Review : Swiss, Business Class, Dubai-Zurich, A330

As the best things always come to an end, our express stay in Dubai is coming to an end and we have to go back to Paris, via Zurich. The flight is late as almost always for the flights back to Europe but this one is especially late: 1:45 am.

It’s a good thing that we had a late checkout at the Royal Meridien and that we didn’t return our rooms until 10pm, it simplifies things a bit but it’s still a lot of time to kill at the airport.

Check-in and ground experience

Having obtained our boarding passes on our mobiles and having only hand luggage, we walk through the check-in area of Terminal 1. Then come the police and security checks and there we split up: Olivier goes through the SmartGates while I always had the laziness to register and I follow the normal process.

I don’t remember waiting so little at the controls to leave Dubai. Not that they are more fussy than elsewhere (on the contrary I find them very “fluid” in terms of security, not that they are lax but that they bother people less for trifles) but because there were far fewer people than I am used to.

We thus meet after the security and take the shuttle towards the hall D and we are going to kill time in the Lufthansa Senator Lounge.

After more than two hours of waiting (but not in the most unpleasant conditions) it is time to walk to our gate. and in Dubai it can take a bit of walking…

Fortunately it has long moving walkways.

Dubai Airport

We arrive at the gate.

Everyone is waiting patiently…

Boarding LX243

…without clumping in the lines.

Boarding LX243

We wait patiently and we end up boarding on time.

Discovery of the cabin and settling in

As soon as I enter the plane I am greeted by a “hello sir, happy to see you again!”. She is the head of the business cabin…as we have the same (excellent) crew as on the outbound flight. They spent one night in Muscat (the aircraft continues on to Oman after Dubai and arrives from Oman to Dubai to leave for Zurich without changing the crew.

I head to my seat…the same as the day before but in “night light” mode.

LX243 DXB-ZRH Business

You have to pay extra to get these trone seats in business on Swiss but considering the price of the ticket (a little more than 1000€ round trip in business) I thought I could add 80€ without breaking the bank.

I also find the configuration of the cabin intelligentwhich alternates between 1-2-1 and 2-2-2, giving options to both solo travelers like me who don’t like to have a neighbor when they travel and those who travel in pairs and don’t want it to deprive them of traveling together on the window side.

Example of a window seat with two abreast behind me:

LX243 DXB-ZRH Business

A general view of the cabin.

LX243 DXB-ZRH Business

There’s plenty of legroom, but there’s a serious lack of storage space: the only one available is the one you see there under the screen.

LX243 DXB-ZRH Business

Let’s talk about the screen…it’s still small and dated.

LX243 DXB-ZRH Business

The seat adjustments are very complete but could, in my opinion, be presented in a simpler way.

LX243 DXB-ZRH Business

A hanger is at my disposal if necessary for me to entrust a potential coat or jacket to the crew but its positioning is a bit “amateur“.

LX243 DXB-ZRH Business

We are given amenity kits.

The same as on the way out but in a metal box that enhances it.

LX243 DXB-ZRH Business
LX243 DXB-ZRH Business

Let’s say that there is the bare minimum, it is good without being exceptional.

A good idea, not only we are distributed the menus before takeoff so that the choices are quickly made the service abbreviated (it is late and the flight short) but also the breakfast menu to make our choice now in order to be served without waiting in the morning and enjoy the night until the end.

Catering LX243 DXB-ZRH Business
Catering LX243 DXB-ZRH Business

Breakfast menu brought with a pen…it may seem anecdotal but it couldn’t be more useful.

A glass of champagne arrives quickly…considering the time it will be my only alcoholic drink of the flight. It comes of course accompanied by a hot towel.

Catering LX243 DXB-ZRH Business

While the boarding continues I take inventory of the literature at my disposal and I notice that Swiss has, in addition to its “normal” magazine, a magazine dedicated to business and 1st Class.

LX243 DXB-ZRH Business

We are finally ready for the takeoff and I join my seat.

LX243 DXB-ZRH Business

Flight and in-flight service

Very quickly after the takeoff the service will begin and we will take advantage of it to collect my order for the breakfast.

Catering LX243 DXB-ZRH Business

First comment: it’s hot! A small remark in the form of a wink to all those who tell me that it is not possible to serve hot food at this hour and on such a short flight because the passengers want to sleep and that it is logistically impossible anyway. My opinion is that it is possible and that it is up to the passenger to decide if he wants to sleep right away or eat and what he wants to eat.

In short, there is no need to go on and on: on Air France, when you come back from Dubai in business class, you have a cold meal unworthy of an economy class, whereas KLM or Swiss, to name but a few, offer hot meals.

On the other hand, having dined heavily and then spent some time in the lounge, I will be reasonable and be satisfied with a soup.

My eyelids are starting to close so I’ll go fast. The soup was good, the mezze nice and the dessert melting!

I put my seat in the bed position and go to sleep.

LX243 DXB-ZRH Business
IMG_9239

Two hours before landing I will wake up to go to the bathroom.

The opportunity to see the staff busy in the galley: they already prepare the breakfasts according to the orders.for them the night must have been really short if not non-existent.

LX243 DXB-ZRH Business

To my surprise, the cabin was not plunged in the dark but lit up in dark blue.

LX243 DXB-ZRH Business
LX243 DXB-ZRH Business

I could sleep even with daylight if I needed to, so I don’t mind, but I admit I find it surprising and I’m not sure everyone likes it.

It’s breakfast time. For me it will be tea and pancakes.

Catering LX243 DXB-ZRH Business

I really like the presentation with the lemon in a cup on the side.

The tray arrives, my order is accompanied by fresh fruit and a croissant.

Catering LX243 DXB-ZRH Business

Service mistake with a cappucino that I did not order.

As for the pancakes…

Catering LX243 DXB-ZRH Business

Frankly, I didn’t expect anything from it. It’s like eggs, years of breakfast in business class on Air France have taught me to lower my level of expectation and even to skip breakfast, which is my habit the rest of the year anyway. There, for a first on Swiss I forced myself to eat something to test and to my great surprise, it was excellent. Really!

The cabin is now fully awake and exposed to daylight…

LX243 DXB-ZRH Business

We are approaching Zurich.

LX243 DXB-ZRH Business

The landing will go smoothly.

The staff

On such a flight you don’t have much opportunity to interact with the staff or, to be more accurate, there is a lot of intensity at departure and arrival and nothing in between.

No surprise since we had the same crew as on the outbound flight: efficient, proactive, warm, professional. And they did not idle since between the end of the snack of takeoff and the preparation of the individual orders of the breakfast it should not have passed much time.

The arrival

The only problem with this flight is not specific to this flight or to Swiss, but to the airport: the passage from the non-Schengen zone to Schengen in Zurich is clearly undersized in terms of security controls and at other times of the year it can really cause problems in case of short correspondence.

Bottom line

Not the best flight to evaluate a service: late departure, reduced and accelerated service, sleep as short as necessary… yet a very pleasant flight.

1°) a very good crew.

2°) good meals considering the specific context of this type of flight.

3°) a very pleasant cabin and seat, even if the seat lacks storage space and the screen is starting to look quite dated.

For information our routing :

Bertrand Duperrin
Bertrand Duperrinhttp://www.duperrin.com
Compulsive traveler, present in the French #avgeek community since the late 2000s and passionate about (long) travel since his youth, Bertrand Duperrin co-founded Travel Guys with Olivier Delestre in March 2015.
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