Had to make a trip to Israel, which kept getting postponed due to my visa being delayed and the holidays in Israel. Finally I had to travel on 11th night. Unfortunately the strike (or as they like to call it - mass leave of absence) by the pilots of 9W
, meant finding a suitable itinerary was becoming difficult.
Some of the options were -
was waitlisted and an 8 hr transit @ IST
was fully booked!! Every single airline!! Thanks to 9W
cancelling all their flights.
does not operate as 11th was Sabbath and none od the Mid East carriers operate to TLV
were not offering any fare to TLV
Finally we tried LX
(which my agent typically ignores as LX
requries a Schengen/UK/US visa for transit). LX
was offering a good connection via ZRH
. Transit was not an issue as I possessed both US n UK visa.
So my itinerary was :
621 - BLR
-155 - BOM
-254 - ZRH
sector was done on an AI
flight (operated by IC
crew on an IC
-SCD). This flight is a feeder to the AI
international flights to JFK
. The advantage for transit passengers was that flight arrived at the international terminal in BOM
and thus one could avoid the inter-terminal transfer. However , if you are not booked on an onward AI
flight, your baggage would not be through checked and you would need to collect your baggage and go up two levels to the departure level and re-check in.
-JHC (Delv to LX
Load – Y- 90%, J-70%
STD – 00:50, ATD – 01:10
My flight from BLR
was delayed and I managed to reach the international terminal at BOM
only by 11 PM
. I called up the Swiss airport office and told them about my connection. They asked me to hurry up since check in was closing in about half an hour. As luck would have it, one of my bags was the absolute last to turn up!! As directed by the LX
office, I crossed the Customs check point and took a lift from inside the terminal to the departures level. After I got out of the lift, there was an exit, manned by two policemen, who just wouldn’t let passengers out from that exit!! According to them the exit is only for employees!! I can understand non-employees, not being allowed to get in, but preventing them from going out to a check in counter that’s right next door was preposterous!! And I was not alone, a bunch of connecting pax came up and none of them were allowed to exit. According to the policemen, we had to take the lift back down two levels to the arrivals section, make an exit, then take a lift outside the building and come up two levels and then enter the building!! It would have been a great help, if they had put up a huge sign at the lift in the arrivals section indicating it was for employees only!!
I called up the LX
office, since they were the ones who directed me here and they sent a person across, who pleaded with the security guys to let me across as the check in counters were about to close. But they would have none of it and I had to take lift back down.
The Lift outside was hilarious, with a luggage trolley, it would fit in exactly one person only!! There was a small queue of 5 people ahead of me.
People waiting to get into the lift
Just enough space to take your bags in
After getting my ticket re-examined at the entrance, managed to get inside the departure area and headed straight for the check in area. Thanks to all the “elevator adventure” I was the absolute last passenger to check in.
Immigration took less than 2 minutes, even during the crowded hour. Security was a different story though. After about 30 minutes , I was airside.
International terminal is in the midst of renovations and every time I visit there are new additions and modifications.
The Duty Free Section
The Coffee Shop
Food Court Area
The outlets at the Food Court
IIFA Buzz café – Bollywood themed
More Duty Free Options
The Bombay Blue Bar
The Gate Area
The Little India Curio store – highly over priced stuff!!
Last few passengers of LX
Walking along the jetway to the LX
I was one of the last passengers to board the a/c. At the door we were welcomed by a pair of F/As, who directed me to my seat 39B. The economy class was near full with very few vacant seats.
A pillow, blanket and headset were waiting for me @ my seat. While the pillow was comfortable, the blanket cud have been better.
Y seats on the new A333
Notice the position of the handset on the arm rest. I had a tough time using tht, with my neighbor taking up a huge part of the common armrest. Wonder why they had to go and put one handset in the middle armrest, instead of the left and right side of either seats!! Would have been a lot more convenient, esp in the two seaters of the A333.
Our Neighbour – 9W
A333 to EWR
– Thanks to the pilot’s strike , I guess it would be a rather empty flight tonite.
View of the cabin from the rear
The IFE Screen
Leg Space – Not the best in the world!!
A worm’s eye view!!
The Inflight Magazine and safety card. I like the two front portions in the seat pocket.. very handy
If the safety message is in so many languages, its gotta be SWISS!!
The Safety Video
The push back happened around 00:55 , and we were second in line behind an AI
777. After waiting for a 9W
737 to land, we were on our way to ZRH
. The take off roll was smooth and not surprisingly, pretty silent.
After about 20 minutes, the seat belt sign was switched off. Cold towel was distributed and the crew began the drinks service.
The moving map on the IFE
The last time I had travelled on this route, LX
had served a near decent meal after take off. But this time around, I was in for a disappointment.
“ Dinner” – Chicken Croissant and a Jam Cookie (Veg option was a quiche)
After the quick “dinner”, decided to explore the IFE system. While it was AVOD, the selection of movies, TV
programs and music was very limited. To top it the system is not very intuitive, and I could see that most passengers were having trouble in using the IFE system. The controls are not available as a touch screen option. This combined with my neighbor blockading my handset, made me give up my exploratory trip of the IFE!!
Whoever selected the Indian section, had a great sense of humour… among the Hindi movies was “Jimmy”… the disastrous debut flick of Mimoh (Mithu da’s son).
At this point, I decided to take a nap and slept for five hours straight. Woke up just in time for breakfast.
Again breakfast was nothing great to write about. Fruit Cuts (Papaya and Pineapple), Croissant and Bread. Drinks service included coffee and tea.
Went to the loo to freshen up before landing.
Moisturizer and Eau de Cologne
The wash basin
On my way back to my seat, the crew came along distributing the famous Swiss chocolates.
Soon the captain announced the commencement of descent into ZRH
and asked the crew to prepare the cabin for landing. From the moving map it was visible that we were in a holding pattern along the Swiss-German border
Finally we touched down at 6:07 local time at Zurich and taxied to our gate.
340 at the adjoining gate
Pictures of the cabin while de-planing
Rear Y cabin
Forward Y cabin
The New LX
C class – Alternate rows of 1-2-1 and 2-2-2 arrangement
Shots of the aircraft from the jet bridge
Overall, the trip was around a 5 out of 10. The new hard product in LX
is definitely not the best in the world. The catering and IFE can be improved a lot. Wasn’t tht much of an issue on an overnight flight, but would be dreadful on a long haul day flight.
Flown IC , 9W , SQ , SV , GF , S2 , LX , IT , LH , OS , DN , AC , MH , 6E , MI , AA , TG , EK , QR , SG , TK , KW, UA ,