Spectacular: SWISS’ First Class Lounges Zurich

Spectacular: SWISS’ First Class Lounges Zurich

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I recently shared my experience flying SWISS’ Boeing 777 first class from Miami to Zurich. While the flight was great, I was also very much looking forward to the ground experience in Zurich.

SWISS has two lounges for its first class passengers at its Zurich hub — I hadn’t visited one lounge in over seven years, and I had never visited the other lounge, as it “only” opened in 2018.

While I’ll have detailed reviews of the two lounges soon, I wanted to share some brief thoughts on these lounges in this post, as I was really impressed. Perhaps the most pleasant surprise was the Schengen lounge, which in some ways I preferred to the non-Schengen one (though it is missing a few features). These are among the best first class lounges out there.

SWISS’ First Class Lounge Zurich Terminal E

The SWISS First Class Lounge Zurich Terminal E is the non-Schengen lounge (primarily for long haul passengers), and it’s 750 square meters (~8,100 square feet), with seating for 80 guests.

The lounge is broken up into two main areas, with one area primarily having seats for lounging around…

SWISS First Lounge Zurich Terminal E seating
SWISS First Lounge Zurich Terminal E seating

…and the other area being a restaurant and bar, with tables and booths.

SWISS First Lounge Zurich Terminal E bar & dining
SWISS First Lounge Zurich Terminal E bar & dining

There are a couple of features of this lounge that really stand out. The lounge features views of the apron, so the plane spotting from the lounge is amazing. Best of all, the lounge even has a terrace, with plenty of outdoor seating. This is of course a lot more enjoyable in summer than winter, as seasonally there’s even an ice cream service out here.

SWISS First Lounge Zurich Terminal E terrace

The other special feature of this lounge is that it has two bedrooms, which are the best bedrooms that you’ll find in any airport lounge. The mattress is the most comfortable one that I’ve ever slept on, as it’s so soft.

SWISS First Lounge Zurich Terminal E bedroom

SWISS’ First Class Lounge Zurich Terminal A

The SWISS First Class Lounge Zurich Terminal A is the Schengen lounge (primarily for short haul passengers), and it’s 650 square meters (~7,000 square feet), with seating for 80 guests. In terms of design, I think I prefer this lounge to the other one, as it’s a bit newer and sleeker.

Just as in the other lounge, there’s one section dedicated to relaxing…

SWISS First Lounge Zurich Terminal A seating
SWISS First Lounge Zurich Terminal A seating

…and then there’s also a bar and restaurant area.

SWISS First Lounge Zurich Terminal A bar & dining
SWISS First Lounge Zurich Terminal A bar & dining

The downside to this lounge is that it doesn’t have a terrace, great views, or bedrooms. However, the lounge also has some advantages. For example, smokers will like this lounge, as it has a proper smoking lounge, and even has complimentary cigars (the other lounge is fully non-smoking).

SWISS First Lounge Zurich Terminal A smoking lounge
SWISS First Lounge Zurich Terminal A cigars

For those who want a proper place to work, I also like how this lounge has workstations, unlike the other lounge.

SWISS First Lounge Zurich Terminal A workstations

SWISS’ First Class Lounges Zurich have amazing food

There’s one thing that’s identical in both SWISS First Class Lounges, and that’s top notch service, food, and drinks. No matter where you’re seated in either lounge, servers are constantly roaming around to see if you need anything.

SWISS First Class Lounge drinks

The two lounges then have an extensive a la carte dining selection and wine list, with the options being identical in both lounges. After the Air France La Premiere Lounge Paris, this lounge might just have the best dining of any lounge, in my opinion. I’d be thrilled with the dishes served here at a great restaurant, in terms of both taste and presentation.

I had about 10 hours in these two lounges, so I sampled quite a few things. I had a delicious Scottish smoked salmon with honey mustard sauce, yuzu pearls, and rice chips.

SWISS First Class Lounge dining

Since I skipped the “Florida” fondue onboard my flight from Miami, I figured I had try some cheese fondue in the lounge. After all, I was just looking for a light, healthy snack, and dipping potatoes and french fries in cheese fit the bill. 😉

SWISS First Class Lounge dining

Later on in the day, I had the falafel with hummus, eggplant caviar, pomegranate, and pita bread. When I ordered that, I wasn’t expecting a whole lot, but how gorgeous is this?!

SWISS First Class Lounge dining

I also figured I had to try a dessert option, so I had the poppyseed cake with mascarpone and ginger orange sorbet.

SWISS First Class Lounge dining

*chef’s kiss*

Bottom line

SWISS’ First Class Lounges in Zurich are top notch. Both lounges are great, so even if you’re traveling within the Schengen zone, you’re really not missing out by skipping the non-Schengen lounge (unless you want the bedroom or terrace).

I’m happy I had the chance to check out these lounges, and stay tuned for detailed reviews soon. Keep in mind that you don’t need to fly SWISS first class to access these lounges — same day departing passengers connecting to or from Lufthansa first class also get access.

What’s your take on SWISS’ First Class Lounges in Zurich?

Conversations (28)
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  1. fod Member

    This isn’t up to your usual standards - no pictures of the menus? Drink selection?

  2. EthaninSF Gold

    @Ben - what would you say is the ideal amount of time to spend on a layover at this lounge (or what time to arrive at ZRH airport before a flight)? Last time I was in ZRH, I had a 1 hour and 30 minute connection time Schengen to non-Schengen. Getting all the way from the end of the A gates to the E gates and clearing passport control took at least 25 minutes, so...

    @Ben - what would you say is the ideal amount of time to spend on a layover at this lounge (or what time to arrive at ZRH airport before a flight)? Last time I was in ZRH, I had a 1 hour and 30 minute connection time Schengen to non-Schengen. Getting all the way from the end of the A gates to the E gates and clearing passport control took at least 25 minutes, so I had only 30 minutes in the lounge, which felt quite rushed. Interestingly, on a previous flight into ZRH arriving into E terminal, there was an escort who met our flight and escorted the F passengers through passport control (and if needed, onwards to European connections). This would have been helpful for the flight back home - but no escorts appeared on arrival in the A gates. Did you have an escort meet you?

  3. Gorton Guest

    Ben, you are spot on with your review. I fly 4 to five round trips a year on Swiss to the USA and always look forward to time spent in the lounges and the service in the air. I travel with a service dog and he is welcomed both in the lounges and in the air.

  4. Leslie Guest

    The best! You didn’t mention the vats of lindt chocolate and Ricola. My fav lounge. But sorry to read the arrivals lounge is going away.

    1. Andrew Guest

      It’s daft, I agree - and the fact that there is no arrivals lounge in Geneva is a problem. You get back from an overnight have a 50 min connect in Zurich (no time to shower) and get to Geneva…. NOT ready to roll. It;s one of the single worst aspects of the premium offering from Swiss . People don’t use it because it is not properly set up - not because they don;t want / expect it.

  5. Mark Guest

    That's my sort of light, healthy snack! I'm also a big fan of Mohnschnitte/poppy seed slice so I'd have been pretty set there.

  6. Malcolm Guest

    The ZRH Senator E lounge is also excellent, with similar views nd a whiskey bar. Worth visiting even if you have access to the first lounge.

  7. hanchicago Guest

    Hello, Ben. Thanks for the review of the SWISS first class lounges at ZRH! I presume you were flying onward from ZRH in Lufthansa first class, since you got to experience both SWISS first class lounges after *arriving* in ZRH from MIA in LX F. I mean, normally you wouldn't get to visit these first class lounges for ten hours on arrival in LX F if Zurich was your final destination, correct? You probably covered...

    Hello, Ben. Thanks for the review of the SWISS first class lounges at ZRH! I presume you were flying onward from ZRH in Lufthansa first class, since you got to experience both SWISS first class lounges after *arriving* in ZRH from MIA in LX F. I mean, normally you wouldn't get to visit these first class lounges for ten hours on arrival in LX F if Zurich was your final destination, correct? You probably covered this in a separate, but related, post. Or you will cover access rulea in more detail in your expanded review later.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ hanchicago -- Thanks! I was connecting within Europe on SWISS in business. SWISS does actually also let you use the First Lounge as an arrivals facility, but a short haul connection also works for either lounge.

  8. Kevin Guest

    I may or may not have considered buying that mattress after sleeping there on a layover during my honeymoon.

    It is a 30k Hastens mattress, incidentally. Yes, insanely priced. But Ben is right - by far the best I have ever slept on.

    Surely the mattress geeks here can rec something with a similar feel that is not so egregiously priced?

  9. DT Guest

    Given how you ragged on Swiss business ( rightly so) - the posted thereafter have been unusually glowing. I wonder if Swiss PR sweetened the deal? lol. Now like swifties, “bennies “ don’t come after me. Just an observation.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ DT -- C'mon, seriously? Right, what I've posted about SWISS has been "unusually glowing" because it's a totally different product than the product that I "ragged" on the carrier over. SWISS is hardly the only airline that invests unequally in its premium products. Similarly, I rag on Emirates' 777 business class, while praising the carrier's new 777 first class. Isn't that fair?

    2. DT Guest

      Ok that is fair. Point taken. I was teasing!

  10. flying100 Member

    WHAT? The terrace in the Swiss lounge was open yesterday? I was in the Aspire lounge at the E gates and the terrace was closed. Same was with the smoking terrace (lounge) next to the Aspire lounge that was also closed.

    When I asked the staff, they said that it's closed because it's wet.

    I ended up going to the roof top/observation deck (which was open) and did some plane spotting from there. And in my opinion that's much better than the Aspire lounge in ZRH.

  11. Hans Guest

    With the complete renovation of the A gates during the next years the F lounge in A will diappear and being established again where the SWISS arrivals lounge now is.

  12. Tom Jones Guest

    Just a tip: nobody eats Fondue with french fries…. Either small pieces of bread or boiled potatoes are used to stir the cheese.

    1. John Guest

      While certainly not traditional, I’ve enjoyed a fondue in Zürich with frites as well as bread and boiled potatoes. As the waiter said “sir, if you enjoy how it tastes, why would you not do that?”

  13. MRL Guest

    Not sure I’d consider a smoking section a plus…I’ve found the smell invariably leaks out

    1. Ricm2a New Member

      I agree. It does seem extraordinary that in 2024 an airline should offer a smoking lounge, let alone free cigars. The smell of smoke will be in peoples clothes when they come back into the main lounge.

    2. Nelson Diamond

      @Ric, it's called respect. What do you do when inside the plane the guy next to you eat fish and you don't like the smell of fish?
      Besides, even if I'm an occasional smoker, I never had any problem others who have smoked when I don't want.
      Remember back in time when you could smoke in all the restaurants, didn't you went to restaurants that time?

  14. François Guest

    Loved spotting at the terrace, and I thought the runway diagram was a nice touch with the Leica binoculars. I wasn't too impressed with their whisky selection, but one of the staff was nice enough to take me to the whisky bar in the Senators Lounge on the other side. Agreed about the quality of the a la carte menu, that alone made me wish I had more time before my flight to JFK.

  15. T- Guest

    Looks great. I love the wood throughout the lounge and the black leather seats and sofas. The lounge, to me, is very calming. I’m looking forward to your full reports Ben. They are always fun to read.

  16. AJO Member

    If the cigars are free, why does the box have all sorts of credit card logos on it?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ AJO -- I wondered that too when I looked at it, but last I heard they're free. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, as I'm not a smoker.

    2. Nelson Diamond

      Last time I was there they were free and the logos were also on it. Don't ask me why but I don't get that part also.

    3. Christian J. Mueller Guest

      Thanks Nelson for confirming,
      Will be there 1st of March and do enjoy the occasional cigar :-)

  17. Nelson Diamond

    Fully agree with you! ZRH has in my opinion the best First Class Lounges I've ever been, followed by MUC and FRA. I have no experience with Air France La Premiere Lounge Paris as I rarely travel AF but doubt they can beat ZRH. Personally I hate CDG, that much that I almost tend to love LHR.

    1. Cedric Guest

      Haven't flown LX F since 2019 so its nice to see it's all as good as I remember. E lounge is really awesome. When you spend lots of time there (had 6-7 hours bettween flights) it really feel like a fancy appartment / hotel.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Ben Schlappig OMAAT

@ DT -- C'mon, seriously? Right, what I've posted about SWISS has been "unusually glowing" because it's a totally different product than the product that I "ragged" on the carrier over. SWISS is hardly the only airline that invests unequally in its premium products. Similarly, I rag on Emirates' 777 business class, while praising the carrier's new 777 first class. Isn't that fair?

2
Ricm2a New Member

I agree. It does seem extraordinary that in 2024 an airline should offer a smoking lounge, let alone free cigars. The smell of smoke will be in peoples clothes when they come back into the main lounge.

1
Christian J. Mueller Guest

Thanks Nelson for confirming, Will be there 1st of March and do enjoy the occasional cigar :-)

1
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