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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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....).
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.