To launch our return trip to the United States, we flew a SWISS business class from Geneva to Frankfurt on an Airbus A220 (which is one of my favorite planes). Let’s see what an experience it was.
How I booked our Swiss business class tickets
I booked our flight from Geneva to Frankfurt as a separate ticket from our Singapore Airlines flight the next day from Frankfurt to New York. Specifically, I booked the following business class items for 15,000 Airplane points plus $ 64.30 per person in taxes and fees:
04/06 LX1086 Geneva to Frankfurt with departure 18:45, arrival 19:55
It’s true that it’s a really short year, so some may not think it’s worth exchanging for business class (I booked business class mainly because I wanted to see it). In this case, Airplane would charge 7,500 points for business class, so it was double.
Aeroplan points are easy to earn because the program is a partner of the American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One and Chase Ultimate Rewards. In addition, there is a new Aeroplan® credit card (review) in the United States, which is quite lucrative.
Catering in Swiss business class
In the last sequel, I reviewed the SWISS Senator Lounge Geneva. Our flight left the D25 gate, which is about as far from security as you can get.
This is a unique setup, as it is essentially a circular terminal without jumpers. Planes with stairs are rather parked outside and can be reached on foot. With floor-to-ceiling windows, it’s a pretty cool view, if you ask me.
Boarding of our flight at 18:45 started at 18:20, with business class passengers being the first to be invited. It was just a short walk from the terminal to the stairs of the plane.
The A220 is such a wonderful aircraft and I enjoyed the opportunity to go straight to it.
SWISS A220 cabin and seats
We flew the SWISS Airbus A220-100, which is the smaller of the two A220 variants. The SWISS A220 has a total of 125 seats spread over 25 rows in a 2-3 configuration. Not only does the A220 look incredibly modern and spacious, but you must love the 2-3 in terms of passenger comfort, as there is only one middle seat in each row.
As is standard on flights within Europe, the seats in economy and business class are identical, so the only difference is the locking of the seats. On that particular flight, the first eight rows of aircraft were in business class.
I gave us seats behind me on the left. As the business class in Europe usually has a locked middle seat, it works especially well on the A220 because you have a set of two seats for yourself. So I had seats 7A and 7C, while Ford had seats 6A and 6C.
There are three seats on the right side of the aircraft, so the middle seat is locked in business class.
The A220 looks so elegant all over the surface, including the seat backs.
While the A220 is somewhere between your typical regional jet and your typical mainline jet, the upper bins are good size, big enough for standard carry-on luggage.
The backrest had a pocket for literature and two pockets that could be used for a water bottle, glasses, smartphone, etc. (although one of the pockets was missing from the seat). Then there is the tray table, which also folds out of the seat back.
Another nice feature of the Airbus A220 are the windows, which are quite large, larger than you would find on a standard aircraft.
I also like the A220 ceiling brackets, which have reading lights, individual air nozzles and even small screens that display safety video and a flight map.
While SWISS Airbus A220 cabs are modern, there are two main disadvantages:
- SWISS does not have power ports on the Airbus A220
- SWISS does not have Wi-Fi on the Airbus A220
Both are currently standard equipment on newly delivered aircraft. Well, fair, this is not a problem on a 55-minute flight from Geneva to Frankfurt. However, I would consider this more of a problem on a longer flight.
This flight was mostly full in business class and economy class. Of the 24 places in the business class, only three were empty.
A bottle of water and a refreshing towel awaited each seat upon boarding.
In front of the cabin was also a toilet, which was spacious and nicely furnished (and much nicer than the new toilets you will find on many 737s).
SWISS departure from Geneva
At 18:35 boarding was completed and at that moment the captain announced a welcome on board and informed us of our flight time of 55 minutes. A few comments:
- All notifications were made in French, then in English and then in German
- Why do the PAs on the A220 keep sounding like someone’s talking in your ear? They are so clear and sharp, but at the same time loud
At 18:40 the main cabin door was closed and at that moment the cabin manager greeted her on board. At 18:45 we started the engines and started the taxi (A220 engines are so noisy and howling when starting). Due to the way the stands are located in this part of the terminal, there is no need to push back, but you can simply taxi straight ahead.
We rolled fast, but it still took a long time to get to the runway.
About 10 minutes later (at 18:55) we were shortly before runway 22, where we received permission to take off.
On the way out we had a beautiful view of Geneva…
After leaving, we came across a rather serious chisel, due to the dense clouds combined with the mountains. In particular, we came across a fairly large air pocket from which some passengers gasped.
Fortunately, it was a completely different story above the clouds, and about 10 minutes after the start, the ride leveled off, at which point the seat belt sign was turned off.
When the signal was turned off, the crew first pulled the curtains between the cabins and a moment later the service began.
Refreshments in the SWISS business class
A light snack was served about 20 minutes after takeoff. There was no choice, but rather they offered each passenger a tray with two sandwiches (one had pork and cheese, while the other had beetroot … I think?), Plus a dessert with berry compote and crumbs. It wasn’t much, especially since I didn’t eat pork.
A separate beverage cart was then carried out. I had coffee and sparkling water.
After that, chocolates were distributed, as is the standard at SWISS.
The crew was friendly and efficient and quickly cleaned up service items when people finished.
SWISS arrival in Frankfurt
20 minutes before landing, the first officer announced that we were beginning the descent to Frankfurt and that we should land at 19:50. It was a beautiful evening above the clouds and it was nice to see some more sunshine.
As with the departure, although under a layer of clouds it was a different story. Not only was the sun setting, but it was not a particularly bright evening.
We finally landed in Frankfurt at 19:50.
From there we had a literally minute taxi to our remote station, which could be a new record for me.
Although I’m usually not a fan of remote stands, I was impressed that there was a separate bus for business class passengers, so there was no need to wait long for the bus to fill up, and there were no crowds on the bus. either.
In a few minutes we found ourselves in the terminal. We just had to wait for our checked baggage, which appeared in about 20 minutes.
The Airbus A220 is a joy to fly, as it is such a comfortable and spacious jet aircraft. You especially like the 2-3 layout, because in the business class within Europe, this means that you can have an aisle and a window seat for yourself.
This flight was accurate and the crew was friendly. My only real criticism is that SWISS has not really invested in the experience of passengers with these aircraft beyond the features of the A220 as such. There are no power ports or Wi-Fi. With such a short flight, it’s not a problem at all, but with a longer flight, it would be a different story.
If you flew on the Swiss A220, what was your experience?