Swiss holiday airline Edelweiss Air has had an impressive history since its founding in 1995 by Swiss travel company Kuoni. The airline operated several McDonnell Douglas MD-83s, carrying out various charter flights. Later, the MDs were replaced by Airbus A320s. In November 2000, the first Airbus A330-200 for long-haul flights was added to the fleet. In 2008, Swiss took over the company. As a subsidiary, Edelweiss Air remained independent under its own management and brand, which has proven successful until today. Edelweiss Air now operates five Airbus A320-200s, one Airbus A330-200, and one Airbus A330-300, employing approximately 420 employees. Since 2014, all of its long-haul aircraft have offered a premium economy class (Economy Max) and a new, modern business class with fully flat beds. And it is precisely this class that I am testing for the Luxvisor Editor’s Picks Review on an A330-300 of Edelweiss Air.
As soon as you step on board the flagship of Edelweiss Air, you get the first impression of an absolutely stylish Swiss product. Pleasant colors, carefully selected materials used in the cabin, and styled flight attendants create a pleasant atmosphere. A warm welcome, including the obligatory “Grüezi,” did not seem artificial for once. Overall, I felt that the cabin crew was exceptionally pleased to be working on this aircraft. The fact that the new business class had only been available on this model for a few months was mentioned several times. The whole crew was highly motivated.
Personal HON Circle Service
Even the captain mingled with the business class guests after returning from his “Outside Check.” However, my front-row seat neighbor (a HON Circle member*) had a longer conversation with him. The captain had noticed outside the aircraft that his suitcase had been damaged when it was loaded onto the plane. He promptly informed the passenger himself and promised him that the ground crew in Zurich would take care of it immediately. The flying Super Elite’s annoyance dissipated before it even had a chance to set in. A superb service, in my opinion, or in other words: here the guest is truly king.
*HON Circle is the highest status of the Miles & More frequent flyer program. Current estimates suggest there are only 2,000 to 4,000 members worldwide. To achieve this status, a member must fly a minimum of 600,000 miles in two consecutive calendar years.
Catering & Service
As a frequent flyer, you have literally flown a lot and seen a lot. Before the flight, I had already wondered how Edelweiss Air planned to distinguish itself from other high-quality business class products. Especially as a holiday airline, it is not easy to justify a well-paid business class. After all, the space on the aircraft is limited and, on the other hand, it must be able to compete with scheduled airlines. I can only report one thing: Edelweiss Air scored full points here!
The catering was of excellent quality. Not only was the quality right, but also the carefully selected food. Above all, I was impressed by the amount of food as well as the loving and very personal bread, cheese, and specialty as well as chocolate courses. This made the service not only more attractive but also more attentive to the guests. The positive comments from the guests were impossible to ignore:
- Vegetable rice with roast beef, fresh salad with French dressing, chocolate mousse
- Cheese service with bread
- Dessert service with Swiss specialty (Biberli)
- Dessert service with chocolates (2 rounds)
Seat & Entertainment
The Business Class seat can be converted into a fully flat air cushion bed. Essentially, it is the same seat as in Swiss Business Class, with only the materials and color scheme adjusted to match Edelweiss Air’s style. The high-quality craftsmanship complements the look and feel of the seat product. By the way: The seating arrangement of 1-2-1 or 2-2-1 or 1-2-2 offers solo travelers plenty of space on the “single seat.” That’s the seat I chose for this review.
The Inflight Entertainment System (IFE) has a large selection of movies, music, and radio channels. The program can be controlled using the handheld device or the modern touch interface directly on the screen.
The only issue, which, as often happens on this trip, did not work properly, was the proper delivery of priority tagged baggage on the baggage belt at Zurich airport. This baggage is usually delivered first. Along with other Business Class guests, I picked up my suitcase as one of the last from the belt, around 45 minutes after landing. Too long! However, the criticism is directed at the ground personnel of the handling agents. Edelweiss Air can do very little about this.