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September 5, 2014 / oneworld82

SWISS Air Lines Business Class ORD-ZRH – A Great Flight

Flight LX2609, Aug 21st, 2014

Airbus 330-300

Business Class, Seat 12A

14:50 – 06:25+1

 

About 40 minutes before scheduled departure time one of the lounge attendants announced that boarding had commenced for the flight. I quickly proceeded to gate 16 for boarding. A sort of human zoo was trying to get through the gate, and a poor SWISS employee was trying to make some order of the chaos. Thankfully, a dedicated premium cabin lane was available, and so I made my way through quickly.

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United bird

 A British Airways 747 parked nearby

A British Airways 747 parked nearby

Once on board, I turned right to enter the business class cabin. What can I say: it looks really nice! The color scheme and the fabric pattern of the seats is very warm and visually appealing. The first impression was great.

Business Class cabin

Business Class cabin

Today I was seating on seat 12A, one of the “throne” pods reserved to Sen/HON Circle passengers. The trick to get one of the throne seats is to hope that no elite passenger gets them… and then check in as soon as possible, since if at check in those seats are open one can freely take them. The seat itself was comfortable, and my particular pod had tons of space where to put my personal items – although no real storage cabinets was present. Legroom was plentiful in seat mode, and overall the seat felt pretty private (although I feel that other products, like BA’s Club World or AA’s new business class offer more privacy). The seat had a nice blanket still wrapped, a bottle of water, and an amenity kit in the form of a cute tin box.

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photo (24)

Amenity box

Amenity box

Light detail

Light detail

Seat controls

Seat controls

Cabin

Cabin

IFE screen

IFE screen

Hanger

Hanger

Headphones

Headphones

Minutes after sitting down, one of the flight attendants asked me whether I wanted any newspaper. I asked for the Wall Street Journal, which was promptly delivered. Nice touch.

Once most people were on board, a pre-departure drink was offered (choices: water, orange juice, champagne). I, of course, went for some bubbly (glass #1). Menus were distributed for dinner and breakfast (SWISS adopt the express service breakfast card to maximize sleep – a concept I first experienced in 2012 on Qantas and that I think be a winner of relatively-short flights like this one); a FA came by to take my “main” order before departure.

Take off happened on time. It was a rainy day in Chicago, and as a consequence the first 10 minutes of the flight were pretty bumpy. After the seatbelt sign was switched off, the FAs started their service. A round of drinks was offered – I went for more champagne (Duval-Leroy Brut, not bad), water and some salted almonds (chips were offered too). After 15/20 more minutes, another round of drinks was offered (champagne glass #3).

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The menu today read as follow:

First Course

Bresaola carpaccio with arugula and capers

Seasonal salad with balsamic vinaigrette

Main Course

Seared beef tenderloin,red wine sauce

Potato gratin, broccolini, baby carrots

Bratwurst with onion sauce

Rosti, green beans

Vegetable ravioli with puttanesca sauce

Cheese

Selection of Swiss and international cheese

Dessert

Chocolate mousse with raspberry compote

Swiss chocolates

Coffee

Espresso by Nespresso

Selection of teas by Sirocco

I had selected the seared beef for tonight’s dinner. The tray was served with the First Courses and cheese in it. I liked the bresaola carpaccio a lot (taste of Northern Italy, I needed that!), and the salad tasted fresh. I had a pretzel roll with them and the cheese (good quality here as well). Extra-virgin olive oil was provided (as well as a little bowl) to dip bread in. Nice little details matter.

Tray seat up

Tray seat up

Bresaola

Bresaola

Nice salad

Nice salad

Cheese

Cheese

The pace of the meal was good – it wasn’t neither too rushed nor too slow. Five minutes after finishing my appetizers, the flight attendant appeared with my Main dish. I ordered a glass of the Baron Rouge red wine to go with it – just for the sake of trying a Swiss red. The wine was alright, a little bland for a steak. The main course was very tasty. The meat was cooked medium (some pink could be spotted here and there) and it was very tender. The vegetables complemented the meat real well, as it did another pretzel roll 🙂

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Ten minutes after finishing my main course, my plate was taken awayd dessert offered. The chocolate mousse was delicious, and I had a Nespresso to complement it.

 

Dessert

Dessert

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The whole dinner service took a little less than two hours, and the meal was of superior quality. The service was attentive throughout, and it left me very happy. At this point, as you could imagine, I started feeling sleepy, so I reclined my seat in bed mode and kept watching Noah (which proved to be a perfect way to fall asleep!). The bed is very comfortable, and the cabin temperature was just right! I managed to get 3+ hours of sleep – something no easy for me on a Trans-Atlantic flight!

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When I woke up, we were about two hours off Zurich.

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I started listening to some Led Zeppelin while reading one of my books on Central Asia (more on that later). About one hour before landing, breakfast was served. I liked how the flight attendants actually asked if it was a good time to serve me! As I mentioned earlier, e had to pre-select our meal. Usually breakfast on red-eye flights isn’t anything special, so I opted only for Danish pastries and coffee (plus fresh fruit). The pastries were good, and the fruit, fresh. But really, nothing memorable (as expected). After breakfast I had the time to go to the washroom and freshen up before landing in Zurich, about 10 minutes behind schedule. As I had a tight connection (40 minutes!) I was worried I would not make my flight to Frankfurt, but it turned out that it only took me 15 minutes to go from the gate through immigration to the main terminal and then to the “A” gates where my flight was leaving from. A very cool feature of the gate was the “self-check in” machine. Basically, you self-scan your boarding pass and an automatic door opens up letting you board the plan. Very cool and efficient!

Breakfast

Breakfast

DSC_0197 DSC_0198Overall, my first experience on SWISS business class was super. Great cabin, great seat, good food, decent drinks, and efficient service (which, in all honesty, could have been a little warmer) made for a very pleasurable flight. At 45,000 Aeroplan with no fuel surcharge, it was definitely a bargain. Now, I really have to find a way to try SWISS First Class…! 🙂

P.S.

– The restrooms were nicely kept and with good amenities for business class.

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