Be sure to check out parts 1-7 first!

-Part 1 (Chicago-Istanbul) CLICK HERE!

-Part 2 (Istanbul-Singapore) CLICK HERE!

-Part 3 (Singapore-Male) CLICK HERE!

-Part 4 (Male-Rangali Island, Conrad) CLICK HERE!

-Part 5 (Dr. I Getting His Robinson Crusoe on in The Maldives) CLICK HERE!

-Part 6 (Rangali Island-Male) CLICK HERE!

-Part 7 (Male-Thiruvananthapuram-Delhi) CLICK HERE!

FLIGHT #8 OF 9: Delhi-Zurich

Aviation Geek Details:

  • Airline and flight number: SWISS Flight LX147
  • Route: Delhi-Zurich
  • Aircraft: Airbus A340
  • Airplane (registration and year built): HB-JMA, built in 2003
  • Miles flown: 3, 987 miles.
  • Flight duration: 7 hours and 56 minutes.
  • Class of Service and Seat: Business, seat 5A
  • This is my: 680th flight on 95 airlines.
  • This is my: 12th  flights on SWISS
  • This is my: 9th flight on an Airbus A340-300, 12th flight on an Airbus A340 series aircraft.

After arriving from Male on Air India, we decided to kill a bit of time in the Singapore Airlines Silver Kris lounge. I was a bit surprised that SWISS used the Singapore Airlines lounge instead of the Lufthansa lounge, but as long as I had a place to chill and wait for our next flight, I was fine. To be honest, the Silver Kris lounge was a bit of a disappointment but it was better than just sitting at the gate.

The Routing:

HB-JMA took a pretty direct path to Zurich that early morning.


And here she is in all of her Flight Radar stock image glory. Despite her advancing age, she’s still got it!


The Silver Kris lounge was a short walk from our departure gate which…


was across the hall from another European brotherin, British Airways bound for London/Heathrow.


Boarding was delayed by about 30 minutes but soon we were walking down gate 20A boarding the waiting Airbus A340.


We were seated in the two-row Business Class mini-cabin. Soon after getting settled in, the cabin crew offered pre-departure beverages including orange juice and champaign.


Every seat had a plush pillow and a relatively thick blanket.


The SWISS entertainment system on this A340 looked like it hadn’t been updated since the aircraft was delivered in 2003.


The selection and…


the headphones were mediocre.


With a 1 AM departure time, I was less worried about the entertainment system and more worried about the other seat amenities. Thankfully there was power to keep my iPhone’s feeble little battery charged in flight.


The seat had lumbar support and all of the standard positions for a flatbed Business Class seat but much like the entertainment system, it too was a bit dated.


After pre-departure beverages, the crew distributed hot towels. I bet you’re surprised to hear that these were hot towels huh?


We pushed off of the gate about 25 minutes behind schedule and made our way out to the active runway. I really do miss the view from a four holer!


Being in the mini-cabin probably didn’t help, but the surroundings did feel a bit tight.


As we slowly made our way to the runway, I checked out the safety card,…


the seat instructions card and…


of course the SWISS Magazine.


SWISS’s intercontinental route map and…


their domestic/continental route map.

You can check-out take off and the full flight video here. Another link will appear at the end of the trip report if you want to continue reading:

We finally made it to the active threshold and after a long roll, were airborne over the Indian capital. Soon after takeoff, the light meal service started.


There were three choices…


a western choice, an Indian choice and a third option consisting of hot savories.


The service started with a full beverage cart.


I guess my neighbor thought 2 AM wasn’t too early (or too late depending upon your point of view) for a little bubbly?


Selections were offered from the bread basket.


This was the third option, the hot savories. Overall pretty flavorful and more than sufficient for the late (or early) hour.


After the light snack, I had to check out the SWISS fleet page (you probably thought I was slipping didn’t you?!)


With only 30 wide-bodied aircraft, SWISS is much smaller than many of its European competitors.


Nice comparison between the A340 and A330. Four engines make a difference in range, speed, and payload! Unfortunately, it also does when it comes to operating costs.


After the meal service, there wasn’t a head to be seen as everyone pushed the recline button.


I’m always a sucker for cabin branding!


I paid a quick visit to the lavatory where I found some pretty basic supplies.


By now we were close to the Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran border and…


it was time to make my head disappear too. Yeah, I hear you! I know you love this tee-shirt. Hands off, it’s mine!!



The footwell was a bit tight but I still managed to clock about four hours of sleep and awoke to find we had under three hours to go.


The cabin was stirring and the breakfast service started as…


we flew over the capital of the former Yugoslav republic.


Sorry, I didn’t get a snap of the breakfast card but…


I opted for an omelet accompanied by breakfast potatoes, chicken sausage, and a stuffed tomato. Selections from the morning bread basket were also offered and before you start to judge, I asked for a croissant and the flight attendant gave me two. He could probably see right through to my gluttonous soul!


After breakfast, I invaded the crew’s personal space (only for a moment while waiting for the lavatory to become available). A rare sight these days (the purser’s station).


I quickly also spied the main Business Class galley and…


the larger, second Business Class cabin.


By now the sun had risen high over central Europe and…


we started our descent into Zurich’s Kloten airport. You know you are living when you have two full windows all to yourself!


As I stowed my antiquated handset for landing…


I got a brief peek into the First Class cabin as the curtains were pulled open. Just when you think you are living the life, you realize others are really living the life!


Kloten airport was still pretty sleepy as our four CFM engines powered us to the gate.


Auf Wiedersehen SWISS, see you soon (like three hours from now soon).


We quickly disembarked HB-JMA and made our way into the terminal of Kloten airport.


Buh bye HB-JMA, hope to fly on you (and some more four holers) again real soon!


Flight Review:

Experience/Total stars: 3.6/5 stars-Definitely above average but could have been better.

  • Check-in: N/A, we checked in with Air India in Male.
  • Lounge: 3/5. The Silver Kris lounge in Delhi was pretty spartan but sufficient.
  • Boarding: 3/5. Boarding was a bit delayed (no big deal) but after entering the gate, we were held there for another five minutes before being allowed to actually board the aircraft.
  • Seat: 3/5. The seats were nothing special. I was actually expecting a bit more from SWISS’s intercontinental Business Class. The seats were comfortable enough when reclined but the foot weels were a bit tight.
  • In-Flight Entertainment: 2/5. The IFE system was quite dated and the selection was actually pretty minimal.
  • Meals: 4/5. The meals were flavorful and appropriate for the time of day.
  • Cabin Crew: 5/5. The crew were all professional (in appearance and behavior), friendly and accommodating.
  • Cabin ambiance: 3/5. The cabin was nothing special. Nice branding but a bland palate and no mood lighting.
  • Cabin cleanliness: 5/5. While bland in appearance, the cabin was immaculate.
  • Price paid and value for money: N/A, this was part of a mileage booking.
  • Thumbs down: The Silver Kris lounge in Delhi left a little something to be desired, the seat was average at best and the in-flight entertainment was dated.
  • Thumbs up: The meals were good, the crew was great and the cabin was clean.

You can find links to the YouTube video reports for both flights at the end of this report. Enjoy!!

FLIGHT #9 OF 9: Zurich- Chicago (O’Hare)

Aviation Geek Details:

  • Airline and flight number: SWISS flight # LX6
  • Route: Zurich/Kloten-Chicago/O’Hare
  • Aircraft: Airbus A330-300
  • Airplane (registration and year built): HB-JHA, built in 2009
  • Miles flown: 4,822 miles.
  • Flight duration: 9 hours and 16 minutes.
  • Class of Service and Seat: Business, seat 12A
  • This is my: 681st  on 95 airlines.
  • This is my: 13th  flight on SWISS
  • This is my: 19th flight on an A330-300 and 31st flights on an Airbus A330 series aircraft.

The SWISS Business Class Lounge:

We decided to head to the SWISS Business Class lounge to cool our jets (yes, pun intended) for a few hours.


The SWISS lounge is separated into two sides, one for Busines Class passengers and one for flyers with status. First Class passengers have a separate lounge altogether.


The SWISS lounge has always been one of my favorites thanks to its outdoor observation deck. Here we have two SWISS heavies and one from Etihad.


As nice as the views are, I can’t imagine spending too much time here come February! Here we have a Bangkok bound THAI 777-300.


Another SWISS Airbus flanked by her smaller brother from the UK.


Between the observation deck, the plentiful food (yes, I ate a little bit more…..for the sake of research!), the clean, well laid out lounge and the free wifi, the hours flew by (yes, pun yet again!).

The Routing:

The route HB-JHA took across the North Atlantic that day.


We soon exchanged the restful confines of the SWISS lounge for the chaos of secondary screening. There were flights leaving for Chicago and New York at adjacent gates which meant long screening lines.


After clearing the obstacle course, we waiting at gate E19 for LX6 to start boarding.


About 35 minutes before the scheduled time of departure, we headed down the jetway and into the cabin of the 9-year-old Airbus. There it is again, yup I’m definitely a sucker for cabin branding, understated in this case but classy.


As boarding continued, I…


enjoyed the view of the massive Airbus wing. I remember as a child being impressed by how large airplane wings were.


Each seat had a pillow, a blanket, and a basic amenity kit. As more long-haul carriers move away from First Class, I find that the amenities in Business Class for those carriers still with a First Class seem a bit of a step down which makes sense since they have to find ways to differentiate Business and First Class products.


Each seat also had a waiting bottle of water.


Pre-departure beverages were again offered and guess what United and American?


They were offered in REAL glasses! My wife went for water and I clearly went for orange juice (I think the pulp gave that away).


The seat didn’t have tons of storage space but at least there was a little cubby hole for my shows. Sorry, wifey, you snooze you lose!


Meal orders were taken and…


hot towels were distributed. Sorry, no steam this time but trust me, they were warm enough.


We pushed off of the gate on time and joined a long line of primarily North Atlantic bound traffic.

You can check out the take-off and flight video here. Fear not, another link will appear at the end of this trip report if you want to read on.

After takeoff, we made a slow, lazy turn which gave some spectacular views of Kloten airport!


Auf Wiedersehen Zurich! See you soon!!


The entertainment handset and…


the in-flight entertainment itself were a bit more modern but still a kind of old school.


If you don’t know, now you know (in my best Biggie Smalls voice).


The lunch service started with a full beverage cart and…


warmed nuts.


The second time around I did get a little H2O in addition to my usual Coke.


SWISS does offer in-flight wifi but…



like most carriers charges for it even in premium cabins. I think I’ll pass!


A second beverage service with adult beverages was offered along with…


the bread basket and…


appetizers. Not a huge melon fan but the shrimp was nice.


I decided to go for the salmon (sorry, I don’t remember what the other option was). The fish and potatoes were both flavorful.


Lunch was followed by tea and coffee and…


swiss chocolates, of course!


Last was dessert which was a raspberry cake. Not my taste but tolerable.


The lights were then turned off and prior to my mid-day siesta, I partook in strawberry ice cream.


I’m more of a vanilla kind of guy (well actually I’m chocolate but I like vanilla ice cream), but the strawberry hit the spot.


The seat controls on the A330 were a bit more streamlined than those on the A340. I reclined my seat into flat bed mode and slept for a solid five hours.


When I awoke, the mood lighting was indicating that “dawn” was a comin’.


As the artificial sunrise continued…


the second meal service started.


The service started with hot towels and beverages followed by…


the main which was a spinach and cheese pasta.


Once the service was finished, I made my way to the bathroom which much like the flight from Delhi was a bit spartan.


With a relatively early departure from Zurich (9 AM), we started our descent a few minutes before noon central standard time.


After a quick descent, the skyline of my favorite city in the world came into view. Sweet home Chicago!


After a short taxi to terminal 5, we quickly disembarked HB-JHA and sped through with Global Entry. After 33+ hours, I was happy to be home!


Flight Review:

Experience/Total stars: 4.3/5 stars-Pretty good!

  • Check-in: N/A, checked in with Air India in Male
  • Lounge: 5/5-The SWISS lounge in Zurich is spacious and well appointed.
  • Boarding: 4/5- The secondary screenings are always chaotic but that is not SWISS’s fault.
  • Seat: 3/5- The seats are good enough but I feel like the personal space and the storage space is quite lacking.
  • In-Flight Entertainment: 4/5-The A330 entertainment was a bit more voluminous.
  • Meals: 4/5- The meals were pretty good but the servings were small and the desserts weren’t quite my cup of tea.
  • Cabin Crew: 5/5-The crew was professional, friendly and attentive.
  • Cabin ambiance: 4/5- The mood lighting added a little something to the bland but professional appearing cabin.
  • Cabin cleanliness: 5/5-The cabin and lavatory remained clean throughout the flight.
  • Price paid and value for money: N/A, this was an award booking.
  • Thumbs down: The meal servings were a bit small and the seat is average at best (for a premium cabin seat).
  • Thumbs up: Nice, professional crew, good food, and a nice, restful sleep.


Video flight report for LX#147 DEL-ZRH:

Video flight report for LX#  ZRH-ORD:

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About The Docs


Idris is the creation of twin OB/Gyn Doctors Jamil and Idries Abdur-Rahman. Jamil (Dr. J) and Idries (Dr. I) were inspired to start after participating on season 22 of CBS’ ‘The Amazing Race’.

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