Review of SWISS flight Athens Zurich in Business

Airline SWISS
Flight LX 2633
Class Business
Seat 1A
Aircraft Airbus A321
Flight time 03:00
Take-off 10 Aug 14, 04:30
Arrival at 10 Aug 14, 06:30
LX   #16 out of 72 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 848 reviews
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Published on 23rd December 2014
???? ???! Grüezi! Thank you again for checking out my latest trip report. This is the fifth flight in this itinerary all taken on August 2014. A bit of a warning, this post may contain a lot of photos. ????!

For those who are joining us today and have not checked out my other reports of this trip, feel free to check among the following:


Flight 1 - UA 1585 IAH - ORD
Flight 2 - LX 2609 - ORD - ZRH
Flight 3 - TK 1908 ZRH - IST
Flight 4 - A3 995 IST - ATH
Flight 5 - LX 2633 ATH - ZRH

This stop is a continuation of my trip to VIE. First, I would do a small overnight in ATH after getting off a rather enjoyable A3 flight from IST as well as experiencing TK’s elaborate ?stanbul Lounge. On this trip report, I do not necessarily get to spend my time waiting inside an airline lounge, but I do somewhat get to experience spending the night in the airport while waiting for my connecting flight.

For passengers flying to the various Greek islands, especially on a bit of a budget, it seems like a common occurrence to find passengers sleeping throughout the landside portion of the terminal. By the time I had gotten my checked in suitcase and proceeded through Greek Customs, it was 00:45.

After exiting Customs, I had read about a possible lounge where one could charge any electronic devices as well as print out boarding passes from the internet. Just a couple of meters away, I found the e-Lounge. I lucked out finding one person using one of the computers while an open set of seats for me to set up shop while I wait for over an hour till the LX check-in counters opened for my 04:00 flight back to ZRH. That gave me enough time to charge up my iPhone and iPad.

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The e-Lounge entrance, free to the public.

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Airport Information Desk as well as Entrance 3.

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A couple of computers, a counter, and a couple of desks and desktops connected to a printer.

Rather than take a nap, I just organized my photo album and created space on my iPhone and iPad. ATH provides free WiFi for 2hrs, so I utilized the free WiFi on my iPhone before going a bit airside while waiting for my flight to board. While I was there I got to listen in to a couple of people (2 Aussies, 1 British-Greek, and 1 British) arriving from various flights and all finding out they were waiting for the early morning flight to Mykonos (JMK). Apparently the British-Greek guy has family from the area and goes back-and-forth a lot, especially in the summer time for the sun and the rich, drunk celebrities. He was giving the others a “must-see” list as well as how to dress guide. Rather interesting. Maybe one day I will visit Mykonos.

With both my iPad and iPhone fully charged, it was time to walk around and then find the LX check-in counters. First off, I walk around the Arrivals Level.

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Walking around Arrivals Level.

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????? ??????!

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A young boy brushing his teeth while watching the people sleep.

I now head up to the Departure Level.

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Departure FIDS

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My flight listed among the earliest of flights.

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Passengers waiting near the airport museum.

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TK’s counters all set up.

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A3 & OA Ticket Office

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Multi-airline self-service check-in kiosk.

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A3 check-in area.

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LH counters at the very far end of the Departure Hall. Surprised LX does not utilize the same counters as its parent.

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SkyTeam ticket counter

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BA/IB counters busy this morning for the IB flight to MAD.

I discover the LX counters and see they have commenced checking people in for the flight. I queue up on the J lane and immediately called up by Sophia. She wishes me a good morning and asks where I am heading today. I hand over my passport and confirm I am headed to VIE via ZRH. She types away at her computer and asks if I would be checking in anything today. I place my large suitcase on the belt, and then she proceeds to tag my bag all the way to VIE along with a Priority tag on it. She notices that I have a long layover in VIE so she said I could check out the Arrivals Lounge after Swiss Customs and then hop on the train to the city to stroll around. I told her that I had planned on doing that and was the reason for the lengthy layover. She looked over my boarding passes, affixed the baggage claim ticket on the back of my VIE boarding pass. As she described what she was giving back, she ended by saying “think of me while you enjoy those delicious Swiss chocolates!” I told her I would and thanked her by “E???????? ????!” and she also graciously smiled and replied “????????!”

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Checking in at Counter 38 for my LX flights to ZRH and VIE.

After I finished checking in for my flights, it was time to continue walking around the Departure Hall as all I could do now is waste time until boarding commenced.

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LO

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LO and their *A members, including CO, JJ, and US!

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VY desks open for BCN flight.

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Closed EI and FR counters

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Tired travelers loitering around the ticket counters.

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I remember checking in at Counter 03 when CO used to operate EWR-ATH.

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The check-in area has a lot of people wandering about at this early in the morning.

By the time I walked all over the Departure Hall, it was time to make my way towards the Schengen side of the airport, the B gates.

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Passport Control for the non-Schengen flights.

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The ATH Shopping Centre, with many shops still closed and all sitting areas or electrical outlets surrounded by sleeping passengers.

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My flight does not have a gate, yet.

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Gregorios. Unfortunately I was not hungry at that time in the morning, but now I wish I had stopped by to have eaten something.

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Passengers loitering around the coffee shop. I wished I had ordered a Frappe to keep me awake!

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More sleeping bodies trying not to block the walkways.

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Passengers taking up the seats sponsored by OTE.

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An hour later, my flight lists as “Gate Open”.

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Everest slowly opening up.

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Hellenic Duty Free, nothing much of interest there this morning.

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Korres, the one store I wish was opened at this early in the morning. I would have loved to have gotten something there. They used to sell some very delicious gum along with good lotions.

Since the rest of the terminal was closed and 04:00 fastly approaching, I made my way to a small security section. I utilized my LX passbook boarding pass. I also had an A3 passbook boarding pass for this flight as well. When I got to the security area, I saw they had a priority line and I was the only one in the queue, while the general security line was long. A lady did not want me to go ahead of her, which was fine, but the female security agent called me forward with a smile and let me go ahead because of my status. With a quick “E????????!”, the agent smiled and I got through security in about 5min.

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Which way should I head?

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Rather delectable advertisement from telecom company Cosmote.

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Post-security and heading towards B05.

ATH-ZRH
10 August 2014
LX 2633
A321
ETD: 04:30
ATD: 05:01
ETA: 06:30
ATA: 06:43

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Swissport agents waiting to commence boarding of this morning’s flight to ZRH.

At 04:00, the indicated boarding time Sophia went on the PA system to let everyone know that boarding will be delayed this morning due to heavy air traffic of Northern Europe. The new boarding time would be 04:25.

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LX 2633 to ZRH

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Busy gate area for this morning’s flight.

While waiting, I found an available electrical outlet to recharge my iPhone which was in neighboring Gate 06. I will say the gate areas of ATH are odd. There is not enough space for a general walkway and an area for the general boarding queue for each gate. They should have extended the gates out a couple of feet/meters to provide for both.

By 04:25, Sophia called for pre-boarding. They pre-boarded two families, basically 2 ladies with 2 kids each. From quick notice of their passports, I figured they would be returning back to the US and were in Greece to visit family. Actually, a high percentage of the passengers on todays flight would seem to transit in ZRH before continuing on to the US. After the families, they called for priority passengers, which included J, HON Members, and fellow *G members. I was among the first, scanning my iPhone on the scanner and then heading down the jetway. I was a bit bummed that I did not get to venture around Athens, so now I need to go back.

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Walking down the jetway.

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Grüezi!

As I stepped inside, I was greeted with a “Grüezi!” by Madeline, our Maître d'Cabine. I took my seat in 1A and watched the people stroll in on board. As I heard Madeline welcome people on board, I guess she and the rest of our crew are GVA-based based on communicating in French. The one thing that amazes me about those in Switzerland and even the Netherlands, the ability to speak multiple languages. I know a few, but I wish I could comfortably have conversations in French, German, Italian, Greek, and Swedish.

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LX A321 probably heading back to ZRH or GVA later in the morning.

The J cabin would be rather busy this morning at 100% capacity. The majority composed of fellow American passengers that were heading home, while I was heading to Zurich and Vienna.

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Bulkhead legroom

One of the female FAs along with a FA Stefan helped Madeline in the galley during the boarding process. The female handed out LX-packaged wet naps, while Stefan handed out water bottles and then Madeline handed out the tasty LX chocolates. No menus would be provided on this flight.

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Wet nap, LX chocolates and a bottle of water.

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View into the jetway, waiting for the last few remaining passengers.

At 05:01, the ATH Swissport had closed 1L and Madeline requested the flight attendants to arm doors for departure in French. I then noticed we started our push back from the gate We waited a couple of minutes after that before the LX in-flight safety video was shown. While that was showing, Madeline did her galley checks.

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Pushback from the gate.

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IB flight delayed, while A3 planes waiting for flights for later in the morning.

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We taxied out to 03R for our departure. We were now on our way to ZRH.

A few minutes after take off, Madeline gave her welcome in German, English, and French. Following her, Captain Bill Dierker gave his welcome in German and English. He did apologize for the delay in departure due to heavy air traffic, but should make up some of that time on our way to ZRH. He wished us a pleasant flight.

Immediately once the Captain turned off the Fasten Seat Belt sign, the FAs jumped into action and did a speedy breakfast service.

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Breakfast

I will say once we were up in the air, Madeline seemed to have ignored me on the flight and I was wide awake. She bypassed me when asked if I would like breakfast. I had to push the call button to ask her that I was ready after watching her go back and forth to hand out meals on row 3. She did not say sorry for ignoring me. She asked what I wanted. Good thing I heard the options because she gave me that look of “if you ask me what is available, then you can just forget it” look. On refills of drinks, she would forget me again. And then she did not bother to pick up my tray back up when I had finished, and it would be Stefan that would notice I still had my tray. This time I had moved it to the center armrest and he asked if I was finished and would like anything else. I told him that Madeline kept on missing me and dared not bother her before she would blow up. I do not know if she heard what I told him as she walked by. He apologized for her and I said that I did not mind or did not complain, but did say it was odd she would serve my neighbor but not serve me.

Stefan and then other female FA returned if I would like anything else other than a refill of water. I agreed to more water and that I was good for the rest of the flight. Before I knew it, we would be beginning our descent into ZRH.

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Flying over Zurich

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We landed on Runway 16 about 8minutes lates from our scheduled time of arrival and ended up docking at the B gates around 06:43. My large suitcase would be checked thru to VIE, so it was quick stop at the LX Arrivals Lounge for a quick meal and shower before heading out to the city.

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Entrance into Arrivals Lounge

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Breakfast in LX Arrivals Lounge

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Heading towards Shanghai for my shower.

Breakfast tasted nice and fresh, and certainly filled me up while I wandered around Zürich on a Sunday. What I did not realize until just a few days before I left was I would be visiting this city on a Sunday, when mostly everything would be closed. While I did not stress about the shopping being closed, I was a bit bummed that some of the Coop and Manor stores, beside the ones at the Hauptbahnhofs. I figured that I would spend the remaining Swiss Francs I had from my last visit 12yrs ago would go to duty free Lindt chocolates!

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Heading towards the Flughafen ZRH stations.

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Airport Center

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Sprügli across from the Migros inside the Airport Center.

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Waiting for the next available train to Zürich Hbf.

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Electronic flip board departure display

After getting off the train at Zürich Hbf, I found a locker to put my bags in so I can be bag free for a bit while I walk around the city. At first, the weather seemed like it might rain all day, but in the end, it turned out to be a beautiful day while I watched workers prepare the city for the Zürich 2014 European Athletics Championships. To emphasize how athletic these Swiss are, adults and kids were running up and down Lake Zürich and the Limmat River.

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My trip so far; map courtesy of gcmaps.com
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Verdict

SWISS

8.0/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment/wifi7.5
Meal/catering8.5

Athens - ATH

8.6/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.5

Zurich - ZRH

8.8/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

If I had to be picky, I would complain about Madeline’s lack of professionalism towards me. I greeted her and thank her when she first handed out water bottles to me at the very beginning. After that, I just do not know why she would ignore me when she would serve my neighbor and you could not miss me. Otherwise, Stefan and his colleagues were much nicer and wished they worked the forward cabin while she worked in Y.

Stay tuned for my upcoming flight to VIE!

Information on the route Athens (ATH) Zurich (ZRH)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 9 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Athens (ATH) → Zurich (ZRH).


Useful

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

The average flight time is 2 hours and 49 minutes.

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4 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 125079 by
    SKYTEAMCHC GOLD 9114 Comments

    Thanks for your report.
    I would have been less generous on the FA grade as this Fa Madeline has provided very bad service for a business class passenger. I understand that the rest of the crew was very professional and did it's best to compensate but she was in charge of your seat and her lack of professionalism and apologies is simply not acceptable.
    The meal looks good for this kind of flight and the seat too.
    Looking forward to the next reports

  • Comment 125125 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 5893 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this next installment in the series. How weird that the female FA kept ignoring you and was unprofessional. Was she nice to other pax or did she just not care in general. I guess Stefan was great as your grading seems generous for such a poor customer service experience. He must've made up for it. The breakfast seems ok, but definitely not as good as what I would expect from such a premium carrier like LX. I imagine Turkish has much better catering on a flight of similar length.

  • Comment 125126 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 5893 Comments

    Oh and btw, Happy Holidays!

  • Comment 125138 by
    jetsetpanda 2294 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this eye opening experience.

    No passenger should be treated with lack of respect and disdain, much less ignored in a premium cabin. You should write a letter to LX detailing your experience so that this FA is made aware of her deplorable behavior. To tell you the truth I am surprised that this happened on LX. I would have never expected this from them.

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