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Review: Swiss Business Class Lounge Zurich Terminal A (ZRH)

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The walk to Terminal A was surprisingly fast given my mom’s descriptions. I caught up with my family immediately, as I’d assumed it was quite a hike, and started running as fast as I could. I’m not sure how fast the rest of the group was walking at this point, but the immigration point for transiting passengers couldn’t have been more than 200m from the immigration point for passengers departing Zurich. At this point some of my friends realised they wouldn’t be able to make the 7 AM flight (they booked through a travel agency, so that’s a shame), so I made sure to get them rebooked on our flight.

I appreciated the extra time, though – while I thought I’d visited a combined business class/Senator lounge last time, I’m assuming the agent had actually accidentally pointed me towards the Senator lounge. The other possibility is that the lounge simply has different access policies at different times of day. Reviewing this lounge means that I’ve now covered all the business class lounge options at Zurich Airport.

I got to the entrance by going up a level from where the A gates were, as the two lounges share an entrance (I didn’t actually take a picture of the entrance, though here’s one from my previous visit).

Swiss Business Lounge A Entrance

The agent welcomed me into the lounge and pointed me towards a staircase behind her. I apologise for the bad picture quality, as I was feeling rather tired at this point and the lighting conditions weren’t great to start with. It’s also hard for me to take great pictures in crowded lounges, so I’m still trying to work on that.

The lounge was larger than I imagined – it featured a couple of rooms separated by privacy partitions. There was a ton of seating, so despite the amount of people there at the time, I wouldn’t have issues finding a place to sit.

Swiss Business Lounge A Seating

Swiss Business Lounge A Seating

While the lounge didn’t have many separate enclosed areas, I did love the private nooks by the side of the lounge, as there didn’t seem to be anyone in them.

Swiss Business Lounge A Seating

Swiss Business Lounge A Seating

There was also a large variety of seating, including the armchairs you’ve seen above, more high-backed chairs, some swankier chairs as well as some four-way chairs that can more accurately be described as flat sofas. These chairs were all featured in the areas with lower ceilings by the sides of the lounge – I wasn’t in there for long enough to accurate describe the shape of the lounge, as it definitely wasn’t “traditionally” shaped (it wasn’t a square room, in an L-shape, etc.).

Swiss Business Lounge A Seating

Swiss Business Lounge A Seating

Swiss Business Lounge A Seating

As far as I could tell there were two near-identical food spreads, each consisting of cold items, an extensive soft drink selection and an extensive booze selection.

Swiss Business Lounge A Food Spread

Swiss Business Lounge A Food Spread

Each food spread came with a (mostly deserted) area where you could eat. These areas were darker, and had varieties of seating more suitable for eating, such as communal tables, long benches, etc.

Swiss Business Lounge A Food Spread

There were more seating areas around the food spreads, including sofas, etc.

Swiss Business Lounge A Seating

Swiss Business Lounge A Food Spread

Swiss Business Lounge A Food Spread

As for the food spreads themselves, I didn’t find them to be especially inspirational by any means, though they were fully functional, at least as breakfast spreads. The food spreads featured bread, fruit, cereal, yoghurt, milk, etc. and other food you’d expect to be put out for breakfast. I found everything to be of decent quality, though if I’m back for lunch one day, I hope the lounge offers a more extensive spread.

Swiss Business Lounge A Food Spread

Swiss Business Lounge A Food Spread

Swiss Business Lounge A Food Spread

Swiss Business Lounge A Food Spread

There was a large, quasi-conical window-like structure that presumably lets in natural light from the terminal. There were chairs around the structure where presumably you can work, but I didn’t find those chairs to be too comfortable – I’d pick the armchairs to work over anywhere else, as there’s an abundance of power ports around those armchairs.

Swiss Business Lounge A Seating

There were also business centers equipped with computers where you could choose to work. I do like the atmosphere, though unfortunately those chairs aren’t comfortable at all.

Swiss Business Lounge A Seating

The tarmac views from the lounge are also nice, though it was dark outside, so I couldn’t really grab any nice pictures.

As I was deceived by the “smoking lounge” sign last time, I didn’t manage to grab a great picture of the longest airport bar in the world. I did get that it was still a smoking lounge, and the lounge attendants wouldn’t be comfortable with me in there. So before I exited the lounge, I literally popped in as fast as I could and snapped one picture of each side – while I’m glad I managed to get pictures, it is a shame that the space is used as a smoking area, as it’s easily the nicest part of the entire lounge. It’s worth noting that this space is shared between the business class lounge and the Senator lounge.

Swiss Business Lounge A Smoking Bar Seating

Swiss Business Lounge A Long Bar

I also noticed that the lounge had showers, though upon asking I was informed that I wouldn’t be able to take pictures of them, and was also asked to refrain from taking pictures of the lounge in general. Pictures were the only reason I was visiting the lounge in the first place, so I decided to leave and hang around by the gate.

I passed some interesting planes along the way, including a Swiss Bombardier CS100, which I was scheduled to fly on.

Swiss Bombardier CS100 Zurich Airport

The walkway to gate A85 was longer than expected, and was mostly underground. One of the walkways slanted up bringing us to ground level, where the waiting area was located for most of the A gates.

Zurich Airport Dock A Walkway

The waiting area looked drab compared to the E gates, though there was a handful of comfortable seating options and a variety of shops for people looking to buy duty-free souvenirs last-minute. My parents decided to get the children some breakfast here, though I had eaten enough at the Swiss D lounge.

Zurich Airport Dock A Waiting Area

Unfortunately we had rather crappy views of our A321, as it was parked by the corner of the terminal. I couldn’t see past the nose and the camera had to be angled (hence all the reflection in the below picture).

Swiss Airbus A321 Zurich Airport

This was my first time seeing an electronic self-boarding gate, though as a business class passenger I wouldn’t be using it, as the priority lane was manned. I was amused that there was an inner sanctum-like semicircle around the gate, though, as if everyone was trying to be the first onboard. I was one of around seven people with their passports at hand ready to pounce at the gate upon the initial boarding call.

Zurich Airport A Gates Gate Area

Once boarding was called, I was checked first, though they had trouble opening the door to the jetway. The area between the gate and the door soon filled up with people, though I still managed to make my way onboard first.

Bottom Line

Swiss’ lounge at Terminal A is pretty big and nice for a “regional”/Schengen lounge. Even then, I found the lounge to be rather drab and boring – it doesn’t hold a candle to the gorgeous Terminal E lounge. While I’m generally a fan of Swiss’ lounge designs, they just didn’t work under the “wooden” ceiling in this case.

I still wouldn’t mind spending time here if I had to, due to the extensive comfortable seating options, good WiFi and a decent food spread. It’s definitely not a lounge I’d come early to visit, though.

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