We have Zurich Airport tested twice and have it as one of best in the world. Singapore is still our favourite airport, but Zurich is towards the top of our list as well. Skytrax have rated it as a 4-star airport. Views of passengers that we have canvassed all have Zurich as a pleasant airport and a relaxing place to be. This is one of those airports that you do not mind being early.
A big plus is the connection to Swiss Railways and one can connect to any part of Switzerland with ease. There is no need to reserve a seat or pre-purchase your ticket, just buy one from the helpful ticket office staff or use one of the self-service machines.
The train is the best way to reach Zurich, so don’t bother with taxis as they are a lot more expensive. With luck your hotel will be close to main station, as many are. It is certainly worth keeping the proximity to the railway station in mind and booking one that is close by.
Operating since 1948, this airport is the epitome of Swiss efficiency! Everything works well, it all gleams and there are plenty of examples of good engineering. The gates at Terminal E use a high-speed train to get you to a place where the sounds of the Swiss Alps can be heard.
Check-in for many airlines is very fast and makes full use of self-service machines or has plenty of desks. At the times we have checked-in, there was no evidence of queues, including with the low cost airlines.
Zurich Airport, as the main airport for Switzerland, has three runways and handles about 23 million visitors a year. It services 86 airlines to 184 destinations worldwide. The big users are Swiss International Airlines, Air Berlin and Edelweiss Air, Deutsche Lufthansa and British Airways.
All of the services you are likely to need are available, including free Wi-Fi, banks and a post office. In case of emergency, there is a medical centre, pharmacy and even a dental clinic. Trolleys are free and porters are readily available. A left luggage office is in the arrival area.
With 73 landside retail outlets and a further 70 on the airside, shopping is upmarket and many top brands are to be found here. There are, of course, some great displays of Swiss Chocolate!
Dining is easy with 35 landside restaurants and 16 on the airside. They offer many options, ranging from upmarket Swiss restaurants to Starbucks and Burger King. There is no problem finding something to eat or drink; the main issue is that it burns a hole in your pocket as Zurich Airport is not a cheap airport.
If you are in transit and need a night’s accommodation, the Radisson Blu Hotel is on site and offers conference and meeting rooms. Close by, but not in the airport, are the Best Western Airport Hotel, Hilton Zurich Airport, Mövenpick Hotel Zürich-Airport and NH Zürich Airport Hotel.
The airport is well equipped for disabled access. For passengers requiring physical assistance, help is available if passengers reach the special needs desk at least 90 minutes before departure.
Security was efficient and fast, with no hold ups.
The main car hire companies, Avis, Europcar, Budget, Hertz, National and Sixt, were found in the Airport Centre at Level 1.
One downside is that Zurich is not the best connecting airport as a lot of walking and switching between terminals may be involved.
There are two public lounges where an entry fee is charged, the Dnata Skyview Lounge and the Panorama Lounge. The airline’s lounges are Emirates Lounge, SKYTEAM Lounge, Swiss Arrival Lounge, Swiss Business Lounge, Swiss First Lounge and the Swiss Senator Lounge.
Showers are available on the landside at the Service Centre on Level 1 of the multi-storey car park 2, as well as at the airside Location Transits B and D. The Service Centre also rents out bikes, inline skates and Nordic walking poles.
As is the case for most airports, smoking is not allowed within the main airports areas, however, there are six smoking lounges accessible to the public on the landside and a further 14 available to passengers on the airside.
Day rooms and rest areas are available for hire if you just require a short sleep between flights.
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