We got up early, at 5:30 am, to get ready and be at the airport at about 6:30, in order to get some breakfast. But somehow it didn't turn out that way: our garage door wouldn't work, and I had to figure how to open the thing manually, which made us lose 15 minutes on our scheduled time.
We were at the airport at about 6:45, did our check-in, and boarding was at 7:05. Just in time for a quick coffee and a croissant. OK, we had breakfast anyway, but it was a hurry.
Luckily, Lugano is a really small regional airport, where only one airline flies: Darwin Airline. It operates all flights, for themselves, for LX and F7 (FlyBaboo). This means your average trip from check-in to the gate takes approximately 2 minutes, including security check.
We boarded 7:25 - boarding in Lugano means walking out of the gate door, across the tarmac, and up the airplane stairs 50 meters later - and were ready for take-off in a matter of 5 minutes or so. Quick and efficient as usual.
Take-off right on time at 7:35 from Runway 19, with the 2 Rolls-Royce AE 2100A engines pushing the Saab 2000 (almost) straight up - I love Saab 2000 take-offs!
The flight was scheduled to last 50 minutes, but we touched down in Zurich only 35 minutes later.
It was a wonderful flight, with a great view on the Swiss Alps thanks to the good weather. On such a short flight, there's no in-flight service - actually, there is: those flying Business get a glass of water, juice or champagne, and a sandwich. For cattle-class passengers like us, nothing. But on such a short trip it's not expected either.
After disembarking from the Saab 2000 and taking the bus to ZRH Terminal 1, we proceeded directly to security for gates A01-A10. As usual, I had to take my laptop out of its case. Then we proceeded to the waiting area.
Boarding was scheduled to begin at 09:00, and it did.
Again a bus transfer to the airplane. The CRJ-700 was there waiting for us.
OK, I have to admit it - I've never been on board a CRJ-700 before. And like most fellow A.netters, I found it to be really cramped.
After the abrupt take-off (the pilot seemed to pull hard on the stick just to make my camera drop while I was filming the take-off - remember, all electronic devices must be turned off) I discovered that not only the CRJ-700 was cramped, but also very (very!) nosiy in seat 20F, about 2 meters from the engines. Nosiy as in "The Saab 2000 is more silent"!
Anyway, I got the chance to take a picture of ZRH from above:
We were served a snack, actually a really tasty cheese sandwich, and a drink. Another uneventful flight, and after 1:10 hours we landed in TXL (it was windy as usual), where we were greeted by yet another bus to the arrival terminal.
Wait, where's everybody? The place was absolutely empty after the passengers of our flight left. There actually only were 4 of us waiting for a luggage, all the others had left.
Now it's time for the actual vacation - 7 days in Berlin. It was an amazing time, and I suggest everyone who hasn't been there yet to visit the city. It's definitely worth it.
For those who are interested, we have a picture gallery of our stay: http://www.orselina.net/gallery/berlino2006 ... it also includes a CSD sub-gallery
Airline: Swiss International Air Lines
Type: Airbus A319-112
Fast-forward, 7 days later our vacation is over. At 12:55 we took the TXL bus from the Berlin Dome to the airport. A 35 minute trip. Quite clumsy with luggage, but definitely cheaper than a taxi. So here we are again, in TXL, do our check-in and quickly eat something for lunch.
After that, we proceed to security and to the gate. The gate waiting area is really small. And I mean it: most people couldn't have a seat, there simply weren't enough.
I didn't know TXL didn't have an airside with shopping, restaurants etc. Otherwise we would probably have waited a little more before going through security. Oh well.
Boarding time is 14:10, but it started 15 minutes late because the incoming aircraft from ZRH was also late. This time we even got a jetway - it's an A319 after all!
As we anticipated, we took off 15 minutes late. For some reason the flight only lasted 1 hour and we still arrived on-time in ZRH. We were served a Mövenpick ice cream (yummy!) and a drink. Only in ZRH I was able to take a picture of the airplane:
Airline: Swiss International Air Lines
Operated by: Darwin Airline
Type: Saab 2000
Same story like last time: we got out of the airplane (again through a jetway) and went to security for gates A01-A10. Boarding began an 16:40, and the good old bus brought us to the Saab 2000.
Take-off was on-time (hey, we have a pattern here! Everything's always on-time!). Bye bye, Zurich:
This flight only lasted 25 minutes because of the good weather: the pilot requested a visual approach to LUG and didn't need to fly all the way south to the PINIK IFR point for the LOC-DME approach. Here's a picture of the visual approach over beautiful Lugano:
And the video of the landing:
We landed early, and I stopped having a chat with the co-pilot who happened to be a flight instructor for Avilù, the flight school where I got my PPL back in 2003. I asked about jumpseating, but he told me that Darwin Airline had very strict procedures: you basically have to apply in writing in order to get a cockpit permit. The captain isn't allowed to just make someone enter the cockpit, even if it's someone he knows personally. Maybe I'll try for some future flight.
All in all, it was a great vacation. All the flights were on-time, with great weather, and no problems whatsoever. I can't comment too much on in-flight service: Darwin didn't have any, and it really was too quick to interact with the FA's on LX and LH. But they seemed very nice and efficient.
OK, that's it - we're back home. And this also ends my first trip report. I hope you've enjoyed it! Any comments are appreciated
ManuCH From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 2971 posts, RR: 51 Reply 6, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 7778 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW HEAD MODERATOR
Wow, thank you everyone for the compliments!
Quoting 797 (Reply 3): How did you put the videos like that?
I just uploaded them on YouTube.com, then used the "embed string" and copy-pasted it on here. It apparently worked...
Quoting TheLUREnyc (Reply 5): The pic of that hot guy facing the camera in the jetway pic -- is that you?
Not exactly - he's my partner I'll pass on the comment to him, I'm sure he'll be glad. You can see another (quite funny) pic of him here (directly from Berlin). For those who wonder what he was doing, we were preparing a postcard for his colleagues (primary school teachers )
Cambrian From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 617 posts, RR: 5 Reply 14, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 7384 times:
Quoting ManuCH (Reply 13): while you're here, keep in mind that there's the Locarno Film Festival from August 2nd to 12th.
Really? I was in Ascona a few weeks ago for the jazz festival. It was a lot of fun!
Quoting ManuCH (Reply 13): Y'all gotta come and visit this place sometime
Sssh! Don't give away the secret of how beautiful and (relatively) unspoilt the Ticino is!
I am flying back to LCY from BRN, so my trip will take in LCY, LUG and BRN airports- all very quiet and quick to transit. I am really looking forward to my trip, especially so since I read your report!