Greetings Flight Reporters and thank you for stopping by this report.
I am starting with my most recent flights and will work my way back to the FR that I abruptly abandoned. This trip was a RTW that came about as an excuse to enjoy some quality Lufthansa lounge and airplane time and pop in on the Swiss First Class Lounge on the E gates in Zurich. A recent Aeroplan promo had a bonus for moving Starpoints to Aeroplan. When combined with the bonus Starpoints that SPG provides on airline transfer partners is was not a terrible value.
Some of the reports will be a little light but I think with the lounge additions they will be sufficient to interest someone. They did me.
The routing and procurement method were as follows:
Delta Air Lines LAX-MSP 737-900ER First (Cash- No Report) Delta Air Lines MSP-LGA MD-88 Economy Comfort (NRSA - No Report) Lufthansa JFK-FRA B747-8i Business (United Miles - Here) Swiss FRA-ZRH A320 Business and Lufthansa Business Lounge (United Miles - This Report) Swiss ZRH-FRA CS100 Business and Swiss First Class Lounge on the E gates (Aeroplan - Here) Lufthansa FRA-PVG A380-800 First and LH First Class Lounge and Terminal (Aeroplan - Here) ANA PVG-NRT B787-9 Business and Air China Business Class Lounge (Aeroplan - Here) Delta Air Lines NRT-PVG B767-300ER Business and Delta Sky Club (NRSA - Coming Soon) Delta Air Lines PVG-LAX B777-200ER Business (NRSA - Coming Soon)
Please forgive the lack of customary detail in this volume but I have included it as it's part of the larger story.
It's very early in the morning here in FRA as we resume this story and while it's only 21:00 the day before at home I'm still quite spacey. I'm not familiar enough with FRA to know where to go and when I'm required to pass security or passport control so it's always a surprise when I arrive at one of those barriers. In this case I just followed the signs to "Lufthansa Lounges" and trekked down the Z gates as we were parked at the most distal gate. I found a facility that was labeled Lufthansa Business and proceeded inside.
The lounge dragon lived up to the affectionate nickname. She was visibly perturbed that I would present myself at this lounge when my connecting flight leaves from an A gate and I have to clear passport control to get there. I pointed out that I have 3 hours so it should be possible to accomplish this in that time frame. I was allowed to proceed but it was made clear that I have done something sub-optimally and that is not the Lufthansa way.
I made a direct path to the shower suites of which there were many. After grooming my poise was restored and I had a look about the facility. I was informed by the upstairs lounge dragon "no pictures" so I smiled and nodded and continued my picture taking. It's a very nice looking space and at this early hour there were very few inhabitants.
Some nice lounging areas.
After a while I decided to make the walk to the departure gate not knowing how much time it would take to clear immigration. Turns out it was very quick.
I spotted the Delta BCF 767-400ER inbound from DTW.
I tried to get a shot of the statuesque Boeing that delivered me here but was not very successful.
Sunrise over FRA.
I stopped by the lounge nearer to my gate and it was significantly more crowded. I had a snack from the limited food offerings. The coffee was made by a real person. There was one hot dish on offer, but it was an unappealing scrambled egg dish.
The Swiss A320 inbound from ZRH that would mark my first time flying with the carrier.
Boarding was slightly delayed but after a call for those needing extra time Business was invited to board.
The cabin is very bright looking but cramped of course. At least I had an entire row to myself so using the loo wasn't a bother to anyone. (Pictures taken in flight rather than during boarding)
A PDB was presented along with a packaged towel.
The flight boarded quickly and was not at capacity. J was 50% and Y was probably 70%. We pushed from the gate on time.
Taxi and takeoff were expedient and soon the crew was released and started service in a very compressed flight time. Flight Aware shows wheels up time on this day of 30 minutes.
A well appointed cold plate was on offer for breakfast today with bread passed from a basket. I accepted the tray along, with about half of the J passengers, more out of curiosity and amazement that a 30 minute flight has any catering. Being a US based flyer I'm used to only receiving excuses on 30 minute hops. I stayed with water as my beverage of choice however after the food service coffee and tea were offered.
Seemingly as soon as we leveled off the decent began. We punched throught he clouds to reveal the bucolic Swiss landscape.
It was raining at ZRH and after touching down on 14 we had moderate taxi time to the B gates.
I was off in a brisk pace and through passport control and down to the train to E.
We'll leave off there but do return for a look at the lovely Swiss lounge and a trip on the C Series.
Lufthansa Business Lounge Z50 - Z
Frankfurt - FRA
Zurich - ZRH
It was a brief introduction to Swiss but i was left with a positive impression.
The Ground Service: I was a bit somewhat taken aback by the LH agents at the lounge. Scolded for using the lounge in the first place and then scolded for taking pictures in an empty lounge before 6am was not a warm welcome.
The Lounge(s): The Z gates lounge looked new and it was very spacious. I liked the clean lines of the design.The A gates lounge was exceptionally crowded but did have a bar to get hand made coffee drinks, which I took advantage of.
The Cabin: On the positive side it's bright and clean. The negative side being hte seats are hard and pitch is poor. For a 30 min. flight it was not a hardship.
The Crew: Very good show. Smiles and high energy greetings. Clam and courteous service despite the compressed time in which to provide food and beverages for the 8 or so of us in J.
The Food and Beverage: When you are conditioned by teh US majors to have no expectations it is not hard to exceed them. The "meal" was completely adequate.
Overall: I'm glad I had a chance to fly with Swiss and I am looking forward to their lounge and a ride on their C Series!
Thanks for reading, stay tuned for the next segment, and happy flying.
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