Review of SWISS flight Rome Zurich in Business

Airline SWISS
Flight LX 1727
Class Business
Seat 6F
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 01:40
Take-off 12 Sep 17, 09:40
Arrival at 12 Sep 17, 11:20
LX   #32 out of 120 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 545 reviews
NGO85
By 821
Published on 11th January 2018
Background:

This series covers a longish trip to Italy from last September with my brothers. This was at the cusp of shoulder season so the one-way ticket to Rome was around $470 with AB for the economy seat with XL upgrade, all other *A and OW carriers were in the $1000+ range for one-way fares. I’ve never flown AB before, so figured why not give them a try. It turns out this was the correct decision since it would be my last chance to ever try the now-defunct German carrier. The return legs were a one-way award ticket on LX using 40k Asiana Club miles.

Part 1 – LAX-DUS [AB 7431, Airbus A330-200, Economy] – Here
Part 2 – DUS-FCO [AB 8718, Airbus A320, Economy] – No report
Part 3 – FCO-ZRH [LX 1727, Airbus A320, Business] – You are here
Part 4 – ZRH-LAX [LX 40, Boeing B777-300ER, Business] – Here

This report will cover the short flight from FCO to ZRH on LX.



Pre-flight:

We spent the previous weekend in Rimini for the San Marino MotoGP race so had to drive back to Rome the day before. We opted to just spend the night at the Hilton at FCO so that we could have less stress getting to the airport in the morning without dealing with the rental car return. The hotel was nothing to write home about, but served its function.

The day of departure, we woke up and took the bus to the airport that dropped us off in front of the fountain over by Terminal 3.

photo 1

Inside the FIDS showed my flight was on-time and departing from Gate D04. My brother was taking AA back via PHL so we parted ways here.

photo 2

The LH Group check-in counters were located in this dark corner. There was a volleyball team checking in that was hogging most of the counters, so I had to wait for an available agent to check me in. My bags were tagged to LAX and I was handed both of my boarding passes. No *A Lounges at FCO so I was instructed to use the AZ Lounge located by the D gates by taking the escalator near Gate D03.

photo 3

My boarding pass for this flight. I had chosen a starboard side window seat in the last row of J figuring we’d be doing a run up the western coast of Italy.

photo 4

Heading off to my gate, caught a billboard of the fun my brother was in for.

photo 5

Security was a breeze and I was quickly through to the other side. FCO is terrible for spotting since they have the dots on the windows now so I just went straight for the lounge upstairs.

photo 6

The AZ Lounge entrance. I was quickly scanned in and told to watch the monitors since no boarding announcements would be made. The lounge was small and filled to the brim. I was finally able to find a seat, but had to clean the trash left all over the place by the person before me. The buffet was weak in this lounge and had just minimal hot food items. I scrounged up a makeshift breakfast to nibble on while I killed an hour. The AZ Lounges are not very nice and clearly no EY money was spent on refurbishing them.





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SWISS, LX 1727
Equipment: Airbus A320 [HB-JLT, delivered March 2013]
Departure: 9:40 (ATD: 9:59)
Arrival: 11:20 (ATA: 11:08)
Flight time: 1:09

About 5 minutes to boarding, I wandered down to the gate where our plane had finished deplaning after arriving from ZRH. Boarding started slightly late and the priority line was 30+ people so I took my place at the rear.

photo 10

Boarding, I was welcomed in German by a male FA as I turned to squeeze my way through all the people trying to organize their overhead bin items. My seat, 6F.

photo 11
A look down my row. There was a family of 3 with a small child also in my row, the child was supposed to be in 6D, but the parents moved him into 6B to sit with them so I lucked out receiving the row to myself.

photo 12

They snuck another row of J in since I did OLCI the morning before, so there would be 7 rows of J on this flight with a full 28/28 load.

photo 13

Seat pitch is your standard Y.

photo 14

Pre-placed in the seatback pocket were the water bottle and packaged oshibori.

photo 15

The rest of the contents in the seatback.

photo 16

Safety card on this LX A320.

photo 17photo 18

LX antimacassar.

photo 19

An eerily quiet morning at FCO with not much out to see out my window other than the fancy LX sharklet on this new A320. My second time on HB-JLT, also took this plane LHR-GVA earlier in 2017. And even weirder is that I sat in the same seat, 6F, on that flight as well albeit in Y.

photo 20

The captain came out and did his welcome onboard with flight information after the front door closed. The overhead monitors came down for the safety video. They were predicting a 70min run up to Zürich.

photo 21

We backed up a little late, there was minimal plane spotting of interest as we did our long taxi out to the runway. Just a UX B738, KM A320, and AF A321.



No wait for takeoff and we were roaring down the runway to take off to the west, which gave me some nice views lifting out of FCO before we turned to head up the coast and into the clouds.



Service was done front to back, and the trays were carried out one-by-one from the galley by our FA. I used the long wait to quick nip into the bathroom once we reached cruising altitude. It was clean with some hand cream and air freshener.



Eventually my tray was laid down and my drink order was taken. Hot breads were offered afterwards. A fairly basic breakfast offering to start my post-Italy diet, so thoughtful of LX. I guess the LX motto is quality over quantity. It was like Noah's Ark on the plate, everything came in twos….



Some coffee to sip on after my tray was cleaned up.

photo 32

Lake Como appeared as the clouds finally broke. We must have flew just east of Milan because I could spot Lake Garlate and Lecco from my starboard side. The rest of Lake Como was hidden and we were quickly into the Alps.



Another water bottle was offered along with the Swiss chocolates as the cabin was prepared for arrival into ZRH.

photo 36photo 37

Connecting flight information, Gate E23 for my flight to LAX.

photo 38

We approach ZRH from the west as we cross over the green countryside.



And we reach the tarmac as the rain starts to come down.

photo 42

Taxing past a sea of LX heavies intermixed with some friends from *A: TG B77W, SQ A380, CA A332, and UA B764.



We finally take our spot next to a LX CS100.

photo 47photo 48

Deplaning was very fast and immigration was a breeze as I got re-circulated into the terminal for my TATL to LAX.
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Verdict

SWISS

6.1/10
Cabin6.5
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment3.0
Meal/catering6.0

Alitalia Casa Italia

5.3/10
Comfort4.0
Meal/catering6.0
Entertainment7.0
Services4.0

Rome - FCO

6.9/10
Efficiency7.5
Access4.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Zurich - ZRH

7.8/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

Short intra-European flight with not much going on. Cabin service is well done in LX, but the seats and catering are your standard for flights of this nature. Nothing remarkable on this flight and would have been just as comfortable in Y albeit with less food.

Cabin comfort: Clean and new A320. Standard Y seats, but lucked out to get the entire row to myself.

Crew: LX crews are friendly and professional. I like the introductory remarks from the cockpit and the male FA working the J cabin was very good.

Meal and catering: Normal continental offering for breakfast. Smaller portion size, but the meat, cheese, and fig quality were all good.

Entertainment: No newspapers offered. Standard seatback literature. The IFE was on the rotating moving map during the flight. No in-seat charging.

Related

6 Comments

  • Comment 427214 by
    Rl 777 814 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    “My boarding pass for this flight.“
    - With colour, interesting.

    Breathtaking aerial shots!

    “Taxing past a sea of LX heavies intermixed“
    - Great shots! The EY bird must have had mixed feelings about being surrounded by multiple *A heavies ;).

    Thank you once again for this beautifully detailed FR.

    Have a good one, see you.

    • Comment 427623 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1627 Comments

      "With colour, interesting."
      - Probably airport dependent, I have a lot of LH/LX BPs with color and a couple with black/white printing.
      "The EY bird must have had mixed feelings about being surrounded by multiple *A heavies ;)."
      - Gives a nice perspective on market share of the ME3 at ZRH since EK operates an A380. EY only can manage B787 service.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  • Comment 427271 by
    KévinDC TEAM 4237 Comments

    Seems like a pretty lackluster experience overall. Intra-European Business class, with just a Y seat with blocked middle, normally elevates the experience with the catering, but it this case the catering seems mediocre. Though I understand it's a short flight, a hot meal would been nice. Also, LX doesn't put a table between the seats like other European carriers, so really the only difference with a Y experience is the meal. I would expect better from LX--such a stark difference between the short and long-haul products here. Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 427624 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1627 Comments

      "Seems like a pretty lackluster experience overall." <== It was just an appetizer for the entree to follow ;)

      "Though I understand it's a short flight, a hot meal would been nice."
      - AZ served a hot breakfast FCO-BEG, which is the same length. A little quiche like they serve in Y on the longer flights would have been fine on the side.

      "I would expect better from LX--such a stark difference between the short and long-haul products here." ==> Or is it? Long-haul was just as lackluster.

      Thanks for all your comments Kevin!

  • Comment 427278 by
    757Fan 425 Comments

    I agree with Kevin above. Looks like you had a nice flight, but there's not much to differentiate the service other than the light breakfast meal.

    Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to your next report to LAX!

    • Comment 427625 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1627 Comments

      Thanks for stopping by Matthew!

      "Looks like you had a nice flight, but there's not much to differentiate the service other than the light breakfast meal."
      - Yep, it's definitely murky waters on LX. They try to sell off Y to J upgrades online for something like 50 euros. I really don't see what they buys you other than food/baggage. You'd have to be traveling with a lot of baggage to warrant an upgrade on intra-European with LX since the catering is definitely not worth even a fraction of the cost.

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