JONAS
Jonas Rask Eilersen
Swiss A330 Business Class
Miami International - Zurich Kloten, Airbus A330-300 Business Class
29th December 2015

The Swiss flag carrier operates a daily flight between Miami and Zurich; all on the airline’s now not-so-new Airbus A330-300s. With a departure of 1905 and an arrival at 1100 the following morning, the flights are timed to meet the “midday wave” of flights onwards from Zurich. I tried them out – read the honest review below!

Check In
I arrived with plenty of time to spare; in fact, I was at the airport some four hours before the flight. Swiss' check in desks are co-located with Lufthansa's, in the South Terminal.

I was checked in quickly and provided with my boarding pass which allowed for fast track security. The clerk was friendly and helpful.
The Lounge
Swiss uses the TAM lounge in Concourse J; it's one floor up from the ground floor opposite Gate 4J. The reception team were friendly and professional, and guided me to the main seating area.

The lounge was quite busy this afternoon, but staff kept the place clean and neat. A good selection of hot and cold dishes was available, as were drinks. The lounge has recently been redesigned, although I will admit it didn't show.

As I had quite a long wait for the flight, I decided to take a shower. I was provided with a package with slippers, a large towel and toiletries. The shower facilities were ok - but here I could certainly not see any sign of recent renovation.
Boarding
Boarding was announced around 1815 and was a mad scrum. Although there were divisions between Business and Economy passengers, there seemed to be little in the way of controlling things, and so I ended up being one of the last to board - not a huge issue, but still mildly annoying.

At the door, kind stewardesses greeted me and showed me to my seat, 8K. Within a few minutes of sitting down, I was provided with a welcome drink; I chose Champagne. All nice and neat.
The Cabin, Seat and Service
The Swiss cabins used to be all the rage - and, in a way, they still are, although the novelty factor has worn off, and you now do notice the shortcomings.

However, if starting with the positives; the cabins on all long haul aircraft look great; the colour scheme of woods and browns is fabulous. This, together with the crew's uniforms, the sleek typography and the high level of cleanliness, and the staggered seating (in 1-2-1 configuration) create a sophisticated atmosphere, quite unique in the skies (it's no surprise when you know that the design was devised by Tyler Brûlé's WINK studio).

The slight negatives concern mostly the fact that the seats are quite narrow, and therefore you may find that it's a little difficult to get comfortable when the seat is fully reclined. Furthermore, and a lesser problem,because the seats are staggered, all even numbered single seats have a massive table next to the window (obviously, the uneven numbered seats have the opposite - i.e. the table next to the aisle). It's not a massive bother - but it feels odd being plonked down in a single seat so far from the window and so close to the aisle, and I would certainly choose uneven numbered single seats if travelling alone.

What was slightly more annoying, however, was that the crew, once service got started after takeoff, seemed inexperienced and clueless. They were running around, constantly asking the Maître de Cabine about things - such as (but not limited to) how to hand the hot towels to passengers (things like these really need to be sorted in training, not in the cabin with paying passengers onboard).

Apart from the narrowness of the seat, the hard product is good; the quilted blanket and pillow were fine, as was the amenity bag (nicely designed, too). Let it be said that, were it not for the sleek cabin feel, the whole onboard experience is far from the cream of quality airlines, and far from the old Swissair days.
Food and Drink
Printed menus were distributed; the selection looked fine - however, as I was quite tired, I opted for the "quick meal"; according to the menu, this is a soup and salad as well as a drink.

However, even this the crew couldn't work out - I simply got a tiny portion of salad and a piece of bread (no dressing, no butter - and no soup). I was waiting for the rest of the meal to turn up - but then the main meal service began, and I couldn't get hold of the crew. Hence, I simply reclined the seat and fell asleep.

I awoke to a small breakfast of eggs and juice - all fine. However, nothing out of the ordinary.

One thing I did note, however, was the good wine list - although I didn't have any on this flight (even for me, wine at 7 in the morning is a no-no....).
Inflight Entertainment
The IFE is on-demand and is easy to operate. The headphones are of a good quality, and the selection of content fine. There is no wifi onboard. The screen is certainly not the best in the skies (it was quite scratched) but nothing to complain about.
Arrival
We arrived bang on time in Zurich. The cabin was clean and tidy on arrival, and we were seen off with a smile. Bags were on the belt before I got to the arrivals hall, and I could walk straight to the fabulous Swiss Arrival Lounge. Full marks.
Verdict
Swiss is still a great choice for long haul Business Class travel - the main positive is the sleek cabin configuration (just choose the right seat) and materials used onboard. However, I don't think that the Swiss Business Class experience is particularly luxurious, and it is not in the leagues of e.g. Qatar, Singapore or Etihad.

That said, I did get comfortably from A to B - and on time. Despite the slightly narrow seat, I arrived well-rested. The Arrival Lounge at Zurich is a treat.