. Maybe this autumn...!

Thanks for taking the time to write up your trip, and no, it wasn't too long!!

Cheers.

Andy.



Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barb
User currently offlineZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5566 posts, RR: 36
Reply 6, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 11727 times:

It is nice to see a very good report about Swiss flights from a non Swiss citizen. I myself had always very good experiences with Swiss on long- and short-haul. There are too many people here in Switzerland who play the "sport" always to complain about Swiss whenever there is something going wrong, even when it is not the Swiss' fault or something that can happen to any airline. On the North-Atlantic flights it is remarkable how much better the service of Swiss is than of most US airlines (though I don't know CO).
BTW Zurich airport has become really a nice and convenient airport to stay, shop and connect since the end of the construction works. As you see on the photos the Airside Center is really great, for shopping, eating, spotting (with huge windows) and relaxing. Although the E-Gates are little remote the connection is very fast with the underground passenger train (runs every 2 minutes and the ride only takes 90 seconds).

[Edited 2005-09-13 01:06:47]

[Edited 2005-09-13 01:07:50]

User currently offlineAtco2b From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 1114 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 11507 times:

Thanks for sharing!

Quoting Cambrian (Thread starter):
business class passengers are given a £4.00 voucher to spend on refreshments

And I bet your coffee was about £3.95  sarcastic 

Nice pics!
Tom



Hey, you want to go out for pizza and some sex? What, you don't like pizza?
User currently offlineSoups From Ghana, joined Jun 2004, 3438 posts, RR: 14
Reply 8, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 11498 times:

Wow impressed with the food on intra-european flights i flew club with BA and all we got was Cheese sandwiches IMPRESSED!!!!


Next destinations, Suarabaya, beirut, paris, Accra
User currently offlineBofredrik From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 11461 times:

Very nice presentation! I give it 5 STAR! *****

User currently offlineCambrian From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 619 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 11460 times:

Thanks for all of your comments.

Quoting B742 (Reply 1):
I wonder why the 9W 343 was at ATH, maybe a diversion from the LHR-BOM-LHR route? Or was it operating for GF on lease from 9W?

Yes, I am wondering if it was operating for GF or OA? Does anybody know?

Quoting Mhodgson (Reply 2):
£432 sounds like a bargain for the service you received!

Yes, I think so too! It is certainly cheaper than BA or even OA, and also cheaper than LH and AF. I think that the only comparable fare that I found for this routing was with AZ or LO, and that would have meant travelling from Heathrow. I always seem to find attractive fares with Swiss.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 3):
I must say the food served looks superb and yes, the pre-departure drinks is a nice aspect, it is a shame BA don't do this, though it's not the be all and end all.

Both the quality of the food and the service is impressive. I really can't imagine why BA can't do this, except from a cost point of view. This is one small thing that makes me prefer Swiss. I have flown LHR-ATH on BA in Club often, and they have taken the IFE off this 3.15 flight- there used to be a film. Also the food and drinks are often served together and in a rush. The crew can't wait to disappear, and an hour into the flight, the meal is over and I am twiddling my thumbs. BA could really learn a lot from LX. I hear that they are now trialling a new Club cabin with the middle seat blocked.

I've only flown 1 round trip on LX and that was in 'Y', just before they introduced charging for food/drinks so I can't really comment on the service, plus I was so tired I pretty much slept the whole of both flights.

Thankfully Swiss no longer charge for food in Y. That was a big mistake. Hopefully they have seen sense!

It's such a shame LX have joined Star, they would have been a real asset to OneWorld.

Yes, but everyone I talked to at LX maintain that BA was not offering any long term investment, but merely wanted to skim off their elite Travel Club members. Swiss also managed the negotiations badly, giving up some Heathrow slots, signalling the end of LX operated flights between LHR and GVA. In fact, Swiss serve more destinations from LCY than LHR.

Quoting BAViscount (Reply 5):
LCY is the only one of London's airports that I have yet to fly from...infact, believe it or not, I've never even been there for a bit of spotting!

It really is so convenient and user-friendly, and it will be even easier when the DLR opens in Dec 2005. I am not sure what the spotting is like there.

Quoting ZRH" class=quote target=_blank>ZRH (Reply 6):
It is nice to see a very good report about Swiss flights from a non Swiss citizen

I really cannot imagine a reason for flying a different airline! As I mentioned in my report, what I like best about Swiss is their consistent high standards. I do hope that they survive intact under the umbrella of LH.

ZRH is a fantastic hub airport. I regret that Swiss have reduced their presence at GVA somewhat. It is very good for travellers from the UK to have connection possibilities on Swiss through GVA, ZRH and BSL. But these days most connections are only possible via ZRH.

Quoting Atco2b (Reply 7):



Quoting Atco2b (Reply 7):
And I bet your coffee was about £3.95

LOL! Bizarrely, I managed to spend exactly £4,00 without even adding up what I bought. Spooky...

Quoting Soups (Reply 8):
Wow impressed with the food on intra-european flights i flew club with BA and all we got was Cheese sandwiches IMPRESSED!!!!

Yes, I have been there too, and it is a lonely place...On Swiss they even smile when they are giving you your meal. How weird is that?  Smile


User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 24
Reply 11, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 11429 times:

Great report !

Re: "LCY": I can´t wait for the DLR (rail link to the City) to be opened in December 2005. With this link, LCY will make a good place to to some spotting (even though the variety of types is limited).

Re: "ZRH": Unfortunalety the Airside Center opened a week after my last flight through ZRH Sad , but "E-Gates" (formerly known as "Dock Midfield") indeed is impressive (used as a pax and as a spotter).
-HT



Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
User currently offlineSemsem From Israel, joined exactly 9 years ago today! , 1779 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11268 times:

Wonderful report. I may be wrong but it seems that SWISS is improving.

User currently offlineTriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4693 posts, RR: 43
Reply 13, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 10986 times:

Hi David!
Thank you for taking the time to write such a superb report - and I must say that your meal pictures really made me hungry. Big grin

I have to agree with your assessment regarding the standard of SWISS C-class service. It is certainly above average on intra-European flights.

With the takeover by LH and the inevitable "streamlining" of services coming up in the future, unfortunately I expect this to change quite a bit, since my "beloved" national carrier has the tendency to water down the service standards of its subsidiaries to the same mediocre level like LH mainline.

Quoting Cambrian (Thread starter):
Why is it that at Heathrow the gate often appears seemingly at the last minute?!

It seems to be quite common at many British airports. IMO it is a ridiculous attempt of the airport authorities to herd the passengers in the shopping mall/ food court areas for as long as possible in order to squeeze some more money out of them. Doesn't work for me though. Big grin



Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
User currently offlineLindy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 10814 times:

Very nice report. I miss Swiss at IAD. I have flown with Swiss out of IAD more than any other Int'l airline. Come back to IAD!!!  Smile

Rafal


User currently offlineMH017 From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 1684 posts, RR: 31
Reply 15, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 10798 times:

David,

What an excellent trip-report accompanied with mouth-watering meal pictures  Smile
It's an excellent airline; how pityfull they sport such a boring colourscheme  Sad

Great to see, btw, the Buffalo (Egyptian AF ?) is still roaming around southern European skiers  Wow!



don't throw away tomorrow !
User currently offlineZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5566 posts, RR: 36
Reply 16, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 10781 times:

Quoting Lindy (Reply 14):
Come back to IAD!!!

As Swiss is now a Star Alliance member there is probably a chance. Sorry, but only a small one because UA is flying this route and I don't think that two flights between ZRH and IAD can be filled and furthermore Swiss is lacking enough long-haul aircrafts at the moment.


User currently offlineZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5566 posts, RR: 36
Reply 17, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 10768 times:

Quoting MH017 (Reply 15):
how pityfull they sport such a boring colourscheme

Matter of taste. I find it very elegant, clean and classy. I like it far better than all these airlines with much kitschy color. I specially like (liked) the Swiss livery on the MD 11s:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Gerardo Dominguez
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Gerardo Dominguez



[Edited 2005-09-14 22:01:31]

User currently offlineGSPSPOT From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3009 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 10708 times:

Spectacular report and pictures! I'm so jealous! Even First Class on U.S. carriers is a half-hearted joke compared to Business on most European carriers. Glad to have enjoyed your trip along with you!


Finally made it to an airline mecca!
User currently offlineBA380 From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 1466 posts, RR: 8
Reply 19, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 10701 times:

i always enjoy your reports, Cambrian...

you are an evangelist for Swiss, but this report really impressed me - it looks like a great option. may have to give it a go.

any Caribbean trips coming up?



cabin crew: doors to automatic and cross-check...
User currently offlineCambrian From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 619 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 10587 times:

Quoting Semsem (Reply 12):
I may be wrong but it seems that SWISS is improving

Hi Semsem,

Did you have bad experiences with LX?

Quoting TriStar500 (Reply 13):
I have to agree with your assessment regarding the standard of SWISS C-class service. It is certainly above average on intra-European flights.


Yes, IMHO there really is no other option on European flights, connections permitting!

With the takeover by LH and the inevitable "streamlining" of services coming up in the future, unfortunately I expect this to change quite a bit, since my "beloved" national carrier has the tendency to water down the service standards of its subsidiaries to the same mediocre level like LH mainline.



I really hope that this doesn't happen. I am also worried that the excellent customer service from the Travel Club is not watered down when it inevitably merges into Miles & More.

Quoting TriStar500 (Reply 13):
IMO it is a ridiculous attempt of the airport authorities to herd the passengers in the shopping mall/ food court areas for as long as possible in order to squeeze some more money out of them.

I hadnt' thought of that! But you are probably right. I am now dreaming of the wide open spaces of the Airside Center at ZRH- pretty different from Heathrow!

Quoting MH017 (Reply 15):
What an excellent trip-report accompanied with mouth-watering meal pictures
Thanks! Yes, the food was really good throughout.

It's an excellent airline; how pityfull they sport such a boring colourscheme

Really? I actually quite like it! To me, it is clean and simple. I actually like their branding throughout.

Quoting GSPSPOT (Reply 18):
Spectacular report and pictures! I'm so jealous! Even First Class on U.S. carriers is a half-hearted joke compared to Business on most European carriers.

Thanks. That is an anomaly that I can never understand; Americans seem to expect and demand good service in other areas, yet they put up with such mediocre airlines. I have never understood that. Perhaps some of our US friends can enlighten us on that one?

Quoting BA380 (Reply 19):
i always enjoy your reports, Cambrian...
you are an evangelist for Swiss, but this report really impressed me - it looks like a great option. may have to give it a go.

any Caribbean trips coming up?


BA380, you are too kind!
Yes, I am, unashamedly! But they really do deliver, and the fare was very good, as long as you don't mind a connection.
It already feels like winter here in London today, so the Caribbean seems very enticing. I think that I am going to head down to Barbados around November time. Thanks to my BA Amex card, I have enough miles for a round trip in First- should be good!

[Edited 2005-09-15 10:53:33]

[Edited 2005-09-15 10:54:41]

[Edited 2005-09-15 10:55:31]

[Edited 2005-09-15 10:56:11]

User currently offlineBA380 From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 1466 posts, RR: 8
Reply 21, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 10557 times:

Quoting Cambrian (Reply 20):
I have enough miles for a round trip in First- should be good!

very good. BA F is so good - as we have both previously testified on this site. Looking to book something to the Caribbean myself for later in the year. Not sure what yet, though.



cabin crew: doors to automatic and cross-check...
User currently offlineZRHnerd From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 10536 times:

Nice to see another excellent report about Swiss. I'm a very frequent Swiss Business class flyer and can frankly say i have never been disappointed. They even treat stand-by passengers (like me), who only pay 10% of the normal fare, like full paying customers.   

What was security and immigration like in LCY? last time i travelled through LCY (In March) i was quite amazed to notice that my bags weren't x-rayed and i didnt even have to show my passport!

regards from ZRH

[Edited 2005-09-15 13:50:34]

[Edited 2005-09-15 13:50:52]

[Edited 2005-09-15 13:51:40]

User currently offlineChristao17 From Thailand, joined Apr 2005, 938 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 10489 times:

David -

Fantastic report. Very detailed and the photos very nice, too. I haven't had the pleasure of flying Swiss yet but look forward to doing so one of these days. I was quite suprised by the quality of service out of and into LCY as you describe it. Guess I've just suffered so long with RJ service in the US and Canada that I can't imagine proper business class service on an RJ!

I'm going to make a guess that a very large percentage of us saw the picture of the SWISS lamp, read that it is available on their web site, and gave some very serious thought to ordering it!

Thanks for the report!

Chris



Keeping the "civil" in civil aviation...
User currently offlineCougarAviator From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 349 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 10477 times:

What a very nice trip report!!!!!!!

Job well done, and thanks for sharing!!



Failure is not an option.....
25 Lewis : Great report. Seems like you enjoyed your flight (the food looks great!) and your stay in ATH. Lately I have been choosing flights out of LCY to ATH w
26 Musapapaya : Very nice report here! Thanks very much for sharing - one thing I can tell you is that whenever I booked to fly with whichever airline, I just give th
27 ZKSUJ : Very nice report. Glad to hear you had a good time on LX, havent read a report from LCY before, very interesting
28 Cambrian : OK- confession time! Since posting the report I did order the lamp from the Swiss website. It arrived the other day, and it looks fantastic on my des
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