Swiss » Economy (short-haul) » User reviews
Class rating 6.7
- Boarding 6.8
- Seat for sitting 6.4
- Seat for sleeping 1.6
- Service 7.0
- Entertainment 1.4
- Food & drink 6.0
- Punctuality 7.4
- Baggage 7.4
- Of course, your ratings vary widely for different classes. Choose one below for full details.
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LYS-ZRH, lovely clear winter's day with snow on the ground and the Alps/Jura clearly in sight.
Nice glass of red wine, the best inflight entertainment possible (view out of the window) and very comfortable seats in a 2 + 3 config on this classic British jet.
All in all, 45 minutes of pleasure, an aerial tour of some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe.
Had to go for work to London and opted for the GVA-LHR flight since the company was visiting is located on the western side of the city.
Swiss operates this flight with a modern fleet of A319's. Before boarding I visited the Swiss/Star Allience Business class lounge in GVA which is comfortable, it has a nice mix of seating options and a variety of drinks and small snacks.
Boarding at gate B31 was smooth and went pretty quick. THe flight was not full so I was lucky enough not to have someone sitting next to me, seat was 4A directly behind the business class which was comfortable. The crew on board were friendly and quick with their service which is helpful on the short flight, received a drink and an ice-cream snack which was sufficient after having eaten something in the lounge already.
Arrival in LHR was on time and since I only travelled with hand luggage I could go directly to the Heathrow express which was quite a walk away. All together a nice flight at a decent fare.
Bucharest-Zurich-London City (August 2009). Two flights, connecting, but both on AvroRJ aicraft.
Online check-in was impossible for these economy class flights in August. So I made sure I reached the airport before the counters opened two hours before the flight’s 1410 departure in order to get a good seat. Alas I never succeeded. Both flights on this Friday afternoon were fully booked in economy class so the best seats I could obtain were 15E to Zurich and 11E onward to LCY. Both seats were the middle seat of three. But the saving grace is that, unlike most other RJ100 operators, Swiss configures its cabin five across (2-3) rather than six across (3-3) so the seats have slightly more sideways space.
Bucharest airport is struggling to cope with what seems like a huge growth in passenger numbers post-Communism. Its single terminal is cramped both landside and airside and there are few to escape the crowds let alone to sit down.
There are only a handful of airbridges so all but the biggest planes end up being parked on the tarmac with passengers being bus-boarded. Passengers were called for bus boarding at 1340 but then had to endure a 15 min wait (with many people having to stand) in the sweltering summer heat (it was 30+ C outside) and with no air-conditioning. Only when the bus was full did it drive off.
My flight taxied away a few mins late. Being fully loaded, took up almost the entire length of Bucharest’s bumpy runway before getting airborne. Swissair (the forerunner to Swiss) used to have an enviable reputation for service. How things have changed. The inflight service provided by today’s Swiss is not that far removed from a budget airline. Compared to BA’s Cityflyer division (whose RJ100s have three cabin staff) Swiss makes do with just two.
Catering service on this 150 min flight consisted of a factory-made and bland chicken or cheese roll. But there were two round of drinks and hand outs of the carrier’s trademark Swiss chocolate bars.
Arrival in Zurich was roughly on time at around 1545. After a long working shift the crew seemed exhausted. When wishing the passengers goodbye they both seemed on autopilot.
We were transferred to the bussing area of Zone B (from where commuter flights tend to depart) and I had ample time before my connection to LCY at 1710.
There is little to do here because the area is away from the main terminal area so I was glad when boarding commenced at 1640. This time the bus moved off after a couple of mins. The RJ100 was boarded soon after and the Captain then told us that we would be leaving early.
So we taxied away at 1655 and the service, with a fresh crew, was somewhat slicker. However it was the same cheese roll (no choice this time), a round of drinks and the chocs.
LCY was reached some 20 mins early at 1735. There was a short delay clearing immigration. My bag was on the carousel and a few mins later I was in a taxi en route for Central London.
I arrived at London City airport at 1630 for my 1715 flight. I checked in online so went straight to security and even though the airport was very busy, I was cleared and in the waiting lounge by 1640. Boarding started at 1645 from Gate 2C (I didn’t hear an announcement, but was checking the screen) and I was in my seat by 1655. I was travelling in Business Class and it’s worth noting that Swiss does not keep the middle seat free. The seats in Business Class are the same as in economy, although it seemed to me that there is slightly more legroom in Business. I was in the window seat, and as the flight was very busy there were two passengers in the seats next to me. The front overhead lockers are conveniently reserved for Business Class passengers, and there’s a cupboard at the front to hang your coat. The roof of the cabin of the Avro RJ (regional jet) 100 is unusually low – I usually can’t reach the lockers, so tend to avoid the bulkhead seats. Not so on this flight, so I had the pleasant experience of being able to put my own bag in the overhead locker for the duration of the flight. For taller travellers, however, there may be some bending needed. The flight from London City airport is operated using an Avro RJ 100, which has a wide cabin, with five-abreast seating (a three-two layout). There was a curtain separating Business and Economy class. I was given a meal of cheese and grapes, meat terrine (not very appetizing) and a chocolate with cinnamon dessert, which seemed an odd choice for the time of day; I would have appreciated something a little more substantial and warm. I didn’t take one of the signature chocolate bars which the cabin staff distributed around, as there was only the option of toblerone, which as a non-nut eater I didn’t want. My return flight was due to leave at 2025. It was the last flight to London City of the evening and it wasn’t full, so I had a whole row to myself. The service was much better than on my outbound flight; I was greeted by name and offered a bottle of water immediately. The food was also better; beef and beetroot cold salad, with cheese and a warm roll, plus a lemon and strawberry mousse for dessert. Shortly after boarding we were told that due to weather conditions (it was snowing heavily) there would be a delay, as we had to wait for de-icing and a slot to take off. The deicing was great to watch – a man in a hydraulic lift with a large hose. We eventually took to the air at 9.10, arriving into London City 23 minutes late. The seatplan shows Business Class up to row eight, but when I travelled it only went up to row five, although presumably the curtain is moveable.
This was my first time on an Avro RJ100, flying Zurich to Prague. I was slightly dubious about flying on such a small plane and thought it might be a little rough, but it was actually very smooth compared to the A319 I came in on. Weather conditions had nothing to do with it, of course.
As for the seat, because I checked in a little late I had to settle for an aisle seat at the back of the plane, 19D, on the right 3-seat side. On the plus side, I was afforded a satisfactory view of the Amazonian flight attendant.
The Recaro seat itself was comfortable and just about wide enough, and there was even room to stretch my legs out a little under the seat in front.
The middle seat was empty which meant I could spread myself and my newspaper out - had it been occupied I can imagine the person doing the occupying would not have appreciated my copy of the Guardian half as much as me. Tough, they'd have had to.
The food was amusing: A small, dense, hard to chew but still tasty roll that looked like it had been produced by the The Pillsbury Doughboy after his morning coffee, and then housed in inflated plastic packaging which meant it rattled around when shook. I completely forgot about the lack of entertainment, this kept me amused for hours. Thinking about it now, the inflated packaging was a master stroke, as it meant the rolls did not arrive squashed. Full marks to Swiss for their cheese (and pastrami roll).
For dessert, the precious male flight attendant came round with a big tray full of Swiss branded bite-size Toblerone. It was almost like Christmas. Almost.
All in all, I was pretty happy with my hour-long flight, although on the down side, my 17.45 flight left at 18.20ish with no explanation why. The captain was kind enough to tell us two minutes in advance of taking off that we were going to take off in two minutes time, but nothing else. Even if he had, I probably wouldn't have been able to hear it above the sound of the engines and the noisy Swiss around me.
I don't really mind noise, but for someone who does I'd say bring ear plugs, or take advantage of the free booze and knock yourself out.