Swiss

Edelweiss Adds Seasonal Service To San Diego

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San Diego will see increased transatlantic traffic this summer, as Edelweiss (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Swiss), is adding direct flights between Zurich and San Diego. This isn’t earth-shattering news, but for those of us in San Diego where we currently have a whopping three long-haul flights, this is pretty awesome.

The seasonal service will operate twice-weekly on an A340-300, with the following schedule:

• Monday | Zurich – San Diego 1:30pm – 5:05pm LX8018
• Monday | San Diego – Zurich 6:45pm – 3:20pm (+1) LX8019
• Friday | Zurich – San Diego 2:05pm – 5:40pm LX8018
• Friday | San Diego – Zurich 7:10pm – 3:45pm (+1) LX8019

Zurich is a fantastically easy airport to connect in, and the flight timings seem reasonable for catching onward flights to other cities in Europe. And for twice-weekly service, a Friday/Monday schedule is pretty much as good as it gets. Edelweiss has historically been successful at operating less-frequent service to leisure destinations, and hopefully that pattern continues.

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Swiss Will Begin Charging Extra To Assign Select Business Class Seats

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We’ve increasingly seen airlines try to boost ancillary revenue by charging for things that were previously free. Full service airlines like Emirates now charge for seat assignments in economy on select fares, and British Airways even charges for seat assignments in business class.

Now we’re seeing Swiss come up with a creative way to increase ancillary revenue in business class, as they’re making a change to their longhaul business class seat assignment policy. The news can be decent or horrible, depending on how you look at it.

Swiss has a staggered configuration in business class on their A330s, A340s, and 777s.

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Caution: Lots Of Phantom Swiss First Class Award Availability

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Swiss is one of the most restrictive airlines when it comes to making first class award seats available. Only elite members in the Miles & More program can redeem miles for Swiss first class. Unfortunately non-elite Miles & More members, and elite members in other programs, can’t redeem miles for the product.

At least that’s usually the case. Last June there was a glitch where Swiss first class award space was temporarily bookable using partner airline miles, and it’s an opportunity that many of us took advantage of. I decided to fly from Zurich to Los Angeles in November in Swiss first class, and had a great flight (though I’m not sure Swiss is so exceptional as to warrant how protective they are of the product).

As noted by View from the Wing and several OMAAT readers, at the moment there’s a lot of Swiss first class award availability showing through United’s website. I know this probably got some people excited, given what a rate opportunity this is.

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A Creative Way To Redeem Miles For Swiss First Class

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There are first class awards that are tough to book with miles through a partner program, like Qantas first, Qatar first, Etihad first, etc. Then there are awards that are generally impossible to book with miles through a partner program, like Air France first and Swiss first.

Back in the day Swiss was one of the most generous airlines out there when it came to releasing first class award space, and I remember many instances where they made all eight first class seats available as awards. That’s why I had reviewed them a few times several years ago.

Unfortunately that changed in 2013, when Swiss added a restriction to first class redemptions. As of 2013, only elite members in the Miles & More program can redeem miles for Swiss first class. However, back in June of this year there was a brief period where Swiss first class became bookable with partner miles. I’m not sure how or why this happened, though it did, and it allowed me to fly Swiss first class from Zurich to Los Angeles last month.

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Review: Swiss First Class 777 Zurich To Los Angeles

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I had flown Swiss first class several years ago on their A340 and A330, so was curious to see how their newest first class product on the 777 compared. The 777 features slightly updated first & business class seats, though it seems more like an evolved product rather than a new product altogether.

I boarded through door L2, where I was addressed by name and pointed left towards the first class cabin. That first required walking through two rows of business class, which looked quite nice. It’s definitely an improvement over Swiss’ other business class product, as the new seats are much more private.

In front of that were the eight Swiss first class seats, spread across two rows in a 1-2-1 configuration.

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Review: New Swiss First Class Lounge Zurich Airport

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My flight from Zurich to Los Angeles was departing at 1:10PM, though I got to the airport at around 5:30AM, about eight hours before departure. Why on earth would I do that?

— I had heard great things about the new Swiss lounge, so wanted to be sure I could photograph it as much as possible before there were other guests; arriving right when the lounge opens is one of the best ways to do that
— Possibly the greatest amenity in the Swiss first class lounge is that it has private bedrooms you can sleep in, which looked so cool; since I didn’t sleep well at the Hilton, I figured I’d instead sleep in one of those rooms, so I could truly experience what the lounge had to offer

I arrived at Zurich Airport right at around 5:30AM, when it was basically still deserted. Clearing security took only a couple of minutes, and from there I followed the signage towards the E Concourse, which is where most of Swiss’ longhaul flights depart from, and also where their new first class lounge is located.

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Introduction: A Rare First Class Opportunity

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There are first class awards that are tough to book with miles through a partner program, like Qantas first, Qatar first, Etihad first, etc. Then there are awards that are generally impossible to book with miles through a partner program, like Air France first and Swiss first.

Back in the day Swiss was one of the most generous airlines out there when it came to releasing first class award space, and I remember many instances where they made all eight first class seats available as awards. That’s why I had reviewed them a few times in the past, at least going back a few years.

Unfortunately that changed in 2013, when Swiss added a restriction to first class redemptions. As of 2013, only elite members in the Miles & More program can redeem miles for Swiss first class. That’s where the motivation for planning this trip started.

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No Entertainment For 12 Hours In First Class — What Compensation Was I Offered?

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On Monday I flew Swiss first class from Zurich to Los Angeles, on their new 777-300ER aircraft. Yesterday I shared my experience on the flight, which was great for the most part.

The one major wrinkle with the flight was that the entertainment didn’t work at all. I was in seat 2K, and while everyone else’s entertainment was working, my entertainment was broken.

My entertainment controller said “loading,” so I pointed it out to the flight attendant shortly after takeoff and she said she’d reset my system.

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Swiss’ New 777 First Class In 10 Pictures

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Hello from the US (again)! Yesterday I flew Swiss’ new 777 first class from Zurich to Los Angeles, which I was very excited about.

As many of you may know, Swiss is one of the most restrictive airlines when it comes to being able to redeem miles for first class. They only let elite members in their own Miles & More program redeem for Swiss first class. However, back in early June there was a brief period where Swiss first class was bookable with partner miles, so I redeemed 70,000 Aeroplan miles for a one-way ticket from Zurich to Los Angeles.

The restriction on redeeming for Swiss first class is an odd policy, since people can book Lufthansa first class with partner miles up to 15 days before departure, so clearly the Lufthansa “group” is saying that Swiss first class is more exclusive than Lufthansa first class. Well, is there any merit to it?

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Heaven: A Lounge That Has Hotel Rooms With Views Of Planes

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I’ve been fortunate enough to visit some of the world’s best first class lounges, and earlier in the year I even wrote a post ranking them. All of the lounges on the list have their pluses and minuses, some more impressive than others.

Well, today I visited the new Swiss first class lounge in Zurich, and I’m blown away. While the lounge on the whole is spectacular, there’s one feature this lounge has that truly sets it apart. Specifically, the lounge has complimentary hotel rooms with views of the taxiway and runway. There are two of these rooms, and they’re available on a first come first serve basis for the hours the lounge is open.

I’m not sure whether to love or hate this feature, because clearly it wasn’t designed with aviation geeks in mind. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO SLEEP WHEN THERE ARE AIRPLANES TAKING OFF RIGHT OUTSIDE MY WINDOW?

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Swiss Introduces (Expensive) Optional Buy On Board Meals

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Swiss has recently added a buy on board a la carte dining option for passengers traveling in economy on longhaul flights. Passengers on eligible flights now have the option of pre-ordering their choice of six types of premium meals and two types of premium wines.

The a la carte options have to be ordered at least 24 hours in advance, and are available on all longhaul flights, except to Cairo, Shanghai, and Tel Aviv. These meals replace what you’d be served with the first meal service after takeoff. Any service after that would be the same that you’d usually receive in economy.

I’m a big fan of this concept, as Swiss is basically letting passengers improve their experience without taking anything away from passengers who choose not to use this service (at least for now). While Swiss isn’t the first airline to introduce such a concept, I’m surprised more airlines don’t offer something like this.

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Some Of The Cheapest Swiss First Class Fares I’ve Ever Seen

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Swiss has one of the world’s most exclusive first class products, in the sense that only Senator level elite members in the Miles & More program can redeem miles for it. This has been the policy since 2013. Ironically, prior to that they were extremely generous with making first class award space available, even to members of partner frequent flyer programs.

I was extremely lucky to be able to have booked a ticket in Swiss first class between Zurich and Los Angeles in June (I’ll be taking the flight soon), when they temporarily made a bunch of first class award seats available to partner frequent flyer programs. I’m not sure how that happened, exactly.

Anyway, not only is it tough to redeem miles for Swiss first class, but historically paid first class tickets have been pretty expensive as well.

At the moment Swiss has some exceptionally good first class fares between London and North America, all routing via Zurich. The general terms with these fares are as follows:

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OMG: I JUST REDEEMED MILES FOR SWISS’ NEW 777 FIRST CLASS

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Swiss has one of the world’s most exclusive first class products, in the sense that only Senator level elite members in the Miles & More program can redeem miles for it. This has been the policy since 2013. Ironically, prior to that they were extremely generous with making first class award space available.

Perhaps the only more exclusive product is Air France’s first class, as you need to be an elite member and pay the outrageously high standard mileage cost in order to redeem for it.

While I’ve flown Swiss first class years back when they didn’t have those restrictions in place, I haven’t flown them lately. And I’ve really been wanting to fly their gorgeous new 777-300ER, which they just recently began flying.

The first class product looks like a very nice improvement over the old one, and there’s even a door between first & business class. That’s the first time I’ve seen that on any airline.

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