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 - Here) Swiss ZRH-FRA CS100 Business and Swiss First Class Lounge E (Aeroplan - This Report) 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)
The ZRH airport was in the early stages of the hub flow so it was not crowded. I followed the signs to the E gates and took an elevator down. I was routed through a passport check with minimal delay.
The E concourse is very sharp looking and well appointed. I was surprised it wasn't a bit wider as there are quite a few twin aisle aircraft parked here during the mid day departure bank.
The Swiss F lounge on E is a bit of a legend for us airport lounge nerds so I was happy to pay a visit. The lounge is on the far east end of the concourse and on the top floor. I took the elevator up but it can of course be reached by stair. There are several podium work stations with laptop for staff to check you and make flight arrangements or changes. The entrance is to the right.
I presented my boarding passes to the agent and my BP for the ZRH - FRA leg was of course on top. Before even reviewing what I had handed her she was quite tickled to inform me I was in the wrong place and was directing me to the J lounge. She caught herself half way through when she finally looked at the documents and noticed the LH F boarding pass. She then took the time to scan the BP and of course the light went green. Swiss really are protective of their premium cabins and lounges to the point of bordering on oddity. This disjointed first encounter was quickly forgotten and she turned out to be very generous with her time showing me around the greater lounge facility (nap rooms, showers, restroom) and working on seat selection for the LH flight (I noticed it had changed when I checked in in ZRH).
I was walked to the double sliding doors by the podium agent and handed off to a male lounge attendant. The foyer is quite striking with the wine wall and champagne island in view.
The affable host welcomed me in and inquired as to whether I was familiar with the lounge and offered a tour when I replied in the negative. I know he had to ask but I'm sure my bulging eyes and wide grin with a slack jaw belied my having never visited this facility. I accepted the overview tour with the host but had to circle back with camera in hand to document.
General seating areas.
They had me at spotting scope.
A meeting room is available.
Champagne bar and wine wall.
The dining room.
I settled in one of the "living room" areas where I was offered a beverage. I opted for some bubbly and chose the Deutz. It was presented with some pretty nibbles.
After getting settled and just soaking up the fantastic, almost 360 degree, views of the airfield I went back out to the check in area to inquire about the nap rooms and shower. I didn't have the time or need for either but the agent dutifully showed me around so that I may take a few snaps.
Has to be the most stunning airport lounge day room.
Shower suite was modest but well appointed.
Even the men's room has ramp views!
Enough time had elapsed between my nibbles in FRA and on board the airplane to assume a position in the dining room and have a go at the restaurant.
A table with a view. Pro tip: there doesn't exist a table without one.
Sleek and rather extensive menu.
Rather overwhelmed and keen to pace myself in the days indulgences I opted for the "Oriental" beef tartar to start. It seemed like it would perhaps be lighter than some of the other options. Well, the portion was huge but it was a clean and bright flavor and handsomely presented.
Then, I quickly discarded this "light" concept and requested the truffle fondue. I mean if there's a Swiss stereotype…
The presentation was elaborate and the taste sublime. I definitely ate more than I intended.
A very satisfying meal with responsive service throughout. There was quite a bit of staff and while they tended to huddle at teh bar and chat they made sure to make frequent rounds. At the time I sat for my meal I was the only passenger dining but as I left I realized I had been joined by 5 others.
At some point in my stay some small bites were placed out in the lounge on a cart near the literature display.
I vaguely remembered that I was here for a flight and that time was approaching. I waited in the lounge to the last possible moment but reluctantly departed to make my way to the gate. Because of bad luck in line at passport control, a party ahead of me was "detained" necessitating a supervisor to come and review something , I was possibly the last to board my flight. The gate area was deserted and I walked directly on board for my first ride on the Bombardier CS100.
The airplane from the jet way.
The bright and nifty cabin complete with individual air vents and nice little screens for the safety demo and flight map. Digging the chrome trim on the seats.
Goodbye ZRH, I'm confident we'll meet again.
The size of the fan and nacelle on the next-gen aircraft are always impressive to me.
Sleek seat back design and moving map display.
Again a meal was on offer for the 45min. leg. I accepted it more for the photo ops if I'm honest but I did take a bite of the chicken salad and it was nicely done.
I also opted in for coffee and it was presented with Swiss chocolate. A basket with the same chocolate made another pass and as not to offend I took a couple more examples.
As I finish my coffee we're well into our decent into FRA. We will part ways here and meet again in the LH First Class Lounge and then we'll walk over the FCT. Thanks for reading.
SWISS First class Lounge Gates E
Zurich - ZRH
Frankfurt - FRA
In the words of a famous Austrian actor, I'll be back. The lounge is stunning and requires further scrutiny. ;)
The Ground Service: Again I must have made a poor first impression of a lounge dragon but after we came to an understanding we got on well.
The Lounge: Well I'm officially a fan. The design aesthetics, rooftop location, views, food and beverage all left favorable impressions. If it were a hotel I would book a longer stay! The service was perfectly adequate and professional as well.
The Cabin: Very excited for my first ride on a new type so perhaps that has colored my perspective. I find the cabin brigh and clean with nice touches including: large windows, air vents, and small screens with moving map display. I can't say I noticed much of a noise discrepancy when compared to the 320 that brought me to ZRH. It's also just a nice looking airplane with the large engines and great 4 window cockpit.
The Crew: Again, a very good show. Nicely paced and engaged service in a very short time frame.
The Food and Beverage: I didn't really eat the meal but I was still amazed it was even offered. The coffee was hot and Swiss chocolate is always well received.
Overall: I'm pleased to have visited visit ZRH. The Swiss brand deserves the quality reputation that they have achieved in my mind.
Thanks for reading, stay tuned for the next segment, and happy flying.
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