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Our flight to Zurich was boarding from gate 150 which is one of the west-facing gates at LAX. The sun was low in the sky so it made hard to get some good pictures of my plane facing that way.
Boarding began with group 1 which was for HON circle members and First Class passengers, then went onto group 2 which is for Star Alliance Gold members and business class passengers at which point I boarded. So as a premium economy passenger, there’s 3 possible groups you could be boarding in:
Group 1: Premium economy passenger as a HON circle member
Group 2: Premium economy passenger as a Star Alliance Gold Member
Group 3: Premium economy passenger with Star Alliance Silver or no status
10 July 2022
Once I boarded, I turned left into the first aisle to reach my seat 22A.
The seat on first glance seems like there’s a privacy divider between the seats, but trust me, it doesn’t give any privacy. I can lean back all the way in my chair, look to my right and see most of my neighbor’s face if they are also leaned back all the way.
First thing you might or might not notice is that right behind my seat is a standard economy seat. That’s right: SWISS might just be the only airline or one of the few airlines to bunch up economy and premium economy in the same cabin. While it’s not the end of the world, it’s virtually standard on most other airlines to have a separate cabin between eco and premium eco. That said, the seat itself was pretty comfortable and cushioned.
The legroom is decent but pretty standard for premium economy. The seatbelt, as you can see below, is pretty much along the lines of a car seatbelt, or a seatbelt you’d have in United’s Polaris business for example.
The blanket and pillow we got were slightly bigger than the ones you get in economy but I would assume the same quality.
The screen was quite large and high quality as well which was nice to see.
Between the seats was a water bottle holder and it came with 2 bottles already waiting for each passenger. And right below that were 2 sets of universal power ports and USB ports which was nice.
Waiting on the armrests were also 2 amenity kits which we’ll have a look at further into the flight.
In between the armrest was some storage for slimmer items. That pouch that you can see there was likely an unused amenity kit from the inbound flight and it had similar contents.
There are also headphones for each passenger in between seats immediately next to you.
There’s the standard coat hook which I personally wouldn’t ever want to use as it takes away from your personal space.
Below the armrests on the inner side of your seats is another USB port. So as far as power sources go, you have a universal power port and 2 USB ports. That’s great but as more devices go to USB-C and with this being a recent product, if one of those ports were USB-C, that would’ve been absolutely golden.
The seat did also have a set of recline buttons very much like the ones below that are found on United’s Premium Plus product.
I did find one major fault with the seat recline. With most other airlines, if you press the recline button, your body weight will naturally move the seat to recline. In the case of SWISS’s premium eco seat, you had to tremendously put your own weight and a lot more effort to make the seat recline.
Now let’s get a little into the service aspects. The crew came around and offered menus to premium economy passengers.
The menu had a nice little intro about the flight and the inspiration of the menu.
The beverage selection was pretty decent for premium economy.
From what I was able to tell, premium economy had a dedicated flight attendant on both sides. There was a gentleman working our side of the aisle who didn’t provide any service by default to economy. He also took our orders on the ground for our main course and throughout the flight he was very friendly and attentive while keeping it casual, just the way I like it. He happily ensured every passenger that no matter the choice they made for their meal, it was a great choice.
Shortly after we were given a sparkling elderberry drink as a pre-departure beverage which was refreshing and tasty.
Soon enough we pushed back and began the journey to Zurich
Our departure today was runway 24L which was a standard departure runway.
As soon as the crew were able to move around, another crew came around and gave us another water bottle. Between the drinking and just simply the quality of air in planes, people don’t realize how dehydrated they can get on a plane so this was a huge plus that I was thankful for.
It was unfortunate that the 3 rows of premium economy are over the wing, which takes away from an otherwise beautiful sunset.
There was wifi onboard and in my opinion the prices were awful and not worth it.
As of the time this report was written (1 CHF ≈ $1), so $9 for 20MB which in some cases is just enough notifications to load data is crazy. For $9 I could get quality wifi no data caps on a 6 hour cross country flight on United and for $21 I can get even higher quality wifi on a 16 hour flight with no data caps on United. I mention UA only as a reference since I fly them a lot so I know the structure, and to show that better options do exist. Overall, the wifi structure wasn’t leisure or business travel friendly.
At last, my dinner arrived.
Overall, the dinner looked quite nice and the plate was colorful.
The beef tenderloin, the option I went with, was very good. It was not as tough as you’d expect beef on an airplane to be, and it was flavorful thanks to natural beef flavor and the mustard and cream sauce that the beef was marinating in.
The carrots were hot and mushy which is what I’d expect and the potatoes were also quite nice.
The cheese plate was a good mix of brie and provolone cheese with some grapes.
The salad was also good, the leaves weren’t dry but I didn’t eat too much of it.
I also got some champagne with my meal which ended up being a bottle of sparkling wine, still a great bottle regardless.
They also gave a pretzel roll and some bread both of which were warm and soft.
Dinner + sparkling wine + Spectre: although not the best Bond movie, I couldn’t ask for a better evening.
The dessert was a lemon meringue cake and it was absolutely delicious, I really enjoyed every aspect of it.
The bathrooms (I know perfect thing to show you after the meal), were the same as the ones in economy, so just a standard 77W toilet we have here and nothing more.
As a part of the midflight setup, there were sparkling and still water bottles: awesome!
There were also crackers.
They also brought out a basket of whole oranges. I appreciated the thought but I’m not sure how they expected one to practically eat an orange. There’s too many peels, not any place to throw them at your seat, and you could get it in your seatmate’s eye or even your own. Surely enough the whole flight went by without anyone taking any.
As this was a Europe-bound flight in the heart of summer, the night was short and within 2 hours of it leaving us, it came right back.
Here’s a look at our amenity kit, humble but still decently stocked. There were eye masks, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and earplugs.
I didn’t want to buy wifi, so I did mostly local dev work without communicating with the outside world for the flight.
Eventually time came around for breakfast and there was no menu items for it since it was just one option.
The breakfast was sufficient enough.
The eggs were cooked nicely and seasoned a little bit but altitude takes away flavor so it was hard to taste anything much. The potato was exploded but the sausage was tasty.
The fruits were fresh.
The croissant was also good. It was warm and soft when it came but it was cold but still tasty by the time I got to it.
There was also yogurt but I didn’t have any since it was chobani which has loads of added sugar for the fruit-flavored yogurts.
At this point the flight was winding down. I wanted to do something interesting. Since there was that other kind of unopened amenity kit which I suspected was the amenity kit of the inbound flight, I wanted to compare the contents to see if there were any differences and with the exception of color, there was no difference.
The crew handed out a SWISS milk chocolate at the end of the flight which is a standard among the Lufthansa group airlines and it was good.
Eventually we began our descent into Zurich.
The views descending into Zurich were beautiful. Switzerland is my favorite country in the world, so I was surely happy to be seeing these views, even if I wasn’t exiting the airport.
Our approach onto runway 14 had some choppiness but otherwise not much for the massive Boeing 777-300ER.
Overall, this was a great flight. The food was solid, the seat amenities were solid, and the crew was great. There are a couple of things I do wish were better. Firstly with the seat, you had to put a lot of effort to actually recline the seat which is unlike other airlines where it’s a lot less effort. The seat’s privacy divider also serves no purpose as it provides no additional privacy. I also wish the cabin were in its own separate cabin as that is pretty standard even in the worst premium economy products out there. Even a little separation can isolate a lot of noise for sure.