When it comes to direct flights from Los Angeles to Europe, us west coasters are limited in our choices. Since we’re Star Alliance loyalists, there are only a few select cities that we can fly directly to without making a stopover in another U.S. city. When planning our trip to Europe, we decided to book our LA to Europe flight on the Swiss Air Business Class 777 airplane from Los Angeles to Zurich. We’ve been fortunate enough to fly in over a dozen business class cabins and not all cabins are created equal. Before you shell out thousands of dollars or hundreds of thousands of miles on a business class flight, we want to share the good, the bad, and the ugly of Swiss Air Business Class to make sure that you’re getting your dollars worth on this long-haul business class flight.
From the moment we boarded our flight, the Swiss Air crew was absolutely delightful. They were happy to show us to our seats and immediately brought champagne once we were settled in our seats. Let’s be real – champagne always tastes better on airplanes 🙂
Since this was an overnight flight, we kindly asked the flight attendant if it would be possible to hold our meals while we slept during the first part of the flight. She happily obliged, took our order with a smile, and allowed us to sleep.
The Business Class Cabin
The Swiss Air Business Class Cabin on the 777 is in a 2-2-1 formation. There are seats coupled together as well as single seats, aptly named “Throne Seats.” Even if you’ve already booked a business class ticket, these throne seats cost extra, but since they are the same width as the two seats together, these throne seats offer additional privacy and more space than the double configuration.
Two Roamers ready for a vacation in the sky
The business class cabin was split in two sections. The first section was smaller and it offered more privacy. The main section was larger and it was very busy during boarding since both economy and business class passengers boarded through this cabin. The first section of business class didn’t have to deal with hundreds of people walking through while boarding so we would highly recommend checking SeatGuru to book a seat in the front business class cabin.
While the Throne seat in the Swiss Air Business Class cabin was very tempting to book, we wanted to sit together on this long-haul flight (cue eye roll at the newlyweds 🙂 ). Plus, at a cost of nearly 200 Euro per person, we decided to save our dollars for the trip itself. However, once we boarded the flight, we realized that the 400 Euro would have been worth it.
The two-seat configuration is limited in its seat width as well as its storage. While the window seat is a little better than the aisle, it still was an extremely tight squeeze. Once the seat was reclined, there was even less room than before. The seats slide down into a cubby that felt like a cocoon. I (Collette) am 5’2” and I could barely move once the seat was reclined. At 6’, Scott barely had any room at all.
The plus side of these seats are that they are fully lie-flat. Our main purpose for booking business class seats was to get a good nights rest as we crossed multiple time zones. If you’re looking for simple lie-flat seats with little accouterments, then these seats will suit you just fine.
The entertainment system on board the Swiss Air Business Class cabin was very impressive. There were plenty of movies and TV shows to watch and it was definitely a highlight of the business class cabin.
When it comes to airplane food, we never have high hopes – even in business or first class cabins. However, Swiss Air Business Class impressed us with the level of cuisine on board. We both had the steak for dinner and an egg dish for breakfast. Both dishes were cooked to perfection and surprisingly delicious. Plus, we had plenty of chocolates to choose from as desert – after all, this is Switzerland!
We had the opportunity to visit two lounges during our LA to Zurich trip: one in Los Angeles and one in Zurich during our connection. As a passenger on Swiss Air or any Star Alliance flight departing from LAX, we had access to the Star Alliance Gold Lounge. This lounge is located in the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX. While it is a large lounge with plenty of great food and beverage options, seating may be limited because it shares the lounge with so many other airlines.
LA Lounge rating: 7/10
Once we arrived in Zurich, we had a short layover before our onward flight to Florence. We visited the Swiss first class lounge at Zurich Airport where we were able to shower and freshen up before our onward flight. The first class lounge at Zurich Airport is absolutely massive, has delicious food, a top-rate bar (we may or may not have had an Aperol Spritz upon landing), and it even has an outdoor area where you can watch the airplanes take off and land. Obviously, the latter had us aviation geeks swooning!
Zurich Lounge rating: 10/10
Insider Tips Before Booking
If you’re going to fly on the Swiss Air 777, we highly recommend the following insider tips:
- Book a throne seat. Yes, it’s more expensive, but the privacy and space that you’ll gain is well worth the extra 200 Euro.
- Book the first section of business class. This section has more privacy, is more intimate, and it will offer more peace and quiet during the flight since there is not as much foot traffic going through it.
Was it Worth It?
Overall, our flight from Los Angeles to Zurich on Swiss Air was worth it for the price. At just over $3,000/person (round-trip including a Lufthansa flight as our return), it was a low-cost, efficient way to travel from Los Angeles to Europe. While it may not offer the privacy or space of other carriers, its lie-flat seats still allow for a restful nights sleep.
Really interesting read! Interesting to hear what the competition offer. I’ve tweeted your post. Keep enjoying the good life!