My short, amazing trip to Zurich was over in just two days. I had flown in from Kraków on Monday afternoon and was flying back on Wednesday morning. As previously mentioned, I upgraded the outbound flight to Business Class and decided not to upgrade the inbound flight since I wanted to see what SWISS Economy was like on short-haul routes.
The ride from my hotel was quick, just 10 minutes. Within seconds of arriving at Zurich Airport, I noticed SWISS’ First Class/Star Gold check-in area and headed to receive my boarding pass. Out of curiosity, I asked what a last minute upgrade would cost and I was told 300 CHF! Yeah, sounds like a great deal on a one-hour flight…
Security was quick and I was airside within minutes of arriving at the airport. The SWISS Business and Senator Lounges are located next to each other, through the same entrance. I arrived at 05:30 and the lounges open at 05:45, so I decided to buy some Toblerone chocolate from duty-free. Both lounges remain open until 23:00, and are located in the “A” departure area.
The SWISS Senator Lounge can be accessed by all Star Alliance Gold members and also all Star Alliance First Class passengers. The Business Lounge is available to Miles & More Frequent Travellers and Star Alliance Business Class passengers.
Interestingly, SWISS allows Priority Pass members access to the Business Lounge.. which is odd, since Lufthansa doesn’t. This is to make the lounges more “exclusive”.
The SWISS Senator Lounge (Schengen) Zurich features the following amenities:
- Non-smoking lounge
- Office units
- Copy machine
- Credit card phone
- PC with internet access
- Wireless network
- Local magazines and newspapers
- International magazines and newspapers
- German magazines and newspapers
The WiFi access is interesting: when you arrive at the lounge, you’re given a print-out with an unique code that works for a certain amount of time.. I don’t see what purpose this serves. Lufthansa’s lounges feature open WiFi with no password requirement. The authentication method I like the most for lounge WiFi is what United Clubs have – entering your Star Gold number, PNR, or one-time password.
SWISS’ Senator Lounge definitely has style. There are three levels, with the first level being smaller than the others, but the most elegant. The first level features a small drink/snack area with a variety of seating areas. My favourite is the “bar” style seating, but other, more comfortable seats are available.
The first level of the lounge is my favourite since it doesn’t get super busy as the main area of the lounge is the second level, which features most of the drinks, food, and seating.
The second level of the SWISS Senator Lounge is the largest, but not as elegant as the first level. Particularly, the seating looks very worn and isn’t in the best condition. The second level features an extensive seating area, a business centre, the food buffet, drinks, and the bathrooms.
I love the SWISS A330 model aircraft that are on display as you’re walking up to the second level.
The larger food buffet and drink selection is near the back of the lounge, on the second level. The seating area extends throughout the entire second level, with plenty of comfortable seats. Power for personal devices is available throughout the lounge.
The breakfast buffet consisted of a variety of bread, cold cuts, yoghurt, jams, fruit, cereal, granola, cheese, eggs, etc. In addition to delicious Swiss ice cream, pastry breads were also available for consumption. I tried virtually everything in the lounge and was amazed at how everything tasted; all of the food was simply fresh.
Not only was the food selection extensive, but so was the drink selection. It featured tea, coffee, hot chocolate, water, juice, soda, wine, champagne, beer, and premium alcoholic spirits. It was a bit too early for champagne, so I had some Swiss hot chocolate, which was excellent.
Delicious Swiss ice cream was available in many flavours.
The business centre is located near the back of the lounge, on the second level. It features a few computers, many desks with comfortable chairs, and catalogues/newspapers in different languages. There’s also a wooden map on the wall, which only adds to the style of the lounge.
The third level of the Senator Lounge is a shared bar with the neighbouring Business Lounge. The bar features more or less the same alcohol that is provided in the lounge. In addition to the bar, regular and “restaurant” style seating is also available.
Since the bar on the third level is shared with the Business Lounge, the entrance to the Senator Lounge doesn’t open automatically and only can be opened by the bartenders.
I (naturally) started with ice cream for breakfast! It was delicious. I then had some of the other food in the lounge and it was all delicious and tasty.
I left the lounge ten minutes prior to boarding, and headed towards my gate. As you exit the lounge, there’s a nice sign:
All in all, the Schengen SWISS Senator Lounge is a very enjoyable place to relax or work before your flight. While the lounge might be showing signs of age, the seats are still very comfortable and the lounge features a variety of delicious food and tasty drinks.
The new SWISS Lounges that opened in Dock E are very stylish, modern, and large. I hope to fly through Zurich soon, in order to experience SWISS’ new First Class Lounge.
I really like Zurich airport, while it isn’t designed as great as the one in Munich, it’s still optimal for short connections and transfers. Beyond that, I find all of the staff very friendly. There are also a lot of (expensive) shops and boutiques.
My returning flight to Kraków was also operated using an Avro RJ100, which is actually very spacious in Economy on the “2” side of the aircraft, since it is in a 2-3 configuration. I was in seat 5A, which was the first row of Economy. I had plenty of legroom and also a ton of space between the window, my seat, and the seat next to me.
The flight to Kraków was enjoyable and I was soon back in Poland. Overall, I enjoyed my time in Zurich and also enjoyed flying with SWISS.
SWISS is an airline that clearly differentiates itself from others in that they’re a true premium airline. They’re a world-class airline in the sky and on the ground.