Swiss 777 Business Class In 10 Pictures

Filed Under: Swiss, Travel

Hello from Zurich! I just flew Swiss’ 777-300ER business class for the first time, on the 10hr35min flight across the Atlantic from San Francisco. While I’ve flown Swiss’ 777 first class and Swiss’ A330 business class, this was my first time in their new business class. I’ll have a full trip report soon, but in this post wanted to share my initial impressions.

To cut to the chase, Swiss’ business class is acceptable, but nothing special.

Swiss has a staggered configuration in business class, and I even paid extra to snag a “throne” seat (they started charging for these about a year ago). The cabin itself is elegant and the seats look nice, but I wasn’t impressed by the comfort. The seats were hard as a rock, and there were also no individual air nozzles. On the plus side, there was plenty of storage.

While I love the privacy afforded by these “throne” seats, they’re also quite tight, so I prefer a seat that’s less restrictive, like a reverse herringbone seat.

The food itself was fairly good, though not great. First there was a round of drinks with mixed nuts.

Then there was a starter consisting of sesame crusted tuna, a side salad, and a cheese plate.

For the main course I selected the beef tenderloin with gnocchi, which was fairly good for an airplane steak.

For dessert there was a pistachio and apricot tart, which was so hard that I had to eat it with my hands, since the spoon couldn’t cut into it.

The meal service was complete about 2hr30min after takeoff.

Breakfast was solid as well, with the crew serving from a “buffet” cart, where you could customize your breakfast. The bircher muesli was excellent. Unfortunately I didn’t realize the omelet had chunks of ham in it until I took my first bite (it wasn’t mentioned on the menu), or else I wouldn’t have ordered it.

The flight attendants were well intentioned and friendly, but the service felt like an assembly line, and wasn’t personalized in the least. Lufthansa has a better service flow in business class, as they no longer use carts, and instead have individual flight attendants dedicated to small sections of the cabin.

Then there are the amenities. The amenity kit was some sort of wool tube. While that was cute, the actual contents were limited. This is one of the more basic business class amenity kits out there.

The bedding wasn’t good either. The blanket was acceptable, but the pillow was way too thin for my liking. I know many Europeans prefer thin pillows, but even when I folded it in half so that it was double as thick, it didn’t do the trick for me. Between the awful pillow and hard sleeping surface, it wasn’t one of the more comfortable business class beds I’ve been in.

Swiss has wifi, but it’s expensive, and the entertainment selection was just alright.

So yeah, Swiss business class didn’t leave me terribly impressed. It’s a nice enough looking product, the food was for the most part good for business class, and the crew was well intentioned, but the seats are hard, the pillows awful, and the service concept isn’t personalized in the least.

The new business class being introduced to the Lufthansa Group in a few years should be a big improvement over this.

If you’ve flown Swiss business class, what was your experience like?

  1. Hi Lucky, please help me decide! Would You Rather 12 hours in Qatar J on A350 TYO-DOH + 8 hours in Qatar F DOH-CDG or 12 hours in JAL F from TYO to CDG?

  2. @avery111 : that should be a no brainer – JAL F nonstop. No amount of sliding door novelty is worth nearly double the travel time (once you factor in the connection). And QR’s A380 F is more bland than expired diet coke.

  3. Is the premium cost for the throne seat a set amount, or does it vary? How much extra did you have to pay for the throne seat?

  4. Swiss really screwed everyone not he first class situation. You should not cover them. If you’re genuine in your posts, pull your review of them.

  5. I’m taking this exact flight in June. I had to choose between this and Turkish (using miles), I guess they’re both comparable.

    (I guess for me personally, at the core, a lie-flat bed makes 95% of the difference. All the other stuff–food, service, bedding, entertainment–is not that monumental.)

    Quick question, would you recommend the throne seat (extra price aside) or, if traveling with a companion, would you opt for the side-by-side seats? In other words, did you find that the throne seat had any advantage or disadvantage (apart from the obvious)?

  6. @avery111 do you care about time and perfect first class service then I would suggest you go JAL all the way non-stop. If you want to see the difference between Qatar B and F, then, go Qatar. Lucky did give us the hint that there isn’t much more in Qatar F compared to B. He has raved about JAL F.

  7. I agree – I flew LX C long-haul for the first time last year. I’d much rather fly LH, and, in fact, would rather fly UA in C. In addition to all of your comments, I found the flight attendant service to be uncomfortably cold (and I lived in Switzerland for a year, so I’m used to Swiss reservedness).

  8. LX bizz is very good only if you are a M&M Senator or HON. Otherwise they treat you as something the cat have taken in…

  9. Damn it, I wish you’d flown the other direction so you’d get to try out the Swiss business class lounge as well.

  10. Recently took the metal from LAX-ZRH, and had very similar opinions. Our return to LAX was from VIE on Austrian, and felt their business was definitely better on the soft side. My wife sat in a OS throne seat (no extra cost), and didn’t feel it would be worth an upcharge.

  11. Can’t really comment on the J product, but I flew the same flight in Y two months ago and the experience was extremely underwhelming. The crew was kinda crude and service feels lackluster compared to Lufthansa. To me, Swiss seems way overrated, especially in light of their many shenanigans with award bookings and error fares.

  12. Just flew the same route back and forth over Christmas.

    I broadly agree with Lucky’s verdict, although I didn’t think it was quite as bad. Here’s my input:

    – UA First Class lounge in SFO that is currently used for *A J-passengers was much nicer than I expected. Decor is worn and the lounge was pretty busy, but food selection excellent with fresh salads and meats. And we loved the wine selection (with a variety of California Chardonnays and plentiful amounts of Moet.

    – The onboard food I thought was very good. I liked the seared tuna and thought the beef tenderloin was very tender.

    – To me there was a big difference between the FA’s level of service. Not all of them seemed equally excited to be there. As we sat in the middle, my girlfriend was served by two really chirpy and service-minded FA’s, whereas service on my side was a bit more sombre.

    – To me, it made a big difference sitting in the small cabin at the front (right behind First class), rather than the bigger J cabin at the back (where I sat on the daytime flight ZRH-SFO). It was a lot quieter, we were among the first to be served food and it simply felt more VIP sitting in a cabin of 10 rather a cabin of some 50 J-passengers.

    – With regards to getting Throne and Senator/HON blocked out seats, it’s possible to choose them free of charge 24-48 hours before (which is how I snatched seats at the front) so that’s a tip to other people flying LX in J.

  13. Hope the full review will clarify how this compares/contrasts with the a330 which you liked… Obviously that review was several years ago but I dont know if/how the a330 has been updated compared to the 777.

    I have a Biz award on swiss coming up (result of being downgraded from first by Aeroplan). Part of me is tempted to switch to Lufthansa/Austrian/Lingus but Aeroplan mistakenly transferred the entire award miles back to my amex account instead of the F-J difference, so I’d potentially be risking them catching their mistake by changing schedule.

  14. Maybe I missed it but what was the problem with ham in the egg? You had the beef prior to it so it isn’t an avoidance to meat products issue.

    I’m not an egg person at all (I think I OD on them as a kid so I don’t eat them anymore).

  15. Re: “The amenity kit was some sort of wool tube.” Swiss is known for doing knit hats and knit neck warmers in the winter! ANd they have a card in the amenity kit that explains this….
    Swiss is one of my favorite products out there so I’m shocked at this review.

  16. Throne seats for west coast USA to Europe are $200. I think it’s definitely worth it for a solo traveler. The problem with the paired seats is that the window ones are both narrow with no storage space, and the middle ones have one seat with a nice cubicle and one that’s right on the aisle.

    Lucky, did you mess with the air pressure in the seat? I’m pretty sensitive to hard seats and I was able to get really comfortable on SWISS. I slept for 3 hours, which is the most I’ve ever slept on a plane. If you’ll permit me a link, I reviewed SWISS business class here:

  17. @rich

    He likes to avoid certain forms if pork.

    Good to know about Swiss business. They open up business class saver awards close-in sometimes on searches through United, but I’ve always chosen Austrian over them or splurged on Lufthansa First.

    I can continue avoiding them.

  18. Well, I don’t get to fly business but as an economy flyer on Swiss, it is probably the worst flying experience I’ve ever had. I flew them twice before (and have another flight in September from Zurich to LAX) – as recently as last summer to Zurich from SFO. The entertainment was great, food decent, and flight attendants friendly but the 3-4-3 configuration is a nightmare. Why they don’t have either premium economy or economy plus/comfort is ridiculous – they have preferred seating but that’s just for the honor of being in the front of the plane.

    As mentioned, I do have a flight with them but I made it a point to purchase the exit rows. Another knock, they charge a lot for seats. They charged $115 per seat for exit row but the same seats with the same configuration on Austrian was only $65 each.

  19. Sounds similar to my experiences. Flew J ZRH > YUL on their (aging) A330 product and was underwhelmed. And this is coming from someone who usually flies Air Canada J if I fly in J at all, so the bar is not high. Service was fine, but cold and so incredibly slow I couldn’t believe it. 3.5 hours into the flight when we finally finished, with attendents walking through infrequently to check on us. Screens were tiny, tonnes of ads, content was meh, food was only okay. Beds weren’t super comfortable, etc. The best part was the lounge and the miles I accrued, which doesn’t say great things about the experience. I’d rather fly AC J for the reverse herringbone in future (although next time I’ve opted for Turkish J).

  20. Flew Swiss business class a couple weeks ago from EWR to ZRH and ZRH to DEL. Currently waiting in the Lufthansa lounge tonight to fly DXB to ZRH and ZRH to JFK. I’d say the service in Swiss business has been good with ok food. By the way, the “throne” seats open up 48 hours before flight time at no charge. I was able to snag them, and it definitely is a better seat than others in business especially ones that are open to the aisle.

  21. Quick question as a mile redeeming and business class flying newby. I have 60k Aeroplan miles to spend on a one-way business flight from Europe to the US (destination doesn’t matter I’ll just add a day to my vacation). Would you rather fly Swiss, Brussels, or SAS? Based in this review I’m rethinking my Swiss preference…

  22. @avery111- no brainer, JAL F, with cristal being poured, a fabulous drinks menu, and. Better catering option provided by JAL, it’s light years ahead of QR’s F. I find QR’s in flight soft product lack luster, other than the Krug and caviar everything else is basic. If it was all c my decision would sway QR, but for F JAL is it. In gay lingo, if JAL F was a person, her pussy would be on fire

  23. I flew A330 Swiss biz both ways over pond. Had throne seat on overnight, single seat on opposite side back. Would do it differently. Sleeping better on single side seat, comfortable seating space in throne. So, if awake choose throne. If want to sleep single aisle window. Both throne and single aisle window have restrictions. Throne can be bought in advance for about $150. Single aisle restricted to Senator status. Both become free to choose about 24 hours prior to flight if still available. Left US about 10 pm so I chose express dining to get more sleep. Mistake. It seems at that hour no matter what you order it is brought to you shortly after takeoff. So I could have had the full meal. Service efficient although not very friendly. Lounge in Zurich good.

  24. Agree with the key points. I particularly dislike the “seat lottery” in Swiss. You pay for a business class ticket and some seats are really nice and some are really mediocre. I don’t want so much “risk” in my travel experience. I also think it’s awful to charge people for seat selection when they’ve already spent $4-8k on the ticket.

  25. flew recently. Really liked the wool tube actually, which can be used as a scarf. Am still using it weeks later! The seat was alright I thought, entertainment section lacking (but better than Lufthansa’s), food acceptable. Nothing special but comparable to Lufthansa. Much better than KLM, Air France, British.

  26. Hi Lucky,

    Have you tried sitting in the single seats on the other side of the plane with this vantage seat type (the seat which is closest to the window). If so, how does it compare to the throne seat?

    I flew the throne seat on a MH A330 and while I liked the privacy, it felt a bit tight. I wondered if it might have felt a bit more spacious in the window seat on the other side?

  27. I flew Swiss B in September, Bangkok to London via Zurich in a brand new 777 with a 2-2-2 configuration, frankly, I thought it was a bit average (day flight), the FAs only handed out menus to the first two thirds of the B cabin, of course I just missed out and had to request when they asked what I would like (I think honest mistake, gave them benefit of the doubt). Food was not impressive just quite ordinary, movie selection also a bit ordinary.

    Had about an hour in the lounge whilst waiting for connection to London, the lounge was very poor for business class, quite small and overcrowded, seems you had to leave the lounge to use the toilet facilities and food selection not impressive and this was about 7pm local time on a weekday.

    Also flew Thai, Lufthansa and Air NZ -on my quick trip all B class – Air NZ was far and away the best of them without a doubt.

  28. I flew this configuration just a couple days ago. For what it’s worth:
    -Agreed on the pillow–it was so flimsy
    -The seat firmness/softness can be adjusted so maybe that helps
    -Assuming the flight isn’t full, you don’t have to pay extra for the throne seats. They become available at checkin 24 hour before the flight.
    -Using this I was able to score seat 4A, which must be the best on board. Throne seat in mini cabin, no foot traffic because bathroom is at back, and extra wide foot well.
    -Service was kind of bad, but I only wanted to sleep, and the seat was perfect for that!

  29. I’m flying this from NCE-ZRH-SFO in Business middle of next month on that $850 roundtrip fare published backed in early September.

    Does anyone know of the Business Class cabin is always full? If I sit in the very last row do I have a chance to sit by myself? Or no chance and I would be better off picking a seat up front In the mini cabin?

  30. Hey Lucky

    I flew from Zurich to Miami on the 777 last month. I called a couple of days prior to my flight to assign my seat and the agent let me select 7A without having to pay which was nice. I’m not sure if that seat is different because of the bulkhead but I had HEAPS of leg room in 6’1 and I couldn’t even touch the end of when fully reclined and the foot cubby had heaps of leg room.

    I agree re the service was not personalized a production line but the agree were very friendly.

  31. I was on the same flight. My impression was that I do not recall much about the journey. Business as usual as far as I’m concerned. Nothing to hype about. Typical robotic service and mediocre food.

  32. I’ve flown swiss business class to Asia when they had a very good sale (1250 euros italy to hkg or bkk with open jaw allowed and no limit in duration).

    I actually really liked the food on the inbound leg ZRH to HKG and the service was quite good I thought. For the seat, they have some kind of control that let’s you put more or less air in the seat which actually makes it softer and fairly comfortable I thought.

  33. Lucky, I think your sentence “It’s a nice enough looking product” is not only summarizing your business class flight experience with Swiss, it’s really a very good summary of the entire product of Swiss.

    Yes, everything looks nice. But does it meet the purpose: Starting with their website, which looks awesome, but has very limited functionality. Their biz seat looks nice … but is way too tight to sleep well. Their amenity kit includes fancy, but frankly totally useless items like a “wool tube”, but lacks some fairly basic ones, like a moisturizing cream. Their food is presented very nicely, but of rather mediocre quality (and intra Europe also quantity, including in Business). Their “premium” wines are o.k., but not premium, they can be bought for USD 10 at any Coop supermarket in Switzerland etc.

    Design overstating functionality.

  34. The seats look really bad to be. Uncomfortable and congested. They have wasted too much space to accommodate the side cabinet, in my opinion. I food looks okayish.

  35. Recently flew Swiss from ZRH-TLV on their A333 – was supposed to be in seat 5A, but the lady sitting in 4A (throne seat) wanted to trade seats, as her husband was in 5B. Happily accepted!
    The privacy of seat 4A was great, really enjoyed the 3 hour flight, cannot comment on how it would be for an overnight flight. Food was good, but not a whole lot.
    Entertainment was ok, but doesn’t stack up against other airlines, say SQ (even in economy).

    Due to fly on Swiss business class again this week, this time on the 777, ZRH-SIN.
    Very much looking forward to the experience to see how it stacks up to my recent flight.

    So far I am only able to reserve seat 6G (bulk head), thanks to other posters will now try to check-in 48 hours before the flight to see if I can snag one of the throne seats.

  36. its hilarious im reading this now, since my swiss friend travelled from ZUR-GRU last week and flew business for the first time, and RAVED about it, he loved everything about Swiss business class experience, and yet you thought it was okay, understandably so given how much you’ve flown.

    Do you ever get so used to the good that sometimes you forget how good it is?

  37. I did SIN-ZRH-SIN in May/June last year in Swiss business, and was a little underwhelmed, actually, given what a good reputation Swiss has, and it was mostly by the service level and food that let them down. For instance, a couple of breadsticks is not quite up to scratch for a mid flight snack on a 12+ hour flight.

    I paid for the throne seat (it was about $50aud I think for each flight), and would recommend that if you can, try and snag one of the bulkhead throne seats as the footwell is much wider. I found the seat reasonably comfortable, but not the most amazing hard product out there, but certainly not the worst (Hello Qantas still doing angle flat!!!!).

    As for the service, we’ll… let’s just say I had to press the call button four or five times at one point to get some attention…

    Overall I wouldn’t go out of my way to fly them again, but wouldn’t complain if there was no other choice.

  38. I cannot fully understand your critic on swiss business class. I have flown the 777 business class to singspore myself. I had a great sleep. You can activate air pillows in the seat wih the controls then the seat isnt hard at all. Food i remeber good and the service…. they are from switzerland. I little cold like the scandinavians. I like that. For me with 1,75 meter, i had enough space on a throne seat. For me the product was far better than lufthansa. (Dont forget the great lounges in zurich). The food was better in austrin airlines. But swiss food is much better than lufthansa food.
    I fly it again to san francisco in a few weeks and i am looking forward for it.

  39. I am a regular reader of your blog Lucky and I think it’s great. Thank you for the fun and insightful commentary that takes us readers around the globe with you.
    I have flown Swiss business to 2 roundtrip destinations in the 777 and a couple times with the 330 and 340.
    I totally agree with your pillow comment, they are terrible. However, I have a hard time believing that your trip in Swiss Business to China in 2014 was better than your recent trip:
    The Swiss Business in a 777 is way better than in a 330 or 340 any day of the week. Just one of the huge differences is the larger and better TV screens in the 777.
    I somewhat agree with your service comment. Sometimes we are lucky or unlucky in the crew that we get. Sometimes it feels like an assembly lines but at other times (like my most recent flight in a Swiss 777 b class) it was personalized and fantastic.

    I have a feeling that the review that you just wrote has something to do with your recent negative experience that you had with the SWISS customer relations agent (when they denied your SWISS First booking using miles from another frequent flyer program). The response that you received from the Customer service agent was out of line and conceited, but it’s time to look past that now. I agree that they made a mistake and the way they handled the situation was even worse.

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