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Los Angeles (LAX) to Zurich (ZRH)
DEP 7:20PM ARR 3:15PM
Seat number: 17K “Throne” Seat
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Miles Redeemed: 55,000 Aeroplan Miles + $34.78 CAD (~$25 USD)
Above is supposed to be the schedule and route, but due to technical issue my flight was diverted back to LAX after 1 and half hour in the sky. For what’s worth, safety is the priority and I really enjoyed the 3 hours time in the “Throne” seat minus the dreading of flying back to LAX. Here’s the review:
PROS: Awesome “Throne” seat with a lot of space and privacy, great for solo travelers. United Polaris Lounge is awesome.
CONS: Seat belt is uncomfortable. In-flight technical issue so had to divert back to LAX.
I used 55,000 Aeroplan miles to redeem for a business class seat with SWISS to fly from US – Europe. My itinerary was LAX-ZUR-NCE (Nice, France). Aeroplan miles remain one of the best mileage programs to use for redeeming business class seats on Star Alliance between US and Europe. SWISS is one of the airlines that Aeroplan does not impose high fuel surcharges like they do with Lufthansa airline. My total cash was only around $25 USD.
Check-In and Lounges
I flew into LAX from French Polynesia trip. Next day, I had almost a full day at LAX before my SWISS flight’s departure time. I was able to check in online with SWISS and printed out my boarding pass to go through TSA security at LAX. I first went to check out the United Polaris Lounge at Terminal 7, then I went to check out the Star Alliance Business Class Lounge at Tom Bradley International Terminal. I have been to Star Alliance lounge a few times in the past, but I had not been to United Polaris Lounge. Comparing between the two lounges, I would pick United Polaris Lounge. United did a great job on their Polaris Lounge at LAX. The lounge is less crowded and has a dinning room that you can sit down and order food and drinks off a regular menu. You can access United Polaris Lounge if you hold a boarding pass for travel in long-haul international business or first class on a Star Alliance member airline.
|United Polaris Lounge|
SWISS flight leaves from Tom Bradley International Terminal. Terminal 7 is not really close to the International Terminal by any means. I am glad I had a lot of time there to check out both lounges on the same day prior to my flight. For a complete full review of both lounges, you can check out the following posts:
- LAX United Polaris Lounge Review For Swiss Business Class LAX – Zurich (ZRH)
- LAX Star Alliance Business Class Lounge Review For Swiss Business Class LAX – Zurich (ZRH)
Selecting SWISS “Throne” Seat Free
SWISS Business Class cabin has 62 open business class seats. The configuration is 1-2-2 and 2-2-1 so each row has a single seat that’s known as the “Throne” seat. These throne seats are ideal for those that are traveling alone or prefer huge space to themselves. Each throne seat has two big side tables that provide plenty of rooms and privacy. The only catch is, it is not free to select one of these throne seats before check-in time. SWISS elite members and those that are willing to pay can select a throne seat before check-in time.
|SWISS Business Class Seats
Photo Credit: Seat Guru
However, it is possible to select a throne seat free of charge. I was able to do that with some strategies and planning. Right at 48 hours before local departure time, I was able to confirm there was one throne seat 17K left. So at exact 24 hours before depart time, I was able to check in online and changed my non-throne seat to a throne seat successfully. It’s worth mentioning that before this, you could select a throne seat at 48 hours mark for free, but that’s not possible anymore. I recommend you read this post on How To Select SWISS Airlines Business Class “Throne” Seats For Free
SWISS “Throne” Seat
It took effort to score a “Throne” seat free of charge. So when I entered the aircraft and saw my throne seat, I was beyond excited to celebrate that kind of victory. The throne seat is amazing in a way that it is a more private window business class seat. No body sat next to me and I had the seat with two side tables all to myself. It offers plenty of legroom and various compartments. The only downside that I don’t like about the seat is the seat belt that is uncomfortable for me to wear. But overall, I was very impressed about SWISS Business Class Throne seat. I had to admit, I felt like a true king sitting in that “Throne.”
I was really sad that I did not get to enjoy the throne seat for the entire flight time. It turned out that during in-flight about 1 and half hour after leaving LAX, the pilot made an unpleasant announcement that due to hyd system C loss and it was winter in Zurich, it was not recommended to continue flying to Zurich. So for safety, the flight had to go back to LAX. By then everyone had tons of questions for the flight crews, but no one could get a straight answer other than “we would know once we landed in LAX” type of answer.
I was in my throne seat for 3 hours at least. While I was beyond disappointed that I did not get to sleep in that lie-flat throne seat, the diversion was the best course of action for everyone’s safety on that flight. Upon landing in LAX, SWISS put everyone in the hotel for the night because that SWISS LX41 flight was cancelled, and SWISS also re-booked everyone on alternative routes to get each person to his/her destination the next day. I got a text notification about my new flight itinerary that night. I had to leave from LAX-EWR with United, then EWR-MUC-NCE with Lufthansa, all in business class seats. I did not have to pay anything else though I was unhappy that I had to fly United’s old business class seat and Lufthansa’s 2-2-2 business class seat as opposed to my original SWISS throne seat.
Service & Wi-Fi
The service seemed to be alright, but I did not get to witness it much because the flight was diverted. Inflight Wi-Fi was also available.
Food & Drinks
I also did not get to enjoy the food because of the flight’s diversion. But one thing that’s worth mentioning is that, SWISS gave out a breakfast questionnaire for each passenger to fill out which was different from what I used to experience with other airlines. For what is worth, here’s the menu:
SWISS Boeing 777’s Business Class “Throne” Seat has become one of my favorite business class seats. Throne seats are not free to select until 24 hours before local departure time unless you hold elite status with SWISS or you are willing to pay for that seat in advance. I was very happy to be able to snag one of those seats for free at 24 hours mark and did really enjoy my short time sitting in one of those throne seats. I was sad that due to the technical issue, my SWISS flight had to go back to LAX and ended up being cancelled that night. For what is worth, I’m glad everyone was safe and I got to experience the throne seat for at least 3 hours long and I finally had the chance to review the amazing United Polaris Lounge.