Swiss Revamping Business Class Service

I was just made aware of a pretty cool internal video Swiss made discussing how they’re revamping their business class service. It’s quite long at ~25 minutes, but well worth watching if you’re into this kind of stuff:

The video consists of three parts:

Interviewing frequent travelers

For the first six minutes they interview a Miles & More HON Circle member and a Miles & More Frequent Traveller member who also works in the hotel industry to get their thoughts on what’s important in business class service.

My goodness, if you think I point out the “little things,” wait till you hear what they have to say. Don’t get me wrong, they’re spot on in just about everything they say.

Interviewing inflight product team

From minutes six to eleven they interview the inflight product team to outline the changes and why they’re needed.

It’s quite possibly the most awkward thing I’ve ever seen. I can’t tell if they’re reading off a teleprompter or just really bad at delivering a memorized message. That poor lady looks terrified!

But what they have to say is actually quite interesting. They admit they’ve been complacent over the years, while their counterparts in Asia and the Middle East, and even in Europe and North America, have been massively overhauling their products.

They also explain that their survey results have deteriorated, and this is largely because of their new new fully flat business class product. As passengers are able to sleep longer and better on flights, their priorities change. The main service issues revolve around inconsistencies, the crew spending too much time in the cabin, and the service taking too long. Very interesting.

Swiss-Business-Class-A330-03
Swiss new business class A330

Demonstration of the new onboard service

Minutes eleven and onwards demonstrate the new business class service. It’s sort of cheesy, though the attention to detail and subtle changes they’re making are quite impressive.

Swiss-Business-Class-A330-44
Swiss business class appetizer and salad

If only they put as much effort into the transition music used in the video as they did into the onboard service concept. ­čśë

Bottom line

I flew Swiss business class from Zurich to Beijing a few weeks ago, and was impressed by the service. The food was good and cabin crew were excellent, and it seemed like most of the above service policies were already being implemented on my flight.

What do you think of Swiss’ new service concept, and if you’ve flown them recently, how was your experience?

 

Comments

  1. I flew them recently from NA to ZRH and ZRH to Asia.

    In terms of food, I thought the ex-NA service was pretty disappointing, as it was a single tray service. ex-ZRH was quite a bit better. The cheeses were outstanding!

    The crews on Swiss are great – good-looking girls, friendly and sociable. They have a lot of young blood that are well-motivated and enthusiastic about their jobs it seems.

    My biggest complaint would have been about the seat itself. A little too hard for my liking, but that said I still slept like a baby on them. The thrones (except 6A) blow because of the coffin-like feeling when your legs are boxed in.

  2. I flew them back in February and I really enjoyed the single seat in Business class. I flew ZRH-NBO and DAR-ZRH, I had no real complaints, the service was nice, food was good and flight was enjoyable. I am surprised that they say people are complaining. But then maybe the complainers are not flying US based airlines…….

  3. I flew Swiss biz JFK-ZRH. The salmon was exquisite… but that was the end of it. Very “mature” and mechanical, indifferent crew. The seat itself was OK for lounging but not great for sleeping. Small TV screen too. Austrian was much better in all aspects.

  4. I flew ZRH-HKG on Swiss’s A340 Business Class. I thought the food and service was among the best in the industry. I think what they really need to work on is the hard product. The A340 business seats were kind of worn out. My seat didn’t work and had to be fixed by the attendant. The screen was very small and the OS was slow with the selection of movies just OK.

    They got the hard part right; service and food. They just need to fix the easy part; revamp the hard product or get new planes with new interior design all together. Would love to see them introduce a hard product similar to CX or AA 777-300ER’s.

  5. Lucky, their Schwyzerd├╝tsch is absolutely crazy, I can hardly understand it! Do you find you’re able to speak german with the crew when you fly SWISS?

  6. I watched the entire thing, and I kept wondering “what does ‘stubli’ mean?”

    I looked it up on translation services and couldn’t find the answer.

  7. We are sorry to inform you, that we had to remove this video from our youtube channel, since it is only meant for SWISS internal use and training purposes. Thank you for your understanding.

  8. My experiences have been…

    Crew: sometimes friendly and engaging, sometimes mechanically following the prescribed service procedure and nothing more.

    Food: generally good, sometimes outstanding (gruyere Mac & Cheese was incredible)

    Seats: conceptually great, but I find them too hard and puritanical– I sleep poorly in these seats. The IFE was already outdated when the product was introduced.

    Seat comfort to me is the highest priority for me, and I avoid Swiss for red eye flights because even with pharmaceutical assistance I can’t sleep in these seats.

  9. I flew Swiss last month and thought the experience was very good….probably on par with Austrian, although the hard product on Austrian is better (seats a bit better, inflight entertainment system better….though Swiss had more/better movie/TV choices). The crew on my flight (ZRH-ORD) was very friendly….actually better than the crew I had on my Austrian flight on the way to Europe. The food was also very good.

  10. @ Desphina: The St├╝bli is the mini-cabin of two rows that’s found right behind First Class on the A330 and A340. Without doubt the best seats in the house as the service and atmosphere is more intimate and calm.

  11. @ Carlos — Looks beautiful, though doesn’t seem to be a huge change from the old product.

  12. Maybe the business class, but from your 2012 review the first is very different with door to fully close the suite. If you ranked them 5th on the old product, the new will beat Singapore? ­čÖé

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