I heard about Zurich having a good pair of viewing decks. I also have a thing for the Avro RJ's and the chance to fly another Avro of a different airline (SWISS) was enough for me to pay £150 for this trip. I selected LCY to ensure I got the Avro & I decided to fly back on Helevetic Airways to have a first taste on the Embraer E-jet. Would have been much cheaper to fly from LHR or LGW, but the A320 family wasn't really attractive compared to what LCY was offering…
So I spent the night around a friend of mine, who lives closer to LCY than I do. He also works there- and he had a shift that morning.
We got to LCY at 6:30am, so I checked in with a good 3 hours to spare spotting at the windows overlooking the apron. However going through security, my carry on bag was taken aside for extra screening due to the excessive camera gear & the batteries picked up. This was a week after the tragic events in Brussels airport, so security was on high alert on anything not considered standard.
After a good 2 hours of spotting, I found out my flight was delayed by a good 40 minutes. A bit of an annoyance, but nothing I was going to have an major affect by.
After collecting some more aircraft with my camera. The aircraft that would carry me to Zurich arrived in the form of Swiss Avro RJ100 HB-IXS. A 20 year old Avro which had seen service with Crossair, before it became SWISS International after Crossair bought most of the assets of SWISSAIR Group when they went into Bankruptcy.
I couldn't take pictures or film when going from the gate to the plane, which was a little frustrating. However once on the aircraft I was snapping and filming away as we took off for the 1 hour and 20 minute flight for Zurich.
The service for that morning was complimentary Drinks (Cold and Hot), I chose tea, a Croissant and the trade-mark SWISS Chocolate.
We arrived a Zurich at 13:20pm. The last 3 minutes was a bit choppy as we descended into ZRH. We taxied up to a remote stand and boarded a bus to the Zurich Terminal.
After getting through immigration (which took less than 20 minutes for two officers to get through nearly 100 passengers) I beelined straight for the Viewing Deck and spent the rest of the daylight there getting some interesting aircraft amongst the SWISS traffic.
After I was done at the Viewing Deck I went off to spend the night roughing it in the Terminal. I checked in for my flight the next day, I got spoken to by two airport police officers who wanted to know what I was doing in the deserted airport landside, I explained the situation, showed them my passport, my boarding pass. They thought everything was in order and I had no further troubles that evening.
London - LCY
Zurich - ZRH
London City- Fantastic airport, easy to get through quickly and easy to navigate around. Friendly staff.
Zurich Airport- Immigration was quick, the airport looked really modern and nicely presented, and the Viewing Deck was the icing on the cake. Definitely just as good as the AMS Panorama Terrace.
SWISS- Really nice flight with them, service was fantastic, Slight delay wasn't a big deal for me- it can happen at any time to anyone. The Swiss Avro had no in flight entertainment on board except for the magazines.
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