Back in July 2002, I had the pleasure of taking a trip on Swiss F. We all remember the best flight that we took and this one was without a doubt the best one that I have ever experienced in my life. Actually, the return from ZRH to MIA was equally great so I should say that this round trip was the best that I have had.
To be honest this was not the first time that I flew F, but it set the standard by which I measure all other experiences in the front cabin. This was even more remarkable considering that in Oct. 2001, Swissair ceased operations and all flights were cancelled. The airline resumed service shortly and SR was kept alive by the Swiss government until Mar. 31, 2002. On Apr. 1, 2002, ownership was transferred to Crossair and Swissair was renamed Swiss Intl Air Lines(LX). All assets including former employees were absorbed by the new carrier. I flew them about 3 months after their inception and was glad that some vestiges of the old Swissair remained with the new LX. Meals were excellent and continued to be of the same high standard as the former carrier. I asked a FA if the meals were still organic and she confirmed that.
I decided to do this trip via MIA in order to take advantage of a stopover and visit my parents. I spent my later high school and college years in MIA and enjoyed any excuse to return. MIA airport has a special place in my heart because my first job after graduating from university was at American Airlines working as gate and international arrivals agent for 2 years. It was a great experience to see how American transformed itself from a domestic operation there to the giant that it is today when it first took over the Latin American routes of former Eastern Airlines. You can say that I was there when AA experienced its growing pains.
I started my trip when my parents dropped me off at the airport. At that time there was a partnership between AA and LX and I checked in by the AA counter. I was greeted efficiently and boarding passes were issued. I also received an invitation to enter the Club America which was the only contract lounge used for all intl. carriers at the time. I remember trying my luck to enter the AA F lounge by Terminal E due to their close partnership with LX but to no avail. At least the AA lounge agent invited me to sit down while she checked with a supervisor about the access policy and did not turn me away immediately.
I resigned myself to go to the Club America and did not stay there for long. The lounge was crowded with passengers from other carriers and there were dirty dishes and glasses everywhere. There were very few snacks available at the counter. I proceeded to the gate area and waited there for the boarding of the flight.
When I boarded I remember being greeted warmly by the FA and being directed to the left side toward the F cabin. First impressions were very positive. The cabin looked spacious and the seats looked extremely private and comfortable.
I sat down and the FA offered me some tidbits and drinks while on the ground.
After take off a red generic looking amenity kit was offered along with the menus. The design was minimalist and contained the usual items. Then the FA passed around with a tray of La Prairie travel size creams and lotions. She also took the time to make some small conversation and ask about my plans at the destination. The La Prairie cosmetics were also stocked in the WC's.
Drinks were offered and a trolley service with a selection of appetizers was rolled out. The FA introduced each dish to the passenger and asked for your preference. You could have as little or as much of anything you wanted.
Lobster filled with celeriac salad and lobster terrine accompanied with warm breads.
Drinks were refilled automatically and service was very proactive. Bread basket was passed around several times during the service.
Beef fillet with herb crust accompanied by Anna potatoes and ratatouille. Notice the ugly plastic knives on the left side of the plate. Remember that this flight was taken after the recent 9/11 attack and there were some asinine rules in place.
Then the cheese and fruit cart made an appearance. There was a selection of tropical fruits like mango, pineapple and kiwi to accompany the cheese course.
This was followed by a chocolate praline and Sauvignon mousse dessert and chocolates. I was surprised that the dessert was limited to only one item. The FA saw me taking pictures and she offered me the entire box of chocolates with a smile.
After the meal I decided to read a book and nap a little. A bottle of water was placed by my side and the FA patrolled the cabin constantly in case you needed anything. I don't recall the entertainment program since I tend to read rather than watch movies when I travel.
At about 1.5 hours before arrival the breakfast service commenced and once again everything was brought in a trolley and placed next to you in order to make a selection.
A selection of yogurt, warm breads and Viennoiseries, followed by fresh fruit appetizer and cereal (not mentioned on the printed menu).
The FA offered me some cold cuts but I declined. Pretty soon the cabin was getting ready for landing and we had a smooth approach. Upon disembarking, the FA shook my hand and wished me a great stay.
Independent Club America Lounge
Miami - MIA
Zurich - ZRH
You never forget the best flight that you had and Swiss met and exceeded my expectations. The crew were just exemplary in their professionalism, friendliness and efficiency. Catering was fantastic and meals were delicious. The F seat was amazingly comfortable and felt private. I loved the ottoman in front of the seat which made for great lounging.
Before its shut down in 2001, Swissair had a golden reputation among savvy travelers and its quality was truly noticeable in all cabins. The introduction of organic meals in all classes along with small touches like amenity kits in Y set it apart from the competition. As a matter of fact, Swissair even dethroned SQ one time in a survey as the best airline in the world. I'm glad that I was able to experience some vestige trace of the famous Swiss inflight service when I took my flight.
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