Review of SWISS flight Geneva London in Business

Airline SWISS
Flight LX356
Class Business
Seat 3A
Aircraft Airbus A220-300
Flight time 01:40
Take-off 16 Apr 19, 17:50
Arrival at 16 Apr 19, 18:30
LX   #30 out of 132 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 695 reviews
bldavid
By SILVER 910
Published on 25th April 2019

If you have read some of my previous flight reports you know that I almost never buy full fare business class tickets but I grab all possibilities to get a good deal or to get an upgrade.

Many airlines offer an upgrade bid to business class and some others offer a flat rate upgrade fee at check-in but Swiss has a very unusual offer. A typical one-way flight from Geneva to London costs 39 CHF in economy and 264 CHF in business. That's a big difference and is not worth it for such a short flight. But when you start booking economy the usual extras such as seat selection, check-in luggage and insurance are offered - and surprise: upgrade to business class is offered for only 58 CHF (instead of the original price difference of 225 CHF). The only difference is that check-in luggage is not included and fare conditions remain the same but all other services (priority check-in, priority security, lounge access, seat in the front of the aircraft, next seat empty, business class meal and drink service) are otherwise the same. An upgrade for 58 CHF is a steal in my opinion and should not be missed.

(Those who count in Euros: 39 CHF = 34 €, 58 CHF = 51 €, 264 CHF = 232 €).

Geneva Airport's biggest advantage is that it is located extremely close to the city - it takes only 7 minutes by train and costs 3 CHF to get there. 


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But the good things end here as the airport is otherwise has a lot of ugly parts with long corridors and would be suitable for shooting a movie set in the 1980's.


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There are a lot of flights leaving in the late afternoon..


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The Swiss first and business check-in area is definitely not nice. There was only one agent for business class when I was there. There were 10 pax in line in front of me but five of them didn't notice this check-in desk was for business class and were sent away. The check-in agent was not very friendly and not very well informed.


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Lines can be very long at Geneva Airport. Priority security was in a small area but I was through in about 10 minutes.


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Lounges are upstairs.


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Swissport lounge is used by many different airlines (including Icelandair) and is also a Priority Pass lounge.


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But I was heading to the Swiss Business Lounge.


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While the lounge is not huge and there are certainly nicer lounges in the world I found it perfectly adequate, especially for the small amount I paid for my upgrade.

The choice of drinks is very similar to what you would find in other European lounges.



Hot food is available which makes this lounge better compared to many other lounges in Europe. But I was not hungry as it was mid-afternoon I had had lunch earlier at Brasserie Lipp, my favourite restaurant in Geneva.



I left the lounge at the last minute. I was through the official passport control in a short time and the passports were checked again by an airline agent at the gate a few minutes later.

Boarding was by bus.


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The aircraft on this flight was an A220-300, formerly known as CS-300. The registration number of this particular aircraft is HB-JCF and first flew in 2017. Only a select few airlines fly the A220 such as Air Baltic, Korean or Delta. My opinion is that it's a great aircraft for short-haul, low-volume flights.


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I was impressed: beautiful cabin, nice seats, everything in a very good condition. The airlines that offer proper business class seats for their intra-European flights (Aeroflot, Icelandair, Turkish Airlines) set aside this is possibly the nicest intra-european business class cabin. Economy seats with middle seats blocked, yes, but the seats are nice and comfortable with good legroom.


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The overhead screens are the size and the form of a bigger smartphone.


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Legroom was also very good.


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Configuration is 2-3 in business class with a total of 3 rows on this flight. If you are seated on the left side you'll have two seats to yourself; if you sit on the right side there can be a maximum of two passengers for three seats. There were a total of only 5 pax in business. I selected seat 3A.


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Water and packed refreshing towels were offered after boarding was completed. 


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An expected flight time of one hour and 20 minutes was announced for a scheduled flight time of one hour and 40 minutes. We departed from our parking position at 17.50, exactly on time. I could see quite a few private jets during taxi.


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Take-off was at 18.00 from runway 04. Climbing was quick, clearly different from an A320.

Nice views over Lake Geneva


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Swiss does not offer a special business class menu on its short-haul flights but business class passengers can choose whatever they like from the buy-on-board economy menu called Swiss Saveurs.



Service started shortly after departure.


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The table was nicely set


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I ordered a planchette apéritif (Appetizer platter) which included a very stylish wooden platter designed to be kept by the passengers.


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This is how it looked inside. It was very good.


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I had some San Pellegrion Arancia to drink


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And a lemon tartlet as a dessert.


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Service was excellent if a bit formal throughout the flight.

The Swiss fleet from the in-flight magazine.


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Approaching London


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It looks like a place for kayak competitions.


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Some views as we were approaching Heathrow.


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Windsor


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We landed at 18.20 for a scheduled arrival time of 18.30.

Two of the most beautiful aircrafts ever built:


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We arrived to Heathrow Terminal 2 where I had an easy connection to my Icelandair flight.


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Verdict

SWISS

8.0/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi5.5
Meal/catering8.5

Swiss Business Class

6.9/10
Comfort7.5
Meal/catering7.5
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Services7.5

Geneva - GVA

7.0/10
Efficiency3.0
Access10.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness9.0

London - LHR

9.0/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

The upgrade offer by Swiss was exceptionally good value. Geneva airport is extremely easy to access but it is and looks old. The Swiss Business Lounge is nothing extravagant but does the job. The most important is however the flight itself: I found the A220 cabin to be beautiful, my seat was very comfortable, I liked Swiss' business class service, the food was very good and there were some very nice views after take-off and before landing. This flight was altogether a very enjoyable experience at a very good price.

Information on the route Geneva (GVA) London (LHR)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 19 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Geneva (GVA) → London (LHR).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is SWISS with 7.7/10.

The average flight time is 1 hours and 45 minutes.

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6 Comments

  • Comment 499511 by
    ThomasDutch SILVER 345 Comments

    I must have missed something I bet, but since when did SWISS introduce a BoB service?.....

  • Comment 499793 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4857 Comments

    Hi David, wow the SWISS A220 is very popular this week! You have good luck with cheap upgrade offers! 58 CHF is definitely a good deal. The lounge seems nice with good food selection. Onboard the cabin is very nice and modern. The legroom in the J rows is quite good--better than many other European carriers, especially BA and LH with only 30" pitch in J.

    Hmmm....offering a choice of Buy-on-board in J seems very LCC. I am disappointed to see SWISS doing this, given their premium reputation. I would not have been happy to have that "meal" had I paid 260 CHF+ for the one-way.

    Thanks for sharing!

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