Last week I flew Swiss’ economy class from London to Zurich, then their premium economy from Zurich to Hong Kong. Between flights I had a roughly 2.5-hour layover in Zurich. While Zurich Airport is a pleasant space to spend a couple of hours (especially as both my arrival and departure were from the E gates, which is otherwise fairly deserted at night), I decided to buy myself a lounge pass. This was both because I wanted to review Swiss’ newly renovated lounge by the D gates, and also because I wanted to write about the actual process of buying a lounge pass with Swiss.
Buying a lounge pass ended up being a much better deal than I was expecting, and even when I’m not reviewing an airline lounge I may still consider buying one in the future, particularly if I don’t otherwise have lounge access (such as with Priority Pass). Here’s my reasoning for why you might want to do so too.
Discounted Swiss lounge access for Premium Economy passengers
Swiss typically sells a lounge pass for 49 CHF/HK$451/£45.19 (69 CHF/HK$635/£63.64 if you’re using their Arrivals Lounge) if you’re flying economy class. However, if you’re flying premium economy, you get a 10 CHF/HK$92/£9.22 discount. This brings the price down to 39 CHF/HK$359/£35.97, which represents a ~20% discount if you’re departing out of Zurich.
As a point of comparison, Priority Pass charges US$35/HK$273/£27.4 per visit if your membership doesn’t include free lounge access – this is just a tad higher than how much you pay per visit after your four free visits with an AmEx Gold card. I’d say Swiss lounges are worth the slight premium, given that Priority Pass lounges are generally uninspiring (this is the case in Zurich).
Swiss’ lounges are beautiful and worth the money
Speaking of lounge quality, Swiss has a excellent lounge by their E gates (which I’d consider one of the world’s best), which offers a made-to-order cooking counter, an outdoor terrace, draught beer and juice on tap, and gorgeous shower rooms.
The gorgeous outdoor terrace at Swiss’ Business Lounge E
Made-to-order spaetzle at the Swiss Business Lounge E
Their other lounges are all recently refurbished and beautiful, though don’t feature fancy quirks. I’ve not visited the lounge by the A gates since its refurbishment (you’ll only get access to the Business lounge if you purchase access, and not the Alpine lounge that is exclusive to Lufthansa Group business class passengers and Star Gold members), though I did get to access their newly refurbished lounge by the D gates, which I’ll publish a review of shortly.
Especially if you have a late-night departure out of Zurich, the lounge by the D gates will be deserted, as very few late night flights leave out of there (the D gates are generally reserved for non-Schengen shorthaul flights, such as to the UK and North Africa – they share parking “docks” with the B gates, so the D gates generally see the least footfall). I’d certainly recommend heading to that lounge if you’re on a non-Schengen flight, and just need a shower, a bite to eat, and a place to work. It’s certainly worth the premium over a Priority Pass lounge if you were going to pay anyway, and I’d argue it’s even worth it over a free visit to a crowded Priority Pass lounge. I’ve generally never had really bad issues with crowding at a Swiss lounge in Zurich.
Swiss’ gorgeous Business Lounge D
You can lounge hop (contrary to what you might expect)
When buying a lounge pass online for one of Swiss’ lounges in Zurich, you specifically buy a pass for one of Swiss’ lounges. I bought one for the lounge by the D gate area, as I wanted to review it. The lounge attendant there scanned my lounge voucher (given to you as a QR code via email), and let me know that even with my pass I could’ve visited the lounge by the E gates.
When I realised I had plenty of time before boarding after reaching the E gate area, I decided to test out whether I could enter a second lounge. Yes, I could! As long as your boarding pass is valid for the day you fly, you basically buy yourself the same lounge access that you otherwise would on a business class ticket (minus the Alpine lounge).
Swiss Business Lounge E Seating
Where you can purchase lounge access with the Lufthansa Group
It’s worth noting that while I’ve only tried this in Zurich, you can purchase lounge access at Swiss or Lufthansa lounges at the following airports:
- Lufthansa Business Lounge Düsseldorf (DUS) – 29 EUR
- Lufthansa Business Lounge New York (JFK) – US$39
- Lufthansa Business Lounge Hamburg (HAM) – 29 EUR
- Lufthansa Business Lounge Berlin (BER) – 29 EUR
- Lufthansa Business Lounge Boston (BOS) – US$39
- Lufthansa Business Lounge Detroit (DTW) – US$39
- Swiss Business Lounge Geneva (GVA) – 49 CHF
- Lufthansa Business Lounge Hannover (HAJ) – 29 EUR
- Lufthansa Business Lounge London Heathrow (LHR) – £49
- Lufthansa Business Lounge Milan Malpensa (MXP) – 39 EUR
- Austrian Business Lounge Vienna (VIE) – 44 EUR (F, G or D gates)
- Lufthansa Business Lounge Washington Dulles (IAD) – US$39
- Swiss Business Lounge Zurich (ZRH) – CHF 49 (A, E, D gates) or CHF 69 (Arrivals lounge)
I’d presume the same principles apply to the Austrian lounges as they do here, though otherwise I do only find value proposition when purchasing a lounge pass for the Swiss lounges in Zurich (since you can lounge hop, and the lounges are generally better in quality than all the other ones listed above). Note that Lufthansa’s Frankfurt and Munich lounges don’t participate in the scheme.
Conclusion: Buying Swiss Lounge Access
I was fully expecting purchasing Swiss lounge access to not be worth it, especially since I knowingly didn’t buy a pass for Swiss’ flagship lounge (as there was another lounge I wanted to review). However, I’d say that in Zurich, I’d consider buying Swiss lounge access worth it, especially when flying premium economy. I’ll definitely consider doing it again if I’m flying Swiss and have a long layover at Zurich Airport.
Have you bought lounge access with Swiss at Zurich Airport before?