- Introduction: A Downgraded Adventure To Oman
- Review: Turkish Airlines Lounge Miami Airport (MIA)
- Review: Air Canada Business Class Airbus A220 (MIA-YUL)
- Review: Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Montreal Airport (YUL)
- Review: Air France Lounge Montreal Airport (YUL)
- Review: SWISS Business Class Airbus A330 (YUL-ZRH)
- Review: SWISS Arrivals Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH)
- Review: SWISS Business Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH)
- Review: SWISS Helvetic Business Class Embraer E190-E2 (ZRH-MXP)
- Review: Oman Air Business Class Boeing 787 (MXP-MCT)
- Review: Oman Air Business Lounge Muscat Airport (MCT)
- Review: Oman Air First Lounge Muscat Airport (MCT)
- Review: Oman Air Business Class Airbus A330 (MCT-FRA)
- Review: Hilton Garden Inn Frankfurt Airport (FRA)
During my downgraded adventure to Oman, I had a roughly 12-hour layover at Zurich Airport. I was arriving from Montreal in SWISS’ A330 business class, and connecting to Milan in Helvetic’s Embraer E190-E2 business class. During that time, I checked out both the SWISS Arrivals Lounge and SWISS Business Lounge, so in this installment I’ll be reviewing the latter.
Specifically, I visited the SWISS Business Lounge in Terminal E, which is the carrier’s non-Schengen lounge (meaning it’s for flights outside the Schengen zone, which includes the European Union and select other countries). Even though I was connecting within the Schengen zone, there were no issues with using this lounge.
I’m really happy I did, because the lounge was nice and quiet in the afternoons, while the SWISS Business Lounge in Terminal A (which is the carrier’s Schengen lounge) was as crowded as a Japanese subway during rush hour. If you’re going to visit a Schengen lounge, I’d recommend checking out the SWISS Alpine Lounge.
Anyway, the SWISS Business Lounge Zurich is actually a pretty solid facility, with lots of natural light, a decent food and drink selection, and perhaps the airport bathrooms with the best views in the world. Let’s get into the review.
In this post:
SWISS Business Lounge Zurich location
The SWISS Business Lounge Zurich in Terminal E is quite easy to find. Once you’re in Terminal E (which requires going through security, taking a train, and then going through passport control), follow the signage in the direction of gate E36. Near the gate, you’ll see both a staircase and a couple of elevators that can take you to the lounge, which is located on level three (one level above the concourse).
SWISS Business Lounge Zurich hours
The SWISS Business Lounge Zurich is currently open daily from 6AM until 10PM, covering all departures from the terminal on both SWISS and Star Alliance partners.
SWISS Business Lounge Zurich entry requirements
SWISS Business Lounges are standard Star Alliance business class lounges, so can be accessed by:
- SWISS business class passengers, as well as business class passengers on all Star Alliance partner airlines; no guests are allowed
- Star Alliance Gold members can also use the lounge and bring a guest when flying Star Alliance the same day; however, they can also use the (better) SWISS Senator Lounges
- Miles & More Frequent Traveller members (which otherwise only equates to Star Alliance Silver); no guests are allowed
Let me again emphasize that you can use the non-Schengen lounge even if you’re leaving on a flight departing from the Schengen zone. This does require clearing passport control, but that’s a pretty efficient process, assuming you have a passport that can use the automatic gates.
SWISS Business Lounge Zurich seating & layout
The SWISS Business Lounge Zurich is 1,200 square meters (~12,900 square feet), and it has seating for 200 people. This lounge can get absolutely slammed in the late mornings prior to most transatlantic flights, but then again, which hub lounge doesn’t get busy during peak periods? Fortunately for most of the rest of the day, the lounge is fairly calm.
As you enter the lounge, there’s a map of the layout, to give you a sense of the different zones.
Also near the entrance is a machine where you can scan your boarding pass in order to get a Wi-Fi code. This seems a bit odd for a country not trying to track what you’re viewing online, though it seems that this is because the lounge uses the airport’s Wi-Fi network, so this gives you a free code to use it.
Also just inside to the entrance to the lounge are a couple of seating areas with chairs looking out over the apron.
There’s also a wall with a variety of reading materials, including magazines and newspapers.
Then there’s a hallway that stretches most of the length of the lounge.
One of the first areas has six workstations that are pretty private, with some having a PC, and others just having a desk, so that you can use your own laptop.
I love when lounges have proper workstations, though the lack of natural light made it hard to stay awake when seated here!
Past the workstations and to the right is the main dining area, which has both dining tables and some high-top seating along a table that stretches the length of the space.
The lounge has a terrace, which is one of the coolest lounge features anywhere, though unfortunately it was closed during my winter visit.
Across from the dining area, the lounge has a sort of strange Breitling sponsored display and seating area. While I can appreciate the desire to generate revenue with a sponsored area, it seems like a busy lounge would be better off having more seating rather than a display like this.
In the very back of the lounge is yet another seating area, with seats arranged in rows, facing one another.
The lounge also has a designated resting area, with pre-reclined seats. This is a nice place to enjoy views of the apron, though don’t expect to get much rest here, between the lack of bedding, and the amount of natural light. Also, the recline of the seat almost feels like what you’d expect in a dentist’s chair, which isn’t exactly known for comfort.
SWISS Business Lounge Zurich food & drinks
The SWISS Business Lounge Zurich food and drink selection is entirely self-serve. There are a few different food and drink service areas, to avoid crowding in any one area.
Just inside the entrance to the lounge is a drink area, with a variety of beer, wine, liquor, soda, juice, and water.
Then there’s the main buffet area with a live cooking station.
The first part of the buffet is the “fresh market,” with the ability to make your own salad. It’s always nice to see a lounge with healthy options, since that seems to be pretty rare.
Then there’s the “live cooking” area, which is where all the hot options are. However, this isn’t one of those lounge live cooking stations where they freshly prepare things for you, but rather the idea is that you see what’s being prepared for the buffet.
Options included vegetable broth, tom kha gai soup, beef slices in wok sauce, a potato casserole, rice, a couple of types of pinsa, and a variety of bread.
Next, there’s a food display area off to the side, with whole fruit, and sweets. The sweets had everything from chocolate, to gummy bears, to marshmallows, to cake, to cream puffs.
Lastly, there’s a coffee and tea station, with several machines where you can make your own drink.
I’d say the food and drink selection is sufficient, but not terribly exciting. There’s no proper bar or barista coffee, and the food selection isn’t terribly extensive. But still, it’s not a bad selection either.
SWISS Business Lounge Zurich bathrooms & showers
The SWISS Business Lounge Zurich has bathrooms in the very back of the lounge. These are pretty special bathrooms, in the sense that they also have a view of the apron, which you don’t often find. The men’s room had three sinks, four urinals, and three stalls, though some of urinals were out of service during my visit.
The lounge also has shower suites, which are shared with the adjacent SWISS Senator Lounge. If you want a shower, just proceed to the front desk, and they can arrange that for you (though during peak hours, there may be a wait). The showers are located outside the main part of the lounge, just past the elevators.
The shower suites are nicely appointed, each with a sink, toilet, and walk-in shower.
Toiletries are in reusable containers from Soeder, as seems to be the standard product line for the carrier nowadays.
The SWISS Business Lounge Zurich is physically a pretty nice lounge, with lots of natural light and great views, plus plenty of seating options, ranging from workstations, to nap areas, to a dining area. The lounge has a decent food and drink selection, which will likely neither disappoint nor delight. If you’re there when the terrace is open, then you’re in for a treat, since the plane spotting is amazing.
This is definitely the better SWISS Business Lounge at the airport, so I think it’s worth going out of your way to visit this lounge rather than the Schengen SWISS Business Lounge. In the Schengen zone, I prefer the SWISS Alpine Lounge.
What do you make of the SWISS Business Lounge Zurich?