Some of you might have read my trip report about the LHR
flight with Continental that I took in November and had a 12 hour delay. Now, almost two months later, I am on my way to the USA again for a family vacation in New York. This time we have chosen LX
as our carrier and therefore ZRH
as our transit airport. And just like the last time the flights did not go smooth, this time it was not a mechanical fault but a weather issue.
Here is how our itinerary looked like for today:
I was checking the weather forecast regularly the week before departure and it showed some light snow on the 26th, sometimes it was predicted to be cloudy, some other days it said there was going to be around 2-4 cm of snow. That's how it looked like on Christmas eve.
When I woke up on Christmas day, one of the first things I did was check the weather report – and here comes the first shock. Heavy snow predicted for Sunday afternoon and night with heavy winds and around 35 cm of snow (14 inches). It did not look good.
During the day the weather forecast changed again, predicting a more bearable amount of 9 cm of snow in the afternoon and moderate winds. It looked better but in the evening it got worse again. We could not do anything about the weather so we went to bed, hoping, that we would arrive to NY just before the blizzard.
In the morning there was a big snow shower in Ljubljana. Was this the taste of things to come?
After a quick 20 minutes drive we arrived to Jože Pučnik international airport or Brnik airport or Aerodrom Ljubljana.
The parking garage is usually quite full, but today it was pretty empty.
We parked on the 1st floor and made our way to the terminal building past the rent a car parking spaces.
Control tower in Ljubljana.
Check-in area. It was empty at this time (only four flights departing in the next few hours).
We handed our documents to the friendly check-in agent. We had a nice talk about our worries of snow storms in the NY are and she guaranteed us that they will take good care of us in Zurich.
Business class check-in, also used for baggage drop off for those, who check in online via the airport website (www.lju-airport.si). It has a nice red carpet.
There were two very early flights to France and four flights during the usually the most busy period between 7 and 8 in the morning (MUC
The way to security check
Santa – a pioneer in flying
Great idea to put him and some presents up there.
There is a separate line for business passengers, but I have never used that as the line is usually not very long. Today, there was no one in line so I did not have to wait.
I beeped on the metal detector, that has not happened to me in LJU
for a few years now. They searched me and I had to put my shoe on at a time in a machine to check them. Interestingly I did not beep in ZRH
although I was dressed exactly the same as in LJU
and had nothing in my pockets.
The old waiting room looks much better now with the new seats.
Stairway to the upper part of the terminal
A few paintings on display
Another look at the flights departing this morning
Police vehicle covered with snow.
The upper duty free store was not opened yet.
Expensive compared to other machines in the city.
Children’s play area. I read in an article about how to make a good airport and one of the advices was to have a place for children to play. Looks like LJU
is following that plan
Gate 1 for the flight to FRA
will operate that flight. Meanwhile, S5
is waiting for deicing.
Deicing before this CRJ900 departs for CDG
I think that this is S5
-AAI, my CRJ200 for my flight to ZRH
Back downstairs I walked through the duty free store on my way to the business lounge.
I loved the LOO-BLA-NAH shirt
you get your shirt in a nice bag.
Entrance to the business lounge
You go up the stairs and then there is a hallway to the main area with some rooms on the right side.
You can get a massage here.
Adria was on TV
. There was a remote at the table so you could change that.
Snacks and drinks
Table for used inventory
I doubt anyone used this in the last few years. I don’t know if you can even get a Telekartica anymore.
Boarding started a few minutes later than predicted on the boarding pass.
That was not a problem as there were only 30 PAX on this flight and we were all on the bus in no time.
-AAI was waiting for us at PSN
And as predicted S5
-AAI was waiting for this short hop to ZRH
The plane was covered with snow on the top.
waiting to greet us at the door. I like JP
On the top of the stairs, engines still covered.
Cabin view during boarding. There were 5 rows of business class with only four passengers.
Snow on my window
More than enough legroom for the short flight
Some holiday spirit on JP
Safety information were demonstrated in Slovene, English and German. They were finished before the engines were started.
‘Let bo trajal eno uro’ (The flight will take us one hour)
‘The flight will take us one hour and thirty minutes’
‘Flug .. ein hur’ (something like that, I am not good in German)
It seems that English speaking passengers will fly an extra 30 minutes on this flight
It was a small (and only) mistake by the FA
. She did speak all three languages fluently.
Deicing was quick and so was the taxi to runway 13 and we were soon in the air.
Over the clouds
Breakfast was a pleasant surprise – it used to be a cold plate but not today.
Great breakfast for a one hour flight
Specially produced for Adria
The seat in front of me (4A)
We soon started our descent into ZRH
It was great looking down on the landscape covered with snow.
Here are some more pictures of our approach.
Welcome to ZRH
, the outside temperature is -13 degrees
We parked at a remote position and a bus was already waiting for us.
A quick ride to the terminal we found ourselves in the ‘Transfer area A’. Our flight was not on the display yet (only flights until 12:45, we were scheduled to depart at 13:00). So I decided to go and check with the supervisor at the transfer center, if she had information about our gate today, as it was not written on the boarding pass.
‘Excuse me, I was wondering if you have the gate information for flight LX14 to New York?’
‘Oh, don’t you know? That flight was cancelled!’
Ahhhhh…… My hearth started to beat a little faster… Again another awful message just before my TATL flight. Two months ago at LHR
, while I was waiting for boarding my flight to Houston, there was a similar message: ‘This is an announcement made for all passengers traveling on the 10:45 service to Houston. This flight is now delayed until 21:15 in the evening.’ But this time it was worse, in LHR
we eventually departed and I was able to enjoy a long-haul flight on CO
, this time I almost knew that I was not going to make it to the USA.
We gathered together and went to the transfer center. There was no one in line at the first class counter so the friendly female agent called us over and we explained our situation.
‘Were did you arrive from?’
‘Lugano?! They should have not sent you here!’
‘No, no, Loo-bla-nah.’
‘Aha, ok, you were already on your way when the flight was cancelled.’
She firstly checked if there was any room left at the flight to JFK
that was just closing, but it was fully booked. Both flights for tomorrow were booked as well.
‘I can send you through Boston. You fly to Boston today and to New York tomorrow?’
That offer was quite tempting, but I have looked at the weather report for possible diversion airports and I have read on airliners.net that Boston may be affected too. And that operations on Monday may not be normal yet. Since we had a return ticket back on Wednesday, departing on Tuesday was not a good option. We wouldn’t mind flying to New York for just one night, but spending two nights in ZRH
was too much. So we decided to be rebooked on the evening home back to Ljubljana.
We received our new boarding passes and coupons for the unused ZRH
-JFKZRH ticket. CNLD DUE
HEAVY SNOW was the reason for the cancellation stated on this coupon.
We went to the lounge slowly realizing that we would not see New York this time.
Annuliert! You do not need to speak German to know what this means.
The lounge was mostly empty and very quiet. It had a very calm atmosphere and I felt relaxed.
Longest attended bar worldwide…
View outside from the bar in the second floor of the lounge.
Fried rice with chicken. It was the only hot food offered in the lounge. It was good and spicy.
Reports on severe weather in the US were on the news the whole day.
A great sofa where we spent a lot of time. It is great for relaxing.
A lot of rice
One of two places where you could get food
Free (a little slow at times) internet
I did not see this offered in any other lounge
US airways flight to PHL
departing at around 12:15. We were suppose to depart just 45 minutes later
The whole time in the lounge I was checking status of flight LH410 MUC
. I’ve been on that flight two times before and it took off on time and was on its way to JFK
At around 12:30 we decided to try and find the observation deck, as most long-haul flights depart around one o’clock.
However you have to take a bus and the next one was in 30 minutes and the last one back was in an hour so we decided not to go and just spend some time outside.
Business class check-in
You can’t miss whose home airport is this
Back airside I went looking for some planes.
Not much to see on this side
We had a look at the numerous shops
And then return to the lounge to wait for our flight.
More bad weather reports
Blizzard warning for NY/NJ/CT was a very popular topic
Not so good looking arrivals information page at JFK
It was a good thing we did not decide to go via BOS
Our gate was going to be A03
And half an hour before boarding we started to make our way there. Security was quick an easy with no line.
You are requested to wait in the waiting area until your flight is called and then go downstairs to the bus.
No flights boarding at this time
Boarding for our flight was called on time.
-3 degrees in LJU
30 PAX on this flight, same as on the morning flight
You can’t miss your bus
There are displays even on the inside of the bus. Nice feature.
A short ride and we stopped in front of S5
-AAJ. Well, at least I flew on two different Adria CRJ200 planes and neither of them was S5
-AAD. On my previous trips in the past few years I ended up on that aircraft almost every time It was a nice change.
Boarding in progress
Cabin view during boarding. Interestingly, S5
-AAI had purple seatbelts and S5
-AAJ seatbelts were grey.
Bottles of water were distributed before the doors were closed.
Right after all PAX were in their seats the doors closed. We then remained on the stand for around 20 minutes, then the captain came out of the cockpit, FA
opened the door for him and he did another walk around. He was back in less than a minute, doors closed again and within five minutes engines slowly came to life.
We stopped for deicing.
From there it was a quick taxi to runway 32 and we were soon on our way.
Takeoff was powerful, but climb out was very slow with many turns. Probably due to noise reduction reasons?
Dinner was good. The bread was warm.
Reflection of the leftovers of my meal in the window. The only ‘outside view’ I have from in flight as it was very dark.
magazine and safety card for our CRJ200
Flight was over quickly and we started our descent into LJU
Tomačevo, Nove Jarše, Črnuče, Bežigrad, some of the parts of Ljubljana seen in this picture.
In the middle of this picture are Stožice football stadium and arena, where the finals of the Eurobasket 2013 championship are going to be played. At the football stadium a very important game between Slovenia and Italy is going to be played in March.
Train station in Zalog
An overview of Ljubljana
We landed on runway 31 and a follow me vehicle guided us to our parking position.
Turn left! (Sorry for the bad picture)
I was supposed to be landing at John F. Kennedy international airport at this time. Instead, I landed back at Jože Pučnik international airport, where I have started my ‘vacation’ earlier today.
I was prepared for our bags to be lost somewhere in ZRH
, but all of them had made it into LJU
with new baggage tags.
Well, one of the positive sides of our flight being cancelled was that parking was cheaper than it would be if we would arrive on Thursday
The same picture I made this morning – only two things changed – the weather and my mood.
Well, I was looking forward to see New York covered in snow and I was hoping that we would arrive just before the storm, but Swiss decided to play it safe and not even fly to JFK
. I can understand their decision, it was probably cheaper and easier to rebook PAX to other flights instead of having an aircraft stuck at JFK
or even diverted to some other airport. I was surprised however that the flight was cancelled so early.
LH410 landed in JFK
on-time, but the return flight LH411 was cancelled. Today (Monday the 27th) both LX14 and LH410 were cancelled as well.
The cancellation did cause us some inconvenience – we had booked a hotel, musical, train tickets… Now we have to fight for refunds.
I was really looking forward to Swiss C class, I haven’t flown them before and wanted to try it. No such luck this time, maybe some other time.
And I do not know, If we would have departed on-time at 13:00 LT
, would we be able to land at our scheduled arrival time (16:05 LT
)? Or would we be diverted?
Well, thank you for reading this report, I am sorry I was not able to review LX
C class, but I might do that some other time. If you are interested in my report about the 12 hour delay because of a technical fault on our CO
B777-200, you can find it here:
Houston, We Have A Problem! 12 Hour Delay On CO 5 (by SloAir Nov 14 2010 in Trip Reports)
All pictures in my fifth trip report were taken with Sony DSC-HX1.
I wish you all the best in 2011 with many on time flights