Tokyo for the New Year: Swiss Business Class Tokyo Narita to Zurich (NRT to ZRH)

Austrian Airlines Business Class Chicago to Vienna
Austrian Airlines Business Class Schengen Lounge Vienna
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Turkish Airlines Regional Business Class Prague to Istanbul
Turkish Airlines Lounge Istanbul
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Park Hyatt Tokyo
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Ushigoro
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Swiss Business Class Tokyo Narita to Zurich
Park Hyatt Zurich
Oneworld Lounge Zurich Airport
Swiss Business Lounge Zurich Airport
Austrian Airlines Regional Business Class Zurich to Vienna
Austrian Airlines Business Class Vienna to Chicago


LX 161
Tokyo Narita (NRT) to Zurich (ZRH)
Wednesday, January 1st
Depart : 11:15am
Arrive: 3:50pm
Duration: 12h 35m
Airbus 340
Seat: 11K

At the Narita airport, I used the ANA business class lounge, which I’ve already reviewed. This time, I used the lounge in satellite no 5 and not the main ANA lounge, and I preferred the satellite lounge because it was significantly less crowded than the main ANA lounge. If you have some extra time, I would consider making the walk to the satellite lounge for a more peaceful lounge experience.

The plane taking me to Zurich

The plane taking me to Zurich

Upon boarding the my flight, I was greeted by flight attendants wishing everyone a happy new year. For the most part, I enjoyed the service the most on this flight of my four long-haul Star Alliance business class flights, but this was largely because one of the flight attendants serving my aisle was very friendly and attentive.

Business class cabin

Business class cabin

My seat, 11K

My seat, 11K

I got a window seat on this flight, and this time, there was actually a window! Overall, the hard product is almost identical to the hard product on Austrian Airlines, except that the in-flight entertainment screen is smaller and of worse quality (but has a better selection).

Very similar to the Austrian seat, but worse screen

Very similar to the Austrian seat, but worse screen

Amenity kit and other goodies

Amenity kit and other goodies

Seat and in flight entertainment controls

Seat and in flight entertainment controls

Business class cabin

Business class cabin

Menus were distributed, which wasn’t really relevant for me since I had pre-ordered the Japanese meal. Swiss offers a special Japanese meal only on the flights to/from Tokyo, so I figured I might as well get it. I think it was a good choice, as even the flight attendant commented on how good it looked.

Menu for the flight

Menu for the flight

Wine list

Wine list

The in-flight entertainment on this flight was a little odd. For one, we were all forced to watch Japanese news for the first 30 minutes or so of the flight. I think they made an announcement in Japanese to this effect, but not in English, as all the white people (and myself) were curiously poking at the screen and wondering why it seemed to be stuck on this random Japanese channel.

Japanese news

Japanese news

Overall, while the selection on the in-flight entertainment was decent once it got going, the screen itself was a little disappointing as it’s pretty small and doesn’t have great resolution. It’s also not a touch screen.

Lots of problems with the in-flight entertainment on this flight

Lots of problems with the in-flight entertainment on this flight

Soon after departure, they handed out drinks and a quick snack.

Departing snack

Departing snack

While other people got western food, I was served the first course of the Japanese meal. The appetizers were okay, but it would’ve been nice to have something hot as everything on the tray was served cold.

Japanese meal part 1

Japanese meal part 1

The second part of the Japanese meal was quite tasty. The salmon was tender and covered in a tasty sauce. I wasn’t fond of the soup, though, particularly when I spilled it all over myself.

Japanese meal part 2

Japanese meal part 2

For dessert, I decided to skip the cheese and get the mousse and some fruit.

Dessert cart

Dessert cart

Dessert

Dessert

Again, the seat is almost identical to the business class seat on Austrian, so I found it to be pretty comfortable for sleeping. Definitely lower the armrest (which I have not done in the picture) to give yourself a little bit more space.

Bed in lie-flat mode

Bed in lie-flat mode

I napped on and off throughout the flight. They had a lot of snacks available in the galley of both Japanese and Swiss varieties, and the flight attendants would periodically go through the cabin offering some of these snacks and beverages (e.g. ice cream, green tea, onigiri). I can see why they offered so many snacks, as the pre-arrival meal was not so much a meal as a very small snack. This didn’t matter a ton to me since I had eaten continuously through the flight to try every kind of unknown candy bar (and a pack of cookies that should have been split amongst 4 people at least), but you should know that the pre-arrival meal isn’t particularly substantial.

Pre-arrival meal

Pre-arrival meal

Pre-arrival dessert

Pre-arrival dessert

The easiest comparisons to make with this product are to Austrian’s business class since the hard products are so similar and they’re both a part of the Lufthansa group. Overall, the hard product on this flight is slightly worse than Austrian, but not meaningfully so. I thought that the in-flight entertainment selection was good, and significantly better than Austrian’s, even if the screen is worse. There were also small things, like offering slippers instead of socks and having lotion in the bathrooms, that made me appreciate Swiss over Austrian. But the biggest difference between Swiss and Austrian that would make me choose Swiss over Austrian in the future was the service. On Swiss, the main flight attendant serving me was friendly and attentive and talkative and provided better service by himself than all of the flight attendants on my Austrian flight combined. It’s amazing how much of a difference a single flight attendant can make.

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