Overnight Layover ZRH

Old May 21, 20, 7:18 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 122
Overnight Layover ZRH

US citizen going back to the US and have found award availability later this month but it requires an overnight layover of 17 hours at ZRH. It looks like these flights will be operating. I'm coming from non-Shenghen area.

Can I enter Switzerland and go to a hotel? If not, how realistic is it stay airside? I will have lounge access if any of them are open.

Last edited by HanBkk; May 21, 20 at 7:34 am
HanBkk is offline  
Old May 21, 20, 7:46 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Helvetia
Programs: AS; BA Silver; UA; HH Gold; Sprüngli Connaisseur
Posts: 2,388
From The Swiss State Secretariat for Migration

Foreign nationals are permitted to enter Switzerland in order to travel through and leave the country in the direction of their home country or of the country in which they can credibly show that they are resident. If there is reason to believe that such persons will be unable to leave Switzerland after travelling through here (in particular because of entry restrictions imposed by another country), entry to Switzerland for transit purposes will be refused.
I would highly recommend contacting your local Swiss Embassy/Consulate for specifics.
greg5 is offline  
Old May 21, 20, 9:23 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: ZRH, Switzerland
Programs: M&M, LHW, Shangri-La.
Posts: 497
I agree that the referenced page is the relevant one. (Link)

The way I read it, the text quoted above refers to people crossing a land border. (i.e. already inside the Schengen area)
There is a specific section further below on that page under section "Information for international travellers" and then "transiting Switzerland".
The essential part there is:
It is possible to stop over at one of the Swiss airports, as long as you do not leave the transit zone of the airport and you can prove that you can continue your journey to your destination country.
If you are not subject to the visa requirement, you will be granted entry to the Schengen area, provided no entry restrictions apply.
So the decisive part that does or does not allow you to go landside is if a restriction exists, which will mostly be based on the your passport.
Based on what I read (still on the same linked page) under "questions on border closures and exceptions" / "what exceptions apply to this border closure", my understanding is that a US passport will not give you entry to Switzerland, because the rule that "You are simply travelling directly through Switzerland to another country that you are permitted to enter." does not require that you have to go into the city and come back.
Not really crystal clear, I'm afraid, but I would not expect to be granted entry with a US passport, even if it's just for overnight.
There's a thread in the covid forum where Sophialite tried to enter the Schengen area in ZRH on her way from the UK to Sweden, but that was denied. Link

I expect all lounges to be still closed, so I'd go with the Day Rooms at the airport unless you can get a confirmation from the embassy that they'll let you in.

At least some good news: Based on the single data point I have, the flight to EWR could be pleasant. 3 Passengers in Business and 25 in Economy on ZRH-EWR.
Good luck and safe travels!

Last edited by LoungeLizzard; May 21, 20 at 9:39 am
LoungeLizzard is offline  
Old May 21, 20, 10:46 am
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 122
Thanks for the great information Greg5 and LoungeLizzard. Much appreciated.
greg5 likes this.
HanBkk is offline  
Old May 21, 20, 12:19 pm
  #5  
Senior Moderator, Moderator: Coronavirus, Community Buzz, and Ambassador: Miles & More (Lufthansa, Austrian, Swiss, and other partners)
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: 150km from MAN
Programs: LH SEN** HH Diamond
Posts: 27,552
Where are you travelling from? Assuming you are coming from a non-Schengen country, a transit hotel in the non-Schengen area (D concourse) of ZRH might be an option. There is nothing on their website to suggest it is not open, so you might like to contact them to ask. Having stayed there once it isn’t my first choice around the airport but if you stay there you won’t have to worry about having to enter Schengen/Switzerland. However, the only place you can get food and drinks might be Burger King.

https://www.flughafen-zuerich.ch/en/.../transit-hotel
mmff, greg5 and HanBkk like this.
NewbieRunner is offline  
Old May 21, 20, 2:09 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Helvetia
Programs: AS; BA Silver; UA; HH Gold; Sprüngli Connaisseur
Posts: 2,388
It's a tough thing to determine, as Switzerland currently considers all countries except Liechtenstein (which is part of Switzerland for most intents and purposes) as high-risk countries. A Swiss Embassy/Consulate may be able to issue a letter or visa to travel through. It's worth a try. Though, if you can use the transit hotel, see if you can do that. Be aware that access to it is closed from 11PM to 5AM from non-schengen, though there are pretty much no flights at that time. Again, contact the transit hotel and see if you can actually stay there.
HanBkk likes this.
greg5 is offline  
Old May 21, 20, 4:01 pm
  #7  
Marriott Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: ZRH
Programs: LX, SK *G, FPC, GA/AG
Posts: 1,956
I'm pretty sure the Transit hotel is currently closed.
Nick Art is offline  
Old May 21, 20, 6:29 pm
  #8  
Senior Moderator, Moderator: Coronavirus, Community Buzz, and Ambassador: Miles & More (Lufthansa, Austrian, Swiss, and other partners)
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: 150km from MAN
Programs: LH SEN** HH Diamond
Posts: 27,552
Originally Posted by Nick Art View Post
I'm pretty sure the Transit hotel is currently closed.
That’s what I expected but I can’t find anything on their website to suggest it is closed, while under Eat & Drink it is clear that the only option in the Passenger Area is Burger King.


HanBkk likes this.
NewbieRunner is offline  
Old May 22, 20, 6:58 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Helvetia
Programs: AS; BA Silver; UA; HH Gold; Sprüngli Connaisseur
Posts: 2,388
Originally Posted by Nick Art View Post
I'm pretty sure the Transit hotel is currently closed.
I wouldn't be so sure. Hotels were never required to close in Switzerland. Many did so as the number of customers went down dramatically. We have one down the street from us that stayed open the entire time. Their restaurant also provided take-away meals. I have to think that the 3x per week ZRH-EWR is serving more than just the current Swiss <-> USA traffic from the two countries.

In any case, the OP will need to contact the transit hotel, which they can find the information to do so via their website.
mmff and HanBkk like this.
greg5 is offline  
Old May 22, 20, 8:02 pm
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 122
Thanks for replies. I realized I made a mistake and said 'later this month' . The flight is scheduled for late June.

I contacted transit hotel and they are open so I made a reservation. That will work unless something changes.
I also contacted Swiss embassy in US. They only replied with copied and pasted information from the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration linked to above.

I'm traveling from BKK-ORD. These flights were recently added in the updated June schedule so I'm hopeful they will operate. I do have a separate award reservation on JL in July as a backup plan, but think that has a greater chance of being cancelled.
greg5 and NewbieRunner like this.
HanBkk is offline  
Old Today, 3:20 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Vancouver
Programs: BA, Alaska, AA, KLM, Delta
Posts: 364
If the kids' playroom is open you can challenge them to a game of foosball to pass the time.
testycal is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: