Edelweiss Air Launches Non Stop Service from San Diego to Zurich Switzerland

 

If you are a frequent flyer, the news of the addition of non-stop service to international destinations departing directly from San Diego's Lindbergh Field is music to your ears.

That music might now come in the form of a yodel with the start of direct service from San Diego to Zurich on Edelweiss Air, which began early June of this year.

I had the recent opportunity to experience this flight, both in the economy and economy max class, and am happy to share my experience with readers who are contemplating a visit to the land of magnificent scenery and warm hospitality—either for business or pleasure.

 Flights leave in the evening from the Terminal 2 International departure area at San Diego International Airport.   © Tony DiBona

Flights leave in the evening from the Terminal 2 International departure area at San Diego International Airport.   © Tony DiBona

First of all, shaving off hours of travel time between the two destinations is incentive enough to consider booking a flight on Edelweiss Air. Gone is the hassle of having to fly to a major hub to connect to a direct flight to Zurich, and with it the possibility of lost baggage and missed connections.

At this point in time, flights depart Friday and Monday evenings out of San Diego's quiet and comfortable international departure area in Terminal 2 and arrive in Zurich the next afternoon. With the precision anyone visiting Switzerland will learn to respect (i.e., trains arrive and depart on the second), the flights were right on time and boarding was quick and effortless.

 Business class seats transform into a lie-down bed at the flick of a switch. © Joanne DiBona

Business class seats transform into a lie-down bed at the flick of a switch. © Joanne DiBona

The Airbus A-340-300 seats 314 passengers in three classes: business, economy max and economy. Business class seats convert into fully horizontal 6.5 ft. beds at the press of a button, with the capability of adjusting bed firmness and adding a massage feature.

Bright, fluffy pillows in red cases and a fresh blanket welcome passengers in all classes. State-of-the art entertainment systems, featuring a wide variety of options, are also standard and ear buds are also provided. You can also choose to connect your mobile device to the system (install the app before your flight to access even a wider variety of entertainment options). USB power ports are available at all seats in every class.

 There is no lack of quality entertainment onboard, available in all flight classes  © Joanne DiBona

There is no lack of quality entertainment onboard, available in all flight classes  © Joanne DiBona

The Economy Max class offers 5” more pitch between seats and a deeper recline, in addition to free alcoholic beverages and an amenity kit. That being said, the seats in economy were quite comfortable with ample leg room to allow even a taller person to stretch one's legs during flight. Adjustable neck supports in both economy classes were also a welcome touch.

 Swiss-themed meal     © Joanne DiBona

Swiss-themed meal     © Joanne DiBona

Both a main meal and smaller snack are provided (using Swiss products when available). Alcoholic beverages are available for purchase in Economy at industry standard rates. Edelweiss also offers a large selection of special meals to cater to diverse culinary wishes. Note that special meal requests must be submitted at least 4 days in advance via the airline website.

Friendly and gracious flight attendants stood ready to accommodate the passengers’ every need. The plane’s interior was impeccably clean (I found the scented wipes available in the lavatories a pleasant touch) and there was definitely a calm atmosphere in the cabin that made the long journey as relaxing as possible.

 Our gracious Edelweiss flight attendant     © Tony DiBona

Our gracious Edelweiss flight attendant     © Tony DiBona

Our disembarkment at the Zurich terminal was equally as speedy and effortless as in San Diego. My final destination was Lake Geneva and the picturesque cities of Montreux, Vevey and Lausanne.  Once again, thanks to the efficiency of the Swiss rail system (trains to Swiss and other European destinations depart directly from the airport) within 20 minutes I was speeding along the glorious countryside on route to my next visitor adventure.

When flying internationally, it’s not often you can say that getting there was half the fun. But in this case, Edelweiss definitely provided a perfect start to my glorious travel adventure through Switzerland.

 Leaving San Diego on route to Zurich   @ Joanne DiBona

Leaving San Diego on route to Zurich   @ Joanne DiBona

IF YOU GO

Edelweiss currently offers non-stop flights to Zurich International Airport from San Diego Lindbergh Field Fridays and Mondays through September 18, 2017.

Edelweiss flights from San Diego can be booked at swiss.comlufthansa.com or through any travel agency. For more information on the Edelweiss product please visit flyedelweiss.com

 Welcome to Zurich!    © Tony DiBona

Welcome to Zurich!    © Tony DiBona

 

 

 

 

 

 

British Airways Launches Direct San Diego-London Service--and What a Way to Go!

When my husband Tony and I learned that British Airways would begin direct service from San Diego to London on June 1, we let out a sigh of relief and rushed to purchase our tickets for a trip to Munich, via London, as part of a long-awaited Bavarian holiday.

As avid travelers to Europe, we knew that this direct connection would shave off at least five hours of travel time to Munich. Back in 2000, when British Airways last offered non-stop service from San Diego, we took advantage of the direct flight for a trip to Rome and never forgot the ease of boarding in San Diego and arriving in the Eternal City with just one stop.

Our departure to London from San Diego's Lindbergh Field on June 3 had to be one of the most pleasant flying experiences we've ever encountered. Since our flight was scheduled for 8:15 pm, we had the entire day to take care of the odds and ends one needs to attend to before leaving home for a two-week vacation. How we appreciated not having to get up in the wee hours of the morning to catch our flight, which always resulted in our feeling exhausted even before the long journey began!

 British Airways World Traveler Coach

British Airways World Traveler Coach

Our shuttle picked us up late afternoon and deposited us directly in front of the British Airways terminal. Our immediate impression was one of calm, enhanced by the personal attention afforded us by attentive British Airways personnel. As we approached the ticket counter, we were greeted by the smiling face of a British Airways representative who was just checking in on whether all was well and asked if we needed any assistance.

Thankfully, we did not. The otherwise hectic ordeal of being processed through security seemed very easy and almost even pleasant this time around. There were no long lines and in a few minutes, we found ourselves comfortably seated in the quaint rocking chairs that lined the windows in the British Airways passenger waiting area. Since Lindbergh Field offers free wi-fi, I was able to read and respond to emails and surf the net as we waited for our flight to board.

 Club world Business Class

Club world Business Class

Boarding was a breeze, and we soon found ourselves nestled in our seats in the sleek Boeing 777-200 which would be our home for the next nine hours. The San Diego-London route offers three classes: Club World (business), World Traveler Plus (enhanced coach), and World Traveler (coach). The World Traveler seats are more spacious than standard, so even travelers on a budget can be assured of a more comfortable voyage than usual, with World Traveler Plus offering even wider seating. 

Business travelers will more than welcome the comfort of Club World, which boasts an environment that will ensure a pleasant night's rest upon arrival in London. Spacious cubicles offer a wide variety of media and audio entertainment in a living room-type environment. Food and beverage service is exceptional, featuring gourmet dinner entrees accompanied by fine wines and spirits. Of course, the conversion of seats into full beds is the ultimate in business class luxury, and British Airways again excels in creating the ultimate sleeping environment for the business traveler.

We observed that service in all sections was top-notch, with gracious flight personnel attending to the passengers' every need.

Furthermore, it was immediately evident upon take-off that this new Boeing 777 was one of the most quiet, yet powerful, jets we had ever experienced, and we learned that this particular aircraft can definitely be categorized as "green" for its fuel consumption and earth-friendly, limited emissions.

We landed in London's Heathrow on time and made our way through security without much fuss, though the lines were definitely longer than in San Diego. We found our connecting flight to Munich quite easily and in 90-minutes, arrived at our destination in truly "record" time.

Tony and I are convinced. Save yourself time, stress and hassle, and book British Airways from San Diego for your next flight to London and destinations beyond.

Photos © Joanne DiBona