| ||The new SWISS Business Class Seat, a cradle of comfort whether upright or reclined|
| ||Goodbye for now, but I’ll be back.|
Flight Number: LX 180 departing ZRH @ 22:45, 29 October 2012
Class: Business Class
Configuration: Airbus A340-300, 2-2-1, 1-2-1
Sometimes, you want the ride to the airport to last longer; such is the case when being transported in a shiny, leather-scented Maserati belonging to the gloriously chic Widder Hotel. On this occasion, the ride was just right. Zurich Airport, conveniently close to the city in the nearby town of Kloten, was unusually quiet for a Monday night. There was no one waiting to check in at the SWISS Business Class desk and procedures were carried out with complete Swiss efficiency, which is expected in Switzerland, but also with a good sense of humour, which is somewhat less expected for people unfamiliar with Swiss culture.
SWISS passengers have an array of lounge choices at the airport’s biggest hub. Tonight’s flight to Bangkok departed from Terminal E, which gives passengers the chance to experience more Swiss humour in the form of a people-mover train with a soundtrack playing a few of the sounds of Switzerland as a last memory before departure. Think mooing cows and mooing alpenhorns. The SWISS lounge in Terminal E is called the Panorama Lounge for its wide-angle view of the airport tarmac. Another friendly welcome by the lounge staff was the first step in complete relaxation before the second and third steps, namely connecting to the internet and sipping a flute of champagne.
On-time performance: The flight left Zurich on time after the deicing of the aircraft wings. It may be October, but it is already cold in Europe this year—much to the delight of fresh-air connoisseurs and admirers of snow-topped roofs.
With an unusual 2-2-1 configuration, and with some rows 1-2-1, the Business Class cabin successfully spaces passengers in a way that the cabin never seems crowded even on a full flight like today’s. Due to the scheduled departure time of 22:45, I was ready for a comfortable overnight flight. Comfortable it was; I slept slept slept slept slept for almost the entire journey, taking advantage of the extremely comfortable fully horizontal position of the seat as well as the quiet ambience.
Food And Beverage:
SWISS International Air Lines serves as something of a culinary ambassador for the country of Switzerland. One of the pleasures of flying SWISS Business Class is the chance to sample some excellent Swiss wines—very tasty even if unknown outside the Confederation—as well as the special Taste Of Switzerland menu created by a different Swiss chef each month especially for SWISS.
As this was an overnight flight with a late departure, the cabin was as oasis of tranquillity after dinner was served. The cabin crew radiated a positive energy, which added to the enjoyment of the flight.
The easy to use entertainment system provides more than enough diversion for the length of the flight, though SWISS also provides an extensive selection of reading material in a number of languages.
Arriving on time at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport, this SWISS flight ended as pleasantly as it began, with the staff saying goodbye in a United Nations of languages—and those were just ones from Switzerland. With a transfer to a domestic flight, I looked for signs for the Transfer Desk, which were clearly marked. The Bangkok Airways staff there were friendly and helpful in providing arrangements for the onward flight to Samui. SWISS and Bangkok Airways have a cooperative agreement permitting checked baggage to be checked all the way through to the final destination, making the transfer easy and stress free.
It’s always a pleasure to fly SWISS, knowing what awaits on board. Travellers from Australia going to Europe will have a new option for travel on SWISS next May when the airline introduces nonstop flights between Singapore and Zurich.