Swiss presented its latest B777-300ER (77W) equipped with the new Premium Economy class in February 2022 at Zurich airport, adding to the existing Economy, Business and First classes.
Foreword and Booking
The Premium Economy aircraft was introduced in March 2022 on the Zurich-Miami route and has since been extended to all routes served by Boeing 777-300ER long-haul aircraft.
Jean-Maximilien and I regularly travel together or separately. This time, it was my turn to travel solo. I tried out this new class on a long weekend trip to Los Angeles, thanks to an upgrade I paid for via the bidding option. I was very happy because it’s a 11 hours and 15 minutes flight.
I made a last-minute booking. But once on board, there were still a few seats available.
As I was leaving for a few days, I only traveled with a carry-on suitcase. This allowed me to avoid an additional baggage allowance of 88 CAD for a first bag in an economy seat (basic fare).
The ticket cost was 600 CAD + 485.60 CAD in taxes and carrier fees. I was able to apply the $100 annual travel credit from my American Express® Gold Rewards Card Card by booking through the American Express Travel website.
Be sure to check out our guide to Los Angeles if that’s your destination too!
The new Premium Economy
So what does this new class offer?
More space, more comfort, more privacy. More of everything. It’s an excellent intermediate between Economy and Business. Each Boeing 777-300ER offers 24 Premium Economy seats, located between these two classes and in a 2-4-2 layout. For comparison, the economy is arranged in a 3-4-3. The capacity in the economy decreases by 40 seats allowing the cabin to have a calmer atmosphere.
Economy and Premium Economy are separated by a nice amount of space, giving people in the first row in Economy plenty of room to spread their legs and sleep.
Passengers are offered a Skysupply travel toiletry kit made of kraft paper and paper pulp to reduce plastic use.
We place great importance on sustainability throughout the travel chain. While we value our premium positioning for passengers, we are equally committed to our responsibility towards the climate and societyTamur Goudarzi, directeur commercial de Swiss
Namely, passengers who book this new Premium Economy, can benefit from :
- two pieces of luggage of 23 kg each,
- preferential access to the Swiss Business lounges at Zurich and Geneva airports and to the Swiss arrival lounge at Zurich airport.
My Premium Economy Trip
First, I started my day with a 1h30 flight from Nice to Zurich, where I could enjoy splendid aerial views of the French Riviera, Monaco, and the Alps with a last beautiful panorama of Zurich.
Once our plane landed in Zurich, a bus took us to terminal A. My connection being in terminal E, I went through security again and took the skymetro with its famous cows in the background.
Before going to the E22 gate, we have to go through a passport pre-check. A hostess will stamp our ticket.
I found the boarding very well organized. On one side are passengers for First and Business and on the other, for Premium Economy and Economy. Everything was done quietly and quickly on time.
The business class was whole. Here is what it looks like for comparison:
So I had the 22B seat on the aisle side in Premium Economy. The design remains relatively straight and square in light shades of beige and darker black touches.
They are seats in hard-shell design (to avoid knee blows!) and partitioned for more intimacy. This way, the passengers behind you cannot see your screen.
The space has been filled with the premium economy in front to accommodate a storage space for headphones and their connection; on the back, two small hooks to hang his jacket, a place with a water bottle and several USB sockets on the bottom.
The aisle seat has a steel foot at our feet. The space was narrower to put my bag in a flat position while the passenger on my left had no trouble putting his. The advantage, I was not blocked from moving on the plane. This is still a much better space if I compare it to the Economy.
Also, there is a slight gap between the center seats in a 4-way arrangement. The armrests were complete, and I didn’t feel like I was in the way or bothered by my neighbour, as we each had our own!
The seatbelt is of the type used in cars, which goes from the shoulder to the hip on the opposite side. The upper part was too high at the waist. Fortunately, you could detach the part that goes up to the shoulder during the flight.
Each seat has a small lamp on one side of the head, storage on the sides, a large 15.6″ screen with a quality image. Finally, I had a large shelf that folded out in half. It will allow me to work comfortably. I didn’t feel like I was running out of space the entire flight.
The seats are 46 to 48 cm wider, that is to say, 2.6 to 4.6 cm wider than the economy with a legroom of 99 cm (+ 11cm). We find in our place the small toiletry kit SkySupply, including a toothbrush, toothpaste and an eye mask, a blanket (by the way, I would have liked it to be thicker and softer) and a headset with noise reducer.
For the back, we find a small and flat cushion.
The overhead storage was large enough to accommodate my Away suitcase we reviewed a few years ago. I had to put it behind me as on either side, the overhead boxes were occupied by flight attendant equipment.
A hostess welcomes us with a glass of Prosecco. She will then bring us the menu with three choices of hot dishes. It’s almost like being in business!
The meal was quickly served, barely 30 minutes after our flight. No tablecloth, as in business, but a meal tray with white porcelain dishes: out of the plastic, again very nice. I chose the mushroom gnocchi. A small drawback, my dish was served lukewarm, a pity; it was very good otherwise.
A second service was done 3h30 before our arrival, including a hot dish (rice and vegetables with carry) and a dessert.
I tried to extend my seat several times and finally got there at the end of my flight. I found it difficult, you have to push everything down on the side of the armrest. However, it is a lowering that brings significant comfort. The angle of inclination is 31 degrees.
FYI, I had the same problem on my flight back in economy. I find it hard to imagine how people with no arm strength or children can tilt it alone.
During the flight, the flight attendants gave us water, a jar of caramel ice cream or the classic Swiss chocolate one hour before our arrival. These details enhanced the experience.
Finally for an aspect of comparison, here are some photos of the economy class back:
Wi-Fi on board
I worked the entire flight without a sleep break. The USB-A plug really helped me out. I was also comfortable, thanks to the leg rest which was a real plus for me. I was able to enjoy free Wi-Fi internet connection on board thanks to my included and unlimited Boingo service subscription obtained through my HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®.
It’s a card that goes everywhere with me as it doesn’t charge conversion fees for foreign currency purchases.
My experience in Premium Economy was conclusive. Despite some small negative points, I really enjoyed my flight and did not see the time pass: the service, the meal, the comfort, everything was there. I recommend this perfect compromise if you can’t afford business class.