Swiss Economy Class, Stockholm-Zürich – Short flight in Europe
At the Airport
I arrived at Arlanda airport shortly before 2pm, roughly two hours before my departure. The Swiss check-in area is located in the old departure hall of terminal 5 and is shared with Austrian Airlines. There was quite a queue, but as a gold card holder I was able to check in at the business desk which had only one person in line. Check-in was completed quickly and efficiently by a nice young woman who also checked me and my bag all the way to my final destination. My bag also received a priority tag.
My gold card gave me access to the separate fast-track security control, and, therefore, no queuing was needed. I then went to the SAS lounge. In the Gold Card area, the SAS Scandinavian Lounge was serving sausage with couscous and salad. BusinessClass.co.uk also have our own corner in the lounge where there is a guestbook for our members to sign.
Boarding and First Impressions
Boarding started 20 minutes before departure at gate 16. Business class passengers and passengers with gold cards could board as they pleased, while the other passengers were allowed on in waves depending on their row.
This flight to Zurich was nearly full but, despite this, ground staff successfully boarded all passengers with an impressive efficiency and got the plane in the air on schedule. The flight time to Zurich had been calculated to be 1 hour and 50 minutes. Before departure the traditional safety demonstration took place.
On board the Airbus A320 aircraft were two rows of business class, and the remainder, a total of 26 rows, were used for economy class. The configuration was 3-3, with a blocked middle seat in business class. Virtually all seats in economy class were occupied. Swiss had automatically pre-booked a seat for me, a window seat, 04A, on the second row of economy class.
The seats on board were made from comfortable leather in a black design and leg room was perfectly acceptable for a flight within Europe. I suspect, however, that there was somewhat less legroom in the back of the plane.
Once in the air, a simple snack was offered in economy class, consisting of a slice of pizza as well as hot and cold drinks. The choices of beverage included beer, wine, soft drinks, coffee and tea. A little later during the flight, Swiss chocolate was distributed from a basket with a Swiss logo on.
Service was friendly and efficient. The cabin crew had to work hard to serve an almost full aircraft. The cabin crew were friendly but nothing extra was done for me as a status passenger.
We began to descend towards Zurich and Kloten airport at 5.35pm. A short video was shown on the screens that gave advice about the airport and the procedures for those passengers who had connecting flights, which many on board had.
At 6pm we landed in Switzerland, 15 minutes before the scheduled arrival time.
Swiss offer a great Economy Class product within Europe. While others are cutting back on service, Swiss continues to offer a free snack (which on longer flights is hot) and complimentary beverages, including beer and wine. Overall a pleasant and efficient flight.