Tag Archives: Euro2017

Swissair Business Class (Airbus A321) DUB – ZRH

My Swissair Business Class flight from Dublin to Zürich was a breath of fresh air on my long journey to Europe.  It was my first time on Swissair and it left me with a very good impression of the airline.  Especially having come straight from a lounge-less layover and a long haul flight on a U.S. carrier, I was struck by the extremely friendly and professional service by the Swissair crew.  The food was a step above the business class fare from my previous flight on United, and the seat was comfortable and roomy.

A cup of good strong coffee and one of the famed Swissair chocolates.

This short flight from Dublin to Zürich was the second leg of my business class booking for my Euro2017 trip.  The booking also included the long haul flight from Chicago to Dublin in the new United Polaris class with a lie flat seat.  The whole thing cost me 57.5k United miles (most were transferred-in Chase Ultimate Rewards) and $8.10 in fees! To see more reviews and details on how I planned this trip, check out the main post containing links to related posts.

The seat

swissair business classJust like the British Airways flight Nicoleen and I took in 2015, my business class intra-Europe flight was in a medium range narrow-body Airbus jet.  And just like that British Airways flight, business class in Swiss Air leaves the middle seat in the 3-3 cabin configuration empty.  I was in seat A1 which meant I had to store my backpack in the overhead compartment during take-off and landing.

The seat itself was comfortable and I had virtually unlimited legroom due to the bulkhead row.  My neighbor in 1C had the same idea as me and we shared the middle seat’s tray table for extra shelf space.  Technically you’re not supposed to store carry-ons on the floor in a bulkhead row.  I set my backpack in the seat next to me for most of the flight and no one bothered me about it.

The meal

With only a 1 hour 30 minute flight time, I wasn’t sure if I would get a meal.  I should have taken a cue from my previous intra-Europe business class experience and expected that Swissair would do anything to give me something to write home about.  That meant a full lunch, followed by coffee and the famous Swissair chocolates.

swissair business class lunch meal

For lunch the options were chicken or pasta.  I ignored my own advice and ordered the chicken.  It was swimming in some sort of peach demi-glace and served with peach slices, pea pods, and what I can only describe as a semi-puffed potato cylinder.  The attendant salad featured high quality slices of roast beef, baby corn segments, and a tiny potato salad.  Like most things Swiss, the potato cubes seemed as though they were hand-cut to exact specifications.

swissair business class lunch saladThe bread, cheeses, and dessert were equally wonderful!

General impressions of Swissair

From the crew’s service and appearance, the captain’s announcements, and the food, to the gate employees and the airline’s website, Swissair screams one thing: professionalism.  I found an excerpt from the in-flight magazine that pretty much sums up what kind of operation Swiss International Airlines runs:

Those are some demanding requirements!

Those are some demanding requirements!

Of course one shouldn’t judge an airline as a whole based on just one flight.  And I’m sure the fact that I was in business class on a new and quiet Airbus A321-200 biased my opinion.  I happened to turn around and witness a few crew interactions with passengers in economy class and they seemed to receive the same level of service I did.

The only disappointing part of my whole Swissair experience was that the fabled Arrivals Lounge at ZRH was already closed up for the day when I landed at 3:00 PM.

I can’t help but to compare this flight once again to my only other business class, intra-Europe flight on a European airline.  Overall it was a welcome and unexpected treat at the tail end of my flight itinerary.

My almost-awesome picture of the Swiss army knife landscaping on the approach to Zürich. Swiss Air business class DUB-ZRH.

My *almost* awesome picture of the Swiss army knife landscaping on the approach to Zürich. Swissair business class DUB-ZRH.

This post is part of a series reviewing my [virtually] free trip to Europe.  For a full list of the posts in this series, and for an overview of the trip, check out the index page.

Euro2017 – My Free Trip to Europe

In July of 2017 I took a trip to Switzerland, Austria, and Germany to visit friends, hike in the Alps, drink good beer, and try to salvage my waning German language skills.  I call it a free trip to Europe because by staying with friends and booking award flights, I ended up with very few expenses.  I flew business class on the way over and economy on the way back, with a total out-of-pocket cost of $215.52!

My free trip to Europe - Euro2017

Navigating my content

This post is the touchstone page for all of my trip reports and other posts related to this trip.  Below you will find links to the individual posts, similar to the page I made for our First Class to Europe Anniversary Trip in 2015.

Here’s a basic outline of my vacation so you can get your bearing when browsing the other blog posts:

  1. Fly economy class on American from Minneapolis to Chicago
  2. Fly business class on United and Swiss Air to Zürich via Dublin
  3. Visit friends in Zürich
  4. Overnight stay in Tirol, Austria at Hochzeiger Haus mountain hut
  5. Visit a friend’s mom in Konstanz, Germany and travel by train to Frankfurt
  6. Visit more friends in Frankfurt
  7. Return flight in economy class on France Air, Frankfurt to Minneapolis via Paris

Here are the individual posts and reviews for various parts of the trip, including a detailed explanation of how I planned it, what points and miles programs I utilized, etc.  (Links will become active once the posts are published):

  • Planning a Free Trip to Europe
  • Euro2017 – Cost and Value
  • Lounge Review:  United Polaris Lounge at Chicago (ORD)
  • Flight Review:  United 757-200 Polaris Business Class ORD-DUB
  • Euro2017 Field Report: First Post From 38,000 Feet!
  • Flight Review:  Swiss Air A321 Business Class DUB-ZRH
  • Hotel Review:  Hochzeiger Haus
  • Flight Review:  Air France A340-300 Economy Class CDG-MSP

Maps generated by the Great Circle Mapper – copyright © Karl L. Swartz.

Euro2017 Field Report: First Post From 38,000 Feet!

I paid $18 for an internet connection, so I thought, “why not publish a quick post?”


I’m currently at 38,000 ft altitude, over the Atlantic, approaching Ireland.  I’m in seat 3A on a Boeing 757-200, on a United flight in Polaris Business class.  It’s just after midnight back home and the sun is rising here.  Local time is 6:26 AM.  I was able to sleep a couple hours thanks to the lie-flat seat, but it’s hard to trick the body into thinking the night has passed.



The best way to prevent jet lag is to force the body into the new time zone, right?  What better way to do that than a hearty free breakfast at 12:30 A.M. (physiological time)!

The food was pretty good, despite not being very hungry.  I hope the coffee and the view of the sunrise will get me ready for my 3 hour layover in Dublin.  All in all, it’s been a pretty good experience in Polaris Class so far.  And the price was right at 57.5k United miles + $8.10!

Time to go

So long for now. . . I think we’ll be descending soon.  Time to stow all large electronic devices.