Review of SWISS flight Zurich Los Angeles in Business

Airline SWISS
Flight LX40
Class Business
Seat 5K
Aircraft Boeing 777-300ER
Flight time 12:10
Take-off 17 Nov 18, 13:10
Arrival at 17 Nov 18, 16:20
LX   #17 out of 74 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 860 reviews
NGO85
By SILVER 1248
Published on 7th November 2022

This series was another short trip to Veneto for work. For background and routing information please refer back to the LX 41 FR. This will be a short report on the return leg from Zurich to Los Angeles since I was asleep for most of the flight.



After arriving from Venice, I quickly took the transfer over to Terminal E. Immigration was surprising slow, so I didn't have too much time left before our expected departure time. I briefly stopped into the Senator Lounge in Terminal E to grab a snack after that lackluster catering on my flight from Venice. The lounge was busy, but the catering was already setup for lunch so I grabbed some roasted vegetables and fried rice and took a free seat.


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My boarding pass for this sector.


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At noon, I left the lounge and joined the long line to perform secondary checks for the corner of Terminal E that was dedicated to US-bound flights. Our B77W waiting at the gate. 


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SWISS, LX 40
Equipment: Boeing 777-300ER [HB-JNJ, delivered March 2018]
Departure: 13:10 (ATD: 13:50)
Arrival: 16:20 (ATA: 15:50)
Flight Time: 12:00


It was another 30 minutes before boarding was finally called, I joined the back of the business class line and soon was heading down towards our beast.


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Entering the plane, there were friendly greetings in German from the crew. They quickly switched to English and directed me through the galley and to the left to my seat. As always, I quickly do OLCI as soon as it opens to look for free throne seats. This flight I got lucky and there was one in the forward J cabin. 5K is probably the 2nd best seat behind 4A. The mini-J cabin is very private and there is almost no foot traffic since the crew will just walk things out from the galley behind.


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My throne for this flight. It does have a missing window, but you can still lean forward to look out the forward window. Pre-placed on the seat were pillow and blanket. The amenity kit is now a grey Victorinox branded hangable toiletry bag, the socks don't fit inside so they just throw them on top…

For a full seat review go ahead and check out my previous LX40 report (here). Overall, the thrones are very good seats with an abundance of storage, privacy, and surface on the side tables.


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The seat pitch is correct and the IFE screen is large with good quality with sufficient content.


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PDBs were offered from a tray consisting of either champagne, orange juice, or water. I took a water to hydrate for the long flight, which was followed by distribution of the menus. This flight was featuring the Canton of Nidwalden.



We pushed back about 30 minutes late and did our taxi out. There was not too much traffic and we were quickly on our way barreling down Runway 16…



Lifting up over the Swiss countryside.


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Service started by distribution of oshibori followed by aperitif service. A glass of champagne and water to accompany the ramekin of nuts.


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Linens were laid followed by the distribution of the appetizer by tray along with an offer of bread from a basket. I opted for the trout starter, which was nicely presented and tasted good. Also on the tray are salad and condiments. From my previous flights, it's nice that they removed all the advertisement pamphlets from the tray, but they are still missing proper salt/pepper shakers.


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Leaving Germany as appetizers were cleared and main courses were brought out.


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I didn't find any of the options on the menu compelling, so I decided to break my rule and try LX's attempt at a beef tenderloin. The beef had a good temperature on the cook, but it was not served very warm and was difficult to cut. It was an unremarkable dish and what one would expect from beef on a plane.


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After the tray was removed, I declined the cheese plate and went straight to dessert. I took my cheese cake along with a cup of coffee.


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After an early morning having to make the long drive into VCE, I quickly went to sleep and slept for most of the flight. The thrones are a tight squeeze in the foot cubby, but generally acceptable on a day-time TATL.

Mid-flight, packaged sandwiches were offered along with drinks. The crew throughout were friendly and were very attentive popping into our cabin frequently from the galley. Since the mini-cabin is so small, I feel the service is also better compared to the vast main cabin that is likely harder for the crew to efficiently cover.


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Since I apparently didn't learn my lesson on the LAX-ZRH, I again opted for the pasta option. The pre-arrival meal is done by tray, but at least a table cloth is laid. The tray contains the main, a cup of fruit, and bread was offered from a basket. Drinks were offered, but I just took a glass of water. As on the LAX-ZRH sector, the pasta is just swimming in a pool of cheese and looks very unappetizing after a 12 hour flight. It was a good thing they added those 2 miniscule slices of celery to lighten the dish and add color^^


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As we approached Ventura County, the char covered land remains below with remanant smoke. For those not following the series, this trip took place during the Woolsey Fires that scorched the Santa Monica Mountains. Hoping my house is still down there…


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We lock onto the coast over Malibu.


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Aerial of LAX.


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Marina del Rey.


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The residual smoke over LA as we initiate our u-turn into LAX over Montebello.


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Final descent in LAX.



We had the long taxi back to TBIT, but still were at the gate ahead of schedule. In the late afternoon, there are an abundance of international flights arriving from both Europe and Asia so immigration/customs were very busy. With Global Entry, I was quickly through immigration, but you don't get much reprieve from the long snaking line to try and clear customs. In theory, Global Entry should let you use the crew lane for customs, but the staff was not allowing me to cut over so it took ~30 minutes to clear customs after getting my bag.

This is where I'll conclude this series, thanks for stopping by!

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Verdict

SWISS

8.0/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Meal/catering7.0

SWISS Senator Lounge E - E

7.5/10
Comfort7.0
Meal/catering8.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Services7.0

Zurich - ZRH

8.3/10
Efficiency8.0
Access9.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness9.0

Los Angeles - LAX

6.8/10
Efficiency7.0
Access4.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness7.0

Conclusion

Another solid flight on LX with a consistent soft/hard product.

ZRH:
- Clean and efficient. As always, US-bound flights are less comfortable since you are crowded into the "clean" areas way ahead of boarding with almost no amenities or places to sit.
- Both visits to A and E LX Lounges were similar in that there was not very much quiet space to relax. The food/drinks are above average, but nothing remarkable. E does feel airy with all of the seating along the windows overlooking the tarmac.

Flight:
- Throne seats are very private and have an abundance of storage/space. Feel tight in the footwell during sleep, but otherwise are comfortable seats.
- Mini-cabin is quiet and feels more premium.
- Catering is above average overall, but the beef was not a great entree and the pre-arrival meal pasta dish was very heavy.
- The IFE has a good selection and the ability to have the flight map on the remote is a nice feature.
- LX crews are consistently good on long-haul with attentive, yet efficient service.

LAX:
- TBIT is cleaner and newer than the rest of the airport, but still a hectic experience through immigration/customs.

Information on the route Zurich (ZRH) Los Angeles (LAX)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 7 reviews of 1 airlines on the route Zurich (ZRH) → Los Angeles (LAX).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is SWISS with 7.8/10.

The average flight time is 12 hours and 14 minutes.

  More information

2 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 615412 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 5946 Comments

    Interesting to compare this pre-pandemic LX 77W J flight with your recent post-pandemic UA 77W J experience. What stands out the most if the catering, LX miles ahead of UA, even pre-Covid UA. Aside from the beef not being great, as it rarely is on a plane, everything is well-presented and generally feels and looks premium. Probably average-ish by pre-Covid standards for long-haul J, but stands out as above average by today's lower standards.

    The pre-arrival meal is done by tray, but at least a table cloth is laid.

    A tiny detail that makes a difference in the level of premium a passenger perceives. When a tray is just slapped on a bare table it feels very cafeteria.

    LX get a lot of criticism for this J cabin configuration, but I rather like this type of config. I know I've mentioned it before, but I like having the option of a single/throne seat when travelling alone, and seats together when travelling with family. These types of configuration have something for everyone.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 615489 by
      NGO85 SILVER AUTHOR 1743 Comments

      Hi Kevin, thanks for stopping by. Comparing UA to LX catering is not fair at any time ;) The only advantage UA might have is the mid-flight snack since LX just offers cold sandwiches whereas UA offers the warm sandwich. Otherwise, LX is superior in both quality and presentation. As far as hard product, LX (like OS) is acceptable, still much better than the current LH product. The thrones are really spacious with surfaces on both sides of the seat, which is rare so you can easily place devices on one side and drinks on the other without scrambling for space on tray table.

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