The Royal Tour Part 2 - Zurich to Edinburgh via Frankfurt. Business on Lufthansa
After 24 hours of travel I had arrived at Zurich airport, and it was a new experience for me! First things first though, time for a shower in the Swiss lounge! On my way to the lounge I spotted this Austrian Airlines A320 in special retrojet livery:
Always nice to spot special schemes, particularly ones that you would never see at your home airport. Anyway after taking a quick snap it was off to the Swiss lounge. I walked in and was given a key from the front desk for one of the shower rooms. Once you are done you hang a sign on the handle indicating that the room was used and needed cleaning and then return your key to the desk. Not very convenient since it's a bit of a walk from the desk to the bathrooms!
|Swiss lounge Zurich - Shower Room
|Nice bar/restaurant at Zurich Airport
|Star Alliance dominating at Zurich - Swiss and Austrian tails
|Helvetic Fokker 100 pushes back - long haul terminal in the background
|Swiss Avro RJ100 - Cute! I want to fly on one, my last time was in the late 1990s with Ansett Australia
|Another RETROJET! This one belonging to Finnair Czech A320 in background
ZURICH TO FRANKFURT
AIRCRAFT: Boeing 737-300 (D-ABEE)
SCHEDULED TO DEPART: 10.10
ACTUAL DEPARTURE: 10.07
SCHEDULED TO ARRIVE: 11.15
ACTUAL ARRIVAL: 11.10 (5 minutes early)
SEAT: 3F (Business)
LOAD FACTOR: Economy - 70%, Business - 50% (approximates)
At about 09.50 Lufthansa flight 1187 was called for boarding. There was a massive rush to the gate and economy class and non status passengers were supposed to form a queue on the right, and those in business or with elite status on the left. This didn't really work well or was not understood by many passengers so quite a long queue formed in both lanes. I didn't mind waiting though. Soon enough I was on board D-ABEE, a Boeing 737-300 delivered new to Lufthansa in 1991. It was just shy of its 20th birthday!
|D-ABEE shortly before boarding, Swiss A320 passing behind
I knew business class on most European carriers was nothing special. In fact it features the same economy class seating (perhaps with slightly more leg room) but with the added comfort of a middle seat block. Some airlines also have a fold down drinks tray in the middle seat too. On this aircraft we had exactly that. The advantage to this configuration is the ability to quickly convert business class seats to economy class at short notice... the disadvantage is obvious, it is not exactly the most comfortable way to travel! At least you get a better meal and drink service.
|Seat 3F - notice the slightly increased seat width with the movable armrest and pull down drinks tray in middle seat
|The overhead controls looking very old fashioned now!
|Takeoff from Zurich
The crew were cheerful enough during service and did offer me a refill on my coke, so that was good. We flew past the airport (as seen in pic to the left) and made a couple of right turns before a smooth touchdown. Another high speed taxi to a remote parking spot and we were soon on the bus and off to the terminal.
|Disembarking LH1187 and onto the bus - remote parking stand at Frankfurt
|LH Business Lounge - Frankfurt (one of many!)
|Apricot Cheesecake and Apple Juice in the Lounge
|On the bus to the next flight
FRANKFURT TO EDINBURGH
SCHEDULED TO DEPART: 12.10
ACTUAL DEPARTURE: 12.07
SCHEDULED TO ARRIVE: 13.05
ACTUAL ARRIVAL: 13.02 (3 minutes early)
SEAT: 4F (Business)
LOAD FACTOR: Economy - 90%, Business - 70% (approximates)
|D-ABEO Boeing 737-300 operating my flight to Edinburgh
They actually call this BUSINESS CLASS. The leg room is better than on the old style seats but come on, how do they get away with this as business class? I know I'm not used to European airlines but this is pathetic. Take me back to asia where we whinge when we don't get a lie flat bed on regional flights! This newer style seating doesnt even include the centre seat drinks tray, instead the centre seat head rest just says 'your space'.
Despite how uncomfortable these seats look they aren't completely awful to sit in. They don't feel like they are short of padding but I would not want to be sitting in them for much more than about 2 hours. We were the last bus to arrive so once we were on we pushed back and made another high speed taxi to the runway, although this particular Captain was slightly less aggressive than the previous one!
|Taxi to the Runway
|On our way!
|About to turn finals
|The Lufthansa 737 parked at the gate - Edinburgh
I bid the crew farewell and made my way down the jetway following a BMI ground crew staff member as she opened various doors leading us down the passageway to international arrivals and immigration. There was only ONE officer processing non-EU passports and it was about a 30 minute wait by the time I got there. I wasn't too impressed but what can you do??
Eventually I cleared immigration grabbed my bags and made my way over to Avis to pick up the car! There was just 4 more sleeps until the Royal Wedding of the century! But before that, there is so many palaces and castles to explore!! Next up is my Scottish visit... stay tuned