This article was first published in October 2018 and updated in October 2019
Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) is part of the Lufthansa Group and is the national carrier of Switzerland. As such, its logo is simply the country’s flag and its name, the adjective to refer to anything that comes from Switzerland.
The airline proudly claims it is the only one using a country’s flag as its own and is a great ambassador for the country worldwide. I was eagerly expecting Swiss hospitality, food, chocolate and wines onboard, just like my stay at the Chedi Andermatt and other Alpine villas in Switzerland.
I was also looking forward to Swiss precision, efficiency, punctuality and professionalism – values both the country and the airline stand for.
SWISS is one of Europe’s most premium airlines, chosen as second Best Business Class in Europe after sister airline Lufthansa at the 2018 Skytrax Awards.
After having flown Lufthansa both on their Airbus A350 and A380 in Business Class just three weeks prior, I was very excited to finally experience the SWISS hospitality for the first time from Singapore to Zurich and back on Business Class onboard SWISS B777-300ER.
Was the airline and the experience as premium as I was expecting?
Read more to see my review of SWISS Business Class long haul from my two flights, from Singapore to Zurich and from Zurich back to Singapore.
- Pre-flight experience on SWISS Business Class
- Arrival and check-in with SWISS Business Class
- Business lounge for SWISS passengers
- Boarding process for SWISS Business Class passengers
- The cabin and seat on the SWISS B777-300ER Business Class
- The inflight dining experience on SWISS
- Business Class amenity kit on SWISS
- Entertainment system on SWISS Business Class
- Service onboard SWISS Business Class
- Arrival lounge at Zurich Airport
- The verdict: SWISS Business Class
Pre-flight experience on SWISS Business Class
My experience with SWISS started even before the flight.
While this was largely a self-paid trip, I did partner with SWISS for a few additional benefits and a discount on the fare. So, although this was not a complimentary flight, the entire crew and the marketing and PR team in Singapore were aware that I was writing this review.
As a result, the flight was not purchased normally on their website but through the call center with the help of the marketing team.
After that, from the moment my ticket was issued, my journey was like that of any other guest, including the pre-departure details that made the experience unique.
Having never flown SWISS before, I was not familiar with their pre-departure features, but I soon noticed them on the website.
I logged into my flight booking and saw two things which were unique to SWISS: the option to book a surprise box of chocolates or champagne for a friend or partner onboard the flight and the streamlined and efficiency-driven approach.
There are 2 types of chocolates and champagnes you could purchase pre-flight and which would be served onboard as a gift, wrapped and with a personalised card where you can write the contents beforehand.
I have not seen any other airline do that, at least not formally (Emirates used to give us the unopened Business Class chocolate boxes at the end of the flights) and thought this was a nice touch.
The second thing that delighted me was all the pre-flight information chronologically displayed in front of me, from the departure check-in and lounge all the way to the arrival lounge in Zurich.
Being the process-oriented nerd that I am, I absolutely loved that.
I don’t even spend any time on airline websites pre-flight because there isn’t anything of interest for a frequent traveler, only the generic sections consisting of listicles for things to do at the destination, book a car or hotel widgets, etc. I’d rather use sites like Booking.com or Getyourguide for that.
Yet the SWISS pre-flight section was actually useful and with plenty of practical info on the flight that an #AvGeek like me found amazing. Just see for yourself.
For each of the cards displayed above, you could click below to go to the relevant sections or simply learn more. I obviously had to click on the plane and find out more about the cabin.
Like with Lufthansa, SWISS Business Class passengers (and economy for that matter), have the possibility of downloading some magazines from the online app to read on the flight. As I was planning to mostly sleep on both flights, I did not download any.
Arrival and check-in with SWISS Business Class
Because this is a review of my return flight from Singapore to Zurich, I will be reviewing both the check in at Changi Airport as well as at Zurich Airport.
Arrival and check-in at Singapore Changi Airport
Like the other airlines in the Lufthansa Group, SWISS flights depart from Terminal 2 and check in is from the shared dedicated rows at Gate 4, right in the middle of the terminal.
I took a taxi to Changi and had a brief business meeting at the terminal before checking in.
Check-in was fast, as there were no other passengers checking in at either the Business Class or the Economy counters. I was quite early, almost 3h before the flight, but with two counters for Business and First Class passengers, queues are bound to be unlikely.
SWISS is one of the most generous airlines when it comes to luggage allowance and it understands the needs of business passengers.
You can take two pieces of checked in luggage weighing up to 32kg each and two pieces of hand luggage of 8kg each.
While most airlines will rarely check the weight of carry-on luggage of Business Class passengers (it certainly has never happened to me), SWISS, understanding that business passengers always travel with two pieces of hand luggage (a case and a carry-on) was a nod to their target audience. No frequent traveler who values their time will ever check luggage in.
After check-in, I headed to immigration and passport control and was reminded one more time about how much I love Changi Airport, the world’s most awarded airport without a doubt. It is so efficient, with automated immigration machines, that I have never queued for more than five minutes. And now with the additional of Jewel, it is probably the most Instagrammable airport in the world too.
I went through passport control and walked towards one end of the terminal where the Singapore Airlines Business Class lounge is.
SWISS Business Class passengers have access to Singapore Airlines Business Class lounge at Terminal 2.
Arrival and check-in at Zurich Airport
On my way back, I checked in at Zurich Airport. I took the train from central Zurich and within less than 15min I was at the airport.
The rows of check-in counters for Business Class passengers were all completely empty and so I went straight to an agent and got my boarding pass within a minute. I was already in love with the Swiss efficiency, very much like at Changi Airport.
I went through customs clearance in no time thanks to the priority queues for Business, First and Gold Star Alliance members. The lady at the customs screening helped me put all my liquids in a plastic bag and rechecked it all before I was through.
All in all, it took perhaps five minutes for me to get to the other side of the airport.
Passengers travelling internationally outside of the Schengen zone then need to go through passport control and take a train to the next terminal where the E Gates are.
I found the train very cute and fun. Apart from being very fast, there are TVs outside the train showing a local Swiss girl and boy in traditional costumes and you can hear a yodel song and trumpet in the speakers. All very nationalistic and authentic, and a nice touch for foreigners.
Once at the terminal, I headed to gate E37 where the SWISS Senator Lounge is located and spent a few hours there.
Business lounge for SWISS passengers
Like with the check-in formalities and process, I had the chance to enjoy both the lounge Business Class passengers on SWISS have access to at Changi Airport, as well as the lounges in Zurich.
Lounge at Changi Airport
While the Singapore Airlines lounge at Terminal 3 tends to be full and noisy in the evenings, Terminal 2 lounge is quieter, and is usually filled with business passengers, mostly traveling alone to short-haul destinations on Singapore Airlines or Silk Air.
I must have spent hundreds hours at this lounge during my years flying regionally every single week, so walking in gave me a generous dose of melancholy.
I looked for my usual seat, at the far left corner of the lounge, and was glad it was empty. The memories of all the years as a management consultant came back and I topped them with a blend of Singapore’s cuisines.
I made myself a plate with some Indian paneer curry, deep fried potato dumplings, some Chinese vegetables with oyster sauce, and a bundle of marinara pasta. I also poured myself a glass of French white wine.
The lounge has a good selection of foods which invariably includes at least three Chinese dishes, a couple of Indian options, and a few international starters such as pasta or rice and a main, in this case, beef stew. The food is replenished often and usually looks fresh.
I visited at dinner time and there were a total of 12 hot dishes to choose from, a salad bar, fresh cut fruits, various hot snacks like mini pizza, spring rolls and deep fried potato balls with mint curry, cheeses, sliced bread and sandwiches.
The Singapore Airlines lounge has a decent drinks selection with all of Singapore’s local brands. There is TWG Tea and a water pot always boiling, Tiger Beer on draft and wines, two red and two white. There was also Charles Heidsieck champagne.
Soft drinks, juices and water, with a few of the bottles always kept at room temperature (thank you!) and two coffee machines that work overtime in the mornings.
The lounge has three areas: the dining section where tall tables with stools and some regular tables make for a more convenient dining environment, a large area with low sink-in sofas and dimmed lights and a desk area with desktop computers and cubicles to work from.
The First Class lounge is across the hallway at the other side of the entrance.
SWISS Lounges at Zurich Airport
There are nine SWISS lounges at Zurich Airport and each is reserved for a different type of travel class.
Some are for Business Class passengers, some for First Class and others only for the Senator or HON members.
I received a special invitation to visit the Senator Lounge in Zurich which was a great opportunity to experience the truly premium service reserved to First Class SWISS, Lufthansa and Star Alliance passengers, HON Circle members, Miles & More Senator and Star Alliance Gold passengers.
I also got the chance to enjoy the Business Class Lounge which is reserved for Business Class passengers so I could compare the two.
Both the Senator and the Business Class Lounge have the same design and serve the same food and drinks. The Senator Lounge is smaller and, because of the layout, feels more secluded and private.
The main differences between the two lounges is the whisky bar with over 200 types of whisky that Senator guests can enjoy, and the fact that the Senator lounge is practically empty, making it feel extra exclusive.
Both lounges are geared to business travelers. There are workstations in separate cubicles with full privacy, some even with large screens to connect your laptop.
If you need to make a private call, there are soundproof phone booths with views over the runway.
The dining area has a chef cooking live dishes (the same dishes at both) and a selection of cold dishes, sandwiches, snacks and sweets. There were lots of seating options including bar tables hanging from the windows and facing the runway.
If you just want to relax, read or rest, there are a few areas with low sofas and an enclosed quiet area with sleeping chairs and complete silence.
I spent a few hours at both lounges and had the chance to try a few of their snacks, food, drinks and cold buffet items and they were all of pretty high quality. During my visit, the live station was cooking rice noodles with chicken, always made fresh.
The best part of both lounges were the full views of the runway and the arriving and departing planes, thanks to the floor to ceiling glass windows on both sides of the lounges.
There were also outdoor balcony areas with chairs and tables for those who wanted some fresh air, a rarity in airport lounges, and even binoculars for plane spotting.
I was also very positively surprised by the entire staff at the lounge, all of whom were extremely friendly, from the lady at the reception to one of the waiters who was so welcoming, he made me smile a few times, and even the chef preparing the noodles.
Both the Senator and the Business Class lounges were very elegant, sleek and premium.
Boarding process for SWISS Business Class passengers
I was boarding my flights at probably two of the most efficient and organised airports in the world so it was to be expected for the boarding procedure to be effective.
Luckily, I was called to board first at Changi so I did not have to wait at all and was shown to my seat in no time as the crew held the rest of the passengers for just two minutes.
In Zurich, I was just any other passenger and boarded with the rest of the Business Class. SWISS board per seat category allowing First Class passengers to board first, then HON members, then families with small children and Business Class passengers.
I thought it was a bit odd for the airline to call for families to board before Business Class passengers since the Economy Class cabin is after Business Class and there are typically very few children in Business (in fact there were none on both of my flights).
Before boarding, on my way back, I managed to snap a nice picture of the gorgeous plane.
The cabin and seat on the SWISS B777-300ER Business Class
I was most excited about the seat on SWISS, which is handmade and assembled in Ireland and made out of more than 1,300 components.
SWISS only flies the Boeing 777-300ER on its long-haul routes like to Singapore or the US. This is the largest aircraft in the fleet and is able to transport 340 passengers at full capacity.
While that may seem small compared to the 500+ passengers on an A380, it still is a pretty large aircraft.
The Business Class seats are split into two cabins. The first two rows are located in the front cabin together with First Class and have the most privacy as only passengers in First Class and on these two rows roam the aisles.
The rest of the Business Class seats are on the second cabin which is exclusively dedicated to Business passengers.
The Business Class cabin on Swiss B777 has a very unique configuration which is the reason for the airline’s well known throne seats.
The seats are in a 2-2-1 or 1-2-2 configuration and are staggered, so the footrest of the seat behind is under the table of the seat in front.
These individual seats on each row are the most sought-after because they have a lot of space at each side of the seat and utmost privacy. Because of their design, with two large armrest-style tables, they are referred to as thrones.
These individual seats cannot be freely booked and are reserved either for HON passengers, the highest level of SWISS and Lufthansa Miles & More loyalty program, or available for purchase.
If they are not reserved by the time check-in opens, they can be claimed by anyone.
Because I partnered with SWISS to experience the product and write this review, the marketing team booked one of these individual seats for me. I was seated at 10K, on the left of the plane on the way out and at 16A on the right hand side on my return.
Throne seats from the front and back
If you are flying alone, throne seats are the best no doubt. You will feel like you are inside your own cocoon and will not even see any other passenger as the partitions are quite high and there is only a small opening into the seat.
If you cannot snatch one of these seats (bookable for about $200 on my flight), the middle pairs of seats are better than the window ones for solo travelers because you have direct aisle access.
If you are flying with someone else, the pair of seats by the window are the best alternative because they afford quite a lot of privacy and because of the configuration, they are quite close to each other.
In my opinion, the seats on SWISS Business Class, especially the throne ones, are some of the most spacious and smartest I have seen in the industry.
They have a lot of storage space, something that I value a lot because on long-haul flights I like to work, watch TV, spend time on my phone, take photos, etc. So I carry a lot of hand luggage with me which I want to keep handy. And they are very private.
If like me this matters to you, SWISS throne seats are one of the best in the market. There were so many compartments in which to store things, and so many nifty and useful small details that I felt as if I had my own apartment in the sky.
Let’s take a look at the many compartments and features of SWISS B777 Business Class seats.
To start-off, there is a small compartment under the TV where you can store small items like phones or things you would carry in your pocket.
There is a pull-out double shelf stored inside the upper part of the left armrest where you can put anything. The space is pretty big there so you could store chargers or other things.
There is also another double shelf on the right, handy for things you want to keep within reach like your amenity kit, a pen, a notebook, etc.
On the bottom right hand side there is another double shelf with a sliding door which is designed for your shoes. I also kept my camera and lens there.
Then there are some nifty details that help you keep everything else tidy. For example, on the left hand side, there is a coat hanger and a hook where you can hang your headsets.
There are two more hooks at each side of the TV so you can hang your jacket using the coat hanger and make sure it does not get creased. The cabin crew can also store your bulkier jackets or suits in the closet by the galley.
Lastly, there is an elastic band against the wall on the left which is perfect to hold a laptop. I thought this was a very thoughtful addition for business travelers.
Laptops are always a hassle when you want to switch to eat, when landing, or when you want to watch some TV. They are bulky and there aren’t usually spaces specifically designed for them so they stick out no matter where you place them. Not with SWISS.
Extra points for the fact that the electricity socket is right on the bottom left side of the seat and within easy and convenient reach of the elastic band. I could store the laptop there while eating and keep it charging without ending with a mess of cables tangled around everything.
Lie-flat bed upper and lower
In order to operate the seat, the buttons are right by the TV remote control and are quite smooth and intuitive. The seat can also provide a massage although when I tried it I noticed the program was quite short and soft.
However, while the seat was great when awake, I found the sleeping experience could improve. SWISS only provides a wool blanket and a pillow but no pyjama and no mattress topper.
Even though the seat goes completely flat and can be regulated to quite a soft level, it was a bit undulating, so I found myself trying to fit my body’s shape to the seat cushions.
This did not prevent me from having a good night’s rest, I still managed to sleep a decent amount of hours and landed fully rested, but it would have been great to have a fluffier duvet and a mattress topper, in particular the latter.
I did love the fact that the throne seats essentially turned into sleeping capsules with total privacy and the fact that the crew tiptoed to pull the window blinds down while I was asleep and left me a chocolate box with a handwritten note by the side of my bed.
Overall, I loved the throne seats and thought they were clever, practical and private, but would have loved a softer duvet and a mattress topper, a la Lufthansa.
The inflight dining experience on SWISS
On some routes, SWISS will allow you to choose your own menu from the a la carte dining experience before your flight. This was not available on both my flights where a menu was presented after take off.
The food on SWISS Business Class
Both of my flights, as is the case with all the flights from Asia to Europe and vice versa, were overnight and departed close to midnight so we were served dinner after take-off and breakfast before landing.
The food onboard SWISS takes after one of the country’s cantons every month with changing menus featuring local dishes and chefs. Because I flew on the last day of September and the second of October, I got to try two different menus.
Dinner SWISS Business Class
Dinner included two starters, one salad and three mains to choose while breakfast had a selection of items from a continental menu so you could build your own, and a warm egg dish.
I opted to try the smoked salmon and the beef tenderloin on the way to Zurich and the Japanese-style salmon trout tataki followed by the pile perch on the way back.
In both cases, the food was very tasty and good. In particular, the beef tenderloin was exceptional, and the fondant potatoes that came with it were so good I would have had another serving. And that is saying a lot, considering I had already had dinner twice and was truly full.
Meals are always served with a fresh salad and generous slices of cheese. Both were quite good, even the salad had some croutons and a grated boiled egg which added some more appetising touches. Tiny bottles of dressing are also provided.
The bread basket came with some traditional Swiss breads like pretzels which I could not say no to. The breads were warm, making them even more irresistible to someone like me. Both butter and olive oil were provided.
The desserts were cheesecakes on both flights, quite similar in taste only different in the sauce and were pretty rich and dense, so much so that I could not finish them (despite my sweet tooth).
Breakfast on SWISS Business Class
I enjoyed the build-your-own breakfast service from SWISS. The crew passed through the aisle with a trolley and I could select the items I wanted and how much I wanted of each to create my own breakfast tray.
There was Bircher muesli, minus the raisins, which was delicious, a selection of yogurts and fresh cut fruit salad. I was also offered a bread basket with croissants, danish pastries and breads, butter and jams, and a selection of ham, cold cuts and cheeses. I could choose as much or as little of each.
I was not offered any egg dish on the way to Zurich, probably because the crew who served me forgot about it.
I thought it was odd that there was no hot dish offered with breakfast but I was quite full with everything else (and the prospect of another breakfast at the arrival lounge), so I did not inquire.
I did try it on the way back and the egg dish was a mix between a crepe and an omelet served with edamame beans and mushrooms and filled with a tomato sauce which was actually quite delicious. There is always a warm egg dish but the kind varies from scrambled egg to crepe and other recipes.
These were the two menus on both my flights.
Menu on SWISS Business Class
a. Parma ham with cantaloupe and honeydew melon
b. Smoked salmon with daikon and capers
a. Beef tenderloin with green peppercorn sauce, potato gratin and buttered green beans
b. Sweet and sour chicken, egg fried rice, pak choi and sauteed straw mushrooms
c. Homemade vegetable quiche
d. International and Swiss cheese selection
a. White chocolate cheesecake with raspberry coulis
b. Swiss chocolates, as many as you wanted, from a box presented by the crew
1. Fresh yogurt
2. Bircher muesli
3. Fruit salad
5. Pastries and breads
6. Cold cuts, ham and cheese
7. Warm egg dish
a. Vitello tonnato – poached veal with tuna sauce and sashimi, egg yolk cream and yuzu vinaigrette
b. Salmon trout tataki with pumpkin and chervil root, Pommery mustard sauce
c. Seasonal salad with balsamic dressing
a. Beef tenderloin with Valle Maggia pepper sauce, potato and leek puree, braised leek, carrot
b. Pile perch fillet with Noilly Prat sauce, fregola sarda and fennel
c. Pumpkin curry with beans and basmati rice, mango and apple chutney
d. Cheese selection from the canton of Nidwalden, Burgenstockler and Dallenwiler Wymutschili with Swiss bread
a. Passion fruit cheesecake with banana and raspberry compote, dulce de leche and crumble
b. Swiss chocolates
1. Fresh yogurt
2. Bircher muesli
3. Fruit salad
5. Pastries and breads
6. Cold cuts, ham and cheese
7. Warm egg dish
Dinner service started after take off with some drinks. I was offered nuts on the way from Singapore to Zurich but not on the way back.
The dinner service took a bit longer than I expected given how late it was. I would have probably skipped it on the way back as I had already spent 7h at the lounge and was quite full, but I wanted to try it for this review.
Both for dinner and breakfast there were express options with cold dishes only and served promptly after take-off or before landing.
Food came served in a black enamel tray with proper glassware and the staff passed through the cabin with the cart and all the drinks. Dessert was also offered from a cart with a variety of cheeses available again and one choice of cake.
Breakfast service started about 2h before landing and from the end of the Business Class cabin as opposed to dinner service which started at the front.
All SWISS Business Class meals end with Swiss chocolates from Lindt gold selection being offered to guests.
During the flight, if you feel peckish, snacks and fruits are available in the galley, as are the same chocolates. I made sure to stay away from them to avoid eating the whole box.
The wine and drinks selection on SWISS Business Class
SWISS wine selection included some interesting choices: a white and a red wine from the Valaisian region of Switzerland.
I wanted to taste them as I had never had Swiss wine before so I gave them both a try and they were quite unique in their palate. I had some more Swiss wines while in the country and confirmed the full-bodied sweet flavor of Swiss wines. Of course, in the air, everything tastes different.
Here is the wine list on SWISS Business Class:
1. Duval Leroy Brut champagne
2. Terra Joya 2017 Swiss white wine made with local grape varieties and Sauvignon Blanc
3. Vouvray 2015 French Chenin Blanc
4. Syrah de Sierre 2017 Swiss Syrah
5. Chateau Charmail 2012 red French blend
6. Corriete 2015 Spanish red blend
Aside from the wine list, there was a pretty extensive spirit and liquor list with Campari, Bombay Sapphire gin, Bacardi white rum, Smirnoff Red Label vodka, two types of Swiss aperitifs, grappa, cognac Remy Martin Cellar Master VSOP, Cointreau, Appenzeller Alpenbitter, Tawny Port from Portugal, and three types of Whisky, Johnnie 6 year, Glenlivet 12 year and Chivas 12 year. For beer drinkers there were three types, two Swiss and Heineken.
You can order drinks from the menu at any time during the flight and, as I woke up when the cabin was still dark and with the typical dry throat from the airplane air, I asked the crew for a warm water cup with lemon and honey which was nicely presented.
Business Class amenity kit on SWISS
SWISS does not have the fanciest amenity kits onboard, opting for a practical choice with some of the basics like lip balm, ear plugs, an eye mask, socks and toothpaste+toothbrush in one of three designs by Swiss brand Victorinox.
I got a different design on each flight, first the metal pencil case and then the passport holder version in grey fabric both of which came stocked with the same essentials.
The amenity kits also came with a note indicating that other amenities such as shaving cream, a nail file or a shoehorn were available upon request. The bathroom also came stocked with shavers and hand cream.
Unfortunately, SWISS does not give out pyjamas or mattress toppers beyond the blanket and pillow.
Entertainment system on SWISS Business Class
SWISS Business Class passengers get to enjoy quite a wide selection of entertainment options displayed on high resolution screens that are of very high quality.
The entertainment system is operated from a tactile control which is the same onboard Emirates Business Class and which is quite fast and responsive.
The noise cancelling headsets provided are indeed of very high quality too and block out any sounds so you can fully immerse in the experience. They were also comfortable to wear and did not hurt my ears after a while (which often happens on Singapore Airlines).
I loved watching the flight channel where there were a few different cameras and angles showing the progress of the flight.
Not sure if that was the case on my two flights only but I thought it was odd that the entertainment system was only available after take off, so during the preparations and the take off, I entertained myself reading the inflight magazine which had features on Madrid and some other cities in Germany.
I also found that their inflight announcements, although made in several languages (German, French, English and occasionally Italian), were quite short and only made when necessary, so my movies were not constantly interrupted by repetitive announcements.
SWISS aircrafts offer internet you can purchase onboard. I found the internet reliable and it worked well on both my flights (I did post IG stories all throughout) but the speed was not great, good for mobile and emails, but not much more.
I also thought the packages of MB instead of the time-based internet access were not conducive to using it for more than mobile access, perhaps a good incentive to disconnect while onboard. The prices were quite high too, 120MB costing 39 CHF (or 39 USD).
I consumed the 120MB provided before the flight ended and that is on my phone and only when I was awake. The access code is only usable for one device so if you want to use both your phone and your computer you will have to purchase two.
Service onboard SWISS Business Class
The staff on both of my flights knew that I was a member of the media and while they may not have been familiar with my blog or details, they knew that I was reviewing their service and product and this probably meant that they put extra attention when taking care of me.
I was allowed to board the plane first in Singapore which gave me a couple of minutes to take photos of the cabin alone, and there was a handwritten note by the side of my seat with a small plane plushy and a few SWISS postcards.
On my outbound flight from Singapore I woke up to a handwritten note and a box of chocolates and some aviation postcards with a handwritten message.
On my way back, one of the crew members who is usually a Purser but was a regular crew member on the day, made sure that all my needs were tended to. So did the Purser, who even gave me a sealed box of Lindt chocolates to take home before landing.
It was obvious that they knew I was a blogger in their interactions yet this did not take away from their kindness. I also observed how they served other people and noticed the same level of attention to detail. The crew were all very friendly and attentive.
Arrival lounge at Zurich Airport
Like most people flying to Zurich, I was coming on business and expected two full days of workshops.
Because my flight landed at 6am, I had a few hours before my meetings started so I headed to the arrivals lounge to freshen up, shower and have another breakfast.
The SWISS Arrival Lounge at Zurich Airport is after baggage and arrivals, right by the left as you exit. You will need to ring the bell to gain access and then go upstairs to the entrance.
The lounge is only accessible to Lufthansa and SWISS Business Class passengers and not to any other Star Alliance guests.
I found the lounge to be a really useful and welcoming place to spend a couple of hours getting ready for a long day ahead.
In order to enjoy the showers, you need to get the access card from reception and then go to the designated shower. Inside, there are four towels, a face towel, a large body one, a hand towel and a floor mat.
The showers were very clean and spacious enough for me to open my luggage and have a comfortable experience. There was a bench to put my carry on and a pull out tray on top of the lavatory to open a carry-on suitcase flat.
Shampoo, shower gel, hand soap and hand moisturiser from Rituals were also available and there was a hair dryer too. Large face and full body mirrors made sure I did not leave the showers with my clothes inside out.
If you need any items ironed, you can also hang them outside and one of the staff members will get them ironed while you shower. I did not try this service but that seemed to be a really useful option for those who head out to meetings in a suit.
After a shower, I went out to use a few of the areas in the lounge. I first sank into the low sofas surrounded by sockets, then perused the tall desk tables with all sorts of sockets that are made for working. I also sat in the dining area with some food.
Food at the arrivals lounge
The food at the arrivals lounge was excellent and very tempting. There were eggs, frittata, freshly baked pastries, fruits, fresh juices and all sorts of drinks. A lady was ready at the bar counter to make smoothies on the spot or brew coffee.
While the lounge was very busy from 6am all the way to 8am it was then very quiet. And despite a lot of people coming to take a shower and have some quick bites before heading into town, there were showers available even through the peak times.
This was probably helped by the fact that the majority of passengers were male and had quick showers (without conditioner and the use of a hair dryer).
If you have a longer wait time like I did (my meetings were only to start at 11am), the lounge is a fantastic place to either get work done or relax. The internet was fast and there was a large selection of magazines and newspapers to read. There was also a really nice and quiet relaxation area to even have some additional sleep if you didn’t get enough on the plane or your flight was too short.
The verdict: SWISS Business Class
I very much enjoyed my flights with SWISS and consider it a great option to fly. The seats were comfortable, especially the throne seats which provide unparalleled privacy in Business Class and have very smart and well thought-out details.
I also liked SWISS focus on business and frequent travelers for whom the arrival lounge, the lounge facilities at Zurich Airport and the useful features in the seat make a difference.
I would have liked the entertainment system to have more variety, and it cannot compare to the wide array of options on any of the top Middle Eastern or Asian airlines, but on an overnight flight that is less relevant and it did not matter to me at all. Also, nowadays, I download my own content from Netflix anyway.
Lastly, I found both the service as well as the food on SWISS to be above average onboard, making it a round experience.
Last but not leat, SWISS is the only airline flying to and from Europe overnight both ways. This is incredibly valuable to Asian-based business travelers who have two full days at the destination and two overnight flights which minimise the issues with the time difference. I flew out on Sunday night for Monday and Tuesday meetings and back out on Tuesday night. Because the take off is late at night, you will be tired enough to fall asleep, managing to get some good hours of uninterrupted rest.
All in all, SWISS is no doubt the perfect option for business travel to Switzerland and a great alternative for transfers to other parts of Europe too.