Swiss Airlines first class has always been high on my to-do list so when a highly discounted fare from KBP (Kyiv) popped up (if you’re interested to see how I booked this ticket for a fraction of the price click here), I pulled the trigger. I booked myself a first-class seat on Swiss Airways from Zurich to Singapore.
To start the discounted fare I would have to depart from Kyiv (in business class). KBP is about 2.5h flight from Zurich, and I would need to position myself there first.
Since my home base in Europe is Belgium, I booked a cheap economy ticket from Brussels to Zurich (overnight in Zurich) and then from Zurich to Kyiv the next morning. I figured the safest option was to take the same outgoing flight (with Swiss) to KBP just in case a cancellation happened – in which case I would still be in Zurich in time for my actual target of this whole trip: Swiss First Class.
Checking In – Swiss First
Since I already had my mobile boarding pass, I decided to drop off my bags in Zurich and send them straight to Singapore instead of risking them being left behind in Kyiv on my turnaround flight.
My flight to Kyiv would be in economy, but since I already had my first class boarding pass, I decided to head to the Swiss first class lounge in the A Pier first for some breakfast.
Swiss Airlines has 2 lounges at Zurich, one is located in the A Pier and is accessible directly from the check-in area. Swiss Airlines has a dedicated check-in area in Zurich (Terminal 1), so it’s right in front of you after check-in and before security.
The A lounge has its own security screening before you enter, that’s because on the other side it leads directly into the main terminal.
From the Swiss First HON lounge at Pier A, you can walk to most gates in a few minutes. However, if you’re departing from Pier E (most long haul international Swiss flights leave from here), you can request a complimentary limo ride to the other lounge!
Swiss Airlines First Class Lounge Pier A Review
The Swiss Airlines First Class (and HON circle members) lounge is located at the check-in area 1 and is accessed directly after you check-in. Usually, you would turn left to go through security either via the regular lane or the dedicated fast track if you’re in business. First class passengers or HON circle members however, can walk straight and up the escalator to a dedicated security checkpoint which leads into the Pier A first class lounge. This is the smallest of the two first class lounges in Zurich but very lovely nonetheless.
I arrived early before my economy flight to Kyiv (check my Swiss First Class Lounge review here) and decided to head to the restaurant area for some breakfast.
Swiss first class lounges have a-la-carte dining areas where you can order anything from the menu. There are no time limits on food items, so if you want something different in the morning, it’s not a problem!
I opted for the granola with yogurt as a starter, followed by the eggs benedict and a coffee – black only for me.
Both dishes were executed to perfection, both the granola and the eggs benedict where delicious. As a breakfast item, the benedict is fantastic with the egg poached to perfection.
The Pier A first class lounge isn’t huge, but the beautiful wooden bar stocked with top shelve spirits is a design statement. To the left of the entrance are the bathrooms and opposite, you can find working booths and rest areas. On the other side of the bar is the main dining area, which consists of 6 tables and adjacent to that is a lounge area divided by wooden partitions for more privacy. A bit further to the right of the lounge area, you will find another seating area which would be perfect for larger parties.
Service in the lounge is top-notch with proactive staff on hand to offer anything you might want.
Swiss Airlines First Class Pier A Lounge Conclusion
Overall I really enjoyed my time in the lounge, and it’s an excellent perk for HON circle members (Swiss and Lufthansa’s top elite frequent flyers). However, if you’re on an international flight, the Swiss First Class Lounge at Pier E is, of course, the flagship experience. If you are checking in, I do recommend heading to the A lounge first so you can get the limo transfer from A to the International E lounge and look at the planes on the way, it’s a great experience even if you’re not an AVGeek!
Check out my in-depth Swiss Airlines First Class Lounge Review at the E Gates!
Boarding Swiss First Class B777-300 To Singapore
When boarding was called, the lounge manager notified me and after a quick elevator ride down, the boarding gate was right next to the first-class lounge.
The purses greeted first class guests by name, and I knew right away the crew would be great.
The cabin was relatively hot when I boarded, and it took some time to cool down.
The crew offered a nice glass of Laurant Perrier Grand Cielle (great drop!) together with an amuse-bouche while we waited for boarding to complete.
The Swiss First Class Cabins & Seats
Swiss Airlines has 8 seats in first class when you fly the B777-300ER. The layout is a standard 1-2-1 configuration, and all seats feature sliding doors for privacy. The doors double as a closet for your jacket and any other items of clothing you might want to hang up during the flight.
The seats are wide, comfortable and they look rather stylish thanks to the wood panelling and the clean checkered motif on the upholstery. On your right-hand side, there’s plenty of storage space along with the window and an illuminated cocktail table is located right by the main seat controls.
If you want to access more specific seat controls (pretty much every aspect can be adjusted), you will find them tucked away within the storage area.
The seat also has a table lamp for atmosphere lighting, which is a nice touch.
In bed mode, the Swiss first class seat turns into a fully flat bed with a lot of legroom. Staff will put down a mattress pad, and real linen is provided.
I found the big pillow to be incredibly comfortable, and the bedding material was nice and cool.
Although the sliding doors don’t offer a crazy amount of privacy, since they are pretty low, it does allow for proper airflow while you sleep.
Swiss First Class IFE
Swiss Air offers a massive monitor to guests flying first class. The enormous display isn’t a touch screen, but the picture quality is excellent, and it can all be controlled from your remote.
In terms of content, I did find Swiss was lacking behind other carriers, and new movies seemed dated already.
Swiss First Class Amenity Kit & Pyjamas
Swiss first class boasts an impressive amenity kit by Bally stocked with all the essentials and a trio of moisturisers: lip balm and eye cream, by luxury skincare brand La Prairie.
Swiss First Class Food & Drinks
By the time dinner service started, we were pushing close to 2AM so I decided to skip the cheese cart (which is one of the highlights on Swiss).
To start at had the balk salmon and a selection of charcuterie, both were good, but these days I keep comparing first-class meals to Qatar Airways business class and many fall short (Swiss included).
For my main, I opted for the lemon-crusted turbot, which was nice but slightly overcooked.
For dessert, I had the layer chocolate cake with salted caramel praline ice cream before heading off to bed.
I decided to keep it light for breakfast and just had the fresh fruit, bircher muesli and yogurt – nothing exciting but Swiss does have a good selection of hot breakfast as well.
Swiss First Class Service
I was really impressed with the level of service during my whole trip. Usually, I find European airlines lack the same service standards you find in Asia and the Middle East, but this wasn’t the case. Staff were friendly and professional without being too “uptight”, and nothing seemed too much to ask.
Swiss First Class In Conclusion
Even though the product isn’t groundbreaking, when you combine it with a trip to the Zurich Swiss First Class lounge, it makes for a fantastic flight experience.
Swiss Airlines First Class Review
- Ground Experience
- Cabin & Seat
- Food & Beverage
- Service & Amenities
Swiss Airlines offers an outstanding first-class experience which starts when you check-in and ends when you’re at your destination. Great service and a comfortable seat/bed make for a great flight.
- Ground experience is outstanding
- Great seat & comfortable bed
- Friendly crew and good service
- Food wasn’t up to first-class standard
- Hard to redeem with points