Swiss Panoramic Business Lounge at Zurich Airport
Layovers at an airport can be terribly dull, boring and frustrating. Or they can be completely and utterly delightfully wonderful. Come with me as I guide you through of the newest addition to the Swiss Airlines Business Class lounges at Zurich Airport.
Switzerland is not just home of exquisite watches, cheese and tasty chocolate. It’s also a mecka for modern transportation, architecture and design. Zurich Airport combines everything, and can also boast with quite the scenery. Gazing out the panoramic windows with a glass of red wine, I can make out the outline of the Swiss alps in the distance. But I digress. Let’s start from the beginning.
The airport is home to a handfull of various lounges to visit depending on if you are leaving or arriving, flying business or a frequent flier with top status. It’s no secret I am a fan of Swiss Airlines ever since I first had the pleasure of flying with them to Geneva a few years ago. The airline offers a three tier lounge concept, where business rank as the lowest and first class the highest, in between the two there’s the senator level which can only be obtained by flying – a lot. The differences between these lounges mainly consists of available services and food served.
I have over the years frequented their business lounge, located in the “Airside Center” between the various terminals. It is not a bad lounge, but it is way too often overcrowded and it lacks that certain je ne sais quoi. Having a four hour layover I decided it was time to explore the E-gates terminal, located midfield. This adventure requires a quick ride on the underground Sky Metro and climbing a few escalators, but as everything Swiss; the experience is quick, effortless and well packaged.
The train ride is well worth the experience alone, with Zoetrope-like films projected on the side of both the tunnels, accompanied with the sound effects of cows, bells and yodeling. A tiny detail that adds a lot to the immersion and excitement of arriving to or departing from Switzerland.
The midfield terminal is home to the new Swiss Airlines senator, business and first class lounges which all are located on the third floor, directly above the departure gates. The lounges were planned and designed by Greutmann Bolzern Design Studio, who also are responsible for the first class check-in in Terminal A.
As I climb the final stair I reach the lobby of the three lounges and I am greeted by a friendly woman, who informs me that my departure is in Terminal B and hands me the Wifi voucher which is good for 24 hours of Internet access. Entering the panoramic business lounge I softly plunge into a modern, pleasant and cozy atmosphere with almost complete silence. It appears I am alone here tonight, but venturing further inside I spot a few fellow adventurers.
The floor is covered with elegant dark oak with accenting oak furniture, fittings and corresponding black and white details. Everything even smells new. As I walk further inside, I pass by various food and drink sections that seem to span half the lounge. Fruit cocktails, pretzels, various hors d’oeuvres, wine, spirits, beer, coffee, tea, chocolate. There is definitely no shortage of treats here.
One thing that I have never seen in a business class lounge before is the ability to get a proper, fresh warm meal. Swiss Airlines goes above-and-beyond and offers various made-to-order dishes that is served directly to you by one of the kitchen staff. Most impressive.
Another noteworthy feature is the ultra-long terrace that runs along the panoramic windows outside the lounge. Stepping out on it you are greeted with a impressive view over the docked airplanes below and the beautiful Swiss alpine landscape beyond it.
There’s also a quiet area where you can catch up on some needed shut-eye or simply just soak in the beautiful landscape and count the number of planes departing right outside the window while seated in a comfy day-bed. If you have the time, I highly recommend you pop in for a relaxing a shower (or Schaffhausen as they call it).
As I sip on my glass of locally produced red wine, after finishing a tasty slow cooked beef stroganoff with rice I can’t help feeling at right at home. I have everything I need. From fast Internet access, a never-ending supply of food, quiet work areas, comfortable day-beds, luxurious showers and a panoramic view that is bound to give you both spectacular sunrises and sunsets.
The clock is sneaking up on my boarding time and it is sadly time for me to leave. Swiss Airlines, if you are reading this; how do I sign up to live here permanently?