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I’ve wanted to fly Swiss Business Class for a while. It just looks really nice. The 6’6″ beds nearly all have direct aisle access, and the food and lounges look nice.

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Swiss flies to Zurich from eight North American cities and from Zurich throughout the rest of Europe. Normally Swiss Business Class costs 70,000 United miles each way, but until Saturday you can book it for 57,500 miles each way.

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  • What is the Swiss Business Class product?
  • Where should you sit if you’re traveling alone or with a partner to ensure direct aisle access?
  • What is the award space picture?

Swiss Business Class Product

Swiss Business Class on its A330s and A340s that fly to the United States is the staggered Business Class also found on Austrian (trip report). Some rows are 1-2-1 and others are 2-2-1. Your feet in the sleeping position are under the arm rest of the seat in front.

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The seats you really want to avoid are seats A and B in odd-numbered rows. Seat A doesn’t have direct aisle access, and seat B has to let A occasionally climb over. Plus seats A and B have to share an armrest. When traveling together, I’d go for the middle seats D and G in ay row. When traveling solo, I’d go for a K seat in an odd-numbered row because the arm rest is on the aisle side giving you better privacy and window access. If you really like a lot of space to put things down and have them at hand, you could go for seat A in an even-numbered row to grab two arm rests.

Here is a video that shows the cabin and seat/bed.

The bed is a fully flat 6’6″ sleeping surface.

Award Space

I’ll go through the eight North American cities, showing the award space for two passengers in Business Class. While Swiss’ planes have First Class, that award space is never released to partner programs.

The main takeaway will be that routes have the most award space in the next month. Some of that is because February and March are a low period of travel between North America and Europe, but a lot of it is that Swiss releases premium cabin award space in the last few weeks (or even on the day of) departure. If you want to travel to Europe in the next month, you’re spoiled for choice. If you want to travel in the summer, use this as a guide for which routes open the most last-minute award space.


This route has the best award space. This isn’t surprising since Boston to Zurich is the shortest route, and it has no connecting traffic to fill the flight, since Boston isn’t a United hub, to fill the flight.

Award space is wide open in Business Class (green and blue days) for two passengers on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays for the next month.

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Surprisingly, as you’ll see as I show award space from other cities, there is even award space for summer departures at the moment.Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 10.50.57 AM

For such a short flight, I like the flight time. It’s late enough, you might be able to sleep the whole time.

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Chicago only has Business Class space for two the next two days.
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Newark and New York

I combined my search from these two cities by typing in NYC as the airport code. Swiss has multiple daily flights from the two airports, so you can choose whether you want a late departure or early arrival. Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 10.58.19 AM

United also flies from Newark to Zurich daily, so the award search could pick that flight up. I’d rather fly Swiss Business Class.

Award space is excellent in February and March from the New York area to Zurich for two passengers in Business Class.Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 10.58.30 AM Unlike Boston, there is not good Business Class award space for departures later in the year, but this has to make you excited about the chance that space will open up close to departure for your preferred travel date.


I was hoping for great award space because there is often better award space to Europe via Canada. But all we get is two days of award space this week and four days next month.Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 11.01.51 AM Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 11.01.56 AM

There is a trickle of award space into May.

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I was also hoping for better award space here. There are two daily flights, and there must be almost zero connecting traffic on United flights to this non-hub that is out of the way en route to Europe.

But all we get is two Business Class seats on both flights for the next two days and a little space next week.
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Total guess: I bet this route has award space almost every day if you can wait until it is released a day or two before departure. They cannot possibly be selling all the Business Class on two daily flights out of Miami.

Los Angeles

There is award space today only. Direct west coast-to-Europe flights are always a challenge. (Check out AA’s LAX to London flight though for great Business and First Class space.)Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 11.03.36 AM Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 11.03.51 AM San Francisco

Speaking of bad award space on direct west coast-to-Europe flights, there is no Business Class space for two from San Francisco to Zurich.Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 11.04.10 AM

Bottom Line

Boston, New York, and Newark have the best award space in Swiss Business Class to Europe with tons in the next month. Other routes have a few scattered days.

Boston also has award space–though not a ton–for the rest of the year. The other routes are confined to the next month or two. This post shows that Swiss opens its best award space very late–a few weeks to a few hours before departure. If you’re looking to snag a 6’6″ transatlantic bed at the last minute check out Swiss.

Here are the connections out of Zurich to the rest of Europe. Adding Business Class flights intra-Europe to your transatlantic Business Class space will add zero extra miles.


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