Airlineanorak
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Swiss First Class LAX-ZRH-LHR (inc LAX F/C Lounge)

Sat Sep 29, 2007 8:06 pm

Hi,

This is the return sectors of my trip to SAN / LAX. See the outbound with LH First Class here: LH First Class LHR-FRA-LAX (by Airlineanorak Sep 28 2007 in Trip Reports)

I arrived at LAX at 16:45 for my 19:40 flight to ZRH. I know this is a tad early, but there were two main reasons - 1) I had been kicked out of my hotel at 13:00 and after lunch didn't have anything else to do and 2) I wanted to spend some time in the new Star Alliance First and Business Class Lounges to see what they were like.

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Airline signs at TBIT LAX


Check in
There was no queue at either First or Business Class check in and I walked straight up to the woman at the First Class counter. Interestingly, she only spoke French to me, which was a bit of a surprise! Check in was efficient and my bags were tagged with HON Circle Priority. This is a higher level of priority used for LH and LX's HON Circle Members (I believe the top 1% of their frequent flier programme?) and those travelling in First Class.

The first nice touch about flying with LX is at check in you're given an envelope with your name printed on it. Inside is a personal letter from the Swiss Station Manger at LAX welcoming you onboard LX First Class. It also told me who the Captain and Purser (on LX they call them Maitre de Cabine) was. The envelope also included my lounge invitation, priority security pass and a weather report for the next 5 days in ZRH. It's small things like this that I think really make a difference.

At the end of check in the agent ushered over a man who was behind the counter and told him to take my bags to the security screening. I had to follow the guy in case the security people had any questions. There was a queue of perhaps 6 or 8 people at the screening, but the guy just walked straight to the front and put them through the scanner.

Within 10 mins of arriving at TBIT I was heading for security. The security guy saw my yellow priority card and invited me to an entrance to the side where he lifted up a barrier and told me to go through. When I got round the corner there were about 6 security people waiting to greet me and no one in front of me.

I took a quick shot of the LX plane before heading to the Lounge.

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LX A340 at LAX


The new Star Alliance Lounges (opened in July 2007) are located on the 5th floor of TBIT and accessed by a lift immediately in front of security. I showed the reception desk my invitation and told to go through to the First Class Lounge. It was empty and I took the opportunity to take a few pics.

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Star Alliance First Class Lounge TBIT LAX

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Star Alliance First Class Lounge TBIT LAX

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Star Alliance First Class Lounge TBIT LAX

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Star Alliance First Class Lounge TBIT LAX

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Star Alliance First Class Lounge TBIT LAX

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Star Alliance First Class Lounge TBIT LAX

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Star Alliance First Class Lounge TBIT LAX

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Star Alliance First Class Lounge LAX


They had a good selection of food (both hot and cold) and drinks. Now here is my first criticism - they have no Champagne! It was quite strange, since they had clearly spent a lot of money on the Lounge. They did have a Californian sparkling wine which they served in a flute which was quite nice.

The Lounge itself was very modern, contemporary and spacious.

About an hour or so later the First Class Lounge filled to about 25% full. I took a trip round to the Business Lounge and was soon very glad I was in First Class since it was packed! I couldn't believe how busy it was. The interesting thing is that there is almost do difference between the Business and First Class Lounges. They have mostly the same seats (although in the Business Lounge they're much closer together), the same food and largely the same drinks (the whisky and vodka changes slightly).

Boarding
At around 19:05 a Swiss woman came to the lounge and told me that it was time to board and that she would escort me to the plane (as she did with the other 3 First Class passengers in the Lounge). It was a good 10 min walk to the gate where there was a small queue at the 'Business and First Class' line. Within a few minutes I was on the plane and greeted by the Purser.

I was offered Champagne (which of course I accepted!) and was served and amuse bouche which consisted of 3 small dishes. One was prawn, one was pork and the other was vegetable. It went down very well with my Champagne. My glass was topped up 3 times before push back.

The toilet bag was already in my seat area, as were my slippers. I was then offered socks and told that in my toilet bag there was a list of other items that were also available on request.

The Purser came round before take off to personally welcome me onboard and to introduce himself.

The flight

Flight: LAX - ZRH
Class: First
Seat: 2D
Load: 100% in F (I didn't look at the rest of the plane)
Aircraft: A340

There are 8 seats in First Class, 2 rows in a 1-2-1 config. They are very spacious and were brand new (I could still smell the leather). They are much better than LH and have more room and privacy. There is an ottoman which has an electronic control and can slide towards and away for you. If you want to invite a guest to join you for dinner this becomes their seat (note, you can only invite someone to join you if they are ticketed in First Class).

We pushed back about 10 mins late and then soon in the air. Shortly after take off I was offered a drink before dinner, I took G&T. Interestingly, they brought the bottle of gin out to my seat with the glass and poured it at the seat. I didn't realise was supposed to tell them to stop until my glass was half full of gin - shame...

My table was set for dinner and I was given my menu card and wine list.

There was only 1 Champagne of offer which was quite tasty. There was also a choice of 3 reds and 3 whites in addition to the dessert wine. I tasted all 3 reds and stuck with the South African which was delicious.

The meal
Like LH, the meals are served from a trolley draped in white linen. Which as you'll see from my first trip report I find very old fashioned, but quite sweet! The real kick back to the 90s however, was that they put doilies on all the plates!! Have a look;

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Swiss First Class (dinner table)


It did make me laugh, but again, there was something quite sweet about it. There was a choice of around 5 different starters. Since it was silver served onto your plate from the trolley, you could have more than 1. I went for a spoonful of 3 different starters (the prawn dish, scallops and a mushroom dish). It was very tasty.

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Swiss First Class starter


Next came the salad course

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Swiss First Class salad


Followed by the main course. There were 4 choices for main (Beef, chicken, roast veg ravioli and fish). I took the beef which was served with a mustard and tarragon sauce, pumpkin and potato puree on the side:

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Swiss First Class main course


This was followed by Swiss cheeses (sorry, I didn't take a photo!).

2nd criticism of Swiss (there aren't than many in this report, but some of them would be very easy to fix) is that the only dessert was ice-cream with strawberries and almonds. It just didn't fit the rest of the menu. Anyway, I was far too full to even think about dessert and stuck with single malt whisky.

During the whole service, the crew could not have been nicer. They always had big smiles on their faces and couldn't do enough to help. There were only 2 crew serving First, but I never waited on anything and my glass was never empty, although at times they looked quite busy.

Soon after they cleared dinner they asked if I would like my bed made. Now, here is my 3rd criticism - they have no sleep suits in First Class. Thanks to a previous posting by daron4000 I knew that was going to be the case and I had taken my BA First Class ones with me which I had in the house.

That said, the bed was the most comfortable I've ever had on an aeroplane! It extends out beyond 7 feet and the crew put a mattress over it to make sure you don't feel any bumps. You're also given a full size feather pillow and quilt. With about 7 hours to go I nodded off and didn't wake up fully until they switched the lights on for breakfast.

The question I have about all airlines - why do they put the temperature up so high on overnight flights? I woke up a couple of times way too hot and had to kick off my quilt. If they think it helps us sleep, it as the opposite effect!

Breakfast
This was served in 3 courses. First course was fresh fruit and yoghurt. 2nd course was pastries and jams. 3rd course (which I was too full to eat) was an bacon omelette thing (I didn't see it, but it sounded good).

Here is my final criticism - they have a full list of teas (I counted 8) which are served in a proper silver teapot with lovely good quality cups and saucers. When then do they serve sugar in paper wraps (what happened to a sugar bowl?) and serve cream in the small plastic containers with the foil lids? Never mind the fact that I take milk with tea and not cream - let alone UHT cream. It was just very strange the fact that their product is so good and they let themselves down with the really small things that are easy to fix.

Anyway, we were on our approach to ZRH by this time and soon after we were on the ground on time. They put an air-bridge at door 1 to allow First Class passengers off first.

I made my way from Terminal E to Terminal A where the First Class Lounge is and where my connection to LHR was leaving from.

ZRH First Class Lounge
The First Class Lounge in ZRH is very nice. It's located within the Business Lounge and you have to press a buzzer at the side of a locked door to get in. Someone then comes to validate your ticket type and lets you in.

I took a couple of pics:

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LX First Class Lounge ZRH

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LX First Class Lounge ZRH


There was a choice of Champagnes, good selection of hot and cold food and other drinks. I was there for about 2 hours and had a few glasses of the rose Champagne which went down well.

Around 40 mins before the estimated departure time of my connection to LHR one of the woman from the Lounge escorted me through a private area, down a lift to their own security area. There was no queue and I was soon at the gate for my flight.

Flight: ZRH - LHR
Class: Business
Seat: 3C
Load: 88% in C
Aircraft: A320

On boarding I was offered newspapers, a bottle of chilled water (which I needed to cure the dry mouth I now had!) and refreshing towels. The seats on LX short haul are in a 2-2 config for Business and a 3-3 for economy. It's worth pointing out that in Business you get the same seat as those in economy, but they just block out the middle seats in Business so that nobody is sitting next to you.

Like LH, the meal was disappointing. It was an 18:15 departure and there was no hot meal and no choice of the cold meal. The meal consisted of: Cold sausage, cabbage, salad and quiche. Dessert was apple struddle with chocolate sauce. The crew then came round with warm rolls and Camembert.

The benefit that LX has over LH is that they had better drinks onboard - including a choice of Champagne and a good single malt whisky. They must have offered me 4 drinks on the 1 hour 15 min flight. They could do with giving you bigger glasses though, my G&T was very strong, since there wasn't enough space in the glass to even put half the can of tonic in.

They were good, but as I said on my LH TR, they just don't reach the levels of service or quality of food that you get on bmi or BA for short haul Business Class.

Summary
An amazing long haul flight. They crew were perfect and the bed is the most comfortable I've ever had on a plane! Great food and wine too. There are a few little things that LX could do to really improve the experience, that I'm sure wouldn't cost very much to implement.

Please let me know if you have any questions or queries.

Thanks for reading this report!
 
Comeflywithme
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RE: Swiss First Class LAX-ZRH-LHR (inc LAX F/C Lounge)

Sat Sep 29, 2007 8:21 pm

Quoting Airlineanorak (Thread starter):
The question I have about all airlines - why do they put the temperature up so high on overnight flights? I woke up a couple of times way too hot and had to kick off my quilt. If they think it helps us sleep, it as the opposite effect!

Super detailed report Airlineanorak.

I quite agree about the high temperatures in airline cabins at night, I hate it as it always feels too stuffy and claustrophobic.
 
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OA260
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RE: Swiss First Class LAX-ZRH-LHR (inc LAX F/C Lounge)

Sat Sep 29, 2007 8:36 pm

Hi there very nice TR and pics . The LAX lounge looks nicer than the ZRH one. I dont see a great difference in the Business class lounge and the First class lounge to be honest. I have used both in ZRH. Maybe a bit more quiet and some more food options but nothing amazing.

Swiss are a great airline and the staff always nice.

Quoting Comeflywithme (Reply 1):
quite agree about the high temperatures in airline cabins at night, I hate it as it always feels too stuffy and claustrophobic.

Yes I hate this also. You wake up 4 hours into the flight with sore eyes and dry throat and way too hot.
 
Airlineanorak
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RE: Swiss First Class LAX-ZRH-LHR (inc LAX F/C Lounge)

Sat Sep 29, 2007 8:53 pm

Quote:
I dont see a great difference in the Business class lounge and the First class lounge to be honest. I have used both in ZRH. Maybe a bit more quiet and some more food options but nothing amazing.

I agree. The differences I noted were that 1) it was much quieter (no more than 5 others in the First Lounge, but Business quite busy. 2) They had better alcohol (e.g. rose Champagne, better whisky and gin. 3) The upstairs bar in the Business Lounge is unbearably smokey.

But they are both nice lounges.
 
triple7man
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RE: Swiss First Class LAX-ZRH-LHR (inc LAX F/C Lounge)

Sat Sep 29, 2007 10:10 pm

LAX is one of my favorite airports for spotting (NRT is my other one) so I appreciated your few pics at LAX. I always love going to the TBIT and especially seeing all the flights going to the Orient.
I could not find your first criticism of LX in your report. What was it?
Have you kissed a 777 today?
 
Airlineanorak
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RE: Swiss First Class LAX-ZRH-LHR (inc LAX F/C Lounge)

Sat Sep 29, 2007 10:19 pm

Quote:
I could not find your first criticism of LX in your report. What was it?

It was the lack of Champagne in the First Class Lounge. Not a direct criticism of LX, but just about the overall journey.
 
EK20
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RE: Swiss First Class LAX-ZRH-LHR (inc LAX F/C Lounge)

Sun Sep 30, 2007 1:23 am

Nice report again. Better sized pics too.  Smile
 
semsem
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RE: Swiss First Class LAX-ZRH-LHR (inc LAX F/C Lounge)

Sun Sep 30, 2007 1:57 am

You mention that they only serve ice cream in F (similar to US airlines). In my opinion in the last few years they decided to cut costs and are copying the US airlines. In Y as a starter they just serve green and red leaves.
 
LX64A332
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RE: Swiss First Class LAX-ZRH-LHR (inc LAX F/C Lounge)

Sun Sep 30, 2007 2:19 am

Very nice TR! Shows just how good LX is compared to LH First class, considering were a "sister" company......
The star alliance lounge in LAX looks very nice and modern, can't wait until they open one up in MIA, my usual transit point when heading to Europe!

Regards from sunny and 88 degree NAS,

LX64A332
SWISS remains Swiss. With Lufthansa. :D
 
B747forever
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RE: Swiss First Class LAX-ZRH-LHR (inc LAX F/C Lounge)

Sun Sep 30, 2007 2:44 am

Thank you for the second part.

You write very good.
Work Hard, Fly Right
 
fca767
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RE: Swiss First Class LAX-ZRH-LHR (inc LAX F/C Lounge)

Sun Sep 30, 2007 2:59 am

Not sure if you got my message on your other thread but was hoping to know how much it costed? thanks  Smile
 
ZRH
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RE: Swiss First Class LAX-ZRH-LHR (inc LAX F/C Lounge)

Sun Sep 30, 2007 4:47 am

Quoting OA260 (Reply 2):
Hi there very nice TR and pics . The LAX lounge looks nicer than the ZRH one. I dont see a great difference in the Business class lounge and the First class lounge to be honest. I have used both in ZRH.

A few days ago Swiss announced that they will improve and expand their lounges in Zurich soon to more than 3000 square meters (expansion of 900 sqm).
http://www.swiss.com/web/EN/about_sw..._releases/Pages/pr_20070920_b.aspx
 
ba319-131
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RE: Swiss First Class LAX-ZRH-LHR (inc LAX F/C Lounge)

Sun Sep 30, 2007 5:16 am

Great report, not read the first one, will dig it out for a read.

Quoting Airlineanorak (Thread starter):
The first nice touch about flying with LX is at check in you're given an envelope with your name printed on it. Inside is a personal letter from the Swiss Station Manger at LAX welcoming you onboard LX First Class. It also told me who the Captain and Purser (on LX they call them Maitre de Cabine) was. The envelope also included my lounge invitation, priority security pass and a weather report for the next 5 days in ZRH. It's small things like this that I think really make a difference.

- How nice, excellent service, and your right, it is the little things that make the big difference.

Quoting Airlineanorak (Thread starter):
My glass was topped up 3 times before push back.

- Great service!

Quoting Airlineanorak (Thread starter):
The real kick back to the 90s however, was that they put doilies on all the plates!!

- Yuck!

Very nice indeed, LX 'F' looks great, thought the point about the ice cream as the only choice and the sugar in wrapers etc do need attention.

Regards

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
 
AEROFAN
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RE: Swiss First Class LAX-ZRH-LHR (inc LAX F/C Lounge)

Sun Sep 30, 2007 5:45 am

No snooze suit to change into in F on a night flight? It is bad enough when carriers don't do this in J. But not to do it in F- not acceptable in my book. The F product seems like some carriers J that I've flown. I would not like to think you paid full fare F for this.

Otherwise well composed report.

Were there showers available in the arrival lounge?
 
laca773
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RE: Swiss First Class LAX-ZRH-LHR (inc LAX F/C Lounge)

Sun Sep 30, 2007 3:04 pm

Thankyou for the great TR! I flew SR LAX-ZUR-BCN several years ago and enjoyed it immensely as well. I'm a big fan of the amentity [toilet/wash] kit. It was very high end then, La Praire. What's the kit like now?

LACA773
 
jfidler
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RE: Swiss First Class LAX-ZRH-LHR (inc LAX F/C Lounge)

Sun Sep 30, 2007 6:58 pm

Quoting Airlineanorak (Thread starter):
Inside is a personal letter from the Swiss Station Manger at LAX welcoming you onboard LX First Class.

You mentioned in your report that the check-in agent spoke to you in French. What language was the letter written in?
 
Airlineanorak
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RE: Swiss First Class LAX-ZRH-LHR (inc LAX F/C Lounge)

Sun Sep 30, 2007 10:17 pm

Quote:
Not sure if you got my message on your other thread but was hoping to know how much it costed? thanks

This trip was a redemption ticket. I am Star Alliance Gold and thought I'd use up some of my hard earned miles!

Quote:
Were there showers available in the arrival lounge?

The arrival lounge in ZRH was closed when I landed (16:00). I believe it closes at 13:00, so no arrivals lounge. To be honest, I don't recall seeing them in the First Class Lounge either (but that may have been more to do with the Champagne consumed!).

Quote:
I'm a big fan of the amentity [toilet/wash] kit. It was very high end then, La Praire. What's the kit like now?

I know which ones you're on about - LH had them too. This time on LX and LH is was Clarins products.
 
Airlineanorak
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RE: Swiss First Class LAX-ZRH-LHR (inc LAX F/C Lounge)

Sun Sep 30, 2007 10:40 pm

Quote:
You mentioned in your report that the check-in agent spoke to you in French. What language was the letter written in?

The letter was written in English. The onboard safety video was only in English (the same was true on the flight from ZRH - LHR). They did say at the end in Swiss German, Italian and French that if you didn't understand the safety video to contact a member of the cabin crew.
 
InbarD
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RE: Swiss First Class LAX-ZRH-LHR (inc LAX F/C Lou

Mon Oct 01, 2007 12:03 am

Great trip report. Those meals look delicious. Glad too hear you had a good flight. Damn i wanna fly LX, especially their First Class.  bigthumbsup 
 
fbgdavidson
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RE: Swiss First Class LAX-ZRH-LHR (inc LAX F/C Lounge)

Mon Oct 01, 2007 12:42 am

Nice report and some great pictures!

Quoting Airlineanorak (Thread starter):
The first nice touch about flying with LX is at check in you're given an envelope with your name printed on it. Inside is a personal letter from the Swiss Station Manger at LAX welcoming you onboard LX First Class. It also told me who the Captain and Purser (on LX they call them Maitre de Cabine) was. The envelope also included my lounge invitation, priority security pass and a weather report for the next 5 days in ZRH. It's small things like this that I think really make a difference.

I like that, as you say the small things  thumbsup 

Quoting Airlineanorak (Thread starter):
They had a good selection of food (both hot and cold) and drinks. Now here is my first criticism - they have no Champagne! It was quite strange, since they had clearly spent a lot of money on the Lounge. They did have a Californian sparkling wine which they served in a flute which was quite nice.

It seems to be an LAX thing  Wink The AA Flagship/QF First Class lounge in T4 is the same thing. Some sparkling fizzy stuff...

Quoting Airlineanorak (Thread starter):
The question I have about all airlines - why do they put the temperature up so high on overnight flights? I woke up a couple of times way too hot and had to kick off my quilt. If they think it helps us sleep, it as the opposite effect!

Then do what I do...sleep on top of the duvet. You won't get so hot and it makes the bed that bit more comfortable. In light turbulence I also feel the duvet (the thicker the better) absorbs more of the bumps. If you're wearing proper pyjamas then there are modesty reasons to contend with!
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
LXA340
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RE: Swiss First Class LAX-ZRH-LHR (inc LAX F/C Lou

Mon Oct 01, 2007 11:10 pm

Quoting LACA773 (Reply 14):
Thankyou for the great TR! I flew SR LAX-ZUR-BCN several years ago and enjoyed it immensely as well. I'm a big fan of the amentity [toilet/wash] kit. It was very high end then, La Praire. What's the kit like now?

Looks like LX swaped to Clarins then, in July they still offered the La Prairie products. The amenity kit is from Bally, quite nice or has this been changed also?

[Edited 2007-10-01 16:12:26]
 
Airlineanorak
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RE: Swiss First Class LAX-ZRH-LHR (inc LAX F/C Lounge)

Tue Oct 02, 2007 2:58 am

Quote:
LXA340
Looks like LX swaped to Clarins then, in July they still offered the La Prairie products. The amenity kit is from Bally, quite nice or has this been changed also?

Yes, it is still a Bally bag. It must have been a recent change then.
 
buck3y3nut
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RE: Swiss First Class LAX-ZRH-LHR (inc LAX F/C Lounge)

Tue Oct 02, 2007 10:30 am

hey great trip report bud... enjoyed reading every word of it...
thanks
 
StefanPAD
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RE: Swiss First Class LAX-ZRH-LHR (inc LAX F/C Lounge)

Mon Oct 08, 2007 7:57 pm

Again a very good TR!

It sounds, that LX offers a better product than LH. In November and December I booked two flights to JFK on LH. Maybe I'll go a third time over the pond this year. Then I'll try to fly with LX and make my own experience in Y.

Stefan
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: Swiss First Class LAX-ZRH-LHR (inc LAX F/C Lounge)

Mon Oct 08, 2007 9:35 pm

Quoting Airlineanorak (Thread starter):
The interesting thing is that there is almost do difference between the Business and First Class Lounges. They have mostly the same seats (although in the Business Lounge they're much closer together), the same food and largely the same drinks (the whisky and vodka changes slightly).

Having seen the bottle of Johnyy Walker black label whisky in your pic; I hope and trust that the whisky in the business lounge is better. When paying a J or F fare, I expect single malt, not blended.
 
seattleflyer
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RE: Swiss First Class LAX-ZRH-LHR (inc LAX F/C Lounge)

Mon Oct 08, 2007 10:08 pm

Quoting Airlineanorak (Thread starter):
The question I have about all airlines - why do they put the temperature up so high on overnight flights?

Really - why do they do this - it's better to sleep in a slightly cool environment.

On my last BA flight, I was so hot and sweaty trying to sleep, I thought I was ill and running a fever!

Thanks for the TR Airlineanorak. I had wondered what service was like on LX.
 
Airlineanorak
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RE: Swiss First Class LAX-ZRH-LHR (inc LAX F/C Lounge)

Tue Oct 09, 2007 7:53 pm

Quote:
Having seen the bottle of Johnyy Walker black label whisky in your pic; I hope and trust that the whisky in the business lounge is better. When paying a J or F fare, I expect single malt, not blended.

Afraid not! I had actually forgotten about that until you mentioned it (I was on G&T in the lounge). I am a huge malt fan myself, so appreciate your disappointment. In the Business Lounge they had the cheaper version of Johnnie Walker - Red Label.

I know exactly what you mean - you do expect better, especially in the First Class lounge.
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: Swiss First Class LAX-ZRH-LHR (inc LAX F/C Lounge)

Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:17 pm

Quoting Airlineanorak (Reply 26):
In the Business Lounge they had the cheaper version of Johnnie Walker - Red Label.

What ever do they serve if you ask for whisky in economy ? Probably something made with industrial alcohol and food colouring in a backstreet lockup. There's only supermarket own brand beneath red label.
 
Airlineanorak
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RE: Swiss First Class LAX-ZRH-LHR (inc LAX F/C Lounge)

Thu Oct 11, 2007 11:19 am

Quote:
There's only supermarket own brand beneath red label.

 laughing  Very true!
 
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Vio
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RE: Swiss First Class LAX-ZRH-LHR (inc LAX F/C Lounge)

Thu Oct 11, 2007 4:49 pm

Great Report. By the way, how much did you drink this entire trip?  Wink I would've been smashed the entire time if I had as much as you  Wink LOL
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