22 Jul REVIEW: SWISS Business Class (A333)
On one of my recent business trips, I had the pleasure of flying on SWISS (LX87) from YUL-ZRH-TXL. I’ve been wanting to fly with SWISS for awhile now to try their Business Class product. Here’s my take on SWISS’s product offering.
SWISS Airbus 330-300 parked at Gate 57 in YUL, ready for departure to ZRH.
SWISS’s A330-300 has 3 cabins: First, Business, and Economy. The First Cabin are divided into an 8-seat, 1-2-1 suite layout. Business is either a 2-2-1 or 1-2-1 – The 1 on port-side is known as the “Throne Seat”. If you’re going to be booking one of the 45 seats, you’ll want that one. It’s literally shaped like a throne. Finally, the 183-seat economy cabin is in a 2-4-2 configuration.
Interestingly enough, in terms of boarding lanes, SWISS prioritized travellers who need assistance and travellers with children, even before First and Business passengers. This was the first time I’ve seen boarding done that way.
SWISS First Class has 8-seats in a 1-2-1 setup. The two middle seats have a privacy divider that can be lowered. Thanks to the purser for showing me the cabin!
I wish I had this seat for my flight!
CABIN AND SEAT
SWISS’s business cabin has 45 lie-flat seats, 20.5″ wide, in two configurations (2-2-1 or 1-2-1). This can be ideal if you’re flying with a travel partner. Otherwise you’ll want one of the single window seats – the views of the Alps are gorgeous when flying over Switzerland. The lie-flat seat features a huge amount of leg room, personal IFE, noise cancelling headphones, an amenity kit, DC and USB chargers, and a blanket and pillow. You are served a beverage prior to take off (water, juice, champagne), and receive your breakfast card to fill out.
360º of the SWISS Business Cabin (A330-300)
My seat 9K.
Lots of leg room for a restful flight across the Atlantic.
The only alcoholic beverage I took during the flight. It was edging towards 5pm 🙂
FOOD AND BEVERAGE
On this SWISS flight, we were served the entire meal at once. I find this service method to be particularly effective when travelling across the Atlantic as it allows for enough time to eat and sleep. Other carriers tend to stretch out the service by bringing the 3 courses separately.
First course: Seasonal salad with tomatoes and Kalamata olives
Main Course Choices:
- Roasted beef tenderloin with olive jus. Polenta cake with dried tomatoes, glazed carrot and parnsip
- Chicken breast with piri-piri sauce. Lyonnaise potatoes and celeriac, sauteed spinish, baby corn
- Seared sea bass with cilatron butter
- Spinach and cheese ravioli with green pea and Asiago sauce
Cheese: Selection of Swiss and international cheese
Dessert: Mango and passion fruit mousse cake, Swiss chocolates
The Quick Option: A combination of smoked duck breast with celeriac and apple salad, cheese and dessert.
I was a bit disappointed that Mövenpick ice cream was not available on this flight.
- Duval-Leroy Brut – Vertus, Champagne, France
- Biancovino Bianco di Merlot 2017 – Cantina Giubiasco – Ticino, Switzerland
- Anjou Blanc 2017 – Chateau de Tigné – Val de Loire, France
- Biasca Premium 2016, Gialdi – Biasca, Ticino, Switzerland
- Château Paloumey Cru Bourgeois 2011, Haut-Médoc – Bordeaux, France
- Tautavel AOP 2015, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
A selection of Aperitif, Beers, Tea, Coffee, Digestif, and Soft drinks are also available.
Just prior to landing, you are also served a light breakfast of your choice, as indicated on a meal card prior to taking off. A choice of pastries, fruit, coffee, tea is available.
Nothing like having dinner at 30,000ft!
The In-Flight Entertaiment has a wide variety of movie and TV show selection as well as games. I managed to watch a few sports shows while having my meal. Although it is a touchscreen, there is a controller you can pull out to navigate the content in case you are in a recline or lying down position. I didn’t get to use the IFE too much as I was using the on-board Wifi service. SWISS’s Wifi service is called SWISS Connect. The connection starts at 10,000ft and you pay for a data package – which are quite steep. SWISS First passengers receive a complementary 50MB package.
- 20MB – 9CHF
- 50MB – 19CHF
- 120MB – 39CHF
- 220MB – 59CHF
Only on-board the Boeing 777-300ER and on the Airbus A330-300 are you allowed to use your mobile device to make phone calls using your telephone service provider and Aeromobile. I didn’t see anyone in our cabin make a phone call so I cannot comment on the experience.
The best In-Flight Entertainment, in my opinion
As mentioned I’ve been wanting to try SWISS’s business class product for awhile now. Overall, I’m very satisfied with the experience itself, the staff are friendly, the food is great, and I managed to get some sleep on board. In comparison to Air Canada, Delta, United, Lufthansa, the hard product does seem to be outdated, most notably the IFE. SWISS Connect is also super expensive – I managed to get about an hour of iMessaging, Facebook Messenger before running out. I prefer the North American model where you purchase a pass for the duration of the flight at a flat fee. However, all of this did not take away from my experience and would not deter me from flying with SWISS again. I definitely look forward to my next SWISS flight!
Read the Air Canada Business Class Review.
Disclosure: At the time of authoring, William Chan was an employee of Air Canada, a Member of Star Alliance.
All images by William Chan.
PRODUCTS THAT I USE AND SWEAR BY ON MY TRAVELS:
-GoPro HERO5 Black – https://amzn.to/2rnVSO0
-V-MODA Crossfade LP2 Over-Ear Noise-Isolating Metal Headphones – https://amzn.to/2KBH9aZ
-Sony Alpha a6000 with 16-50mm and 55-210mm lens – https://amzn.to/2rric9k
-Sigma 30mm f/1.4 Lens (e-mount) – https://amzn.to/2wiymHV
-Sony 18-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens (e-mount) – https://amzn.to/2rpLZPN