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Joined: Sat May 22, 1999 3:49 am

Back To Europe From The West Coast With Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 7:37 pm

Hi dear friends!

It's about time! Finnally I can actually give you my latest trip report from our lastest adventure.
It was on the 15th. December that we left after one year the beautifull state of California were we passed 1 year. We left Fresno early in the morning to LAX and we wanted to be there on time. Lately we noticed that checking-in and boarding at USA is quite long so we wanted to get there early on time. And we did, we arrived at LAX at 11:45 ready to check-in in our SWISS flight LX41 from LAX to ZRH. First thing we found was that the flight was delayed about 1:10 minutes ( later we found that the flight ZRH/LAX was delayed due to a snowstorm ) so that gave us extra time to see some interesting airplanes at LAX. We headed to Tom Bradleys Terminal and had plenty of time to see good things, Lan-Chile 343, Air Pacific 744, China Easterm 343 and other good things that it's common to see there. Well finnally our "little bird" arrived and that's where my report starts:

Date: 2003/12/15
Airline: SWISS (LX)
Airplane: Airbus A340-313X
Registration: HB-JMC

One year ago I arrived with my family at LAX in a SWISS MD11 - HB-IWM - so I was very curious to see how the Airbus 340-300 was, it was my first time in a long-haul Airbus. The flight if it was not full was very close on that. We got seats 24A/B and 25A/B, very convenient because we have 2 kids and so me and my wife could have one kid with us and have a row just for us! First thing we noticed was the front-camera of the airplane that could give us the view ahead. The PTV's looked big compared with our previous ones that we had with BA ( PHL-LHR in July 2001 in G-BYGG ). After everything beeing ready we received clearance to push-back, everything went quite smooth until we were ready for take off. Our runway was ( I don't know full details ) the one that have the cargo airplanes on the other side. After linning up we started to roll, this us the first significant difference from the MD11, the power looked quite weak compared with the MD11, but we took off quite nicely and it was interesting to see the camera filming the take-off, that was very unique. After getting into the Pacif Ocean for a while we started to make a wide long left turn to head back to land. Because we left more than one our latter very soon the sun was down. Our flight headed to Las Vegas ( it was awsome to see all those light shinning down there.... ), and then going up northeast. First flight level we reached was FL290. After a period of time we stopped seeing any land and because it was night it was useless. Then came dinner, choise was pasta and chicken, before that we had aperitif drinks - I got a gin-tonic - and choosed chicken. It was quite good and I got white wine with it. We had a salad and a pastry with the meal. Then it came the coffee and a nice french cognac to finnish this part. The intertainment of the Airbus 343 is very good and very user-friendly, the problem was that for any reason some of the PTV's were not working ok and so the SWISS crew tried without sucess for the next 2 hour to run the program again, our kids were very frustrated at that time and some of us too! I think because is still a new system the crew didn't got a good trainning on that - well at least that's my opinion!!! Finnally they dropped everythng and showed one movie to everybody - "Seabiscuit". In the end they tryied again to recycle the system and then everything runned ok!!!! So we finnally could take a good advantage of that. The comands of the PTV are very good and there's a wide variety of movies, games and TV shows. Meanwhile we moved to FL330 over Canada already. Then it was about time to relax and rest a bit until we saw the sun comming up between Iceland and Great Britain, at this time we got some medium turbulance and we moved to FL350 for while and in the final part of our flight mazingly we moved again up to FL370. At this time we got our breakfast, bread, could meat, iogurth, orange juice and coffee. It was a nice taste too and after that we finnally started to descent to ZRH. Everything came smoothly until our landing, we could see that some fields around ZRH were white so it was a nice pleasant surprise! The landing was very smooth and quite short and here we were, back to good old Europe. We parked in the new Terminal E, very modern and very fast connecting with the other ones. The baggage came very fast ( ZRH is still for me the best place to get your baggage on time... ) and we had our friends waiting for us to drive us to St. Gallen where we got a huge snow storm, great and awsome for us and our kids!

Date: 2003/12/19
Airline: SWISS (LX)
Aircraft: Airbus A320-211
Registration: HB-IJS

Once again the left ZRH 1 hour late, the plane came late from the previous flight. Because it was Christmas time all the portuguese that live and work in Switzerland were ready to pass the season with their familys, result? The plane was completely ( I mean that with a lot of emphasis.... ) packed, in such a way that we had to put our hand-baggage below our seats! There is not a lot to say about this flight, we flew at FL370 all way to LIS, we tasted the "new" SWISS Europe service, the menus were quite ok, the prices were not bad at all and above that most of the people paid for the meal with no complain!!!! One thing it would be nice in the future for SWISS is during the check-in people should pay or not for their meal. This because during the flight the poor F/A have to give the food and receive the money and that is a load of work!!!! This would save a lot of time! The flight was very smooth all way to LIS and we landed in RN21. The landing was quite nice and short and we finnaly got to good old Portugal again!
Well, that's it! Just to finnish I think SWISS was good most of all, they tried their best when they had some difficulties ( PTV operation ), the new A340 is a great airplane, the service is good on intercontinental flights, acceptable in Europe and I see no reason to doubt that SWISS will not succeed in keep going.
Best regards
CV990, the Maserati of the skies!
Posts: 2847
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2001 3:16 am

RE: Back To Europe From The West Coast With Swiss!

Tue Jan 06, 2004 3:48 am

Thanks for posting this interesting report, I enjoyed reading very much! Good to hear that you liked the service on board. The LX A340 must be a great aircraft, I've been told their PTVs are the largest PTVs available. I read your posts in the forum and it was good to read that you got the A340.
Posts: 726
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2002 4:02 pm

RE: Back To Europe From The West Coast With Swiss!

Tue Jan 06, 2004 6:19 am

I'll always think of delays when I think of Swiss... I still remember being stuck in ZRH for 8 hours, and listening to never ending computer generated announcements, "XX Flight XX is will be delayed due to late arrival of the incoming aircraft.." Pure torture.

Glad you got the 340 though, I wasn't impressed with the MD11 when I did LAX-ZRH.

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