Plane Spottting Luxury In SWISS’ First Class Lounge In Zurich

Plane Spottting Luxury In SWISS’ First Class Lounge In Zurich

A few weeks ago while enroute back to the States from our Safari trip to Africa, we flew with SWISS and because of our seats, we were able to visit the First Class Lounge in Zurich between flights.    You can see what that fabulous Lounge is like in this trip report.   To see what a First Class flight aboard SWISS is like when you have the cabin to yourself, read this trip report.

Aside from all the fantastic amenities that you’ll find in the Lounge, my favorite was outside the Lounge.   When SWISS designed and built the new Business, SENator, and First Class Lounges inside ZRH’s Terminal E, they took advantage of the real-estate they had to work with and included outdoor terraces for all 3 lounges.    In fact, for the hardcore plane spotter, the Senator and Business Class Lounges are actually better for plane spotting since it puts you closer to the runway used for ‘Heavy’ arrivals in the morning.   The First Class Lounge however does have an advantage for ‘Heavy’ departures in the late morning and afternoon.

The photos should give you a pretty good idea as far as just how great the vantage point is from these Lounges.    Unfortunately the timing of my visit wasn’t ideal for photography.   We were in the Lounge from about 6:30a to 9a which meant that most of my shots were taken with the sun still not above the horizon.   The fact that it was extremely overcast didn’t help matters much.   Fortunately my camera did a stellar job with high ‘ISO’ settings so I was at least able to see what I was shooting!

If for some reason you don’t travel with a suitcase full of camera equipment, you’ll appreciate the high quality Leica binoculars and telescope that is available to guests so they can get up close looks at the birds.   There are a few pair of binoculars installed in kiosks found on the terrace (First Class terrace only for the binoculars).

Next year’s trip is going to include outbound SWISS flights so that I can spend 8-10 hours at this new Plane Spotting Mecca……

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A 20-year old Single Malt Scotch just adds to the wonderful experience! 🙂

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SWISS Announces 777 Route Updates for 2017

SWISS Announces 777 Route Updates for 2017

 

Late last week SWISS updated their timetable for 2017 with 4 updates concerning the 777 the days it will fly on certain route.    This is just the first batch of changes and more will be coming in the next few weeks.   For now, here is what is changing with 777 service going into 2017:

Zurich – Bangkok will see the A340-300 replace the 777 between March 28 and April 22 on 3 of the 7 flights each week.   The A340 will fly the route on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday while the 777 will fly the route on the remaining days.  These days are based on Zurich departures.

Zurich – Montreal will see the 777 replace the A330-300 between March 26 and May 31 on 3 of the 7 flights each week.   The 777 will fly the route Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday while the A330 will fly the route on the remaining days.   These days are based on Zurich departures.

Zurich – San Francisco will see the 777 fly the route everyday beginning on April 17.  Currently the A340 is flying the route 4 days a week, while the 777 flies on the remaining 3 days.

Zurich – Singapore will see the 777 fly the route everyday beginning March 4.   Currently the A340 is flying the route 4 days a week, while the 777 flies on the remaining 3 days.

 

Related:

SWISS Announces EUROPEAN Routes for 777

SWISS 777 Route Update For USA 

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SWISS Cancels Istanbul Service

SWISS Cancels Istanbul Service

SWISS has announced that it will end service between Zurich and Istanbul beginning with the Winter 2016/17 timetable which is effective between October 30 and March 25.

The affected flights are:

LX1800 that was scheduled between Zurich and Istanbul on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays.

LX1804 that was scheduled between Zurich and Istanbul on Monday, Thursdays, Sundays.

LX1801 that was scheduled between Istanbul and Zurich on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays.

LX1805 that was scheduled between Istanbul and Zurich on Mondays, Thursdays, Sundays.

 


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Thoughts From SWISS’ First ‘Revenue’ Flight Of Bombardier CS100

Thoughts From SWISS’ First ‘Revenue’ Flight Of Bombardier CS100

Swiss International Airlines Launches Inaugural Service With Bombardier CS100

Special guest on-scene report from FlyerTalk’s ClaudiSTR with KK Flyer

On July 15, Swiss International celebrated the start of service of the new Bombardier CS100 aircraft with an inaugural flight from Zurich (ZRH) to Paris (CDG).

Swiss is the launch customer for the CS100/300, the newest and largest members of the Bombardier aircraft family. Depending on specific configuration, the CS100 accommodates from about 108 passengers (8 business + 100 coach) up to 125 passengers in a 5-across arrangement. A larger version of the airframe, the CS300, seats typically about 130 (12 J + 118 Y) up to a maximum of 160.

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SWISS’ FIrst CS100 – Photo Courtesy of Vielfliegertreff’s (VFT) founding member ‘RCS’

In terms of passenger capacity and cabin diameter, the Bombardier C-Series jets fit nicely into the space between the Embraer E-Jet family and the larger Boeing 737Airbus A320– series, and are a nice replacement for the retiring BAe 146s (Avro RJ100). Based on my first experience, I would like to especially thank the Canadian taxpayers for rescuing from development delays what seems to be a technically wonderful airplane. The C-Series should turn out to be an excellent addition to regional/short-haul fleets around the world in the 100- to 130-seat market.

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View from row 15…..

I was fortunate to be among the passengers onboard for the July 15 inaugural flight of HB-JBA, “Kanton Zürich,” the first CS100 operated by SWISS, and indeed the first CS100flight in revenue service.

The on-board experience…..(Photos Courtesy of Vielfliegertreff’s (VFT) founding member ‘RCS’):

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5-across cabin seating features comfortable seats with plenty of knee/leg room even for people a bit over 6 feet/185cm tall. Body support was good, and the seat upholstery had a nice look and quality feel.

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Take note of the shortened arm-rest for the window seat. This stub might lead to a comfort issue.  

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Generous overhead baggage storage…..will alleviate risks of gate-checking luggage.

Large and well-designed overhead bins accommodate standard carry-on baggage, and when closed contribute to a spacious feel in the cabin. Combined with large windows, the cabin leaves a large, bright, and airy impression.

 

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A typical Economy Class seat provides ample leg room.

I was sitting in Row 15 (over the wing, which I found to have a bit more noise and vibration than I expected. Further forward and aft, the cabin was much quieter.

The lavatory to my surprise was large and roomy considering the size of the aircraft.   It reminds you of the Lavs you would find aboard widebody aircraft.

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Unfortunately, since the flight destination was Paris/CDG, the normally festive mood was somewhat subdued out of respect for the victims of the terror attack in Nice the night before. For example, the usual celebratory water cannon salute for a new aircraft arrival in Paris did not happen, and the pre-flight celebrations in Zurich were low-key, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the gate. But despite the muted background, there was genuine excitement for the new airplane.

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Frequent flyers, airline managers, people from the airline industry, and as special guest Miss Switzerland 2013 gathered to celebrate the first revenue flight of C100. Amongst the passengers also was Thomas Lee, who completed his 5th inaugural flight of a new airplane after joining the 747-100, A380, 787 and A350 inaugural flights.

In addition to the impressive passenger cabin, the ‘office’ of the aircraft is even more impressive.   The pilots flying the CS100 will enjoy a full ‘Glass Cockpit’ with the most advanced technology currently available.

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What a fantastic place to work! Photo Courtesy of Vielfliegertreff’s (VFT) founding member ‘RCS’

Overall, I am excited about the Bombardier C-series aircraft, and despite a bit of mid-cabin noise and vibration, I am pleased with the passenger experience. I look forward to future SWISS flights featuring the CS100, and I think passengers flying short-haul routes served by SWISS and the CS100 are in for a pleasant flight experience.


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SWISS’ New Zurich Lounges Part III:   The Business Class Lounge

SWISS’ New Zurich Lounges Part III: The Business Class Lounge

In the final ‘installment’ covering the opening of SWISS’ new lounges in Zurich, I’ll take a look inside their Business Class Lounge.    This new lounge, like the FIRST and SENATOR Lounges are located inside the airport’s ‘E’ Concourse.

The Business Lounge is the largest of the 3, covering 13,000 square feet and can hold up to 200 visitors at once.   It makes sense for this lounge to be the biggest, since it is the ‘easiest’ of all the 3 lounges to get in.

Like the SENATOR lounge, the Business Class Lounge offers guests 4 shower rooms as well as an upgraded food service.    Hot foods are prepared fresh in front of guests, and cold buffet offerings are present as well.   A self-serve bar is available as well and guests have access to an outdoor terrace.

Thanks again to VielFliegerTreff’s Ralf (RCS) for sharing his photos…….

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Terrace access similar to First Class and Senator lounges

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Fresh food prepared in front of you!

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Looks better than most Business Lounges that I’ve seen!

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Private rest areas

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