That’s what I call impressive service!

I just got off a 162 mile, 30 minute flight from Munich to Zurich on one of those crappy little four engine Avro jets. First the negative: the plane is configured with two seats on the left side of the aircraft and three on the right side. As a result, there wasn’t even a blocked middle seat in business class. So the space was literally what one gets in coach. I’ll take domestic first in the US any day of the week.

On the plus side, the service was damn impressive. Despite the fact that this was a flight less than half the distance of Los Angeles to San Francisco, they offered water, towels, and newspapers upon boarding, and once airborne offered a continental breakfast, drinks, and Swiss chocolate to finish it all off. The flight attendant was running around like crazy from takeoff till landing, but she did an amazing job.


Filed Under: Swiss, Travel
  1. It’s amazing how lazy they make us look, isn’t it? I recently flew DUS-LHR on LH and on the 45 minute flight, I was offered newspapers, hot chocolate/coffee and a cold sandwich. It didn’t seem like that big of a deal to them, but you do that here and it would be huge news!

  2. A few years ago I flew Thai Airways from Phuket to Bangkok. The plane was a 747-400 that landed at Phuket 32 minutes before departure time. I just knew we would be late. However, they were able to get 300+ passengers and their luggage off the aircraft,clean it, load 300+ new passengers plus their luggage, and depart one minute late! They turned a 747 in 33 minutes! Amazing!

  3. What does the seat configuration have to do with blocked middle seats? On the LH RJs I have been on (pretty much all CRJ-200s) with 2-2 layout) the business class rows had one pax per two seats.

    Compare that to UA’s CRJ-200s.

  4. The meal looks great, but I am content with my $59 L-class, drinks only LAX-SFO UA flights. Meals, like VX serves on the route, would be cool, but not if the ticket prices goes up to $75 o/w.

  5. Summary:

    US airliners = Lazy
    The rest of the world = Meal service, drink, magazine etc…

    Can’t agree more than that.

  6. @Joe:

    US airliners = cheap

    Let’s see if RyanAir and EasyJet eventually force EU legacy airlines for competitive and financial reasons to decrease service.

  7. @ Oliver — There were no blocked middle seats on this plane. The configuration was 2-3 in business class and there were five people per row. Ridiculous.

  8. I have no use for “meal service” (seriously, a few “faux-fancy” tapas in a cutesy plastic/”ceramic” box IS NOT a meal) on any flight < 1.5 hrs… drinks and a bigger seat are all I care about… EU carriers are inadequate in this regard…

    However, it also really frosts me when US carriers (ahem… UA) don’t serve a proper meal on flights that leave after ~ 8pm ex. east (to-west) coast, or serve some disrespectful sloppy sandwich/salad on mid-con routes… PATHETIC… not that their other meal service is amazing, but, hey… it’s airline food… I’d no sooner eat the CX caviar (well, there was that once…blech) than a homeless man’s shoe… what do we really expect… thank goodness I like to drink b/c Dom is the same on the ground as it is in the air… LOL

  9. Hi,
    Avro RJ85 and RJ100 are my favorite single aisle planes because of the wide seat and I like the 4 engines. Be thankful you were not on a Lufthansa Cityline RJ85 with 6 across.

    I would take an Avro RJ85 or RJ100 over a CRJ any day. I wish NW
    Mesaba and United Express (BAE 146) still had them in the US.

    Most intra-europe Biz class sucks seating wise compared to
    Domestic USA but the service is great.


  10. Lucky,

    I flew the exact same route and on the exact same plane as yours last month.

    My flight was in the middle of the afternoon, and I was also excellent services. The only difference was the meal. I had a great roast beef sandwich on one of those great long German multi-grain roll (not sure the exact name the roll), but mine was served in a paper bag rather than a tray. I hope to finish writing a trip report soon and post it on FT with photos.

    Did you use the Swiss lounge at Zurich? I like the model airplanes they displayed.

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