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Flying the UN route, SWISS Made (BCN-GVA-JFK on LX A320 and A330 w/ pics)

Flying the UN route, SWISS Made (BCN-GVA-JFK on LX A320 and A330 w/ pics)

Old Mar 23, 11, 7:08 pm
  #1  
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Flying the UN route, SWISS Made (BCN-GVA-JFK on LX A320 and A330 w/ pics)

This is part two of my Spanish vacation. Part one can be found here:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trip-...ra-w-pics.html

Spectacular Spain Part 2

SWISS LX1941, March 18th, 2011
Barcelona El Prat (BCN) to Geneva (GVA)
Gate- B24
Seat- 17C
Departure (Scheduled/Actual): 9:05AM/9:13AM
Arrival (Scheduled/Actual): 10:50AM/10:40AM
Aircraft- A320

After a week in Madrid and Barcelona, it was time to go home. Both places were great and had excellent attractions and food. However, if you plan to go to Spain, watch out for wallets, purses, and other valuables. Pickpockets are present in the metro and tourist areas.

This was my first time flying SWISS. I’ve heard good reviews about the SWISS service and always wanted to try it myself. The flight plan was to travel to Geneva from Barcelona and continuing to New York. In fact, the only long haul destination SWISS has out of Geneva is JFK. I’ve heard that they fly this route for UN employees and dignitaries. It was noticeable when boarding at GVA where most of the passengers looked like they worked for the UN.

Check-in at BCN was quick as there was no line. The LH check-in, which was next to LX had a huge line with only three or four desks operating. Security was quick as well.

This was my first time at the new Terminal 1 at BCN. Before, I remember BCN being old and inefficient. T1 was very spacious and reminiscent to HKG. In my opinion, most new airports are copying HKG. I bought last minute souvenirs and magazines.

The plane did not arrive until 8:50 due to a late departure from GVA. However, the flight managed to be just 8 minutes after scheduled departure time.

Boarding was quick and the FA’s greeted passengers with professionalism and a friendly gesture. Announcements were first made in English, then French. Some of the times, German announcements were made. The flight was not full and I was about to take a row for myself but someone beat me to the punch.

Once in the air, FA’s served a small snack and drink service. I however had to use the lavatory first. FA’s were in the process of coming down the aisle and I moved to the side. One FA thanked me for doing so. On a side note, when I flew UA once, a FA made an announcement over the PA to ask me to move, which I thought was pretty rude.

The snack was a chocolate roll/croissant. It was pretty tasty and I was surprised that FA’s offered seconds, which I took. I’ve never seen FA’s offer seconds before.

Most of the intra-European routes I fly, the in-flight entertainment is usually a moving map. On SWISS, they air old episodes of “Tom and Jerry” and “Just for Laughs.” I thought this was pretty unusual, but thoughtful of SWISS. I saw outside my window the Swiss Alps covered in snow. Soon after, we landed in GVA.

SWISS LX22, March 18th, 2011
Geneva (GVA) to New York – John F. Kennedy International (JFK)
Gate- C16
Seat- 25D
Departure (Scheduled/Actual): 12:00PM/11:55AM
Arrival (Scheduled/Actual): 3:50PM/3:40PM
Aircraft- A330-300 (“Fribourg” aircraft)

I did not have much time in GVA because of the short connection I had. After passing passport control, the gate for JFK had extra security measures. I had to fill out a sheet and line up for passport check. I’ve never experienced this before for coming back to the U.S. I presumed the extra security was due to the presence of UN officials. Boarding was soon announced after I arrived at the gate.

Since this is the only long-haul route SWISS has out of GVA, it was obvious which aircraft was mine to fly to JFK. Today’s A330-300 was the “Fribourg” aircraft. A friendly FA greeted me and led me down the right aisle. I presumed that this aircraft was new as it had the new first, business, and economy seats. When I checked-in, I put myself in the small economy section right after business. Like my previous flight, this flight was not full in business and economy. Boarding was completed quickly and as a result, we left ahead of schedule.

Once in the air, FA’s did a drink service with a small snack. After, they served lunch, which the choices were Thai vegetable green curry with rice or chicken with gnocchi. Both were served with a salad and fruit crumble-like pastry. Both choices were tasty and fresh. Like my previous flight, FA’s came around with seconds for bread.

Once lunch was served, FA’s did duty free runs. This was the first time I heard a FA actually attempt to sell duty free. The FA in my section said things like, “we have things for the children, electronics for men, fragrances for the ladies” and more. I thought it was pretty interesting for the FA do to that.

After I finished my meal, I decided to watch some movies. LX has good choices but seems limited. In fact, they show certain movies going to and from Switzerland rather than having all movie choices, which most airlines do. It was annoying to me because I saw some movies on my LH flight that were only airing for flights originating in Switzerland. After a couple of movies, I slept for a couple of hours.

About an hour and a half before landing in JFK, FA’s served a sandwich. The choices were turkey or cheese sandwiches with strawberry ice cream. Most of the passengers chose the turkey, so I assumed that the passengers in the rear got cheese. Also, this was one of the first times I have had a choice for the second meal/snack on European routes. Most of the time, there’s only one choice. The only exception I have experienced this was on CX to HKG from JFK and most flights to Asia.

We landed ten minutes ahead of schedule. However, immigration at JFK was very long. In fact, what I found was annoying was that there was an immigration officer passing pamphlets for a speedy, automatic immigration. I was thinking that he should have not passed it out and done his job stamping passports. However, I did not have to wait for my luggage once passed immigration.

LX is by far one of the best European airlines. It’s like a boutique brand for LH. Their service is fantastic and professional. The service is exceptional just like Asian carriers like CX, TG, and SQ. They seem to care for their passenger’s needs and anticipate those needs. I recommend if you are flying on the A333 in economy, choose the small mini cabin right after business class. You are first served and it feels intimate and private. LX however has some drawbacks. Their entertainment is great but feels limited. They should have all options for movies/TV/music etc. I hope to fly LX again.

Pictures:

BCN T1


LX A320 to GVA


Chocolate goodness


A330 to JFK


Y and J class cabin


PTV


Seat cover


Snack and drink service


Gnocchi and chicken


Thai green curry with vegetables


After lunch tea


LX icon on the PTV


SWISS News


PTV menu


Pre-arrival turkey sandwich with ice cream
cxny1090 is offline  
Old Mar 24, 11, 1:44 am
  #2  
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Wow! What a fabulous TR!!! I'm glad that you are so enjoying the flight from BCN-GVA-JFK and I loves the photos!! There is one more things and I don't quite understand why they wanted you to filled the form at the gates. Can you try to explains to me.

Hope see you when you returns back home. Have fun in NYC!!! ^^
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Old Mar 26, 11, 2:05 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by N830MH View Post
Wow! What a fabulous TR!!! I'm glad that you are so enjoying the flight from BCN-GVA-JFK and I loves the photos!! There is one more things and I don't quite understand why they wanted you to filled the form at the gates. Can you try to explains to me.

Hope see you when you returns back home. Have fun in NYC!!! ^^
Thanks! I'm glad you like my photos.

Like you, I was not really sure why I had to fill out a form. It just asked my name, where I was from, and a signature. I found it unusual because all that information was in my passport. At the same time, the agent also checked me off for being at the gate. Luckily it did not take long.
cxny1090 is offline  
Old Mar 29, 11, 2:50 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: TSV, Australia
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Nice trip report. Thanks for posting.
camsean is offline  

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