Review: Swiss Panorama Business Class Lounge Terminal E

Introduction
Virgin Atlantic 207 787-9 Economy Class Hong Kong to London Heathrow
Swissport Lounge London Heathrow
Virgin Atlantic 206 787-9 Premium Economy Class London Heathrow to Hong Kong
Plaza Premium Lounge Hong Kong
United Club Hong Kong
Swiss 139 777-300ER Business Class Hong Kong to Zurich
Swiss Arrivals Lounge Zurich
Glacier Express 902 Zermatt to Andermatt
Hotel Victoria Jungfraujoch
Touring the Hotel Schynige Platte
Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich
Swiss Senator Lounge Terminal A
Swiss Panorama Business Class Lounge Terminal E
Swiss 138 777-300ER Business Class Zurich to Hong Kong


As nice and proactive as I found the attendants at the Swiss Senator lounge at Terminal A, I was here early to check out the brand new lounge at Terminal E, which I had heard good things about and was excited to visit.

First I had to pass immigration, which was largely painless (unlike customs). I hopped onto the train, and we made our way over to Terminal E.

img_1787 Zurich Airport Terminal E Train

img_1788Zurich Airport Terminal E Train

The train dropped us off basically where we found ourselves on day 1, so I made my way up to the main level, which can be accessed by escalator or by stairs. It’s worth noting that I found the stairs pretty cool – they kind of “disappear”.

img_1789 Zurich Airport Terminal E

Terminal E has much lower ceilings and doesn’t feel as massive, though is still perfectly nice and functional, in my opinion.

img_1791Zurich Airport Terminal E

Aircraft at the lounge mostly consisted of Swiss A330s, though I did see the four-month old 777-300ER that would be taking me home from Europe for the last time this year.

img_1790 Swiss Airbus A330-300 Zurich Airport

img_1792Swiss Boeing 777-300ER Zurich Airport

I got to the end of the terminal, then realised that the lounges weren’t there. Apparently I missed a staircase, with the airport’s tiny signage leading up to it, with no Swiss signage at all. I would’ve appreciated bigger signage, or Swiss branding, for that matter.

img_1793Zurich Airport Terminal E Lounge Signage

I went up the stairs to the lounge, which didn’t seem to be busy at this time. Speaking of business, the entire E terminal seemed to be rather quiet, given that all the duty free shops are near the A gates.

img_1794Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Stairs to Entrance

img_1873Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Entrance

I checked in at the large entrance area and headed towards the business lounge (the Senator lounge is also at the area, though obviously I wasn’t entitled to access).

img_1795Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Signage

The lounge featured a grand entryway, which was also modern. That makes sense, given the lounge was only revamped this year.

img_1799 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Entryway

There was a lot of reading material you could pick up by the entrance, though I passed, as I had my fair share of work to do, as I normally do before flights.

img_1800Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Reading Material

The entrance also featured a departures board with only Lufthansa Group departures.

img_1798Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Departures Board

Once I entered the lounge, I was pleasantly surprised by the airiness – while the lounge in Terminal A was nice, it featured almost zero natural light, despite having higher ceilings. This lounge was much brighter which was extremely pleasant.

img_1801 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Seating Area

The first part of the lounge featured comfortable seating, and wasn’t nearly as crowded as some other hub lounges I’ve visited.

img_1802 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Seating Area

img_1803Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Seating Area

Past that were six individual cubicles where we could work, so I brought some food in one of these cubicles for a while where I clutched on some trip reports I had yet to write.

img_1808 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Work Cubicle

img_1809Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Work Cubicle

Past the work cubicles was an open area where there was much more seating. While I appreciate different amenities in a lounge, one thing I love about lounges is how they’re much less crowded than the terminal, so when you have lounges like Cathay Pacific’s The Wing where you won’t be able to find a seat wherever in the lounge you are, they get kind of pointless, in my opinion. For that, I loved the amount of seating Swiss had in this lounge.

img_1810 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Seating

img_1811Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Seating

I loved the colour tones of this lounge – they were lighter and newer than Swiss’s lounge at Terminal A. I especially loved the different wooden hues that the lounge pertained.

img_1812 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Seating

img_1813Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Seating

The lounge eventually widened out into quite a few seating options, which acted as the dining area of the lounge. There were a few options of seating, including some benches and bar seating.

img_1820 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Dining Seating

img_1817 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Dining Seating

img_1825Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Dining Seating

Every one of the bar seats featured a power port, so if you’re looking to charge but need a power port, it’s a pretty good place to stay for a while (while the terrace is a nice space that I’ll talk about later, it doesn’t feature power ports).

img_1819 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Bar Seating

img_1818 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Bar Seating

img_1824Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Bar Seating

As far as the food spread goes, it was massive and spanned one side of almost half the lounge, and the quality was good. The lounge had a few made-to-order dishes such as lamb shoulder and gnocchi, which I appreciated.

Nearer to the entrance were cold options, such as fruit and drinks.

img_1804 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Food Spread

img_1805 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Food Spread

img_1806 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Food Spread

img_1807 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Food Spread

img_1816 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Food Spread

Then nearer to the end of the lounge were hot options. There were some options by the side, as well as a menu. I loved the design of the area, even if the staff weren’t particularly nice.

img_1821 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Food Spread

img_1822 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Food Spread

img_1823Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Food Spread

The menu read as follows:

img_1872Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Food Spread Menu

While my sister had a gnocchi, I was too busy to actually sample the food here, but based on bites I took out of my family’s food I can assure you that the food was some of the better food I’ve had in a lounge.

In addition to the nice food spread that the lounge had, there was also a coffee/tea “island”, where there were coffee machines and lots of teabags where you could make your own hot beverages. While it’s nothing special, I found the design concept really nice.

img_1814 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Beverage Island

img_1815 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Beverage Island

img_1862Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Beverage Island

While I do prefer barista service, the coffee machines were almost as high-tech as their onboard IFE. 😉

img_1863 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Coffee Machine

In addition to that, the hot chocolate I dispensed out of the machine was good. It was by no means the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had, but for machine standards, it was one of the better ones I’ve had out there.

img_1864Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Hot Chocolate

Going back to the setup of the lounge, past the coffee/tea island was a Breitling showroom, probably put there as part of their partnership with Swiss (Swiss’s onboard timekeeping is managed by Breitling, however that works). It did add a little spazz to the lounge, as useless as it was.

img_1826Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Breitling Showroom

The lounge forked off after that. To the right was a final relax area, which was mostly unoccupied (so if you want to just have a chat or relax or work at a slower pace, I’d recommend staying here if possible).

img_1827 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Relax Area

img_1828 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Relax Area

img_1829Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Relax Area

img_1830 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Relax Area

img_1831Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Relax Area

A lot of this seating featured power ports, which I really appreciated.

img_1842Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Power Ports

The other side had more seating, which included a room full of daybeds. I don’t assume there’s bedding, though I didn’t ask, but as far as daybeds go these were some of the better I’ve seen in a lounge.

img_1832 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Daybeds

Unfortunately by “the better I’ve seen in a lounge” I’m not saying a lot, as it’s not like these daybeds looked that comfortable.

img_1833 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Daybeds

The daybed section had a lot of free water, and I was sure to take a few bottles with me.

img_1834Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Relax Section Water

Past that were the washrooms, which were pretty nice – I especially appreciated the little area with pillows they had outside. When you wait for your significant other (not that I’d imagine you would in a lounge, but I mean, there are obsessed boyfriends out there) or a young travel companion, you wouldn’t want to just stand there awkwardly, would you?

img_1835Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Restrooms

It probably goes without saying that my one favourite part of the lounge was the terrace. While only one side is open to business class and our 777 wasn’t located on that side, the terrace featured good views of the runway. Half of the terrace was partitioned for the Senator lounge guests, but arguably the business lounge part featured much better runway views, as the Senator lounge is closer to the “end” of the runway, so they don’t get much action there.

img_1836 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Terrace

img_1837 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Terrace

img_1841Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Terrace

Nope, there aren’t power ports here, so it wasn’t the best place to work. You won’t get a better airport view than from here, though, as I’ve rarely been able to see aircraft without a window in between – so I just enjoyed my time at the terrace as much as I could.

img_1838 Swiss Airbus A340-300 Zurich Airport

img_1839 Swiss Airbus A340-300 Zurich Airport

img_1840 Swiss Avro RJ100 Landing Zurich Airport

img_1865 Swiss Airbus A340-300 Zurich Airport

img_1866Swiss Airbus A340-300 Zurich Airport

I wasn’t able to zoom in to see how their older product looked, though – I tried, but I failed.

img_1869 Swiss Airbus A340-300 Business Class

img_1870Swiss Airbus A340-300 Economy Class

Following a lot of shopping and a nice dinner (and a lot of running in hopes of maximising lounge time), the first thing I was looking for in the lounge was a shower. I initially thought that the lounge didn’t have showers, but upon closer inspection of the Swiss website, I realised they did. Not that I was desperate, but I really wanted to check out their shower offerings as well.

img_1859Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Shower Area

The shower hallway had some nice Swiss art which I was, obviously, interested in.

img_1860Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Airbus A330-300 Picture

The friendly lounge attendant took my boarding pass and told me to enter the “Schaffhausen” shower room, named after a city in Switzerland. I asked to keep my computer – while she said that she could, she told me that the shower room was pretty big so I could keep it if I wanted to – under that, I decided to just keep it, just in case.

img_1843Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Shower Room

The shower room was a really good size and was one of the better-designed shower rooms I’ve had (in fairness, the only lounge shower room I’ve actively disliked was at the Korean Air Lounge at Seoul Incheon). It featured a nice sink with a large space to put my stuff, including my computer, a toilet and a rather big walk-in shower (it wasn’t massive, bit it wasn’t small by any means, either).

img_1846 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Shower Room

img_1844 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Shower Room

img_1845 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Shower Room

img_1848 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Shower Room

img_1849Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Shower Room

In case you want to charge your phone shave in the shower room, there are a few power ports where you could do that (I mean, there are USB ports too if you actually want to charge your phone).

img_1854Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Shower Room Power Ports

It’s worth noting that the rainforest shower wasn’t functional, which I reported to the front desk (who said she would file the problem to the general manager). As for the other shower head, though, water pressure was excellent.

img_1852 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Shower Room Walk-in Shower

img_1851 Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Shower Room Walk-in Shower Controls

img_1850Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Shower Room Walk-in Shower Shower Heads

The toiletries were Essential branded and excellent (not that I get what body shampoo is, but…)

img_1853Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Shower Room Toiletries

As for the rest of the shower room, there was a hairdryer and a coat hanger…

img_1858Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Shower Room Hair Dryer

img_1856Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Shower Room Coat Hanger

…as well as an Omega clock. Someone tell Breitling they’re being cheated on.

img_1847Swiss Business Lounge Terminal E Shower Room Clock

As far as the service in the lounge goes, the front desk was friendly. That said, the rest of the lounge featured generally cold associates, and there weren’t many of them. That’s less of an issue I have in lounges, though, as the biggest thing I need is the ability to comfortably work. So technically I need WiFi, which worked like a charm inside the lounge, though wasn’t as high-speed out on the terrace. I wouldn’t expect myself to work efficiently on the terrace, though. It’s worth noting that this lounge also uses the “receipt code” WiFi, though it wasn’t as much of an issue – at least there’s no time limit for WiFi now, which wasn’t the case in the past.

For the first half of my time in the lounge I worked in the cubicles, and for the second half, I moved outside to the terrace, due to the nice weather out there and the fact that it was deserted. Of course, all the interesting traffic right beside me made it kind of hard to concentrate, which made finishing my trip reports all the harder…

I headed to the gate at around 9:55 PM, where the gate was crowded, though departure had been delayed to 11 PM due to a late connection.

img_1874Departures Gate Zurich Airport

In contrast to when I first got to the terminal, it was crowded – makes sense given the sheer amount of long-haul departures Swiss has from Zurich at night and the lack of duty-free at the terminal.

img_1875Departures Gate Zurich Airport

Boarding started not long after 10 PM, and I was sure to be the first in business class onboard, after an accompanied minor boarded before me. First class boarded with business class this time, but no complaints there…

img_1877Swiss Boeing 777-300ER Zurich Airport

Bottom Line

I genuinely like Swiss’s new non-Schengen business class lounge at Zurich Airport. It’s airy, beautifully decorated, and features great amenities, as well as great food. Out of the few lounges I’ve visited in Europe as of the present, I can comfortably say that this was the best – though I’ll be visiting more in the near future as I shuttle to and from Europe.

I don’t think it’s anything extremely special, so I still think it ranks below Cathay Pacific’s The Pier lounge in Hong Kong. However, this hub lounge gives me a positive impression of Swiss and I’d come to the airport early to return to the lounge.

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2 thoughts on “Review: Swiss Panorama Business Class Lounge Terminal E

  1. I appreciate the informative review, and clear pictures of the lounge in concourse E; it would be nice to view a map layout. I would like to know whether it is possible to buy Swiss chocolates in Concourse E, please.

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