Review: Swiss 2802 A321 Business Class Zurich to Geneva

Introduction: It’s The Journey That Matters
Plaza Premium West Lounge Hong Kong
Swiss 139 777-300ER Business Class Hong Kong to Zurich
Swiss Business Class Lounge Zurich Terminal D
Swiss Business Class Lounge Zurich Terminal A
Swiss 2802 A321 Business Class Zurich to Geneva
Swiss Business Class Lounge Geneva
Lufthansa 1223 A321 Business Class Geneva to Frankfurt
Lufthansa Business Class Lounge Frankfurt Concourse A
Lufthansa Business Class Lounge Frankfurt Concourse Z
Lufthansa 796 A380 Business Class Frankfurt to Hong Kong


Swiss Flight 2802
Sunday, January 29, 2017
Origin: Zurich (ZRH) Gate: A85 Dep: 07:50 (07:55)
Destination: Geneva (GVA) Gate: A10 Arr: 08:45 (08:40)
Duration: 55 min (45 min)
Aircraft: Airbus A321
Seat: 6F (Business Class)

Upon arriving the cabin I first asked the purser if I could take a few pictures, and she gladly obliged. I was excited to be in intra-European business class for the first time.

img_5098 Swiss Airbus A321 Business Class Cabin

img_5099 Swiss Airbus A321 Business Class Cabin

Once nice thing about Swiss’ business class cabin is that business class passengers are actually offered more legroom than economy class passengers. As far as I know, the first 10-11 rows in front of the emergency exit are offered 34″ pitch, while economy is offered 30″ pitch. That doesn’t happen on many other airlines due to how flexible the configuration usually is.

img_5100 Swiss Airbus A321 Business Class Cabin

While the business class cabin was initially 18 rows, at one point there was nobody sitting between rows 12 and 18 apart from our family, so I was sure the cabin would be downsized. Unfortunately, I have to call to select seats on Swiss due to constant system errors, so I just left us there to see where we’d be placed. We ended up getting row 6 to ourselves, which I was fine with. My seat was 6F, a window seat at the right side of the cabin.

img_5101 Swiss Airbus A321 Business Class Seats

img_5102 Swiss Airbus A321 Business Class Seats

I settled quickly into 6F. The seat seemed to be basically identical to Lufthansa’s seat on the A320, besides the colours. The extra legroom was noticeable and appreciated.

img_5103 Swiss Airbus A321 Business Class Legroom

img_5106 Swiss Airbus A321 Business Class Legroom

The cabin seemed to fill up quickly, though it’s worth noting that the cabin was like an ice box. It was freezing, even with two coats on. Obviously, that’s more of a blessing than it is a curse for me as I like the cold anyway.

img_5104 Swiss Airbus A321 Business Class Cabin

It’s worth noting that Swiss’ A321s feature air nozzles, which could be useful in the summer. Unfortunately, the cabin was so cold that it was more of a moot point.

img_5114 Swiss Airbus A321 Business Class Overhead Panels

The views outside would’ve been interesting due to the angle we were parked at, though unfortunately the windows were lined with frost so we couldn’t really see anything.

img_5105 Swiss Airbus A321 Business Class Window Frost

I saw the plane we flew in on taxi by, though I couldn’t get a great picture of it. Sometimes the route we were on gets flown by a 777-300ER so it can position for some longer flights out of Geneva, so I guess we were just unlucky.

img_5107 Swiss Airbus A321 Business Class Window Frost and 777-300ER

Soon the friendly crew came by and passed out bottles of water.

img_5108 Swiss Airbus A321 Business Class Water and Refreshing Towel

They also passed out a refreshing tissue, which was “a cool breeze for [our] journey” – did we really need that at this point? My hands were dry, so I used the tissue anyway.

img_5109 Swiss Airbus A321 Business Class Refreshing Towel

The door closed soon. There wasn’t much of a crowd in business class – row 2 and 3’s right “blocks” were empty, one of our friends was seated in row 4, row 5 had an empty right block, and behind me were two Swiss ladies who seemed to be friends. My sister’s friends wanted to sit with her, so I moved to row 5 so I would get a row to myself. The left side of the plane also seemed rather empty, though I didn’t pay much attention so can’t report back on that.

Soon the standard safety video played out of the dropdown screens, and the airshow started playing shortly after that. The captain made an announcement after that giving us a 30-minute flight time and stating that we would first undergo a de-icing procedure that would take us around 10 minutes.

img_5110 Swiss Airbus A321 Business Class Overhead Screen

img_5111 Swiss Airbus A321 Business Class Window Frost

The de-icing helped with the engines, I guess, though it definitely didn’t help with the frost on the window.

img_5113 Swiss Airbus A321 Business Class De-Icing

img_5115 Swiss Airbus A321 Business Class Window Frost

I was also bummed that I couldn’t take pictures of the amazing sunrise due to the frost, but I guess the backdrop made for some nice photos anyway.

img_5118 Swiss Airbus A321 Business Class Window Frost

img_5120 Swiss Airbus A321 Business Class Window Frost

We taxied to the runway and took off shortly, and I was ready for the short flight to Geneva. We had some nice views upon takeoff, especially as the frost rolled towards the back of the aircraft during our takeoff.

img_5123 Swiss Airbus A321 Business Class Window Frost

img_5125 Swiss Airbus A321 Business Class Window Frost

img_5128 View upon Takeoff Zurich Airport

img_5130 View upon Takeoff Zurich Airport

Once the window was basically clear, we had great views of Zurich upon sunrise.

img_5131 View upon Takeoff Zurich Airport

img_5134 View upon Takeoff Zurich Airport

img_5139 View upon Takeoff Zurich Airport

The views got progressively better as we edged towards Geneva, though at one point we got over the clouds and I decided to close my window shade.

img_5149 View upon Takeoff Zurich Airport

I briefly visited the lavatory after takeoff. Swiss’ A321 lavatories are nothing special.

img_5157 Swiss Airbus A321 Business Class Lavatory

img_5158 Swiss Airbus A321 Business Class Lavatory

img_5159 Swiss Airbus A321 Business Class Lavatory

Shortly after takeoff the purser and another flight attendant came around with some croissants and drinks, of which I chose orange juice. While the orange juice was fine, the croissant was easily the best thing I’d had that day. The sides were flaky and the middle was buttery and melted in my mouth. This shows how much an airline can do with meal service on a 30 minute flight, and really sets them apart, in my opinion.

img_5160 Swiss Airbus A321 Business Class Breakfast Croissant

img_5161
Swiss Airbus A321 Business Class Breakfast Orange Juice

Soon we were hovering over Geneva. While Geneva was overcast with a moderately thick layer of clouds, it didn’t stop the landing views from being simply stunning.

img_5163 View upon Descent Geneva Airport

img_5164 View upon Descent Geneva Airport

img_5167 View upon Descent Geneva Airport

I was initially concerned since I wasn’t seeing much snow, though Geneva is at a pretty low elevation, which explains why it was so green at the time.

img_5168 View upon Descent Geneva Airport

img_5169 View upon Descent Geneva Airport

We touched down at Geneva Airport at around 8:35, and immediately started making a rapid taxi to our gate.

img_5170 View upon Descent Geneva Airport

Apart from one person connecting to Lisbon, there didn’t seem to be any more connecting passengers on our flight.

img_5171 Swiss Airbus A321 Business Class Cabin upon Landing

img_5172 View upon Landing Geneva Airport

Traffic upon landing was interesting, though mostly littered with narrowbodies as Geneva Airport isn’t big at all. We taxiied past A319s and A320s from Swiss and British Airways.

img_5173 Swiss Airbus A319 Geneva Airport

img_5175 British Airways Airbus A320 Geneva Airport

We finally parked next to an Iberia A320, where I was excited to get into Geneva for the very first time!

img_5176Iberia Airbus A320 Zurich Airport

While we were quick to exit, Geneva Airport was a bit of a dump, and one of the people in our group ended up losing a luggage which was delivered to our door in Courchevel that night. We were on transport that we arranged to our chalet in Courchevel by 10:45 AM after a lot of searching for the lost luggage, though we were still in good spirits and ready to tackle a day of rentals, food and lots of shopping.

I won’t actually be talking about my time in Courchevel other than saying that I couldn’t have had a better time, as there are plenty of resources that you can find on the internet. Feel free to email me if you’re really interested, though, especially regarding what we did, where I ended up skiing and where we stayed.

Bottom Line

There’s no denying that intra-European business class products are bad, no matter how much I look like I’m trying to defend them. I wouldn’t pay more than a marginal amount for a great croissant that I can probably buy somewhere in Geneva, some packaged orange juice, an empty middle seat and four inches of legroom for 30 minutes. However, it’s safe to say that when it comes to intra-European business class, Swiss is at the top of the pack.

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