For the following phase of my downgraded journey to Oman, I flew Helvetic Airways’ Embraer E190-E2 enterprise class on the ridiculously brief 30-minute flight from Zurich to Milan. This phase got here after crossing the Atlantic in SWISS’ A330 enterprise class.
For these not acquainted, Helvetic Airways is a Swiss regional airline that operates numerous flights on behalf of Star Alliance provider SWISS. The airline completely flies Embraer E190 and E195 plane, with most plane being the newest technology E190-E2 and E195-E2 jets. I used to be enthusiastic about this flight, because it was my first time flying one of many new “E2” jets from Embraer… I believe?
On steadiness, Helvetic Airways impressed me, given the brief size of the flight. Primarily I appreciated the plane, although the restricted service was good as effectively. Let’s get into the overview.
How I booked my Helvetic Airways enterprise class ticket
I booked my Helvetic Airways enterprise class ticket utilizing Air Canada Aeroplan factors, as half of a bigger itinerary. Particularly, I booked the next award in enterprise class for 110,000 Air Canada Aeroplan factors plus $154.44 in taxes and charges:
1/11 AC1207 Miami to Montreal departing 8:00AM arriving 11:36AM
1/11 LX87 Montreal to Zurich departing 4:50PM arriving 6:15AM (+1 day)
1/12 LX1622 Zurich to Milan departing 5:40PM arriving 6:40PM
1/12 WY144 Milan to Muscat departing 9:30PM arriving 6:45AM (+1 day)
Aeroplan factors are straightforward to come back by, as this system is switch companions with Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One, and Chase Final Rewards. On prime of that, there’s the Aeroplan® Credit score Card (overview) in america, which is kind of rewarding.
Helvetic Airways enterprise class lounge & boarding
Since this Helvetic Airways flight was marketed by SWISS, I had commonplace Star Alliance lounge entry in Zurich. In a earlier installment, I reviewed the SWISS Enterprise Lounge Zurich, which is kind of good.
My Helvetic Airways flight was departing from gate A57, which is in an space that appears like a bus depot, provided that it’s the place lots of the flights departing from distant stands board. I imply, I suppose it’s a bus depot, provided that the one factor leaving from this space are buses. As a lot as there’s loads about aviation in america that isn’t glamorous, I’m grateful our airports aren’t as reliant on distant stands.
Boarding for the 5:40PM flight was scheduled for five:10PM, and that’s when it began. As you’d anticipate, it was a mad rush to the gate for everybody. It took about 5 minutes for the bus to replenish, after which one other jiffy to drive to the plane.
Helvetic Airways Embraer E190-E2 enterprise class cabin & seats
My flight was operated by a three-year-old Embraer E190-E2 with the license plate HB-AZD. As talked about above, this was my first flight on an E2 jet (I believe), and I used to be impressed by the cabin. The E190-E2s are outfitted with 110 seats, in a 2-2 configuration.
The very first thing I seen once I walked into the cabin was simply how trendy it felt. I cherished the type of the cabin as effectively, from the purple carpet, to the purple temper lighting — that’s very Swiss! The second factor I seen was the shortage of a curtain between enterprise class and economic system.
On Helvetic Airways, enterprise class passengers get a blocked seat subsequent to them, in order that’s at the least a pleasant function in comparison with airways like Air France and KLM, which don’t presently block adjoining seats on their Embraer jets.
On this flight, enterprise class consisted of the primary eight rows (the primary row simply has seats on the left, so actually there have been 7.5 rows). The cabin was about two-thirds full, and I sat in 7A, the window seat on the left aspect within the second to final row of enterprise class.
I discovered legroom to be respectable however not wonderful. The seats have been fairly effectively padded, although there was no headrest for added consolation. That’s not an enormous situation when you think about that these planes persistently function flights which are within the vary of 30 to 90 minutes.
If you wish to look out the window, you’ll additionally wish to be cognizant of the row you choose. For instance, row seven offers you restricted alternatives to look out the window, as a result of poor alignment.
So far as the seat again goes, it had each an uncovered literature pocket and a tray desk that may be folded down.
It’s uncommon to seek out regional jets in Europe with an influence provide for private units, and there’s each good and dangerous information on that entrance for Helvetic Airways. The airline has energy at each seat, and really has two plugs per seat. Yay! The dangerous information? Helvetic Airways selected to put in USB-A plugs. Grrr…
The Embraer E2 jets even have distinctive overhead consoles. As you’ll be able to see, the consoles are kind of rectangular, and are lengthy quite than vast.
The Embraer E2 jets even have giant overhead bins, which simply match my full measurement carry-on.
In the course of the boarding course of, the crew distributed bottled water and refreshing towels to enterprise class passengers, and likewise took drink and snack orders for after takeoff, given the brief period of the flight.
Helvetic Airways Embraer E190-E2 departure from Zurich
At 5:25PM, the captain made his welcome aboard announcement, informing us of our flight time of 35 minutes, plus our anticipated departure from runway 28. Whereas he said that every one passengers have been onboard, that didn’t find yourself being the case, as I assume some passengers who they anticipated would misconnect really made it. As a substitute, boarding completed up at 5:45PM, as a number of passengers boarded on the final minute.
At 5:50PM, the principle cabin door closed, at which level we started our taxi (no pushback required!), plus the crew carried out the guide security demonstration.
We had a really brief taxi, and by 6PM we have been cleared for takeoff. The Embraer E190-E2 is a robust jet, so it’s fairly a enjoyable takeoff. The seatbelt signal was turned off round 5 minutes after takeoff. At that time, the crew not solely closed the curtain between the galley and enterprise class…
…but additionally “put in” a curtain between enterprise and economic system. That looks as if fairly a little bit of effort on such a brief flight, because it was up for all of quarter-hour. Hah.
Helvetic Airways enterprise class snack service
The senior cabin attendant was the one working enterprise class. After takeoff, she rolled a cart down the aisle, with drinks being served first. I made a decision to order a glass of white wine, which was served in correct glassware (don’t ask me what sort of white wine it was — this flight was too brief to ask any detailed questions).
Subsequent up, she got here by way of the cabin with a snack, which was the selection of a lox or vegetable sandwich, plus a chocolate. So, the sandwich was really fairly respectable, but it surely was served in saran wrap. I felt sort of dangerous, as a result of the bread had seeds that went everywhere, and the sandwich was solely served on a small serviette.
The opposite humorous factor is simply how brief this flight was. Precisely three minutes after I used to be served my snack, the pilots informed the flight attendants to arrange the cabin for touchdown. At this level I used to be chugging my wine and devouring the sandwich, however the flight attendant kindly mentioned “no rush, we now have time,” so I might decelerate a bit.
Helvetic Airways Embraer E190-E2 enterprise class toilet
Earlier than touchdown, I shortly checked out the enterprise class toilet, on the entrance of the cabin. The bathroom was tight however purposeful, with no thrilling facilities to report. Nope, there’s no onboard bathe right here, consider it or not! 😉
Helvetic Airways Embraer E190-E2 arrival in Milan
At 6:15PM, we began our descent from our cruising altitude of 19,000 toes. Our descent took a little bit of time, provided that we first needed to fly to the south of Milan, earlier than swinging round and touchdown into the north. We touched down at round 6:35PM.
From there we had a brief 5 minute taxi to our arrival gate — sure, we have been fortunate to get a gate quite than a distant stand! As soon as off the plane, I headed within the path of my connecting flight, which required going by way of passport management. It had been a protracted day, however I wasn’t even almost achieved, because it was time to fly Oman Air’s Boeing 787 enterprise class to Muscat.
I had a pleasing however very brief flight in Helvetic Airways’ Embraer E190-E2 enterprise class, working on behalf of SWISS. The E190-E2 is a shocking, trendy jet, with comfy interiors. This was a superb flight, with pleasant service and a good snack.
If I had any suggestions, it’s that I want the airline hadn’t put in USB-A plugs. Additionally, a saran wrapped sandwich that leaves tons of crumbs may not be the best snack when it comes to consumption and cleansing.
What’s your tackle Helvetic Airways Embraer E190-E2 enterprise class?