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Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1754
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Fri Aug 08, 2014 12:07 pm

Folie1

Absentation, the hero leaves the security and comfort of home…

The first leg of my journey sees me travelling from Zürich to Hong Kong in First Class with Swiss International Air Lines. This is actually my first flight with SWISS this year. My last long-haul trip with them was in January last year, when I accidentally ended up flying SWISS after my original flight on British Airways was cancelled and the KLM flight I was subsequently rebooked to went tech and was then also cancelled...

GETTING TO THE AIRPORT
Transport:
train
Departs from: Winterthur station
Frequency: six trains every hour, four of which are nonstop
Journey time: 13 minutes on the direct trains, 17 minutes on the regional train (S-Bahn)
Fare: CHF4.20 one way

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My train from Winterthur pulls into Zürich Flughafen station just after eight, which gives me about two hours before the flight to Hong Kong is scheduled to depart.

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The station is deep in the basement of the airport. The escalators up from the platforms will eject you in the retail area, which makes it a bit difficult to find the airport for all the shops if you’re unfamiliar with the place. This is also where you will find the Terminal 3 check-in counters. To reach Terminals 1 and 2 and to access the gates you need to go up one more floor. There are yet more shops here and it’s a bit of a schlep to the terminals, but at least the the signage at Zürich Airport is very good (Are you reading this, Vienna Airport?) so it is quite easy to find your way around.

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CHECK-IN
Location:
Terminal 1
Facilities: dedicated First Class check-in area with direct curb side access.

Check-in for SWISS flights is in Terminals 1 and 3. However, if you want to have the full on First Class experience, you will have to make your way to Terminal 1, because there is no dedicated First Class check-in available in Terminal 3. I can only assume that SWISS doesn’t expect any of its top tier passengers to condescend to use public transport.

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First Class check-in is segregated from the rest of the terminal. There are no conveyor belts here, so if you’re checking in luggage, the valet will come and pick it up – once it has been tagged and labelled accordingly – to quickly whisk it away. There is something very old school about the process, which I rather like.

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The lady at check in asks me if I’m really okay sitting on 1K. I answer that I am and in return ask her if there is a problem with 1K. She tells me 1K is as good as any other First Class seat, but apparently I have the entire First Class cabin to myself this evening and could have had 1A instead. Well in that case I think I might just have my meal in 1K, sleep in 1A and maybe try another one to watch a movie. Just for the heck of it, because their mine, all mine!

LOUNGE
Location:
Terminal 1, access is via a staircase in the forum housing the transfer desks
Type of Lounge:
dedicated Swiss First Class lounge
Facilities:
restaurant with à la carte dining, buffet with hot and cold dishes, showers, day room, office area
Internet:
access code with a validity of 1 year, the internet connection is very slow and the PCs are even worse

From check-in I head straight for security. Admittedly, this part of the experience does not feel particularly exclusive ever since they introduced centralised security screening at Zürich Airport. There is a separate lane for premium passengers, but this includes status holders and Business Class passengers as well.

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I’m feeling a bit peckish, after all my last meal was at noon. I choose the veal pie with Cumberland sauce, mushroom mouse and smoked trout with roe and sweet potato. And for something sweet I have a small piece of lemon cheesecake with raspberries.

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Interdiction, the hero is warned against some action…

It’s time to give my mum a call to see how she’s doing. Today I passed out in the gym. I was working out my legs. I’ve had two weeks of intensive training and I think I may have overdone it a bit. I confess to my mum. I mean, what’s the point? Mothers have a way of prying out of you the things you’d actually rather not tell them. My mum starts telling me off, ‘you have to listen to your body young man’ – Ma I’m going to be forty – ‘don’t you try to change the subject, this is no laughing matter, it’s not healthy for you’ – yes Ma. Eventually I ring off, but the communication continues. My mum starts texting me. ‘You don’t want to end up sick in a foreign country you know…don’t forget to eat…’. Bless her!

BOARDING
Priority Boarding:
available and implemented

At 22:05 I leave the lounge and I make my way to the meeting point for the shuttle to the E gates. The shuttle is a Mercedes mini van with room for five passengers.

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Boarding has already started when I reach the gate, but by the looks of it they’ve only just made the call for the premium passengers. The gate agent scans my boarding pass. She makes a point of addressing me by name, thanks me for flying Swiss First Class and wishes me a pleasant flight. I’m a bit impressed I must admit.

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CABIN
Configuration:
1 + 2 + 1

Seat: 8 seats – While this seat is obviously no longer the industry benchmark and does not offer the same level of privacy as some of the new generation products out there, as far as I’m concerned, it remains one of the most comfortable airplane seats around. Guaranteed to give you a few hours of restful slumber.
Pitch: 80 inches
Length as a bed: 83 inches
Width: 22 inches
Recline: 180 degrees
Facilities: power outlet, reading lamp, overhead lamp
Audio and Video: AVOD, touch screen or remote controlled

The first thing that strikes me upon entering the cabin is that it is in mint condition. There are no signs of wear and tear, nor are there any marks or blemishes. Quite obviously Swiss has taken very good care of this bird.

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SERVICE
Amenity kit:
Bally
Content: toothbrush with Colgate toothpaste, comb, various cosmetics by Swiss brand La Prairie, Ricola sweets, tissues, eye shade, ear plugs, socks
Slippers: I wear a size 46 shoes. The slipper fit me comfortably, but I’m not sure they have them in smaller sizes
Pyjamas: Zimmerli (Swiss brand) in various sizes

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The crew on this flight prove once again that it’s the people that make the airline. As a customer, our perception of what is a good flight and what not depends largely on the impression we receive from the crew. And by the looks of it, I’m in luck this evening. The crew up front consists of one senior cabin crew in his early fifties. He’s very outgoing and charming and gives you the feeling of being genuinely welcome on board. The other is a young man of South Asian descent with a broad Bernese accent. He comes across as being very nice, friendly and polite.

As I reach my seat, it’s quite apparent that I am already being expected, which is a nice feeling when you’re going on a journey abroad. Within short sequence I receive the slippers, vanity kit and pyjamas.

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THE MEAL
Welcome drink on the ground:
Mimosa – freshly squeezed orange juice and champagne

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Hot towel before the meal:
the hot towel is distributed just as we push back; it's a scented towel and its very large, fluffy and soft

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Pre-meal drink:
Quöllfrisch beer, it’s okay but generally speaking Swiss beers are not really very good

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Choice:
There is a huge selection of first and main courses, note however that there are no Asian or Chinese dishes. The menu is obviously focussed on traditional Swiss cuisine.
Delivery:
the food is brought out from the galley and served from an elegant wooden tray
Type of meal:
dinner, hot meal


Meal:
  • Amuse bouche of fish with peas and butter flûtes from Sprüngli (served on the ground)

  • Bowl of nuts with the beer

  • Balik salmon with crème fraîche and chives

  • Soup of corn and lemongrass with popcorn

  • Mixed salad

  • Herb coated veal loin with rosemary sauce, macaroni gratin, artichoke and olives; with a side order of peppers and grilled zucchini

  • Selection of cheese served with mustard seed chutney, pear bread, fruit and crackers

  • Apricot and thyme slice with pistachio crumble, quark sorbet, apricot and vanilla coulis

  • Bread basket with a choice of olive oil or butter

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The Balik salmon is very tasty. I think I may perhaps have been a bit overly enthusiastic in demolishing it though, because the next thing I know the steward comes along and asks me if I’d like some more. Oh go on then, if you force me…!

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Next up it’s the soup, which is outstanding. It’s incredibly flavourful; the taste of the lemongrass is well balanced with that of the corn. It’s a combination that works surprisingly well. The presentation of the dish is elegant; I really like the large and deep plates in which Swiss serve their soups. The plate arrives only with the popcorn in it. The actual soup is poured out into the dish at the passenger’s seat. As a finishing touch the steward adds a bit of cream to the dish and a few sprigs of thyme.

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The soup is followed by the salad, which is nice and crisp even though it looks like a bit of a mess. There is a choice of Italian or French dressing. I go with the Italian, which is much better than that vile stuff in a Heinz jar Lufthansa serve in First Class and which is inedible.

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And then comes the main dish. This is just okay. The combination of flavours is all right, but somehow the veal just tastes bland.

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Next I have some cheese, and again I’m quite taken by the presentation of the plate. It all just looks so nice. I particularly like the mustard seed chutney, it’s spicy in the same way that wasabi is, the kind of strength that literally gets up you nose and makes you wince and your eyes water.

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By this time I’m already quite full but somehow the description in the menu of the dessert has kindled my curiosity. And I’m not disappointed. This is another well presented dish with lots of flavour. It’s very refreshing.

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To conclude the meal I have some Moroccan mint tea.

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While I’m eating, the steward made up the seat opposite into my bed, so once the meal is over I just cross the aisle, lay down and go off to bed. I even receive a small little soft toy airplane to keep my company during the night.

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The crew’s attention to detail is really something else. During the night I leave my bed twice, to find that it’s been redone by the time I return. They even give my pillow a good shake!

I awake just under five hours out of Hong Kong and figure I might as well make a start with the trip report. The friendly young man immediately notices I’m awake and comes to ask me if here’s anything I’d like. I ask for a coffee and an orange juice. While I wait he brings me a warm scented towel and a vitamin booster.

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SECOND MEAL
Meal:

  • Bowl of Birchermüsli

  • Plate of fresh fruit – melon, mango, kiwi and strawberries

  • Various breads with butter and jam

  • An egg dish with ham, sausage, mushrooms, beans, tomato – served with mustard

  • Orange juice and coffee


About ninety minutes out of Hong Kong breakfast is served. The second service is not quite as elaborate as the main meal but it hits the spot nicely. By this time I’m also seriously wondering just exactly how much cutlery and how many dishes they actually have on board on a flight like this.

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ARRIVAL
Our arrival into Hong Kong is beautiful. First of all there’s the light. I don’t think I’ve ever been to Hong Kong when the weather has been so nice. It’s clear day, with only a bit of haze. We approach the city from the north, flying out over the South China Sea with the city on our left hand side. We execute a number of turns around the entire city until eventually we’ve done a full 360 as we come out of the last turn to line up with the runway. Hong Kong is quite hilly, and on our descent we pass very close to the peaks of some of the hills and mountains that surround the area. It’s very spectacular.

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There is a lady expecting me as I disembark. Her job is to guide me through immigration and baggage claim as quickly and smoothly as possible. And indeed, within nine minutes from getting off the plane I find myself standing by the baggage reclaim carousel waiting for my suitcase to appear.

GETTING INTO TOWN
Transport:
train and bus
Departs from: Hong Kong Airport
Frequency: every 12 minutes
Journey time: 24 minutes to Hong Kong Island
Fare: HKD82 one way
The most convenient way to get from the airport into town is by train. At the station in Kowloon and at the terminus on Hong Kong Island there is a complimentary bus service available that will take you to most of the mayor hotels. There are different routes. If you’re not sure which bus to take, just ask one of the many staff for directions.

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agrflyer
Posts: 221
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2005 3:36 pm

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Fri Aug 08, 2014 6:02 pm

Thanks once again for writing a report. It was a pleasure reading it while enjoying a relaxing Friday evening outside.

I flew LX in F to MIA and back from ORD in May. I found the service on the ground nothing extraordinary no matter if I was arriving or departing (compared to my experience with TG in BKK or HKG). The same goes for the food on board. However the service from the crew was top nooch.

In which hotel did you / are you staying? My favourite place in Hong Kong is the Four Seasons or the Mandarin Oriental. I am not a fan of the Peninsula in Kowloon.
July 2018, A3 C-Class ZRH-ATH-TLV-ATH-VIE
July 2018, OS C-Class VIE-ZRH
September 2018, ZRH-MXP-VIE-YYZ-LGA / JFK-VIE-ZRH on OS, LX and AC in Y and C
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1754
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Fri Aug 08, 2014 6:29 pm

Hi Agrflyer

Quoting agrflyer (Reply 1):
Thanks once again for writing a report. It was a pleasure reading it while enjoying a relaxing Friday evening outside.

Thank you. My pleasure, I'm glad you enjoyed the report. There are a few more yet to come...

Quoting agrflyer (Reply 1):
I found the service on the ground nothing extraordinary no matter if I was arriving or departing (compared to my experience with TG in BKK or HKG).

I was thinking about the service on the ground during my flight. I'm in two minds. On the one hand I think it's true that the Swiss experience may be a bit underwhelming. But having said that, I don't really think it's necessary to have anything more in a place like Zürich airport, which isn't that big and which is laid out nicely. Whereas in a place like Frankfurt, being able to use the First Class terminal is a serious benefit because it means avoiding that hopeless mess the rest of the facility is.

Quoting agrflyer (Reply 1):
In which hotel did you / are you staying?

This time I'm staying at the Conrad, simply because I've got Hilton Honor Points coming out of my ears right now!

Quoting agrflyer (Reply 1):
I am not a fan of the Peninsula in Kowloon.

How can you not like the Peninusla? I stayed there last time I was in Hong Kong and when I return later this year that's definitely where I'll be staying.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Cheers,
William
 
agrflyer
Posts: 221
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2005 3:36 pm

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:28 pm

You might be right about Zurich Airport. However when I arrived in ZRH the crew gave a warm goodybye and then you were bumpted into the terminal. This was a sudden and unexpected end of an otherwise excellent trip.

I was twice at the Peninsula and both times the arrival was not that classy with an overcrowded lobby with tourists queing for afternoon tea which is in my eyes not that classy as it should be. They even did not open the door of my taxi. However having your drink up at Felix and enjoying the view towards Hong Kong Island is priceless especially in the evening.

I should definetely go back to HKG the sooner the better. It is one of my favourite cities around the world.

Cheers and have a nice weekend,
July 2018, A3 C-Class ZRH-ATH-TLV-ATH-VIE
July 2018, OS C-Class VIE-ZRH
September 2018, ZRH-MXP-VIE-YYZ-LGA / JFK-VIE-ZRH on OS, LX and AC in Y and C
 
debonair
Posts: 4174
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 10:50 pm

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:31 pm

Great TR as always...

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
but at least the the signage at Zürich Airport is very good (Are you reading this, Vienna Airport?) so it is quite easy to find your way around.

Yes indeed, since your last TR VIE scrapped all and everything...

Sorry, Press Release only in German (something VIE should change about next):

http://www.viennaairport.com/unterne...ws_2?news_beitrag_id=1404444478695
 
ben123planes
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 4:53 pm

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:56 pm

Knightsofmalta,

Great report - the crew is what makes it in a flight for me - if they're a bit distant or not interested it ruins the experience in my opinion.

First Class looks great - especially with 1 person in it, it's a nice thought imagining me in First Class... I got excited when I sat in 3A for a U2 flight :P


Ben
 
eastern747
Posts: 579
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 5:34 am

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:11 pm

Nice trip report, and great pictures. With my background in inflight services/dining services, I almost gagged at the amount of food that was boarded just for you. I'm sure the inflight staff and crew are very happy......LOL No wines, or after dinner drinks offered? Also, I'll say this again until I'm blue in the face. White tablecloth...fine. white napkin..fine. White tableware? an issue for me. Come on, wouldn't the swiss red cross look great on top of a plate or a coffee cup?. Even a red band around the rim. Now I understand that stuff tends to get stolen and walk? off the plane. Colored linen tends to become discolored after washings and that means $$$. But not even a logo on the glassware. And don't even get me started about the flatware! LOLOLOL I can go to the local cafeteria and get something looking better. I'm sure the salt and pepper shakers are intended to be big. so they don't walk. And one last comment....popcorn soup! Really? I guess it's a Swiss thing........
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1754
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:30 am

Hi Agrflyer

Quoting agrflyer (Reply 3):
However when I arrived in ZRH the crew gave a warm goodybye and then you were bumpted into the terminal. This was a sudden and unexpected end of an otherwise excellent trip.

That is true, arrival in Zürich's E dock is not the most pleasant ending to a First Class trip, especially not first thing in the morning, with all the other long-haul flights coming in.

Quoting agrflyer (Reply 3):
I should definetely go back to HKG the sooner the better. It is one of my favourite cities around the world.

Yes, Hong Kong is one of my favourites as well. My first trip outside Europe was to Hong Kong.

Hi Debonair

Quoting debonair (Reply 4):
Great TR as always...

Thank you!

Quoting debonair (Reply 4):
Yes indeed, since your last TR VIE scrapped all and everything...

Finally! I had already started to wonder if it was me who just didn't get the signage.

Hi Ben

Quoting ben123planes (Reply 5):
First Class looks great - especially with 1 person in it, it's a nice thought imagining me in First Class... I got excited when I sat in 3A for a U2 flight :P

Actually the first three rows are the best on Easyjet!

Hi Eastern747

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 6):
Nice trip report, and great pictures.

Thanks!

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 6):
No wines, or after dinner drinks offered?

Well, the steward kept asking ans looked rather disappointed when I decline. Alcohol on a plane tends to give me a head ache very quickly.

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 6):
But not even a logo on the glassware.

Actually, there is the Swiss logo at the bottom of the water glasses, but not on the wine glasses. As for the Swiss logo on the plate, I think I would agree with you if they still had the old logo with the two red squares. That might have looked good. But with the new one - no.

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 6):
And one last comment....popcorn soup! Really? I guess it's a Swiss thing........

I know it sounds like a strange thing, but it was really quite tasty.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Cheers,
William
 
767747
Posts: 2225
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 am

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:43 am

Wow, Swiss in F looks fantastic. I'd fly it just for the Balik Salmon alone! Looks delicious!

Great to get a flight on the A340. I really like that jet, but I feel like they're not going to be around in too many more years.

Best,

Matthew
I love to fly!
 
greg99
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 12:00 am

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Sat Aug 09, 2014 2:08 am

Great trip report.

HK is one of my favorite cities, and I have to say that I'm partial to the Peninsula, as well...

Thanks!
Greg
 
mdavies06
Posts: 548
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:28 pm

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Sat Aug 09, 2014 5:36 am

Hi William,

Thanks for the interesting and informative TR. Glad you had the whole F class to yourself. What is the itinerary of your trip in Asia? How many cities are you visiting?

mdavies06
 
invaders
Posts: 408
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 7:00 am

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Sat Aug 09, 2014 12:10 pm

Great report as alway. I've yet to try the lh-product to LX, however I always enjoy the flights when going from OSL to ZRH.

And as noted above, HKG is one of my fav-cities but I always end up using Finnair as they have the shortest-connection time from Norway.

Keep the reports coming.

O
 
lychemsa
Posts: 1865
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:39 pm

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:24 pm

I stayed at the Peninsula in 1978 and was not all that impressed.

I hope to return and will stay at the newer hotels.

In those days the Mandarin was also among the so called best hotels.
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1754
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Sat Aug 09, 2014 2:45 pm

Hi Matthew

Quoting 767747 (Reply 8):
I'd fly it just for the Balik Salmon alone! Looks delicious!

You have a point, I'm rather partial to Balik salmon too and it's no something you have every day.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 8):
I really like that jet, but I feel like they're not going to be around in too many more years.

I'm always in two minds about the -300. I think the -500 has better proportions, mainly due to the larger engines.

Hi greg99

Quoting greg99 (Reply 9):
Great trip report.

Thanks!

Quoting greg99 (Reply 9):
HK is one of my favorite cities, and I have to say that I'm partial to the Peninsula, as well...

I think you kind of have to know what you're letting yourself in for with the Peninsula. The fact that it's such an attraction can be a tad irritating if you're staying there. The hoards of tourists queuing up for afternoon tea don't exactly give the place an air of exclusivity. But the rooms are very well appointed.

Hi mdavies06

Quoting mdavies06 (Reply 10):
Thanks for the interesting and informative TR. Glad you had the whole F class to yourself. What is the itinerary of your trip in Asia? How many cities are you visiting?

Thanks, my pleasure. Let me see, six more destinations to go but none of them in Asia.

Hi invaders

Quoting invaders (Reply 11):
Great report as alway.

Thank you.

Quoting invaders (Reply 11):
And as noted above, HKG is one of my fav-cities but I always end up using Finnair as they have the shortest-connection time from Norway.

In contrast, I've yet to try Finnair long-haul. From the reports they seem to be a bit of a mixed bag, particularly in terms of hardware, with some aircraft in the new Business Class config and others still in the old ex-Virgin one.

Hi lychemsa

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 12):
In those days the Mandarin was also among the so called best hotels.

I walked through the Mandarin Oriental and thought it was starting to look a bit tired. Although the service at the Mandarins is usually faultless.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Cheers,
William
 
adamspotter
Posts: 1191
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:06 pm

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Sat Aug 09, 2014 3:29 pm

Hi William,

Yet another fantastic report you made here. Having the whole First Class cabin to yourself? WOW that must have been fun!  
Looks like SWISS took very good care of you here. The crew sound very nice, the food looks great and the cabin in mint condition.
Lovely approach into Hong Kong as well  
Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Internet: access code with a validity of 1 year, the internet connection is very slow and the PCs are even worse

That doesn't sound very premium.

cheers,

Brendan
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1754
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:07 pm

Hi Brendan

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 14):
Yet another fantastic report you made here.

Thank you.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 14):
Having the whole First Class cabin to yourself? WOW that must have been fun!

It was kind of fun. A bit like having an oversized private jet.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 14):
Looks like SWISS took very good care of you here. The crew sound very nice, the food looks great and the cabin in mint condition.

Definitely they took very good care. I just hope the next flight will be just as good. But be shall see.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 14):
That doesn't sound very premium.

No. Actually the internet access at Zürich airport is a bit of a saga. From what I understand the wifi is now provided by the airport and is available to the public in all of the terminal, although access is limited to something like thirty minutes, even in the Swiss and Senator lounges. To be honest I don't think anybody is really happy with the situation right now.

Cheers,
William
 
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fbgdavidson
Posts: 3903
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:25 am

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Sun Aug 10, 2014 6:19 am

Very nice report! I'd like to give LX F a go sometime, I like Swiss service and would like to see Flt myself how that translates into a premium experience.

Another big fan of the Peninsula, went there on my first trip to Hong Kong and won't stay anywhere else, in part because of the Rolls Royce Phantom pick-up where you're met at the aircraft door upon disembarkation and whisked through as much of the arrivals formalities as is allowed. I'd like to try the helicopter one time for a giggle but it's a tad pricey, when the Phantom transfers are actually very good value IMO.
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
joeytaffy93
Posts: 319
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:25 pm

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:48 am

Seems like LX have a good First product.

Thanks for sharing with this TR.  
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1754
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Sun Aug 10, 2014 12:17 pm

Hi fbgdavidson

Quoting fbgdavidson (Reply 16):
Very nice report!

Thanks.

Quoting fbgdavidson (Reply 16):
Another big fan of the Peninsula, went there on my first trip to Hong Kong and won't stay anywhere else, in part because of the Rolls Royce Phantom pick-up where you're met at the aircraft door upon disembarkation and whisked through as much of the arrivals formalities as is allowed. I'd like to try the helicopter one time for a giggle but it's a tad pricey, when the Phantom transfers are actually very good value IMO.

I took the Phantom to the airport last time I stayed at the Peninsula. I mean, I don't even have a driver's licence but I thought that car was simply gorgeous. The sound it makes...

Hi JoeyTaffy93

Quoting JoeyTaffy93 (Reply 17):
Seems like LX have a good First product.

All in all, I think it's a good product. Obviously it helped that I was on my own. I hate sharing my steward's attention with other people...  
Quoting JoeyTaffy93 (Reply 17):
Thanks for sharing with this TR.

My pleasure.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Cheers,
William
 
joeytaffy93
Posts: 319
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:25 pm

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Sun Aug 10, 2014 1:56 pm

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 18):

Because sharing is just the worst.... Haha.  
 
abrelosojos
Posts: 4323
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 6:48 am

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:00 am

You continue to be the flag bearer of awesome First reports. Thanks for that! LX is one of the few airlines I like paying for when flying F and not J ... the difference is huge! J is mediocre ... F rocks.

Thanks for sharing.

Saludos,
Alex
Live, and let live.
 
AA737-823
Posts: 5530
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2000 11:10 am

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:29 am

Knights, how old is this trip?
I ask, because I was under the impression that Swiss had retrofitted their A343 premium cabins to the same, pleasant standard as the A330 fleet. Am I wrong on that?
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1754
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Mon Aug 11, 2014 6:45 am

Hi A.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 20):
You continue to be the flag bearer of awesome First reports. Thanks for that!

Thank you. That's quite a compliment coming from the expert!

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 20):
LX is one of the few airlines I like paying for when flying F and not J ... the difference is huge! J is mediocre ... F rocks.

That really is quite amazing. I think there are only few airlines where the gap between the First Class product and the Business Class product is as marked as with Swiss.

Hi AA737-823

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 21):
Knights, how old is this trip?

07. August 2014

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 21):
I ask, because I was under the impression that Swiss had retrofitted their A343 premium cabins to the same, pleasant standard as the A330 fleet. Am I wrong on that?

That's what most people seem to think but in actual fact only the Business Class cabin was modified on the A 340-300. Economy Class and First Class remain unchanged.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Cheers,
William
 
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sultanils
Posts: 1931
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RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:07 am

William,

Nice one again, you know how to roll definitely. Indeed, Swiss may not have the best product in the sky, but in combination with a good crew and service, it is a faultless and most enjoyable experience. Having a whole cabin and multiple seats to yourself, I can only dream of that! Oh, I loved the slipper pic   What a trip reporter does for it’s audience   

Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
theearlybird
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:43 pm

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:08 pm

Hi knightsofmalta!

Once again an awesome report about a beautiful trip. You are very lucky enjoying the front of the cabin most of your flights! And of course even better when you have the whole F section for yourself!

Let me tell you that I am always fascinated how you manage to upload your stories so fast - sometimes even on the day of travel! I'm happy when I finally make it weeks after the trip   Wow...

Thank you and looking forward to the next one.

Regards, Benjamin
 
User avatar
readytotaxi
Posts: 7834
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:09 am

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:50 pm

Cracking TR as always, your presentation and pictures are truely wonderful, my friends, I make them read it, are in awe
at how Jet travel CAN be.  
Loved the shot of the feet in the slippers, like two little glove puppets.  
you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
Growing older, but not up.
 
musapapaya
Posts: 1035
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 10:02 am

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:28 pm

Very nice report William! I envy you having the money to go on LX F class, how much was the ticket?

I do agree, that LX is a classy airline with that touch of 'human' from the cabin crew, even in Y, I have always felt welcome sitting on one of their machines. Yes, ZRH does not have that first class terminal, but is a well laid out and efficient medium sized airport.

You can also sit in ZRH, have a nice coffee at Marche before you set off again.

LX does not have private suites but as you showed us, their crew are just top notch.

Enjoy your travels!

musapapaya
 
SASDC8
Posts: 530
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 10:01 pm

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Mon Aug 11, 2014 8:36 pm

Another great report from you, and would just love to be the only one in any First class cabin  

Have only flown Swiss in Business class and was not very impressed, but I was very unlucky with the crews on my flights, and as you say they are the most important part any flight experience.

Looking forward to your next TR.

Cheers
2-3-2 is NOT a premium configuration
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1754
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:05 pm

Hi Nils

Quoting sultanils (Reply 23):
Swiss may not have the best product in the sky, but in combination with a good crew and service, it is a faultless and most enjoyable experience.

Absolutely. About two years ago I last flew Swiss First Class. At the time I felt that SWISS was in a bit of a crisis about what to do with its First. But I think their current approach isn't bad.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 23):
Oh, I loved the slipper pic What a trip reporter does for it’s audience

I even sent that one to my mum!

Hi theearlybird

Quoting theearlybird (Reply 24):
Once again an awesome report about a beautiful trip.

Thank you.

Quoting theearlybird (Reply 24):
You are very lucky enjoying the front of the cabin most of your flights!

I know. I think that was now the fourth time that has happened to me. Very nice indeed.

Quoting theearlybird (Reply 24):
Let me tell you that I am always fascinated how you manage to upload your stories so fast - sometimes even on the day of travel! I'm happy when I finally make it weeks after the trip Wow...

Well, that's precisely it. If I don't do it straight away I'll never get round to it. And with the amount of travelling I do, I'd never catch up.

Quoting theearlybird (Reply 24):
Thank you and looking forward to the next one.

That should be in two days, I think.

Hi reaytotaxi

Quoting readytotaxi (Reply 25):
Cracking TR as always, your presentation and pictures are truely wonderful,

Thanks a lot.

Quoting readytotaxi (Reply 25):
my friends, I make them read it, are in awe
at how Jet travel CAN be.

You make your friends read trip reports? That's brilliant! I post a link on facebook, which is the same thing I guess...

Quoting readytotaxi (Reply 25):
Loved the shot of the feet in the slippers, like two little glove puppets.

I figured like that you'd get an idea of the scale.

Hi musapapaya

Quoting musapapaya (Reply 26):
I do agree, that LX is a classy airline with that touch of 'human' from the cabin crew, even in Y, I have always felt welcome sitting on one of their machines.

Yes, I think that really is one of their strong points. Having said that, if you're unlucky and have a bad crew, there isn't really much left to distinguish SWISS, especially in Economy Class.

Quoting musapapaya (Reply 26):
Yes, ZRH does not have that first class terminal, but is a well laid out and efficient medium sized airport.

Exactly, I think their First Class strategy is very pragmatic. It serves its purpose well.

Quoting musapapaya (Reply 26):
LX does not have private suites but as you showed us, their crew are just top notch.

No private suites, but a whole private First Class is good enough for me...  

Hi SASDC8

Quoting SASDC8 (Reply 27):
Another great report from you,

Thanks.

Quoting SASDC8 (Reply 27):
would just love to be the only one in any First class cabin

Admittedly, that was rather nice.

Quoting SASDC8 (Reply 27):
Have only flown Swiss in Business class and was not very impressed, but I was very unlucky with the crews on my flights, and as you say they are the most important part any flight experience.

That's a pity because it can make all the difference. I hope you have better luck next time.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Cheers,
William
 
emek96
Posts: 224
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:34 pm

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:05 am

Hi knightsofmalta!

Very nice Report about a product which I probably never will fly on  
Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
There are yet more shops here and it’s a bit of a schlep to the terminals, but at least the the signage at Zürich Airport is very good (Are you reading this, Vienna Airport?) so it is quite easy to find your way around.

Indeed, (the new) vienna Airport is horrible, poor signage and quite a cold atmosphere thanks to grey plastic everywhere.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
There are no conveyor belts here, so if you’re checking in luggage, the valet will come and pick it up – once it has been tagged and labelled accordingly – to quickly whisk it away. There is something very old school about the process, which I rather like.

I agree, such things are just great. In BAH they have something similar, there you can sit down on normal chairs in front of the counters which is quite a premium experience, also they don't have belts either which makes you feel being in the 80s or so, but I liked it however.

Also catering looks rather nice on your trip, and having the whole F compartment must be quite a nice experience  

regards
Elias
Lufthansa is the best airline in the world!
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1754
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Thu Aug 14, 2014 3:18 pm

Hi Elias

Quoting emek96 (Reply 29):
Very nice Report about a product which I probably never will fly on

Thank you. Just wait and see, who knows what might happen!

Quoting emek96 (Reply 29):
Indeed, (the new) vienna Airport is horrible, poor signage and quite a cold atmosphere thanks to grey plastic everywhere.

That's it precisely. It's not just the signage, the whole place just looks cheap, as though it were there only provisionally.

Quoting emek96 (Reply 29):
I agree, such things are just great. In BAH they have something similar, there you can sit down on normal chairs in front of the counters which is quite a premium experience, also they don't have belts either which makes you feel being in the 80s or so, but I liked it however.

Yes, they have loungers at Zürich as well, in case you find it too tiring standing around watching other people work...  

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Cheers,
William
 
rwsea
Posts: 2515
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:23 pm

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Thu Aug 14, 2014 7:13 pm

Nice report! I've taken Swiss business class a couple of times on ZRH-SFO and always wondered what first would be like. Looks like they do a great job of creating a distinct service and product above and beyond what is offered in business class. Hope I'll get to try it out some day.
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1754
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Fri Aug 15, 2014 12:59 pm

Hi rwsea

Quoting rwsea (Reply 31):
Nice report!

Thank you.

Quoting rwsea (Reply 31):
Looks like they do a great job of creating a distinct service and product above and beyond what is offered in business class.

They are. My impression is that SWISS is more committed to its First Class product than it was a few years back. And I like what they've done. As you say it's very distinct from the Business Class product but without going over the top.

Quoting rwsea (Reply 31):
Hope I'll get to try it out some day.

When you do, how about a trip report?

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Cheers,
William
 
DALCE
Posts: 2013
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:45 pm

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Fri Aug 15, 2014 1:23 pm

very nice report of SWISS FIRST, and there really is a huge difference between C and F. Had the pleasure to fly DXB-ZRH on the 330 in C-class but this was nowhere near this First Class experience you are sharing with us.
As with any flight, be it Ryanair busline 199 or SWISS FIRST, the crew can make or break your experience. I've had flights with FR which were better than LH Business. My personal best experience crew-wise was with Edelweiss on the 330 in C-class from ZRH to HER, simply the nicest crew I've ever encountered on any flight!

Thanks for sharing!
Cheers,
DALCE
flown: F50,F70,CR1,CR2,CR9,223,E75,E90,143,AR8,AR1,733,735,736,73G,738,
753,763,744,77W,788,319,320,321,333,AB6.
 
User avatar
airbuseric
Posts: 3565
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 1:24 am

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:56 am

Great report on LX F William, for sure a good ride on the A340, which is so quiet and comfortable in front!

All seems to be very good to me, especially the fantastic crew that indeed does the trick on any flight!

One thing I would be dissappointed about;

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
LOUNGE

Internet: access code with a validity of 1 year, the internet connection is very slow and the PCs are even worse

Come on Swiss! You must be able to supply really highspeed internet connection via both WiFi and LAN to your First customers at least. There is no excuse for a bad connection imho.

Oh... I think I like the cars LH uses for F-class passengers more then the Mercedes van   lol

Regards
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1754
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:46 am

Hi Dalce

Quoting dalce (Reply 33):
very nice report of SWISS FIRST,

Thanks.

Quoting dalce (Reply 33):
and there really is a huge difference between C and F. Had the pleasure to fly DXB-ZRH on the 330 in C-class but this was nowhere near this First Class experience you are sharing with us.

And that is how it should be. Last time I flew LX First was two years ago I think and there was barely any difference. At the time I really thought LX First was on its way out. Glad that has changed.

Quoting dalce (Reply 33):
I've had flights with FR which were better than LH Business.

Given my previous experiences with Lufthansa, I'm not surprised...

Quoting dalce (Reply 33):
My personal best experience crew-wise was with Edelweiss on the 330 in C-class from ZRH to HER, simply the nicest crew I've ever encountered on any flight!

The Edelweiss crews have a reputation for their service. Didn't know they operate the A 330 to HER though.

Hi Eric

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 34):
Great report on LX F William, for sure a good ride on the A340, which is so quiet and comfortable in front!

Thanks! Yes, the A 340 is a gentle old bird. Perhaps not the most impressive or powerful, but certainly a very comfortable ride.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 34):
Come on Swiss! You must be able to supply really highspeed internet connection via both WiFi and LAN to your First customers at least. There is no excuse for a bad connection imho.

The ongoing saga at Zürich airport...

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 34):
Oh... I think I like the cars LH uses for F-class passengers more then the Mercedes van lol

I think you may have a point there. Still better than having to take the train across.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Cheers,
William
 
User avatar
rogerbcn
Posts: 1173
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 10:45 pm

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:18 am

Hola William!

Nice to read about such a great experience of flying LX First Class and even solo... That is something rather exclusive and can give you a great insight of the service.

I have flown First only once, LX ZRH-SFO-ZRH and I have to admit that they were memeorable flights and it will take me quite a while to repeat them, but through your TR they came back life to me once again.

I have to admit that I was ready not to eat much at the lounge but I couldn't resist and fell into temptation and had too much food, considering what was coming ahead on the plane, like you, I had everything. As I was travelling with other passangers they served the starters from the trolley which was a very nice sight, I was the last one being served (1A) so by the time they came I had had a great view of everything in offer and could not decide what to have so I picked a little bit of everything; then salad, soup, main, cheese and dessert.... I had never been so full in a plane. I fell asleep right after.

A super flight and lovely to see they keep their level of service. Love the salt and pepper mills, I wish I had the courage to take them as a souvenir, but I did not...

I see they have changed the menu card presentation, it looks more elegant than I when flew them. Nice touch!

Salut!

Roger
"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Traveling is Living)
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1754
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:49 pm

Hi Roger

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 36):
Nice to read about such a great experience of flying LX First Class and even solo...

Thanks. The solo thing was rather nice...

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 36):
I have flown First only once, LX ZRH-SFO-ZRH and I have to admit that they were memeorable flights and it will take me quite a while to repeat them, but through your TR they came back life to me once again.

I remember reading about that trip. Wasn't that the one where you went across to the lady on 1A to take a picture, or something like that?

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 36):
I have to admit that I was ready not to eat much at the lounge but I couldn't resist and fell into temptation and had too much food,

That usually happens to me in the BA lounge in Heathrow. They have so many food options and somehow I always want to try a bit of everything.

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 36):
A super flight and lovely to see they keep their level of service. Love the salt and pepper mills, I wish I had the courage to take them as a souvenir, but I did not...

I'd like to see you try absconding with the salt and pepper mills without anybody noticing. They are rather huge to miss...

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 36):
I see they have changed the menu card presentation, it looks more elegant than I when flew them. Nice touch!

Well, I suppose the cover does look better. However, I did notice they're using worse quality paper for the menu. So over all, it feels cheaper than what they had before.

Thanks for commenting Roger.

Cheers,
William
 
User avatar
rogerbcn
Posts: 1173
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 10:45 pm

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:06 am

Hola William!

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 37):
I remember reading about that trip. Wasn't that the one where you went across to the lady on 1A to take a picture, or something like that?

Yes, that was on the return route SFO-ZRH.

Roger
"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Traveling is Living)
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1754
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: Swiss First Class To Hong Kong

Fri Aug 22, 2014 6:04 pm

Hi Roger

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 38):
Yes, that was on the return route SFO-ZRH.

Actually, that's a pretty smooth chat up move...

Cheers,
William

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