Supreme comfort onboard Swiss
SWISS International Air Lines (Swiss) flies from Dubai to Zurich daily and the journey was part of a wellness trip to visit Geneva, Lausanne, Lucerne and Weggis. As a traveller on an overnight flight, I was looking forward to trying the award-winning business class. Swiss was named Europe’s Leading Airline Business Class in the 2012 World Travel Awards, retaining the title it earned last year. Surely, the 183,000 travel and tourism professionals who voted for this award couldn’t be wrong?
Indeed they weren’t. The in-seat comfort, which was developed by a Swiss company called Lantal, is made up of an air cushion and is the only one of its kind where you can select the firmness of the seat with an electronic panel. The ‘soft mode’ ensured I got several hours sleep on the two metre flatbed while the massage option allowed me to gradually wake up in a relaxed manner as breakfast was served. The only thing I perhaps would have recommended is a firmer pillow, as mine was so soft your head sunk to the seat below requiring me to fold it over.
While passengers may fight over the two-two-one configuration to get an individual aisle seat, I was reasonably comfortable with the amount of space between my neighbour and I, far enough apart for a certain amount of privacy but close enough to have a chat without disturbing other people.
The service was brisk, friendly and helpful and while a touch of personalisation was lost when filling out your form for the breakfast order, it did ensure you could have a few extra minutes of sleep without being disturbed. From Switzerland to Dubai, the ‘Swiss – Taste of Switzerland’ concept is offered. The philosophy is based on cuisine from the Solothurn canton, renowned for its gourmet diversity. The menu is created by Michelin award-winning Chef Reto Lampart who is head chef at Lampert’s restaurant in Hägendorf in Solothurn. His cuisine is French inspired with Mediterranean influences. During the flight, I enjoyed smoke trout tartlet to start, chicken breast with almond and cranberry crust served with sweet potato and mascarpone puree and baked apple, finished with a selection of Swiss cheese – quite simply, a fantastic meal with portion sizes that didn’t leave you feeling overwhelmed.
Perhaps where Swiss fell behind is its inflight entertainment system. While it had the advantage of being able to control what you wanted to watch and when you wanted to watch it, it was slightly limited in its variety. Another area for improvement could also be the Business Lounge at Zurich which was so crowded; it was difficult to find a seat.
Swiss is part of the Lufthansa Group, an airline group with the largest network in the world. Swiss also joined Star Alliance in 2006. It flies to 70 destinations in 37 countries from Zurich, Basel and Geneva and carries some 15 million passengers.
Switzerland’s reputation for quality and punctuality extends to its airline. The complete experience from checking in at Dubai to disembarking from the connecting flight in Geneva was a smooth, stress free journey.
By Karen Osman