Filed Under: Awards, Swiss

Swiss has one of the world’s most exclusive first class products, in the sense that only Senator level elite members in the Miles & More program can redeem miles for it. This has been the policy since 2013. Ironically, prior to that they were extremely generous with making first class award space available.

Swiss’ A330 first class

Perhaps the only more exclusive product is Air France’s first class, as you need to be an elite member and pay the outrageously high standard mileage cost in order to redeem for it.

While I’ve flown Swiss first class years back when they didn’t have those restrictions in place, I haven’t flown them lately. And I’ve really been wanting to fly their gorgeous new 777-300ER, which they just recently began flying.

Swiss 777-300ER

The first class product looks like a very nice improvement over the old one, and there’s even a door between first & business class. That’s the first time I’ve seen that on any airline.

Swiss’ new 777-300ER first class

Swiss’ new 777-300ER first class

Well, here’s something incredible — for whatever reason, some Swiss first class award availability is bookable through partner airlines at the moment, including Air Canada Aeroplan, United MileagePlus, etc. ( though I haven’t been able to find space through Avianca LifeMiles).

The space can be searched directly through the websites of Aeroplan or United.


At first I assumed it was phantom space, and many dates do indeed seem to return an error message indicating that availability has changed.


However, there are indeed some dates which ticket. I just managed to book Zurich to Los Angeles in Swiss 777-300ER first class for 70,000 Aeroplan miles, without any fuel surcharges. That’s an incredible value!

So if you’ve always wanted to fly Swiss first class, this is your chance. However, I’d note that a lot of the availability is phantom space, so isn’t actually bookable. Therefore you’ll want to not only search flights, but also hit the “Select” button. If the space isn’t available, you should receive a message on the next page saying so.

I’ve searched dozens and dozens of dates which show space, and only a few seem to actually ticket. In some cases they’ve shown as available, then showed as unavailable, and then 15 minutes later showed as available again.

This opportunity won’t last, so you’ll want to start researching ASAP if you’re interested in this.

I’m so excited to review Swiss’ new first class, and also their very nice looking new first class lounge in Zurich. I wonder whether Swiss will rank on my list of the six best first class airline products in the world, or my list of the seven best first class airline lounges in the world.

Were you able to snag a Swiss first class award seat?

(Tip of the hat to Mero and SOWK)

  1. even a door between first & business class. That’s the first time I’ve seen that on any airline.

    Isn’t that a safety issue? If you crash and their is structural damage the door could jam. Of course, they could have engineered it to just break away under pressure. I’m interested to see how they do it. Maybe you can contact Swiss’s PR team and inquire?

  2. @Ted – That’s not the same. Award flights are always ticketed on the flight number of the operating carrier (in this case Swiss). The e-ticket number will reflect the carrier that “sold” the ticket (e.g. prefix 016 if you redeemed with United). But that’s not the same thing as codeshare flights operated by Swiss but marketed by say United under a United flight number, which is what lucky wrote about in the post you linked.

  3. Awesome!! I flew the new 777-300 from Zurich to Prague in business class and it was really cool.I went to check out first class too but there was no door between cabins , just a curtain.
    Business class seat was a bit wider then on OS for example and in 1-2-2 configuration.
    Shame the flight is only 50 min long.

  4. “and there’s even a door between first & business class” – No there isn’t.

    It is only there on the marketing pictures. I flew all 3 77Ws LX has so far (two of them in F last weekend) and as on the A343 and A333, there is only a curtain separating F and C.

  5. Arrgh!!! Trying to book an open 1st class through United on Swiss and won’t go through!!! So frustrating! But thanks Lucky for the heads up!

  6. Thanks Lucky. Just redeemed ZRH-ORD after New Years! Not the 777, but a rare opportunity to try LX F!

  7. 70K Aeroplan miles with no surcharges! I’ve got about 200K in my account, maybe I should go skiing next winter!

  8. I flew the new LX F from ZRH-HKG. IFE completely nonfunctional and seat was broken too (in 1A). Service was lazy. I was really disappointed. Back to LH for me. Lounge was fantastic though.

  9. I had a F booking on Swiss for my honeymoon that I made using M&M miles despite not being Senator (using the US call center) they erroneously booked it. I had a confirmation, ticket, seats selected (and it was my honeymoon) but the M&M center called and told me the ticket was invalid and I would not be able to book. Best of luck but I wouldn’t be surprised if the same thing happens to your tickets. I suppose we’ll find out!

  10. Lucky; looking forward to your review! let me know when you are in zurich an would like to catchup on a nice cappucino or beer! cheers

  11. I tried booking a Swiss business class on United and after it showed available, ticketed but then somehow threw it back and now it says it is waitlisted… 🙁

  12. I flew NRT-ZRH on the new F, service was mediocre, food was not good, whole experience was meh. Give me SQ or CX F any day of the week.

  13. Thank you Ben, Mero and SOWK–I just snagged ZRH-LAX in March. Hopefully they don’t proactively cancel our tickets (as Mike suspects). As we know, they wouldn’t be the first European airline to do that. I still remember the incident with Air France F availability to non-elites a while back.

  14. @pegasus NRT does not have 77W service just yet. must have been the old F.

    @lucky As ZRH ground staff, I’m looking forward to have you at our airport! We had lots of positive reviews on our new lounge.. it’s very conveniently located (at the E concourse, where about 95% percent of our longhaul flights depart) and also seems to have a very good product, as we get good feedback from our customers. as for the soft product, I hope you can survive a F flight without caviar (you’ll get delicious balik salmon instead) and get a great crew working your flight to LA!

  15. Still searching for tickets from ZRH to anywhere in North America between Aug 13-15. Found some ‘availability’ but nothing will ticket unfortunately.

    Hopefully the tickets booked stay valid. Last Aeroplan rep I talked to said ‘the party was over’ (her words)… But, like most Aeroplan agents, she probably doesn’t have a clue what’s going on.

  16. So I hit “select” and I don’t get the error message. Does that mean the seat is available? I can’t actually hit the “book” button because I don’t have any miles in my Aeroplan account yet. But when I search for the same date on United, there’s no availability…

  17. No plans to attempt to take advantage of this offer, but that plane’s interiors look seriously gorgeous. Looking forward to your review.

  18. Any worries Swiss will cancel your ticket and use the argument that the space was erroneously offered up and shouldn’t have been able to have been booked due to a computer glitch or something?

  19. @ Greg N — Swiss can be rather arrogant, so not totally ruling it out. The way I see it, though, they’d be VERY hard pressed to justify that. Guess we’ll see!

  20. Swiss successfully appealed the CATA ruling on the Yangon fare so they don’t take mistake fares lightly. Make sure your ticket starts or end in USA.

  21. This is still working on United but whether or not it tickets with Swiss is a different story. Still haven’t been been able to see my reservation pop up on Swiss website.

  22. Any luck booking with Krisflyer? I see YUL-ZRH on both United and Aeroplan, no error when clicking through, but they don’t it over the phone. HUCA or not worth trying?

  23. You not only have to click the “Select” button to ensure it’s not phantom availability, you also have to click the “Book” button after that.

  24. @ Susan – The cabin looks refined, sure, but the design is just too boxy. I’d rather have something more cramped like Emirates as long as I don’t have to think about office cubicles.

  25. Lucky, has your booking ticketed? I successfully booked a ticket for 2 AMS-ZRH-ORD but it hasn’t ticketed yet.

  26. That’s terrific news Lucky. The last time I flew Swiss First was back when they had just introduced the Eames inspired first class seat. They were called Swissair back then.

    Anyway, as far as I know, Seiss is the only carrier to offer La Prairie skin care products to first class passengers. La Prairie is insanely expensive stuff.

    I remember being the only passenger in First when I first flew them between IAD and Zurich. I recall being approached every 30 seconds by an FAs asking if I needed anything, wanted a pillow, and on and on. Being that I’m a low maintenance traveler and don’t like being coddled to death, I got up and went to the first class galley to tell the crew they can relax and that there is no need to keep checking in on me. They all stood in awe and looked shocked. A moment later, the chef du cabin came to my seat and explained how most first class passengers were much more demanding and critical and that nobody had ever done what I just did before. I laughed and said that they can relax and that I’m much less formal and stodgy.

    Well, the crew seemed relieved and much less “stiff” after that. One of the crew came to my seat with a basket filled with tiny blue jars of La Prairie Skin Caviar. I took one and the attendant said “no no no, please you take more” and she gave me two or three heaping handfuls of the stuff which at the time, had no idea just how much each jar sells for.

    So Lucky, play your cards right and you just might end up with $2000-$3000 worth of La Prairie products.

    Safe travels!

  27. I flew LX F 777-300 last year when my LH F flight to MUC went mechanical and they rebooked me on one stopper via ZRH. Excellent service, fantastic seat. I actually liked food better on LX than LH. Great lounge in LX, but not comparable to FRA FCT. They drive you to place in a car in ZRH

  28. @DontFlyEconomy: I think you are confusing either the dates or plane types.

    The first commercial flight of LX 77W was on Feb, 8 _this year_.

  29. I just flew LX 777-300ER first class ZRH-YUL a few days ago. The service was top notch and so far since they introduce 777-300ER, they have tried to improve the food service.
    For these last 2 weeks there were Caviar… in fact, they gave 3 boxes of caviar from different part of the world to each F pax…. with the right spoon type!…. everything great!

  30. I would be interested to see if SWISS does something about this. I remember a few years ago something similar about Singapore and the tickets where cancelled but Aeroplan was forced to purchase the tickets or something like that…

  31. Hey Ben where do you search for these award flights. I use the UA and AC standard website and click “use miles” to try and get those fares but i am not getting any direct flights available like what you got. From AC and UA both they involve flights operated by UA. How did you get the LX-only flights to show up wherever you searched.

  32. I just redeemed a Swiss first class seat from JFK to ZRH in June. (2-3 weeks ago). Was very surprised to see they were available on Aeroplan

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