Two Days in Zurich – Introduction


Kraków Airport is currently in a modernising phase whereby some parts of the airport were closed in the past few years and rebuilt, in addition to a completely new area of the airport that was opened in September of last year. Just recently, in July, another new area of the airport was opened with new check-in stations and a few new gates.

The previous, old, part of the airport had just eight gates.. without jetways.. which was sort of a disaster given that Kraków is quite popular amongst tourists and business travellers. The new part of the airport features three jetways (though one remains operational as of now – for Lufthansa, mainly), additional restaurants, shopping, and two new Business Lounges.

Check-in for my SWISS flight to Zurich was available in the new part of the terminal, along with Lufthansa and Austrian check-in. Since the three airlines share the same system, Amadeus, it makes sense for the check-in to be centralised.

Check-in

Check-in

After receiving my boarding pass, I was able to clear security through the Fast Track lane (having a Fast Track lane at a small airport in Poland.. well, it’s kind of a big deal) and then I was airside and presented with a new area of the airport… with a duty-free store.. that sells Rimowa!?! Okay, that’s a huge improvement for an airport like this.

In addition to a few shopping areas, there are also a number of new restaurants and coffee shops… again, progress!

I reviewed the other Business Lounge back in January, when a part of the new terminal opened. That Business Lounge has now been converted to a Non-Schengen Business Lounge upon the opening of this new, Schengen Business Lounge. Previously, both Schengen and Non-Schengen passengers could access that lounge as it was prior to passport control. Now with this new Schengen lounge, they’ve closed off the pathway to that lounge and it is now located after passport control.

Something important to note: the Non-Schengen Business Lounge isn’t open all day, every day. Therefore sometimes Non-Schengen passengers have access to this new Schengen Business Lounge. For information and hours, I would refer to the Priority Pass lounge listing.

Business Lounge (Schengen) Kraków

Business Lounge (Schengen) Kraków

Next to the entrance of the lounge, is the listing of airlines and participating programmes which grant lounge access. Select Star Alliance, oneworld, and SkyTeam elites have access to the lounge when travelling on an airline listed. Priority Pass and Lounge Key cardholders also gain access to the lounge. And finally, one-time access can be purchased for a fee of ~$30 USD.

The lounge is located between gates 9 and 10; opening hours are as follows:

  • Monday & Friday: 04:30 – 22:00
  • Tuesday – Wednesday, & Saturday: 04:30 – 21:00
  • Thursday & Sunday: 04:30 – 21:30
Business Lounge (Schengen) Kraków

Business Lounge (Schengen) Kraków

Upon entering the lounge, you’ll notice the lounge is virtually identical to the Non-Schengen lounge. The key difference is the location of the bathrooms – which are located near the entrance of the Schengen lounge and near the back of the Non-Schengen lounge.

The Schengen lounge also features a quiet place to work and a children’s play area, which the other lounge doesn’t have. I will note that the Schengen lounge seems to have less seating areas than the Non-Schengen lounge. The other lounge also seems to have more “style” than this lounge, as in the general placement of furniture and overall design. Fast, free WiFi is available.

Nevertheless, the lounges are a huge improvement over the previous Schengen and Non-Schengen Lounges.

Business Lounge (Schengen) Kraków

Business Lounge (Schengen) Kraków

The lounge features a variety of comfortable seating areas including sofas, chairs, lounge chairs, “restaurant-style” seating, and comfortable computer chairs in the quiet, work area. The lounge is “L” shaped in that the food/drink area and additional seating is located near the back, along with gorgeous views of the tarmac.

A variety of Polish and International catalogues are available near the food area, just past the children’s play area. No boarding announcements are made in the lounge, however flight information monitors are available.

My personal favourite seating area of the lounge is near the back, next to the windows that overlook the tarmac. Not only are the seats super comfortable, but the views are gorgeous. Lufthansa seems to be the airline that utilises the jetway the most, so expect to see Lufthansa aircraft and passengers throughout the day the most.

Lounge Seating

Lounge Seating

Lounge Seating and View

Lounge Seating and View

Lounge View

Lounge View

The food area and food/drink/snack selection is identical to that of the Non-Schengen Business Lounge. The food and snacks consist of fruit, cold cuts, soups, salads, bread, yoghurt, jams, chips, chocolate, and a selection of delicious pies and pastries.

The drinks include water, soda, juice, tea, coffee, and a variety of alcoholic options such as beer, wine, champagne, and premium spirits.

Food Area

Food Area

Food Area

Food Area

Snacks

Snacks

Snacks

Snacks

Salad

Salad

The bathrooms, which are located near the entrance of the lounge, are modern and very clean. A shower is also available.

Bathroom

Bathroom

Bathroom

Bathroom

Lunch

Lunch

All in all, another great, small lounge at Kraków Airport. While perhaps not as impressive (though similar) as the Non-Schengen Lounge, the Schengen Lounge does feature tarmac views and share similar food and amenities as the previous lounge. Both lounges are able to accommodate a larger number of passengers than the previous, older lounges that existed at the airport before the remodelling.

I can’t decide if I like that both lounges are identical or if I’d rather enjoy a different design in each lounge, which would make them unique. Either way, the food is delicious, the amenities are excellent for an airport this size (showers!), and the staff is friendly. Relax before your flight while enjoying Polish food and looking at the tarmac!