ANITIX87
Topic Author
Posts: 2952
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:52 am

Switzerland 2006 Part I LX17 JFK-ZRH

Sun Jul 23, 2006 2:02 am

Hey guys. Just got back from my annual family vacation to Europe. This year was just Switzerland, however, since tickets to Greece cost an arm and a leg. Our flights were JFK-ZRH and GVA-JFK since we spent time in Lugano and Sion and drove across the country. Before you read any farther, please accept my apologies for the lack of in-flight photos on the outbound trip, as I was in a middle seat. Also, you’ll notice I am very precise about the times everything happened. Don’t quite know why I’m so anal, but I am, so deal with it. Haha. Only kidding. Enjoy this, my second-ever trip report!

Outbound trip:
Date: June 31, 2006
Flight: LX17 – Swiss International Airlines
Routing: JFK-ZRH
Aircraft (Registration): Airbus A330-200 (HB-IQC)

Excited as usual, we packed last minute and left the house at 2:22 PM, having planned to leave around 2:00. We drove into New York City to get my cousin, who was going to drop us off at JFK and then keep the car while we were away, so she could come pick us up when we came home. There was a ton of traffic in New York, and we didn’t get to the airport until 4:06. We had wanted to get there around 3:15 so we could spend a lot of time in the lounge, something we all love to do before a flight. The check-in line was not very long and we were called to the booth at 4:15. The new system of checking the weight of baggage and then having you bring them over to a screening machine is, in my opinion, ridiculous. It took us until 4:30 to get all out bags checked and our boarding passes printed! We got to the lounge at 4:35 and could only spend an hour and 15 minutes there instead of the 2+ hours we had planned on giving ourselves before the flight. The lounge had a lot of good goof, and the Italy-Ukraine game was on. I sat to watch a little and ate some Manecotti (spelling?) and a salad. I also drank about 7 gallons of water (about 25 gallons for the Europeans, and yes, that’s an exaggeration) before the flight. I have leg cramping problems and dehydration on planes can be a killer. After a few minutes of soccer, some good food, and waiting for the staff to finish cleaning the windows (which I thought they would do AFTER the lounge was closed, not in the middle of the day) I took a seat on a stool and spotted for an hour. The Swiss lounge is in an idea spot for Terminal 4 pictures, and here are just some of about 150 I took. This was the very first time I used my new camera (Olympus Evolt E-500) and I am very pleased with the results. These are the unedited ones, but some of them have been, are, or will be in the queue at some point with slight adjustments.

http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g243/CHTis87/VS_744.jpg
Departing for LHR.
http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g243/CHTis87/VS_343_3.jpg
Being pushed to its Terminal 4 departure stand.
http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g243/CHTis87/VS_343_1.jpg
Being pushed to its Terminal 4 departure stand.
http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g243/CHTis87/UR-VVF_763_1.jpg
Awaiting passengers, crew, and cargo.
http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g243/CHTis87/UR-VVF_763_2.jpg
Being prepped for it's trip to the Ukraine.
http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g243/CHTis87/T4_overview_2.jpg
LX's domination of Terminal 4 at this time of day!
http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g243/CHTis87/LX_tails.jpg
My favorite tail design. So elegant.
http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g243/CHTis87/Jamaica_343.jpg
Just arrived, now unloading.
http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g243/CHTis87/I-EEZB_332_3.jpg
Taxi to Runway 31L.
http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g243/CHTis87/I-EEZB_332_1.jpg
Taxy to Runway 31L with special Italian soccer team logo.

After our time in the lounge, we left to make our way to the gate. Security at Terminal 4 during trans-Atlantic rush-hour can be a pain, so we snuck into the Business Class security line, even though we should have been in the cattle-class lane. We got through security at 5:31 and got to the gate 5 minutes later. Boarding started right on time, and my family’s row was called at 5:46. We settled into our seats (my dad in 27D and my mom, sister, and I in 28D E F, respectively). We pushed back at 6:11 (scheduled for 6:10) and began the most excruciating part of the flight: taxi for takeoff at JFK during rush-hour. Taxi took us 51 minutes, and we finally took off at 7:02PM from Runway 31L. We were on our way to ZRH.

About 45 minutes into the flight, meal service for those with special meals was started. My entire family gets special meals, with my parents and I getting the low-fat meal and my sister getting the vegetarian meal. The low-fat meal was chicken with white rice, a bowl of fruit, vegetables, and a rice cake (which I traded my sister for her roll of bread). The food was very, very good, and I love getting served before everyone else so I can eat in peace and start the IFE (or my nap, if I can actually get to sleep) early. When I fly across the Atlantic on a night flight, I wake up after a few hours of sleep (if I’m lucky) and always feel very nauseous. I almost always throw up. I decided to try a new theory this time, and not sleep at all. Just spend the whole flight reading, listening to music, or enjoying the IFE. My rationale for this theory was that it would simply be like staying up late, since we landed in ZRH at 8:10, the equivalent of 2:10AM back in New York. My theory worked, and it also helped a lot that I became friends with the kid next to me (Evan) and we talked for most of the flight. I only dislike him for not introducing me to his sister (who was a few rows up and was really, really good looking and only a year younger than me). You’d think he could have done that as a favor since he got to meet my sister and they exchanged numbers. The IFE was started just as the main meal service began, and my sister, Evan, and I settled down to watch The Pink Panther, with Steve Martin. I’d seen all the originals with Peter Sellers, and while I knew this wouldn’t live up to them, I never expected such a crap movie from Steve Martin. I was so disappointed I almost turned it off. Thank God it was short! LX’s in-flight entertainment is sort of on-demand, and sort of not. Everyone has their own screen and can choose what the want to watch, but you cannot start it at any time. The movies all start at once, and then once they are all finished (which is never at the same time) the cycle begins again. This usually takes a little over two hours. So after the Pink Panther, I played “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” and won on the first try. Then, for some reason, I couldn’t get past the 4,000 point question. Once the movies came back on, I watched “8 Below” and was very impressed. Based on the cast I was expecting a stupid plot with lots of comic relief, but it was actually a very good movie. Once that was over I watched some sitcoms until the cycle of movies was ended and caught the very end of Frasier and an episode of Seinfeld. After two movies, some games, and some sitcoms it was time for breakfast and the cabin lights came on slowly to wake everybody up. FA’s said it was now ok to open window shades and natural light filtered through the cabin as well. My low-fat breakfast consisted of a croissant, fruit, yogurt, and orange juice. They came around later with more croissants and I gladly took another (so much for the low-fat aspect of my breakfast). After breakfast, and right before our descent, came the best part of every LX flight. Hot towels to clean up your face and hands, and a Swiss chocolate.

We started our descent over France and Germany, came south between Bern and Zurich, turned over Luzern and Uri, and landed on Runway 34 at 8:05AM local time. The landing used no thrust reverse because of the layout of the Runway and we taxied to the International terminal and parked at 8:11. We walked out of the plane, I said bye to Evan, and we took the underground train to the main terminal at ZRH. We went through Passport Control at 8:31 and had to wait until 8:42 for our luggage. Not too long but we were far from being the first ones to get our luggage. I was surprised how fast ZRH gets the baggage out onto the belts. We went through customs with nothing to declare at 8:45. My mother and I went to Swisscom to find SIM cards for our phones, but could not find ones that worked since American cell phones are locked. My dad, in the mean time, went to get the rental car, which we got at 9:11. We left ZRH at 9:19, and with my dad’s incredible sense of direction we got to Cadro Panoramica Tennis Club (just above Lugano) at 1:40PM (a drive or 4 hours and 20 minutes instead of the roughly 3 hours and 30 minutes it should have taken us). My theory of not sleeping on the plane worked beautifully on the flight, but by 11:00AM Swiss time I was exhausted. I got sick several times in the car and when we got to Cadro I slept from 2:00 until 5:00 when the World Cup games were on.

Conclusions:
Our flight was scheduled for a time of 7 hours and 55 minutes from gate to gate. It actually took us 8 hours and 1 minutes, but we spent 51 minutes of that time on the ground at JFK. They really need to so something about it. Or, LX should move one of the ZRH A332 flights to EWR instead of having two dailies from JFK. The seats in Coach on LX are very comfortable and the seat pitch is more than enough for me, though my dad, at 6 foot 4 inches, is always quite cramped. I sat in those seats easily for 8 hours, but my problem is always that my legs cramp if I don’t move them enough, and getting up to walk around when I’m in the middle of the middle seats is a hassle. I had to bother Evan several times during the flight because I had to give the aisle seat to my mom who has health problems, so she needs to get to the lavatory immediately sometimes. The IFE on LX is good and rarely fails, but there needs to be more selections and it should really be on demand. It is, in my opinion, the only negative thing about LX. The airline is very good (food, service, punctuality, amenities) but I think that with an AVOD system like Virgin’s or like a lot of the Asian airlines it could be a world-class carrier to an even greater extent with Star Alliance behind it.

Again, sorry for the lack of in-flight pictures. As compensation, here's some pictures from Switzerland. Just a few, so as not to take up all the bandwith.

http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g243/CHTis87/AP121446.jpg
Le Jet D'eau, one of Geneva's most famous landmarks.
http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g243/CHTis87/AP111225.jpg
Lake created by a dam in the Nendaz Valley.
http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g243/CHTis87/AP101015.jpg
Cousins and my sister. From left to right, Claire, Daphne (my sister), Anne, Line, Jorge, Renaud, and Frederic.
http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g243/CHTis87/AP101020.jpg
The view from my grandmother's Chalet on the Rhone Valley.
http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g243/CHTis87/top_wideview_4.jpg
View across the Rhone Valley from the top of the Nufenen Pass.
http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g243/CHTis87/top_me_and_Daphne.jpg
My sister and I at the top of the Nufenen, in front of a glacier.
http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g243/CHTis87/view_wide_5.jpg
View from our condo at the resort in Lugano.
LUG_1.jpg" target=_blank>LUG_1.jpg" width=650 height=488 alt="http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g243/CHTis87/view_airport_LUG_1.jpg" border=0>
View on Lugano from the top of the Funiculaire.
http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g243/CHTis87/view_Lugano.jpg
View of LUG from the top of the funiculaire.

Return leg to be posted in Separate Thread because this one is quite large with all the spotting photos.

TIS
www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
 
DeltaWings
Posts: 1234
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 4:06 am

RE: Switzerland 2006 Part I LX17 JFK-ZRH

Sun Jul 23, 2006 2:36 am

Excellent trip report!!

I say, you make a good swiss for keeping such accurate time!  Smile

Quoting ANITIX87 (Thread starter):
The lounge had a lot of good goof, and the Italy-Ukraine game was on

lol, i remember that game as if it was yesterday, Ukraine was such a letdown  Smile

DeltaWings
Homer: Marge, it takes two to lie. One to lie and one to listen.
 
semsem
Posts: 1621
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 1:06 am

RE: Switzerland 2006 Part I LX17 JFK-ZRH

Sun Jul 23, 2006 6:56 am

Thanks for the nice pictures of Switzerland. A nice change from all plane pictures.
 
MCOflyer
Posts: 7071
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 5:51 am

RE: Switzerland 2006 Part I LX17 JFK-ZRH

Sun Jul 23, 2006 7:34 am

Good trip report. I agree with you on the Pinkpanther, but its too funny to not resist.

MCOflyer
Never be afraid to stand up for who you are.
 
ANITIX87
Topic Author
Posts: 2952
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:52 am

RE: Switzerland 2006 Part I LX17 JFK-ZRH

Sun Jul 23, 2006 9:33 am

Quoting Semsem (Reply 2):
Thanks for the nice pictures of Switzerland. A nice change from all plane pictures.

No problem. I love that country so much.

Quoting MCOflyer (Reply 3):
Good trip report. I agree with you on the Pinkpanther, but its too funny to not resist.

Yes, I agree it had some hilarious moments (like the hamburgers in the pockets) but they should really have tried harder to recreate the Peter Sellers comedy, timing, and accent. Steve Martin's accent was way too fake and the comedy just became stupid, instead of being well-timed, intelligent slap-stick like it was in the originals.

TIS
www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
 
lhrmaccoll
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RE: Switzerland 2006 Part I LX17 JFK-ZRH

Sun Jul 23, 2006 7:37 pm

Quoting ANITIX87 (Thread starter):
we spent 51 minutes of that time on the ground at JFK. They really need to so something about it.

Haha - you should try LHR some day at peak
Me and my mum decided to take a trip the other day to catch a few airports (ok thats mainly me, HOWEVER, my mum knew about all the AC we were on Big grin) and also experience a bit of Geneva as we hadn't been there before: LHR-AMS-CDG-FRA-GVA-ZRH-MAN-LHR in three days and on the LHR-AMS sector with BD, between boarding and takeoff, the time was an hour and a half.
Totally ridiculous.
Great report BTW
 
ANITIX87
Topic Author
Posts: 2952
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:52 am

RE: Switzerland 2006 Part I LX17 JFK-ZRH

Sun Jul 23, 2006 10:51 pm

Quoting Lhrmaccoll (Reply 5):
Haha - you should try LHR some day at peak

So I've heard. Thankfully, however, when I came back from Switzerland last year through LHR (ZRH-LHR-EWR) it was an early flight, so the taxi time wasn't horrendous. What I did hate about LHR, however, was that we had 4 hours for our change-over and we barely made the flight. LHR is a zoo, and I swore right then and there I will never go transit through there again.

TIS
www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
 
lhrmaccoll
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RE: Switzerland 2006 Part I LX17 JFK-ZRH

Sun Jul 23, 2006 11:06 pm

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 6):
LHR is a zoo

It is, but I still love the place  Silly
Its better than LGW or STN or worse: LTN
The connections out of Heathrow are worth fighting the zoo-like nature for
 
ANITIX87
Topic Author
Posts: 2952
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:52 am

RE: Switzerland 2006 Part I LX17 JFK-ZRH

Mon Jul 24, 2006 12:35 pm

Quoting Lhrmaccoll (Reply 7):
The connections out of Heathrow are worth fighting the zoo-like nature for

Where can you go to from LHR that you can't get to from CDG, FRA, ZRH, or AMS? Depending on where you are going, you can always find a flight from one of those airports, and none of them are as bad as LHR (except maybe CDG, I've never been through there). With all the alliance out there, it's easy to avoid LHR and I think I will do so forever. I found it insane that with 4 hours between flights last year we barely made it to the second. At JFK this year my friend had a 1.5 hour layover to do GVA-JFK-PIT and he went through passport control, got his back, checked in, changed terminals, went through security, and got to his gate 25 minutes before boarding. That's really fast!

TIS
www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
 
ZRH
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RE: Switzerland 2006 Part I LX17 JFK-ZRH

Fri Jul 28, 2006 6:10 am

Quoting ANITIX87 (Thread starter):
LX's in-flight entertainment is sort of on-demand, and sort of not



Quoting ANITIX87 (Thread starter):
The IFE on LX is good and rarely fails, but there needs to be more selections and it should really be on demand



Quoting ANITIX87 (Thread starter):
but I think that with an AVOD system like Virgin's or like a lot of the Asian airlines it could be a world-class carrier to an even greater extent with Star Alliance behind it.

Thanks for the report. You have experienced the IFE on the Swiss 332. The Swiss 343 have a new one with real on demand (AVOD).
 
DALelite
Posts: 1318
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2000 7:00 am

RE: Switzerland 2006 Part I LX17 JFK-ZRH

Sat Aug 12, 2006 8:23 am

Quoting ANITIX87 (Thread starter):
Our flight was scheduled for a time of 7 hours and 55 minutes from gate to gate. It actually took us 8 hours and 1 minutes, but we spent 51 minutes of that time on the ground at JFK. They really need to so something about

well, come on, give LX a break, that's the business!!

enjoy: DALelite
They loved to fly and it showed..
 
ba319-131
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RE: Switzerland 2006 Part I LX17 JFK-ZRH

Mon Aug 14, 2006 2:19 am

Nice report, LX sound pretty good long haul.

I had wanted to fly them on 'C' long haul, but since they joined Star Alliance it's pretty unlikely, I'm a firm OneWorld follower  Smile

I'll look out for the return.

Rgds

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
 
ANITIX87
Topic Author
Posts: 2952
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:52 am

RE: Switzerland 2006 Part I LX17 JFK-ZRH

Mon Aug 14, 2006 9:07 pm

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 11):
I'll look out for the return.

Return was posted the same day (possibly the day after, depending on where you live). Same title, called Part II instead.

Quoting DALelite (Reply 10):
well, come on, give LX a break, that's the business!!

I wasn't saying anything against LX!!!! JFK is always like that, regardless of the airline, if you leave at Trans-Atlantic rush hour. TWA was like that when I flew them, DL was like that, SR was like that, and now LX is like that. It's a shame there is no GVA flight with LX from EWR!

TIS
www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
 
DALelite
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Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2000 7:00 am

RE: Switzerland 2006 Part I LX17 JFK-ZRH

Thu Aug 17, 2006 9:03 am

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 12):
It's a shame there is no GVA flight with LX from EWR!

perhaps of the CO EWR-GVA flight? Or is it the we are only fly out of ZRH policie?

regards from BSL: DALelite
They loved to fly and it showed..
 
ANITIX87
Topic Author
Posts: 2952
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:52 am

RE: Switzerland 2006 Part I LX17 JFK-ZRH

Thu Aug 17, 2006 9:04 pm

Quoting DALelite (Reply 13):
perhaps of the CO EWR-GVA flight? Or is it the we are only fly out of ZRH policie?

regards from BSL: DALelite

I don't quite understand what you mean. LX only flies to EWR from ZRH, and it's on a PrivatAir 737BBJ. EWR is much more convenient for many people in the NYC area, and since I have a FF program with LX they're my airline of choice. I wish they had mainline service to EWR (either GVA or ZRH) because the PrivatAir flight is very expensive, and JFK can be quite a hassle. I do like CO but they're much more expensive than LX to go to GVA, and even the convenience of EWR is not worth the extra price difference.

TIS
www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4

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