I took a surprising flight with the Swiss Leisure airline Edelweiss Air, onboard an Airbus A340 in Business Class from Buenos Aires to Zurich!
Ezeiza Airport is about a 40 minute drive from downtown Buenos Aires, and today it cost me just £11 in a famous drive sharing app.
As always the airport was absolute chaos today, and I negotiated lines of traffic to get into Terminal A.
Once I’d safely made it into the terminal, I headed to Checkin. My flight to Zurich was a codeshare with Swiss, who own Edelweiss.
Once I’d checked in it was time to negotiate the massive queue for passport control. There’s no fast track for anyone except crew, so you just have to suck it up and wait. And wait.
The Star Alliance lounge is located upstairs, opposite gate 9.
It’s a reasonable lounge, albeit a little dark.
My ride today was this Airbus A340 that was originally delivered to Swiss in 2003. In 2017 she went to Edelweiss where she’s been ever since.
The seating configuration on Edelweiss is a little strange. On the left hand side it’s staggered between throne seats and double seats. On the right hand side it’s staggered between window and aisle seats – just like TAP’s A330neo. There’s also a premium economy cabin in front of the business class cabin, right up to the nose. I’ve never quite seen a configuration like it.
Today, I was in a throne seat in row 11.
Nuts and champagne were served at the gate.
The menu was handed out, with options for a five course meal.
Fairly soon the jetbridge disconnected, and we pushed back for what is currently the longest Airbus A340-300 flight in the world.
Takeoff was incredibly long today as the A340 eased slowly away from the ground for our 13 hour flight.
Our route on tonight’s flight took us north out of Argentina to cross Uruguay and Brazil. We crossed the north coast of Brazil near to the city of Fortaleza. We crossed the Atlantic passing Cape Verde, the Canaries and Madeira before coasting into Europe over northern Portugal. We crossed Spain and southern France, before commencing our descent into Zurich over the city of Geneva.
Flight time tonight was 13 hours and 4 minutes, at a cruising altitude of 33,35 and 38,000ft.
The dinner service started very soon after departure from Buenos Aires. Starter was an Amuse-bouche, followed by a salad, and a main course of beef tenderloin which was inccredible. Then there was a selection of cheesees before a dessert of cake, fruit or yoghurt.
All of this just begs the question – what is Lufthansa playing at when a holiday airline in their group has a far superiorr business class to the flagship product, supposedly a 5 star airline?
The amenity kits are presented in a very unique tin. Inside there’s a pair of socks, eye mask, earplugs and dental kit.
I indulged in a couple of glasses of Baileys as the sun set over the Amazon below us, to set me up for a night’s sleep.
I woke up somewhere over Portugal.
Breakfast was a great choice of plates, I picked out a continental style and some scrambled eggs. It wasn’t brilliant, but it was certainly not bad at all.
The inflight entertainment has a great choice of TV and movies. The Sennheiser headphones are a nice touch, and give great quality audio.
A small cake was bought around before landing.
We were soon descending over the Alps into Zurich, where we made an arrival slightly ahead of schedule at 6:13am.
My flight back from Buenos Aires worked out at £505, or 649 US dollars as the return portion of my outward flight from Frankfurt with Lufthansa. This was for a flight of 7020 miles, giving a cost per mile of just 7 pence.
Compared to my outbound Lufthansa flight in business class, Edelweiss were the far superior airline. The seat was incredible, service was efficient and pleasant, and the food was amazing. Zurich is also a pleasure to connect through compared to the mess that is Frankfurt airport, and within 10 minutes of disembarking I was at the gate for my conncting flight back to Birmingham.