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Guide to SWISS Business Class: All You Need to Know in 2024


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Thinking of flying to Switzerland or beyond? Here’s a friendly guide to flying SWISS business class. I’ll help you pick the best seat and share all the amenities they offer up in the sky!

Since starting my travel blog seven years ago, I’ve flown with some of the best airlines in the world. Out of these, SWISS business class truly stands out.

Drawing from my own travels, I want to share why choosing SWISS could be your best move. This guide comes from real experiences, aiming to give you an insider’s view.

Why SWISS? It’s simple. They get the balance right between comfort, efficiency, and service. I’ll walk you through what they offer in business class, focusing on what really matters for travelers like you and me.

Choosing the best airline to fly to Europe is crucial. I’m here to help you see why SWISS business class might just be the ticket you need for your next trip to Switzerland. Let’s dive in and find out what makes SWISS so brilliant.

My #1 tip to find cheap SWISS Business Class tickets

Looking for a steal on SWISS business class tickets? Before jumping into the article, I first wanted to give you this insider tip to find cheap airfare on business class flights.

For years, I’ve been using this site called Going (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights), which sends you alerts on airline deals, discounts, and mistake fares. It’s a total game-changer, saving me $10,000+ on flights each year.

Their $49/year premium version is well worth it- just one discounted flight pays for the whole thing. I recommend trying the free trial and using my special discount code JON20 to save 20%!

And if you’re into business/first class, you’ll want to sign up for their Elite version. Last year, this service saved me $2,750 on a first class flight and $1,500 on a business class flight. At just $199 year year, trust me, it’s a small price for massive savings.

Overview of SWISS

SWISS International Air Lines, Switzerland’s flag carrier, is part of the Lufthansa Group and a Star Alliance member. With Zurich as its main hub and Geneva as a secondary one, SWISS boasts a fleet of 88 aircraft, connecting passengers to 120 destinations across Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas.

Jump into SWISS business class, and you’re in for a treat. It’s all about making you feel taken care of, from the moment you check in until you grab your bags off the carousel. The vibe? Think Swiss hospitality meets top-notch service. If you ask me, it’s one of the best airlines to fly to Europe.

Next up, we’ll dive into the perks of flying SWISS business class, from the seats that let you stretch out to meals that are a cut above.

SWISS Business Class flight for all types of travelers.

Comparing SWISS’ business class products

When you choose SWISS business class, your experience varies notably depending on the aircraft. Let’s break it down by plane type, so you know what to expect, whether you’re hopping around Europe or settling in for a long haul.

Boeing 777-300ER

The 777-300ER sports two business class sections. The cozy first mini cabin, often pre-booked for HON Circle members, has just 10 seats. The larger section holds 52, with a seat pitch of 60 inches and width of 20 inches.

The layout here, either 1-2-2 or 2-2-1, means not everyone gets aisle access. If you can, snag a “throne” seat for extra space and no neighbor climbs. If you’re traveling as a couple, the pairs are perfect. Flying solo? Aim for a throne to avoid hopping over seatmates for aisle access.

Airbus A340-300

The A340’s setup mirrors the 777’s, with the same 1-2-2 and 2-2-1 staggered arrangement. The mini cabin up front has nine seats, while the main cabin offers 38. Despite the A340’s age, its business class feels fresh, thanks to recent updates. It’s a solid choice for long flights to Switzerland from the US.

Airbus A330-300

The A330’s business class divides into a front cabin with nine seats and a rear one with 36, all in the familiar staggered configuration. Though similar to the 777 and A340, it’s a tad narrower. Between the three, I’d say that the A340 and 777 might edge out in freshness and space.

Airbus A320 & A220 family

For shorter, intra-European flights, business class on the A320 and A220 models means a blocked middle seat for more elbow room. It’s a very typical European business class. While not as luxurious as the long-haul options, it’s a step up in comfort for shorter distances.

Depending on the aircraft, your experience in business class with this airline differs significantly.
Depending on the aircraft, your experience in business class with this airline differs significantly. | Image Credit: SWISS

Baggage allowance with SWISS business class

In SWISS business class, you get a generous baggage allowance. You can check in two bags, each up to 32 kg, which is great for when you’re not traveling light. Just make sure the total size of each bag doesn’t go over 158 cm when you add up the width, height, and depth.

For carry-on, you’re allowed two bags, each up to 8 kg. The size for these needs to stay within 55 x 40 x 23 cm. This means you can easily bring along everything you need on board, from your laptop to those last-minute airport purchases.

Airport experience when flying SWISS business class

As one of the best airlines in Europe, the ground experience when flying SWISS business class is excellent. Let me walk you through what you’re in for.

Check-in

At Zurich, their hub, the check-in process is a breeze. You’ll find a dedicated row of counters just for business and first class passengers. This means you can skip the longer lines and move straight to security and then to the excellent lounges.

Lounges

In Zurich, you’ve got options: the business lounges at Concourse E and A, plus the Swiss Alpine Lounge at Concourse A. Each space is beautifully designed, with floods of natural light and wooden elements. They’re all about great food, with live cooking stations, buffets, and bars. If you’re landing in Zurich early, the Arrival Lounge offers a nice spot to grab a bite and freshen up.

My favorite thing about SWISS’ business lounges are the apron views with the backdrop of the Swiss Alps. There’s an outdoor terrace where you can plane spot to your heart’s content.

Not flying out of Zurich or Geneva? No worries. As a business class passenger, you get access to SWISS and Star Alliance lounges globally.

Boarding

When it’s time to board, being a business class passenger with SWISS means you’re one of the first on the plane. I always appreciate the time to settle in without the rush.

When traveling in business class on this airline, the ground experience is exceptional.
When traveling in business class on this airline, the ground experience is exceptional. | Image Credit: SWISS

In-flight comfort & amenities on SWISS business class

As one of the best airlines to fly to Switzerland, the in-flight experience with SWISS business class is outstanding. Here’s a closer look at what makes these flights stand out, beyond the simple blocked middle seat you might find on shorter European hops.

Seat design

The cabin strikes a balance between elegance and practicality, featuring clean lines and a hint of Swiss finesse with perforated wood accents. It feels spacious, thanks partly to no overhead bins in the middle. Your seat comes with a clever sliding drawer, perfect for tucking away personal items.

In-flight entertainment

Each seat boasts a large HD screen, crisp and clear for all your movie and show binging needs. There isn’t a massive selection, though. The screens tilt, ensuring you get the perfect view even when fully reclined. Though the interface gets the job done, it’s not the flashiest out there. On the A330s, be prepared for smaller, somewhat dated screens.

Seat features

SWISS doesn’t skimp on comfort. You get three personal reading lamps, a USB port, a universal electrical outlet, and a headphone hook. The headphones provided are pretty basic. I’d recommend bringing your own if you prefer noise-canceling. The seats themselves offer adjustable lumbar support air cushions and even a massage function for that extra touch of luxury.

Amenity kits

On long hauls, expect a Victorinox amenity kit. It covers the basics—think toothbrush, toothpaste, earplugs, eye mask, and socks. While stylish, the contents are pretty standard. You might want to pack any extra personal essentials.

Wi-Fi

Here’s why I think SWISS offers one of the best business class products in the world. Passengers are offered free inflight messaging on long haul flights. Stay connected via chat apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Telegram. You can share photos but not videos. While the free package won’t cover social media or email, upgrades for broader internet access are available.

With this airline, the in-flight experience is excellent.
With this airline, the in-flight experience is excellent. | Image Credit: SWISS

On-board dining in SWISS business class

On a SWISS business class flight, the food is a highlight. Right after you’re handed your welcome drink, they give you menus for dinner and, if it’s an overnight flight, breakfast too.

Dinner pulls from all over Switzerland for inspiration. You’ve got four mains to pick from, including a vegetarian dish, plus an impressive lineup of bread. The finishers? A selection of Swiss cheese, a tasty dessert, and Swiss chocolates.

If you get peckish later, there’s always something in the galley – chocolates, snacks, drinks. Sometimes, they even hand out Movenpick ice cream.

Coffee lovers, you’re in luck. SWISS serves Nespresso, and there’s hot chocolate too. Breakfast doesn’t disappoint either. Think options like a smoothie, hot egg dishes, a variety of bread and cheese, and their incredible bircher muesli.

And the drinks? There’s plenty – a wide wine selection, champagne, spirits, beers, and juices. Whether it’s your first meal of the day or the last, dining with SWISS business class makes your flight that much better.

One of the best things about this airline's business class travel is the culinary delights.
One of the best things about this airline’s business class travel is the culinary delights. | Image Credit: SWISS

Tips for booking SWISS business class flights

Hunting for cheap business class flights to Switzerland? Here are some pointers to get you sitting pretty without breaking the bank:

  • Book early: Aim to book your flight 330 days in advance. This is when SWISS releases award space. It’s your best shot at grabbing a seat before they’re snapped up.
  • Consider loyalty programs wisely: While SWISS’s Miles & More program offers direct access to award seats, the hefty $1,500 round-trip fuel surcharges can be a downer. Instead, look at alternatives like Avianca LifeMiles or United MileagePlus. Avianca LifeMiles stands out for not adding fuel surcharges and offering one-way business class tickets from the U.S. to Europe for 64,000 LifeMiles—a solid deal.
  • Subscribe to Cheap Flight Alerts: Again, if you want to find the best possible deals on business class airfare, I highly recommend signing up for Scott’s Cheap Flights (Going.com). While the free version is great for finding discounted economy flights, the Elite version is what you’ll need to find cheap business and first class deals.
  • Explore points transfer opportunities: If you’ve amassed credit card points, see if they can be transferred to any of SWISS’s partner loyalty programs. This can sometimes reveal a more favorable conversion rate or redemption option, effectively lowering the cost of your business class seat.
  • Check partner airlines for better deals: Booking a SWISS flight through a partner airline’s frequent flier program can occasionally offer better value or redemption rates. This is thanks to varying award charts and special promotions.

By blending these strategies—booking at the right time, using the right loyalty program without hefty surcharges, staying alert to deals, and leveraging points wisely—you can make flying SWISS business class both a reality and a pleasure.

SWISS business class vs. rival products

There are plenty of airlines that fly to Europe from the US. Comparing SWISS business class with its rivals means looking closely at what each offers, and I’ve flown enough to have a say on this. Let’s break it down:

Austrian Airlines vs. SWISS

Both being part of the Lufthansa Group, you’d expect similarities, and there are plenty. Austrian’s business class shines with its onboard catering, especially the chef-prepared meals. However, SWISS takes the edge with its newer aircraft interiors and the overall in-flight experience. The seats on SWISS, particularly on their 777 and A330, offer more privacy and comfort. My pick? SWISS, for its modern cabin and higher consistency in service.

SWISS vs. Air France

Air France’s business class is a strong contender, especially with their lauded 1-2-1 seating arrangement and excellent dining. However, SWISS holds its own with thoughtful touches like the Swiss chocolates and Nespresso coffee. The choice here leans heavily on personal preference. For me, Air France slightly edges out due to their superior lounge experience and a touch more flair in their service.

British Airways vs. SWISS

British Airways has been upping its game with the new Club Suite, offering more privacy than ever. However, consistency across the fleet can be hit or miss. SWISS, on the other hand, maintains a high standard across its long-haul fleet. While BA’s Club Suite is impressive, I find SWISS to offer a more consistent and reliable business class experience, particularly because of their attention to detail and overall service quality.

With its more modern aircraft interiors and overall in-flight experience, this airline has the edge.
With its more modern aircraft interiors and overall in-flight experience, this airline has the edge. | Image Credit: SWISS

Pros and cons of SWISS business class

Exploring the pros and cons of SWISS business class gives us a clearer picture of what to expect.

Pros

  • Comfortable seating: Their long-haul flights, especially on the 777 and A330, offer seats that ensure privacy and comfort. The layout, including the sought-after throne seats, is a big win.
  • On-board dining: The dining experience is a highlight, with a rotating menu of regionally inspired dishes, quality Swiss cheese, and, of course, Swiss chocolates. Plus, Nespresso coffee adds a nice touch.
  • Lounge access: Access to SWISS and Star Alliance lounges worldwide enhances the travel experience. I particularly like the lounges in Zurich with their ample amenities and stunning views.
  • Service quality: The attentive and friendly service onboard sets SWISS apart. The crew’s dedication to passenger comfort is evident throughout the flight.
  • Extra touches: Little things like the Victorinox amenity kits, efficient inflight entertainment system, and the option for inflight messaging without surcharges speak to SWISS’s attention to detail.

Cons

  • Inconsistent seat access: Not all seats offer direct aisle access. This can be a drawback for some passengers, especially when traveling alone.
  • Fuel surcharges: Booking through SWISS’s own Miles & More program can lead to hefty fuel surcharges.
  • Outdated screens on A330: The inflight entertainment screens on the A330 fleet are smaller and feel outdated compared to the crisp, larger screens on their newer aircraft.
  • Basic amenity kits: While the Victorinox brand adds a Swiss touch, the kits themselves are quite basic and could benefit from a few more luxury items.

In my view, the pros of flying SWISS business class outweigh the cons. The exceptional service, comfortable seating, and top-notch dining experience make it a strong contender for the best way to fly to Europe.

Future developments: SWISS’ new Airbus A350-900

SWISS is leveling up in 2025 by rolling out its first Airbus A350-900. This new addition is all about boosting the flying experience, especially if you’re in business or first class. They’re swapping out the old A340-300s for these new jets.

In business class, expect to see 45 suites that come with all the bells and whistles: wireless charging, Bluetooth for your headphones, seats that heat or cool, and massive screens up to 27 inches. The best part? Beds that go completely flat, over 2 meters long, perfect for stretching out.

They’re also introducing a kind of ‘throne’ seat for those flying solo, offering more room and privacy. For the first few seats, they’re adding sliding doors to create private suites. For couples, there’s a ‘double suite’ option that sounds pretty cozy.

This airline is unique due to its attentive and kind treatment provided onboard.
This airline is unique due to its attentive and kind treatment provided onboard. | Image Credit: SWISS

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about SWISS business class

Are you still curious about which airline is the best to fly to Switzerland? Here are some questions I get asked a lot that will help decide whether SWISS business class is the right option for you.

What does SWISS business class include?

SWISS business class offers a premium travel experience. Passengers enjoy priority check-in and boarding, access to SWISS and Star Alliance lounges, and a generous baggage allowance. Onboard, the experience includes lie-flat beds on long-haul flights, a personal entertainment system with a wide range of options, gourmet meals inspired by Swiss regions, and top-notch service from the flight crew.

What are the best seats in SWISS business class?

The best seats in SWISS business class depend on your preferences. If you’re flying solo and want space, go for the throne seats. Specifically, seats 4A and 10A on the 777s give you that extra privacy and storage. Flying with someone? The middle seats in the front row might be your best bet for space and ease of conversation.

The business class on this airline is very impressive.
The business class on this airline is very impressive. | Image Credit: SWISS

Does SWISS give pajamas in business class?

No, SWISS does not provide pajamas in business class. I’d recommend bringing comfortable clothes.

Do SWISS business class seats recline?

Yes, SWISS business class seats recline into fully flat beds (excluding intra-European flights). Additionally, the seats come with adjustable lumbar support and a massage function.

SWISS Business Class to try right now.
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