A quick report of a trip I took to Dubai earlier this year. I decided I wanted to try out Swiss and their (relatively) new longhaul product and they had some very good fares in First so I took the plunge and booked my ticket. Hope you enjoy the report and pictures.
, 9 March 2010, LX345, STD 0600, Airbus A320, HB
-IJQ, Seat 6F
A very quick and painless check-in at Terminal 1 Heathrow for the first leg of my trip to Zurich. I had arrived just about on time at the airport so passed straight through security and went to the gate as boarding was starting at 0530 and so it did shortly afterwards. The cabin, arranged in 3-3 configuration with the middle seat left free in business class, felt clean and modern with brown leather seats.
The first 12 rows were used as business class for this flight and there were only 14 passengers today. Flight time today was to be 1 hour 10 minutes. The crew came around with bottles of water and a towelette. We pushed back at 0605 and with quite a quick taxi around the airport we took off at 0615. Once we were in flight I decided to move to the back of the cabin which was empty so I wouldn't feel so conspicuous taking photos.
The service started quite promptly with a crew member passing through the cabin with a tray of fruit juice. Breakfast consisted of fruit salad, bread and jam and sausage with creamy mushrooms and potato rosti and a choice of tea or coffee.
The friendly crew offered more bread and drinks and a swiss chocolate then cleared everything away ready for landing.
On arrival we were on a remote stand and had to be bussed to the terminal B gates Non-Schenngen . I went to the
nearest lounge to be welcomed by a friendly staff member who told me I was welcome to use this lounge but perhaps I would like to use the First class lounge in the A gates area as I had spent the money to be able to. I had to pass through a quick passport and security check and got to the lounge I was looking for! As it was still quite early the lounge was quiet. There was a good selection of drinks and snacks.
Swiss provides a limo transfer for First passengers over to the Intercontinental gates so I booked mine to give me plenty of time to get over to the E gates.
Sector 2, ZRH
, 09 March 2010, LX242, STD 1245, Airbus A330, HB
-JHA, Seat 2A First Class
I wanted to be one of the first on board so I could get a few pictures of the cabin, it's not everyday I get to travel in First afterall, and I think the crew thought First passengers would still be enjoying the lounge and not boarding so early as one of the flight crew was in the cabin on his phone. He soon disappeared and I settled into my seat. The cabin was very spacious with only 8 seats. The whole feel of the cabin is light and modern with brown tones and light wood. The middle seats have a moveable screen to make them more private if you are traveling on your own. There is a wide ottoman at the end of each seat more than big enough for someone to join you for lunch, and a massive tv screen just behind that. As they say a picture tells a thousand words here are some shots of the cabin so you can see what I'm talking about!
As soon as I was settled into my seat I was offered a glass of champagne and some canapes.
Boarding completed and there were 5 out of the 8 seats taken First, we pushed back and took off at 1315 with a flight time of 5 hours 45 minutes.
There were 2 crew working in First, one in the cabin and one mainly in the galley. The senior crew member passed by me just after take off and we had a friendly chat about the view of the Alps.
I was handed a hot towel and then about 15 minutes into the flight the crew working in First came with a table cloth and menu. I was not offered a time at which to eat but I suppose if I had wanted to I could have requested to eat a bit later, as it happened I was hungry so didn't mind. The table was set up from a trolley and the starters were also offered this way and it was nice to be able to see the whole selection and then choose what you wanted. The cheese was also offered from a trolley and cut in front of you. The rest of the service was offered by hand from silver trays.
On today's menu
Starters, Fillet of Balik Salmon,
Scallop and ratatouille with watercress panna cotta
Trout parfait with tomato tarte tatin
Smoked saddle of lamb, parmesan and avocado mousse on rosemary sablee
Mozzarella mousse and pesto with mango and pepper skewer
Morel cream soup, selection from salad trolley.
Mains, Veal steak with basil and passion fruit crust, veal jus, fregola pasta risotto and spring vegetables.
Breast of guinea fowl filled with olive tapenade, jus, Roman gnocchi and three bean medley.
Sauteed pike perch fillet with olive oil and lemon tyme, mashed potatoes, spinach and tomato confit.
Asparagus fricassee with marscapone sauce.
I choose the veal and it was very tasty but could have been hotter.
Cheese, a selection of Swiss artisan cheese
Desserts, White chocolate semifreddo, marinated strawberries and pistachios
Tonka bean creme brulee, strawberry and rhubarb compote, rasberry sorbet
Chocolates, Espresso, Teas and Coffees
I had the creme brulee and it was delicious.
By the time I had finished my meal there were 3 and half hours left of the flight and as I'd had an early start, not to mention a few glasses of white, red and dessert wine, I was ready for a quick snooze so put the seat into recline and tried to doze.
The in-flight entertainment was AVOD and worked well, the size of the screen was great and the selection was ok. I watched a couple of comedy programmes and before too long we started our approach into Dubai. The flight would continue to Muscat and according to the menu a selection of drinks and snacks would be offered.
The overall experience was great, I found the crew to be professional and friendly, the seat and whole cabin ambiance to be very comfortable and the food tasty and well presented. All in all a great trip to Dubai from start to finish.
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed the pics and report.