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Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:52 pm

First TR! LAX-ZRH-TLV Part 1 In New J

Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:31 am

Hello everyone! This is my first trip report. I have been following the website for the last couple of years, and I finally mustered up the courage to sign up to the website, and start writing my trips. I have recently graduated from professional school, and am finally a so called grown-up (although I probably still do not qualify for that really). Not only do I get to work in the field that I love, and which I have always been hoping to do since I was a kid, but now I get to fly with a little bit (or a lot in the case of LX) more comfort.

I will be writing about my flight from LAX-TLV with LX in the newly designed J class, and splashing in some of my travels on AA, for which I have been restricted to (due to my studies, and the inability to get long enough of a vacation to go anywhere outside of the states, let alone having all my money go towards school and living expenses). I will try to be as detailed as possible, and try to figure up how to load the pictures. Unfortunately I do not have any pictures from the LA- Zurich flight, and although I have been following many (may I use the term fellow?) flying enthusiasts, I am still not as familiar with the plane registrations, and such, so I know there might be some details of my trip that will be missing, and again I apologize.

Its been 7 years since I have visited my home country of Israel, after leaving it to live in LA. This did cause a dent in my social life, but enabled me to fulfill my dream, so I am greatful that my parents decided to do so. When I finally decided to fly to Israel, I immediately started patrolling A-netter’s reports so that I could find the best airline to fly with. One of the biggest reasons I chose LX, was because of PlaneHunter’s trip report from SFO-ZRH in Swiss’s new business class configuration. After reading that report, it became quite an easy task in choosing which airline that will serve me during the long flight to TLV.

I have flown with LX to Israel previously (probably 8-9 years ago), and I really enjoyed my stay at the airport, which is usually about 8 hours. Back then I arrived in ZRH, and the councourse was huge, I could probably walk for quite a while between one side and the other (at least from what I remember).

My flight was scheduled for Sep 8th at 19:30, and so my initial planning was to get to LAX around 16:30-17:00, which meant that I would probably have to leave my house in the San Fernando valley around 15:00. I ordered a car service, which ended up arriving at 14:30, which was unexpected, but to be honest, I prefer the driver being early than late, particularly in LA. I left for the airport, and for some reason, the one time when I calculated myself enough time to get to the airport (I assumed the drive would take about 1.5 hours, which in reality is ridiculous for a 25 mile drive), and boy was I wrong. I arrived at LAX at 15:00. This is the first time that I can remember that It did not take forever to get to the airport in this congested city. Don’t get me wrong, the freeways were jam packed with vehicles, but we were moving along at a good rate. So I arrived at the airport about 4 hours before boarding, and to my surprise, there were people already in line for the Swiss check in stands (in all 3 classes).

When I initially booked the flight, I received seat 12K, which was nice. Before I continue I have to say one disappointing thing. I could not request a seat assignment on LX’s Website, so I called the airlines to see if I could do this over the phone. Even though I was speaking to a human, I felt as though I was talking to a computer. The answers they gave me to my questions were yes or no. No explanations, nothing. The person seemed annoyed that I would ask for a specific seat, and I was told that I was given 12K, and that everything else was unavailable. Luckily with the web check in service that Swiss offers, I was able to change my seat (and there were several different seats to chose from, including 10A which had wooden armrests on both sides of the single seat). I chose 9K, which was the window seat that was closer to the window (sorry about the lingo, I don’t really know how to describe it, but in Swiss’s new business configuration, there are two different types of window seats per-se, and I chose the one that is actually closer to the window).

The lounge at LAX is nice. Nothing special. They have an assortment of drinks, and snacks. The mood is calm and relaxing. I think a pianist would be a good addition to the lounge. I left the lounge about 30 minutes prior to boarding, as I actually prefer walking in the terminal. The only problem is that I realize that I am in an American terminal, which from the various terminal in the states that I have gone through, none have been exceptional, and I think that the nicest one was in MSP (and that was for a domestic flight).

Boarding was announced, and I boarded as soon as they called for business class passengers. As soon as I approached the entrance to the plane, I was greeted by a friendly smile from the FA, and he directed me towards my seat. The cabin interior of the new business class is very elegant in my opinion, and from a first impression, it appears to be on par with AA 777 executive first suite. Granted you do not get as much room, but LX provides this cozyness that I did not get from AA chairs. It may also be related to the fact that the seat that I had chosed offers more privacy that AA executive first suite. At any rate, I sat down, and had a glass of orange juice. I am not that big of a drinker, and new that I will be doing plenty of that during my two weeks in Israel, so I did not get any alcohol on the flight to ZRH.
After 15 minutes, we pushed back from the gate, and were headed to runway 25R. The pilot announced a flight time of 10h and 50 mins. The load in J was 100% I believe, and the same went for Y, while first class had only 3 pax I believe. Shortly after pushoff we took off, and as soon as I could I changed my seat to the lounge position. It was from this position that I was able to see how much room we actually were provided with. Dinner was served shortly thereafter, and I must say that the LX service reminds me of sitting at a restaurant in Europe. There are several courses, and the FA’s are not in a rush to dump all the food on you. They wait until you are done with each course before they give you the next. I am a vegetarian, and initially I had ordered a vegetarian meal. Realizing that to LX vegetarian meant vegan, I called swiss (At least a month before the flight; and this is the second time that I spoke with the unhelpful people) and changed my meal to ovo-lacto which would give me dishes with animal products except meat, chicken, or fish, but I guess the FA’s still had me down as vegetarian. Regardless the food was very good. I was started of with a spinach salad, along with a tomato with its innards (?) emptied out, and instead filled with diced up apple, cucumber, garbanzo beans and raisins, which was very delicious. My main course was vegetable sauté in curry with rice. This dish was very good. I found that in the past when I had rice dishes, they were very dry, but in this case, the rice was still moist and complemented the curry vegetables. I of course had a couple of excellent pieces of bread, and for desert, I had some fruit.

As soon as I was done with the meal, I reclined to the sleeping position. LX, as most you of probably know by now, just installed fully horizontal flat beds for business class. And in my seat, when fully reclined, I felt as though I was alone in the aircraft. I am a big person, I am 6’2 and have broad shoulders, but I have more than enough room to lie down on my back, sides, and stomach in this seat. The seat was a little hard, but easily fixed when pushed the soft button. Shortly thereafter I fell asleep for the next 8-9 hours, and I slept good! I am usually a light sleeper, and I doubt that this seat is the magic bed that I should sleep on for the rest of my life (although it would be nice if I could do it as often as I would like ☺), but I think the privacy and the fact that I put on the eye mask helped me to a solid sleep.

I woke up with about 1h 15 min prior to landing, just in time for breakfast to be served. Given that I was a vegetarian, I was not offered the eggs (which looked pretty good and had a sausage next to it, which I might have been tempted to eat had I gotten that dish). I had a small fruit salad, some cheese and a croissant with some strawberry jam/jelly (I do not know the difference or if there even is one and I am too lazy to look it up at the moment.) While having breakfast I watched the movie “The Hangover”. Funny movie, and I was impressed that it was not censored. I don’t remember which airline it was, but they took a very funny movie, and censored everything out of it, which made it lame, and I was very glad this was not the case.

Landing was nice and smooth, and the Zurich was only partly cloudy. Taxing after landing was short, and we left the plane rather quickly. We arrived at terminal E, which is not the main terminal at Zurich. I went up to the panorama lounge, which now serves as the business class lounge at the E terminal (which was not the case the last time I flew threw ZRH about 8-9 years ago. After spending some time here, I decided to go to the A terminal, to walk around a bit, and check out the business lounge there. It was much busier and noisier. After walking for about an hour, I decided to return to Terminal E, and proceeded to the lounge where I started writing this report ☺. I am waiting for my flight to TLV which is scheduled to leave ZRH at 22:45. I will write an additional report when either from Israel, or when I return to LA.

PS. While surfing the net I discovered that all A343 have been fitted with the new J product, meaning that my flight to Israel will also be in the new phenomenal (in my opinion) LX product!

Being that this is my first report, I apologize for not having pics. My digital camera was not working, so I had to charge my old iPhone. I will take pics of the remainder of my flights and add them to the my next report. I would love to have feedback on my writing style, any other important details I should include (or am I too detailed.)
Thank you for taking the time to read this, I really appreciate it.


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