and Cabin Accommodations
After having a chance
to relax, take some refreshments, and check email on my Apple PowerBook
G4, I was invited to proceed to the departure gate boarding area. Flight
9 was served by MD-11 aircraft that day, which was substituted for the
scheduled A330. Here are some photos taken of the aircraft from the gate
Swiss, in five languages.
Boarding was already
in progress when I arrived at the gate. They had one queue for Economy
passengers and another for both First and Business passengers. Both of
these queues fed into a single jet bridge that led passengers through
door 2L, which is situated between the First and Business cabins. For
First Class passengers, it is nice that everyone else doesn't need to
file past you as they board and take their seats. After boarding, I turned
left and took my seat in 3A.
Seat 3A with ottoman.
Seat 3A from the ottoman.
I was immediately
greeted after boarding by the lead flight attendant and offered a choice
of water, orange juice, or mimosa. I chose a class of orange juice, which
was accompanied by a small dish of cashews. My seat had electronic controls,
an adjustable headrest, adjustable lumbar support, a laptop power port,
a reading light, a telephone, and a movable ottoman. After getting comfortably
settled in, I was handed an amenity kit in a nice red bag and a selection
of La Prarie hand, face, and eye creams. I was one of only two passengers
in the First Class cabin, so the service was extremely personalised and
The Swiss First
Dinner service began
shortly after our on-time departure. Here is the menu and wine card from
and Mozzarella served with prosciutto, sun-blushed tomatoes
and Kalamata olive.
shrimp with artichoke and scallops accompanied by palm heart
and fresh dill.
vegetable pâté with a sour cream and dill sauce
and baby carrots.
filet of beef with a red wine sauce, accompanied by Yukon
potatoes, baby carrots, asparagus spears and button mushrooms.
veal chop in a Chablis and chive sauce accompanied by a barley
and black lentil medley, yellow squash and baby carrots.
halibut with a creamy saffron sauce accompanied by pilaf rice,
broccoli, red baby beetroot and white baby turnip.
pasta twists in an alfredo sauce with zucchini, yellow squash
and sun-blushed tomatoes.
- espresso - liqueurs
upon request: Seasonal salad and quick meal.
ham and cream cheese with herbs.
and spinach omelette.
- tea - herbal teas
Brut 1996 - Cuvée Charles Gardet - France
golden yellow with straw reflexes. Open, complex, subtle bouquet
with notes of white nuts and yeast. Ripe and expansive to
the nose. Charms the palate with wonderfully integrated bubbles,
good consistency in the extract, and buttery, limestone and
Saphorin 2001 - Les Déserts - Les Fils Rogivue - Lavaux,
lemon yellow with lime green reflexives. A fresh bouquet of
sweet limes and grapefruit with a subtle elderberry counterpoint.
Supple to the palate with aromas of yellow fruit and gooseberries,
leading into a youthful play of acidity, typical minerals
of the Lavaux terroir, white flowers and appealing freshness,
right to the finish.
Cantelys 1999 - Blanc - Pessac-Léognan AC - Bordeaux,
with golden reflexes. Seductive, almost perfumed Sauvignon
Blanc bouquet with white peaches, gooseberries, lemon zest
and sweet limes. Supple to the palate with refreshing acidity,
again rich in peach plus notes of nectarine. A complex, fat,
sustained finish laced with vanilla. A great Graves from Smith
1999 - Wine Maker's Reserve - Casablanca Valley, Viña
yellow with a golden shimmer. Burgundian, rich Chardonnay
bouquet with oodles of ripe fruit, brioche, coconut macaroons
and notes of hazelnut. Ripe extracts, aromatic, mouth-filling
palate with ripe melons, honey and toasty notes; holds its
balance right to the finish.
2001 - Merlot del Ticino DOC - Zanini Sulmoni - Ticino, Switzerland
garnet with purple reflexes. Open, fruity bouquet of red berries
offset by a spicy notes of plum and prune. Appealing, velvety
texture to the palate with seductive extract sweetness.
La Lagune 1995 - 3e Cru Classé - Haut-Médoc
AOC - Bordeaux, France
garnet with purple reflexes. Extremely full, spicy and nutty
to the nose with beguiling, sweetish toast notes and the whole
gamut of ripe dried fruits. Appealing maturity continues on
the palate, with extract of red berries combining with notes
of leather and wood. Well balanced finish: a complex, lingering
aroma with a light floral touch.
DOC 1994 - Gran Reserva - Coto de Imaz - Spain
garnet in colour with a hint of orange. Open, delicately spicy
bouquet with earthy, herby notes and an ample chocolaty touch,
backed by notes of prune. Soft to the palate, expansive with
almost silky tannins, and more beguilingly ripe Rioja aromas
in an elegant, lingering finish.
Maker's Reserve 1998 - Maipo Valley - Viña Carmen -
dark in colour with purply-black reflexes. Expansive, complex
bouquet of cassis, currants, profound earthy notes and vanilla
pods. Robust and intense to the palate with plenty of ripe
tannins - very blueberry-like in character, with a long, sustained,
full-bodied finish. One of the best red wines in Chile.
Sherry Tio Pepe, Campari, Martini Rosso, Martini Bianco, Beefeater
Dry Gin, Bacardi Rum, Vodka Moskovskaja, Chivas Regal (12
years), Johnnie Walker Black Label, Jack Daniel's Old No.
7, The Glenlivet (12 years), Porto Dalva (20 years), Bailey's
Irish Cream, Cointreau, Grand Marnier, Drambuie, Cognac Hennessy
XO, Grande Fine Calvados, VSOP Père Magloire, Vieux
Kirsch du Righi Fassbind, Grappa, Fernet-Branca
Here are some photos
from the dinner service with comments.
The FA let me sample from three bottles of champagne--the First
Class selection, the Business Class selection, and the "welcome
champagne". He brought all three bottles to my seat, opened
them, and poured them into three different glasses. Very nice. After
I made a choice, he brought me the entire bottle in its own stainless
bucket chilled on dry ice, shown here.
He prepared this appetiser to go along with my sampling of the champagne.
I found it all to be quite good. This is described on the first
line of the dinner menu.
This is the place setting. Very nice, I thought, except for the
ridiculous plastic picnic knives. I loved the HUGE table, though!
An assortment of breads were offered.
The FA then came by with an appetiser and salad cart, from which
he served your choice of the appetisers listed on the menu. I chose
to try some of everything, but declined the salad.
After commenting that I really enjoyed the curried shrimp, the FA
returned with the appetiser cart and prepared me a second plate!
Here's the main course. I chose the beef, as described on the dinner
The main course was followed by a new cart with a full assortment
of about five or six gourmet cheeses, fruits and a nice glass of
Already more than satisfied with the amount of food, the desert
and espresso were just enough to top off a great meal and put me
in the mood for some sleep!
The meal service was
very good quality, and the service provided by the flight staff was impeccable.
There was every attention to detail made and the timing was very well-paced.
It obviously helped that I was one of only two people in First, but I
really felt like the flight staff took advantage of this opportunity to
go even above and beyond their standard service. This made for a very
special flight, indeed!
The in-flight entertainment
system consisted of personal DVD players and a selection of about fifteen
DVD movies. There were also several audio channels available. I didn't
use the IFE at all on this flight, mostly because there wasn't anything
that interested me more than getting as much rest as possible after the
meal service, so I don't remember anything about the specific programme
Part of the extra
personalised service included an offer to make our beds in separate seats.
The other passenger was seated in 1A, so the flight staff offered to make
seat 2A and the adjacent seat into beds during our meal service. That
way, we could go directly to sleep afterwards. They also made a point
to use the opposite aisle for cabin traffic so that the flight crew wouldn't
disturb our rest in the middle of the night whilst performing their duties.
The Swiss sleeper seat.
I was able to enjoy
a few solid hours of sleep before the breakfast service, which I requested
to be as late as possible. The flight staff woke me about 45 minutes before
arrival and served breakfast very efficiently, without being too rushed.
The food was average for the most part, but the omelette was not so good,
in my opinion. The good thing was is that I wasn't at all hungry, having
ate so much for dinner. We arrived a few minutes ahead of schedule at
Zürich, and because of the great sleeper seats, I felt relatively
refreshed! What an altogether great flight experience!!
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