Tried & Tested

Swiss A321 economy class

23 Jun 2016 by Marisa Cannon
CHECK-IN I arrived at Heathrow Terminal 2 at 0700 for the 0840 LX317 flight to Zurich airport. I headed straight for the electronic self-service check-in desk, where I printed my boarding pass and was asked by an attendant to weigh my hand carry to ensure it didn’t exceed the 8kg maximum, which it didn’t. Passengers travelling in business class can take on-board two pieces of hand carry, plus a laptop, handbag or shoulder bag. I went straight through to fast-track security, where there was no queue, unsurprising on an early Saturday morning, and I was airside by 0715. Check-in is available 23 hours before departure, and seats can be selected both online and at the airport. BOARDING At 0755, the flight screens directed passengers to Gate A16, which, in the central concourse, is visible from the duty free shops and restaurants, so I carried on shopping until I saw a crowd begin to form at the gate. Boarding started late at 0825, and I headed over at 0840. By 0855 all passengers had boarded. Our pilot suggested that enhanced security checks might have been a reason for the hold-up. THE SEAT The A321 has 176 seats, with 108 of those in economy and 68 in business, all arranged in a 3-3 configuration (A-B-C, D-E-F). The flight was busy and, though I was in the middle seat (16B) there was good amount of legroom (31-inch pitch). I didn’t feel crowded either, even though both seats either side were occupied, with seats measuring 17 inches in width. The seats are upholstered in smart-looking brown leather and though there was no in-flight entertainment, this was no matter for a journey time of 1hr55m. WHICH SEAT TO CHOOSE? Seats B-C-D-E in row 10 are emergency exit seats and therefore have more legroom, as do seats 11A and 11F, which don’t have seats in front. The same applies to rows B-C-D-E seats in row 25 and seats 26A and 26F. Seats A-B-C-D-E in row 24 have limited recline due to the exit behind and 37 A-B-C and 36 D-E-F are the last rows in economy, next to the toilets and have no recline. THE FLIGHT We pushed back at 0905 and were in the air by 0915, just over a half hour behind schedule. The drinks trolley came through shortly after offering drinks and a croissant, which was handed to me wrapped in a serviette. Needless to say I made a mess without a tray; the pastry itself was dry and flavourless too. Though it was a short flight, I was disappointed that we weren’t offered a more substantial breakfast. ARRIVAL I slept for the rest of the flight until we began our descent at 1020, when crew came round the cabin with a basket of Lindt chocolates resembling tiny soccer balls – a nice touch given that the European championships are currently taking place. We managed to make up the time lost earlier at Heathrow, landing 1140 local time only 5 minutes behind schedule. I was off the plane and through immigration by 12 noon. VERDICT A pleasant and comfortable flight with no major issues despite the short delay, though a better in-flight catering option would have been appreciated. FACT FILE
  • JOURNEY TIME 1 hour 55 minutes
  • SEAT PITCH 31 inches
  • SEAT WIDTH 17 inches
  • PRICE Internet rates for a midweek economy class flight from London to Zurich in July 2016 start from CHF93 (£66).
Marisa Cannon
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