Review: Swiss International Airlines, Business Class A320-2, Zurich – London Heathrow

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Swiss International Airlines offers connecting services to various points around Europe thanks to its connecting flights from their hub in Zurich. Our hop on Swiss Airlines International from Zurich to London Heathrow was the next leg of our adventure after coming off a terrific Swiss Airlines long haul business class flight from Africa.


This post is one chapter on our trip to South Africa, a Safari in the Maasai Mara in Kenya and Mauritius. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) and Hyatt Gold Passport. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.


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Review: Swiss International Airlines, Business Class, A320-2, Zurich International Airport – London Heathrow

After the Swiss Senator Lounge “D” Gates Zurich, we departed for the gate. Access to the plane was afforded using electronic turnstiles which were activated using the bar coded boarding pass. There was no manual check of the boarding card here in the land of first world efficiency.

Swiss Air
Business Class
ZRH-LHR (Zurich International Airport – London Heathrow Terminal One)
LX 318 – Business Class (I)
10:20 AM – 11:10 AM
November 26, 2013
Booked: Airbus 320
Flown: Airbus 320-214

On Board Swiss Business Class Short Haul:

On board, the configuration was the usual European business class with 3-3 seating with middle seat blocked. How European Carriers get away with this fake business class is beyond me.

Swiss Air Euro Business Class with the Blocked Middle
View of the legroom in Swiss Business Class

There was bin space that was marked exclusively “Business Class” only, with snow falling down outside

Overhead Bins: Business Class Only
Apron Views in Zurich

A Pre-Departure Beverage Service:

A bottle of water was offered as a pre-departure beverage, followed up with a towel service offering AND a “refreshing tissue”. 

In Flight Entertainment:

There was also the Swiss in flight magazine, with the exciting cover destination of Montreal (not really)

Swiss Magazine

After de-icing, we departed Zurich without incident. 

The Meal Service: A light lunch snack

Once we were out of the snow at a comfortable cruising altitude, a lunch plate was offered. It was described as a pasta salad with cured meats. Overall, it was quite pleasant and a great improvement from the usual catering in North America.

A Cured Meat Lunch Plate, Bread Roll and Dessert, served all at once

For dessert, a berry cobbler was served along side with a fresh roll served from the bread basket. The photo went missing, so here’s a coffee instead!

Swiss Business Coffee Service

As we arrived into the London area, we entered into holding pattern for 15 minutes awaiting landing clearance. We had some nice views over the city as we circled.

Views of the Thames and the Millennium Dome over Central London

We landed safely in London Heathrow Terminal 1 and had a long walk to customs. We decided to clear customs for an outside walk between Heathrow Terminal 1 to Heathrow Terminal 3. As we cleared UK Border Police customs, there were some interesting signs up at Immigration relating to the Kenyan Westgate Mall Bombing. It was interesting to see these posted all the way up in Heathrow, considering that the Nairobi Jomo Kennyata airport had nothing posted up at all.

Westgate Mall Bombing – Appeal for Information

Conclusion: Swiss Business Class Short Haul

The short haul Swiss flight was pretty uneventful. It was nice to have an extra snack on board, although I still can’t figure out the purpose of business seating on board European carriers. I wonder who did the competitive analysis on deciding to go with the economy seat for business class? It’s nice to have the extra space – but I’d rather have a better seat!! Especially when you can generally more space on first class on a train in Europe, the market they are usually competing against.


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