Review: Swiss (Helvetic) Fokker100 Business Class

Roger Hohl
Roger Hohl
Executive Editor Roger Hohl always reports firsthand. He has been gathering experiences and impressions in the luxury travel segment since 2006, from the South Sea to China and Asia, across Europe to Africa and America. He is always on the lookout for the most spectacular and extraordinary locations, combined with the best possible comfort and service. His focus is on independent and critical perception from the perspective of the most demanding clientele, as today's customers in this segment expect the highest quality. His motto: pushing the limits - but always fair!

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Where flying is still personal: On the Swiss flight from Budapest to Zurich, Helvetic Airways operated with its Fokker100 as the executing airline. Once again, it was going to be a very special flight, even though the well-known Swiss or Helvetic product already plays in the front row, regardless of class.

Web check-in and fast track security

The web check-in for seat 1A went smoothly. The fast track security at Budapest airport was a bit more difficult. The older lady who checked the tickets for the fast track line (e.g. business class status) initially refused to accept my mobile boarding pass. She could not see anywhere that I had booked business class. The class was only marked with “C” (for business class), which meant nothing to her, and my three-minute explanation session was also unsuccessful. Nevertheless, I asked her to scan the ticket or barcode. However, she was so nervous and had a shaky hand that the barcode was not readable for the scanner. I placed my mobile phone on the counter and asked her to try again calmly. And behold… “Open sesame,” the way was clear to the fast track security, and I left a somewhat irritated security lady behind me.

Business class boarding

There was no time for the lounge this time. Boarding would begin in a few minutes. Arriving at the gate, I was able to board as one of the first thanks to pre-boarding for business class guests. The plane was parked at an external position (remote stand). The passenger bus was divided into thirds. One third was reserved for the six business class guests, with their own separate area and entrance/exit.

Upon arriving at the plane, we were able to board first. The cabin crew greeted us warmly and I quickly found my seat in row 1A. A few minutes later, everyone was on board the Helvetic Fokker100. The seat configuration is 2-3. However, in the business class, the seat next to the passenger is left vacant in the 2-seater row, and the middle seat is left vacant in the 3-seater row. To welcome us, we were offered the obligatory mineral water and refreshing towel. I always appreciate this nice attention to detail from Swiss.

(c) Luxvisor (Roger Hohl)

Captain’s announcement

Shortly thereafter, the captain made an announcement, and I was pleasantly surprised when he thanked the passengers for being on time. From past experience, I know this is not always the case, so it was nice to hear someone express gratitude for it. Unfortunately, on that evening, as is often the case, the airspace sector over Vienna was congested, resulting in a predicted delay of about 40 minutes. The passengers had mixed feelings about it. The captain seemed to understand this, and I was amazed for the second time within minutes by him and his crew. He personally came into the cabin and distributed Swiss branded chocolate as an apology. At the same time, he calmly answered questions from concerned passengers about their connecting flights in Zurich. Amazing! Some airlines in Europe could learn from such attention to detail.

(c) Luxvisor (Roger Hohl)

On-board service and catering

As soon as we were airborne, the famous Swiss service began. On this evening flight, there was a wonderful wild salmon on couscous, salad, fresh bread, and Swiss cheese, as well as a small panna cotta for dessert. It is simply delightful to have consistently outstanding quality on a European short-haul flight.

(c) Luxvisor (Roger Hohl)

Seat and comfort of the Helvetic Fokker100

Admittedly, the seats on the Fokker100 are not state of the art, but they are not a major issue on short-haul flights. The Fokker100 is reliable and, most importantly, quiet in the front cabin area. The engines are located at the rear of the fuselage. The further forward one sits, the less one hears. I claim that I did not hear any engine noise in row 1, neither during startup nor during takeoff. It is a quiet and gentle ride, which I always enjoy on board the Fokker100.

Anyway, there is no inflight entertainment system or screens installed on the Helvetic Fokker100. This means that the cabin product is significantly inferior to that of Swiss.

(c) Luxvisor (Roger Hohl)

Landing and Business Class Service upon Arrival

As if the crew wanted to surpass their outstanding performance, we landed in Zurich with only a five-minute delay instead of the predicted 40 minutes. Of course, the captain was also at the door to say goodbye to each passenger individually. If the aircraft is parked at an external position (Remote Stand) in Zurich, Swiss Business Class passengers have their own small Business Class bus available, which takes them directly to the terminal first, saving valuable time. Simply excellent!


Seat (Business Class)
On Board Entertainment


Possibly the best short-haul and business class product in Europe. Once again, it has been shown that the crew and service provided to passengers can be the decisive factor or the icing on the cake. Simply a consistently stable and absolutely high-quality product. Keep it up, Swiss and Helvetic!

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Possibly the best short-haul and business class product in Europe. Once again, it has been shown that the crew and service provided to passengers can be the decisive factor or the icing on the cake. Simply a consistently stable and absolutely high-quality product. Keep it up, Swiss and Helvetic!Review: Swiss (Helvetic) Fokker100 Business Class