On our recent annual visit to Montreux, we decided to take a detour to Prague for a few days before actually heading to Montreux. So we booked two business class tickets on SWISS from Geneva to Prague for the hour or so flight to the Czech Republic. We arrived from the U.S. on TAP Portugal a day before our flights to PRG so were able to spend a full day enjoying Geneva.
Seats 2D and 2F
Geneva is always an easy airport to navigate through and when we arrived there was no line at the dedicated SWISS Business check-in area. Check-in was a breeze, bags tagged, and we had a boarding passes in just a few minutes. Security at GVA is also extremely painless and access to a dedicated priority channel is accessed by a simple scan of your boarding pass. The security personnel are always pleasant and we were quickly through and on our way to the SWISS Business Lounge.
Having visited the lounge many times over the years it remains consistent with a decent selection of snacks and beverages. What I did notice this visit was that when you check-in at the reception desk and your boarding pass is scanned, you now receive a printout with a unique code to access the Wi-Fi connection. After a quick coffee it was time to make our way to the gate.
By the time we arrived boarding had already begun and it was a bit of a free for all since the aircraft was parked at a remote stand requiring a bus ride to board. Once we made it to the aircraft we were warmly welcomed on-board by the Maître de Cabine who immediately came over once we were settled with two bottles of water and refreshing towels. Boarding took a bit longer than usual as we had to wait for subsequent busses to arrive with the final passengers but we were soon on our way for the short 1 hour and 10 minute hop to Prague. Business seating is typical for intra-European flights and essentially regular seats with a few inches more legroom and the center seat blocked out. There was just three rows of business class on this flight.
Once airborne the cabin crew immediately jumped into action and despite the relatively short flight time performed a full service complete with a light meal for business class passengers. The gluten-free meal consisted of sliced turkey, dried and fresh fruits, and two slices of gluten-free bread. While the bread is most-welcome I do wish that SWISS had a way to refresh it since every time I have had it in the past it is still refrigerated which makes for an extremely dry experience that pretty much crumbles and fall apart. Don’t get me wrong, it is miles better than the dreaded rice cake and kudos for SWISS for even offering it in the first place. The service was truly stellar on this flight and the cabin crew could not do enough to ensure their guests were well-taken care of.
Arrival into Prague was painless and the bags were delivered relatively quickly with priority bags making their way out first. One of the secondary handles on one of our luggage had broken-off (likely because the handler had no idea just how heavy the bag was – we do not travel light). These things happen and we did not want to waste time reporting it.
Seats 2D and 2F
The ride from central Prague to the airport was extremely fast – so much so that we arrived at the airport before check-in opened for our flight. I hadn’t been at PRG since I was in college and the changes made it unrecognizable – in a good way. Despite many flights departing for holiday destinations the airport had a very calm feel to it. Even as we waited for check-in to open it was in a bright and airy area with ample seating. Check-in for our flight actually ended up opening earlier that was posted so we were able to check our bags quickly and make our way through security. There was a dedicated Business line with an agent manning access. Check-in was extremely quick and there is a dedicated business channel at security.
SWISS uses the ERSTE Premier Lounge at Prague. It is actually a nice lounge with ample seating located on the second floor of the terminal. There was a range of food options – even in the morning when we departed – including a mix of sweet and savory items (even fried pork cutlets). The lounge was extremely clean and cleaners were constantly circulating to keep things tidy.
We eventually made our way to the gate and the inbound flight was still deplaning. The turnaround was quick and within 15 minutes we were ready for boarding. There was a separate lane set-up for business/Star Alliance Gold and we were welcomed to board first. We had the same seats as the flight to PRG and settled in. We ended up having the same flight attendant serving business class as the flight that brought us to PRG and he not only remembered us but remembered our drink preferences. Service was once again outstanding and another full meal service was offered.
The gluten-free meal was sliced turkey with a shredded carrot salad and gluten-free bread. I opted to pair it with red wine and not only was there a choice but it was served from the bottle – remember this was a flight that was just over an hour. Coffee and the obligatory SWISS chocolate rounded out the meal. Again, the flight attendant could not do enough throughout the flight and we were most definitely well looked after.
All in all, SWISS intra-European really delivered an exception experience on extremely short flights. Having flown SWISS intercontinental before it was nice to see that the high standards of service are in fact consistent across their long- and short-haul flights. You can view their complete list of special meals available in all classes for long-haul and in SWISS Business for European flights.