Arriving at my gate, I got a quick glance at the Fokker 100 aircraft operating this flight. The plane was emblazoned with the Helvetic Airways logo. Signs were displayed for the flight being operated for Swiss International.
LX1348 Zürich International ZRH – Warsaw Chopin WAW
Codeshare with LO5414
Fokker 100 HB-JVF
Gate A74 Seat 1F
Boarding the plane was a comfortable process and I suspect it should be the case in Switzerland. Seats onboard the plane was in a 2-3 configuration and there are no difference for Business or Economy class, as per the usual intra-Europe style.
While I was in the row with 3 seats, there was no one in the whole row. Either way, the seat next to you is blocked off in the ‘Business class’ cabin. Legroom on the seat was basic, and standing up the plane was definitely more comfortable than the average regional jets like the CRJs or the Embraers.
Settling down on my window seat, I got a view of the BAe Avro jet that I took on the Swiss flight between Warsaw and Zurich. And this was unique in a Star Alliance livery. The baggage handlers were also loading bags onto the airplane as the boarding continued.
Passengers in the Business class cabin were provided with a bottle of water and a refreshing towel as they waited. No pre-departure drinks, but the bottle of water sufficed for me. Boarding progressed while I sit down and check out the seat.
The bulkhead seat was not a bad space to be seated for this flight and onboard this particular plane. There was ample space for myself, and I consider myself to be of average height. It can certainly be a squeeze for someone taller.
As I waited for the boarding to be complete, I checked out the inflight magazines, since Swiss does have a very nice magazine onboard and if passengers get a new issue, there are postcards in them for a keepsake of the flight.
With all passengers boarded, the flight does not seem overly full and Business class has a light load as is the case in intra-Europe flights. I mean who bothers to pay for the seats if they are essentially the same?
During the taxi to the runway, I managed to spot Emirates A380 on the tarmac. I believe Singapore Airlines flies to Zurich with the A380 as well. For a relatively small European airport, that just speaks volumes to the rich business loads to this city.
Take off was quick with no wait and the plane made a turn around, allowing me to get a nice view of Zurich.
From this point onwards the relatively nice winter weather made me focused on out of the window. Without any inflight entertainment, this was as good as it gets, and my pictures can attest to that fact as we cruised past the Swiss Alps.
The view of the Alps continued as we cruised past Switzerland into Austria with views of the Tyrolean Alps.
As we flew past Austria, the crew came around to conduct the meal service. Lunch options were chicken breast with broccoli and potatoes or a vegetarian option of rice with curry and chestnuts. I picked the latter, as I am not a huge fan of chicken breast.
For drinks, I got myself some apple juice which the crew placed on the tray table in the middle seat. That was a nice touch to provide more space. These little touches makes a huge difference to the whole flying experience and perhaps may make passengers consider paying for the extra premium of Business class.
The food on Swiss was good as always and I finished everything on the plate. With the end of the meal, the crew once again asked if I wanted coffee or tea. Naturally I obliged with some coffee as I have quite a long day ahead with the layover and another trans-Atlantic flight.
A while later, another refreshing towel and mints were distributed to passengers. After finishing my cup of coffee, it was time to check out the lavatory. Being a small narrow body plane and one that is relatively old, the lavatory is smaller than the more modern interiors of other regional jets. However it was still functional and not too shabby.
Cloudy weather throughout the second half of the flight meant there was not much to do and I had a short rest by relaxing on the seat for a while and reading the newspaper I obtained from the lounge. The crew did check if I wanted any more beverage during the flight and distributed the classic Swiss chocolate bars to thank us for flying with them.
The descent into Warsaw’s airport was equally uneventful with a quick landing into the relatively quiet airport for a capital city. There was not much wide-body jets aside from LOT’s 787 in the airport, as even Qatar Airways sent their A320s here.
With another completion of a flight with Swiss, I would certainly cherish a flight with them. Though they might have some outdated planes on their fleet, they were refreshing to fly with as the crew did a great job and the inflight meals, coffee and chocolates are top-notch. Which probably makes them a joy to fly with!