Review: Swiss Senator Lounge Zurich

Introduction
Club International Seattle
Lufthansa Business Class Seattle to Frankfurt
Lufthansa Senator Lounge Frankfurt
Lufthansa Business Class Frankfurt to Nice
Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Mediterranee
Grand Hyatt Cannes Hotel Martinez
Park Hyatt Zurich
Swiss Senator Lounge Zurich
Austrian Business Class Zurich to Vienna
Austrian Business Class Vienna to Tokyo Narita
EVA Air Business Class Tokyo Narita to Taipei
Le Meridien Taipei
W Taipei
EVA Air Infinity Lounge Taipei
EVA Air Royal Laurel Class Taipei to San Francisco
Thoughts on Nice, Monte Carlo, Cannes, Zurich, and Taipei


Our flight to Vienna was at 10:25AM, so we got to the airport at around 9AM.

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Airport exterior

Swiss handles Austrian’s check-in, and there was no queue at the business class counters. Our boarding passes were printed as far as Tokyo Narita.

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Business class check-in

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Business class check-in

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Departures board

We walked towards security, where the queue was very short, and we were through within about five minutes or so.

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Walking towards security

Physically Zurich Airport is one of my favorites given how modern it is, and how bright and airy the terminal feels.

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Terminal

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Terminal

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Terminal

The Swiss lounge is located on the upper level of the terminal, and both the Senator and Business lounge share a single entrance.

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Lounge entrance

The Senator Lounge is located to the left, and one of the nicer non-first class lounges in Europe. It is spread across two levels. The second level features high ceilings and plenty of seating.

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Senator Lounge seating

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Senator Lounge seating

That’s also where the business center is located.

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Business center

Then there’s a lower level which has more seating, though the main food spread is located on the second level.

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Senator Lounge seating

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Senator Lounge seating

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Cool model airplane display on second level

Then there’s a third level with a bar which is shared between both the Senator and Business Lounge. It’s a smoking lounge and also the longest airport bar in the world, if I’m not mistaken.

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Longest airport bar in the world

In terms of the Senator Lounge food spread, it was actually quite decent. There was a cooler with all kinds of bottled drinks, and then next to it was the wine and booze selection.

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Soft drinks

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Wine

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Booze

While there weren’t any hot options, the food spread was quite good and consisted of all kinds of bread/croissants, yogurt, cheese, meat, cereal, etc.

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Breakfast spread

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Breakfast spread

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Breakfast spread

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Breakfast spread

The lounge also had two of the greatest things to come from Switzerland — Mövenpick and Ricolla.

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Mövenpick ice cream

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Riiiiiiiiiiicola

My one gripe about the lounge is that in order to use the wifi you have to register and then have them SMS you an access code. That means for most of us you can only use the internet on one device, which is ridiculous.

At around 9:45AM we headed towards our departure gate, A72. It was about a 10 minute walk away.

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Heading to our departure gate

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Swiss shorthaul aircraft

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Longhaul traffic

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European departures area

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Our plane to Vienna

At around 10:05AM boarding was called, and this gate had self boarding, which was pretty awesome.

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Self boarding

Comments

  1. MEOW says

    Lucky, How do they handle gate lice and Y passengers boarding with J passengers with self-boarding?

  2. lucky says

    @ MEOW — The short answer is that they don’t. Which is the case intra-Europe whether they just board business class first or not. ;)

  3. Tom says

    “Is Zurich worth visiting? I’ll cover that in the next installment” What happened to Zurich?

  4. 100K says

    BRU lounges do the same thing with internet. Little piece of paper with a code good for one device and one hour. Then you have to go back and ask for another after an hour. Frustrating.

  5. SG says

    They definitely print out wifi codes for you. I was there in April and only had an hour transit from BRU and connecting to PEK. Got a stand so thought i wouldn’t have time for a shower. Instead got picked up by the business class bus. Hit the terminal, got to the lounge, had a shower and got a wifi code, and still managed to relax a bit before taking the train to my PEK gate. Awesome smooth connection!

  6. lucky says

    @ Tom — Sorry, slight change in plans. Decided I’ll add Taipei to the group of cities and just share my thoughts on all five places in the last installment.

  7. STelite says

    Hey Lucky,

    Ref to WiFi at the lounge, I was there last week and all they needed was my boarding pass which they used to print out a code which you could use for up to 5 devices.

  8. dan says

    Hi Ben

    I wanted to get your opinion on what to do with my us airway miles. I have trips already planned out through next yr and I still have 200k miles left in my account. Should I try to burn them or will they become aa miles after the merger?

  9. lucky says

    @ dan — They will become American miles, though it’s anyone’s guess whether the award chart will be devalued in the process. If you have some trips you want to take then I’d redeem them as soon as possible since miles are constantly being devalued, and it’s tough to beat US Airways’ award prices between the US and North Asia, for example.

  10. lucky says

    @ ColaMan — Because they’re not individual serving bottles, but rather bottles you pour yourself a glass from.

  11. wwk5d says

    “and both the Senator and Business lounge share a single entrance.”

    Stupid question(s), but what the is the difference between the two, if the Senator lounge isn’t a first class lounge? And how does one qualify for the Senator lounge?

  12. lucky says

    @ wwk5d — The Senator Lounge is available to those flying first class on partner airlines as well as Star Gold members, while the Business Lounge is for business class passengers. In theory the food and drinks are supposed to be mildly better, I think, though in practice I don’t really find that to be the case.

  13. nancy says

    so do they have baggage storage like they do in frankfurt?

    i didn’t notice that in any of the reviews. i am thinking (probably too optimistically) that i might be able to leave the airport during my 4 hour layover and see a bit of zurich.

  14. Rendy AK says

    @Lucky – Is the Senator Lounge the same lounge as “Swiss International Airlines Lounge” which accepts Priority Pass or is it a different one?

  15. says

    @ Rendy AK — Slightly different. That would be the Swiss Business Lounge, though it’s very similar.

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