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] – Here Part 4 – ZRH-LAX [LX 40, Boeing B777-300ER, Business] – You are here
This report will cover the TATL flight from ZRH to LAX on LX.
After arriving at ZRH, I didn’t have much time, so I quickly made my way through security and immigration to recirculate into Terminal E. I briefly went into the LX Lounges. The Business Lounge was disgustingly full so I immediately left and went over to the Senator side of the lounge, which was slightly less crowded and had better tarmac views. I grabbed a brief snack before my flight and watched some planes from the windows.
UA B764 leaving.
After 20 minutes in the lounge, I went down to my gate since there was secondary screening for the flights departing to the US. My plane sitting outside.
Boarding was slightly delayed so the masses took it upon them to completely crowd the gate area.
Boarding eventually started and I was able to join the back of the J line. Boarding was done using only L2. I made it onboard and the male FA at the door greeted me in German and directed me down the aisle towards my seat. My throne for this flight. I was originally in 4K per Numero_2’s recommendation, but switched to 16A during OLCI since these seats are blocked for HON Circle status.
The view of the huge J cabin from my seat in the second to last row. The load on this flight was ~80% in J.
Plenty of legroom in the seated position (in bed-mode, it gets a little cramped…).
The large, bright IFE immediately catches your eye. A small storage compartment is located below the screen.
On the window side, there is a large side table that has storage compartments under it for shoes and other small items.
Wedged between the side table and the fuselage is a water bottle from the previous flight from HKG (guess given the Bonaqua brand of water). Pretty poor aircraft cleaning at a LX hub.
More storage on the side table.
Amenity kit and blanket were pre-placed on the seat. A lackluster kit based on contents, but the reusable bag feature has been useful thus far as a lunch kit.
Two windows for this seat.
View of the cabin from this seat, the aisle seats have very little privacy and I can imagine sleeping is not too easy in these seats with the traffic in the aisles.
Fold out storage compartment and tray table are located in the other side table.
Reading light, noise-cancelling headphones, hangar, and water bottle were pre-placed on the side. Behind them is the AV jack and charging station.
Under the armrest is the handheld remote and seat controls (complete with massage).
Seatback literature is located on the back of the seat in front of me. Inside were the standard contents: LX magazine, safety card, and duty free catalogs.
Some spotting during boarding.
When the FA was able to get up the aisle after Y boarding was complete, pre-departure drinks were offered from a tray.
Oshibori were offered after the drinks were handed out.
The safety video played when we began our pushback.
Spotting as we go taxi out to the runway: LX A333, TG B777, EK A380.
We were 3rd in line to take off behind this LX A340 and LX B77W.
We align onto the runway.
The GE90s wind up and we lift up over ZRH before breaking through the low cloud level.
The IFE is available immediately and can be easily controlled through the touch screen remote since the screen is too far away to easily touch.
The male FA working my corner of J came and introduced himself and took my aperitif order. My local selection with some nuts.
Menu orders were taken back to front after the HON/SEN’s were handled. A quick look at today’s menu highlighting food from the Canton of Thurgau. Since I was at the rear of the J cabin, everything was still available. I opted for the veal starter and the fish main.
The linens were laid and I opted for the Thurgau white.
Meals are handed out by cart instead of being walked out of the galley.
My starter tray, which was placed down at the same time breads were offered. Don’t really like how they use a tray for the meal, and the packaged condiments aren’t too attractive looking (neither is the flyer located below the napkin).
Cold veal starter. Despite the quantity, the fig mustard was almost tasteless.
The flyer placed on the meal tray, kind of tacky.
LX cutlery and napkin.
After I finished, my salad bowl and plate were removed. My hot entrée was placed down and wine glass refilled. So tiny!
More bread was also offered.
The main was very small. It was the size of a UA Y meal if you cram it into a small black container. That said, the fish and sauce were good and the potatoes had a nice rosemary taste. The cabbage was quite bland. Not the most exciting of meals.
Cheese plate and port after the tray was taken away. Some crackers or bread would have been nice…
More shameless flyers were handed out, this time trying to get me to buy a TAG Heuer watch.
Even though I’m not a dessert person, this was the highlight of the meal. It was very good without being overly sweet nicely balanced out by the tart pearls.
Coffee service and the chocolate box were next to follow before meal service concluded as we crossed over Iceland.
A look at the forward lavatories. Clean, with nice accents. A lifetime supply of toiletries were also inside.
After going to the bathroom, I put the seat in bed mode and fell asleep. The seat was comfortable and private, but the foot well gets exponentially narrower as you cram your feet in there making it very restrictive for taller people.
I had a nice nap for a couple of hours before waking up in northern Canada.
The FAs made regular rounds through the cabin and being awake, they offered me drinks. I took a cup of chamomile tea as I watched a movie.
Somewhere over Canada, the FAs came out of the Y cabin and offered me a snack. Nothing like a cold ham sandwich for a snack. Not a J snack, but at least LX service in Y is decent enough to offer sandwiches mid-flight.
Instead of giving me another water bottle, the FA returned with a glass of water.
The mood lighting came back on as we crossed into Idaho.
Immigration cards were handed out.
Linens were laid, drinks were offered, and the pre-arrival meal order was taken. I opted for the quiche salad.
The second meal is also done by tray, and the tray was very sparse other than the generic condiment packages. Hot breads were offered again.
Two small pieces of quiche and half a hard boiled egg. Very frugal offerings again.
The fruit was a lot like canned fruit and didn’t seem very fresh.
When the trays were cleaned up, oshibori were offered.
Approaching the San Fernando Valley.
A hazy day in LA with the top of Palos Verdes barely visible.
We land next to the cargo operations and have a very short taxi to TBIT,
We pull in next to this AF B77W less than 2 minutes after touching down.
With Global Entry, I’m quickly through immigration. There was a 15 minute wait for bags, mine was one of the last priority bags and then I was out through customs where Ms. NGO85 was waiting to collect me.
SWISS Senator Lounge A - A
Zurich - ZRH
Los Angeles - LAX
LX J has a decent hard product with good IFE, but the catering is very average. The new cabins on the B77Ws are visually nice and the thrones are private, but not all seats are created equal and aisle seats are very exposed. The crew was average on this flight, but the real let down was the catering that was small portion sizes and overall tasteless. I’d fly LX again, but it’s not something I’d go out of my way to try, no strong advantages over LH other than the seat.
Cabin comfort: Was able to get a throne, which I found to be a good seat. Nice long side table with plenty of storage. Long reach to the windows and the foot well is small for sleeping. Good, but not fantastic.
Crew: LX crew was average on this flight. With a big and full J cabin, service was slow and not very personable. FA spoke to me twice in German despite knowing I was an English speaker.
Meal and catering: Very average catering and the portion sizes were tiny. On paper, the menu looked good, but I didn’t necessarily get all of the flavors promised. Serving Y snacks mid-flight is a bit puzzling. Very small pre-arrival meal on a 11.5-hour flight.
Entertainment: No newspapers offered. Standard seatback literature. The IFE was good with a large screen and crisp display, but the content was average, I only used the moving map.
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