Swiss International Air Lines A340 – Business Class



Swiss International Air Lines services 74 destinations – 50 in Europe and 24 beyond – in 38 countries. The airline flies directly to Cairo, Egypt three times a week; to  Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, six times a week; and daily to Johannesburg, South Africa.


I arrived at O.R. Tambo International Terminal A at 17h00 for my 19h30 flight, and passed quickly through check-in and passport control.


I was given an invitation to the Shongololo Lounge near gates A7-A18. It is a classy lounge, with seating for 120 and a decent selection of tasty food and beverages on offer. There’s also free Wi-Fi and shower facilities.


The flight was called in the lounge and I boarded without incident. Once the Business Class passengers were seated, the flight attendants brought around champagne, orange juice and water.

The Seat

Swiss’s Business Class cabin has a rather unusual configuration: odd numbered rows have five seats (2-2-1) and even numbered rows have only four (1-2-1). This is due to the seats, which are designed in such a way that the beds slide into the console of the seat in front. Seat A on the even numbered rows has two consoles, giving passengers a lot of personal space. The seat itself is made up of air cushions, which can be inflated or deflated according to personal preference. There is a lounge mode, a fully-flat bed mode, and a massage facility for the lumbar region.

Which Seat To Choose?

Rows 5 and 6 are on either side of the galley and bathrooms, so these wouldn’t be my first choice. Row 8 doesn’t have any windows, so if this is important, avoid this row. On the odd numbered rows, seats A and B share a single console and seat A doesn’t have direct aisle access, so I’d recommend these seats for couples. Solo passengers would be better off in row E, which are all single seats, or in the centre D and G seats, both of which have their own consol and direct aisle access. I was in 12D and was perfectly happy with the position.

The Flight

Take off was slightly delayed, but not by much. Dinner was served about an hour after take off. I opted for the herb-marinated chicken main course with roasted tomato and basil sauce, rice, green beans and roasted fennel. The chicken was tender, juicy and very tasty. Other main course choices were grilled beef tenderloin, braised kingklip and creamy bramata, a traditional Swiss polenta dish. Although the attendants were efficient, dinner did take a while to complete, which is why Swiss offer a ‘dine and recline’ option – one tray of food with a starter, cheese and dessert, served before the rest of the passengers. A good idea if you need to work or catch some shut eye. The on-demand in-flight entertainment was extensive, with an array of movies, TV shows, music and even a couple of games. The lie-flat bed was easy to set up with a button on the consol. Since we were landing in Zurich a little after 06h00, breakfast was served at about 04h30, with an assortment of breads, cheeses, cold meats, muesli and fruit salad offered first, with beverages. It was followed by a spinach and mushroom omelette – very tasty. For passengers who wished to sleep a little later, a cold breakfast was served up to 40 minutes prior to landing.


 We landed on time and Business Class passengers exited first. There were a few flights which landed at the same time, but even so, getting through immigration was fairly quick. Once through passport control, a train took me to the main airport building where I collected my luggage.


The seat was comfortable, the staff pleasant and helpful, the food really tasty – what else do you need? I look forward to flying with Swiss in the future.

Kate Kennedy