The day had arrived. It was time to fly SWISS First Class.
This wasn’t my first time flying SWISS First Class, but it was my first time flying SWISS First from Zurich.
Had I been flying alone, I would have arrived at the airport at 6am (for my 1:10pm flight) in order to fully savor the experience, but this was a very different trip: I was traveling with my wife and 14-month-old son Augustine.
Thus, we had to time it just right. Not too long to make Augustine restless, but not too short to miss the chance for a nice meal together in the SWISS First Lounge.
We arrived about two hours before departure, pulling up to a quiet Zurich airport. We had a lot a lot of baggage and I ended up making three trips from the car to the terminal.
SWISS First check-in is located on the far side of the terminal. You can either use a standard check-in counter or enter a special first class check-in area inside a small white room.
After checking our bags, we were directed to the first class lounge just past the security checkpoint. SWISS does not offer escorts from the check-in through security. Security, thankfully, is civil and unobtrusive in Zurich, and we were soon past the checkpoint and our way to the Terminal A Schengen First Class Lounge.
Upon arrival, we were offered the choice to stay or immediately depart to the E-Gates, featuring SWISS’s beautiful first class lounge.
We opted to travel to the E-Gates and were escorted to a private passport control desk, stamped out of Switzerland, and into a Mercedes van. The ride to the E Gates took about seven minutes and provided excellent tarmac views.
Upon arrival, an elevator took us up three levels directly into the first class lounge.
I’ve recently reviewed the first class lounge – you can find my full review here.
Here are a handful of pictures:
> Read More: SWISS First Class Lounge Zurich Review
It was now about 11:30a and we were ready for a nice meal together. While Augustine happily chooses Laugenbrötchen whenever he can, I had trouble deciding between breakfast or lunch. The menu had changed since my visit last summer:
I opted for the “Pure SWISS” menu over breakfast, enjoying a wonderful multi-course meal featuring ingredients sourced only in Switzerland.
Lunch started with smoked duck breast with pear jelly, mushrooms, and salad tips. It was excellent.
Next came an interesting soup of apple and beetroot. It was a bit sweet for my taste, but had a memorable flavor. In other words, I am glad I tried it but would not order it again.
A palate cleanser with apple and lemon sorbet was fitting.
The main course featuring an amazing venison ragout with elderberry sauce, rösti, pumpkin, and sprouts. It was fabulous.
I skipped the carrot cake, opting for fresh berries instead.
It was early and I was not in the mood for several glasses of Swiss wine. Instead, I had fresh-squeezed orange juice and cappuccino.
The meal was excellent, but sharing it with my wife and son made it special. Unless SWISS decides to start making first class award space available to Star Alliance partners, I’m not in a position to be a regular visitor to this lounge. But it was worth it.
Before boarding, we spent some time out on the patio. It was nippy out, but the fresh Swiss air was soon missed.
Unlike the Lufthansa First class experience, SWISS offers no personal attendant in the lounge and does not escort you to the gate. I think that is a missed opportunity, but it was only a short walk down the elevator and a few hundred feet to our gate.
The Lufthansa First Class ground experience is more personalized and overall better, but SWISS offers excellent service on the ground in Zurich to first class passengers. If you’re paying full fare for your first class ticket, SWISS also offers chauffeur service from your home or hotel. Make time to enjoy the remarkable Swiss cuisine inside the lounge.
Next up: a full review of SWISS First Class from Zurich to Los Angeles aboard a 777-300ER.