Swiss Business Class Flight 14 Zurich – New York JFK – Review

By Jonathan Spira on 16 August 2012
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Swiss International Air Lines offers two non-stop flights daily from Zurich to New York, plus a non-stop from Geneva to New York.  Transiting from my intra-European flight from Munich to my overseas flight had been particularly easy, especially since that flight had been met by a Swiss Business Bus reserved for business-class passengers.

After a very pleasant three-hour layover at Zurich Airport, during which I was able to enjoy the new outdoor observation deck, complete with high-tech toys such as the Airportscope, an electronic set of binoculars (that superimposes flight information on whatever aircraft they are pointed at), as well as a visit to the world’s longest attended bar (in the Senator Lounge), I was ready to board my flight home.


There was no wait to go through security and the entire Zurich Airport was easily navigable with excellent signage.  I was through the security checkpoint in minutes and walked over to my gate.

Boarding had yet to start but the wait was not long and the airline boarded first- and business-class passengers to start, followed by higher-level members of the airlines Miles & More frequent-flyer program.

I was the first to board the aircraft and quickly got settled in.  Flight attendants were in the aisle offering pre-departure beverages and hanging up coats on hangers engraved with the corresponding seat number.


The Airbus A330-300’s business-class cabin had a rather unusual seating configuration which, in practice, works quite well.  On the left side of the cabin, the rows alternate between one and two seats. In this manner, there is room under the generously-sized armrests for each fully-flat and horizontal bed.

There are two seats in the center of each row and one seat along the right side of the cabin. As a result, roughly 90% of business-class passengers have direct-aisle access.

In addition to the 45 business-class seats, there are eight first-class seats and 183 seats in the main cabin.

My seat, 6A, in the front row of the second business-class cabin, was a single seat and had two large armrests (see photo).  One can set the seat to be firm or  soft (it’s infinitely adjustable) and there’s a massage option as well. In addition, there are three settings, namely bed, lounge, and takeoff/landing.

Supplementing the overhead bins, ample additional storage was provided as bags can be placed in the footwell for take-off and landing.  Above the footwell was a shelf suitable for reading material or an iPad tablet.

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