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I have been waiting for so long to post this report but I decided to keep it calm ;) Now finally, I can share with you the review of the flight with my favourite European airline on my favourite narrow body jet. SWISS CS100 - those two words mean perfection to me. I will however try not to be biased, I promise. But please don't be angry if I share my excitement with you!
Now, to some background. The flight, you're going to read about is just one of the 4 flights I took with SWISS back in 2017, when I flew to Venice in Winter to do some skiing in Italian Alps. I picked this particular one, as I had more pictures from this one, than from the other legs ;) I booked those flights a few months earlier for a relatively cheap price. As far as I remember, there were also no direct flights to Venice back then from Warsaw… And I heard lots of good things about both SWISS and their new Bombardier. I also saw the jet in the Airliner magazine. The choice was therefore easy! And needless to say, I was waiting for those flights by SWISS with patience, yet very eagerly. And finally February has arrived.
Here, I will only mention a few words about SWISS website, as this is where I made the booking. It's legible, clear and intuitive. Works fast and provides you with all essential information. Thumbs up for that!
Before the flight I read an article about new CS100 from SWISS in Airliner World, it seemed stunning already there. Then I also watched myself some trip reports of this model. As Warsaw was one of the very first destinations to be served by CSeries, only a few of those reports were available at that time. All that fed my fancying, flying CS100.
Flight number: LX1661
Route: Venice Marco Polo (VCE) - Zurich Kloten (ZRH)
Flight date: 18th February 2018 (0955 - 1110)
Scheduled flight time: 1:15
Aircraft model: Bombardier CS100 (now Airbus A220-100)
Aircraft registration: HB-JBB
Seating configuration: CY125
Aircraft age (at the time of flight): 1.5 years
Seat number: 4F (I swapped, hence difference from that on the boarding pass)
I'll begin my trip report with a few photos (only, I promise) from my skiing trip in Italian Alps. We stayed in Moena, a picturesque little town, near Predazzo and I can assure you that you won't regret it if you pick Moena for a place to stay over the winter holidays. Plenty of small, yet beautiful streets, good restaurants, lovely shops, proximity to some large ski areas and simply the beauty of the city all make for the fact that it's a perfect place to stay in the winter.
So this is Moena, covered with snow. I hope you feel incentivised enough :)
Now, when staying in Moena, you have a few places you can ski in - all within 30 mins drive from the town. Those ski areas include: Alps Lusia, San Pellegrino, Predazzo & Cavalese (and perhaps a few more) but I always pick one of those. All of them have a variety of slopes of different difficulties and definitely enough ski lifts and restaurants to accommodate the throngs of people that choose Italy for their Winter destination.
Once the holidays were over, it was time to head back to Venice and catch our flight to Zurich and then to Warsaw. As the flight was departing quite early, at 10am, we set off from Moena a few minutes before 5am to make sure we're not late. Fortunately, we arrived at the airport on time. Having left our rented car we proceeded towards the terminal which was very busy… as always. There was also quite long a queue to SWISS (or rather Lufthansa Group) check in so we had to wait some 20 mins to check in our heavy bags (heavy as they had ski boots in them!), yet we adhered to the 23kgs limit :)
After check in and security it was time to finally eat some breakfast - Italian sandwiches and focaccia, some juice and coffee. All tasty, yet quite pricy. We also visited the shops at VCE, there are a few, however the airport was all extremely busy so this didn't create a friendly atmosphere to buy anything. Soon, the boarding for our SWISS flight was called, so we made for the gate. Bus boarding this morning…
Our route from the gate, by bus to the remote stand, taxi to the runway edge, and take off from runway 04R.
This is our HB-JBB at the remote stand in Venice or Venezia in Italian or Wenecja in Polish.
Once I stepped on board, I could immediately feel an extremely friendly atmosphere created by a lovely crew (spoiler: they kept their genuine smiles throughout the flight). They were all young but seemed really professional and loving their job. They greeted us with smiles at the entrance, and once the boarding was completed, they started the take off preparations so that we could depart as soon as we can. Lots of passengers had connecting flights later on. I had a 55 mins connection to Warsaw, so not too long one as well.
At this point, I'd also like to make a few remarks on the cabin of the CS100 from SWISS. At a glance, it is absolutely stunning but when you start to pay attention to details… it gets even better. Exquisitely designed, comfortable. Simply the best. It might be obvious but I'll still point it out - the cabin was also impeccably clean, from the bottom to the top.
- Huge windows let lots of sunlight into the cabin, so it feels bright, airy and spacious
- The seats designed by ZIM are not only comfortable (wide and with ample legroom in the front rows) but also beautiful - brown leather, beige antimacassars and chrome details throughout - make my eyes happy
- Big overhead compartments so that putting your luggage is not an issue
- Relatively high ceiling for a regional jet
- A 2-3 configuration - perfect for couples and for families
And I could perhaps find a good few more advantages of this CS100 jet. ?
They even paid attention to details like that one - SWISS logo embossed into the beige antimacassars. By the way, the headrests, even though not adjustable, are very comfortable and soft.
And a little blurred view towards the front. Nice SWISS logo at the front bulkhead and you can also see the cute small overhead monitors which display the safety demo, flight map and some ads.
This morning we had an on-time departure. The PW engines are very silent, however they make strange howling sound at some throttle setting, hard to describe - but if you fly this aircraft you'll definitely find out what I mean.
Soon after northern departure from VCE and left turn towards Zurich, it was time to commence the onboard service. This morning the crew offered us complimentary drinks from the bar and tasty SWISS chocolate (which is always what the passengers are waiting for on a SWISS flight…). Although this doesn't seem too much, it is sufficient for this short flight of approx. 50 mins in my opinion. And the things served were also of Swiss quality ;)
Remarkable SWISS chocolate.
Inflight: with a view over the huge PW engine of CS100.
And another photo of the front section of the cabin. The interior, overall, looks so warm to me. Especially thanks to the brightness, white, brown, beige and silver colours. Even the front curtain looks "warm". Notice there was no cabin divider for business class on SWISS CS100/300 at that time (only a small paper informing: "business class ahead" or something like that). There are curtains now (see my future report of SWISS).
In the overhead panels, you'll find: individual air nozzles, reading lights, "call the crew" button and aforementioned screens.
As the C Series Bombardier is designed to be a regional jet, there is not too much entertainment available. However still, you can take advantage of those lovely overhead monitors, take a look into an extensive SWISS inflight magazine or simply enjoy the beauty of the aircaft's interior, which is what I did :D No WiFi however is installed on these jets. But even when SWISS has WiFi on some of their long haul airplanes, it's insanely expensive, I heard, so no regrets here.
After about 30 mins of flying, we already started our descent into Zurich Kloten and the cabin started being prepared for landing. No scenic approach this morning unfortunately due to low clouds level in Zurich, but I hope you'll be able to spot the Swiss Alps on my photo below.
Taking a slight left turn on descent.
A few minutes before landing, the crew started informing us about the connecting flights and there were quite a few… It is, I have to say, a good practice from Lufthansa Group that they provide information about arrival gate and connecting flights departure gates. Not all European airlines do that. Very helpful if someone has a tight connection. Anyway, the most funny thing that turned out, is that my next flight to Warsaw will be operated by exactly the same airplane (and crew). Lovely!
We landed in Zurich on time and docked into a jetty gate in concourse A. Unfortunately, even though I'll continue my journey on the same jet, I had to leave it for the connection time ??. I'd love to stay there a few more minutes to enjoy the perfectness of this CS100. So, we left the airplane, took a quick walk around ZRH and soon boarded the HB-JBB again. I was greeted by the crew even warmer this time, they recognised me from the previous flight :) and even offered me some more SWISS chocolates! Amazing.
At Zurich, we parked next to a Helvetic's Embraer 190.
With that, I'd like to finish my report of this fabulous morning flight with SWISS. Thanks for coming by and I hope you enjoyed reading.
PS. Later this week I will post a report from my recent trip to Kraków on LOT Polish Airlines (post-COVID).
To shortly conclude this flight, I had an amazing experience with SWISS that morning - quiet, comfortable and beautifully designed CS100, helpful and professional crew, on time arrival, nice chocolate, clearly designed website - all deserves praise.
Venice airport could be better. It's stuffed and busy, not really accessible and clean - needs expansion in my opinion.
Zurich Airport was great, however we didn't have much time to spare there.