The Swiss counter was right behind us, and we went there with our vouchers. The Swiss people were very helpful getting us checked in, although they had a mechanical problem printing new baggage tags. We got boarding passes, which showed that the flight was in—ten minutes? “Can we make it?” we asked. “Oh, yes!” we were assured. Not very comforted, we essentially flung ourselves and carry-on gear at the gate security people and hastened to the new gate, to find that when the Swiss mean the flight is at 9:25AM, that’s when it starts to board—not takes off. Whew!
Swiss International flies Airbus equipment, and we found the 320 series craft that took us to Zurich quite comfortable, and the A380 that carried us from Zurich to Chicago more comfortable yet. Although we had interior seats, I think we were better seated then the Alitalia Boeing that had brought us over. I was surprised, since the Airbus we traveled to and from Ireland in was noisier and more wearing, but I suppose there are differences in individual airlines equipment and finishing that are noticeable.
On the ground in Zurich, we had ample but not excessive time to get literally from one end of the airport to the other—the two terminals are connected by an underground tram. We might have time to add some Swiss chocolate to our hoard, but we noticed that prices in the Zurich stores were posted in Swiss Francs rather than Euros—never occurred to me Switzerland wasn’t on the Euro—and we just didn’t feel like even talking to anyone to see if the stores would take the Euros we had, so we just pushed on to our next gate.
Once boarded, we were able to relax somewhat, although, as Georgie said, we couldn’t be really happy until we got to O’Hare and saw our baggage on the carousel. The Swiss cabin service was superior, although the food we had from Alitalia for main meal was better. The Swiss had nice touches like giving out warm moist washcloths just before landing, and I’d definitely consider flying with them again.
We had a very smooth flight and got into O’Hare with no difficulty and through passport control with little waiting. The baggage system did disgorge our bags, we changed our few Euro bills back to US currency, and went out to wait for the Coach Wisconsin bus. We had no problem getting it, and I phoned Henry Osier a couple of times during the trip to update him on our ETA. He met us at the Amtrak depot stop and hauled us safely home at last.