Swiss Airbus A220 Economy Class Review – Zurich To Brussels

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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.

Swiss A220, Zurich flight, Parked A220
My ride of the day: a Swiss Air A220. Photo: Quinn Favret

Airport transfer

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.

security, immigration check
I first had to go through immigration again, which only took five minutes. Photo: Quinn Favret
long walk, airport walkway
I then made the 10-minute walk to my gate; ZRH’s basement walkway system was super helpful. Photo: Quinn Favret

Boarding

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.

boarding line, boarding
There was a fair line when I arrived at the gate. Photo: Quinn Favret

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.

automated boarding, boarding gates
The automated boarding gates made the line move quickly. Photo: Quinn Favret

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.

jet bridge, waiting to board, A220 View
The long, stagnant line on the jet bridge. Photo: Quinn Favret
cockpit view, CS3000 view
Beautiful cockpit view of the A220. Photo: Quinn Favret
boarding, plane door
We finally made it to the plane! Photo: Quinn Favret
plane aisle, boarding
Once on the plane, the line moved much faster. Photo: Quinn Favret

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.

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spacious plane, high roof
There was plenty of room in the cabin. Photo: Quinn Favret
leather seat, skinny seat
The seat was clean, modern, and comfortable. Photo: Quinn Favret
Wing view, ZRH airport
My view was right over the wing. Photo: Quinn Favret

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.

more legroom, knee room
The legroom was tight but not cramped. Photo: Quinn Favret
legroom, knee room
There was more room for my knees as the seat in front of me had two cutouts. Photo: Quinn Favret

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.

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The flight

runway, A220, takeoff
Preparing for takeoff alongside another A220 on a foggy morning. Photo: Quinn Favret

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.

clouds, flying in clouds
We ascending directly into the clouds. Photo: Quinn Favret
clouds, above the clouds, wingtip
We quickly rose above the low-level clouds, making a beautiful background. Photo: Quinn Favret

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.

onboard map, screen display
The screen displayed time and distance remaining. Photo: Quinn Favret
on board screen, map display
The onboard display also featured a map. Photo: Quinn Favret

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.

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Swiss Alps, wing view
The alps could be spotted in the back. Photo: Quinn Favret
Swiss Alps, wingtip
The Alps became more defined as we continued our journey. Photo: Quinn Favret

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.

onboard snack, swiss roll
A dry but decent roll was served following takeoff. Photo: Quinn Favret

Overall

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.

Wingview, Belgium countryside
The Belgium countryside below. Photo: Quinn Favret
taxing, BRU Airport
We taxied past a variety of aircraft on our way to our gate. Photo: Quinn Favret

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

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A220 parked, BRU Gate
The A220 was shining in the sun at our gate in Brussels. Photo: Quinn Favret
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