Swiss International Air Lines early-morning flight to Zurich from London City is a model of efficiency and trouble-free travel, says Fiona O’Mahony
Swiss International Air Lines may be Switzerland’s flag carrier, serving 106 destinations in 49 countries, but these days it is part of the Lufthansa Group [previous incarnation Swissair ceased operations in 2002 after running into financial difficulties] and a member of the Star Alliance, the world’s biggest airline network. With that in mind, Director put its hospitality to the test on a business-class flight from London City Airport to Zürich.
I am no early bird and I had never flown from City airport before. So, with my Swiss International Air Lines flight to Zurich due for departure at 7.55am from London City, I was prepared for all kinds of disasters to happen before, during and after. Fortunately it was smooth sailing from the get-go, for City airport is the weary traveller’s dream: customer-friendly, easy access throughout, and open plan, making finding your friends and travel companions a painless endeavour even through foggy, too-early-to-fly vision.
With no queues we walked straight to check-in staff who were quick and efficient, yet courteous and welcoming. We were through to the terminal in no time. City has no club class or airline lounges, and the main terminal was basic but adequate with excellent WiFi.
Swiss International Air Lines boarding
Though my flight was delayed slightly, boarding the plane was hassle-free and swift. Staff were friendly and efficient, and in comparison to Heathrow, the experience was utterly painless.
Swiss International Air Lines seat
My business class seat was relatively spacious, and while its comfort level was no more than OK, the ample legroom made up for any other shortcomings. There was no entertainment system due to the short flight time, but with in-flight magazines and my complimentary newspaper for company, and the added bonus of an aisle seat, I was content. 8/10
Swiss International Air Lines in-flight experience
Flight attendants were kind and efficient (notice the efficiency pattern emerging), and no one was kept waiting for a request to be fulfilled. The short flight meant there was no meal, though snacks and drinks were provided, including a peculiar-tasting gipfeli (Swiss croissant) that didn’t go down a storm with me or my fellow passengers.
Despite the delay before take-off my journey was unaffected, and we arrived almost on schedule. Staff greeting us at Zurich were – you guessed it – friendly and efficient, and did what they could to alleviate any unnecessary hassle at passport control.
Far from the anticipated disaster, everything was swift and unproblematic. Admittedly, the ease and convenience of City airport added to the experience, but, characterised by efficiency and friendliness, my Swiss International Air Lines flight was smooth from start to finish.