Back in October we booked the trip of a lifetime to the USA. After researching the best airlines and reading different reviews we decided to book with Swiss Air. Part of the trip, the leg from Manchester to Zurich was operated by Helvetic Airways on the Fokker 100. Here are our thoughts.
First of all I should note that technically this was a Swiss Air flight, and it was only operated by Helvetic. I thought I would do this review to focus on the service as well as the aircraft type which Helvetic operate a lot of. Helvetic is a Swiss Airline with hubs in Bern and Zurich. They only have a small fleet and Swiss Air and Lufthansa do use some of their aircraft for scheduled flights. They use a mixture of Fokker 100’s and Embraer 190’s.
Now for the review
I was actually quite nervous flying the Fokker 100, especially because it is a small aircraft with engines near the tail as opposed to the wings. In all fairness it was pretty smooth apart from some last minute gust of wind that pushed us about before landing in Zurich.
The seat configuration is 2-3 depending on which side of the aircraft you are sat on. The seats are leather and really comfortable. And the best thing, the legroom! There was a substantial amount of room between us and the seat in front which made things so much more comfortable.
The flight time was 1 hour and 30 minutes and it flew by (no pun intended). The plane had a few Business Class Seats at the front and the rest were standard economy. There was a toilet at the front of the plane however this was only for the business class passengers and the rest of us had to wait to use the two toilets at the back of the plane. We were seated in row 18 which was only a few rows from the back. This meant that we did have to wait quite a while to be served, but eventually we got our croissants and some coffee. We also got some Swiss chocolate just before descending, which was devoured pretty quickly.
- The Fokker 100 as mentioned above has engines near the tail of the aircraft and not the wings. Because of this you definitely want to avoid sitting at the back of the plane. The engines were loud (although I am grateful for this, honestly) throughout our flight. The seats behind us had no view at all as this was taken up completely by the engine. We would recommend you try and sit in row 15 or below.
- If you are a nervous flyer try to avoid sitting near the back of the plane. It is generally ok but because of the location of the engines we felt like we were being thrown around a bit especially when we were landing in Zurich.
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