TRIP REPORT: Swiss, Sao Paulo - Belgrade via Zurich


Written by Mihajlo Murgovski

I decided to contribute with my flight from Brazil to Serbia back on 5th of January 2021.

LX5899 GRU – ZRH ~11.5h
LX1416 ZRH – BEG ~1.5h

After a lovely break from reality and a month in South America despite Covid crisis, it was time to go home. I’ve chosen Swiss for convenient schedule on transfer via Zurich and lack of restrictions for transferring passengers.

International flights depart from Terminal 3 at GRU airport. All passengers were advised to come much earlier than usual due to Covid-19 procedures. PCR testing facility was also available (cost was around 70 USD - with results within an hour of testing). Queue was too long so I decided to skip the line and get the PCR test done in Belgrade upon arrival.

Usually a very busy airport was now significantly less crowded as some restrictions on flying to and from Brazil were in place already. I’ve decided to check out the T3 lounges to pass the time.

There is a variety of possibilities here and while service in terms of catering was rather limited, all T3 lounges kept their level of quality product. I stayed in the Star Alliance lounge until the flight. The lounge was empty as well - lines for showers and other amenities were almost non-existent.

The flight started embarking on time and it was noticeable that the Swiss B777 would be full. Line was rather long but boarding was completed rather smoothly regardless of the crowd.

Decent legroom on Swiss B777

All Covid-19 requirements were still in place – masks were obligatory through the flight with exception of meal time which to me did not make much sense (many people took their masks off at that point and crew had to remind them to put them back on afterwards).

Keeping in mind that I’m departing from a high-risk area, I decided to skip my meal and get some rest for the remaining flight time. The rest of the flight was also rather uneventful and we were woken up for breakfast one and a half hour before landing. 

Swiss has added a useful option to screens whereas you could get info on your connecting flight.

My connecting flight had a very quick connection.

Luckily, the gate was located just after the additional security checkpoint so I was able to make it on time. Terminal was completely empty and there were less than 20 people waiting to get on board the next Swiss flight to Belgrade with the A220.

Plane was quite new and well maintained. Light breakfast was given upon departure.

Swiss A220 flying over the alps

After total of 15 hours, I reached my final destination. I was very pleased to see Swiss keeping up their standard of service despite the pandemic, even though social distancing in an overcrowded transcontinental flight on the B777 was virtually impossible. Leg from ZRH to BEG was okay keeping in mind very low load factor.

Upon arrival, Belgrade Airport was completely deserted, as no other flight was neither departing nor arriving besides Swiss for a few hours. I received quarantine notice at passport control and headed home, trying to get used to it being 30 degrees less outside.

A220 at BEG

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  1. Anonymous09:42

    Aviation is still struggling big time. Yesterday Lufthansa's FRA-VIE on the A321neo had around 20 passengers. Hopefully restrictions are lifted soon otherwise we are going to face total collapse

  2. Anonymous10:56

    Testing at the airport is way more intelligent than what Serbian authorities are doing.

  3. JU520 BEGLAX12:50

    I like GRU Term 3, big windows and great view to the apron and runway. My favorite airport terminal
    Glad to hear u liked it on LX. Flights around Xmas were indeed packed to GRU (they had even flying 2 a/c within 2 hours ZRHGRU)


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