Reviews

Review: SWISS Business Lounge D, Zurich Airport

Overall Rating

By Chris Chamberlin, November 15 2018
SWISS Business Lounge D, Zurich Airport
Country

Switzerland

City

Zurich

Airport

Zurich

Alliance

Star Alliance

Airline

SWISS

Cabin-class

Business

Notes
The Good
  • The lounge - literally!
  • Access for Priority Pass members
The Bad
  • Dark, small (and hot)
X-Factor
  • Multiple power point types for international travellers
Location
Dining
Work
Overall

Introduction

Catering mainly to SWISS' business class passengers taking short flights to destinations outside the Schengen Area, such as from Zurich to London, the SWISS Business Lounge D will be the closest lounge to your departure gate at Zurich Airport, but isn't your only choice.

Here's what Business Lounge D has to offer, but why you might instead choose to explore one of SWISS' other lounges for an improved pre-flight experience.

Location & Impressions

If you're beginning your journey in Zurich, you'll first clear security screening straight after check-in, where you'll have the opportunity to visit the nicer and newer SWISS Business Lounge A near the Schengen gates, if desired, albeit before passport control.

For Business Lounge D, follow the signage to the D gates and clear outbound passport control in Switzerland, which will put you right near the "SWISS Lounge D" walkway:

It's quite a trek, so keep following the signs along...

... and, finally, you'll reach the SWISS lounge reception, which is shared between this Business Lounge and the separate Senator Lounge next door:

As for the Business Lounge, it tends to be quite a dark and dreary place, with limited natural light and a general lack of ambient lighting...

... even though there are indeed external windows – the blinds are just kept shut, or close to it:

Wherever you go, it's still very dark...

... so given a choice between spending time here in Business Lounge D, or the recently-revamped Business Lounge A which is lighter and brighter, and which you pass on the walk from check-in anyway, I'd personally opt for Business Lounge A: visiting the D lounge only closer to boarding.

The fact that I overheard fellow travellers asking the reception staff where a "better lounge" was located should sum it up, so hopefully this is the next lounge that SWISS refurbishes at Zurich Airport.

Until that happens, Business Lounge D opens from 6am until 10:30pm daily.

Access

With nine different SWISS lounges at Zurich Airport, this particular facility primarily serves the following passengers departing from the airport's D gates:

  • Business class travellers flying with SWISS and its Star Alliance partner airlines to most 'non-Schengen' destinations within a relatively short flying distance, such as the two-hour hop to London, rather than longer-range flights like those to the USA or Asia, which use the separate 'E dock' (where there's another lounge).
  • Miles & More Frequent Traveller (Star Alliance Silver) members booked to fly with a Star Alliance airline or on an eligible codeshare flight from the D gates, although this benefit does not extend to other Star Alliance Silver cardholders such as Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Silver.
  • SWISS and Edelweiss Air economy passengers who purchase and print a lounge pass via the SWISS website prior to travel for 49CHF (A$67.50) per person.
  • United Club and Air Canada Maple Leaf Club Worldwide members prior to Star Alliance flights.
  • Priority Pass and Lounge Club members prior to flights with any airline, although access for LoungeKey, DragonPass and Diners Club cardholders is not available here, as can sometimes be an option where Priority Pass is welcome.

If you were thinking of visiting Business Lounge A before (or instead of) Business Lounge D, the access list is much the same between both lounges, except that Priority Pass and Lounge Club members are only welcome in Lounge D.

All Star Alliance Gold frequent flyers can instead visit the higher-tier Senator Lounge next door.

Dining

Food and drink service here is all from the buffet...

... beginning with a variety of breads and pastries...

... along with fresh fruit...

... chilled meats and salads with various dressings...

... two soups (not pictured), and a hot dish – in this case, pasta:

A variety of snacks were also at-hand...

... as was a selection of Movenpick ice cream:

On the beverage front, the expected soft drinks, juices, water and beer...

... joined by machine-made espresso coffee...

... teas, various spirits...

... and red, white and sparkling wines:

The dining area provides two main table types – those suited to solo travellers and duos...

... and others more social:

Work

Outside of the dining area, most seats provide access to power. You'll generally find them near the lamps...

... or along one of several working benches. One of these faces an unobstructed window, but the sunlight made this part of the lounge rather hot due to inadequate air conditioning...

... and although several pedestal fans had been deployed throughout the space, they made no real difference. If you can bear the heat, two computer terminals are at the ready...

... as are more working benches, albeit with no view:

Given Zurich-London would be the most popular, short-distance, non-Schengen flight from Zurich Airport for business travellers, it was pleasing to see that the power outlets provided here offered both European and UK-style plugs...

... although for a slightly better atmosphere and without the searing heat, I found the long bench tables in the dining space adequate for some quick laptop work before boarding:

This lounge doesn't have its own dedicated WiFi network, instead requiring travellers to register their passport information for access to the terminal's main WiFi facility, which provided average speeds of 28Mbps down and 32Mbps up, which, despite the hassle, was more than adequate.

Relax

With time to spare before your flight, there's a selection of reading material available...

... and, perhaps better-suited to those with connecting flights than travelling only from Zurich to London, shower facilities.

All things considered, this space really feels like more of a 'regional' lounge than an international business class facility in an airline's home hub, and as such, isn't a lounge I'd arrive early to visit.

As mentioned earlier, my advice to business class travellers taking short-distance, non-Schengen SWISS flights from Zurich Airport is to take advantage of the great new Business Lounge A just past check-in but before outbound passport control, as would otherwise be used by passengers jetting within the European Schengen Area.

Even if you're flying elsewhere, such as to London, your business class boarding pass still provides entry to Business Lounge A, and this single photograph of that lounge should be enough to convince you the detour is worth it, given you'd walk past it anyway:

AusBT review: SWISS Business Lounge A, Zurich Airport

Just bear in mind that between Lounge A and your non-Schengen departure gate, you'll need to clear passport control, and there's no priority lane for business class flyers.

If you make it through with plenty of time to spare, certainly swing by Business Lounge D, but if you don't, you're not missing much!

Chris Chamberlin travelled to Zurich as a guest of Star Alliance and SWISS.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

vantage03

vantage03

13 Aug 2015

Total posts 39

The thing that makes the ZRH D lounges particularly useless is that there is no bathroom inside, you need to leave the lounge and use the public loos down the hall. Seems ridiculous at their hub!

bsb

bsb

21 Jul 2011

Total posts 70

I was in a Swiss Lounge A ZRH VIE two days ago, it was fabulous - obviously I was in the other one. Not being a *A flier, this was all new to me and I was very mimore

Swiss_Chris

Swiss_Chris

21 Nov 2018

Total posts 1

I am a frequent flyer with Swiss, based in ZRH.
I don't exactly understand some of the critics:
This lounge is totally not dark but has large windows and offers great views of the runway. You can always ask staff to open the blinds if the system has lowered them automatically. The Swiss Lounge D feels very private because they are a lot less passenger than at the other lounges (A, E). Especially A gets extremely packed several times a day. The seating layout of D is much more generous than the layout at the new A (compare the pictures). The style of D is elegant, the eating area at the new A feels like being in a cheap self-service restaurant.
I clearly prefer the old D to the new "optimised" A.

Jenny Toon

Jenny Toon

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

21 Dec 2018

Total posts 2

Travelling business class , swiss Air, I am arriving in ZRH from HK non schengen E gates, travelling to Moscow which I am told is D gates not E. I have 6 hours transit. I wish to utilise the business lounge and not sure of how to get there. Do I exit tfrom arrival at E gates thru passport control? Do I enter thru passport control and security? Do I pass the A lounge en route? and how easy is it to travel between gates? On return flight I arrive at ZRH from Prague (schengen) and need to travel to E gates to fly to HK. I have an 8 hour transit and wish to be in the best business lounge for comfort. Do I just stay in E terminal or do I pass thru passport control?

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on SWISS Business Lounge D, Zurich Airport