*In collaboration with Switzerland Tourism
I got to fly SWISS for the first time last week on my return trip from Zurich back to Helsinki via Stockholm Arlanda.
Swiss International Airlines is the largest airline in Switzerland and was founded only in 2002. SWISS operates vastly around Europe, but also in North and South America, Africa and Asia – all together to around 70 destinations. The airline is a part of Star Alliance.
My flight was sponsored to me by Switzerland Tourism, with whom I got to adventure in Geneva, Lucerne & Engelberg for one wonderful week. So stay tuned for more posts from the destination itself!
Flying the new Bombardier CS300 onboard SWISS
I actually had no idea I was going to experience the new Bombardier CS300 nor that SWISS flew them as not many airlines at least thus far do. And actually as I first sat down, I thought I had boarded the usual A320 for a second, but the bigger windows, new cabin and the 2-3 seating made me wonder.
Bombardier is especially committed in producing more sustainable fleet for the future of aviation. The new Bombardier CS300 took its own Eco Design team to take into account every minor detail during production to be as environmentally friendly as possible. Surely flying has not yet anything to do with living a sustainable life, but at least the entire industry has taken a leap into the right direction – which is beyond necessary as air traffic is enjoying a rapid growth in the years to come.
The new Bombardier CS300 fully fits the new sustainability requirements set by ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation).
SWISS Bombardier CS300 cabin offered more comfort than many I’ve experienced before. I myself traveled in business class, but the seats are the same throughout the cabin in most short-haul aircrafts anyhow. The seats are not massive, but a little wider and the leg room is a little extra than in most aircraft cabins.
So from my one 2-hour flight experience, I don’t have a bad word to put for the Bombardier CS300.
Aside of the Bombardier CS300 and CS100, SWISS also flies on several Airbus types and Boeing 777-300.
Service is SWISS business class
As mentioned in a prior chapter, I flew SWISS in business while my dear friend happened to fly in economy and shared her experience with me as we landed to Arlanda – read more on her experience in the next chapter about service in SWISS economy class.
I was seated in 1A on the two-seated row and the seat next to me was reserved empty for my comfort. On the three-seated row the middle seat is kept empty in business class. What I noticed a tad unusual from most flights was that there was no curtain to separate the two travel classes, which I think is an improvement as there’s nothing worse than sitting in the first row of economy with a little curtain flowing over your knees.
The service on business class was good, but nothing remarkable. Everything worked as should, but I would have expected the flight attendant to smile a little more and to be fully present with the few business class passengers of our flight. But mostly the crew seemed to be of friendly manner.
On SWISS business class flights within Europe there is always a meal served just after reaching the set altitude. The cruising took a bit longer due to heavy clouds and some bounces as we headed towards the sky.
My newly adopted Swiss cheese diet got to continue as the meals were served. For dinner, I enjoyed some dried beef with vegetables and cheese
With dessert I enjoyed some tea, but I actually always bring my own teas on flights so I just request some hot water with lemon.
Before landing, we were served some incredible Swiss chocolate, which I can never have enough of.
Service in SWISS economy class
My intention was to fly SWISS in economy towards Switzerland and business back, but it was more convenient to head out on a direct Finnair flight from Helsinki to Geneva. But as mentioned above, luckily my friend was travelling economy on the same flight so she could spare her thoughts on it with me as we had landed to Stockholm.
The great thing is that on all flights over 2 hours, they serve a snack included in the price also in economy class, expect on Economy Light ticket class on flights to and from Geneva. Also beverages are included in the meal service for economy class passengers, which seems to be a luxury on shorter flights these days.
The seats do not differ in the economy on Bombardier CS300 and economy passengers were also served Swiss chocolate before landing.
The new SWISS Business Lounge at Zurich Airport
On my return journey I made sure to have a bit of time to spend in the newly opened fabulous SWISS Business Lounge at the Gates A area.
The lounge can be found right after security walking a couple of minutes towards the right. My first note was on how modern everything was as I walked through the automated gates towards the bathroom and its automated doors.
The new SWISS Business Lounge is on three floors. Next to the front desk on the first floors there are already a few seats, the second floor has a bigger seating & working area and meal + drink service. On the third floor there is a quiet working space, which is something I often miss at an airport lounge on a longer layover if I have a ton of work to catch up on as per usual.
I’ve heard a few people say the lounge can get a little too crowded at peak hours. I was flying in late afternoon and while the lounge was reasonably busy, it was still easy to find a comfortable seating.
The lounge is modern but with a lot of interesting details for those who take a closer look, the ceiling is structured almost in a traditional Swiss chalet style, but just with that modern twist.
The meal options looked delicious with a burger stand, salad bar and some delicious cheese – but I was unfortunately not feeling hungry, so I went straight to my usual Gin & Tonic. I would say the food looked better than average. Though truth to be told it was no vegetarian or vegan dream though.
Conclusion about my experience flying SWISS
- Route: Zurich-Stockholm Arlanda
- Aircraft: Bombardier CS300
- Seat: 1A
- Class: Business
- Travel time: n. 2h 20 min
This was my first ever flight onboard SWISS and it was definitely mostly a very positive one, just as I expected knowing the usual Swiss standards and quality. The comfort in the cabin of Bombardier CS300 was outstanding, while the service was good but average.
As mentioned in the beginning, SWISS is part of Star Alliance and currently does not operate any routes from Helsinki. I myself am in the Finnair Plus program, so I mostly fly on other oneworld airlines, but like to experiment and review as many as I can on my travels. I may return to Switzerland later this fall and fly SWISS again and will share my experiences later. I hope to some day also have the opportunity to experience a long-haul flight with SWISS as I’ve heard only good things.
Remains to be seen if SWISS one day starts to operate from Helsinki, last year they did a little adventure all the way to Rovaniemi in the winter after all!
Have you flown SWISS before?8