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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
The inflight menu choices with a breakfast and cheese selection are detailed below.
There was a comprehensive beverage menu too.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Meal service began with the drinks and warm nuts. My choice of wine was delivered with a glass of water.
Next, butter and olive oil was presented with salt and pepper grinders while cutleries were neatly arranged on the table.
Instead of asking passengers what bread they want, a bread basket was placed on the table.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mushrooms and tomatoes from the tray offered with the main course, of which I had picked the tenderloin.
At least the tenderloin was worth waiting for since it was cooked perfectly and really tender.
From the main course I went back to the dessert and asked for the chocolate cake which was featured in the welcome advertisement.
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.
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.
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.
Plenty of good mornings from the crew when I woke up. I was also offered orange juice or smoothies along with a hot towel.
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.
I picked some yogurt and fruits, leaving the muesli and cereal since I was not that hungry. Toast or croissant was provided as well.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Inside the closet there are more storage space and a vanity mirror so passengers can ensure they look good while getting off the plane.
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.
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.
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.
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.