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ClassicLover
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Best. Flight. Ever! Business class on a Swiss Airbus A220 (my first time) from Zurich to Dublin

Sat Sep 12, 2020 12:32 pm

For all the pictures that go with this report (and there are plenty), please click here!

I have wanted to fly on board the Bombardier CSeries / Airbus A220 for quite a long time now. Alas, the airlines I usually fly with don't operate this aircraft. Due to the fact my original flight was cancelled, I decided to take the plunge and book with Swiss. On the Nice to Zurich sector, I had a brand new A320neo, which I wrote about in this report on here. That was a 50 minute flight, so the on board meal was really just a snack.

The main event for me was going to be finally going on board an Airbus A220. I was more excited about flying on this type as opposed to what I might get on board service wise in business class. Swiss are operating a normal on board service in business class, however I'd seen some reviews and the food looked pretty lacklustre, sort of on par with Lufthansa. Well, wasn't I in for a surprise...

LX406 – Zurich to Dublin (ZRH-DUB)
30 August 2020
Bombardier CS300 / Airbus A220-300 – HB-JCF
Seat: Business Class 3A
Departure: 17:10 Arrival: 18:35


I arrived in Zurich from Nice on Swiss and proceeded through Passport control to get to my new gate. Two people at portable desks were checking everyone to ensure they had completed the Irish Government’s Coronavirus paperwork. I’d completed mine online a couple of days before so I was good to go. Soon enough it was time to board. Seats are arranged two by three on this aircraft in economy class, and Swiss A220 business class is the same. The seat beside you is kept free, so if you snag a seat on the left side, you have no-one beside you at all.

Image

I like how the Bombardier CSeries branding remains at the entry door. Is this the same for all operators of the aircraft? Like do Delta and airBaltic and so on also have this or is it specific to Swiss?

Image

I’m torn as to my favourite part of the aesthetic. It is either the gorgeous silver trim with coat hook around the seats, or the very large windows with their solid blinds. From a tactile perspective, the blinds feel like quality, and I like that a lot.

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While on the ground, a lovely soft spoken crew member started taking meal orders. Once he got to me, he addressed me by name and enquired if I spoke Deutsch or English, then went through the meal choices. These were either chicken soltimbocca or gnocchi arrabiata, and I chose the chicken. The door announcement on Swiss is “Cabin crew, arm the slides” as opposed to the more familiar “Cabin crew, please arm the doors and cross-check”. Soon after the animated safety demonstration played on the LCD screens, we headed to the runway and took off into the rainy Zurich sky, setting course for Dublin.

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Once in the air, the curtain was closed and the lead crew member began his dance. Ask passenger what they would like to drink. Head to galley. Get drink. Deliver drink. Repeat. Each time he went to the galley, he closed the curtain behind him. Those wanting Champagne (Me! Me! Me!) had the bottle brought out and the glass poured at your seat.

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The attention paid to the passengers was second to none. Anytime I was almost finished my glass, I was asked if I would like some more and my glass was duly topped up. Exceptional service all round. Later on I thanked him for being so good and he said, “Why? This is the job.” I am a big fan of eating when I fly and I find British Airways serve good meals in their Club Europe cabin and even Aer Lingus do a good hot breakfast. In this instance, Swiss hit it out of the park with one of the most delicious meals I’ve had on a plane.

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Before being handed the tray, the crew shake the vinaigrette to ensure it’s mixed. Once delivered, a basket of bread is offered, to which I took a nice plump roll. I sat back and leisurely ate my meal high above the clouds, in Swiss A220 business class and everything was right in the world. To say this was an amazing meal is an understatement. It was an experience!

Asked if I wished to switch to something else, “Perhaps a digestif?”, I elected to stick with the excellent Champagne. A second bottle was opened and brought to me still frothing as he poured me another glass. Meanwhile, I took my time eating, with the chocolate arriving before I had finished. Eventually I handed back the tray and visited the forward toilet. Naturally I captured that for posterity and returned to my seat.

Image

After that, I continued with Champagne. During flight the LCD screens show the flight progress map, interspersed with advertisements for Brietling watches. The seat belt sign comes on, I swap my glass for a plastic cup and we descend and land into Dublin. They had noticed all my photo taking, so on disembarking, I was asked, “Did you have a good flight?” to which I replied, “Absolutely, thank you so much, it was excellent!”

Image

Best. Flight. Ever. The planets aligned and every single thing I love about flying all coalesced into one perfect flight. Good service? Tick. A brilliant meal? Tick. Plenty of Champagne? Tick. Flying in the late afternoon for interesting views? Tick. Okay, okay, it probably isn’t the best flight I have ever been on, but it came pretty close to perfection.

When the lead crew member found out I mainly have to fly British Airways, he joked, “Oh, I’m SO sorry!” which made me laugh out loud. Even with his face mask on, his eyes danced with mirth as he said it. He truly delivered some of the best service I’ve had on a flight. The man never stopped moving! Seriously impressive.

Usually I am a pretty quick eater, but I deliberately lingered over this meal as it was so tasty. The chicken is hands down some of the best I have eaten anywhere ever. Not a bit of fat or gristle, pure breast meat, moist and cooked to perfection. I have no fault whatsoever with anything here.

All in all, an extremely impressive flight, which I am glad to have experienced. Oh, and the Airbus A220? Let’s just say the Montréal manufactured jet is stylish and quiet. Canada’s Bombardier have done a fantastic job with a real stand out aircraft. Well done!

Have you flown Swiss A220 business class before? Is this kind of service normal for Swiss? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading, remember, to see all the other pictures click here, and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
SESGDL
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Re: Best. Flight. Ever! Business class on a Swiss Airbus A220 (my first time) from Zurich to Dublin

Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:19 pm

Awesome report! I can’t wait to fly the A220 someday!

Jeremy
 
musapapaya
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Re: Best. Flight. Ever! Business class on a Swiss Airbus A220 (my first time) from Zurich to Dublin

Mon Sep 14, 2020 1:27 pm

Great report! I have been on LX's A220 a few times and I agree that the silver trim around the seats look nice! The windows are big too.

I have not been on their business class but I did enjoy the few occasions in economy. Their crew are usually nice and when I flew with BA just when they started to change that catering within europe, I did feel sorry flying with them. To me, BA is just like Easyjet, with nothing more.
 
mchei
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Re: Best. Flight. Ever! Business class on a Swiss Airbus A220 (my first time) from Zurich to Dublin

Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:30 pm

I have been on a short Swiss Business Class flight on a C-Series from Zurich to Hamburg - and I second your statement: it was a superb service. It was an evening flight after an exhausting day and the crew instantly made me forget about the day. The maître de cabine welcomed me saying: we have a very nice white wine from the Lake Geneva. I’m sure you will like it and it will help you feel comfortable.

This made me smile. Food was nice. But I’ll never forget the service and the attention the crew paid to me. Awesome.
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seansasLCY
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Re: Best. Flight. Ever! Business class on a Swiss Airbus A220 (my first time) from Zurich to Dublin

Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:50 am

I agree. I flew around 10 short haul business flights with them last year and never experienced a bad crew. My last flight was in May and the crew were fantastic and the food was much better than Lufthansa.

The A220 is a great little plane too. Those big windows really make it feel bigger than it is.
 
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ClassicLover
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Re: Best. Flight. Ever! Business class on a Swiss Airbus A220 (my first time) from Zurich to Dublin

Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:41 am

SESGDL wrote:
Awesome report! I can’t wait to fly the A220 someday!

Jeremy


I was really excited to finally get on the A220 myself. It's a great aircraft all round, so hopefully you'll enjoy it as much as I did!

musapapaya wrote:
Great report! I have been on LX's A220 a few times and I agree that the silver trim around the seats look nice! The windows are big too.

I have not been on their business class but I did enjoy the few occasions in economy. Their crew are usually nice and when I flew with BA just when they started to change that catering within europe, I did feel sorry flying with them. To me, BA is just like Easyjet, with nothing more.


The silver trim was quite a surprise to me and looks brilliant. It's a nice interior Swiss have!

Oh, I always like flying BA, and I tend to fly them the most. That being said, I usually fly them in Club Europe so there's service and all the rest of it. I think economy is a lot like the other airlines as it's the only way they can compete. BA crews are usually very good, I've found.

mchei wrote:
I have been on a short Swiss Business Class flight on a C-Series from Zurich to Hamburg - and I second your statement: it was a superb service. It was an evening flight after an exhausting day and the crew instantly made me forget about the day. The maître de cabine welcomed me saying: we have a very nice white wine from the Lake Geneva. I’m sure you will like it and it will help you feel comfortable.

This made me smile. Food was nice. But I’ll never forget the service and the attention the crew paid to me. Awesome.


Really glad to hear you had a similar service experience. It's remarkable how someone treating you with a little kindness after a stressful day can really change your whole mood. It takes a well trained and experienced crew to be able to do that. Plus someone who enjoys their job, for that matter. Thanks for that, I really liked reading it!

seansasLCY wrote:
I agree. I flew around 10 short haul business flights with them last year and never experienced a bad crew. My last flight was in May and the crew were fantastic and the food was much better than Lufthansa.

The A220 is a great little plane too. Those big windows really make it feel bigger than it is.


I agree with you there. The windows are awesome. I think the shape is a lot more forgiving than the Boeing 787 windows for some reason. The CSeries windows seem more natural. All round it's quite thoughtfully designed. It's a shame it ruined Bombardier's commercial aircraft division due to the cost, but you can certainly see the results. I hope it goes on to sell a lot more around the world.
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
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weberflying
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Re: Best. Flight. Ever! Business class on a Swiss Airbus A220 (my first time) from Zurich to Dublin

Tue Sep 29, 2020 8:58 am

Swiss Air always has a great service!
Unfortunately i never had the chance to fly business class, but economy class was also quite comfortable.
I hope one day i will have the opportunity to fly in a A220. Looking forward to it!
 
MartijnNL
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Re: Best. Flight. Ever! Business class on a Swiss Airbus A220 (my first time) from Zurich to Dublin

Sat Oct 03, 2020 8:02 pm

Did Swiss change the safety cards? These aircraft were delivered as CS100's and CS300's. To me they keep that name, as do the ones delivered to Air Baltic and Korean Air before the name change to A220.

The business class meal looks nice indeed. And good to hear the onboard service was excellent. The C Series of Swiss is on my wish to fly list. I will travel in economy when the flight will happen. At least the seats are the same as those in business class.

A few years ago I experienced the CS300 of Air Baltic on a return flight Amsterdam - Riga. I remember the aircraft having rather big windows, comfortable seats and a modern feel to it. This aircraft type is a nice and welcome addition to the aviation world.
 
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ClassicLover
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Re: Best. Flight. Ever! Business class on a Swiss Airbus A220 (my first time) from Zurich to Dublin

Fri Oct 09, 2020 4:17 pm

weberflying wrote:
Swiss Air always has a great service!
Unfortunately i never had the chance to fly business class, but economy class was also quite comfortable.
I hope one day i will have the opportunity to fly in a A220. Looking forward to it!


You will definitely enjoy it, I think!

MartijnNL wrote:
Did Swiss change the safety cards? These aircraft were delivered as CS100's and CS300's. To me they keep that name, as do the ones delivered to Air Baltic and Korean Air before the name change to A220.

The business class meal looks nice indeed. And good to hear the onboard service was excellent. The C Series of Swiss is on my wish to fly list. I will travel in economy when the flight will happen. At least the seats are the same as those in business class.

A few years ago I experienced the CS300 of Air Baltic on a return flight Amsterdam - Riga. I remember the aircraft having rather big windows, comfortable seats and a modern feel to it. This aircraft type is a nice and welcome addition to the aviation world.


Yes, they have changed the safety cards. I guess that means that the old CSeries safety cards will be quite rare in years to come. Officially, they are still BCS1 and BCS3 in ICAO designations and the BD-500-1A10 and BD-500-1A11. It's only the marketing name that has changed to Airbus A220. Whether that will change, who knows.

A friend of mine recently flew on airBaltic and she was really impressed with the A220 as well. She's not an aviation person but even she commented on the interior and plane, so it's not just us airline people. Hope you get to try the Swiss one soon, but great you've done it on airBaltic. I'd love to fly them, so that is on my list to do in the future.
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
SR100
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Re: Best. Flight. Ever! Business class on a Swiss Airbus A220 (my first time) from Zurich to Dublin

Sat Oct 10, 2020 3:34 pm

I fly Swiss several times a month and I fully agree, their A220 are awesome. Actually I avoid flying the Swiss A320 family whenever possible and there is a chance to pick a flight on the A220 to the destination I have to go to, even if timing is less convenient.

Usually I fly business class and I fully agree, the service provided is always exceptional. Something I cannot say about the Swiss FA in business class on long haul flights, there I find the quality of the service provided by the FAs to be very inconsistent, to say at least. Often it is a hit or miss, especially when a young FA works in your area.

My guess is, because on short haul flights usually very experienced FA work up front, the lead FA, often a Maître de Cabin or Purser. And in addition to that, on the previously flown Avros there were only 2 FAs because of the max capacity being 97 seats. Often on those Avros flights the FA in business class would support the colleague in economy class once the initial service in business class was done. On the A220, there are always 3 FAs and there is basically a dedicated FA to business class which allows a very attentive service.
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kaitak
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Re: Best. Flight. Ever! Business class on a Swiss Airbus A220 (my first time) from Zurich to Dublin

Thu Nov 26, 2020 8:33 am

Hope you enjoyed your trip to Dublin, too!

How was the load on the flight? It didnt look too empty from the photos you've shared.

I flew on the A220 from ZRH to DUB (in Economy) last year and found it very good; it's a lovely aircraft in which to fly and I'd certainly fly in one again, and fly with Swiss. Being an enthusiast, course, Zurich is heaven for me!
 
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ClassicLover
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Re: Best. Flight. Ever! Business class on a Swiss Airbus A220 (my first time) from Zurich to Dublin

Wed Dec 02, 2020 10:11 am

SR100 wrote:
I fly Swiss several times a month and I fully agree, their A220 are awesome. Actually I avoid flying the Swiss A320 family whenever possible and there is a chance to pick a flight on the A220 to the destination I have to go to, even if timing is less convenient.

My guess is, because on short haul flights usually very experienced FA work up front, the lead FA, often a Maître de Cabin or Purser. On the A220, there are always 3 FAs and there is basically a dedicated FA to business class which allows a very attentive service.


I agree, the A220 is a lovely comfortable aircraft to fly on. I especially like the large windows!

Yes, with a dedicated crew member for business class, it does make for an excellent and attentive service. It certainly keeps the crew member very busy. Glad to hear you fly Swiss a lot - I enjoyed reading your thoughts.

kaitak wrote:
Hope you enjoyed your trip to Dublin, too!

How was the load on the flight? It didnt look too empty from the photos you've shared.

I flew on the A220 from ZRH to DUB (in Economy) last year and found it very good; it's a lovely aircraft in which to fly and I'd certainly fly in one again, and fly with Swiss. Being an enthusiast, course, Zurich is heaven for me!


I was pleasantly surprised at how busy the flight was. In business class, there were 10 seats occupied out of a total of 12 available. There was also a decent amount of economy passengers, but I couldn't tell you how many. Not bad for a pandemic! Every time I fly business class to or from Ireland, it is always well filled. I think the old chestnut that there is no J market out of Ireland is just a total misconception.

Zurich is a nice airport, it was my first time there too. I'll certainly be flying with Swiss again in the future - great airline!
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
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STLFlyboy
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Re: Best. Flight. Ever! Business class on a Swiss Airbus A220 (my first time) from Zurich to Dublin

Sun Dec 06, 2020 8:32 pm

Terrific reporting as always, Trent.

A quick LHR-ZRH hop in LX Business in 2013 made the list of my top five cabin service experiences in a lifetime of flying. In just 55 minutes takeoff-to-touchdown, the flight attendants began with a round of cocktails, followed by a delicious, top quality light supper, and more passes with wines, water, coffee, chocolates, and sincere smiles than we could count. My companions and I left for Chicago on a Swiss 777 in First the next morning; while that was as lovely as anyone would expect, that short hop the prior day took top honors for that trip.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/ieiFYxdPjH8WcmHn6

Can't wait to return to Ireland again, and with the A220 high on my bucket list, Swiss is a strong contender for carrying me there in style.

Next time you're passing through ZRH, consider an overnight stay at the Radisson Blu; it's worth it just to spend an evening under the glow of the wine tower. And while you're at it, be sure to try "ZAB":

https://photos.app.goo.gl/dv2NvvvrwLFoWpyw7

Cheers,
Bruce

P. S. - my first-ever attempt at embedding photos using the "Insert image" function with a link produced only small question mark, so just left the links here instead. Any advice to help me get it right would be greatly appreciated.
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ConnectAir
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Re: Best. Flight. Ever! Business class on a Swiss Airbus A220 (my first time) from Zurich to Dublin

Sun Dec 06, 2020 9:27 pm

STLFlyboy wrote:
P. S. - my first-ever attempt at embedding photos using the "Insert image" function with a link produced only small question mark, so just left the links here instead. Any advice to help me get it right would be greatly appreciated.


I've had this happen before with my trip reports. The system that I've worked out is long but it works
1. create a shareable link for your album
2. open it in a new, incognito tab (this prevents you from sharing a link that you need to log into)
3. open up the image you want to post
4. right click and select "copy image location"
5. paste this link into the brackets you get after clicking "insert image"
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F9Animal
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Re: Best. Flight. Ever! Business class on a Swiss Airbus A220 (my first time) from Zurich to Dublin

Fri Dec 18, 2020 7:07 am

Excellent Trip Report! What was the sauce underneath the chicken? Is it a wine sauce? Looks amazing, even the bread!

One of the best flights I had was only 45 minutes. Las Vegas to Los Angeles on America West in a 737-200. I have flown first class several times in my life, but this little short hop was great. By the time we touched down, I was sloppy drunk! And I never get drink when I fly. Same like what you said, every time my glass was half done, the flight attendant kept filling it up! The service was impeccable, and I am pretty sure all I got in terms of a snack was peanuts . How could it beat my first class trips on 747's and long haul flights? I don't know how to explain it, but this 45 minute trip was memorable.

How big are the windows on the A220 compared to say a 737 or 320? I hear they are pretty good sized windows. Looks like Swiss Air is doing some excellent service.
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ClassicLover
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Re: Best. Flight. Ever! Business class on a Swiss Airbus A220 (my first time) from Zurich to Dublin

Mon Jan 04, 2021 10:32 pm

F9Animal wrote:
Excellent Trip Report! What was the sauce underneath the chicken? Is it a wine sauce? Looks amazing, even the bread!

One of the best flights I had was only 45 minutes. Las Vegas to Los Angeles on America West in a 737-200. I have flown first class several times in my life, but this little short hop was great. By the time we touched down, I was sloppy drunk! And I never get drink when I fly. Same like what you said, every time my glass was half done, the flight attendant kept filling it up! The service was impeccable, and I am pretty sure all I got in terms of a snack was peanuts . How could it beat my first class trips on 747's and long haul flights? I don't know how to explain it, but this 45 minute trip was memorable.

How big are the windows on the A220 compared to say a 737 or 320? I hear they are pretty good sized windows. Looks like Swiss Air is doing some excellent service.


I'm not sure what the sauce was, but it was very nice indeed. None of the meal was bad, so I was pretty happy all round :)

Loved reading about your 45 minute extravaganza - definitely memorable there. I don't think it's necessarily the flat beds and so on that make a memorable flight. When it's something unexpected, that is definitely what sticks out. This was a bit like that!

The windows are about twice the size of the ones on an A320 or Boeing 737. In actual fact, I think they're second largest in the sky after the Boeing 787. You really appreciate the size on a clear day like I had. It was great!
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
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OA260
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Re: Best. Flight. Ever! Business class on a Swiss Airbus A220 (my first time) from Zurich to Dublin

Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:15 pm

Hi Trent ,

Wow have not visited the TR forum in nearly a year but just had to read this Swiss report :).

Swiss is one of my most flown airlines and always has to be J. Excellent product and in over a decade of flying them I have had a 98% consistency rate. Thats some score.
Good to see even in these times good service. Before the lock downs I was able to catch the A220 myself. When things get back to some normality I will certainly be booking Swiss again.


Regards

OA260
 
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manishsqrt
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Re: Best. Flight. Ever! Business class on a Swiss Airbus A220 (my first time) from Zurich to Dublin

Thu Jan 21, 2021 1:50 pm

Very nice photographs. It gives detail report of the flight. Thanks for sharing.
 
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ClassicLover
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Re: Best. Flight. Ever! Business class on a Swiss Airbus A220 (my first time) from Zurich to Dublin

Sun Jan 31, 2021 1:42 pm

OA260 wrote:
Wow have not visited the TR forum in nearly a year but just had to read this Swiss report :).

Swiss is one of my most flown airlines and always has to be J. Excellent product and in over a decade of flying them I have had a 98% consistency rate. Thats some score.
Good to see even in these times good service. Before the lock downs I was able to catch the A220 myself. When things get back to some normality I will certainly be booking Swiss again.


This trip - Nice-Zurich-Dublin - was my first trip on Swiss. To say I was impressed is an understatement. Now I see what everyone has been going on about all these years, as Swiss has always had such a good reputation for on board service. Really loved the A220 as well, though the brand new A320neo on my outbound flight was just as good - that had so much leg room!

Glad to hear that you find it very consistent as well. I'll certainly be flying them again in the future, that's for sure.

manishsqrt wrote:
Very nice photographs. It gives detail report of the flight. Thanks for sharing.


Thanks, I am glad you enjoyed it! :)
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!

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