Author Topic: D93's Trip from TLV-ZRH-IAD-PHL and Skiing in Arosa  (Read 6075 times)

Offline D93

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D93's Trip from TLV-ZRH-IAD-PHL and Skiing in Arosa
« on: March 19, 2015, 04:18:21 PM »
First time writing a trip report, I hope it comes out good :)

Typed from: UA937
Posted from: UA Club - IAD

Plans (and I mean it literally because a lot of things changed last minute):
- Sunday 3/15: TLV-ZRH (LX255) in J (a340-300) - 25k SQ + $150
- Skiing in Arosa, Switzerland
- Thursday 3/19: ZRH-FRA-PHL (LH1185, LH426) in J - 57.5k UA

Sunday 3/15:
- Our 3:55pm flight from TLV to ZRH was delayed (due to “mechanical issues”) 20 minutes, then 45 minutes, then 1.5 hours, finally after 2 hours they officially canceled our flight. It was bedlam by the ticketing office and counters while LX was trying to rebook everyone. After about an hour wait, they rebooked us on the next day's flight (LX255), and the agent promised to upgrade me to F when I checked in the next day (to be honest, I didn't believe him). Swiss put us up at The Carlton Tel Aviv Hotel which is a very nice hotel for Israeli standards. After checking in to the hotel, we headed out to Lechem U'Basar, which was a 10 minute walk from the hotel, for an amazing supper - there's nothing like eating a 350 gram entr’acte steak when you haven't eaten all day!

Monday 3/16:
- After enjoying an amazing breakfast at the hotel, we took advantage of the 80 degree weather and hung out by the roof top pool, which has an amazing view of the the Mediterranean Sea and Tel Aviv.
A bus came to pick us up from the hotel at 1pm to bring us to the airport. As soon as I got in line to check in the agent from the night before came running over to tell me that he put me in F and I should follow him to get my boarding pass. He brought me up to the counter and printed me out my boarding pass with seat 2D printed on it - I'M FLYING LX F :) !!!
- LX F (a330-300) is truly amazing (although it's my first F product I've flown, so I can't compare it to others). The service was great, every few minutes the steward was back asking me if wanted anything else. Some people don't like such attentive service, for those people there's a “Do Not Disturb” switch on the side of the screen and you can flip it on. The leg room and bed had a enormous amount of space to stretch out, however the bed wasn't so comfortable – it felt like any other J bed, and they didn't provide pajamas because it's not their long-haul flight. There are only 2 rows in F which consist of 4 seats each, there were only 6 passengers in F, so the cabin felt a little private. As far as KSML goes, the appetizer which consisted of lox, salad, and a roll, was ok. The main dish might have looked like grilled chicken and potatoes, but tasted nothing even close to it. And the desert which was some kind cake in sauce, was very good.
- We landed in ZRH at 715pm, went through passport control, baggage claim and customs in under 45 minutes. Dropped off one of my 2 bags at the baggage storage, which  costs 26 CHF for 3 days. I picked up a SIM card from a Yello store in the airport for 10 CHF, which included 500mb of data and 5 CHF worth of calling, which was perfect for 3 days. After taking care of that, we headed to the train which is conveniently located in the airport, and started our 2.5 hr train ride from ZRH to Arosa. A round train ticket from ZRH to Arosa, a 2 day lift pass and 15% off ski rental coupon, costed 142 CHF. The train from ZRH to Arosa consists of 2 stops, first in Zurich HB, and then a stop in Chur. We nearly missed the connection in Chur for the last train of the night from Chur to Arosa due to the fact that we couldn't find where our platform was, and we weren't so dumb either, because it turns out that the platform for our train is outside the train station and it's barely marked!
- We arrived in Arosa at 11:50pm and walked 5 minutes to the Altein Hotel. When we got to the hotel, the door was locked and it was dark inside the lobby. We called the phone number hanging on the door and it wasn't until 12:30am until someone opened it for us. There aren't any “brand name” hotels in Arosa so we settled for this. We booked it through Hotels.com, cost was $720 for 4 people for 3 nights (even though we only ended up staying 2 nights, due to our canceled flight, they wouldn't refund us the cost of the first night). The hotel has 2 very nice indoor pools and sauna, but the rooms are very old and far from nice.

Tuesday 3/17:
- The day started with Shachris at The Metropal Hotel (aka Levin Hotel), a 8 minute walk from the hotel we were staying at. Afterward, it was time to hit up the slopes! We rented skis from InterSport, the cost (after the 15% coupon we got in the train station) was 85 CHF for 2 days. There are 2 mountains to ski on in Arosa - Weisshorn and Honrli, we spent from 10am until 5pm concurring Weisshorn. The mountain is so huge, that you need to take 2 cable cars in order to get to the top. Once your skiing down, there are tons of more chair lifts that go to all different trails on the mountain. It was a very cloudy/gray day, but the views are breathtaking and pictures really don't do justice.
- There are 3 levels of slopes - Blue, Red, and Black. The Blue's are very easy, Red is Hard, and Black is extremely difficult. There isn't any “intermediate” level slopes, and any beginner level skier shouldn't have a hard time going down the “blue” trails. I only dared to go down a “Black” once, and the result wasn't pretty ;)

Wednesday 3/18:
- The 2nd day skiing we went to the 2nd mountain of Hornli. Luckily it was a gorgeous and sunny day out, with temperatures in the mid 40's. Although the hot weather made for powdery snow (which is extremely hard to ski on), the views were unreal, almost fake looking!
After our 2nd full day of skiing we took the train from Arosa back to Zurich. There are some really beautiful views from the train going through the mountains, so we made sure to get on the train while it was still light out.
- While on the train I was informed that my LH flight the next day from ZRH-FRA-PHL was canceled. I called LH and the rep told me that since my flight was booked with miles she can only rebook me in economy, I said no thanks, and hung up. I then had UA call me, and got an extremely helpful rep who rebooked me on UA ZRH-IAD-PHL in J.
After arriving in Zurich HB train station, I took a cab (which costed 20 CHF) to the Park Hyatt (booked with 24k HGP - thanks to the 20% promo) The hotel is a beautiful place and the service was top notch, way above anything I've experienced anywhere else.

Thursday 3/19:
- After getting a little lost in ZRH trying to find where the baggage storage was and then trying to find the United check in counter (which is only 3 stalls all the way in a corner, and not easy to find), I finally checked in 65 minutes before departure - almost missing my flight!
UA J (767-300) is exactly like I expected, nothing special, but it most definitely beats sitting in the back of the bus! The bed isn't so long, and the fact that I’m 6 feet tall, made it not so comfortable to sleep. I didn't get KSML because I was only booked on this flight 12 hours before departure (even though I did request it when UA rebooked me), it's a good thing I've learned that when you travel, you bring your own backup, because it definitely came in handy this time!

- Getting ready to board my IAD-PHL flight soon!


A special thanks to @Sruly101, @EMCC, and @Chapshnell for helping me plan this trip!
« Last Edit: March 19, 2015, 04:59:33 PM by D93 »

Offline D93

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Re: D93's Trip from TLV-ZRH-IAD-PHL and Skiing in Arosa
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2015, 04:20:14 PM »
The Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv

Offline D93

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Re: D93's Trip from TLV-ZRH-IAD-PHL and Skiing in Arosa
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2015, 04:21:46 PM »
LX F!

Offline D93

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Re: D93's Trip from TLV-ZRH-IAD-PHL and Skiing in Arosa
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2015, 04:23:31 PM »
Day 1. Skiing on Weisshorn

Offline D93

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Re: D93's Trip from TLV-ZRH-IAD-PHL and Skiing in Arosa
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2015, 04:24:33 PM »
Day 2. Skiing on Hornli

Offline D93

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Re: D93's Trip from TLV-ZRH-IAD-PHL and Skiing in Arosa
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2015, 04:26:04 PM »
The Cable car up to the top of the mountain.

Offline D93

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Re: D93's Trip from TLV-ZRH-IAD-PHL and Skiing in Arosa
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2015, 04:27:11 PM »
Altein Hotel - view from the room and the pool.

Offline sky121

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Re: D93's Trip from TLV-ZRH-IAD-PHL and Skiing in Arosa
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2015, 04:27:52 PM »
Sounds like a fun trip! Nice job.
"Not all who wander are lost"

Offline D93

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Re: D93's Trip from TLV-ZRH-IAD-PHL and Skiing in Arosa
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2015, 04:28:24 PM »
Park Hyatt Zurich

Offline DMYD

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Re: D93's Trip from TLV-ZRH-IAD-PHL and Skiing in Arosa
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2015, 04:33:09 PM »
Wow cool stuff!!! And very nice first TR ;)

Offline mlomni

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Re: D93's Trip from TLV-ZRH-IAD-PHL and Skiing in Arosa
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2015, 04:33:20 PM »
Very nice Trip Report. Looks like a load of fun.

Offline D93

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Re: D93's Trip from TLV-ZRH-IAD-PHL and Skiing in Arosa
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2015, 04:34:07 PM »
UA J 767-300

Offline D93

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Re: D93's Trip from TLV-ZRH-IAD-PHL and Skiing in Arosa
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2015, 04:36:29 PM »
LX F - KSML  >:( :( :'(

Offline DMYD

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Re: D93's Trip from TLV-ZRH-IAD-PHL and Skiing in Arosa
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2015, 04:38:09 PM »
LX F - KSML  >:( :( :'(
It doesn't look that bad, maybe it was from you canceled flight?

Offline sruly101

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Re: D93's Trip from TLV-ZRH-IAD-PHL and Skiing in Arosa
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2015, 04:39:10 PM »
WOW beautiful trip and well written, Im happy everything worked out in the end!

Offline benjie1305

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Re: D93's Trip from TLV-ZRH-IAD-PHL and Skiing in Arosa
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2015, 04:43:26 PM »
Nice TR!
Work hard, Play harder!

Offline Myccrabbi

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Re: D93's Trip from TLV-ZRH-IAD-PHL and Skiing in Arosa
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2015, 04:47:00 PM »
LX F - KSML  >:( :( :'(
I'm surprised!
my hamasbia ksml on UA Tlv-ewr was normal and appetizing

If u work for a living, why kill urself working?

Offline D93

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Re: D93's Trip from TLV-ZRH-IAD-PHL and Skiing in Arosa
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2015, 04:49:36 PM »
UA3335: IAD-PHL (ERJ-145)

Offline JayR

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Re: D93's Trip from TLV-ZRH-IAD-PHL and Skiing in Arosa
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2015, 05:00:25 PM »
Nice TR. Any pictures of the view from the train?
You can modify your original post. The modify button is right next to the quote button.

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Re: D93's Trip from TLV-ZRH-IAD-PHL and Skiing in Arosa
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2015, 05:15:32 PM »
Nice TR! Succinct and to the point. Sounds like having the first flight cancelled wasn't so bad after all.  ;)