PRG to ZRH Swiss Economy

Airline:  Swiss International Air Lines

Flight #: LX1487

Route:    PRG-ZRH

Class:    Economy

Seat:     18A

Date:     Monday 10th January 2022

After a very busy few days ticking off three new countries, exploring three new cities and travelling on three international trains it was time to break the run of threes and catch the first of two flights that would get me back to Heathrow to end my trip. Despite booking my flights with Lufthansa, I was actually flying with a different member of the Lufthansa Group, Swiss International Air Lines, commonly known simply as Swiss.

Swiss were my airline of choice for the journey home

Having arrived at the airport well before check-in opened, I spent some time watching the comings and goings from Prague’s visitor’s terrace (read about that here) before joining the queue for check-in. There were a few stragglers for the earlier Geneva flight, however most of the queue, including me, were for the flight to Swiss’ main hub at Zurich. Checking in through to Heathrow, I said goodbye to my bag, was presented with a pair of boarding passes and headed off to security ready to begin the journey home.

I was pleasantly surprised at how efficient Prague’s security area was and in less than five minutes I was through to the departure lounge. With our flight going from gate C11, I had a bit of a walk ahead of me to the far end of the pier, however, was pleased with the large windows that allowed me to continue watching the airport’s movements. With only an hour or so until departure, I decided not to head to one of the airport’s lounges and so utilised the vending machines by the gate and settled down for some more spotting.

HB-JBB arriving from Zurich

It wasn’t long before the inbound flight from Zurich arrived, and I was able to get a first look at the aircraft that was going to be taking us to Switzerland’s largest city. HB-JBB, an Airbus A220-100 was delivered to Swiss in August 2016 back when the aircraft were known as Bombadier CS100s, prior to Bombadier partnering with Airbus and handing a 50.1% share in the project to the European firm.

The A220 was a new aircraft type for me and this specific flight was chosen to enable me to try it out, having seen only positive things said about the Canadian member of the Airbus family. With a capacity of between 100 and 160 passengers (depending on variant & specification) and lower operating costs than similar sized aircraft, the aircraft are ideally suited to slightly slimmer routes making Prague an ideal destination for their use. In fact, HB-JBB was the second A220 I’d seen during my time at the airport, as Air Baltic’s YL-ABD had departed to Riga earlier.

The seats on the left-hand side of the aisile

Boarding for our flight began not long after the aircraft’s arrival with us heading onto the aircraft via a jet bridge. Whilst I’d usually much prefer boarding an aircraft via steps, given the chill in the air and my time being blasted by the cold whilst on the viewing terrace earlier in the day, I was glad to not have to face Prague’s winter weather again. Heading back through the few rows of European business class (same seat but with the adjacent one left empty) I found my seat midway down the aircraft and settled in for the journey to Zurich.

The Airbus A220s are fairly unique I in the short-haul market with the cabin being laid out in a 2-3 configuration, meaning on one side of the aircraft there is no dreaded middle seat! The aircraft are also odd in that despite having the smallest seat pitch of the Swiss narrowbody fleet (30-32inches), there was plenty of leg room and it actually felt more spacious than the rest of the Airbus short-haul family.

The A220s have small screens overhead

In addition to comfortable streamlined seats, the A220s also have small displays in the overhead panels that show a map and various flight details during the journey, as well as the pre-flight safety video. There’s the usual air vent and reading light for each seat and each seat has a seatback table (something that’s surprisingly not standard these days). Essentially the interior of the A220s are comfortable, spacious and just generally great, especially for a short flight such as mine.

As with Lufthansa (and I assume other Lufthansa group airlines), Swiss doesn’t provide any complimentary snacks as part of its onboard service with only a small bottle of water being handed out for free. However, there is a wide range of option available for purchase at relatively standard airline prices and so I opted for a Cream Cheese Lye Pretzel and a cup of coffee which in total cost me 11.40CHF, or about £9.50. The pretzel was surprisingly nice (it was my second choice behind the beef brisket bagel) a tasted fresh, whilst the coffee was pretty good for 36,000feet.

My lunch onboard

With a flight time of less than an hour, we spent just 5 minutes at our cruising altitude, before beginning our decent as we passed to the north of Nuremburg. Our flight path had taken us directly west from Prague to the Czech border, where a left turn had us heading roughly south-west across Germany. With Zurich being quite close to the German border, we were down at 4000ft and turning onto our final approach before we entered Swiss airspace.

The other advantage of the Airbus A220 over other short-haul aircraft is its surprisingly big windows which allow much better views without having to duck and twist to see out. Due to this I was able to enjoy amazing views of the Swiss countryside as we approached Zurich, including some snow-topped hills, before we landed just before 4pm local time.

Some of the Swiss countryside on approach to Zurich

I thoroughly enjoyed my flight on the Swiss Airbus A220, finding it extremely comfortable especially for such a short journey, and it seems ideally suited to some of the shorter routes from hubs such as Zurich. It’s a shame that more airlines haven’t purchased A220s, however I know that going forward I’ll be looking to see if there’s a flight option onboard one.

Lounge              0*

Seat/Facilities     3*

Food               3*

Service             5*

Punctuality         5*

Overall Rating      16/25 (read about my rating system here!)

One thought on “PRG to ZRH Swiss Economy

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