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Flying SWISS? Avoid Selecting These Seats

Bill Malchisky  April 6 2015 12:30:00 AM
Just providing a perspective to those that travel, based upon my recent experience. If this helps someone have a more comfortable flight in the future, than I am happy to write about my trip.

Airbus A330-300 Trouble Seats

The SWISS Airbus A330-300 configuration is losing its luster, included in that is seat 24B--completely substandard. As SWISS decided to place the entertainment system controls inside rectilinear solid cases below every seat in the main cabin, some aisle seats have significantly less foot room than you might expect and thus, less storage space during take-off and landing. Aisle seat 24B is the worst I experienced on SWISS. My laptop bag which fits under many seats sans issue, could not fit under the seat in-front of me (23B). The flight attendant moved my bag to a storage unit opposite 22D.

Making matters worse is that the aisle shifts slightly at row 23, so the support bar for seats 23A/B is offset making the space under 23B smaller than 23C across the aisle. So, if you remove your shoes, your feet and shoes can't occupy the same space simultaneously, unless stacked. I understand that if you have tiny feet and shoes, this relaxation annoyance may not be an issue. For guys with big feet, it is a problem.

Next, the space between seat 24A (to the left) and the fuselage is 3". Overall, just a poorly engineered seat configuration. Trying to get up from 24B sans grabbing the top of 23B when 23B is fully reclined is quite a feat requiring expert yoga moves if one lacks arm strength--complicated by the lack of floor space and shifted arrangement. Getting to the bathroom from this seat is hardly trivial for tall or big people.

As a courtesy, if you sit in 23B, don't stretch your feet onto the bulkhead in-front of you to recline further... that just forces the open table into the mid-section of the passenger behind you. If said passenger has ample proportions, I can only extrapolate to the level of discomfort they would experience.

Bathroom Impacted Seats Aplenty

This plane only has four (4) restrooms---between rows 28 and 29---for 183 coach seats and zero at the rear galley--surprisingly. The aisle seats five rows beyond (29-33 B/D/G/J) and two in-front (27-28 B/D/G/J) are perpetually filled with people, making for a less than relaxing flight for those seated passengers. The Seat Expert and SeatGuru listings cite rows 28 and 29 as potentially suboptimal; I believe the issue extends beyond those two rows. My seatmate and I observed throughout much of the flight, problems with the restroom queue filling the aisle. In fact, when I visited the rear galley five people stopped by asking if I was in queue for the restroom there--but there was not one there to their surprise. This plane really needs two restrooms at the rear of the plane to make the aisles less occupied.


Summary

If you fly SWISS and have the Airbus A330-300 configuration, avoid seat 24B along with the opposite aisle 24J for the same reasons. Skip the restroom seats, and row 45 next to the rear galley and you have several good seat options remaining in the main cabin.

Finally, I submitted this feedback to Seat Expert and SeatGuru as in my opinion they lacked complete information for this plane configuration.


Bonus -- Flight Attendant Call Button Issue

I'll also add that with this plane, if you depress the flight attendant assistance button, it is passively displayed in the rear galley. The crew only knows assistance is needed if they are looking right at the LCD console. I observed this when visiting the galley later in the flight and saw their interaction with the wall mounted console. Some planes have an audible control so that an in-aisle attendant knows to look for an at-seat attention indicator.

My neighbor had a spill and we sought assistance to get some napkins. I ended up getting up, going into my bag in the overhead bag and pulling some tissues and a napkin from that bag. Five minutes later the attendant arrived.

So if you need help on an Airbus 330-300, walk to the rear of the plane. It's faster and less frustrating. Makes me long for a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, quite honestly... more shortly on that experience.
Comments

1Carl  4/6/15 10:15:16 AM  Flying SWISS? Avoid Selecting These Seats

www.seatguru.com is your friend.

2Carl  4/6/15 10:16:13 AM  Flying SWISS? Avoid Selecting These Seats

Regarding audio tone, was this a night flight? The audio notification is often turned off during night flights.

3Bill Malchisky  4/7/15 1:41:15 PM  Flying SWISS? Avoid Selecting These Seats

@Carl... the information provided in this post is NOT included with SeatGuru and SeatExpert--as cited above. I provided this post to them both. Ergo, why I blogged the experience.

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