Sarah Klatt-Walsh, Head of Inflight Products & Services
We are proud to launch a new SWISS First Inflight Service concept today. But why change when the “old” concept was so appreciated by our guests on board?
Here at SWISS, we don’t change products and services for the sake of change - but rather we listen to our customers and adapt as necessary to better align our services to their needs, always keeping in mind what we at SWISS stand for and what is expected of us as a premium network carrier.
So what did our customers tell us that led to the start-up of this project? We held a series of customer focus groups in different countries to even better understand what they appreciated – and did not appreciate - about the SWISS customer experience. Though it was good to hear that they were generally very happy with the service (great Flight Attendants, top comfort with the seats and beds, great food), they did bring up some points where they felt there was room for improvement, both on the ground and in the air. We quickly realized there was a consistent message coming in from the different regions of the world – topics such as tranquility on board, consistency of services, and simplicity of meals. And an even more individualized approach to services and personal care are important elements of a great SWISS First Customer Experience.
Focusing on the customer viewpoints, we set out to translate those ideas into a new and improved onboard service. (Ground topics were taken up separately by our Ground Development team). Key for us was to maintain the elements that are currently appreciated, and take the entire service to new heights by adding new services and service philosophy, new meal elements, more comfort, and a new look and feel for the overall service.
How did we go about that at SWISS? Primarily by running a lot of workshops with our cabin crew, our caterers, and other internal and external stakeholders. Once a concept draft was established, we tested it over and over on different routes until we were sure it worked for both our guests on board and our cabin crew. Simultaneously we initiated development of the tableware – a major “project within a project”. After many supplier presentations and discussions, we finally selected fine-bone chinaware from ASA and glassware from Riedel. We also initiated a partnership with écal, the Design School of Lausanne, to jointly design some service elements for our signature food items – such as Balik Salmon and our Artesian Swiss cheese board. Plus new items such as Amenity kits were developed to enhance customer comfort – these will be introduced in summer, and we’ll update you on those at a later date. The look and feel of the new service is more closely aligned to the SWISS First Corporate Identity, providing for a more consistent look from lounges to cabin through to the service onboard.
First Class passengers and cabin crew have praised the concept during the many test flights – going live on the network is of course another dimension, and we look forward to hearing the initial responses from our customers and crews.