GETTING TO THE AIRPORT
My flight to Ljubljana will be departing at 15h05. So I leave the office at 13h40 to catch the 13h55 train from Winterthur, which should get me into Zürich airport at around 14h10, leaving me fifty minutes to reach the gate.
I already checked in for the flight the evening before using the Adria Airways app. I think this must be a Star Alliance or a Miles & More thing, because like SWISS, the Adria Airways boarding passes do not show up on the locked screen of my iPhone, even though I have them saved to the Passbook wallet.
It’s only once I reach security that I realise I may be cutting it a bit fine arriving at the airport less than an hour before departure, because the queue for the security checkpoint is long and nasty. Luckily, just a short while after I reach the tail end of the queue, they open up the lower level security area, which at least speeds up the process.
Because I’m running rather late and I still need to get something from the duty free, I don’t have time to visit the refurbished and recently reopened SWISS lounge. Instead, by the time I’m ejected from the duty free store, it’s time for me to head to gate A 56, the boarding gate for today’s flight. Gate A 56 is located in a provisional building that was erected many years ago but which they then ‘forgot’ to tear down. A 56 is a bus gate and it’s not a particularly nice area of the terminal.
The same gate agent is manning the gate today as I had a month ago when I flew to Macedonia via Ljubljana. She’s not particularly friendly, and I’m kind of surprised myself that I even remember her.
I’m on the first bus to the aircraft. There’s a bit of a hold up once we get to the aircraft, because apparently they’re still refuelling. But eventually, just as the second bus arrives, we are finally allowed to board.
I really, really don’t like the CRJ-900. It’s such an unpleasant little aircraft. Once you’re actually seated, it’s not that bad. Adria Airways has a pretty decent seat pitch on these aircraft and they also still have these old school seats that have good padding.
But the cabin is very tight, narrow and cramped. Of course it also doesn’t help that today’s flight is quite full, which gives even more of an impression of the cabin being crowded.
I’ve decided to sit on 18A today, which means that for a change I’m seated behind the wing and will be able to watch the various surfaces of the wing move during the flight.
Yeah, okay. So I’m a geek, what’s your excuse…?
The service on today’s flight is done by two female cabin crew. I think they’re really brilliant. They’re very chic. And both of them are friendly and enthusiastic about their job and their interaction with the passengers is polite, relaxed and unrushed.
The captain comes on the loudspeaker to welcome us on the flight and informs us that we will have to wait another forty minutes before we’ll be allowed to start the engines. Something about congested airspace over Austria and thunderstorms in the Zürich area… Before he’s even finished the announcement, the crew are already passing through the cabin offering complimentary cups of water to passengers, which is a nice touch.
Eventually, we depart with a delay of 45 minutes. The flight time is announced at fifty minutes.
On Adria Airways water is complimentary in Economy Class. In addition, there is also a selection of items that can be purchased from the buy on board menu. In the name of scientific research and progress, I decide to order a Coke Zero and a cheese sandwich, which will set you back EUR5.- and which is quite decent, I think. What’s more, the sandwich is very tasty! It’s filled with ruccola, nice bread spread and some sort of lovely smoked cheese.
The flight passes quickly. This is my idea of bliss. Sitting on an aeroplane flying through unsettled weather, with decent food and watching the world go by beneath me.
Eventually we land with a delay of slightly more than one hour. The approach is very bumpy and quite rough. In the distance I can see dark storm clouds looming on the horizon.
To get into town from Ljubljana you have a number of options:
There is the bus, which will take you to the railway station. This takes about fifty minutes to make the journey and will cost EUR4.-. The bus only runs every hour on the hour.
Then there is also the shuttle service, which will drop you off anywhere in the city. The price is EUR9.- and the shuttle will only leave once there are at least five passengers. The journey into town will take about thirty minutes.
And then there is the taxi, which also takes about thirty minutes but will cost you EUR50.-.