There is a reason Boeing is so afraid of the Airbus/Bombardier C Series: it’s a great aircraft. I was able to fly a SWISS-operated CS100 from Frankfurt to Zurich in August. Here’s a review of the flight.
Since I was connecting from Los Angeles in Lufthansa First Class, a Mercedes S-Class took us from the First Class Terminal directly to the plane, parked next to a United 777.
Pulling up to the gate just before departure, we were among the last to board.
Frankfurt (FRA) – Zurich (ZRH)
Thursday, June 29
Aircraft: Bombardier CS100
Seat: 10C (Economy Class)
I noticed a few things immediately stepping onboard the SWISS C 100 Series. First, the ZIM seats were a product I’ve never seen. Unfortunately, they are like Recaro’s slimline seats now used throughout he industry on short haul flights. Fortunately, however, the seats seemed a bit roomier thanks to a small knee indentation behind each seat that could either be used for extra legroom or to store water bottles or eyeglasses. The top of the seats contains a literature pocket and a single-fold tray table. Seating is 2-3 rather than 3-3 or 2-2. It reminded me of flying the MD-80 or 717.
I appreciated the coat hook on each seat, something I wish North American airlines would invest a few extra dollars in since I almost always travel with a coat.
Looking up, you’ll notice small built-in moving maps in the passenger service unit area. While these do not screen safety videos or movies (perhaps they could?), it was nice to keep a watch on flight progress.
Electronic device and seatbelt lights are illuminated when required.
You’ll also noticed full-sized overhead bins that can easily accommodate larger carry-on bags, even placed wheels-first inside rather than horiztonally.
Spacious CS100 Lavatory
The lavatory was a pleasant surprise…fairly roomy and nicely designed. The SWISS version included Corian countertops and faux-wood floors. The toilet flush and faucet are operated by push-button. The lavatory is provisioned with a diaper changing table similar to what you find on a Boeing 787.
With a flight time of only 40 minutes, FAs had to rush through the cabin offering a beverage and chocolate. I had just polished off a huge lunch in the First Class Terminal and did not even eat the chocolate.
This is a solid aircraft. I prefer it to others on shorthaul flights because of the overhead bin space, huge widows and larger lavatories. Now that Airbus is a majority owner, I believe the C Series program will see tremendous success in the years to come.