Reply To: Swiss A330-300 Business

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My flight was scheduled for 1.15am so I decided to leave my hotel around 10pm. My hotel rate was including return transfers from and to the airport. Traffic was dense but it only took us about 25 minutes to do the 15 or so kilometres.

Upon arrival, I presented my travel documents to the armed guard at the entrance who let me in after thorough check of the document. I’m used to travel to India so it didn’t come to a surprise.
I headed straight to Zone J where I could drop my bag. Service was efficient but not very personable.

A quick stop to fill the Departure form and I went to Emigration. It took quite a while as the officer decided to take his time in checking every page of my passport. Pity for him as it was only issued last year and there’s nothing more exciting than my Indian visa in there 😉

Once through, I looked for the First & Business classes security lane. Only took a few minutes and I was through and in the Duty Free area.
As I was flying with Swiss, I had access to the Lufthansa Lounge which is located on 3rd floor.
I was welcomed there by a very nice lady, who asked for my boarding pass and provided me with credentials for the free wifi. I wasn’t offered a quick tour or an introduction to the lounge (a far cry from Virgin Clubhouses for example). Anyhow, I was pleased to finally being able to sit and enjoy a glass of wine.

Lounge is brand new and it shows. Service was attentive but discreet. It’s mainly a self-service affair and nothing to call home for but it served the purpose, at least for me, being out of the crowd, have a bite and a drink, waiting for your flight. The wine was particularly to my taste and after the 3rd glass, I decided it was the right time to stop and go back to the buzz of the terminal and check the shops.

I got to Gate 10 a good 10 minutes before boarding started but I was starting to get tired and decided to wait with the others. Finally boarding started and priority boarding strictly enforced. However, only one of the jetties was open when I arrived downstairs, meaning that people needing assistance and families with children were still queuing to get into the plane. Not a major issue but definitely on the “could have done better” list.

Once on-board, I settled in seat 4K. I was happy to have snagged one of the mini cabin seats as I really loved 4A on my way out. 4K felt a little bit different but comfortable all the same.

Pre- take off drinks were brought by an Indian male steward who happened to already be on my outbound flight. He recognised me and welcomed back. A nice gesture indeed. Went for a glass of champagne and some water. Menus were distributed and I duly fill the breakfast form with my choices.

Taxi took forever as it’s often the case in Delhi but once in the air, service started quite quickly. No drinks round before the meal and the meal itself was pretty poor in my opinion. A small plate of some salad mix of fruits and vegetables and 3 slices of chicken “charcuterie” and a mango dessert. Far far away for the absolute delights of the outbound flight. I appreciate that the catering isn’t done in Zurich for flights back but the difference was so big, it’s quite a shame.

No coffee, liquor or chocolate offered at the end, quite disappointed. After this disappointing service, the lights were dimmed quickly so I decided to make the bed flat and watched Hitchcock (really good film by the way!)
I then proceeded to sleep, which was quite easy and I did for some 5 hours, waking up just in time for breakfast.

I shouldn’t have bothered at all as this must have been the most disgusting breakfast I’ve ever had, Croissant and orange juice were good but the omelette and whatever was with it were simply revolting. I knew that I would get another breakfast on my next flight so didn’t make any fuss out of it. Soon it was time to get ready for landing in Zurich.

Landing was smooth but the captain had to seriously apply brakes to get us out of the runway before the end. We were slightly late and I only had 50 minutes for my connection. I was expecting to be docked at Dock E but surprisingly the aircraft went all the way to Dock B, which was the best news of the whole flight as my next flight was departing from D. A few minutes and a security check later, I was at the gate and boarding started about 3 minutes later.

All in all, I’ve had mixed feelings about my first experience with Swiss. The outbound flight was superb, personable service and gorgeous food but the inbound was very disappointing to say the least. I think I might need to pick and mix my Star Alliance airlines next time to get 2 day flights.

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