The airline with the best average rating is SWISS with 7.8/10.
The average flight time is 1 hours and 45 minutes.More information
Welcome to yet another SWISS flight-report from me. This time it's an evening flight in Economy from ZRH to WAW on one of their old A320s, I will also review their Business Lounge A. I hope you will enjoy this report and make sure you check out the previous one (LX1343), where I also posted a little tourism bonus from Zurich.
Flight number LX1352
Route Zurich Kloten - Warsaw Chopin
Flight date 27th June 2021, 1755-1945 (actual 1840-2005)
Scheduled flight time 1:50 (actual 1:25)
Aircraft model Airbus A320
Aircraft registration HB-IJE
Seating configuration CY180 (4 rows of SWISS Business)
Aircraft age (at the time of flight) 26 years
Seat number 5D
Departure gate A86 (jet bridge)
Arrival gate bus gate at remote stand
Load factor (approx.) 80%
Zurich Airport still remains my favourite in Europe. Spacious, modern, with plenty of shops and cafes (but not overly crowded with them), well-connected, clean and efficient. What more can I ask for?
From the city centre, we took the train to the airport, which only takes a few minutes and is not expensive for Swiss standards.
There is however quite a bit of walking involved to get from the train station to the check in area, so be prepared. The signage is however clear, as long as you know which check in area your airline is using.
We also paid a short visit to the new shopping quarter of ZRH - The Circle, which is just outside the terminal and is advertised by Zurich Airport to be super awesome. It is not - in my opinion :( Only a few shops and cafes/restaurants, nothing spectacular at all (as compared to Jewel Changi for example).
On our way to SWISS check-ins we passed a wonderful Edelweiss advert - I would love to try this airline and go to the places they advertised on the billboards.
SWISS check in area was well organised, and although being quite busy, I didn't wait long at all. There is also a separate row of check in desks for business, first and status guests. All passengers, irrespective on their travel class and status can also use dedicated waiting lounges located in the check in area, which is a super nice idea and not seen at many airports. These waiting lounges have comfy seats, lamps and power outlets.
I collected my boarding pass from a friendly agent, who advised me that I can also do OLCI. (Which I obviously knew, I just wanted a printed boarding pass for my collection, and this is exactly what I told him).
Security check was surprisingly disorganised and took a lot of time, even though there was no queue. But once airside, I reminded myself that Zurich Airport is fantastic!
The airside centre is nicely designed and spacious. Many shops, restaurants and lounges are located there. I recommend especially the sports bar terrace which gives you views over the apron.
We and my mum decided to then go to the SWISS lounge A, which was the only SWISS lounge open at the time. The entry price for Economy passengers was 29 CHF which was a super good value for money!
The entrance didn't look busy and the staff was very polite and professional throughout the lounge. The payment can be made only by card, at the entrance.
Inside, the lounge is nicely designed, modern and very warm. It also gets enough sunlight, There are designated areas for dining, relaxing and working. However, it was very busy inside, especially because some seats have been removed due to space restrictions and also one section of the lounge was closed. We ended up having to eat our lunch on sofas, which wasn't ideal. This probably has now changed, as SWISS reopened more lounges.
We decided to eat lunch and have some drinks. The drink choice was very wide, food choice could a bit wider and definitely some sort of dessert was missing. The famous SWISS chocolates were also not available in the lounge. However, all in all, the taste of food was great, and as I already said, the staff was very polite.
After our stay in the lounge, we proceeded to our gate A86, which is the furthest in concourse A. Boarding commenced with a bit of a delay, as we were waiting for connecting passengers and we were apologised for that. On the way to gate, we passed multiple SWISS and Helvetic jets, including A220s, A320neos, A320s and E2s and I also spotted my favourite SWISS' advertisement - "Today, airlines only have small differences. But these make the big difference." For me, that's the quintessence of SWISS.
Boarding was carried out at the jet bridge, which is quite rare for flights to Warsaw (usually operated on E2s or A220s). But our flight was swapped from a smaller A220-300 to an A320 due to high demand.
We are boarding a 26-year-old India-Juliett-Echo via a glass jet bridge. It was probably the oldest aircraft I have ever flown - however the cabin was so well refurbished that the age couldn't be felt at all! At the entrance, our Maitre de Cabine greeted us and handed out disinfecting tissues.
Passing through a 4-row business class cabin which, of course, in Europe has the same seats as Economy with a middle seat blocked. This cabin will be full when the boarding finishes.
And these are our seats, in row 5. SWISS blocked a seat between me and my mum which I was super grateful for. The seat design is sleek with attention to details such as the contrast seam and beige antimacassars. However, I am not the greatest fan of these Recaro seats in terms of comfort. I haven't tried the new LH Group short haul seats, but as I read in your reports, they seem to be much comfier!
The cabin really looked quite fresh for such an old aircraft. It must have been recently refurbished. Of course you could tell it's the old Airbus cabin interior but still…
Now, probably the best feature of SWISS' short haul cabins is the legroom in front rows. In A320s rows 1-5 have incredible legroom, as they can be used as business class. But on our flight, row 5 was Economy and I was lucky (again), to have some extra space for my long legs ;)
Some more photos of the cabin as we were waiting for pushback. Although being ready to push back at 1810, we had to wait a bit for a new slot. As you can see, the cabin is well-maintained, decorated in warm colours of brown and beige, which I like, and features overhead TVs, where safety demo, airshow, and some SWISS advertisements are played. There are however no power outlets or WiFi.
Takeoff was delayed, at 1840, but it was picturesque, providing us with wonderful views of Swiss landscapes and the Alps. We were lucky to have the nice weather! Very quickly after departure, cabin crew was released. They closed the curtain to business, which was just in front of my nose. This is not ideal, however it paid off as I had the extra legroom.
Cabin crew first distributed SWISS-branded water from the trolley. In theory it's restricted to one bottle per person but in reality it's never an issue if you want another bottle.
After that, they handed out COVID arrival forms for Poland which, as of now, are in electronic version. You should fill out the PLF before departure on a gov website.
Meanwhile we were slowly reaching our cruising altitude, and passing through the Alps - surprisingly smoothly and without turbulence. My mum definitely enjoyed her SWISS flight - she fell asleep hahaha
In a few minutes, the crew carried out SWISS Saveurs (Buy on Board) service and they were professional but not overly outgoing and chatty - but that's absolutely fine as long as they are kind and polite, which they were. I went for a ginger&curcuma drink which was not sparkling (thankfully! I don't like sparkling softs) - it was very interesting, slightly spicy, nicely chilled. I also took the salted caramel cookie, which I didn't like when I first took it (back in June) but I now came round to it. It was just a bit cold and very hard because of that… Usual SWISS chocolates were also handed out, and, also as usual, I asked for a few more for my friends.
After the meal I paid a short visit to the back lavatory - which was tiny, as SWISS uses the Airbus SpaceFlex in their A320s. However, I really appreciated the cleanliness and the big, well-lit mirror behind the toilet.
I then took a few more pics of the cabin, which, as I already said, didn't look dated despite the aircraft age. The last row was blocked out with a tape, saying "do not occupy" but in case on your flight it is available, it has no window and no recline so I wouldn't recommend.
The rest of the flight was smooth and uneventful. We landed in Warsaw slightly behind the schedule and parked on a remote stand. SWISS usually uses a jet bridge gate in WAW but during Summer 2021 some rotations had overnight layovers in WAW and these airplanes were always being parked on remote stands for the night.
When leaving the aircraft, I was handed out this little piece of paper. The cabin crew lady said: "I know you will be happy to fill it out" - I told her before that I am a huge fan of SWISS ;)
A quick fuselage shot of the 26-year old India-Juliette-Echo.
And also a shot of LOT's Embraer E195 in the "Warmia Mazury" special livery, promoting Mazury - a region of 1000s lakes in Poland. The region is absolutely stunning, and I recommend visiting. See a photo below (unrelated to this report).
(The photo was downloaded from spaeden.pl and is not my property.)
Thanks everyone for reading the report.
Next report: An empty British Airways flight from Warsaw to Heathrow T5 in Economy.
Though the flight was nothing extraordinary, it was still a decent one - SWISS is still on the top for me, when it comes to European carriers.