First off, this is my first SA
Linhas Aereas">TR, so please go easy on me. I have wanted to write a SA
Linhas Aereas">TR for a long time, but never came around to do so, until today. Secondly, please apologise for the bad quality of the pics. All i have is a crappy, old 2MP cam. Dirty windows, haze and my non existant photography skills added up to it.
Like every week, i received an e-mail by Swiss on Wednesday, advertising their Weekend specials, which is usually a handful of destinations that can be booked for the upcoming weekend at very competitive prices, and it was no different this week. Upon further investigation on Swiss.com, i saw that they had FRA
on offer aswell as PRG
. I have been thinking about another spotting trip for quite some time now, and having a choice between three of Europe's major gateways was exactly what I was looking for. After evaluating the pros and contras of each of the three, i finally settled for LHR
and booked a Business Class return trip for sunday, as i wanted to try LX
's european biz class for the first time. I found out that the fare was just about half of what a normally booked C class ticket for a one-day return trip would have been, and i would get full miles aswell, so it all looked like a great deal.
Sunday, August 5th
LX 316 Zurich-London
Scheduled Departure: 07:10 / Actual 07:40
Scheduled Arrival: 08:05 / Actual 08:10
Swiss Business Class, Seat 3F
Airbus A321 SA)">HB-IOD
On saturday, I went to bed at 10pm just to wake up two hours later and not being able to get to sleep again, so i got up, and killed some time on my PC
. A few hour slater, after the usual morning routine, i headed for the train station at 5:30am to catch a train which brought me to ZRH
within 5 minutes. After arrival, i headed for Checkin 1 which was deserted as opposed to Checkin 3, which was a mess. I headed for the Business class checkin, where i didnt have to wait and was checked in by a friendly agent, who assigned me seat 3F. On the counter next to us, there were two ladies arguing with the agent, apparently they were holding economy tickets but didnt want to wait in the economy line. After wasting a couple of minutes they realized that they wouldn't come around it and went to the economy checkin, my agent smiled at me and told me that this wasn't a rare occurance at all.
Boarding pass and my passport
After checkin, i had a look at the fairly new departure board. The new departure board is huge, in the pic, you can only see about a quarter of its real size. No prices for guessing which is the predominant airline at ZRH
I went straight through passport control where the agent didn't even bother to look at mine, then wandered through the Airside center, where most shops were just about to open.
Morning line-up at Terminal A, the Swiss/Star Alliance Terminal.
Security was a breeze even though the Business/First priority security check wasn't open yet,but i was through without problems within minutes. I bought a coffee as my body was screaming for coffeine and headed down Terminal A to my gate A66. At checkin, I got a lounge invitation, but opted not to go to the lounge in favor of watching some morning arrivals land on runway 34, and i knew i made the right choice when i saw a World Cargo MD11(Arriving for an A-Check at SRT) and an Air Slovakia B757 arrive, among the usual LX
A332s/A343s and TG
etc. It was close to impossible to get decent pics from where i was though, as you can see here:
This fella was parked at the gate opposite of mine. It had arrived from MCT via DXB
and was next headed to CDG
. Please apologise for the reflections.
They unloaded quite a number of these, i wonder what was in there.
Both ours and the CDG
gates started to fill up and it was getting really crowded. I decided to head over to the other side of the terminal. Morning traffic at Terminal E: LX
Our machine to LHR
Before i knew it, boarding had already started, by seatrows, and people were queuing for the usual extra passport control for US and UK bound flights. i kept sitting, listened to my Ipod and was reading the sunday newspaper until most people were on board, like i usually do. queuing for boarding is a waste of time in my opinion, as you have you assigned seat anyway.
Eventually when there were only a handful of people left waiting, i got up and headed for the passport control, where I got a big stamp onto my boarding pass saying "documents verified", then headed down the jetway and boarded our plane where i was greeted by two nice F/As and the Captain. I settled into 3F and had a look out of the window where sistership SA
)">HB-IOC, the former Olympic comitee plane, was boarding for a flight to BCN
The plane was fitted with the new Recaro seats. The cabin looks very modern and feels spacious, and legroom is great. As i weas traveling in J, the middle seat was blocked, which was nice, but it turned out that the seat next to me was the only empty J class seat left, jackpot! Y class seemed to be pretty full, i guess load factor was at about 95%.
While we were served preflight drinks and newspapers, the captain came on the PA and apologised for the delay, as our departure time of 7:10am had already passed.
The Reason given was the late arrival of the incoming aircraft from Thessaloniki, he then introduced the whole(!) crew, gave some details about our routing and weather in LHR
, and informed us that we would be on our way shortly, but will have to remain at the gate for another 10 minutes due to heavy traffic leaving ZRH
. Some 10 minute slater, we were pushed back and this company A319 took our gate as soon as we were out of it.
We taxied towards runway 28 and were apparently number one for takeoff as we pulled onto the runway and while turning onto it, the engines started to power up and we were already on our way, thundering down the runway. It all happened so quickly that i didnt get around to take any pics and after a lengthy takeoff roll we were climbing out of ZRH
. The town of Oberglatt on a very hazy sunday morning.
We then made a couple of left and right turns while climbing to our cruising altitude. Swiss landscape between Zurich and Basel.
Shortly afte rthe seatbelt sign was turned off, the cabin was filled with the smell of freshly baked bread, and minutes later, the captain came on the PA again to inform us that we were flying towards LHR
"at maximum speed", that our flying time will be about 1 hour and 20 minutes and that we'd have a nice view over the city of Basel in a couple of minutes. Indeed, soon after, Basel was passing below us in thick haze, with the airport clearly visible.
After passing Basel, breakfast service started and consisted of the following:
-Omellette, Hash browns (?)
-Cheese, Ham, "Bündner Fleisch"
-Croissants, bread rolls
-Coffee, Tea, Juices, Soft drinks
I was a bit disappointed about the presentation, but all in all it was filling and the bread rolls and croissants tasted great, warm, fresh, just how it's supposed to be. While eating breakfats, i realized that only ten years ago, you would have gotten the same in Economy class on Swissair intra-European flights. How the time has changed!
The cabin crew came around the cabin with refills throughout the flight and a second bread-round was offered.
When i finished breakfast, we had passed Paris already and were just about to start crossing the channel.
The sirshow was played during the whole flight on the drop-down screens, and for some strange reason, it was only played in French. The sa,e happened on the return flight.
The French channel coast. It sure was a very hazy morning
in the middle of the channel, i felt throttle being reduced and we started our approach. The tray tables were collected and the famous "Thank you for flying Swiss" chocolates were offered, i declined though as i'm not a big fan of chocolate. Again, the captain came on the PA and told us that we would have to fly a few holding patterns over biggin hill due to heavy inbound traffic into LHR
. I didn't expect anything else, but i didnt mind as it offered nice views over Central London and Canary wharf with LCY
in the distance.
I also made out a few other aircraft holding, particularely an SA
B744 which made a nice turn away from us, really closely. Eventually, we turned into finals for runway 27L right over London.
Who can tell me what this is?
The new Wembley
Short finals, BA MRO
The touchdown was a smooth as it gets, and hard braking action followed.
Rolling out. A nice UA
morning lineup at T3
We turned off the runway right in front of T3
, but i was sitting on the wrong side to get any decent views, instead, I could see BA
's morning action at T4
and several arrivals on 27L
This little guy seems a bit lost in the hometown of heavies, heading out for a morning flight to LUX
We turned left into T2
and passed T1
a few seconds later, we turned into our gate. This guy was having a break but didn't seem to be randomly interested in the Airbus that was just passing by him, some people just dont get it
Despite the delay at ZRH
, we got into LHR
only 5 minutes late. Deboarding was quick as i was sitting up front and immigration was a breeze, which resulted in my being out of the airport within 5 minutes. A new record for me at LHR
. I then headed towards the tube station where i had to wait in line to get a ticket to Hatton Cross. Meanwhile, they changed the runways to the 9s, meh, so i watched some 27R takeoffs while waiting for fellow a.net member Kieron747, and onc ehe arrived, we headed to runway 9L
by bus, to see some arrivals. Late ron we headed to a nic elittle pub from where there was a nice view on runway 9L
arrivals. Here are a couple of shots i took. I'm the king of cutting off wing-edges
Return flight below!