This report would finally get me to VIE. Just to go back, I had left IST on a late night A3 flight to ATH where I would actually have a quasi-experience spending the night at an airport, despite it being a 4hr layover. Later on the morning of the 10th, I head to ZRH with enough time to go around the city on a Sunday.
Here are some pics of my short layover in Zürich.
At the end of one of the Tram 4.
Arrival of a newer tram vehicle.
Sprüngli Hot Chocolate. I should have tried the Wiener Eiskaffe.
While the Sprüngli store was closed, I got to visit the café and enjoy what ended up being a beautiful day in Zürich. I wanted to have stayed longer, but I wanted to check out the LX lounge, especially the long bar. I make my way back to Zürich Hbf and wish I was hoping on a train somewhere in Switzerland, just like the last time I visited the country.
Display board at Zürich Hbf
If I remember I hopped onto the train heading to St. Gallen with a stop at Flughafen Zürich. When I got off, I took the travelator up where it would drop me off at Check-in 3.
Heading towards the Check-in 3.
LX and partner airline check-in available at station level.
Self-service kiosks available in Check-in 3.
Instead of check-in for my flight at Check-in 3, I wanted to have checked in at Check-in 1 at the special J counters and check out the tiny F/HON check-in area.
Electronic FIDS at Check-in 1.
J-Check in as well as Baggage Drop Off
Sorry for darkness. The F check-in area, which looked a bit underwhelming.
I checked out this area on my way to IST. I wanted to get something from the Swiss Shop, actually a couple of things, but I knew I had to limit myself. Those Rimowa suitcases are very tempting to go with the couple of Rimowa amenity kits I’ve got.
A family photobombs my Swiss Shop pic.
After getting a few things from the Swiss Shop, I decided to head airside so I could do some necessary duty free shopping and then relax at the LX Business Lounge before my flight. I guess it is nice that the TSA or whomever in the US puts someone on payroll to do boarding pass checks before queuing up for the boarding pass and document check. Like FRA, VIE, and a couple of other European passports, they utilize an automated boarding pass check just like a self-boarding gate.
Boarding pass control where you scan your boarding pass that will lead you to security.
I used the priority lane which led me to the priority security lane, which also fed Y passengers because at that time there was a lull in traffic. It took about 5min to get through security as the lanes were rarely busy. I make my way through and end up on the chocolate side of the airport.
Where should I go?
Still debating where to go.
My flight to VIE is listed, LX 1582
AB, PC, BA, and LX plane at Concourse B/D.
A rather empty Concourse A.
“Iconic” Flughafen Zürich sign
Trying to control myself from not buying too much chocolates and Luxembourgli, I decided it was time to head to the LX Business Lounge located near Concourse A. I walk in and am welcomed by one of the Lounge Attendants. She scans my Passbook boarding pass and welcome me inside. She also lets me know that they do not make any announcements in the lounge and to check the monitors. I thank her and start my journey around the lounge.
Lower level of LX lounge, next to the Ricola candies.
Quiet lounge area near the main drink and food station.
Breads and sweets on offer.
“Cool” drinks with some ice available.
I checked out what was on offered in terms of food because I had done a lot of walking after enjoying the Sterner’s Grill wurst. There was a small selection that I could nibble on while I enjoyed some Rivella. But first, I had to find the long bar, which had now become a smoker’s bar. I do not know why I was on a mission to check this bar out, like I was on the mission to find check out the little hot dog stand at the NZ lounge in SYD.
The entrance to the infamous LX bar, now a smoker’s bar.
Inside the quiet smoker’s bar.
Because of the empty nature of the lounge at this hour, the bar was equally as empty. A bartender saw me walk in and asked if I would like anything to drink. I declined this time as I was just checking out the bar.
FIDS inside the bar.
Seating area coming from the Long Bar
I found an empty area for me to plop myself down and charge up my electronic devices as well as get a bit of nibble and a non-alcoholic libation or three.
Two additions I picked up from the Swiss Shop along with a Zigg water bottle with an LX A330 on it.
The calm before the storm.
After taking a bit of nibble and sips, I decided it was time to walk around this lounge and checkout the layout.
My flight is now listed.
Interesting LX A330 model airplane display.
I thought I had taken a couple of pics of the lower level of the lounge, but they may have been accidentally erased as I was cleaning up my memory.
After walking around a bit in the lounge, I decided to rest up a bit after a long day so far. When I had initially gotten to the lounge, it was empty and quiet. After an hour of relaxing and sort of snoring by accident, the lounge filled up with either families starting off their European holidays or business travelers getting to their business destinations that evening so they could be rested with meeting clients the next day.
By 14:45, I decided to head towards the gate area because I was antsy to get to VIE already. I packed up everything and made my way out, thanking the lounge agents with a “Merci, Danke schön”. One replied back “Bon voyage!” It was a rather short walk to Concourse A, however, I did not know it would actually be a maze to get to my gate.
I will say that I did not expect ZRH to have an odd pathway to gates at the end of the concourse. I would be departing from A84, and then I see a travelator go down one level down. In the center of this lower level are travelators to quicken the movement of passengers from one end of the concourse to the other. On the sides are arriving Schengen passengers; what I do not remember is if you are transferring at ZRH and there was a shortcut to go airside.
Hop on y’all!
The Azzurri, Italian track-and-field delegation arriving at ZRH for the upcoming European Athletics Championships
“There was a time when flying was a privilege. The good things never change in Switzerland.”
Still on the travelator.
4U getting ready for flight back to Germany.
LX Jumbolino and a HG A320 through the window
Hopping onto one more travelator to my gate at the end.
The travelator sloping upwards
Get ready … and … JUMP!
Once I get off the travelator, my gate was nearby. My fellow passengers mulled around clogging the walkway. I have a thing of boarding early so I can watch the people board. What I should have done was actually walked the actual length of the concourse rather than venture down via the travelators so I could have seen the actual layout of the gates in the concourse. Also, rather than wait to be among the first to board, I should have walked around the ender of the concourse to get a full idea of the area.
WK and a couple of LX Jumbolinos, including one in *A livery.
Flight says “Zum Gate” and is showing a 5min delay.
As I stand by the gate, I notice the late boarding notice to boarding. I believe the delay in boarding is due to the rather light load for today’s flight. The area had good window views for me to take pictures of HB-ION, aka “Lugano”.
HB-ION, aka “Lugano” will be taking me to VIE today.
After checking out the views, our young gate agents appeared from the closed doors of the jetway. He mentioned the brief delay in German, English, and French, again, due to airspace traffic but with an ontime arrival into VIE.
Gate A84 showing “Verspätet”.
A few minutes after the agent’s message, the gate status changed from Verspätet to Einsteigezeit, yet with the self-boarding gate still showing closed. His colleague approached a nearby family traveling with children in prams, and invited them to board while they affixed tags for their prams to be checked to VIE. She opened the doors to the jetway for them and then kept them open to start the boarding process.
Gate A84 showing “Einsteigezeit”.
Minutes after the status change, the agent invited those for premium passengers wishing to pre-board, and opening up the self-boarding lanes. I scanned my Passbook boarding pass and I was let through down the jetway.
Once on board, I was welcomed by Franz, our ISM, along with Sylvie who helped Franz out in the galley during the boarding process. When I boarded, it seemed we would be full in the J cabin with 5 rows reserved for J. However, today’s flight would only utilize 4 with most of the AC seats taken while many of the DF seats remained opened.
Franz’s colleague handed out the moist towelettes as well as signature SWISS chocolates as the boarding process got underway. She asked if I would like anything to drink, and all I wanted was just a cold glass of water. I gulped it down in one and on her way back to the galley she picked up my glass and thanked her.
With the relatively light load, we had a quick boarding and then doors closed to get us out on time. Franz fired up the safety video while the flight crew did a bit of a warm up. After the video, we made our way for a quick take off and flight to VIE.
Franz and the female Captain gave their welcome in German and English and let us know of an on-time arrival into VIE. They both told us to sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight. With that the FAs sprung into action for a fast service.
For this flight, Franz would work the J cabin and the first few rows of Y. He asked if I would like to partake in a small plate of kibble as well as anything to drink. As the consummate trip reporter, and accepted the offer for the cold plate and just a glass of water.
The speck looked good, but I did not want to chance it if it had actually touched the walnuts. The mousse and cheese were delicious.
After not touching the cold plate asked if everything was OK. I said it was, I told him that I was not sure how much the walnuts touched the rest of the food because of my nut allergy, but I ensured him all was good. He asked if he could bring me anything else and I told him that I was fine and could use a top off of water. He went and got me 2 bottles of Henniez just in case I got thirsty while in VIE.
Enjoying the alpine view from above. I enjoyed a few minutes just staring out at the window and enjoying the view from above. All of a sudden, the chimes signaled we would soon be arriving into VIE.
Schönbrunn Palace from above, we were now in Wiener airspace.
Just minutes after flying over Schönbrunn, the flight deck made a smooth landing onto, I believe, Runway 11. We enjoyed a bit of a taxiing to gate F09, first time on the “back side” of the terminal. Within minutes, I thanked Franz for a great flight and he wished me a fun stay in Vienna.
Russian lady in an “interesting” dress.
Following the Russians in the glass part of the building.
Baggage Carousel 08
About a year ago when I was last in VIE, my checked-in bags did not make it because they did not get transferred properly from my SYD-BKK TG flight to my BKK-FRA LH flight because of the heavy rains. When I got to the baggage carousel, I wondered if my bags would actually make it to VIE this time. As the last passengers from the flight made it to baggage claim, bags started to show up on the conveyor belt. My small check-in came out among the first bags with priority tags. However, I began to sweat that my larger suitcase did not make it on my flight. Cursing in my head, once I immediately saw the “last bag” decoy, I marched my way to the OS baggage counter as they also did ground handling for LX. This time, they had closed off that little side area for priority passengers. When I got there, I fished out my baggage claim tag and handed it to the agent. I told her that I had come from ZRH where I had a long layover there. She typed a few things and then made a phone call. I deducted that she called to a special room where they hold extra baggage. She thanked the person on the phone and then let me know to go down the corridor to the luggage hold room and I could pick up my suitcase there. Still a bit weary, I headed over there where I showed my claim to one of the agents, and to my left I actually could see it. With a sense of relief, I pointed to that, and he said I could pick it up, without actually verifying it was mine. The relief especially since I had planned a longer stay in Vienna. At least I packed enough clothes in the smaller one to get me through my stay in Vienna.
Arrival FIDS along the wall, my flight no longer listed.
Heading to the CAT to make my way into the city.
My trip so far: IAH-ORD-ZRH-IST-ATH-ZRH-VIE. Map from gcmaps.com
Swiss International Air Lines SWISS Business Lounge
Zurich - ZRH
Vienna - VIE
Franz and his crew made this memorable than Madeline’s lack of service to me. Since this flight was not busy, Franz made the service a bit more personable and left a great impression for my last LX flight on this itinerary. I was also relieved that my all my bags had safely made it to VIE. Since I took a much later flight to VIE, LX had sent my bag to VIE much earlier and had it waiting for me once I got to the airport.
Danke schön for reading so far! Stay tuned for the continuation of my trips!
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