PilotsEye.tv has available 2 documentaries covering a SWISS A330 flight between Zurich and Miami, and a roundtrip of a Lufthansa A380 between Frankfurt and San Francisco.
The SWISS A330 video released just in the past few weeks, provides over 2 hours of coverage including preflight and cockpit footage as well as footage from the Miami area including a visit to the SWISS Air Academy. Highlights of the video include a distress call from a nearby Delta aircraft, Thunderstorm departure and a look at ETOPS planning for flights over water. Here’s a teaser:
In addition to the video, PilotsEye.tv offers a Flight briefing document that covers the flight and provides all the details including the flight plan, copies of the documents used by the crew for the flight, and other interesting facts from the flight. The video is available in DVD formats or as ‘Video On Demand’ via the PilotsEye.tv site.
A380 To SFO….
In their other ‘LH Group’ inspired release, they cover a Lufthansa flight between Frankfurt and San Francisco aboard a Lufthansa A380. One of the highlights of this edition is the retirement of Jürgen Raps, one of LH’s most senior captains. Other features of this video include highlights from the crew break in San Francisco including a cruise beneath the Golden Gate as well as flight planning to avoid an angry volcano which led to a rare view of Greenland.
This video also covers the return flight of the A380 since it is the Captain’s last flight. Since it was his ‘retirement flight’ the aircraft was greeted with a Water Cannon salute upon arrival in Frankfurt. Like the SWISS video, this also has a comprehensive Flight Briefing document that provides a great detail of information regarding the flight. The video is available on DVD formats as well or as ‘Video On Demand’ from the PilotsEYE.tv website.
In addition to these LH Group features, they also documented the delivery flight of a Lufthansa Cargo 777F back in 2015. I’m kind of partial to this one because they used some of my footage in their documentary:
SWISS has announced that over the next 2 years, it will roll out upgrades and enhancements to the long haul fleet, focusing on their A330 and A340 aircraft.
Beginning in December, SWISS will begin to retrofit their 14 Airbus A330 aircraft with Wifi connectivity. Obviously this will not happen overnight, but SWISS anticipates that all of their A330s will have the retrofit complete by the end of 2017. Math suggests that approximately one aircraft per month will be taken out of circulation for a few days to complete the work. WiFi is currently available only on SWISS 777 aircraft.
SWISS has also stated that their A340s will receive the same First Class cabin as the Airbus A330. The big advantage of the newer F product is the increased size of the television screen and an enhanced IFE system. The fact that the seats will be brand new will also go a long way to refresh the cabins and give them a brand new look and feel. WiFi is also planned during this upgrade. SWISS expects that it will take through 2018 to complete this retrofit on their 10 A340 aircraft.
Related: First Class Aboard SWISS A330
Lighting has struck twice in my travel ‘career’.
Back in 2012, when Lufthansa received their first 747-8i (D-ABYA), I was in Frankfurt to participate in the delivery events and had the good fortune to fly her back to Washington DC a few days later and was the only passenger in First Class. Now I can add a SWISS flight to the list where I was the only passenger to sit in First Class.
The particular flight was aboard SWISS LX6 from Zurich To Chicago. My wife and I were homebound to GRR after spending 10 days in Africa on a Safari trip. You may ask why would I sit in First and not my wife but the answer is simple: She had sat in Lufthansa First for the flights to Frankfurt and then on to Johannesburg and she insisted that I take the final leg home in First.
Our tickets for the trip were a combination of paid fares, some miles, and a couple of Miles & More eVouchers. Once all of that was mixed together, my wife enjoyed the trip from Chicago to Johannesburg in Lufthansa First while I ‘sucked it up’ in Business Class for the flights. On the return, we both flew SWISS business from Jo’burg and then my wife made the sacrifice to sit in Business while I took in the LX First Class experience from Zurich to Chicago.
I became cautiously optimistic about being the only passenger in First when I checked in for our flights a day earlier and saw that the cabin was empty. I assumed there would be at least some last minute upgrades by passengers but that never came to pass. When we boarded, my suspicions were confirmed when I was greeted by the Flight Manager who told me I was the only passenger in the cabin for the flight and thanked me for being a Miles & More ‘Senator’.
Knowing that I had a SWISS A330 (HB-JHE / delivered Jan 29, 2010) to serve practically as my private jet for the 9.5 hour flight, I imagined things would go well. I underestimated!
The 2 flight attendants working in the F cabin were wonderful and saw that I thoroughly enjoyed the ride home. After the initial formalities where they referred to me as Mr. and sir, I asked that the drop the fancy-speak and just treat me as if I were a friend or family member aboard the flight. I know they have to follow a certain standard of service, but I don’t deserve or enjoy being treated with the ‘formal’ approach. I’ll leave that to the maximizers who enjoy squeezing out everything they feel they are entitled to, including being talked to like royalty 😉 …but wait, Maximizers can’t find their way easily into a SWISS First cabin, but I digress.
After I had settled in, the pilot came to introduce himself and thanked me for being a SWISS customer. He spent a few minutes talking about the flight time, routing, and anticipated trouble spots for turbulence. It’s always interesting to receive a personal briefing from the person in charge of bringing you safely to your destination. I asked if we can fly via HKG as a technical stop, but we didn’t have enough relief pilots on board.
With all the verbiage aside, here are the photos from the flight. First will be the hard product and then the meals. I suspect the photos will replace the need for words.
A few from 1K across to the port side of the aircraft
View of seat 1K
View from seated position. The Ottoman moves out via electric motor which allows for a guest to sit across from you.
Another look at 1K….
Seat control pad and remote control for the IFE system. USB power as well as the headphone jack is installed in this compartment. The IFE System was excellent. Over 80 movies and dozens of TV shows ensure there’s something for everyone on board. WiFi will be introduced aboard the A330s beginning in January 2017. I only watched one movie since I was busy sorting through nearly 13,000 photos that came back with me from Safari.
Storage for the large table. It’s a nice size especially when a guest sits in the Ottoman. The small panel in front of the tray table storage area contains the 110/220v power outlet.
A dedicated control pad for your seat provides you with complete control. The remote control allows you to adjust every angle of the seat, as well as lighting settings and seat cushion adjustment. The SWISS First Class and Business Class seats have adjustable air-filled cushions for complete control of your seat’s comfort.
The larger IFE screen is found on SWISS’ newer A330 aircraft…..
The Amenity Kit was full of useful items. Separate kits are available for male and female passengers. Pajamas are also provided and are made from a high quality cotton blend similar to high quality T-shirts.
The food aboard the flight was just as excellent as the hard product. The multi-course experience featured some outstanding options and were healthy sized portions. So well sized that I had to take a break between the Salad and Main Course to recover from a bit of a food coma.
The pre-departure snack consisted of a fresh fruit cup and almond pastry.
The Balik Salmon appetizer is a signature dish in the SWISS First Class cabin. This style of Salmon traces its roots to the Tsars of Russia and today the recipe is trusted to only a handful of individuals. Phenomenal!
Click here to learn more about the history of Balik Salmon.
Another excellent appetizer. A combination of cold cuts from some of Switzerland’s finest butchers…..
The beet and greens salad is delicious. Complimented perfectly by a Balsamic dressing.
The main course of Veal Filet literally melted in your mouth. There was no need to use a knife. Cooked and seasoned to perfection, and a nice sized portion.
I forgot to take a photo of dessert, but it was a choice of Mövenpick ice cream served either in a waffle cone or in a bowl. Other desert choices included fresh tarts, fruits, and cheeses.
Approximately 90 minutes before landing, a light lunch was served. The grilled chicken club sandwich was excellent.
Now that you’ve had a glimpse at life aboard SWISS’ First Class cabin, stayed tuned for my next piece that takes a close look at SWISS’ beautiful new First Class lounge that opened earlier this year in Zurich.