Parked my car on one of the nearby streets close to the travel interchange and made it with plenty of time for the coach service, then I realized I had forgotten my camera!! D’oh! Oh well… nothing I can do about it now.
Slowly but surely our coach managed the early morning traffic of the M3 and M25 and arrived at LHR’s T2 at around 6:50ish, and went straight to the LX desks to drop my bag off where I was served by a nice LX agent, I had checked-in online the day before in order to avoid any long lines at check-in and also to avoid the long lines for security at LHR specially after the Glasgow scare, to my surprise the lines were not that big and I cleared security in less than 5 minutes.
And so here it goes.
Thursday July 5th 2007
Flight LX317 LHR-ZRH
Departure 8:40 am / Actual 8:50
Arrival 11:30am / Actual 11:35
Airbus A321 (downgraded to A320 HB-IJO)
Photo © Pavel Pyasetsky
Photo © Gerardo Dominguez
After security I just wandered about T2 and sat around near a window and watched the early morning action on the ramp, My boarding pass indicated a boarding time of 8:00 am but at 7:50am there was no presence of any LX hardware, slight delay perhaps… no biggie.
At around 8:20am an A320 with a white cross on its tail appeared and I was a bit disappointed since I was looking forward for an A321 ride, I haven’t been on too many of those you see, so… but anyways an A320 is always good too, would have preferred an A330 but that’s pushing it…
Anyways I made my way to Gate 5 where our flight will be departing and waited in the lounge until boarding was called, shortly afterwards boarding started and at the gate I was greeted by the senior purser (which coincidentally will be my crew again on the FCO-ZRH flight 3 days later) I located my seat which turned out to be just behind the curtain that separates Business class with us poor cattle, this A320 had the new Recaro Slim-line leather seats which in my opinion look very smart and together with the spotless cabin of the aircraft it made it all look very elegant, seat pitch is great too!
Boarding finished quickly and we were pushed back and taxied to RWY 27R, the safety video was shown on the drop-down LCD tv’s we slowly made our way to the active, and taxied behind one the U.A.E’s private 744’s, after the 744 took off we lined up on the runway and waited for a bit, then “DING-DONG” and we started to accelerate after a brisk take off roll our A320 climbed out of LHR into a misty London morning.
Once we reached a decent altitude, the crew started their service which consists of a chocolate muffin a drink (coffee, tea, orange juice, water) and the famous LX chocolate. All very nice, The crew today was brilliant specially the purser, she was very professional and performed her tasks with a genuine smile on her face the rest of the crew were just as good! After we stuffed our faces of muffins and chocolates the crew came around to collect the rubbish and offer the duty free.
Flight time was a very short 1:10 and the captain came on the p/a to give us a little briefing on the flight, flight level was FL390, our route took us east of LHR onto Dover then across the channel to Belgium, then over Luxembourg and hitting Switzerland around Basel he told us that due to heavy (!) traffic in ZRH we will be put on a pattern but we will still make it on time to ZRH.
Weather in ZRH wasn’t nice today, loads of cloud and rain (England you are not alone) and after a bumpy approach the captain made a greaser on ZRH’s RWY 14 (Ryanair Pilots take note on how to land a plane) we taxied to our gate and after deplaning I made a dash for the transfer desk for my connecting flight to FCO on gate A64.
Overall a nice flight, excellent crew and nice service.
I was a bit worried by now since boarding time for my flight to FCO was 11:55 and it was already 11:40 by the time we deplaned, but when I made it to gate A64 it turns out our aircraft for FCO was also just arriving.
Photo © Alsatian D
Thursday July 5th 2007,
Flight LX1736 ZRH-FCO
Departure 12:35 pm / Actual 12:35
Arrival 14:00am / Actual 13:45
Airbus A320 (downgraded to A319 HB-IPR)
Photo © Jose Geraldes
Photo © Jerome Zbinden
So… another equipment change today! Since I have not flown on a LX319 yet, this was welcomed and also because my seat (10F) turned out to be an Emergency Exit seat, so more legroom! Stored my laptop on the overhead locker and made myself indeed very comfortable on my seat and waited for boarding to be completed, this plane also had the slim-line seats BTW, once boarding was done and dusted, one of the F/A’s gave me the old “you are seated in an emergency exit seat so it’s your duty to help” jibba-jabba, meanwhile the Captain came on to welcome us onboard and to brief us a bit on the flight, strong tailwinds meant our flight time today was going to be 55 minutes, so we would arrive 15 minutes ahead of schedule.
We pushed back by means of one of those cool tugs that lift the nose gear up a bit, and taxied to runway 28 behind a couple of company RJ’s and a Helvetic F100, we lined up on the runway and after the “DING-DONG” the captain put the engines on chipper mode and we rocketed off into a cloudy ZRH, for me the best part of the flights is the takeoff, I love the anticipation while holding on the runway and then when the engines start spooling up and then swoosh you are glued to the back of the seat with the lovely sound of CFM’s growling on the background
After we reached a safe altitude the signs were turned off and the crew started their service, this time a sandwich was handed over, with the same selection of drinks and the chocolate, followed by duty free, the rest of the flight was uneventful, soon after, we pointed downwards as we started our descent and by this time things got a bit shaky, we hit some turbulence but nothing to worry about, our trusty baby-bus soldiered on like a true composite warrior, on approach we flew over some residential area near the coast and you could see loads of people enjoying this beautiful summer’s day by the beach, our approach was pretty much straight in and the captain again made a greaser on FCO’s rwy 16R, we taxied to our gate on terminal C and parked next to a BA757 (G-BPEJ) after deplaning I took the skytrain to the main terminal and cleared passport control in no time and went to collect my bag.
Again, flawless service from LX, a short and sweet flight and professional service.
I was meant to meet my friend traveling from BCN on Clickair at 3:35 but he phoned me to tell me his flight was delayed until 4:30ish PM so he will make it to FCO at around 6:00ish, Bugger! So what’s there todo in FCO for almost 3 hours, well I wandered around a bit and found an Autogrill restaurant on the 3rd floor with some view of the ramp and sat down with a nice espresso and started writing this report.
Hope you enjoyed it and feel free to comment, return trip to follow soon.