Allergies Are Nothing To Sneeze At On Swiss

Elite travelers with various allergies will be happy to know Swiss International Air Lines is the first carrier to be certified by ECARF, the European Center for Allergy  Research Foundation with its “Seal of Quality.”


In a presentation to New York-based travel journalists, the airline’s Head of Sales & Marketing, The Americas, Patrick Heymann, noted this means pillow and blankets have all been approved by the Berlin based organization.  Additionally in a press release, Swiss noted, its state-of-the-art systems “filter out pollens from outdoors and animal hair from pets on board. We also make sure no air freshening substances with the potential to irritate the respiratory tract are released on board, and our lavatories are equipped with hypoallergenic soap for sensitive skin.”


The airline is preparing to welcome back Boeing airplanes to its fleet when it takes delivery on six new long-range 777s (pictured).  Both it and predecessor Swissair were longtime operators of U.S. built planes, including 747s, MD11s, DC10s, DC8s, DC9s and Convair 880s.


While some airlines have been scaling back the size of their first class sections on long haul fleets and in some cases getting rid of them completely, Heymann said his company is committed for the time being, although he noted that if demand drops the new Triple Sevens can replace business class seats where the first class cabin will be.  He said the current Swiss first class product will see some technological enhancements on the new planes.


Describing the dining experience as a “restaurant in the sky” he said, the national carrier is continuing its emphasis on home country cuisine through its “Taste of Switzerland” program.  Currently featured for first and business class passengers is the Aargau canton and Siegfried Rossal, a 15 point GaultMillau chef.


Separately, Switzerland Tourism head Alex Herrmann unveiled a new campaign to celebrate 150 years of winter tourism.


Winter season travel to the alpine nation apparently got started when the owner of the Kulm Hotel decided to stay open during and invited British aristocrats during who came to his St. Moritz hotel in summer to come back.  Hermann said guests came and “didn’t leave until Easter.”