A Normal Flight Review Thread

Greetings IFC,

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m based in Geneva (GVA) and fly a bunch! I have no frequent flyer status at the moment and would like to consider myself to be a typical traveller.

In this thread, I look forward to sharing my honest opinion and experience on flights that I’ve just taken! Below I’ll add a list in a drop down so it’ll be easier to find any reviews if you’re searching for one in specific!

The List
Route and Flight Number Airline and Class Date
GVA-ZRH-DUS Swiss (A220) Economy 28.12.2023
DUS-ZRH-GVA Swiss (A320) Economy 05.01.2023
GVA-SOF Wizz (A320) Economy 27.01.2023
SOF-VIE Austrian (A320) Economy 28.01.2023

Feel free to ask as many questions as you’d like and enjoy!


10 Likes

Swiss and ‘Swiss’: Geneva - Zurich - Dusseldorf

Hey all and welcome to my first review of the series! Today I’ll be writing about my Geneva - Zürich - Düsseldorf flights [28.12.2023], ticketed by Swiss. Before starting the review I’ll send a small summary of the details! I’d just like to apologize in advance for the lack of photos with this review, and will make sure that there will be enough for the next! I’ve added what I could to this one, but they aren’t to the quality that I’d like. Moreover, feel free to write some feedback or share your thoughts about the review, I’m always open to criticism to learn how to improve for the next time.

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Flight Number and Airline: LX 2809 on Swiss
Class: Economy Classic (L)
Seat: 17A
Aircraft: Airbus A220-300, HB-JCC
Route and Duration: LSGG-LSZH [0h40m]

Connection in Zürich: 1 hour 10 minutes

Flight Number and Airline: LX 1018, operated by airBaltic for Swiss
Class: Economy Classic (L)
Seat: 10A
Aircraft: Airbus A220-300, YL-ABA
Route and Duration: LSZH-EDDL [1h10m]

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The Review

Introduction:
I’ve booked these flights as a part of a round trip to Düsseldorf about a month before in Swiss’s Economy Classic Fare, which comes with a checked bag (23kg), a carry-on bag (8kg), free seat selection, and rebooking with a 60CHF fee. This fare class is one above their lowest, economy light, where the price difference is usually 30CHF per way.

Check in and Security at Geneva:
I checked in online 24 hours before and arrived at Geneva Airport about 1 hour and a half before the flight. Today I used the self bag drop kiosks since the line was much shorter than the economy check in line! I printed my bag tag by scanning my boarding pass at one of the machines and then waited in line for the bag drop. It seems that all the US bound flights were bringing up an error which held up the line, but the whole process was over in about 10 minutes. I then headed over to security and went to the line where we don’t have to remove anything from our bags (devices and liquids could stay in)! The line was about 10 minutes again and the process was very easy. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of these this time round.

The Gate and Boarding:
My flight was assigned gate A7, which is a bus gate couple minutes away from where you exit security. Boarding started on time with boarding being done orderly with first Group 1 (but no one was in that group), then Group 2 for business class and passengers with status, then Groups 3-5 all together. I got on the second bus that would take us to my A220 waiting on the apron!

First Impressions (My Third Impression): HB-JCC

There was then a small delay on the ground due to the baggage loading, leading to a takeoff which was 25 minutes after our scheduled departure time.

The Flight and Service:
As always, the Swiss cabin crew were friendly and welcoming. Luckily I managed to also get an empty seat next to myself on this mostly full flight. As always, the seat was spacious with its large window and good legroom (no issues for me, 6’1)

Takeoff, View of Geneva

We took off at 10:58 local time and I had a great view of Geneva and the mountains behind it! After the seatbelt signs turned off, the crew came around with their regular water service, and also decided to give out the chocolates with them! These chocolates also had a festive gold wrapping on them to celebrate the holiday season. I always find the service on this flight to be impressive, since it can get as short as 27 minutes in the air (today it was 35m)!

In-Flight Service

The cruising altitude today was just 16,000ft. Unfortunately I booked my seat on the wrong side of the plane, so I missed the beautiful view of the snowy alps with the yellow sky! (rookie mistake, book seats on the right / F side when flying GVA-ZRH). My view was still nice and I’ll attach a photo below :(

Descending Into the Clouds

The A220 has mini screens above our seats, which Swiss uses to display a flight map and flight information, as well as the gates for any connecting flights.

After no time, we started our descent into Zurich for a smooth touchdown 2 minutes after our scheduled arrival time. The deboarding process was delayed a tad due to the zurich ground staff not connecting the jetbridge. It was nice to see the pilots being transparent about what was happening.


The Zurich Transfer Experience:
I had a great experience transferring at Zurich Airport today, as always. In the a bit less than 1 hour I had there, I made my way to the duty free to buy some gifts. The staff there were all friendly and were handing out 10% discounts to anyone who had an account at their website! I then got a sandwich at the marché before heading over to my next gate. Schengen to Schengen transfers here are always a breeze, with it being easily doable in as little or as much time as you get!


The Gate and Boarding (Flight 2):
After making my way to gate A86, I saw my ride for the day: YL-ABA, a 2 year old airBaltic A220-300. Swiss currently wet leases a few aircraft from airBaltic, and they will mention if your flight is being operated by airBaltic upon booking. The pilots and crew are all from airBaltic, but they offer a Swiss service on board. Boarding was on time once again, and was done through the electronic gates for groups 3-5. Swiss adds little flaps on the headrest with the Swiss logo on it, making the aircraft seem the slightest more ‘swiss’. Below is a photo of the view of the business class cabin, which has seats identical to those in economy.

Swiss/airBaltic Seats and Cabin


The Flight and Service:
The airBaltic crew were also very kind and warm on this flight today! This leg was a bit longer than our first, at about 1 hour. After a tiny delay, we pushed back, taxied, and took off from Runway 28, where I managed to spot the #lxairdeer!

#LXairdeer

After the takeoff, we had a turn bringing us over Zurich Airport with a great view of the Zurich itself! Sitting on the left side was definitely the right choice here.

View of Zurich Airport, and Zurich

As the seatbelt sign was turned off at 10,000ft, the crew went around with the water service (same bottles as the last flight). The crew then came around with their “Swiss Saveurs” run, which is swiss’s buy on board economy meal menu. I ended up falling asleep once we reached our cruising altitude of FL300, so I didn’t know if the crew had a chocolate service before landing!

In no time we started our descent down into Dusseldorf, with some cloudy weather.

airBaltic Into the Clouds

The pilot then came on the speaker announcing the weather in Dusseldorf, and how it’ll be windy and gusty. Regardless, he managed to give us a solid and safe landing! Deboarding was uneventful and led us back into the terminal area of the airport, where we all made our way to the baggage claim.

Like the previous flight, the crew were handing out chocolates as passengers were exiting the plane next to the door. I don’t know if this was the first or second chocolate service though since I was asleep.

The Baggage Claim: Lost Baggage
10 minutes after arriving to the baggage claim, the first bag rolled down the conveyor belt. It wasn’t for another few minutes that the rest of the bags came. People picked up their bags and were leaving one by one until there was just one person standing their: myself. The baggage claim eventually stopped and I was confused. The swiss app’s bag tracking feature showed that it was loaded onto my flight. But clearly, it wasn’t. My airtag showed its location to be in Zurich! Without it, I would have been much more worried. As soon as the conveyor stopped, I filed a lost baggage report on the swiss app and left the airport. Swiss’s rules state that if your baggage is delayed, you are allowed to purchase anything that you need, and the costs will be reimbursed (100% for perishables like toiletries, 50% for reusable items such as clothing).

A few hours later, the website showed my bag as located, but nothing else. It didn’t say when I’d get it, or where it was. I gussed that it would end up in Dusseldorf on the next Swiss flight which was about 5 hours after mine. This ended up being the case, as at about 7pm, the airtag updated showing my bag in Dusseldorf! At 10:30pm, I ended up getting a call from a no caller id, which turned out to be Dusseldorf Airport telling me I can collect my bag the next day, which is what I did.

Although this shouldn’t have happened in the first place, Swiss got my bag to me relatively quickly with minimal hassle!

Final Comments
Overall, these two flights were pretty nice! They represented Swiss’s level of service well, and show what can be expected on any of their inter-European flights. The airBaltic flight was also something I’ve been trying to get myself on for a while now and am glad I’ve managed to do that. As always I left satisfied and will be looking forward to flying Swiss next year!


Thanks for reading :)

8 Likes

The Swiss A320, “New” and Old : Dusseldorf - Zurich - Geneva

Welcome all once again for my second flight review on this thread! Today I flew the return legs of my previous flights, so Dusseldorf - Zurich - Geneva. Once again these flights were all sold by Swiss, and were operated by Swiss as well. I’ve tried to include more photos for the review this time but as the flights were both after sunset, the quality is not as high as I’d hope! Anyways, enioy the review :)

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Flight Number and Airline: LX 1025 on Swiss
Class: Economy Classic (L)
Seat: 5F
Aircraft: Airbus A320-200, HB-IJP
Route and Duration: LSZH - EDDL [1h05m] (18:50-20:05)

Connection in Zürich: 55 minutes

Flight Number and Airline: LX 2816 on Swiss
Class: Economy Classic (L)
Seat: 10A
Aircraft: Airbus A320-200, HB-JLP
Route and Duration: LSZH-LSGG [0h35m] (21:00-21:50)

——

The Review

Introduction:
This set of flights is the return leg for those featured in my previous review. Once again I am flying in Swiss’s Economy Classic Fare, taking advantage of my free checked bag (23kg) and free seat selection today.

Online Check In + Bag Drop and Security at Dusseldorf:
Although Swiss advertises their online check in to open 23 hours in advance, I managed to check in 24 hours early. I bumped my seat on the DUS-ZRH flight up to 5F, but the ZRH-GVA flight had very few seats remaining, so I stuck to 10A.

At Dusseldorf airport, the bag drop was very simple! I printed out my baggage tag at one of the automated kiosks, then proceeded to scan it and send it away on the conveyor. There was no queue tonight at 5:30pm, and the process was very quick!

Dusseldorf's Bag Drop

I then headed over to the A gates security, which was conveniently right next to the Lufthansa Group’s Bag Drop / Check In area. Once again the lines were short and the whole process was simple and quick! They had these new body scanners though, which very interesting. I’ve never seen anything like it before. Below is a little photo so I don’t have to explain anything :)

Body Scanners at Security

Gate and Boarding:
Our gate today was A49, which was about a one minute walk from the security checkpoint. Along the way there were lots of spots to grab food, but I decided to wait for my pre-ordered meal! A few minutes after its scheduled arrival, HB-IJP, my ride for tonight, pulled into the gate!

HB-IJP Taxiing In

HB-IJP is the older of the two A320s I would be taking tonight. Originally delivered to Swissair in 1997, then transferred to Swiss in 2002, this aircraft is a bit over 26 years old!

Boarding started 10 minutes behind schedule, with it being done surprisingly in order! The priority groups 1 and 2 were called together first, then on the electronic gates, group 3 (window) was called, then 4 (middle), and then 5 (aisle seats). To me this was a surprise since I usually see groups 3-5 being called together.

The Flight and Service:
Once again, Swiss managed to impress us all with their friendly cabin crew! I managed to bump my seat up to 5F during online check in, which placed me in front of the engines! I always try to get these seats on the A320 since the roar from the engine on departure is much clearer! The seat was clean and the legroom was very generous up here. My guess would be that they’ve increased the legroom on the up front seats since they’re often used for Swiss’s European business class. For context, I’m 6 foot 1.

Legroom View

Pushback was pretty much on time and we had a short taxi to runway 23L before taking off into the dark at 19:05 LT. And wow, the roar of the engines were stunning! This is definitely a difference from the A220s and A320neos which I fly most of the time.

Right after the cabin crew were released, they came around with their complementary water service. They then came around with the economy buy-on-board meal service - Swiss Saveurs.

As I was at the front of the economy cabin, the crew came around to me first and handed me over my pre-ordered sandwich, where I paid for it on the plane instead of online. When you pre-order online, Swiss gives a 10% discount (I paid 8.55chf instead of 9.50chf)

The Sandwich

Apologies once again for the poor photo quality! It doesn’t do justice for the sandwich, which was very tasty. It was a truffle brie sandwich with some rocket leaves and sun dried tomatoes inside.

We then started our descent into Zurich, and had a nice and uneventful landing on Runway 14. We did end up parking right next to the aircraft which would end up taking me to Geneva though, which was a nice surprise!

Hello, HB-JLP!

Unfortunately there was no chocolate service on board this flight, but they were handed out after arriving in Zurich. I’m personally not a huge fan of this, but at least the chocolate was something to do at Zurich Airport which didn’t cost as much as a kidney!


The Zurich Transfer Experience #2:
With 55 minutes scheduled tonight, I had more than enough time for a calm connection. Once again I stayed in the schengen part of the airport (Concourses A and B), which has no transfer security or immigration. At this time of night, the airport was very busy though! My flight was departing with 12 others in just a 15 minute time frame (at 21:00), which I find to be very impressive. And this clearly showed in the terminal with there being lots of passengers.

Random Photo of the Transfer Area Signs


Gate and Boarding (Flight 2):

Boarding started on time at gate A64, which was the gate next to the one that my arriving plane came from! I went through the electronic gates when boarding for groups 3-5 was opened, and made my way onto the next A320 for tonight, HB-JLP, the newer of the two A320s at just 12 years old!

Unfortunately, my seat was bumped back from 9A to 10A which has a slightly misaligned window and does not offer recline due to it being right in front of the exit row. This wouldn’t be an issue for the 30 minute hop to Geneva though!

Seats on Row 10

The legroom on this seat was considerably less than the previous flight on Row 10, but I had no issues with it and it was still much better than other airlines, who I won’t mention tonight. I’m not sure if this has to do with the aircraft being much newer than the previous one, or the fact that I was simply sitting futher back.

Seat 10A, Legroom

Anyhow, in my seat I managed to catch a glimpse of the aircraft which took me from Dusseldorf, and said one last goodbye!

Bye Bye, HB-IJP!


The Flight and Service:

We then had a slight pushback delay due to the huge wave of aircraft leaving Zurich Airport. As mentioned earlier, there were 13 departures scheduled in a 15 minute time slot with mine included. There were no really noticeable departure queue though, thanks to the great management from Zurich ATC! We only took off about 15 minutes late though, and were 10th in a train of 15 consistent departures on Runway 32.

We took off into pitch black, and all I could see during the flight was the CFM 56 engine.

Engine View

The crew came around pretty quickly though to pass around our free water, and chocolate on this flight! This was a nice surprise since the chocolate part wasn’t handed out during the previous flight.

Water and Chocolate

We shortly started our descent for Runway 04 at Geneva and landed with about a 10 minute delay, which wasn’t too bad! Overall yet another nice flight from Swiss with nothing to complain about :)

Baggage Claim and Exiting the Airport:
Thankfully this time round, my bag arrived at the carousel! And it also arrived much earlier than projected on the TV screen. So no issues here either.

I’d like to also mention that Swiss has paid me out 93 CHF (about 100 USD) of compensation for my delayed baggage on the previous flight, which was a nice act from them. I did have to email to ask though.


Final Comments:
Yet another two great connecting flights from Swiss! It’s always a pleasure to fly with them, and especially through Zurich Airport. The service was great as always, and I have nothing to complain about at all. I won’t be featuring any more Swiss short haul flights on this thread since I have a feeling it’ll get pretty repetitive, but stay tuned for some other airlines coming in the next month! And please feel free to vote on the poll I made below, as this is something I’m interested to know from you all. Feedback, criticism, and questions are also always welcome :)


Do you like the fact that the photos are in drop down boxes?

  • Yes
  • No
0 voters
2 Likes

Very interesting. I fly to and from Switzerland quite a lot and my last time was on a similar Air Baltic A220 leased to Swiss (YL-ABQ) on the ZRH-CDG route. Although I paid for a business class ticket the seats themselves on the A220 were exactly the same as Economy (maybe because AirBaltic is a semi-low cost carrier?). Keep up the good content on this thread 👍

1 Like

Thanks for the comment! Unfortunately that’s the standard for the intra-european business product, and it would have been the same on a Swiss aircraft. Airlines can usually give the first rows of seats some extra legroom, but that’s the only difference you’ll see apart from the upgraded services they provide (and the blocked off middle seat).

And I forgot to mention this in the review, but funnily enough the crew on the second flight moved the economy-business separator a row forward after boarding, and it went over 3 peoples’ heads. Pretty embarrassing on their end…

Eventful flights such as yours don’t happen often these days 😂
I never knew so many European airlines replaced the 2-2 configured Euro Business class by a 3-3 config! Not only Swiss, but BA and LH as well, among others. One exception is AF which still use a 2-2 Euro Business config on certain aircraft as far as I know.

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