For leg two of three on my return trip from Cairo to Chicago, I was taking a quick one hour shuttle flight from Zurich to Brussels. I opted to try Swiss Airlines’ economy section of their brand new A220 instead of the business class.
As my flight from Cairo ran late, I only had 35 minutes to make it to the flight. I quickly deplaned and made the long terminal walk to gate A73. I had to rush through immigration to enter the European Union, and then continue on to return through security. While this was definitely a rushed timeline, it was manageable. The transfer staff were helpful, and I reached A73 with spare time, but was towards the end of the line during the boarding process.
Reaching the gate towards the end of the process, I was unable to see how boarding was handled, although I was able to get in a mid-sized line after they called economy.
The line moved pretty quickly, and soon after, I eagerly found out that ZRH has an automated boarding procedure. All I needed to do was scan my boarding pass and the gates opened for me, ensuring the line moved quickly.
While it was nice that the line moved quickly and in an organized fashion, I was disappointed to find the jet bridge backed up as the system didn’t give people enough time to get settled on the plane. After a 10 minute wait on the bridge, I finally made it to my seat, just in time for a slightly late departure.
The much-awaited A220
This A220 was an absolutely beautiful plane. It had a slick interior, defined by leather and steel, creating a very modern look. Additionally, the 2-3 seat configuration, combined with tall ceilings, allowed for a very roomy feel. There was also plenty of room for overhead baggage.
The seat itself was extremely compact, allowing for greater utilization of the space. There was a sleek tray table, and then instead of the seat in front of me being flat, it had two cutouts on the side for extra legroom. This gave my knees an extra inch of space. Despite this, the legroom was still tight but fine for a one hour flight.
The seat itself was a clean mix of steel and leather. It was evidently thin, but still very comfortable. Additionally, the head cushion had a good amount of padding, compensating for less padding on the back. However, there were no onboard ports for charging my device.
As we prepared for takeoff alongside another A220, the large onboard windows were definitely noticeable. We sped down the runway, off into the clouds, starting the forty-minute cruise.
As I settled in for the flight, I noticed that there was a nice flight tracker on the ceiling. It provided a rotating presentation of a map, flight information, and time remaining. I really enjoyed this as, despite having no IFE, I could still track the flight.
I sat back and enjoyed the views of the Swiss Alps through the large windows. The mountains seemed endless; unfortunately, the pictures don’t truly capture their beauty.
The service onboard was pleasant. The flight attendants were very nice and presentable as well, making for a positive experience. They had prompt inflight service, distributing water and a Swiss roll. The roll itself was a little on the dry side but tasted fine. The interior of the plane seemed to vibrate more than a typical flight though, causing me to drink the water quickly due to the risk of spillage.
As we descended over Belgium, I was able to see small villages spread out across the country. We were quickly on the ground, and taxiing to our gate for an on time arrival. Luckily, our A220 did not face any issues during the flight.
I would definitely fly with Swiss again. I thought their onboard product was nice and modern, although I would have appreciated charging ports. For a budget carrier, they would be towards the top of my list. However, my one concern about this flight follows the trend of environmentally unfriendly flight in Europe. It may have been more economical and environmentally friendly to take a train between the two cities