MADE BY MEMBERS • November 2021
Many of us dream of Switzerland: the snowy peaks, the gooey fondue, the twinkling towns. But some lucky souls get to live there. Such is life for Janet Wertli, expat Swiss citizen and Gold Member. This month she talks with The Club about warm welcomes, efficiency and pyjamas
When did you first become Gold?
2013. I was comfortably maintaining Silver thanks to several trips back and forth from the UK to the USA, where I was living at the time. It was a business class flight (on sale!) that pushed me into Gold.
What’s your favourite thing about flying with British Airways?
Banter with the cabin crew. On a weather-delayed flight to Hong Kong, the crew told me we’d be taking off soon and I said, “If you believe that, bet me a mini bottle of Champagne for every 30 minutes we’re still here.” They did, and let’s just say I won a few bottles!
Favourite thing about being a Gold Member?
First check-in at Heathrow (pictured below) and being immediately inside the lounge after the private security. Dropping my bags to a drink in hand in under ten minutes – bliss.
Top tip for other Executive Club Members looking to hit Gold?
Sometimes the cost of a business class ticket isn’t much more than an economy one, but it gives you way more Tier Points. Look out for this, especially on short-haul European flights.
Favourite route for keeping your Tier Points topped up?
I do an annual London to Hong Kong or even Sydney trip in Club World. This flight always gives me a big Tier Points boost and then enough Avios for several ‘free’ European Reward Flights.
What is your most flown route?
Zurich to London.
Favourite London hangouts?
Aqua Shard for drinks (pictured below – the views over London are amazing), the V&A museum for fabulous exhibitions and Selfridges for shopping.
Which is your favourite cabin and why?
Obviously First, especially if I get a surprise upgrade! I love the pyjamas you get given. I have a small collection of them, which I wore at home during Covid.
The old 747s with the small business class upstairs were cool.
Aisle or window seat?
Aisle for me.
How did you end up in Switzerland?
My husband is Swiss. We met in London where he was working, and then, after ten years of living as expats in Asia and the USA, his company finally moved him ‘home’.
Click play on the video below to listen
Best thing about living in Switzerland?
The rumours are true: it’s very organised and clean, and everything ‘works’ like clockwork.
Any advice for sleeping on planes?
My trick is JBL noise-cancelling headphones and a good smooth jazz or classical playlist. I’ll put on some Sade, Jamie Cullum and Harry Connick Jr. I also love Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet (above) and Vittorio Grigòlo.
What are the three packing essentials you take on every flight?
The headphones, my Super Restorative Day Cream from Clarins (which I’ve used for the last 25 years) and a water spray to spritz my curls before arrival.
Your most underrated packing tip?
I always pack just two colours in various tones. That way everything coordinates and I don’t need so many shoes. I don’t know why more people don’t do it! Typically I’ll either do tones of blue or chocolate, tan and cream.
Most important thing you’ve learned from the Covid crisis?
Spending quality time with those you care about is priceless.
How do you get the most out of your Avios?
I use mine mostly on upgrades, upgrading from premium economy to Club World.
Best places to drink in Zurich?
On a clear day it’s enjoying a glass of wine at Bauschänzli – a relaxed spot for an afternoon pit stop. It’s not fancy, but the staff are always friendly. Also Kronenhalle has a great little bar that’s never busy during the day. It’s not too well known, either, and the walls have some fabulous original artworks that wouldn’t be out of place in the Tate.
Best sights in Zurich?
I often go to the area near the Arboretum. You can sit on the grass and people-watch or read a book enjoying the sun in the summer. I find glimpsing the Alps in the background very calming.
Best souvenir in Zurich?
Take a tour of the Lindt Chocolate Museum (pictured above) and take home your own chocolate bar.
Best food in Zurich?
Co Chin Chin is one of my favourites and the area surrounding it has plenty of spots to choose from, too. Zeughauskeller is a bit touristy but always good fun, and try Hitl – the oldest vegetarian restaurant in Europe.
Favourite hotel in the world?
The Westin Singapore. We always get a warm welcome and a great room – and the staff in the lounge even remember what our favourite drinks are!