Date: 10. July 2016.
Flight time: 3 hours 45 minutes.
Seat: 2F, window on the starboard side.
Okay, next attempt to get home. It is now Sunday morning just after 10 as I check out of the hotel to make my way back to the airport. I checked on flightradar earlier this morning. Apparently, the aircraft I was originally booked on yesterday eventually arrived in Barcelona at 01h40… So I think I have definitely opted for the more pleasant solution.
GETTING TO THE AIRPORT
Journey time: 10 minutes, the distance is 7.5 kilometres but Spanish taxi drivers normally drive like a bat out of hell. It seems to be their modus operandi.
Location: Terminal 1, departure concourse.
Facilities: Airport check-in, web check-in or app check-in using the SWISS app. At the airport there are dedicated counters for each individual flight.
There is no lounge available for Edelweiss passengers in Lanzarote. However, I can highly recommend the Coffee Republic café near gate 2. They have good coffee and the views of the apron are brilliant. Alternatively, the PANS do a great tortilla sandwich and the view is not bad either.
Priority Boarding: No.
The boarding ‘announcement’ is interesting. Basically the lady behind the desk looks up at the first person who catches her eye and then very quietly says ‘Zurich?’. That it is, and boarding starts.
Configuration: 2 + 2, typical European Business Class configuration with the middle seat left empty.
Seat: The Edelweiss Air A 320 comes in two different configurations, depending on whether it is an original Edelweiss Air bird or if it is one of the aircraft leased from SWISS, which retain the original cabin configuration. The height of the head rest is adjustable. There are three rows of Business Class with capacity for twelve passengers. On today’s flight only seven of the seats are occupied.
Pitch: 34 or 32 inches, which then gradually decreases to 31 inches towards the back of the bus.
Width: 17 inches.
Facilities: Reading lamp and air vent. No power outlet.
Audio and Video: Moving map. The Edelweiss aircraft that are not leased from SWISS also allow you to stream the IFE on your mobile device. In order to do so though, you need to download the Edelweiss app in advance. The system works very well. The only grippe I have though, is that it would be good to also have power outlets at the seats then.
The one thing that always strikes me about Edelweiss, is the cleanliness of their aircraft. This Airbus is no exception. It is spotlessly clean and the windows look as though they were only recently done.
There are four crew on the aircraft today, three females and one gentleman in his thirties, I should guess. They are very friendly and obviously determined to make the last few hours of the passengers’ vacation memorable.
Newspapers are available for all passengers as you board the aircraft. Pillows and pre-packed scented towels have been placed in between every pair of seats.
Welcome drink on the ground: Still water or sparkling wine.
Towel before the meal: No.
Pre-meal drink: Coke Zero with a packet of crackers.
Choice: There are two options for the main course, one of which is vegetarian.
Delivery: Individual tray service.
Type of meal: Lunch.
- Mixed salad with a home made Italian dressing.
- Parma ham with small balls of melon, mozzarella and olive oil.
- Angus beef in a rich brown sauce, served with mushrooms, white and green asparagus and Pretzel dumplings.
- A selection of cheese with pickled onions and a dried apricot.
- A selection of desserts – I go with the peach in a thyme crust.
- Sprüngli chocolates.
- Selection from the bread basked.
- Tea or coffee.
The meal is very tasty and I am quite amazed by the amount of food that is provided. During the meal service, the crew make two bread rounds. Moreover, once the main course is over, another bread round is made for passengers who would like some bread to accompany the cheese.
After the meal the cabin quietens down and I even manage to nod off to sleep at some point. Eventually we start our descent, and shortly after we enter into Swiss airspace. As we descend, the crew pass through with hot towels and a Biberli.
Our routing takes us past the city of Geneva and Montreux towards the capital Berne. From there we turn in a northerly direction and head into German. Before doing a 180 degree turn back towards Switzerland and an approach for runway 14. It really is nice to be back!
And so the story of my failed attempt to bag another flight with the Boeing B 747-400 comes to an end. I am not annoyed it did not work out. After all, the only reason Vueling leased the B 747-400 in the first place was because their operation is a shambles. So I guess it was rather likely it wouldn’t work out.
What really irritates me though, is the behaviour of the Swissport staff in Lanzarote and the way they handled the situation – from the rampers who see no problem in smoking next to an aircraft being refuelled , to the gate agents who did not provide any information about the status of the delayed flight unless you asked them.