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It's been a long time without a SWISS report from me, right? Now is the time to change it. Welcome on board LX327 from Heathrow T2 to Zurich, in A333 Economy. The report features also Plaza Premium lounge at T2 Heathrow.
"SWISS Made of Switzerland", my favourite advertising campaign from SWISS so far.
Photo credits: https://houseofswitzerland.org/it/node/742
Flight number LX327
Route Heathrow T2 - Zurich
Flight date 08.09.2021 (1920-2200)
Scheduled flight time 1:40
Aircraft model Airbus A330-300
Aircraft registration HB-JHF
Seating configuration F8C45Y183
Aircraft age (at the time of flight) 11.5 years
Seat number 29A
Welcome to Heathrow T2, where I arrived from Bristol, around 2.5 hours before my departure. Terminal 2 is nice and modern, although I slightly prefer the layout of Terminal 5.
Inside, the terminal wasn't too busy. The check-in agent was extremely friendly and helpful, checked in both my big bag and the carry-on luggage, all the way to Warsaw (connecting flight from Zurich was the following morning) and also had a little chat with me :)
What?! Heathrow T2 still so empty? Well, now in June 2022, when I'm writing this - it is not anymore. It's once again super busy with queues everywhere.
On this occasion, I pre-booked a visit to Plaza Premium lounge for 20 GBP (student price). Unfortunately, Priority Pass doesn't give you entry to any of the LHR T2 lounges. The agent at the entrance was very friendly and the procedure was smooth - he also assuringly said that the lounge is very empty this evening.
Here's the entrance. The lounge, overall is very nice and modern with warm and welcoming interior design. The only drawback, which is pointed out by many travellers is the lack of sunlight (no windows)… or actually lack of any light - the lounge is very dark inside, especially the main part.
Here's the main sitting part with lots of comfy armchairs and carpets which create a warm atmosphere.
These are the "working" tables.
And the dining part with a buffet behind it. Due to ongoing COVID restrictions, back then, the food was served by a chef, on demand.
I opted for a hummus for starter, a chicken in soy sauce for main, some orange juice and white wine (included in entry price). Everything was quite tasty, though the staff not very kind or professional (apart from the man at the front desk).
A dinner wouldn't be finished, of course, without something sweet and a cup of tea - everyone who knows me, knows it :)
After dessert, I moved to the little sofa section behind a partition which gives a lot of privacy, e.g. if you have to do some calls or simply relax in peace and quiet.
To summarise my stay in Plaza Premium at T2, I highly recommend this lounge and would love to visit it again soon, should I have an opportunity. However, it was already time to proceed to gate for boarding.
Our magnificent madame A330-300 was already there…
…as was her daughter, the A220-300 (HB-JCB, I flew it on 20.03.2022) and a very handsome 737 MAX 8 from Blue Air.
I was hoping, since it's a wide body, that the boarding would be at B gates, so that I will have, for once, an opportunity to board from there, but instead we boarded at gate A18. I was the last passenger to board the flight.
First impression - really hot. The cabin was boiling and unfortunately on this A333 there are no individual air vents in Economy class.
At the doors, I politely asked the Maitre de cabine, whether I could possibly spend some time of the flight in the Business class, as it wasn't totally full. She said that she can't do it, which is fully understandable, but I'll be able to try it (and SWISS First) out after we've landed in ZRH.
As we boarded, I passed through that business cabin. It looks elegant, though isn't the freshest. Cabins os SWISS' A340s and 777s are much newer and these in A330s need refurbishment already (this applies to Economy as well).
I took my seat, 29A, with unlimited legroom and in front of a jump seat - occupied by a friendly elder flight attendant. Still before takeoff, he brought me some "gadgets" which are normally given to business class passengers, since they couldn't reseat me into that cabin. It was a very nice gesture.
Soon we started pushback from our gate, more or less on time.
It wasn't very busy at Heathrow at that time, so after a few-minute taxi, we could take off for Zurich. A very picturesque departure indeed.
Soon after takeoff, I took a look at the IFE. Yes - the screens are quite small, and not very responsive - which would be a big disadvantage on a long haul flight. Nevertheless, IFE on such a short flight was still a big perk! The choice of films isn't the widest, though I believe, everyone would find something interesting. In the exit row seats, the screen is positioned quite uncomfortably - so that you have to lower your head to see the screen.
Not too long after, the paid service SWISS Saveurs was conducted - the menu changed slightly since the last time I had flown with them - indeed it is updated every couple of months. This time I opted for a salted caramel cookie (tasty) and a gruyere and pear sandwich (which would be really nice if only the bread was a bit fresher and softer).
After the meal, I checked out the lavatory. I thought there would be one at the back on the cabin. But turns out, on this A333, there are only 4 Economy toilets - between the two Economy cabins. Not too much, if the airplane is full en route to JFK for example. It was tidy and of decent size, nothing to complain about.
Using this opportunity, I took some more pictures of the cabin on this short flight. Below is the small Economy section at the front and it's usually chargeable (quite a high fee) to select a seat here. Although it's nicer due to its small size, it's usually more busy than the back cabin, so probably - I wouldn't recommend it.
And here's the rear Economy cabin. Yes… it's big indeed - but on this flight didn't feel too overwhelming.
I tried out one of the "normal" seats just to check out the legroom, should I choose to fly SWISS to the US one day. It was alright, maybe slightly tight. Unfortunately, since the seats are very old, some of them are in a very poor condition and, e.g. don't stay upright.
And of course the IFE boxes under every B, D, G, J seat are annoying. Although, I saw bigger and more annoying IFE boxes in my life.
Contrary to many SWISS reports out there - I do like the brown colour of the seats and checked pattern. However, it only looks well with the wite headrest covers, which, I believe, are always present on long haul flights but weren't put on for this short flight from LHR.
As we started our descent into Zurich-Kloten, the SWISS chocolates were handed out. It must be the first time since a very long time that I only took one haha. I was planning to steal a few more the following morning.
During descent and landing, I kept chatting with the flight attendant in the seat in front of me - he was quite friendly in fact. Landing into Zurich was very smooth that evening and on time. During disembarkation, I let all passengers out and stayed in the empty cabin to take some pictures.
Here is my seat once again - 29A. Despite the unlimited legroom, I would not recommend it for a long haul. It is very narrow due to fixed armrests and due to the curvature of the fuselage, I had to sit tilted, as I'm quite tall.
And here is the whole cabin. It really does look sad without the white headrest covers…
During disembarkation, I was also allowed to spend a few minutes in the First class cabin. It was fresh, spacious and looked really cosy. Something to aim for in the future!
There was also another chatty steward in the cabin, who took me some pictures and had a little conversation with me - which was nice :) He told me to tag him in the picture haha but didn't give me his instagram address.
A fuselage shot as we disembarked.
And Zurich Airport - gates E. As we landed quite late, the terminal was already stranded.
I hope you enjoyed this short hop on a wide body. I hope to be posting reports a bit more regularly now as I am less busy. Next one - Turkish Airlines A333 WAW-IST in Economy.
See you soon
As much as I love SWISS, this A333, unfortunately needs refurbishment already. It was more than great for a short flight from Heathrow to Zurich, but I wouldn't make it my first choice on a TATL flight. Anyway, the crew was great as always and I can't complain about anything else (bearing in mind that I already accepted the buy on board concept...). Zurich Airport experience was great as always, nothing to complain about there.