WHERE IS IT? The official entrance to the first class lounge is situated close to the transit desk after passport control, in front of the security check for the gates in Terminal A. First class passengers can also access the facility through the business class lounge (which also houses what is reputedly the longest lounge bar in the world). From the first lounge it takes five to ten minutes to reach the gates, not including security.
WHO CAN USE IT? Swiss and Lufthansa first class passengers, Miles and More members with HON Circle status and first class passengers who are flying Swiss as an operating carrier. The lounge is open from 6am to 9.30pm.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS There is a separate service desk and reception with an entrance either side leading into the lounge. Opposite is the business class lounge, which is currently undergoing renovations and is expected to be ready by June 7, in time for the Euro 2008 football championships. The quiet, airy first lounge has neutral décor and felt very relaxed, with views over runway 28 and Terminal E through floor-to-ceiling windows.
LOUNGE FACILITIES There are two main seating areas in the 650-sqm lounge, which features Jurassic limestone throughout and is fitted with low black-leather armchairs designed by Jasper Morrison (panels attached to the chairs have ethernet ports for internet access, but passengers should bring their own cable as reception doesn’t have many spares). Jars of peanuts and gummy bears top each coffee table, and there are two modest self-service refreshment bars offering wine, Tattinger brut rosé champagne, fruit, desserts, savoury snacks and Swiss chocolate. (Similar offerings to those in the business class lounge.)
At one end there is a TV section and library and at the other, two VIP rooms which need to be booked at reception. For passengers preferring to eat before their flight, there is a 12-seat fine-dining restaurant (plus six seats at the bar) offering free Swiss and international à la carte cuisine with one starter, main course and dessert designed by the in-flight chef. (The menu mirrors what is available on the plane.) Flights are not called from the lounge, but departure boards are positioned at various points around the facility.
There are two meeting rooms with a capacity of six to eight people, bookable upon arrival at reception. There is wired and wireless internet access throughout, but wifi can only be accessed with a 30-minute voucher from the desk, which means when it runs out you have to ask for another one. There are three internet stations inside cabins – you can either use the laptops provided or hook your own up – and a good selection of newspapers is available.
WASHROOM FACILITIES There is one shower each for men and women, with towels and Bulgari toiletries, and a small day room where passengers can sleep and freshen up, (this too must be booked at reception). The day room also has a shower with towels and Bulgari products, a bed with pillow and blankets, and drinks can be delivered on request.
OTHER SERVICES Swiss is offering first class and HON member passengers a limousine service to open stands and Terminal E. Passengers also have access to the “longest lounge bar in the world”, located upstairs via the business class lounge.
VERDICT A comfortable and functional offering with aesthetically pleasing design, and provided it is not too busy, passengers should find everything they need.
CONTACT Swiss First Lounge, +41 227 993 340; swiss.com.