Swiss International Air Lines, Business Class – Airbus A 320: Geneva to Zürich

Airline: SWISS
Aircraft:
Airbus A 320
From:
Genève
To:
Zürich
Departure: 16h00
Arrival:
16h30
Flight time: 30 minutes
Seat: 1A

Transfer in Geneva

Man, what a rathole! I disembark from my flight from Paris at 14h40. Boarding for next my flight should start in ten minutes. But apparently, connecting from the French sector to the Schengen area is not really foreseen in Geneva. And so I end up going up and down a whole set of ugly and narrow corridors, at the end of which I am ejected in front of a security check point. Okay, fine…

The airport is very busy and crowded. There are people sitting on the floor everywhere. The SWISS lounge is one floor up from the gate area. Turn left and right a few tines and eventually you should get there…

The Lounge

If my First Class departure from Zürich were on the same day, I’d be entitled to use the First and Hon lounge in Geneva, but because my departure is still more than two weeks away, it’s the regular Business Class lounge. And it’s quite nice. It’s a descent size and rather empty this afternoon. I don‘t take any pictures though. I’m not there long enough!

The flight is delayed by twenty minutes because of the dog incident earlier on. boarding will be grom gate A02.

Boarding…

… is a complete mess. There are grumpy passengers pushing and shoving everywhere. At some point, a Portuguese speaking mother boards with her baby in a pram and what looks like the combined baggage allowance of about twenty passengers. Oh yes, and she‘s also decided that standing in the middle of the aisle is a brilliant place to make a phone call. Eventually the passenger behind her explains that she has a tight connection in Zürich, so it would be really good for the mother to get out of the way to let the other passengers board quickly.

So the mother quickly dumps her stuff in five overhead bins and then vanishes behind the curtain to find her seat in Economy Class.

Of course this isn‘t any of SWISS‘ fault. There are annoying passengers on every airline. But do also think it might have helped if the crew had been in the cabin to help the poor woman, instead of hiding in the forward galley and doing a bloody good impersonation of somebody who both blind and deaf.

Service

Which brings me, of course, to the crew on this flight. Upon entering the aircraft, there is one male crew standing in the galley. He has one job, to say hello and welcome to passengers as they step aboard, but apparently even that is too much to ask.

Instead, he just stands there in his waistcoat, which is really not doing anything to hide just how badly and tight uniform is. He hasn‘t bothered to close the top button of his shirt either and looks, in short, like a complete and utter slob.

And just to make sure there‘s as little interaction as possible, the usual refreshing towel and bottle of water have been placed on the seats before boarding.

The Meal

The meal service consists of one of the sandwiches they usually serve in Economy on international flights. The slob shoves the tray under my nose, without as much as asking if I‘d like to eat anything. I ask him what‘s in the sandwich, but he just shrugs and continues to ignore me. Turns out it‘s mozzarella with mushrooms and hits the spot nicely.

Behind him the purser quickly hands out chocolates, again without saying a word. Oh yes, and there is no drinks service. Apparently, the welcome drink was it.

Arrival

Luckily it‘s not a long flight and we land in Zürich at 16h30 after a short flight of 30 minutes.

The difference between Air France and SWISS on these two flights was like night and day. The Air France staff on the ground and in the air were so friendly and nicely turned out. The interaction with them was just brilliant and really left a good impression.

The SWISS crews, on the other hand, were really not good. They have zero motivation they look as though they’re really unhappy to be there and resent you for actually making them work. I’m aware of that fact that a short hop of thirty minutes hardly gives any airline an opportunity to shine and interact with the customer. But even so, I have to say that on this flight it really felt like they were intentionally not making the effort to interact.

Etihad Regional, Economy Class – Saab 2000: Lugano to Sion

Logo_Etihad_Regional

Date: 31. August 2016.
Departure: 12:35.
Arrival: 13:32.
Flight time: 45 minutes.
Seat: 16A.

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INTRODUCTION
The terminal at Lugano airport is so small that it will only take you about two minutes to walk from the exit of the aircraft, through the terminal to the taxi rink on the other side.

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CHECK-IN
Location:
Ground floor, exactly opposite the exit from customs.
Facilities: No web check-in or app check-in available.
Counters: There is one Business Class counter and three Economy Class counters, which are used by all airlines operating into Lugano (SWISS and Etihad).

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I still have a bit more than an hour before my flight starts boarding, so I decide to head outside and take a walk along the airport’s perimeter fence. Eventually I find myself a nice bench surrounded by lush greenery and start writing the trip report for my previous flight.

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BOARDING
Lugano airport has all of two departure gates. The flight is going to be delayed. At 12h00, the actual departure time, we are still sitting in the terminal. The gate agent makes an announcement to inform us that the weather in Sion is really bad. So the flight is running late. He also informs us that there is a chance the flight will be diverted to Geneva instead, in which case we will be taken to Sion by coach. Eventually, the flight starts boarding at 12h20.

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CABIN
Configuration:
1 + 2.
Seat: I suspect these are still the same seats that were originally delivered to the aircraft. However, beige leather seat covers have replaced the traditional dark blue leather seat covers. The cabin looks rather nice actually. Only twenty of fifty seats are occupied on this short hop to Sion.
Pitch: No information available.
Width: No information available.

SERVICE
The cabin crew if made up of the one regulation flight attendant. It is a young lady in her late twenties I would say. She seems somewhat irritable. What surprises me about Etihad Regional is that they only seem to make the on board announcements in Italian.

THE MEAL
Type of meal:
Snack.
Meal:

  • Sweet or savoury biscuits.
  • Still water (San Benedetto)

By the time the service begins I am really starving. And so I decide to go with the savoury snack, which consists of a packet of stale crackers and pretzels.

ARRIVAL
Just after the meal, the captain comes on to inform us that we will indeed be diverting to Geneva due to the bad weather in Sion. I suppose one might argue that this is a somewhat unusual situation. Even so, I cannot help thinking that Etihad Regional’s handling of this irregularity is rather poor. The crew obviously has not got the faintest idea about what is going on either. According to the captain, a bus will be organised to bring passengers to Sion. However, as we enter the terminal building there is nobody there expecting us. I am not even sure who the handling agent for this flight is. So I check my watch: it is now 13h34. According to the app of the Swiss Federal Railways there is a train to Sion at 13h51, which should get me there just before 16h00.

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