Sunday, April 21, 2013

Heading Home for Chinese New Year: Miami to Zurich


We got a cab to the airport that was driven by an Indonesian who had been in the US for a number of years. It was interesting trying to converse in a mix of Malay/Indonesia. There were no lines at the Swiss counters and we were promptly check-in. The check-in agent who was helping us then escorted us through security bypassing the lines and cabin crew from LAN that gave Lydia and I evil stares.

Swiss uses the Club America lounge in Miami. There was a separate first and business class section but I couldn't tell the difference. There lounge offerings were pretty limited especially for first class with some sandwiches and soups on offer. The lounge does have one shower that we both shared but the drainage was horrible. We ended up flooding the whole bathroom once we were done.

We headed for the departure gate right before the half time of Superbowl where Baltimore had pulled out a series lead over San Francisco. Boarding was not underway yet by the time we got to the gate but everyone was already lined up ready to get on. There was a dedicated first class line and a couple of minutes later, we were the first ones on the plane.

Our flight to Zurich was operated by a Airbus A330 which featured Swiss's new first class. It was our first time flying on Swiss and we were impressed with the first class cabin. The IFE screen was huge, seats were comfortable and relatively private if needed to be. We were originally assigned to the two middle 2D and 2G seats but I moved over the 2A right before take-off since I wanted to see the views from take-off. I stayed up for the rest of the flight since It felt more private with a mini-cabin feel between the two of us once Lydia pull up her privacy partition.

One unique thing that Swiss does is that in addition to the usual pre-departure champagne, they also serve a amuse-bouche. We were offered crab cakes with bread sticks which were simply delicious.

By the time we were in the air, it was 9ish and we were starving. Lydia moved over to the companion seat at 2A where we both had dinner together. It is truly an unforgettable experience enjoying good food and wine like we were in any fine dining restaurant on the ground.

The food on this flight was generally really good and I enjoyed in more if compared of Lufthansa. We started off with appetizers of balik salmon, seafood cocktail and dried meats that was offered from the cart. I followed that with a salad where as Lydia opted for the pumpkin seed.

Even though we were pretty full from all that food, we couldn't say no to the famous Swiss cheeses. It was also too hard to between the tiramisu or vanilla ice-cream that we had to have both.

I changed to the provided pajamas after what was one of the best meals we had in the sky and finished up a movie before getting some sleep. Lydia was not done with food yet and couldn't refuse when she was offered some chocolate. She was having a hard time picking the chocolates that the stewardess just left her the whole box.

I slept for the rest of the flight and only got up an hour and a half before we were scheduled to arrive in Miami. The rest of the first cabin was also starting to get up by now. I wasn't that hungry but ordered some eggs for the heck of it and a a much needed cappuccino.

We arrived to a white snowy Zurich on time. This was one of the best flights we had - the service provided by the stewardess serving us was truly outstanding, the food was world class and a comfortable bed/seat.

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