Review of SWISS flight Zurich Lugano in Economy

Airline SWISS
Flight LX2914
Class Economy
Seat 16A
Aircraft Saab 2000
Flight time 00:35
Take-off 06 Jul 19, 20:50
Arrival at 06 Jul 19, 21:25
LX   #33 out of 121 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 745 reviews
KL651
By 647
Published on 15th July 2019

A quick review of an #AvGeek thing I've been meaning to do for a long time: the scenic flight from Zurich to Lugano.
This flight has been operated by OS on a Q400 until last year I believe, then the route was taken over by Adria Airways Switzerland using the Saab 2000 purchased from failing Etihad Regional.
The Saab 2000 really motivated me more, as I have childhood memories of that elegant business jet looking plane, which Crossair nicknamed Concordino back in the days .
Also, only 63 were built and the type is getting really hard to fly on and I never got to fly until that day.

This trip should have enabled me to discover the city of Lugano, which looked lovely.
Alas I had a misconnection from CDG to ZRH due to a late arrival in Paris, caused by another late arrival on the previous flight etc etc.
My original flight at 5:30pm was transformed into an 8:50pm departure, so I would arrive at night.
LX only provided a snack voucher of an unknown value, for which I was told I could only get a small sandwich and a bottle of water.
I find it untransaprent not to clearly state how much your voucher is, and it's basically the cashier that tells you what you can get….

Anyway, I took advantage of that misco to visit the great terrace, which is free when you hold a boarding pass from or to ZRH for the same day.
Weather was glorious as you can see



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After 1,5 hour watching planes, I went back to ZRH shopping center to stock on Swiss cheese and Swiss chocolate from the airport supermarket.
I then headed to security and my gate.
The airport was quieter at 7PM although, especially the part I would be boarding from, used for smaller planes and bus boarding.

I didn't know Hudson News was present in Europe.


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5 minutes before boarding, all passengers were at the gate, including a lady from my CDG flight who missed her connection as well.
We were the last flight of the day from that part of the airport.

The boarding area at the lower level doesn't have many seats so don't go there until before boarding.


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Boarding started early and was really quick, as we were only 14 passengers on that flight.
However we had to wait for the bus for 10 minutes.
I like those red buses promoting Switzerland.


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After a short ride we reached our plane. I really love how sleek it looks.
Note how the propellers are actually bigger than the fuselage.


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About to climb those steep stairs



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The huge propeller




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I was greeted in Italian although I said "Hello". I figured the FA's would be slovenian but no, they were italian or from the italian speaking part of Switzerland.
The cabin was more spacious than I expected, it felt like a CRJ900 when I expected a CRJ200 level of comfort :-D

I really like those thick leather seats, really felt premium



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Legroom wasn't oo bad either


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I wanted to be behind or in front of the wings to get clear views, so 16A was a good choice


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Welcome speech was given in Italian, (bad) German and English and we started our engines before our actual departure time.

We took off to the north and passed by the terminal E, on the way to the runway, where wide bodies were getting ready for their night flights


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Lining up


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And off we went, the noise level wasn't too bad.



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A blurry picture to show you the Swiss Army knife pattern for the passengers to see when they land or take off.


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Then we did a wide 180 turn to the south, which enabled a view or ZRH, the city of Zurich and the Zurich Lake.


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Which we saw even better a few moments later.


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Our left engine



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As on all LX shortest flights, service in Y was limited to a bottle of water and a chocolate.
The crew disappeared after that service and sat in the last row, chatting together…


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We flew over a first lake, near Luzern.



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Then, some mountains, still snow covered, we flew at around 5000 meters and you could really feel how closer you were.



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Some more lakes, I was really glued to the window, the landscapes were amazing.


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We were still flying fairly high when the landing gear was deployed, which surprised me.


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We started flying really close to the mountains, some were actually higher than our altitude



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We kept turning from one side to another and with the proximity of the ground and moutains, you could really feel the speed, I loved it !

On the below picture we were actually flying over Italy for our final approach.


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The Italy-Switzerland border is right by this rock, near the town of Ponte Tresa



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The water had a blue-green colour that the picture doesn't render


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Touch down ! Flight time was 30 minutes.


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We backtracked on the runway as there's no taxiway, the airport is really small.


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A second Saab2000 was sitting on the tarmac, Flighradar reveals S5-AFF had been there for a week and hasn't flown since.
Adria Airways is going (once again) through turbulences, I've read they don't have enough pilots to fly their Saabs and their fleet utilization is not really optimized.


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A quick "Grazie, ciao" from the crew and I was in the airport, which except for 2 custom officers was DESERTED.
When I got out, I found the temperature to be much hotter than in Zurich and the humidity surprising for Europe.
I was planning on taking a bus to Lugano, but the last one departs after my original flight arrives at 6:15pm, there's a train station in Agno but no signeage, I was tired so I opted for a taxi, but the 15 minutes drive was CHF 55, a bill which I've sent to Swiss for refund.

I didn't get to see Lugano at night, but here are a few impression from the following morning.
The town was really pretty, I was actually mad at the misconnection at the moment, as I didn't have time to explore.



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Verdict

SWISS

6.5/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew6.0
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Meal/catering5.0

Zurich - ZRH

8.2/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness9.0

Lugano - LUG

5.0/10
Efficiency8.0
Access2.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness5.0

Conclusion

A scenic flight on a rare aircraft which I highly recommend to anyone.
Service was more italian than swiss, the FA's were smiling but did their job as quickly as possible to go chat together.
The comfort is better on a Saab 2000 than a Q400 I found.
Catering is better than nothing I guess, but KL Cityhopper provides something better on such short flights.

Lugano airport was disappoiting for its access, only a few shuttle buses and no signeage to the train station (the next day I had to ask someone).

Information on the route Zurich (ZRH) Lugano (LUG)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 7 reviews of 3 airlines on the route Zurich (ZRH) → Lugano (LUG).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is SWISS with 7.8/10.

The average flight time is 0 hours and 45 minutes.

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3 Comments

  • Comment 511690 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5305 Comments

    Wow, it's been sooo long since I've flown a Saab...I forgot how cute they were! C'est vraiment l'avion de Barbie ✈

    I really like those thick leather seats, really felt premium

    Yeah, they don't make plush seats like that anymore unfortunately. Even in J they're thin now.
    And the legroom does look really generous!

    This airline sure has had a lot of changes in the past few years...from Darwin Airlines, to Etihad Regional, and now Adria Switzerland...

    Thanks for this scenic FR.

  • Comment 512235 by
    ThomasDutch GOLD 500 Comments

    Probably one of the most scenic approaches within Europe, however it's questionable whether Adria Switzerland could make it work as so many others failed to do so. Thanks for sharing it and It definitely seems like an enjoyable flight on itself.

  • Comment 515746 by
    simonjames2000 1 Comments

    I really enjoyed your flight report! I live in Lugano and have flown the SAAB numerous times :-) However I don't think SWISS will refund your taxi bill of 55 CHF, since you could have taken public transport. Plus the taxi fare is a complete rip off, I've done it for much less...

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