Yesterday was a beautiful day here in Switzerland. It’s sunny and warm but without the oppressive heat yet that you get in July or August. The vegetation is a lush, dark green and it crosses my mind for just the briefest moment that I would miss all this if I were to leave this world.
Today I’m on my way to Bucharest, where I have an appointment on Monday morning. The summer holidays are about to kick off, which is why the airport is crawling with passengers. I take the escalators up to Check-in 1, which is home to SWISS, and I have trouble getting off the escalators without falling over somebody. The queue for the Economy Class baggage drop-off stretches halfway across the terminal building. And it’s moving very slowly…
The lines for security are no better!
The Business Class lounge in the Schengen area is still not open. Originally it was scheduled to reopen in May following refurbishment. But apparently that deadline has now quietly been moved back to mid-July. But at least, seeing as my flight is departing from the non-Schengen area, there’s always the SWISS lounge on the D concourse, which is behind immigration.
As can be expected, this lounge is pretty full. There is a small selection of hot and cold snacks but quite honestly, it’s nothing to write home about.
Boarding is from gate D 54, which is a bus gate and therefore good news for me. By the time I reach the gate, the first bus has already departed. But when my bus pulls up next to the stairs to our aircraft, the passengers from the first bus are still milling around at the bottom of the stairs waiting to get on board. To be honest, I’m not quite sure why, but the whole boarding process takes forever. But I don’t complain. First, because that gives me time to take some pictures of my aircraft and secondly, because while I’m standing around the daily Singapore Airlines departs right in front of my nose. Cool!
By the time all the passenger settle in the cabin, it’s already gone 12h05, the scheduled departure time. The captain makes his welcome announcement and informs us that the flight time will be one hour and 55 minutes and that we should expect an on time arrival.
Famous last words… eventually we depart with a delay of more than 45 minutes.
The cabin is in the usual 2 + 2 configuration where the middle seat is kept empty in Business Class. I don’t know if this is the case for all of the SWISS Airbus narrow-body fleet, but in any case this aircraft is not equipped with power plugs at the seats.
There are two young ladies and two middle aged ladies working the cabin on today’s flight. I think one of the two young ones is still in training. She’s not shy but sometimes seems a bit unsure of herself. But she more than makes up for it with her personality. She’s very friendly and obviously putting a lot of effort into delivering a good service.
Before take-off the usual still water and refreshing towel are distributed.
The meal consists of a cold main course, a plate of cheese and dessert. The main course is smoked salmon with ratatouille, with avocado and mango and a quinoa salad. With that I have a Silser bun that was obviously designed to look like a football, and a normal bun.
When the tray first arrives, my first thought is that it all looks rather frugal. But I must admit that it actually all tastes very good. It’s clearly a good quality cut of salmon and the salad is flavourful.
For dessert there is a small glass ramekin with white chocolate mousse (encore…!) on a coulis of raspberries.
And then to conclude the meal, I have a coffee and a football shaped chocolate. By the time the meal service ends, there are only fifty minutes left to go to Bucharest.
Eventually we land in Bucharest with a delay of fifty minutes.
But at least I only have hand luggage, so I’m out of the terminal in no time. As I’m staying in the centre of town, my best option is the bus 783. The bus stop in on the ground level, one floor down from arrivals. As you exit the arrivals hall, you will find the ticket booth on your right. But keep in mind that you can’t just buy a ticket and must have a chip card first, on to which you can then charge money. All of this can be done at the ticket booth. You can’t purchase tickets on the bus.
The journey into the centre will take you roughly forty minutes in good traffic.