On our family trip to Europe this summer, we had several flights on Swiss. This award ticket in business class meant we would have connecting flights in Euro-biz. This means a standard economy seat and in the case of Lufthansa and Swiss, the awful Recaro slimline seat which I compare to a park bench. The main benefit of business class in Europe is more space with a blocked middle seat, and better food. Swiss always executes meals well, even on short flights. This post will review a few intra-Europe flights on Swiss and then a quick review of the Swiss Senator Lounge in the E Concourse in Zurich, which was nicer than expected, and has a nice outdoor terrace.
Swiss Airbus A320/A321 Business Class to/from Zurich
Swiss business class on the narrow body fleet is similar to other European carriers. That means the same seat in both cabins, but business class blocks the middle seat. There is a movable cabin divider to separate business from economy. On our flights, there were several open seats in business class, so it was even more spacious. Both of our flights were under 2 hours, one in the morning, and the other in the afternoon. We requested a child’s meal for my daughter in advance, but otherwise there is only one dining option offered.
Business Class service on Swiss seems to follow a routine. Before departure, a bottle of water, and a ‘refreshing towel’ are offered, along with reading materials. Once the flight is cruising, there is drink service and then the meal. After the food service, there is coffee and tea. Finally, a basket of tasty Swiss branded chocolates. I’m not really that into chocolate, but if I had easy access to this, it might be different.
With our daughter on board, she received various other items from flight attendants, a stuffed airplane toy, and coloring books. Swiss seems to have age-specific items, but at least sometimes the flight attendants didn’t pay attention. Our flights were this summer before the World Cup, so that was a theme to some of the items, and one was a coloring/activity book intended for older children (of all ages?). While she can’t read at age 3, she enjoyed the various stickers and other activities in that book and I like some of the World Cup trivia.
Views on approach into Zürich are scenic, even on a cloudy day. The Victorinox logo in the ground was a surprise.
Swiss Business Class intra-Europe meal service
Here are some photos of the meals we had:
Here is the child meal on one of the flights. Slightly more kid-friendly than the standard meal, and included a drawstring bag which she still uses on occasion. This was nice, but not nearly as good as the kids meals on Austrian Airlines last year. While I enjoyed the Swiss meals, they are inferior to the tasty DO&CO catering on Austrian.
On the afternoon flight, I wanted to try a Swiss beer. The flight attendant wasn’t very descriptive, but I ended up with this rice beer. Not really my thing, but presumably an option for those keeping gluten free.
In all, the meals were pretty decent for the short flights we had. Like most so-called business class with a blocked middle seat, not worth any extra expense, but nice enough as an add on to a long haul premium cabin trip.
Swiss Senator Lounge, Zürich E Concourse
After landing in Zürich, we waited for our stamps out of the Schengen zone, and headed to our gate on the E concourse. I’ve transited Zürich multiple times before, but this trip was my first long haul departure from here, and our first visit to the E concourse. I normally enjoy Swiss lounges, and thanks to my United Million Miler, I have lifetime Star Alliance gold status, so I have access to the (arguably) nicer Senator lounges. I was pleasantly surprised by the Senator Lounge in the E concourse in Zürich.
Due to a relatively short layover, and some lines, we didn’t have a lot of lounge time. Still, I’m really glad we made the stop. The lounge has the typical seating and dining areas of most nicer international lounges that are open to general groups of travelers. But the best part is the viewing terrace. Adjacent to the terrace is a well stocked Whiskey bar. I’m not that much of a spirits drinker, but I couldn’t pass up the huge selection that is there. I even managed to chat with the bartender in my horrific German for a few moments before she asked me some question I couldn’t answer. We switched to English, and it was much more efficient. I picked a drink off the list, and then went outside to look at airplanes.
The open-air viewing terrace has chairs, a shelf and some binoculars. Inside the boxes with the binoculars is a map of the Zurich runways. I really appreciated getting fresh air before a long flight, and I love the plane spotting.
Final thoughts on Swiss intra-Europe and the Senator Lounge
Swiss is a nice option for Star Alliance award redemption; good service, good food, and the lounges are excellent. I was most looking forward to our long flight back to Chicago, but we were pleasantly surprised with a few aspects of these experiences we had. Well done Swiss, I’m sure we’ll meet again.