While my SWISS transatlantic business class flight left a bit to be desired, I do have to give SWISS credit for having what I think is the world’s best arrivals lounge at its Zurich hub. Admittedly there’s not all that much competition for that title, because not that many airlines even have arrivals lounges (you don’t really find them in the United States, in South America, or in most of Asia).
Best of all, this also has among the laxest entry requirements of any arrivals lounge I know.
In this post:
Why the SWISS Arrivals Lounge Zurich impressed me
An arrivals lounge can be a useful amenity when traveling long haul. The intent is that after an overnight flight, you can get your day started with a shower and/or breakfast. It can be useful whether you’re on a business trip and plan to go straight to the office or meetings, or whether you’re vacationing and might not be able to check into your hotel for several hours.
Most arrivals lounges are similar, and feature a limited food and drink selection, plus lots of shower suites. I just visited the SWISS Arrivals Lounge Zurich for the first time, and it has all the amenities you’d expect.
There’s plenty of seating…
There’s a self-serve buffet with a variety of hot and cold food and drinks, including barista coffee…
There’s a relaxation area with a few chairs for relaxing, with dimmed lights…
There are quite a few shower suites, each with a walk-in shower, toilet, and sink, as well as with ironing services…
But here’s the amenity that impressed me most, and which I’ve never seen before in any arrivals lounge. The SWISS Arrivals Lounge Zurich also has three bedrooms that are available on a first come, first served basis. Two of them feature single beds, while one features a double bed.
The bedrooms are basic but comfortable, and get completely dark, and have a TV. I don’t know of any other arrivals lounge in the world to offer bedrooms, so that’s pretty awesome. There’s no time limit on how long you can use them, and the lounge is open from 6AM until 1PM daily.
So this can be an opportunity to get in a nap before getting started with your day. As anyone who is jet lagged can attest to, a real nap can work wonders.
This certainly beats the Lufthansa Arrivals Lounge Frankfurt, Aer Lingus Arrivals Lounge Dublin, Virgin Atlantic Arrivals Lounge London Heathrow, and British Airways Arrivals Lounge London Heathrow, which are the four other major airline-run arrivals lounges that I know of in Europe (the Air France Arrivals Lounge Paris Charles de Gaulle closed years ago).
Also, while not of any significance, I find it cute how SWISS names its shower rooms and relaxation rooms after destinations the carrier serves. So I had a nap in Basel, and showered in Bangkok.
The SWISS Arrivals Lounge Zurich has lax entry requirements
Here’s another thing I found noteworthy — the SWISS Arrivals Lounge Zurich doesn’t have very restrictive entry requirements. Among others, it’s open to all SWISS business class passengers, including those on short haul flights.
This is an interesting opportunity, when you think about it. For example, say you’re traveling on SWISS from Munich to Zurich to New York with a six hour layover. If you’re looking to get some rest during your layover, there’s something to be said for visiting the SWISS Arrivals Lounge so you can get in a nap, rather than going to one of the departures lounges, which don’t have such facilities (except the SWISS First Lounge Zurich, which has two much more luxurious nap rooms).
Historically these nap rooms have flown under the radar. For example, during my visit that spanned multiple hours, the other two nap rooms stayed unoccupied all morning. Truth be told, I didn’t know about them until I planned this trip. But perhaps they’ll become more popular now.
The SWISS Arrivals Lounge Zurich has everything you’d expect from such a facility, including seating, food, drinks, and shower suites. What’s most impressive, though, is how SWISS has three bedrooms in the lounge, for those looking to get some rest. I don’t know of any other airline arrivals lounge that offers something like this, so it’s worth strategically taking advantage of…
What’s your favorite arrivals lounge? Anyone else appreciate the SWISS Arrivals Lounge Zurich for having bedrooms?