Who knew the Swiss A320neo was so new? I didn’t! These entered service with Switzerland’s airline earlier in 2020 and they have exactly two in service at the moment. The pristine cabin should have been a give away, I suppose!
After other airlines cancelled my flights, I ended up booking Swiss and decided to treat myself to business class. Might as well fly home in style!
No Lounge At Nice Airport
Since the Coronavirus pandemic, one terminal is closed at Nice. This is the one that Swiss usually uses, so when I arrived at the lounge, they advised Swiss had not contracted with them. She was very nice about it, saying they hoped the airline would in future.
Alternatively, I could pay €50 to come in now. Not a hope, no airport operated lounge is worth that kind of money. Instead, I chilled out by Gate A00, waiting for the flight to be called.
Time To Board
After an hour of waiting around, Group 1, 2 and 3 were called at once. There was no effort to have the flight board back to front as Aer Lingus do on their flights to minimise people’s potential exposure to the virus.
Not that I particularly minded, everyone was masked as it is a requirement in the airport. Virtually everyone was following the rules which is nice to see.
LX569 – Nice to Zurich (NCE-ZRH)
30 August 2020
Airbus A320neo – HB-JDB – Riederalp
Seat: Business Class 2F
Departure: 14:50 Arrival: 16:05
Each seat had a water bottle, contact tracing form and hand sanitiser. I decided I should sterilise my hands after the airport experience and gave the tray a quick wipe too.
As boarding dragged on, I got up to get my pen out of my bag. My seat mate happily squished to the left and I was able to pass just fine. There’s that much leg room! I then passed the time completing the form.
The Swiss A320neo Business Class Cabin
Since the cabin is pretty much brand new, it really showed. No scuff marks or anything anywhere, things were shiny, the carpet bright and all the rest of it.
All in all, it’s a really nice cabin. The seats themselves are the modern slimline types that are pretty hard under your bum. Still, every airline is moving in this direction, so not much I can do about that.
Nobody Ever Mentions Tug Man!
We pushed back and there was the usual slight lowering of the plane as the tug put us back on the ground. Quickly, I snapped a picture of these unsung heroes of air transport.
During this time, the Swiss A320neo animated safety video played on the screens. It’s quite good, especially the little wink the guy gives after the no smoking part, that was cute. Quite quickly we were in the air for our flight to Zurich.
Swiss Business Class Snack
Both the multilingual pilots and multilingual cabin crew mentioned the flight was 50 minutes. It’s always interesting to see the cabin crew do a full business class service in such a short time. He started at row 5 and worked his way forward, giving a very friendly service along the way.
I asked for two Champagnes as the flight was so short, which were delivered with a smile. Did I want water too? Sure! After I had eaten, he took my plate and asked if I wanted the empty one of my two champagnes recharged. Sure!
Swiss serve Duval-Leroy on board, which is delicious all round, so I appreciated the extra. I’m sure it also stops the crew having to throw out good bubbles.
Safety On Board and Landing
For posterity, I decided to take a picture of the safety card to pass the time. Nothing unusual here, but it may interest the aviation geeks among us. When it came to that contact tracing form, Swiss asked everyone to complete it and include connecting flights too. They then collected every form from every passenger, which is quite reassuring.
We landed in a very rainy Zurich and arrived at the gate soon enough. Zurich Airport is very nice and I was soon headed off to transfer for my next flight.
The Swiss A320neo is lovely, probably because it’s so new. There is a surprising amount of leg room in business class, far more than I am used to when flying British Airways.
On board service was fast and furious, befitting such a short flight time. The fact the cabin crew still managed to make you feel like a person, offering top ups, smiling and being friendly is a credit to the people and their training. And that Champagne…
Have you flown the new Swiss A320neo before? What did you think? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
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There are plenty of airline lounges I would pay €50 for depending upon timing. Excellent food, showers, even quiet rooms with beds are well worth such a low entry fee. Now, knowing that airport and the probable lounge, you made the right choice!
You make a good point, there are some worth the fee. Also, if I was going to be there for several hours, I would have paid it without a thought. However, the lounge and the timing meant it was definitely not worthwhile, as you can imagine. Thanks for the comment!