➔ Lufthansa Business Class, Airbus A320, LHR-FRA
➔ Lufthansa Business Class, Airbus A320neo, FRA-FCO
➔ Starhotels Metropole, Rome
➔ Rome City Guide
➔ Swiss Business Class, Airbus A320, FCO-ZRH
➔ Radisson Blu, Zurich Airport
➔ Swiss Business Class, Airbus A330, ZRH-LHR
After a warm couple of days in Rome, it was time to head back. Once more, the Leonardo Express had the honours.
Initially, I was booked in a flight that left later in the evening. However, Swiss canned this flight, leaving the only option a mid afternoon departure. It could have been worse I suppose.
Arrival came just over 30 minutes later.
Upon arrival at the terminal, there was a bit of a queue to get in. The staff were checking that everyone had a valid reason to be entering the terminal. As in, checking booking confirmations, boarding passes etc.
The process was held up when I reached the front by a rather loud American trying to argue his way in. His parents were due to land in 2-3 hours and he was there to pick them up. Quite rightly, the staff member was having none of it, and said he had to wait for them outside. He still continued to protest, but the staff member ignored him and called everyone else forward.
For some reason, I was unable to get a boarding pass online. So I had to make a special effort to get one at the airport. Something that I rarely do these days.
Once this was done, it was through security. A fast track was available, although it wasn’t policed all that well.
Once I was through, there wasn’t too long before boarding. As the Star Alliance lounge in Rome is currently closed, it was straight down to the gate. Pretty much how I had planned things really.
Rome – Zurich
Airbus A320 HB-JLP
There was only a couple of minutes between arriving at the gate and boarding. Just enough time to fill out the Italian tracing form. Quite why I had to do one on departure, I don’t know.
Boarding was the old fashioned way today. Business and Star Gold, followed by the rest.
Unlike Lufthansa, there was a small bottle of water and a wet wipe on the seat.
Along with hand sanitiser and a Swiss tracing form handed out on boarding.
The seat itself was identical to what is found on the rest of the Lufthansa group fleet. Except these seats had a more brown tint to them, as opposed to the grey of Lufthansa and Austrian.
The boarding procedure came to a halt fairly shortly after I took my seat. I heard a few schisses coming from behind me. From what I can gather, someone’s drink bottle had exploded and made a mess of not only their seat, but every other seat within a 3 row radius. A number of crew made their way backwards with big handfuls of paper towels.
Due to boarding taking an absolute age, we pushed back a few minutes adrift of schedule. A flying time on 1h10 was given during the welcome speech from the crew.
Once we did lift off, it was into some rough skies – the weather in Rome had been a little unpredictable over the past few days, with some odd spots of rain around and generally pretty windy. So this was what we were passing through!
The crew got going with the service once we had cleared the weather. There were no trolleys present, and each tray was hand delivered from the galley. Much the same as on the Lufthansa flight to Rome, there was no choice. This isn’t a COVID related thing either – it’s always been this way with the Lufthansa group of airlines.
What was served was of very good quality. Although somewhat lacking in quantity. A small salmon meal, along with cheese and dessert.
This was accompanied by a round of drinks.
The meal was finished with a coffee, along with the traditional Swiss chocolate. Great presentation here!
By the time I had finished it all, we had started descent.
Unlike the rest of the group, Swiss short haul aircraft feature drop down screens. Although nothing too much is shown on them during these shorter sectors. Basically just a loop of featured destinations and the sky map.
No WiFi or power points are provided – either in Swiss Business, or economy on the short haul fleet.
Descent was announced a little earlier than anticipated. As it was a near white out in the Zürich area, there wasn’t anything too much to be seen on approach.
The weather really wasn’t all that good in the area, which made for a bit of a fun ride in.
Touchdown came and we were ushered on to the nearest stand to the exit of the terminal. Meaning it was just a short walk through to arrivals.
In general, a pretty good flight in Swiss Business. It had been a couple of years since I last flew in this cabin with the airline. Last time around, I wasn’t particularly blown away. This time, my feelings are that what’s offered still isn’t overly spectacular compared to other airlines. However the presentation of what was offered was a little better than what’s found elsewhere.