I recently enjoyed a wonderful holiday in the Maldives. During my trip, I did not stay at Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani – my favorite resorts in the Maldives (I am going back though in 2024) – but I tried out some new, ultra-luxurious and fabulous resorts. Read my trip reports here:
- Review: Qatar Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner Business Class from Brussels to Doha
- Review: Qatar Airways Boeing 777 Business Class from Doha to the Maldives
- Review: British Airways Boeing 777 Business Class (new suite) from London to Male
- Review: Joali Being
- Review: InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort
- Review: Jumeirah Maldives Olhahali Island
- Review: Alila Kothaifaru Maldives
- Review: Edelweiss Air Airbus A340 Business Class from Male to Zürich (today)
Today: Review of Edelweiss Air’s Airbus A340 Business Class (Liberia to Zürich)
Last spring, I flew in Business Class onboard an Edelweiss Air Airbus A340 aircraft from the Maldives’ capital city Male to Zürich in Switzerland. Edelweiss Air is a Swiss leisure & charter airline and a sister company of Swiss International Air Lines (also known as SWISS). The carrier, which has its hub at Zürich Airport, was founded in 1995 and has been part of the Lufthansa Group since 2008. The company’s name is derived from the Swiss national flower, the Edelweiss, which is also painted on its aircraft. Edelweiss Air serves dozens of leisure destinations in more than 30 countries worldwide with a fleet of thirteen Airbus A320 and four Airbus A340 aircraft. The carrier’s A340s feature a Business Class cabin & seats which are similar to the one offered by SWISS (albeit styled in a different design). The onboard service and soft product is vastly different though. Overall, my flight experience with Edelweiss Air was good and acceptable for a leisure airline (but far from memorable).
Have you ever flown with Edelweiss Air? If so, what was your experience? Leave a comment.
- Trip: Velana International Airport (MLE) to Zürich, Switzerkand (ZRH)
- Airline: Edelweiss Air
- Aircraft type: Airbus A340-300
- Aircraft registration number: HB-JMF (built in 2003)
- On time departure: yes (12:30 pm)
- On time arrival: yes (6:30 pm)
- Miles: 4850 miles (7810 km)
- Flight time: 10 hours
- Seat: 17A
- Class: Business Class
In this review (more information & photos below my YouTtube video):
- Cost of the ticket
- Business Class cabin
- Business Class seat (+ best & worst seats)
- Amenities & bedding
- Onboard internet
- Other inflight experiences
- My verdict (score)
1. COST OF THE TICKET
The one-way ticket from Male to Zürich was paid with miles via Lufthansa’s frequent flyer program Miles & More. The total cost of the ticket was 56,000 miles + 250 euros.
2. BUSINESS CLASS CABIN
In a somewhat unusual configuration, Edelweiss Air’s A340 Business Class cabin is located in the middle of the plane, over the wings (and not in the front of the plane, which is mostly the case with the Business Class cabins of other airlines). The Business Class cabin features 27 flatbed seats, spreads over 6 rows and arranged in an alternate 1-2-1 and 2-2-1 layout (a so called staggered configuration or Sogerma Solstys layout). This layout feels rather dense as the foot compartment for each seat is located between and under the seats in front. The center seats come in pairs, while the seats on the left and right side of the plane alternate from 1 to 2 per row.
The same staggered Business Class layout is also installed on Brussels Airlines’ A330, Finnair’s A330/A340, SWISS’ A340/A330, Delta’s B767, and American’s B767 aircrafts. This configuration offers some degree of privacy as none of the seat rows quite line up, so nobody is directly looking into the seat across the aisle. But nonetheless, the privacy in this type of Business Class cabin is inferior compared to the fully enclosed Business Class suites that you find on other airlines, such as Qatar’s A350s, British Airways’ reconfigured Boeing 777s, or Delta’s A350s (and which seem to become the standard in the industry).
3. BUSINESS CLASS SEAT (+ BEST & WORST SEATS)
All Business Class seats onboard Edelweiss’ Airbus A340 aircraft feature the same dimensions: they have a pitch of 152 cm (60 inches), a width of 50 cm (19,5 inch), and a recline of 180 degree. All seats have at least one large work surface on the side (where you can set up your laptop), with some single seats and some paired seats featuring this work space on both sides (a so-called ‘throne seat’). One side of the seat features a power port with international adapters, a reading lamp (at eye level), a panel for the seat controls, and a standard wired handset (located below a flap in the armrest). The console on this side of the seat also holds the fold-out tray table, which is released at the push of a button. In front of the seat is a HD entertainment screen (more on that below) with a foot compartment underneath.
The seat can be transformed in a Lantal air-cushion bed with a length of 2 m (6.5 ft). Although it’s a 180 degree recline, the seat and your lower legs descend into a space carved out for it in the seat(s) in front, below the entertainment screen. This foot compartment is quite narrow, making it hard to switch position during your sleep while not waking up, as your legs might often hit the walls. The seats that do not have the ‘throne’ feature have more space for the feet, hence making them a little more comfortable for sleeping. In its lie flat position, the Business Class seat is just 45 cm (17 inch) above the floor, making it feel like you are resting on the ground or in a coffin (because of the high seat walls), and making it uncomfortable getting in and out to go to the restroom.
What are the best Business Class seats on Edelweiss Air’s A340s?
- The single best seats for solo travelers are the single seats on the left side of the plane, which feature a large work space on each side of the seat (so called ‘throne seats’): 11A, 14A, and 16A.
- The single seats on the right side of the plane are a great option as well for solo travelers, but they feel less private since they only feature one instead of two work spaces on the side. These seats have the largest foot compartment and are best for sleep comfort.
- Travel companions should go for the paired, middle seats, which all have direct aisle access. There are also paired window seats in rows 12, 15 and 17 on the left side of the plane, but the passenger in the window seat will have to jump over their neighbor’s feet to get access to aisle.
What are the worst Business Class seats
- I suggest to avoid the seats in the first row (row 11) of the Business Class cabin since the proximity to the galley may be bothersome.
- I also suggest to avoid the seats in the last row (row 17), since these seats are directly in front of the Economy Class bassinet seats (so you may end up being close to young children or babies).
- The window seats in row 15 are missing a window and thus best avoided.
Click here for a seat map of Edelweiss Air’s A340.
4. AMENITIES & BEDDING
Edelweiss Air provides the following amenities to its Business Class passengers:
- An amenity kit, whose packaging is made of cardboard with 70% recycled content. The kit contains basic amenities, such as socks, sleeping mask, shoehorn, toothbrush, toothpaste, earplug (toiletries are not provided).
- A decently sized pillow
- A comfortable, warm blanket
- Noise cancelling headphones (you cannot keep them as the crew collects them before landing)
On this flight, a three course lunch (after takeoff) and light dinner (prior to landing) were served. Overall, the food service was rather disappointing and uninspiring for a Business Class product: the food portions were small and the meals had a mediocre taste at best. The food service of leisure airline Edelweiss Air is definitely not en pair with that of Switzerland’s legacy airline SWISS.
Dinner service started with a drink, served with a bag of mixed nuts. Next, I had the following selection from the menu for lunch:
- Starter: smoked salmon
Main course: panseared grouper fish, tarragon sauce, garlic pilaf rice and vegetables
Cheese platter: a selection of Swiss cheeses
A light dinner – chicken salad – was served 90 minutes prior to landing.
Each Business Class seat comes with a private 15 inches HD TV screen. The inflight entertainment (IFE) is selected by directly touching the TV but can also be navigated by using a handheld and wired remote control. Edelweiss Air’s IFE features dozens of movies & TV shows, including the latest blockbusters, award-winning documentaries & popular TV series. There’s also a wide range of music channels and over 400 different CDs to choose from.
7. ONBOARD INTERNET
Inflight Wifi is currently not offered by Edelweiss Air.
8. OTHER INFLIGHT EXPERIENCES
# CREW: The crew on this flight was very friendly and attentive.
# LAVATORY: There are two lavatories for Business Class passengers. The lavatories are located in a galley shared with the Economy class cabin in the plane’s nose section
# VIEWS: We enjoyed clear weather for most of the flight, affording some great views.
9. MY VERDICT
- Seat comfort (upright): 7/10
- Seat comfort (bed position): 5/10
- Food (quality): 5/10
- Food (quantity): 4/10
- Inflight entertainment : 8/10
- WiFi: 0/10 (not available)
- Service: 9/10
- Cabin design: 7/10
- Overall experience: mediocre 6/10