Swiss First Class on the 777-300ER from Zurich to Singapore

LX176 Zurich Kloten ZRH – Singapore Changi SIN
STD-STA: 2245-1655 (+1)
Actual: 2331-1706 (+1)
Boeing 777-300ER HB-JNA
Gate E35 Seat 2K

Boarding started around 10:10pm for what would be the last flight of the day, and as I proceeded to the gate from the lounge, boarding was starting. With my First Class boarding pass on hand, I was able to head to the front of the queue and allowed to board.

Boarding the 777
Boarding Swiss Air Boeing 777-300ER

Onboard, I was welcomed by the lead stewardess and upon being seated I was offered beverages. I asked for champagne and it was served with a glass of water which was a nice touch.

Seat 2K
Seat 2K
Champagne welcome
Champagne welcome

Swiss has 2 rows of First Class seats arranged in a mini-suite with a 1-2-1 configuration with the middle 2 seats having a partition that can be drawn up if required. The middle seats are unable to be converted to a double bed, though, unlike Singapore Airlines. And based on this flight, all the passengers were solo travellers, meaning the window seats was all occupied.

Aisle in the First Class cabin
First Class cabin
Center seats
Center seats

On the seat was a square pillow that acts as a nice lumbar support while seated. Across on the seat by the ottoman was a pair of slippers and headphones. Along the ledge on the right, there was a basic amenity kit with the ‘Swiss First’ logo emblazoned by the pouch. In addition, there was an onboard wifi voucher supplied beneath the amenity kit.

First Class Seat 2K
First Class seat 2K
Headphones and slippers
Headphones and slippers

A short while later, the purser asked me for the size of pyjamas and I asked for medium size. This was presented nicely in a drawstring bag.

Zimmerli pyjamas
Zimmerli pyjamas

Next up was an amuse bouche of beef carpaccio with asparagus and bread sticks. This was served in the cabin while boarding was ongoing. Swiss also has a nice cabin in First Class where passengers get all 3 windows and having a one-button to operate the blinds to close all 3 windows.

Windows to the world
Windows to the world

While boarding was ongoing, I took the time to change to my lounge wear and found the front lavatory to be slightly larger than usual. The extra space and the hangers by the doors make it easier to change.

First Class lavatory in the 777-300ER
First Class lavatory in the 777-300ER
Space in the lavatory
Space in the lavatory

Inside the lavatory, there was a shelf where amenities were placed. For First Class passengers, it was stocked with a hand cream and hydrating lotion supplied by La Prairie, which is a premium Swiss cosmetic brand. There was a face mist spray as well as an air freshener.

Lavatory mirror
Lavatory mirror
La Prairie amenities
La Prairie amenities
Soeder face spray
Soeder face spray

Back in the cabin, a second welcome onboard was made by the Captain himself greeting the First Class passengers. Boarding was completed by 22:43 and hot towel was distributed after that for First Class passengers to freshen up. Two empty seats would remain on the first class cabin, but all passengers were solo travellers.

Row 2 of the cabin
Row 2 of the cabin

In the suite, the retractable mini-doors also doubles as a closet where there was a hanger with the suite number on it. There are some storage cabinets for small items like glasses and mobile phones which comes in handy. When retracted, there was lights that came on as well allowing passengers to find their items easily.

Retractable closet
Retractable closet

Menu for the flight was then passed around and the lead stewardess mentioned a fourth choice of Risotto with veal sausage and saffron. The special menu for this flight features selection from the canton of Ticino

Menu for the flight
Menu for the flight

The inflight menu choices with a breakfast and cheese selection are detailed below.

Taste of Switzerland menu
Taste of Switzerland menu
Inflight menu
Inflight menu
Cheese menu
Cheese menu

There was a comprehensive beverage menu too.

Champagne and Aperitifs
Champagne and Aperitifs
White wine menu
White wine list
Red wine list
Red wine list
Tea and coffee menu
Tea and coffee menu

Meal orders were taken while on the ground starting from the A section as there was a problem due to a wrong loading of containers which left us delayed. During this time I toyed around with the various seat functions like the small light beside the seat and the reading lights located on the left of the seat with the controls to retract the suite doors. Reading light switches are found beside the armrest while controls for individual lighting such as the one beside the seat was located beneath the light itself.

Light beside the seat
Light beside the seat
Door controls and reading lights
Door controls and reading lights

Proper rectification was then made and the Captain informed us at 23:15 the flight is ready for pullback. Cabin crew announced a flight time of 11 hour and 40 minutes. Safety video then shown on the large HD monitor. Like all things Swiss, this was prim and proper, without any of the fun safety videos in other airlines.

Greetings from Swiss
Greetings from Swiss

As the lights are switched off in the cabin for take off, the ambient lights in the suite was turned on and they give a nice glow to the surroundings.

Ambient light on the armrest
Ambient light on the armrest

Easy take-off in the night later, the cabin crew announced that meal service commence once we reached cruising altitude. After that a super long Swiss advertisement that I could not skip played on the screen detailing all the new services onboard starting from First Class. If there was one nice thing about it, it was that the photos of the meal service was displayed on the screen so passengers could change their choices if they wanted to. Though I wonder if the same video is shown to all passengers in all classes since the photos included meals from all the classes of travel.

Swiss First Dessert
Swiss First Dessert

Once we were airborne, the purser came over to all the First Class passengers to initiate a conversation and welcome each one of us onboard.

Swiss landscape on the screen
Swiss landscape on the screen

Started watching Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy once the entertainment system was available again and this was accompanied with a bit of a turbulence on the flight.

Large inflight screen
Large inflight screen

These new planes includes a modern entertainment system with a touch-screen LCD remote that displays useful flight data like remaining flight time and it also acts like a second screen to display the moving map when watching a movie.

Touch-screen remote
Touch-screen remote

Entertainment choices were adequate for the large HD screen which makes watching the latest blockbusters a joy and there are even Asian and European movies that one might not usually get in their local cinemas.

Movie selections
Movie selections

Since we were up in the air, it was also time to relax and while there are one touch seat control buttons to move the seat to an upright, full flat or fixed lounge position, there are micro adjustments that could be made to the lumbar support, and moving the seat forward or backward to one’s liking under the armrest on the right. USB and power connections are also located inside the armrest storage unit.

Seat controls by the armrest
Seat controls by the armrest

Meal service began with the drinks and warm nuts. My choice of wine was delivered with a glass of water.

Nuts before the meal
Nuts before the meal

Next, butter and olive oil was presented with salt and pepper grinders while cutleries were neatly arranged on the table.

Table setup for meal service
Table setup for meal service

Instead of asking passengers what bread they want, a bread basket was placed on the table.

Bread basket
Bread basket

Deviating from the usual caviar service in First Class, Swiss serves a starter of Balik salmon, which is one of the finer salmon fillets available and conveniently sourced from Switzerland. This was served with sour cream and blinis, just like caviar. As far as the taste was concerned, I did not feel it was much different from the average salmon.

Balik salmon with blinis and sour cream
Balik salmon with blinis and sour cream

Next up on the meal service was an appetizer consisting of marinated king prawns with a tangy mayonaisse and a refreshing cucumber tapas with some sours. A few slices of crispy toast was served in the middle.

Marinated king prawns with curry mayonnaise
Marinated king prawns with curry mayonnaise and pickled baby cucumber with yoghurts, herbs and fried red onions

This was followed by the salad platter that was generous in portion. Both appetizer and salad was pretty tasty and filled me up quite adequately.

Summer salad with cauliflower and smoked mackerel
Summer salad with cauliflower and smoked mackerel

It was the followed with the cream of green pea soup with a dash of pepper and I always enjoy a bowl of warm soup on the airplane so I definitely finished this one as well.

Cream of green pea soup with Valle Maggia pepper
Cream of green pea soup with Valle Maggia pepper

After the soup course there was a lull in service and they conveniently forgot the main course. I knew this when I was served the cheese platter and I asked the server about the main course. When she realized she had forgotten about it, she apologized profusely and quickly rectified the mistake.

Cheese course
Cheese course

Mushrooms and tomatoes from the tray offered with the main course, of which I had picked the tenderloin.

Beef tenderloin with red wine and thyme jus
Beef tenderloin with red wine and thyme jus

At least the tenderloin was worth waiting for since it was cooked perfectly and really tender.

Perfect medium tenderloin
Perfect medium tenderloin

From the main course I went back to the dessert and asked for the chocolate cake which was featured in the welcome advertisement.

Chocolate cake from Ticino
Chocolate cake with raspberry sorbet and coulis and caramelised pistachios

After dessert, coffee or tea was offered. It was 2am Swiss time by then. Sprungli truffles were offered with the decaffeinated Nespresso. Though I was so tired by then that even normal espresso shouldn’t keep me from sleeping soundly.

Nespresso and pralines
Nespresso and pralines

Freshened up at the washroom after the completion of meal service and the bed was made when I returned to the seat. It was 2:30am by the time I was ready to sleep and definitely a really long meal service onboard.

Seat after turndown service
Seat after turndown service

Back at the seat, there was also a bottle of water left for First Class passengers to keep yourself hydrated throughout the flight. With that I had a solid 6 hour sleep with the cabin temperature just nice for sleeping. It was neither too hot nor too cold and I felt snug inside the comforter.

Bottled water
Bottled water

Plenty of good mornings from the crew when I woke up. I was also offered orange juice or smoothies along with a hot towel.

Wet towels and smoothie
Hot towel and smoothie

As I head to the lavatory to change and freshen up, the bed was cleared to be a seat and the table laid out for breakfast. The crew member presented the starters on a tray and I was able to choose from them.

Breakfast starter selection
Breakfast starter selection

I picked some yogurt and fruits, leaving the muesli and cereal since I was not that hungry. Toast or croissant was provided as well.

Fruit plate, yogurt and croissant
Fruit plate, yogurt and croissant

For the main course I was asked if I wanted eggs or pancakes with cream cheese and berries and I went for the latter. Coffee, tea or cappuccino was also offered and I had a great cup of cappuccino. Breakfast main course looks amazing and the taste was just right with the portion adequate since I was not too hungry.

Pancakes with cookie crumble
Pancakes with cookie crumble
Cappuccino and orange juice
Cappuccino and orange juice

After finishing the breakfast it was time to just relax and enjoy the remainder of the flight including completing my movie. I asked for a plastic bag to store my pyjamas as the paper bag I had was rumpled and torn. The box of pralines was brought out again and I got a couple more chocolates to enjoy.

Pralines and condiments
Pralines and condiments

Nearing the end of the flight, it was time to return the tray table to the storage on the side. Then it was also time to collect my belongings since there are plenty of storage in the suite.

Tray table storage
Tray table storage

The armrest on the left had a storage compartment underneath that can be pulled out at a touch of a button and this is in addition to the storage space on the right side where the power outlets are.

Storage under the armrest
Storage under the armrest

Inside the closet there are more storage space and a vanity mirror so passengers can ensure they look good while getting off the plane.

Vanity mirror in the closet
Vanity mirror in the closet
Curtains down by the window
Curtains down position

During the final descent the purser came to hand me a box of chocolates as compliments. I seem to be the only one to receive them and I wonder if it was due to the tardiness of the meal service.

Lindt chocolates from the crew
Lindt chocolates from the crew
Goodbye from Swiss
Goodbye from Swiss

A smooth landing in Singapore under normal weather conditions meant the flight came to an end safely. In the end, the seat and cabin was what I expected from Swiss. While I really liked the Swiss First Class lounge and consider it to be even nicer than all other First Class lounges I have been to, the lack of personalized services like a chauffeur drive to the plane and an escort did not seem to complete the whole package. The same can be said to the First Class experience.

Disembarking from the flight
Disembarking from the flight

While the experience satisfied what they laid out in the screen after take-off, some details did not make it special enough. The mini-suite itself is a nice space with the right features but it lacks features like a double bed for the middle seats, or a bed that is as wide as some First Class cabins due to the side storage compartment and closet that takes up space. What I liked was the large screen to enjoy your inflight movies. The meal was also excellent on all fronts even if the caviar was non-existent. I still find caviar to be a nice course when flying in First Class as it is a bit more special than Balik salmon.

Swiss First Experience
Swiss First Experience

Amenities wise, the contents of the amenity kit was excellent and on top of the La Prairie lotions, there was a pack of Ricola candies along with a nice wooden comb, eyeshades, socks and pack of tissue. These are all useful amenities to have and a step above the Lufthansa First Class amenity kit even if the bag itself is not as nice compared to the Rimowa branded ones. In the end the difficulty of redeeming miles for Swiss First Class meant it is not that appealing considering I do like the First Class experience better on Lufthansa’s Airbus A380 for its spacious bathrooms and the First Class Terminal.

Swiss First Amenity Kit
Swiss First amenity kit

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