What Swiss serves in business class on a 29-minute flight

To keep things in perspective I think it’s always funny to compare business class on European or Asian airlines to their US counterparts. In this instance I’m not even talking about what they actually offer, but rather the number of times I’ve been on an hour-long flight in the US in first class, where the flight attendant announces that “due to the short duration of the flight there will be no service.”

Compare that to my 29-minute Swiss flight from Munich to Zurich, where they served the following in business class:

Yes, that’s pesto chicken, tomato and mozzarella, grilled zucchini, two hot rolls, and a dessert. Swiss intra-Europe catering beats Lufthansa by a long shot, given that I find Lufthansa intra-Europe catering to rarely be well executed.

So the tangential point here is to always choose Swiss over Lufthansa intra-Europe if you can. Their catering is substantially better, in my experience.

Filed Under: Swiss, Travel
  1. Not just business class. Flew Manchester to London Heathrow on a BMI EMB145 in economy and received a sandwich wrap and 1/2 litre of Strongbow cider.

  2. I was looking into that flight early March while in München. Sure it was short notice, but $900 for one-way in coach isn’t my cup of tea. I ended up taking the 5 h train instead. Pretty convenient on ICE.

  3. @Z intra-Europe always look at roundtrip pricing when you need a one-way, on routes especially without low cost carrier competition, one-ways will generally price at full fare so advance purchase roundtrip will be cheaper (and just throw away the return)

  4. That has always been Swiss’s strong suit. I remember a series of intra Europe flights I took in 1977 (!) traveling with my grandparents. Even then, I was aware of how much nicer the service on Swissair’s DC-9 was from Paris to Basel than on BA’s Trident from London to Paris or Alitalia’s DC-9 from Rome to London. Swissair was the only carrier to offer a full meal on what had to be 30+ minute flight.

  5. No free upgrades for elite members is the main difference between the US and the European system 😉

  6. I find LX catering to be better than LH, period, not just short-haul. LH food is generally not that great, even in First. They do have their signature caviar appetizer, but the rest is usually bland. I know you just had a wonderful experience in LH First, but I think that was an exception, rather than the rule, IMHO.

  7. this is all true… however… the seats intra eu business class suck. especially compared to coast to coast business here. the meal is very nice but i can go without eating for 29 minutes. i’d much rather have a bigger seat.

  8. @Lantean

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Even more pronounced on ~3+ hr flights, e.g. ZRH-DME.

  9. Personally, I prefer the seats on LX, LH or BA intra-Europe Business Class to United’s “First” class domestic service. I do recognise that the former are simply Economy seats but with the center seat vacant and the armrests pushed into it to make the window and aisle seats wider. However, I find the ergonomics of these seats far better than those on United, which give me a sore lower back. And, of course, there’s no comparison on the service.

  10. American flight attendants and airlines are quite lazy by global standards.

    On a shorthaul, I’ll take the food and service of LX over the large seat any day.

    For the equivalent of coast-to-coast US flights, 5+ hours, pretty much all European airlines have a proper lie-flat business class product; even the 4-hour LHR-DME flight (shorter than a mid-con) now has a longhaul product from BA.

  11. Business on Qantas in Australia is usually pretty good with catering on short hops such as Sydney to Canberra (a flight of around 300km or 186 miles). Even outside usual meal times there’ll be something such as a salad with salmon or prosciutto and a small cake plus coffee or tea in the morning and wine after midday.

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