Just a few weeks ago, I was in First Class on Swiss on my return flight from Zurich to Miami. There were only 2 of us in First. I was already looking forward to the “caviar tasting” with 3 different types of caviar, which they typically offer when there are not too many people flying.
After we push back from the gate and align for the runway, the pilot does his standard engine check, and finds there is a problem with one engine. So it’s back to the gate, waiting for the repair crew to arrive – so far nothing special, that happens quite often – but this time, after about 60 minutes in the plane, the pilot announces that the engine cannot be fixed, and thus we need to de-plane. Luckily, he mentioned at the same time that Swiss had found a backup plane, and we could still take off today after the bags are re-loaded into the new one.
The second first class passenger and I are having some snacks in the amazing Zurich First Class Lounge, when an airline manager comes in and tells us that we have two choices – either fly today but in Business, or wait until tomorrow and keep our class.
And it was not because the new plane didn’t have any First Class – no, it was because the flight crew were to “occupy” the entire First Class section to “rest”!! They had to do overtime because of the delay and the long flight, and agreed to do the delayed flight only if they had “First Class” beds to “rest”. Made no sense to me, but that’s what it was. No First Class for us, First Class for the flight attendants.