Welcome to my new trip report that covers a trip made 1 year and a half ago. Sorry for the delay, I was kept busy until this day.
For my summer vacations, I decided to indulge a week-long trip to Rome and then to Palermo. Rome is definitely a city I like a lot because all of the historical background that sits on the city. The Palermo part of my vacations will be covered in another trip report.
I decided to fly Swiss because time was convenient and, you know, I try to be a loyal customer for the Star Alliance and LH Group especially.
Booking was done on the misterfly.com website which is very user-friendly. Soon, I received an email with all my booking details and was able to manage it directly on Swiss website where I could select my seats in advance and book for airport transferts through Swiss partner Viator.
Courtesy of the Great Circle Mapper
I was dropped-off in LYS by my parents and headed directly to the very end of the terminal 2 where sits the check-in area for the flights operated by Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines, Swiss and Austrian. As I don't live in Lyon anymore, I don't use LYS often so I am not aware about the recent changes in that airport (if any).
All in all I find LYS very airy and easy to use.
Lufthansa Group check-in area at the very end of the terminal.
Check-in was done quickly by using Business class lane and the agent gave me very clear explanations.
Heading to the security screening.
Terminal 2 is mostly used by Air France and their partner as well as LH Group and Emirates. Due to the State of Emergency in France, border controls are done also for European flights so my flight departed from the tiny non-schenghen area of the Terminal 2. In that part of the terminal, the lounge is very well stocked with pretty good views over the apron.
Well stocked and classy lounge
I must say that the food was delicious. Different sandwiches were on offer as well as fresh pastries and a quite wide variety of drinks
Bus boarding gate means ground floor waiting area with views over the Terminal and this VY A320 waiting to depart for FCO actually. These ground floor gates were used by AF for their hub ops in LYS in the early 2000s. It was before the construction of the Y-shaped regional hub wing built for the "Rendez-vous lyonnais" hub that AF used to operate at that time
Flight # : LX531
Departure airport : Lyon St-Exupery (LYS/LFLL)
Arrival airport : Zurich-Kloten (ZRH/LSZH)
ETD : 1015
ATD : 1030
ETA : 1125
ATA : 1130
Scheduled flight time : 01:10
Actual flight time : 01:00
Aircraft type : Bombardier Dash8-Q400
Reg # : OE-LGN "Gmunden"
Seat : 02F
Soon boarding was called and there was a short bus ride toward our plane waiting on the apron. Since some time LX operates turboprops to LYS. These are operated by OS that are also operated on the VIE-LYS link.
Am I flying OS or LX?
Sistership getting prepared to VIE
That's a huge fan
02F is a bulkhead seat with good legroom despite being in a quite cramped Q400
LYS hosts numerous Q400 with BE operating them to SOU. At the distance, you can spot the midfield LCC terminal that is linked by an underground walkway. You can also see a DHL B752 and a 5O B73x (don't remerber if it's a 733 or a 73G)
Can be quite confusing for one-time travellers...the flight was quite full
Predeparture drin...ehm...water once boarding completed. And reading material
VY 320 to FCO taxiing and fellow sistership OS Q400
Down the runway without further waiting
Airborne you know
Looking over the plain between Lyon and the Alps
Turning eastward thus offering nice views over LYS
Nice looking AC B763 about to land after a rather long flight from YUL
Nice view over Lyon at the distance and LYS in the foreground
3 mountain range to be seen : On the left-hand foreground the Chartreuse, at the background Belledonne and at the very right-hand side the Vercors. In between, sits the city of Grenoble
As the flight is quite short, service started right away with a simple yet perfectly acceptable (for the flight length) tray. The Grison meat sandwich was a bit salty but fine while the greenish sweet thing was...well...I don't know to be honest. And not that good...
The Alps are so beautiful
The River Rhone at the very beginning of the Lake Leman
After enjoying marvelous views over the Alps, it was time to level off in order to land at ZRH
ZRH in sight!
Beautiful approach over a hilly landscape
Nice greenfield add for the famous Victorinox army knives
Welcome to Switzerland while a QR B788 is about to depart
LX intercontinental hub. Spot the intruders!
Crossing the active runway
A sight of the past, the famous Avro farm of ZRH
A good looking AZ E175. I find this livery very smart
Busses waiting for their passengers coming from LYS. Wait...what's that silver minibus?
Yes! A dedicated transfert for C passengers...well, just for me alone...stylish...
I had some time before the flight to FCO so the only way was to go to the Swiss Lounge.
Upstairs it is
Views over the apron
ZRH airside center main hall
I was greeted by a nice lounge dragon and more stairs after, I found myself to main lobby of the lounge. It was busy but I still managed to find a suitable seat
Food options were limited but fine as I am fond of pastas!
What cross do you prefer?
Soon, it was time to head to the A Gate through narrow halls
Downstairs this time meaning bus boarding
Overview of the apron
Good load factor for LX these days
After a lenghty ride aboard the bus, it was time to board one of the numerous A320 in service with LX. I assume the flight was pretty full in all classes.
Flight # : LX1736
Departure airport : Zurich-Kloten (ZRH/LSZH)
Arrival airport : Rome Leonardo da Vinci (FCO/LIRF)
ETD : 1240
ATD : 1250
ETA : 1415
ATA : 1415
Scheduled flight time : 01:35
Actual flight time : 01:25
Aircraft type : Airbus A320-200
Reg # : HB-JLP "Allschwill"
Seat : 01A
Boarding...I love that view
Another sight of the past...Air Berlin is gone now
Bulkhead row means great legroom
Not so good views of the dropdown screens
We'll soon depart I guess
A pretty LX A333 gracefully climbing
Taxiing toward the active runway
Sharp looking sharkleted LX A321
What's hidden behind this 2L E190...wow!
Amazing to see a DC3/C47 in flesh! Especially with these nice D-day markings
The CS1 is looking very good
Last view over ZRH
Zürichsee I guess
Something to read?
Service began and C passengers were offered a cold plate of slices of beef meat along with some pastas and olives. It was fine though.
Everything tastes good with such a view over Lugano I guess
Reaching northern Italy
Milan Linate (LIN/LIML)
The Po flatlands with the Alps at the very background
Nice italian coast line
Viterbo AB (LIRV)
Lake of Bracciano looks so peaceful
Yes it is!
Seconds before landing
Almost parked next to a portuguese friend
Bland corridors in FCO
FCO doesn't look very spacious
Waiting a looong time for the luggage to be delivered on Nastro 9
As I prebooked a transfert to the hotel, I was quickly out of the airport and few minutes later I found myself downtown Rome checking in at the Mercure Roma Colosseo. I highly recommend this place as it is located very close to the Coliseum and right in front of a tram station.
Now, let's have a look on marvelously beautiful city of Rome!
The view from the room
The hotel comes with a small rooftop pool and bar (where the breakfast is also served). Quite enjoyable actually
Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano
Basilica di Santa Croce in Gerusalemme
Such a beautiful sight
Scalinata di Trinita dei Monti
Fontana di Trevi
Vittoriano at night, it's an impressive monument I may say
The mighty Colosseo
Nice historical remains in the Foro Romano
Cute little providing some shadow. What a relief from the hot italian sun
The impressive Pantheon
The Sant'Agnese in Agone taken from the famous Piazza Navona
During my time in Rome, I attended to the Papal Audience in the Vatican. It is something that must be seen even if you are not that religious. It's actually very interesting to watch joyful people coming from all over the world to attend this. It was funny to watch people behaving like they were in a popstar concert when Pope Francis arrived.
Typical concrete architecture of the 70s
Greeted like a rockstar
Piazza San Pietro
For a fee you can go to the top of the Basilica di San Pietro. It really worth it because you can have some awesome 360° views over Rome
After 2 days in Rome, it was time to head to Sicily but that will be reported in another TR...stay tuned. Now, I will describe the flight back to Lyon. After having flown from Palermo, I self-connecting myself to the outward LX flight to ZRH and then to LYS. Everything went quite smoothly despite being a bit worried about any delay as I was self-connecting. Anyway, flying C helps as you can skip the long Y check-in line as FCO tends to be quite crowded.
Not so bright check-in counters.
I was greeted by a not so interested agent who still provided clear indication but did not more than what's required. I went through fast track security screening which was done very quickly.
Shabby looking hallways
FCO is not very easy to use
More elevators towards the lounge
Not so welcoming lounge. LX uses Alitalia lounge also used by their Skyteam and Etihad partners
Lots of people, few seating available, poor food...that's not what I expected at the main base of Alitalia. Anyway, it was still better than nothing
Boarding gate at the very end of the D gates.
Boarding was called in proper order despite the huge amount of passenger. Good job here.
Flight # : LX1727
Departure airport : Rome Leonardo da Vinci (FCO/LIRF)
Arrival airport : Zurich-Kloten (ZRH/LSZH)
ETD : 0935
ATD : 0945
ETA : 1115
ATA : 1130
Scheduled flight time : 01:40
Actual flight time : 01:45
Aircraft type : Airbus A321-100
Reg # : HB-IOC "St Moritz"
Seat : 04F
Rome the Swiss way
Where does it lead to?
To Imbarco I guess
Closer to my chariot
Passengers were greeted by gentle FA and C cabin was quite full as well as the in Y. Cabin is typical Euro 3x3 configuration with free middle seat for C passengers.
Cargo door open
LY sends their B772 to FCO
SQ B772 and a QR B788 resting on the ramp
Typical reading material
It seems that Italy is famous among russian tourists. A rare (for me) U6 A320 arriving from somewhere in Russia
Am I flying Swiss?
FB E190 taxiing
Fellow *A partners at their gates
A3 was waiting for us to vacate the gate
AB A320 taxiing. Sad to see them go
DY B738 about to end its flight as it taxies toward the terminal
CX B77W resting on a remote ramp before returning to HKG later that day
FR ventures to "big" airports
Cute AZ E175 waiting its turn to take-off...who will go first? Them or us?
The answer was : them! A smart AA B772 took the place of the E175
A greenish EI A321 has just landed after having flown from DUB
And another (sharkleted this time) A321 belonging to AY completing a quite long flight from HEL
Soon enough it was time to power down the runway
Climbing over the shore
I didn't realise FCO was so close to the sea
The Apennines mountains on the background
A beautiful warm summer day
Going back over mainland Italy
Being a morning-time flight, some sort of breakfast was served including some Swiss delicatessen, a croissant, muesli, cheese and a smoothie. Very tasty
Italy is so narrow that you can even see the Adriatic sea and Venice
Traffic inbound! A TK B738 crossing our path
Back over the Alps
Without explanation, we started to circle around ZRH. We even flew near Basel. Meanwhile, we crossed another fellow planes waiting their turn.
The Euroairport...MLH or BSL or EAP...I don't know! LFSB anyway
Overlooking northern Switzerland
I think we were allowed to land
Definitely about to land
On the runway
EY B77W docked at the E gates
DL B76W nearby
Too bad that this beautiful SQ A380 in special livery is hidden behind a tiny LX A343
A big LX B77W
Not any cloud in sight
A rather desert apron
Is there anybody out there?
Oh right! Just behind us!
Time to disembark via airbridge
Passengers found themselves in a rather bland and deserted B Gates wing
It was time to go to Swiss business lounge. Nothing much to talk about though it is nicely furbished. Soon, it was time to head towards the most remote gates of ZRH
Walking and further walking
Flight # : LX1727
Departure airport : Zurich-Kloten (ZRH/LSZH)
Arrival airport : Lyon St-Exupery (LYS/LFLL)
ETD : 1225
ATD : 1230
ETA : 1330
ATA : 1320
Scheduled flight time : 01:05
Actual flight time : 00:50
Aircraft type : Bombardier Dash8-Q400
Reg # : OE-LGP "Spirit of Alpbach'
Seat : 02A
Enjoyable time on the apron waiting to board that Dash
I love that view
Complimentary legroom shot
Reading material as usual
Paperwork being done in the cockpit. Passengers were greeted by very nice FA
Short taxi to the active
That warbird again! This time with some lucky passengers waiting to board this Dakota
Slow climbing over Switzerland
The sun was blinding so I had to shut the window shades. Food was promptly served. This time a flavorful raspberry roll and a fruit salad. Very fresh! Perfect for a hot summer day. Note the full can of coke!
Reaching Lake Leman
Nearing LYS. Southbound approach means overflying the Plain of the Dombes, an area with plenty of ponds
Seconds before touching down the runway
Passing by a bunch of parked LCCs (TO and PC B738 and a U2 A319)
The new Terminal 1 Hall B under construction
Like MRS, LYS had a huge algerian diaspora and as a consequence, plenty of flights to Algeria operated by AH along with ZI. Here, an AH B738.
Wait?! A D7 A333 in LYS? Is this a new link to KUL? Of course not! During summer, AH usually charters some widebodies to answer the huge demand between the sides of the Mediterranean sea
Another colorful Q400, operated by BE this time
Links are strong between France and Canada. Here, a TS A33x waiting before operating towards YUL
Fellow Skyteam partners...KL E190 bound to AMS and a nice SU A320 bound to SVO. Great to see some diversity in LYS
Last view over my ride from ZRH with a dark looking A2 A320...I don't know where is it going
Widebody action in LYS
Passport control took ages. LYS lacks PARAFE counters to ease the crossing of the border.
Anyway, bags were delivered after our arrival in the baggage claim area (why is it always so long in LYS?)
Baggage claim area
I was picked up in the curbside minutes later and my vacations came to an end shortly afterwards...I have to work hard to afford such great vacations!
LYS : It's always pleasant to use this airport that is well organized except for the baggage delivery. Enforcing border control add some hassle when it comes to travel abroad and LYS definitely needs PARAFE.
ZRH : Efficient airport that is perfect for smooth transit.
FCO : Crowded and quite outdated. Yet, it is easy to use and the experience was not that bad actually.
LX : Swiss manage to provide a good experience to their customer. Hopefully they won't follow the LCC-like trend that hit air transport industry in Europe. I feel sad when I saw that LX won't serve LYS anymore. I really don't know why this link stopped just like that because give my experience flights seemed to be quite full each time I used LX. Moreover, LX provided very convenient connections that will no longer be possible. Anyway, as I am located closer to MRS now, I am still happy to see LX serving there even if it's only 4 times weekly. Please LX, more french connections!
Thank you for reading this trip report. I hope you've enjoyed it and I look forward for any comments and questions.
Very best regards
Links to my previous TR :
Swiss Economy LYS-ZRH-EWR
Aegean Airlines A3633/A3632-LYS-ATH-LYS-Inaugural
Brussels Airlines SN3588 - LYS-BRU - Economy
Adria Airways JP395 - BRU-LJU - Economy
Adria Airways JP376 - LJU-BRU - Economy
Brussels Airlines SN3591 - BRU-LYS - Economy
TAP By Portugalia Economy LYS-LIS
Air France Economy MRS-ORY
Turkish Airlines MRS-IST Economy
Ryanair MRS-TUF Low-cost
Ethiopian Airlines NIM-ADD-CDG Business
Eurowings MRS-DUS Low-cost