Hi, I'm Lu!

A PhD Student at University of Chicago who loves discovering the world and trying new eats! Hope you enjoy!

My flight to Zurich came with some expectations since it was, after all, Swiss Air.  Last time I flew to Zurich on Swiss Air, the flight attendants were all so friendly.  One even moved us to the exit row!  Also, there is more than enough space for your legs, definitely better conditions than any American airline.  Overall, my last impression was that Swiss Air is this amazing airline that catered to its customers. Unfortunately, it was not my impression this time, although most of it was due to unrelated Swiss Air issues that came up.  First, once I got on the flight, a mother came down the aisle with her baby, who was throwing a fit.  I was crossing my fingers that they would not sit near me, but they plopped down right next to me!  What a disappointment.  I was expecting to sleep through my flight (since it was overnight), but instead I ended up staying awake the entire time since the baby never slept (except for maybe 30 minutes).

My annoyance was elevated when I proceeded to find out that we had to wait for the control tower to give us the OK to leave.  15 minutes passed, then 30, then 1 hour.  We ended up sitting on the plane for 1.5 hours before we took off.  It was one of those moments when your watch seems to be broken.

Then during the flight, the lady sitting next to me kept putting her elbow on my side of the seat while she was sleeping.  I wanted to avoid her arm, but it was inevitable that I would accidentally touch it.  This one time, she woke up after I tapped her arm and said, “Could you please be more careful?  You feel like a tarantula”.  Seriously?!  I wonder if she has ever touched a tarantula before, because I’m pretty sure it does not feel like me accidentally tapping her arm.

On top of the racket caused by people around me, the flight had very curt flight attendants.  Most of them did not smile and limited their words to the bare minimum.  At least the food they served was yummy!  The best part about Swiss Air is that you can choose from a wide variety of meals, from Low Fat to Vegan, when purchasing your plane ticket.  I decided to go with a Low Fat/No Cholesterol meal (Figure 1).  To my surprise, the chicken was tender, and the sauce with rice worked extremely well together.  It was even delicious enough for me to finish my carrots!  For breakfast, we were served croissants and yogurt.  The yogurt was nothing special, but the croissants were warm and buttery!  I definitely took a second croissant when it was offered.

During the landing, I was able to see the land out the window (I wanted to take photos, but tarantula lady sitting next to me and the window kept giving me the stink eye).  It was absolutely picturesque.  Each farm field looked so clean cut with the different shades of green while the bright yellow fields of canola stood out amongst the other vegetables.  I could not believe how gorgeous Switzerland is!

Once we landed, I headed out of the airport to take Tram #10 to University of Zurich Irchel.  But first I needed to purchase a tram ticket.  Let’s just say the ticket machines are a bit confusing as the only word I could read on it was “Zurich”, and it did not even have instructions.  I asked a bus driver, but he only knew a couple English words.  There is basically a number pad and 3 larger buttons below it.  So I pressed the large button on the left that said Zurich, and the price of 6.40 SF came up.  6.40 SF for a 15 minute tram ride?!  That was a little preposterous so I pressed the ½ button (under the screen where it shows the price), and it became 3.20 SF.  With that, I got my ticket, which I later found out is a half price ticket for children and people who have monthly half price tickets…  I was supposed to purchase the 6.40 SF ticket, which lasts for 1 hour, and the 8.60 SF ticket (the button on the right) is valid for 24 hours.  Good thing no one came by to check the tickets on the tram (they go by an honor system, but someone apparently comes and checks once in a while).  Be honorable and purchase a tram ticket; plus, if you are caught, you get fined a lot more than 6.40 SF.

The trams themselves are probably the nicest form of public transportation I have ever taken.  There are ramps that fold out so it was easy for me to roll my luggage onto the tram.  In addition, the trams are so clean and have a fresh air (unlike the urine smell on most public transportation systems in the US).  However, it is important to press the green button on or next to the door when you want to get on or off the tram.  If you do not, that particular door will not open!

Tips:

  1. Take Swiss Air for the leg room and food.
  2. Look above for which buttons to press for different tram tickets.
  3. Press the green button to get on/off the trams.

Rating (Swiss Air):

I am giving Swiss Air a 4 because the past flight attendants and the food I had were beyond satisfactory.  My negative experience was not really caused by the airline.  I would take Swiss Air over United or American just for the leg space!

Rating (Zurich Tram System):

Everything was PERFECT except for the part where you have to purchase your tram ticket.

Getting technological in Switzerland

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