Review: SWISS Economy Class A220 (FRA-GVA)

The beginning of my ski trip began inauspiciously with SWISS inexplicably failing to load a single passenger bag before departing Frankfurt. Nevertheless, the flight itself was fine, though devoid of wi-fi, power outlets, or any sort of snack or beverage service.

How I booked my SWISS ticket

I booked my roundtrip SWISS ticket with for $273. The ticket details were as follows:

  • SWISS 1081
  • Frankfurt (FRA) – Geneva (GVA)
  • January 22, 2023
  • Departure: 9:05 AM
  • Arrival: 10:10 AM
  • Flight Time: 1h 5m
  • Economy Class, Seat 25C

Given I booked this flight two months ahead of time and late January is not typically a busy part of the year for air travel, I was surprised by how expensive this ticket was.

SWISS check-in & boarding

I arrived at Frankfurt International Airport and checked my flight information on my all-time favorite flight board in any European airport, an old-school split-flap display board.

a black board with white text

I made my way over to the Swiss check-in area and dropped my bag (which I wouldn’t see again for several days, but that’s another story) at the automated bag drop. It worked shockingly well, and the whole process took a total of about 90 seconds.

an airport check in counter

I went through security, which despite having virtually no line, took about 25 minutes because of a malfunctioning baggage scanner. With just about 10 minutes until boarding, I walked the five minutes from security to gate A2, stopping on the way at Hausmann’s to enjoy a pretty good croissant and terrible cappuccino. Once my boarding pass had been scanned, I walked down the stairs and boarded the bus that would take us to our aircraft. Unlike most, I actually enjoy these, because they afford great plane-spotting opportunities. On our way, we passed a beautiful China Airlines 777-300.

a large airplane on a runway

We disembarked the bus and got a great tarmac view of the A220 that would be carrying us to Geneva.

a plane with stairs and a man in the background

SWISS A220 cabin & seats

Our plane was an A220-300, which contains a total of 145 seats spread across 30 rows. Seats are laid out in a 3-2 configuration. The first six rows of this aircraft are reserved for business (30 seats) and, as is typical in Europe, business class seats are identical to economy class seats. Given the layout of these seats, you should always opt to sit on the left side of the airplane (A or C seats), because there are no middle seats.

a group of people sitting in an airplane

The cabin is gorgeous, probably the prettiest I’ve ever seen in a narrow body. The chrome accents on the seats and windows are a particularly nice touch, as well as the dark leather seats and off-white headrest covers.

a seat with straps on it

I really liked these small, overhead screens next to the fasten seatbelt sign that shows various bits of info like the onward connections and flight maps–both useful and a fun pastiche of overhead displays for inflight movies of yesteryear.

a screen on a plane

The seat itself is 18.5 inches wide and has 30 inches of pitch. The seat back has a slot for literature, two cupholders, and a tray table.

a paper in a pocket in a seat

The windows were larger than what I’ve seen in similarly sized narrow bodies.

a plane with seats and windows

Lastly, I checked out the lavatories, which are very spacious and were kept clean the whole flight.

a bathroom with a sink and a toilet

SWISS departure from Frankfurt

We taxied to runway three and waited for a Lufthansa 747-8 to depart before turning on to the runway and beginning a takeoff roll.

an airplane on a runway

We quickly ascended into the grey Frankfurt sky.

an airplane wing on the ground

SWISS (lack of) wi-fi, IFE, and snacks

Unfortunately, this plane is not wi-fi equipped and has no IFE or power outlets. Equally unfortunate is the fact that no snacks or drinks, not even water, were served on this flight. Granted the flight is only an hour, but I’ve been on shorter flights where at least water was served.

SWISS arrival in Geneva

In no time, we were descending into Geneva and were rewarded with a beautiful view of the Rhône.

an airplane wing with a red cross on the tail and a river in the background

We touched down at about 12:15 PM and taxied to a remote stand. Unfortunately, we had to wait for about 10 minutes for a bus to show up but eventually deplaned and boarded our bus.

a group of people walking up a staircase

Upon entering the baggage claim area, things began to go downhill fast when we saw that our bags had been delayed

Disaster strikes

Upon entering the baggage claim area, we saw on the monitors that our bags were delayed. From there, things began to go downhill fast. I’m going to write a separate article on the saga that ensued, but the quick summary is that after waiting two hours, we were told that our plane had departed Frankfurt without a single bag loaded, and the airline’s response was probably one of the worst I’ve seen from an airline over the past three years.


I’d probably take this flight again, though I have some mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I love SWISS’s A220; it’s sleek as hell and very comfortable. On the other hand, the lack of wi-fi, outlets, snacks, or drinks was disappointing, and the fact that not a single checked back made it to Geneva was catastrophic, though I fault Swissport and Frankfurt baggage handling for that more than SWISS.

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