Review of SWISS flight Zurich Hong Kong in Economy

Airline SWISS
Flight LX138
Class Economy
Seat 41A
Aircraft Boeing 777-300ER
Flight time 11:50
Take-off 03 Jun 21, 12:25
Arrival at 04 Jun 21, 06:15
LX   #17 out of 67 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 799 reviews
By 1489
Published on 26th June 2021

Hello everyone! Welcome to the second part of the trip to Hong Kong. This report will cover the leg from Zurich to Hong Kong. I have written two reports for this LX138 flight before, however this time the flight was departed at noon, while in the past it was departed in mid-night. 

After arriving from Munich, we checked from the FIDS that our flight to Hong Kong would be departed from gate D38. It took just a short while until we arrived terminal B where gate B and gate D are located. We passed the security without any problem. 

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As the boarding time approached at 11:25pm, a few counters were set up next to the gate, where the ground staff started checking all the immigration document for all the passengers. Swiss is pretty strictly in terms of the document checking for the entry into Hong Kong. During the covidtime, only HK resident is allowed to enter, a negative result of the covid19 PCR test which was carried out by ISO15189 accredited laboratory and a 21 days quarantine hotel reservation (can be shortened to 14 days if vaccinated as of 3rd June 2021) . I read a lot of cases in the internet which people were denied boarding here due to the insufficient information, mostly due to the lack of ISO15189 English certification from the lab which carried out the covid19 testing.

It took about 20 minutes before we cleared everything for boarding at 12:00pm. Here was my ride to Hong Kong, HB-JNF, the Boeing 777-300ER was delivered to Swiss International Airlines in July 2016.  

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Walking down the jetway

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Here was my seat 41A. I have already talked about the seat in previous report, so I am not going into details here.

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Upon boarding, disinfection wipes and health declaration for Hong Kong immigration was distributed.

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View out of my window

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The flight was literally empty.

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Welcome screen from the PTV.

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Headphone was distributed. At 12:37pm, announcement from cockpit that the document checking was still on-going, there were missing passengers whose luggage had to be unloaded. Also, more fuel was ordered so that we could increase the cruising speed to catch up the delay.

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At 12:44pm boarding was completed.
At 13:13pm, It appeared that there were some problems with the immigration paper. I decided to watch the first movie while waiting, Honest Thief.

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At 13:40pm further announcement from the cockpit that we were good to go and flight time to be 11 hours and 10 minutes. Pushback was then started 3 minutes afterwards.

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After a very short taxi, we took off from RWY34 at 13:50pm

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Shortly after takeoff, we immediately turned eastward.

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Soon we were passing through south of Bodensee again.

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Lindau island in sight.

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As we were flying away from Bodensee and entered Austria, this meant that we were about to enjoy the scenic view of the Central Eastern Alps.

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About 15 minutes after takeoff, I received some snacks and I opted for an apple juice. A bottle of water was also provided.

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Then we continued to enjoy the stunning view.

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Passing through Graz Airport.

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soon we were flying over lake Balation in Hungary. It is the largest lake in central Europe.

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At 14:50pm, lunch was served and I took the chicken option with white wine as complementary drink. Catering from Swiss International Airlines is always appetizing and I finished everything on the tray.

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As always, a cup of coffee after the meal.

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At this moment, we were flying over Romania.

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After the lunch, I visited the lavatory in the front.

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As you can see from the picture, how empty the flight was.

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In the rear economy section, there were only 5 passengers including me.

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Returning to my seat, I started watching my second movie.

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Entering Black sea.

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Reaching Georgia land.

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At the far end we could spot the Western Caucasus.

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South of Tbilisi.

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Not long after that we passed through Caspian Sea and reach Turkmenistan. 

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Watching sunset through the window.

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Getting dark gradually, and we were now in Asia.

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The cabin with blue LED mood lighting.

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After I finished the second movie, I visited the lavatory at the back. Coming back to my seat, I started watching the third movie which I have already seen a few times, Up in the Air played by George Clooney. 

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About 20 minutes later, I visited the snack bar. Not too much to choose from, bananas, water, pastry and instant soup were available.

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An hour later, the friendly crew came and asked if I would like to have ice-cream. I said yes and got vanilla taste Mövenpick.

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After the ice-cream, I went to the back gallery and asked for a cup of tea. I had a chat with the nice crew, and he told me there were around 12 passengers. But I did the count by myself, there should be 15 passengers in economy class.

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Looking out of the window, I saw the Pakistan city Faisalabad shining in the dark.

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Very soon, we passed through Lahore.

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After I finished the movie, I visited another toilet in the front. Then I watched another TV series, The Flash.

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For a moment I saw another city in the dark, and identified it from the flightmap that it was Lucknow in north India.

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While I was watching the tv show, another female crew came by and gave me a ham sandwich.

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After that I tried to take a nap, but could not sleep at all. As we were approaching the border of Burma, there were some serious lightning outside. Then I tried to watch another movie, Arctic.

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Halfway through the movie, I took a nap for around 30 minutes. As I woke up at 23:23pm, we had already entered China, somewhere near Kunming.

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The cabin was already illuminated by the orange LED mood lighting.

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10 minutes later, breakfast was served. Scrambled eggs with hash browns, which was also tasty. I had another cup of coffee.

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At 0:10am. I finished the movie, which was not very interesting for me. We have just commenced our descend into Hong Kong international airport. The crew came to me and offered me lots of SWISS chocolate, for my quarantine…

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Getting through the thick cloud.

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We entered Hong Kong airspace from the west. Flying to the east side of Hong Kong and made a 180° to lineup on the runway.

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Tsing Ma bridge below.

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Shortly before touchdown.

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After 10 hours and 58 minutes, we landed on RWY25R at local time 6:48am, despite more an hour delay in Zürich.

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Thanks for reading!

See more



Cabin crew9.0

Zurich - ZRH


Hong Kong - HKG



This is the third time I flew the route. During the special corona time, travelling is really tough, and I have never imagine flying with such an empty flight. This is a really an exotic experience for me.

Information on the route Zurich (ZRH) Hong Kong (HKG)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 17 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Zurich (ZRH) → Hong Kong (HKG).


The airline with the best average rating is Cathay Pacific with 8.4/10.

The average flight time is 11 hours and 37 minutes.

  More information


If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 575235 by
    wop SILVER 342 Comments

    Thanks for this interesting report.
    You are quite unlikely to starve during the flight, with so many food services! How did it feel to be in an almost empty 777? It looks a bit surreal.
    You have almost enough chocolates to make a "quarantine advent calendar"!

  • Comment 575236 by
    ISTFlyer GOLD 365 Comments

    Thank you NGD16 for sharing this report,

    With only limited amount of people ( HK citizens & residents ) being allowed to travel to Hong Kong + with the 14/21 day hotel quarantine, it was obvious that you would have an empty flight but it's really nice to hear that the service and the crew was great.

    Compared to Lufthansa that has cost-cutted and adjusted their service to COVID by removing the mid-flight snack service, and tea&coffee service after the meal, it's nice to see that Swiss is still offering a close level of service compared to pre-COVID. They also haven't went to an all vegetarian menu on their long haul Y product.

    I'm glad that you enjoyed your exotic experience with Swiss.
    Thanks one more time for sharing and hope to see you in the return leg.

    • Comment 575265 by
      NGD16 AUTHOR 53 Comments

      Hello ISTFlyer, thank you for your comment. That is true, long quarantine is really hard to cope with and nobody wants to do that for sure. However on the other hand, this is giving me once-in-a-lifetime experience. I hope next year the world will get back to normal without too much travel restriction.

  • Comment 575260 by
    The_Muslim_Passenger 7 Comments

    Great trip report, I appreciate how you covered all the key aspects of the trip. The night time shots of LYP and LHE were gorgeous! However, I am not sure if you implied if LHE is the capital city of Pakistan. While LHE is the capital city of Punjab province, ISB is the capital city of Pakistan.

  • Comment 575263 by
    757Fan 610 Comments

    Looks like a great flight east with SWISS. The food looks very good for Economy, and awesome that you got such an empty flight!

    • Comment 576155 by
      NGD16 AUTHOR 53 Comments

      Hello 757Fan, thanks for your comment. That's one of my most enjoyable flight for me. Though I wish the aviation industry could recover very soon, so that every one can go anywhere without much restriction.

  • Comment 575303 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5589 Comments

    Great report! Definitely exotic to see a report to HKG in these times with the strict entry conditions in place in HK, where even vaccinated pax have a long hotel quarantine (though shorter than non-vaxxed). That being said, I'm sure most long-haul flights in and out of HK are super empty like yours--except maybe LHR flights.

    The catering looks really good--it's nice to see no obvious cost-cutting where most carriers have used the pandemic as a pretext to lower service levels. And they definitely didn't skimp on the quantities either with 3 meal services and snacks/ice cream!

    The night aerial shots are beautiful!

    Thanks for sharing this very unique experience!

    • Comment 576156 by
      NGD16 AUTHOR 53 Comments

      Hello KévinDC, thanks for your comment. It was pretty sad to see the number of long haul flights in Hong Kong this year (Ya, except all the LHR flights!) I can foresee the enforcement of a short hotel quarantine would last at least to the end of the year (or even next year) as the government is still insisting on achieving its zero local case target. I really hope SWISS can keep their catering standard as long as possible, and as we can see even Lufthansa had removed the hot breakfast to cold vegetarian meal shortly before covid19...

  • Comment 577757 by
    Matthevv GOLD 142 Comments

    Thanks for this wonderful report, NGD16. You can't go wrong with SWISS, especially on such an empty flight. I hope your quarantine wasn't too daunting. From what I know, British Airways crew are (were) doing LHR-HKG-LHR as a there-and-back flight with no layover. I am curious if it's the same for SWISS crews, as these must be outrageously tiring duties.


    • Comment 577778 by
      NGD16 AUTHOR 53 Comments

      Hello Matthevv, thanks for your comment. I have just looked at the Hong Kong government Covid19 website. There is a statement: "In general, air crew who are not going to enter Hong Kong’s local community after arrival will be required to undergo self-isolation at an airport hotel room until next duty flight. " Perhaps the crew are staying in the hotel room until their next flight?

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