Flight: SWISS LX 179
From: Singapore (SIN) To: Zurich (ZRH)
Flight: SWISS LX 316
From: Zurich (ZRH) To: London Heathrow (LHR)
There were options at a similar price for the route I wanted, so in the end I picked this for being via Singapore and with Star Alliance airlines.
Despite spending over six months in Switzerland, I’ve never flown with the national carrier. Swiss International Air Lines (stylized as SWISS) is not to be confused with Swissair or Swiss Airlines, which closed in 2002 and transferred operations to the new airline. SWISS was then taken over by German airline Lufthansa in 2005.
The first leg of my journey originated in Saigon on Singapore Airlines, so I didn’t experience the SWISS check-in at Changi. If you are going to be transiting anywhere, then it is hard to beat Changi for a smooth experience.
As my ticket started on Singapore Airlines, I wasn’t able to check in online for this flight. I was also allocated a terrible seat and couldn’t change in the Singapore Airlines system in Saigon. Luckily I had over four hours in Singapore between flights, so I went to the transfer lounge where I was able to pick a new seat.
The flight from Changi departs at 23:30 and arrives in Zurich at 06:09, with the scheduled flight time of 12H 32M. The aircraft is a Boeing 777-300ER with 3-4-3 configuration in economy.
Once onboard I remembered that Switzerland is the land of watches. The duty free guide was filled with watch option, and the inflight entertainment and route map was sponsored by Breitling.
SWISS mag is the inflight magazine of SWISS. With the flight departing on the first the flight still had the previous months magazine.
A menu card is presented for the flight.
For dinner I selected the beef ragout. Being a Swiss airline it included a hard and soft cheese. Living in Asia and rarely eating cheese, I forgot how much I like cheese.
Being unable to sleep on flights I resign myself to movie marathons on long-haul flights.
Are we there yet?
Breakfast was one choice of an omelette with bacon and potatoes.
In a nice touch, SWISS-branded Swiss chocolates are on offer as you leave the plane. I took one, not having the nerve to grab a handful like the person in front of me did.
For my next flight I had a 55 minute layover between flights in Zurich. When I booked the flight I wasn’t sure if that was enough time. I figured that if the booking site allowed a short layover then it must be doable.
The flight arrived a few minutes ahead of schedule, so I walked briskly through to the transfer train to the next terminal. After going through security again I got to the gate just as passengers were boarding for London.
I don’t like being rushed like this and I prefer to at least have time for a terrestrial coffee before boarding the next flight. Once I was onboard though I was glad to be getting on with it and get the day of travel out of the way.
The flight was in a A321 100/200, which is a stretched version of the A320 that can hold up to 219 passengers.
SWISS magazine for September 2017.
SWISS operate out of Zurich and Geneva, with most international flights hubbing through Zurich. There are a selection of international flights from Geneva, and connecting flights throughout the day between the two cities.
A breakfast service of coffee and croissant is served on the flight.
The official flight time is 1H 50M, though it did in less than that. Looking out the window I could see Vietnam Airlines, which would have been the flight I took if I had booked a direct flight, which I have flown before when it was to Gatwick. I was happy to save money and try out SWISS for the first time.
Overall it was a good flight. Seats were comfortable enough and a good service. I was tempted to make a stopover in Zurich on this trip, so maybe I will another time.