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Old Feb 6, 05, 8:34 am   #1
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 131
More of a ZRH question than a Swiss one...

but I thought I would consult the experts.

My wife and I and 10 and 12 year-olds (all US citizens) are arriving on a Swiss flight from NCE to ZRH at 8:45 on a Saturday morning in April and connecting to a Swiss flight to ORD at 12:45 that afternoon. All but carryons will be checked through and we will arrive in Business class and depart in First class. We are seasoned travelers and have been to ZRH and Zurich before.

Do you think we should try to take the train into Zurich or just hang out in the lounge? This assumes we would be allowed to leave the airport.

My question is more about time/logistics, clearing immigration, re-entering the airport, etc. We are pretty familiar with the activity options, which is why we would prefer to go into Zurich instead of sit in the lounge.

All advice appreciated.
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Old Feb 6, 05, 8:58 am   #2
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The good news is you can leave the aiport if you wish and immigration is likely to be simple; normally all passengers go through the same channels and at that time on a Saturday, lines shouldn't be too long. Also, the rail station is at the airport, though rather a long walk from the terminals. There are about four trains an hour to Zurich main station (Hauptbahnhof) - they used to be at curiously odd intervals meaning you could wait over 20 minutes or just a few, I haven't used them since the recent timetable reorganisation and hope they now travel at rational intervals.

It's a short journey to Zurich, and you could walk down Bahnhofstrasse admiring the expensive shops (and maybe do some shopping), down to the lake and back along the Limmat (River) to the station. I guess that would take a comfortable 1 - 1 1/2 hours, plus stopping for coffee or shopping.

However, given the need to allow time for security checks for a US-bound plane, I think I'd cut my losses and stay around the airport. I don't know LX's F lounge but hope it is considerably better than their miserable C lounge.

Most (all?) of the building work at ZRH has been completed and the public areas at ZRH have recently been upgraded with more space.
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Old Feb 6, 05, 10:34 am   #3
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on any Saturday trains leave Zurich airport to downtown Zurich at:
09:02
09:09
09:13
09:20
09:32
09:39
09:43
09:47
10:02
etc. etc

buy return tickets for 2 zones (airport and downtown zone) which automatically are good for 24 hours and includes all downtown Zurich transportation during your short visit (trams, buses, trolleybus, train, even ships). Back at the airport gift your 24 hour tickets to some people queing at the train ticket stand (the tickets are not personal, transfers are ok).
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Old Feb 6, 05, 2:37 pm   #4
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Lightbulb Advice for Zuerich

Quote:
Originally Posted by nwchgo
but I thought I would consult the experts.

My wife and I and 10 and 12 year-olds (all US citizens) are arriving on a Swiss flight from NCE to ZRH at 8:45 on a Saturday morning in April and connecting to a Swiss flight to ORD at 12:45 that afternoon. All but carryons will be checked through and we will arrive in Business class and depart in First class. We are seasoned travelers and have been to ZRH and Zurich before.

Do you think we should try to take the train into Zurich or just hang out in the lounge? This assumes we would be allowed to leave the airport.

My question is more about time/logistics, clearing immigration, re-entering the airport, etc. We are pretty familiar with the activity options, which is why we would prefer to go into Zurich instead of sit in the lounge.

All advice appreciated.

All schedules for trains from Zürich Flughafen to Zürich HB are online on the Swiss railway's web page (English) - http://www.sbb.ch/en/index.htm

Please be adviced that intercontinental flights depart from Terminal E. Another thing you must think about is that there are strict security controls and often long queues for flights to USA. Hence, you must be AT LEAST one hour prior to departure in the airport - at least!

Clearing imigrations is an easy thing. If the flight from NCE is on time, you might have time in the airport from 09.30 - 11.30. The train takes about 15 minutes to Zürich HB and 15 back. This means for you that you will have maximum 1.5 hours in Zürich.

Seating in the Zuerich lounges is also not advisable. At least I don't like the Zuerich lounges. They are rather ordinary and simple.
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Old Feb 7, 05, 3:14 am   #5
 
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If I was travelling alone I probably would go into the city as trains are frequent and all the action is right outside the Hauptbahnhof. However, syou are with your family and they may not feel like moving anywhere. Coupled with the fact you should allow slightly longer for a US bound flight I'm not convinced going to town is really worth it. A four hour wait can be boring I know, but rather that than the rush to get back in time.
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Old Feb 9, 05, 6:40 pm   #6
 
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Thanks for the replies. From the sounds of it I think we will probably just stay in the airport and maybe find somewhere other than the lounge to spend some time.
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Old Feb 10, 05, 12:54 am   #7
 
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I'm kind of surprised that people are not fans of the new lounges at the ZRH airport. I was there a few weeks ago in between flights from the US to Dubai and enjoyed it. The people were extremely nice and willing to help. I'll admit the setup of the first class side of the lounge is a bit odd what with having to walk through the main lounge, but all in all, acceptable. I thought the "long bar" up the stairs was pretty cool and seems like it would be a fun place to watch the action on the tarmac. No?
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Old Feb 10, 05, 1:18 am   #8
 
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I'd make my choice based on the weather and my mood on the day.

With four hours (assuming you're on time out of Nice!) any combination of ZRH, Zürich and lounges is possible. My personal favourite is to arrive, go through immigration to the Allegra lounge, quick shower and second breakfast, off to the Bahnhofstr (I've even fitted in a quick swim in the lake - at the Utoquai), back to ZRH - quick snack / drink (served up by the nice ladies in the F lounge in your case) and off to your destination, I haven't found the security to the US to be particularly time consuming on LX/at ZRH. On a nice day, I find that more fun than sitting around even more than you're going to already...

See how you feel!

Rgds Marvin
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Old Feb 10, 05, 3:05 am   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger
However, given the need to allow time for security checks for a US-bound plane, I think I'd cut my losses and stay around the airport. I don't know LX's F lounge but hope it is considerably better than their miserable C lounge.
I can tell you the new F Lounge is not a bit better than the C lounge. Did you see the wall in the middle of the C Lounge when you were there last time? Behind that wall is the F Lounge. In fact it is the same like the C one but with some improved service (depends on the time the personel have). Unfotunately they closed the "old" very nice F Lounge with Bedrooms and Restuarant/Bar.

Greets
Mario
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Old Feb 10, 05, 4:27 am   #10
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See the new airport

Quote:
Originally Posted by nwchgo
Thanks for the replies. From the sounds of it I think we will probably just stay in the airport and maybe find somewhere other than the lounge to spend some time.
Why not seing the new shopping area after customs clearence? There are many nice shops and if you would like to buy some food, there is a Migros (Switzerland's number one super market chain) at very reasonable prices :-)
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Old Feb 10, 05, 4:57 am   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbr
Unfotunately they closed the "old" very nice F Lounge with Bedrooms and Restuarant/Bar.
Hello,

the individual bedrooms for F-Class passengers do still exist; the access is now via the "quiet room" at the C-Class-Lounge. The facilities are unchanged. But... I don't remember to have seen a restaurant at the old F-Lounge?

Patrick
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