After my pretty fabulous experience in the Senator lounge, I headed back to the First Class lounge, sobered up a bit with an espresso, and before long it was boarding time.
Swiss have three types of long-haul aircraft in their fleet, the A330-300, the A340-300 and the 777-300ER.
Last year, I flew on the 777-300ER over to San Francisco, which has their newest first class seat. The entire cabin was stunningly designed with every little detail thought through.
The A340-300 unfortunately has their oldest product, with the aircraft being slowly retired from service. However Swiss are intending to keep five of them in the fleet for the longer term and thus in 2019 they will be getting an entirely new cabin.
I wandered on board, found 1K and was greeted by the cabin crew offering me a drink. I opted for a glass of champagne (Laurent Perrier Grande Siècle) and made myself comfortable. Some macadamia nuts quickly made an appearance as well.
The cabin itself was only half full with the outside four seats taken. You could tell it was an older product, with its quite open layout and older in-flight entertainment system. That said, it was in immaculate condition.
The staff handed out menus for the dinner service. I was travelling at exactly the same time of year as my trip last year, and they were offering the same Swiss Steakhouse special menu.
The crew pulled out the huge table took my food order, and brought out an aperitif of a gin and tonic, with a small amuse bouche.
They then proceeded to lay the table and bring out the starter trolley with their famous Balik Salmon.
They pretty much insisted that I try everything. They also had a rather lovely white wine from Ticino in Switzerland to go with the starter, a dry white Merlot.
Then the soup course arrived, a green pea soup. Yummy.
With that cleared away, I must confess to feeling quite full, however that’s when the sirloin arrived.
My previous best steak on an aircraft was flying Etihad in business class, also from Zurich, over to Abu Dhabi. This was better. It also came with a baked potato and also a small jar of fleur de sel. Talk about attention to detail.
They weren’t done yet. The cheese trolley arrived.
If I was being incredibly picky, perhaps would have quite liked a blue cheese of some variety, but it was all still delicious.
With that, I decided that a nap was probably in order. Except I pretty much passed out until 40 minutes to landing.
Swiss first class is truly exceptional. The lounge. On board service. Food. Drinks. The only negatives were the open cabin and that there wasn’t any wi-fi on the aircraft, but those will come with the refit.
All-in-all, one of the best trips I’ve had.