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

CO/AF EWR-ZRH-LCY/LGW-EWR (long, Pics)

Fri Aug 22, 2008 6:05 pm

Hi, everyone! A bit delayed, but here is my trip report for my trip to Switzerland earlier this summer! Sorry for the lack of pics on the first leg, but I was...distracted...by the girl next to me.

Thursday June 19
EWR-ZRH (CO78)
Boeing 767-400 (N76055)
STD (ATD): 6:45 (6:50)
STA (ATA): 9:06 (8:50)

This was going to by my first flight on CO across the Atlantic, and my first flight on a 767-400. I didn't quite know what to expect but as I'd heard good things, I was excited. I checked in the night before and chose a seat I wanted, window seat over the wing.

I left my house in New York at 4:10PM and arrived at EWR at 5:15. A bit longer than usual due to some traffic, but not too bad. I checked my bag at 5:21, and went through security at 5:36 because I was the first person on line as they opened up a new scanner to help ease congestion at another one. On the way to the gate I bought a book and a magazine to help pass the time. I get very very nauseous on the plane, so I took a Bonine for sea-sickness. Boarding was scheduled for 5:55 at gate C125, and we ended up starting at 6:15. We were all on board by 6:40 and we pushed back 5 minutes late at 6:50. I was in seat 24L, and had a very friendly young Korean girl next to me, going to Switzerland for the first time, so we talked the whole way and I gave her some pointers and touristy things to do. We taxied to runway 22R and the takeoff queue was so long that we had more than an hour on the ground. Not terrible for EWR, but surprising when CO's terminal C is the closest to the 22s. We took off towards the south, and made the famous procedural turn to the left before banking hard and turning 180 degrees to overfly the airport and then turned right to head out to the Atlantic. The 767-400 seemed quite powerful, and I don't know if it was a new pilot or not, but he made MANY elevator corrections during the first 180 degree turn, causing the G-forces to fluctuate immensely and creating quite the roller coaster ride. The anti-sickness pills kept me happy and worked wonderfully through the whole flight, along with a constant supply of ginger ale. I, unfortunately, didn't get a good view of NYC as it was very, very hazy, but I did get a fantastic view of BOS as we flew directly over it. We climbed to our initial cruise altitude of 33,000 feet and leveled off.

The CO crew was phenomenal. They were very friendly and came around every 10 minutes with cups of water. Every hour there was an entire drinks service. The seat pitch was absolutely incredible. Even with the IFE box under the seat in front of me, I could completely stretch my legs under the seat in front of me and was very comfortable. My only complaint is that they kept the aircraft at a FREEZING cold temperature. Dinner service began shortly after attaining cruise altitude, and consisted of either chicken of lasagna. I chose the latter, rather reluctantly, but it was very, very good! It came with a caeser salad and a delicious brownie.

I watched a couple of movies and TV shows and listened to the new Coldplay album and Shostakovich's 4th symphony as I watched the full moon rise over the dark Atlantic. The moon was deep red and it was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. Thinking back on it now, I almost cry at the beauty of the moon rising like that, because it reminds me of how incredible my trip was!

I slept for a couple of hours and this was the ultimate test of the sickness pills. I normally wake up feeling groggy and horrible, and this time I was wide awake and perfectly fine. I even managed to stay awake until late that night at the bar! Thanks to those who advised me on techniques in my Travels Polls forum thread way back!

Breakfast was served a few hours out of Europe, and I saw that we had climed to FL370. The meal consisted of a fruit medley (cantaloupe, melon, grapes) and a warm croissant that was simply amazing. We began our descent at 8:38AM Swiss time. I few notes on the routing. We took a VERY shallow NAT across the ocean, and came down between England and France. We never overflew UK territory which has never happened to me on a TATL flight. We zig-zagged over the English channel and over France, and flew SOUTH of Paris before coming in over Basel and Bern to avoid German airspace. I have never had a routing like this into ZRH, and I had a phenomenal view of the Swiss Alps north of the canton of Valais (Wallis). We turned north, overflew the city of Zurich, before turning 180 degrees and landing on Runway 14. We touched down at 9:03, and using Runway 14 allowed a short taxi to the gate, where we stopped at 9:06, about 15 minutes late. Total flight time was 8 hours 13 minutes, but 9 hours and 16 minutes gate-to-gate.

I took the train to the main terminal, and went through Passport control at 9:25. I got my bags at 9:45. Customs was a breeze and I was through at 9:47. I went to the Swisscom store to buy a cell phone, and then to the Bahnhof. I showed my seat neighbor how to get to her train and bid her farewell and a good stay in Switzerland. I left ZRH on the InterCity train to Visp via Bern, Thun, and Spitz. It took the new Lotschburg tunnel which was very fast and quite impressive. I changed trains at Visp and arrived at Sion (via Leuk and Siders) at 1:37. I was at my aunt's house by 2:00. Total travel time was 15 hours, 50 minutes.

Here are some pictures of my stay in Switzerland!
My mom's village of Chamoson, with the Alps in the background, and the Ardeve to the left.
http://www.tisdigital.com/swisstrip1.jpg

A house in the village, with the Alps behind including the Dent Favre (my family's last name is Favre, but I don't know if there's a connection).
http://www.tisdigital.com/swisstrip2.jpg

2 of my 13 cousins. The whole family is this crazy. Enough said.
http://www.tisdigital.com/swisstrip3.jpg

Chateau de Chillon on Lake Geneva (Lac Léman for the locals)
http://www.tisdigital.com/swisstrip4.jpg

Heading back to the Bouveret with a storm over the port, coming down from the Alps on the border of France and Switzerland.
http://www.tisdigital.com/swisstrip5.jpg

Looking back towards the sunny Swiss coast of Lake Geneva.
http://www.tisdigital.com/swisstrip6.jpg

SPOTTING TRIPS
I made two spotting trips while I was in Switzerland. I spent two days in GVA, and two days in ZRH. My first day in GVA and my last in ZRH were on my own, but the other days I met a few fellow spotters, including Alejandro Perez and Braulio Mora-Montero. Here are some pictures.
Geneva June 25:

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Photo © Antonis Panayotatos
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Geneva June 26:

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Zurich July 3:

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Zurich July 4:

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Friday July 4
ZRH-LCY (AF5178, Operated by CityJet)
BAe Avro 146 (EI-RJW)
STD (ATD): 10:35 (10:42)
STA (ATA): 11:25 (11:18)

I stayed with my second cousins the night of July 3 in Wengen (near Dubendorf) and left their house at 8:14 on the 4th of July. I arrived at ZRH at 8:51 and was all checked-in by 8:55. I went to the obervation deck for a little while, and then went through security at 9:47. Boarding, scheduled for 10:05 at gate B26, began at 10:16. I expected a CityJet aircraft since they were operating the flight, but it was in AF colors. Two buses were used for boarding, and the plane was rather empty. I was in the ONLY set of three seats where all we taken (I was in 9A). Just my luck. I had a left-side window seat right under the wing, my favorite spot on the Avro. We left the remote stand at 10:42 and took off from runway 28 at 10:49 with a very powerful rolling takeoff. We cruised rather low, at 28,000 feet, and made our way over France and across the channel. Here is the view I had of the Swiss alps as we climbed.
http://www.tisdigital.com/swisstrip7.jpg

We began our descent into LCY at 10:40 English time and came into LCY from the West. We did not follow the published charts for LCY arrivals, since we did not overfly the airport but came in from the West and made just one turn onto final. Here is our aircraft arriving over the English coast.
http://www.tisdigital.com/swisstrip8.jpg

We touched down at 11:15 on Runway 28, and I must say, it was one of the hardest landings I've ever experienced. It was more of a controlled crash than anything else and the women next to me even screamed. There was little to no flare. We arrived at the gate at 11:18 and I asked if I could go to the cockpit for a while. The stewardess told me it was now allowed, however. I made my way to the terminal and was done with passport control at 11:29. I got my bags at 11:31 and was out of Customs at 11:32. I caught the Light Rail into London at 11:55 and arrived in Kensington at 1:11 where I stayed with some family friends who took me to dinner at a fantastic Italian place. Gate-to-gate time was 1 hour 36 minues (1:26 wheels-up to wheels-down) and total travel time was 5 hours 57 minutes.


Saturday July 4
LGW-EWR (CO115)
Boeing 757-200 (did not see registration)
STD (ATD): 10:30 (10:32)
STA (ATA): 1:55 (1:44)

I left Kensington at 7:40AM, having checked in the night before online. My family friends drove me to Victoria station, where I caught the 8AM Gatwick Express and arrived at LGW at 8:29. I checked in by 8:55 (I had to walk from the station to the Gatwick Transport and go to the North Terminal). I was through security at 8:57 and waited at Gate 50 for a little while. Boarding, scheduled for 9:45, began right on time and although we boarded very quickly, we had to wait for a bag to be removed. Our wingletted 757 pushed back at 10:32 and we taxied to runway 26L for takeoff. We lifted off at 10:50 and flew the very, very odd departure pattern that LGW has for USA departures. We climbed out of 26L, made a 180 degree turn back towards London, then turned NW only when we were high enough and East enough to completely avoid the City. I was very, very surprised at the pattern, since this clearly adds a LOT of time to the flight. We reached our initial cruising altitude of 33,000 feet rather quickly in the powerful 757 and lunch was served. It consisted of a salad with ranch dressing, a very good beef stew, broccoli rabe, rice, and another delicious brownie. I settled in for the flight and explored the new touch-screen AVOD. The system is INCREDIBLE, and doesn't have the IFE box under the seat in front of you, giving even more room on the already spacious CO economy class. I watched "Run, Fatboy, Run", "Be Kind, Rewind", "Robots", and a few episodes of "King of Queens". I played some games but otherwise kept the flight map on the screen.

Some route notes. We had originally been planned for a shallow NAT, but we went almost straight up north and flew up under Iceland and over the southern tip of Greenland. We flew over Newfoundland and turned due West before turning due South over New Hampshire and down along the Hudson River over Albany, NY.

We climbed to FL380 as we flew over Newfoundland, and another meal was served, consisting of a warm ham and cheese sandwich and chips, which was filling and very good. We began our descent at 12:48 NY time, and flew the STAR for runway 22L. It had many turns and I saw a lot of interesting scenery even though it was quite overcast. Here is a shot of the cloud layers on descent.
http://www.tisdigital.com/swisstrip9.jpg

We landed at 1:35 on Runway 22L and taxied to our gate. We docked at 1:44, some 11 minutes early. I was out of the aircraft and done with passport control at 1:59, had my bags by 2:19, and was done with customs with nothing to declare at 2:20. My mom was waiting for me and we left EWR at 2:26, arriving back home at 3:14PM. Gate-to-gate time was 8 hours and 12 minutes (7:45 wheels-up to wheels-down) and total travel time was 12 hours, 34 minutes.

In conclusion....
My impression of CO was amazing. They are my new favorite airline other than LX. The food was excellent, the service was stellar, and the seats, pitch, and IFE were incredible. I am so glad they are joining Star Alliance, as I will now have another fantastic option when I go to Switzerland, since EWR is more convenient for me than JFK is. I had an amazing trip in Switzerland as usual, and had no desire to come home. I can't wait to go back!

I hope you all enjoyed my report. Feedback is appreciated!

Thanks for reading!

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
 
Bentley55
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:06 pm

RE: CO/AF EWR-ZRH-LCY/LGW-EWR (long, Pics)

Fri Aug 22, 2008 6:11 pm

Thanks for the TR.
Some more pics of: (1) Airport (2) Inside cabin (3) Food would be nice.

And yes, CO is a great airline and we are all waiting for them to join Star.
 
semsem
Posts: 1621
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 1:06 am

RE: CO/AF EWR-ZRH-LCY/LGW-EWR (long, Pics)

Fri Aug 22, 2008 7:56 pm

We have different tastes. I find that chocolate brownie they serve on CO disgusting. However on the 767 I agree the seats are comfortable.
 
ANITIX87
Topic Author
Posts: 2952
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:52 am

RE: CO/AF EWR-ZRH-LCY/LGW-EWR (long, Pics)

Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:08 pm



Quoting Bentley55 (Reply 1):
Some more pics of: (1) Airport (2) Inside cabin (3) Food would be nice.

Yeah, I know. I planned on it but on my last two flights the people next to me asked me (very politely, so I complied) to not use my camera as it made them uncomfortable despite my assurances that I was just an aviation fan. And as I said on the first one, the girl next to me had my undivided attention for 8 hours.

Quoting Semsem (Reply 2):
We have different tastes.

Everyone does. Could have been a slightly different brownie, or I was just really hungry.

Quoting Semsem (Reply 2):
However on the 767 I agree the seats are comfortable.

They were the same on the 757 and I loved them. I've heard that with the 787 new seats will be introduced and as long as pitch remains the same this could be ok, but I think the seats CO uses now are stellar.

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
 
Cory6188
Posts: 2609
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2004 12:29 am

RE: CO/AF EWR-ZRH-LCY/LGW-EWR (long, Pics)

Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:10 pm



Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 3):
They were the same on the 757 and I loved them. I've heard that with the 787 new seats will be introduced and as long as pitch remains the same this could be ok, but I think the seats CO uses now are stellar.

Somewhat surprising that you liked the seats, as I'm a fervent CO fan and I'll even admit that I think their seats in Y are terrible....but at least you didn't find them to be uncomfortable!
 
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OA260
Posts: 20981
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

RE: CO/AF EWR-ZRH-LCY/LGW-EWR (long, Pics)

Sat Aug 23, 2008 8:29 am

Some very nice pics there , Switzerland is amazing . Glad you had a good trip.


OA260
 
Mir
Posts: 19092
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: CO/AF EWR-ZRH-LCY/LGW-EWR (long, Pics)

Sat Aug 23, 2008 10:33 am



Quoting Cory6188 (Reply 4):
Somewhat surprising that you liked the seats, as I'm a fervent CO fan and I'll even admit that I think their seats in Y are terrible....but at least you didn't find them to be uncomfortable!

I found the seats on the 737 to be quite uncomfortable, but those on the 752 and 777 were fine. Not up to UA standards, but still nicely above average. I've never been on a 767, but I'd assume that they'd get the same seats as the other long-haul aircraft.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
semsem
Posts: 1621
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 1:06 am

RE: CO/AF EWR-ZRH-LCY/LGW-EWR (long, Pics)

Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:55 am

Mir I agree with you about the CO 737. I also found the seats terrible; hard and I think the legroom is tight. I suffered miserably a few years ago from NYC to the West Coast.
 
FLLspoter
Posts: 239
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 8:23 am

RE: CO/AF EWR-ZRH-LCY/LGW-EWR (long, Pics)

Sun Aug 24, 2008 1:44 am

I glad to know someone who also went to castle de chillon. I stay in the village of Nyon for two weeks in February. i was right in the approach path for GVA.
FLL justs gets better and better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
ANITIX87
Topic Author
Posts: 2952
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:52 am

RE: CO/AF EWR-ZRH-LCY/LGW-EWR (long, Pics)

Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:55 pm



Quoting OA260 (Reply 5):
Some very nice pics there , Switzerland is amazing . Glad you had a good trip.

It's an absolutely phenomenal country. I need to go back to Greece, too, haven't been since 2004! I want to go live in Europe!

Quoting Cory6188 (Reply 4):
Somewhat surprising that you liked the seats

I've spoken with family friends who flew the 767 to ATH and they also found the seats very comfortable except the daughter who is much smaller than I am (in every direction). It could depend on your size, and although I'm not fat by any means, I am very large (not tall) for my age (broad shoulders and large hip width, and about 6 feet tall).

Quoting Mir (Reply 6):
I've never been on a 767, but I'd assume that they'd get the same seats as the other long-haul aircraft.

Yes, they do.

Quoting Semsem (Reply 7):
Mir I agree with you about the CO 737. I also found the seats terrible; hard and I think the legroom is tight.

I flew on the 737 in 2006 PBI-EWR (the seats may have changed since) and I found the seats comfortable enough but you're right, the legroom was very, very tight.

Quoting FLLspoter (Reply 8):
I glad to know someone who also went to castle de chillon. I stay in the village of Nyon for two weeks in February. i was right in the approach path for GVA.

Nyon is beautiful. Couple of a.netters there, too. Now stop, you're making me want to go back, haah.

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
 
alphafloor
Posts: 1265
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 12:36 am

RE: CO/AF EWR-ZRH-LCY/LGW-EWR (long, Pics)

Fri Aug 29, 2008 2:11 pm

Hey Antonis,

Nice to read your trip report and glad you made it safe to NY. I just saw your report now as I don't come to the forums very much now... but definitely worth reading you those past few moments.

The pics are nice. Too bad we just had the only rainy day for our spotting trip in ZRH but I have good recollections of that day anyway.

Ah and.. can you tell me your secret for your photos to be accepted on here nowadays ? Mine are ALL rejected ! Hahahahaha !

Hope to read from you soon dude !

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

RE: CO/AF EWR-ZRH-LCY/LGW-EWR (long, Pics)

Fri Aug 29, 2008 4:52 pm

Hola, Alejandro! I never realized you were AlphaFloor!

Hope you're doing well!

Quoting Alphafloor (Reply 10):
Too bad we just had the only rainy day for our spotting trip in ZRH

I was there the day after before my flight to London and the weather was just perfect. It's too bad the storms didn't come one day later!

Quoting Alphafloor (Reply 10):
Ah and.. can you tell me your secret for your photos to be accepted on here nowadays ? Mine are ALL rejected ! Hahahahaha !

I was wondering why I hadn't seen some new stuff from you in a while! My secret is...New camera! Haha. With my older Olympus my ratio was 57%, and with the new E-510 I got just before Switzerland it's 85% or so. In all seriousness, I've just improved my shooting skills and have found I need a LOT less post-processing in general. Usually I just boost vibrance a little bit and then sharpen.

Hope to see you soon. Maybe if you come to New York sometime before next summer, otherwise, I'll see you in Switzerland.

Aussi, peux-tu m'envoyer le nom de la boite pour qui tu travails? Je cherche un boulot pour quand j'ai fini l'uni.

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
 
alphafloor
Posts: 1265
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 12:36 am

RE: CO/AF EWR-ZRH-LCY/LGW-EWR (long, Pics)

Sat Aug 30, 2008 10:00 am



Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 11):
I was wondering why I hadn't seen some new stuff from you in a while!

Hahaha!
To tell you the truth Antonis, I'm not so fond for aviation photography anymore. I've lost passion. I rather prefer other subjects, where creativity is more challenged. Hence I don't upload here and anywhere anymore. That's why you don't see stuff from me in aviation websites. However, you can always check my current stuff here.

But I still watch av pics and read forums  Wink

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 11):
Hope to see you soon. Maybe if you come to New York sometime before next summer, otherwise, I'll see you in Switzerland.

Odds are more for you to come over here I think  Wink We'll arrange something with Rootsair (Braulio) next time again..
Whatever
 
xaapb
Posts: 360
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 2:08 pm

RE: CO/AF EWR-ZRH-LCY/LGW-EWR (long, Pics)

Sat Aug 30, 2008 7:07 pm

great trip report! I have to agree some more pictures will be great!
Continental is a great airline, flying with them in a couple of weeks from LAS to MEX via IAH.!
Jorge Meneses
 
ANITIX87
Topic Author
Posts: 2952
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:52 am

RE: CO/AF EWR-ZRH-LCY/LGW-EWR (long, Pics)

Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:41 pm



Quoting Alphafloor (Reply 12):
I've lost passion.

Very sad to hear it. Your stuff is great!

Quoting Alphafloor (Reply 12):
Odds are more for you to come over here I think

I've been there 28 times in 21 years. Gets kind of expensive. Time for you guys to put in some effort, haha.

Quoting Xaapb (Reply 13):
great trip report! I have to agree some more pictures will be great!

Yeah, I know. I regret not taking more. Next time, I promise!

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
 
lxa333
Posts: 278
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:35 pm

RE: CO/AF EWR-ZRH-LCY/LGW-EWR (long, Pics)

Thu Dec 11, 2008 5:48 am

hey! I also happen to spend my time in and out of french schweiz(lausanne) in switzerland(family there) usually every summer, montreux, vevey, chateau de chillon, what a great place! also live in nyc! quelle coincidence! I'm already missing it! going again next summer and the one after and after etc. lol.
SWISSAIR-Worlds most refreshing airline
 
ANITIX87
Topic Author
Posts: 2952
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:52 am

RE: CO/AF EWR-ZRH-LCY/LGW-EWR (long, Pics)

Thu Dec 11, 2008 7:52 pm



Quoting LXA333 (Reply 15):
hey! I also happen to spend my time in and out of french schweiz(lausanne) in switzerland(family there) usually every summer

Small world! See the PM I sent you.

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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