Review: Swiss Airlines Business Class A320, Istanbul – Zurich

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In a case of “you can’t get there from here”, we were only able to find frequent flier reward space in business to Warsaw from Istanbul via Zurich. The lone Star Alliance Member that offered non stop service “LOT” had no space available, making us take the longer way to Warsaw via Zurich on Swiss Airlines. As a result, we had a stopover in Zurich on the excellent Swiss Airlines Business Class product while we headed up to Warsaw, Poland.


This post is one chapter on our second Round the World trip via Japan, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Poland. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) loyalty programs. 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 Airlines Business Class A320, Istanbul – Zurich

“Swiss Airlines provided quality service on their short haul flights including richly European meals, which made up for the compact European Short Haul Business Class Seat

We left the comfortable Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge at Istanbul Atatürk International Airport. We were met at the gate with super efficient Swiss boarding with no real issues. Thankfully, we appeared to be back in the land of organization. We were relieved to be here quite frankly. 

Istanbul Gate Boarding
Swiss International 
Business Class
IST-ZRH (Ataturk International Airport, Istanbul – Zurich International Airport)
LX1801 – Business Class (I)
1:55 PM – 4:05 PM
April 26, 2014
Booked: Airbus 320
Flown: Airbus 320

On Board Swiss Airlines Short Haul Business Class:

We settled into the usual European Business Class which is economy seating with a blocked middle economy seat. Upon seeing the configuration, MrsWT73 proclaimed “Oh my. I hope this isn’t a long flight” . Yes – the curse of Euro-Business Class continues in many forms, shapes and sizes. It’s still remarkable that this product gets sold as business class throughout Europe.

Swiss Airlines Short Haul Business Class
Swiss Airlines Short Haul Business Class

Pre-Departure Services:

We had a simple bottle of Henniez branded still water provided as a pre-departure beverage. This was served along with a refreshing towelettes.

Pre-Departures Services

Time to Take Off:

We were number 10 for departure out of IST today with many birds in front. 

Line up for Departure at Istanbul Atatürk

The excellent treatment by Swiss staff showed early on in the flight. The Maître de Cabine that took care of us called us each by name and took genuine time to deal with us. The in flight service that we’ve had from Swiss has generally been the most interactive and sincere that we’ve had on any carrier. While most Asian carriers offer very attentive service, I personally find it almost too subservient and submissive. The Swiss service, similar to Cathay Pacific, is actually pleasant where you can have a conversation with someone and know that your needs are actually being attended to. 

The Meal Service: A Full Lunch

Today’s meal service was a full lunch served all at once. On the menu today was beef bourgeon with spatzle or vegetarian with mozerella balls and risotto. Dessert was chocolate mousse with blueberry and raspberry for dessert. 

A form of Beef bourgeon with Spätzle

I was still super sick at this point as a result of food that I likely ate at the resort in Oman. I couldn’t even stomach the Swiss white wine. I stuck with water and juice and picked away at the food. 

I sacked out for the rest of the flight. We had a nice approach into Zurich over the lake and we were on the ground before we knew it. 

Arriving to Zurich International Airport:

Descent into Zurich
Arriving to Zurich International Airport

Swiss Airlines Short Haul Business Class Impressions:

Overall, Swiss has to be among my favorite carriers. The service on board is excellent, and the catering has always been wonderful. Add a terrific transfer experience in Zurich and some great lounges to go with the experience and you’ve got a recipe for frequent flier success!


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