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Swiss Air - New York NY (JFK) - Zurich, Switzerland (ZRH) - Flight LX 017

Flying Doesn't Get Any Better Than This!

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Flight Information: Swiss Air - New York NY (JFK) - Zurich, Switzerland (ZRH) - Flight LX 017

Swiss Air used to be the carrier airline of Switzerland, headquartered at the Zurich Airport in Kloten. Following the economic downturn after Sept. 11, however, Swissair’s assets plummeted and lost value. In 2005, it was taken over by Lufthansa, the German airline. (Click here to read our New York hotel and restaurant reviews and click here to read our Zurich hotel and restaurant reviews.)

Check-In: At the JFK airport in New York, we entered the departure terminal and were relieved to find that the first class counter was literally just a few steps away. Behind the counter were two young women who quickly checked us in. Next to them were four more sharply dressed young ladies, one of which escorted us to the Swiss Air First Class Lounge. The whole process took just mere minutes.

The Lounge: The Swiss Air First Class lounge was exclusively for First Class passengers and HON members only. It was comfy and corporate looking, equipped with 16 brown leather chairs, a couple more regular chairs, retro lighting, and dark wood floors with tan area rugs.

On one side was a small dining area with four, two-top tables and a self-serve counter stocked with hot chicken and beef entrées, vegetables and fresh fruit. It was not the most elaborate spread I have ever seen in a first class lounge, but it was one of the better offerings I’ve seen in an airport lounge. The bar was stocked with two white wines, two reds, Beefeater Gin, Bacardi Rum, Black Label Scotch, and Swiss Vodka.

Overall, the lounge was a very quiet and quite relaxing.

When the time came for us to board the plane, an agent came and escorted us through security (passing all the long lines) and immigration (again, passing the long lines); from the lounge to the plane, the whole process took only under 15 minutes. Had we had to wait in all those queues, it would have taken us well over 30 minutes.

First Impressions: Warm welcomes and big smiles were all around us when we boarded the plane. I had not had this good of a feeling boarding a flight since I flew on Singapore Air a few years ago.

The Cabin: The plane was an Airbus A330-200, with a 1x 2 x1 seating configuration of three rows. The seats were upholstered in navy blue and brown and had tan/taup e pillows, which looked a bit outdated. The carpets were worn, and the overall condition of the cabin was outdated and dingy.

The Flight (Service/Food/Drink): Once we were on board and comfortably settled in, the flight attendants offered us a glass of Pommery Champagne and a luscious serving of vegetables somosas, crab salad and mozzarella cheese, giving me a taste of the pleasures to come. The flight attendants, again, went around and handed out Amenities Kit, containing Bally’s products, to every guest. Included in the kit were a sleeping mask, socks, toothpaste, toothbrush, slippers, ear plugs, hand cream, and lotion.

A little later, they handed out the menu for dinner. Dinner options for this flight from New York to Zurich were:

-Steak Fillet with red wine sauce, broccoli with capers and almonds and rosemary potatoes
-Herb crusted chicken breast with jus lie served with eggplant confit, sweet potato fries and herb spaetzle, a type of Swiss dumpling
-Wild mushroom ravioli with truffle cream sauce and sautéed baby spinach

And for dessert: Vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and crushed peanuts, Swiss chocolates, and of course, espresso, coffee or tea.

I decided to go with the steak fillet with red wine sauce. I never knew they could make a steak this good on a plane! It was tender and oh-so-juicy; had I not known better, I could have sworn it came from a five-star kitchen.

The wine selection was just as good as the food, with three whites (a 2007 Riesling x Sylvaner Spatlese from Switerland, a 2006 Chablis AC 1er Cru Vaillons from Burgundy and a 2007 Furmint from Hungary), and three reds (a 2006 Rychenberg Pino Noir Barrique from Switzerland, a 1995 Chateau La Tour Haut-Brion from Bordeaux and a 2002 Brancaia II Blu from Tuscany). The dessert wine was a 2004 Mitis Amigne de Vetorz Valais AOC from Switzerland (it was FABULOUS), and the Port, a 20 year old Porot Calem.

After dessert, I sat back and surfed the entertainment system for a while and when I was ready to turn in, I changed into the Swiss Air sleepwear. While I was changing, the flight attendants made my seat into a bed complete with a comforter and two pillows.

Just before we landed, the attendants woke us up, put our seats back into the upright position, put the linens away and served us a delicious breakfast of eggs, fruit, bread basket, yogurt and coffee.

Arrival: We arrived in Zurich on-time and in what seemed like a few hours—a good dinner, a wonderful dream, and a refreshing breakfast—our 8-plus-hour flight was done. I was actually disappointed that it was over; the flight was that much enjoyable! After deplaning we went through immigration, claimed our bags (we only had to wait ten minutes) and then went through customs. It went just as smooth as our flight.

Overall Impression The flight from New York–JFK to Zurich was simply amazing, absolutely Fantastic Bombastic! My only complaints it that it went too fast!

Additional Information:
Flight Time: From New York (JFK) to Zurich (ZRH) 8 Hours 15 Minutes

Airline Partners:: Air Canada, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, BMI, Egyptair, Lot Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, SAS, South African Airways, Spainair, Swiss Air, TAP Portugal, Thai Air, Turkish Airlines, United, US Airways, Air China, Shanghai Airlines. Other Airline Partners: Delta, Mexicana, SilkAir, Virgin

Airport Codes:
New York - JFK
Zurich - ZRH

Be sure to read our New York hotel and restaurant reviews and our Zurich hotel and restaurant reviews.

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