Review: Swiss Senator Lounge E at Zurich Airport

Swiss operates several lounges at Zurich Airport including three Senator Lounges. I had a chance to visit the one in Terminal A in the past and the one in Terminal B is currently closed. I was really excited to try the one in Terminal E before my flight to Tokyo, though, since the lounge offers an outdoor terrace perfect for plane spotting – something that not many other lounges offer.

Continue reading this review to see what the lounge was like.

Swiss Senator Lounge E at Zurich Airport
Swiss Senator Lounge E at Zurich airport.
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Location, Opening Hours & Access

As its name suggests, the lounge is located in Zurich airport’s terminal E which is exclusively used by flights to non-Schengen destinations. It is located after security check and immigration.

The lounge is one of three – Business Class, Senators, and First Class – Swiss lounges available in the terminal. The Senator Lounge reception could be found two floors above the main departures level roughly in the middle of the terminal and was shared with the Swiss Business Class Lounge. The Swiss First Class Lounge entrance was elsewhere.

Swiss Senator Lounge E at Zurich Airport
Elevators leading to the lounge.

Similar to Lufthansa, Swiss offers three tiers of lounges:

  • Business Class Lounges for business class passengers traveling on Swiss and other Star Alliance airlines
  • Senator Lounges for Star Alliance Gold members including Miles & More Senators (hence the name) traveling on Swiss and other Star Alliance airlines in any class
  • First Class Lounges for Swiss and Lufthansa first class passengers and HON Circle members (a hard-to-achieve Miles & More status)

I was able to access the lounge thanks to my Star Alliance Gold status.

As of the time of writing this review, the lounge is open daily from 6AM until 10PM. I recommend checking the Swiss website for the latest information before your visit, though.

Swiss Senator Lounge E at Zurich Airport
Breitling display in front of the lounge.
Swiss Senator Lounge E at Zurich Airport Reception
Reception.

Lounge Tour

The lounge ran along the length of the terminal and, upon entering, one could either go to the left or to the right. Additionally, while I didn’t use them, there were showers outside the lounge which one could ask to use at the reception.

Swiss Senator Lounge E at Zurich Airport Layout
Layout.

Going right after entering the lounge, there was a long hallway with some benches as well as phone booths along its outer side. Both the benches and phone booths offered great views of aircraft.

While the phone booths weren’t equipped with doors, I still liked the fact that there was a dedicated space for people to take calls in without disturbing the rest of the lounge’s visitors.

Swiss Senator Lounge E at Zurich Airport
Hallway.
Swiss Senator Lounge E at Zurich Airport Phone Booths
Phone booths.
Swiss Senator Lounge E at Zurich Airport Phone Booth
Inside a phone booth.

At the reception side of the hallway, there was a printer/copier. There was also a magazine rack/coffee machine stand. However, presumably as a COVID-19 “precaution,” there were essentially no magazines on the rack (there was a QR code directing people to online reading materials) and there was no coffee machine either.

That said, some magazines could be found on shelves along the inner wall of the hallway.

Swiss Senator Lounge E at Zurich Airport Copy Machine
Copier.
Swiss Senator Lounge E at Zurich Airport Magazines
Magazine rack.
Swiss Senator Lounge E at Zurich Airport Magazines
Magazines.

Lastly, the inner wall of the hallway was also lined with a cool wooden diagram of Alpine peaks and lakes. While these types of local touches serve no practical use, I think they greatly enhance the overall feel of lounges.

Swiss Senator Lounge E at Zurich Airport Alpine Peaks
Alpine peaks and lakes.

Past the hallway, one could turn right into an L-shaped buffet and dining area.

The buffet area consisted of a hot drinks station in its middle, a couple of counters along the walls with drinks and food, and a front-cooking zone where, under normal circumstances, meals would be prepared in front of guests. More about food and drinks available in the lounge further in the review, though.

Swiss Senator Lounge E at Zurich Airport Coffee
Coffee island.
Swiss Senator Lounge E at Zurich Airport
Desserts and snacks counter.
Swiss Senator Lounge E at Zurich Airport Drinks
Drinks counter.
Swiss Senator Lounge E at Zurich Airport Drinks
Another drinks counter.

The dining area consisted of some tables – mostly placed along benches – and counter-height seating along windows overlooking the airport.

Swiss Senator Lounge E at Zurich Airport Dining Area
Dining area.

Going back to the end of the hallway and continuing straight instead of turning right, there was a lounging area. It was L-shaped like the dining area and the two together essentially formed a square. Where the two met, there was also a work area with some cubicles.

The seating here consisted of large leather sofa chairs arranged in pairs with a coffee table in between. Each pair was also equipped with power outlets. In fact, there were plenty of power outlets throughout the lounge.

In the middle of the lounging area was also a small Breitling-branded area with vintage brown leather chairs.

Swiss Senator Lounge E at Zurich Airport Lounging Area
Lounging area.
Swiss Senator Lounge E at Zurich Airport Breitling
Breitling area.
Swiss Senator Lounge E at Zurich Airport Seats
Seats.

Lastly, at the very back of the lounge, there was a long and narrow relaxation/sleeping area consisting of semi-private booths walled off from each other. At the entrance to this area was a stand that, presumably, houses blankets during non-COVID-19 times.

Each of the booths was equipped with a lounge chair that swiveled into a “sleeping position,” a side table, and power outlets (interestingly, rather than one universal, there were multiple types separate from each other).

Swiss Senator Lounge E at Zurich Airport Sleeping Area
Blanket stand.
Swiss Senator Lounge E at Zurich Airport Sleeping Area
Sleeping area overview.
Swiss Senator Lounge E at Zurich Airport Sleeping Area
Sleeping booth.
Swiss Senator Lounge E at Zurich Airport Sleeping Area
Power outlets in a sleeping booth.

Terrace

While the features I introduced above are what can be found in one way or another in most airport lounges, as mentioned in the introduction, the lounge also had something very special – an outdoor terrace.

It ran along the length of the lounge offering great views of aircraft both parked at the terminals and moving on the taxiways and runways. It offered some seating too. Plus, there were even binoculars available.

Swiss Senator Lounge E at Zurich Airport Outdoor Terrace
Entrance to the terrace.
Swiss Senator Lounge E at Zurich Airport Outdoor Terrace
Binoculars.
Swiss Senator Lounge E at Zurich Airport Outdoor Terrace
Outdoor terrace overview.

Whisky Club 28/10

Another special feature of the lounge was Whisky Club 28/10 – named after one of the airport’s runways. This could be found if one turned left after entering the lounge instead of turning right.

The main feature of this area was a staffed bar where a selection of over 100 whiskies was available. Several bar stools were placed along the counter.

There was some additional seating for larger groups of people in the form of sofas arranged around coffee tables.

Swiss Senator Lounge E Zurich Whisky Club 28/10
Whisky Club 28/10.
Swiss Senator Lounge E Zurich Whisky Club 28/10
Bar counter.
Swiss Senator Lounge E Zurich Whisky Club 28/10
Seating in Whisky Club 28/10.

Food and Drinks

In terms of drinks available in the lounge, as mentioned above, there was a whisky bar with over 100 different types to choose from. Other drinks – both soft and alcoholic – could be found spread across the different parts of the buffet area.

Swiss Senator Lounge E Zurich Whisky Club 28/10
Whisky.

Soft drinks included Coke, ice tea, apple drink, and water – both sparkling and still – available from dispensers. There were also tonic water in large plastic bottles and juices in pitchers in a refrigerator. Bottled non-alcoholic beer was available too.

As for alcoholic drinks, there were a selection of wines and liquor, as well as a couple of different beers on tap.

Swiss Senator Lounge E Zurich Drinks
Soft drinks and beer.
Swiss Senator Lounge E Zurich Drinks
More drinks.
Swiss Senator Lounge E Zurich Wine
Wine.
Swiss Senator Lounge E Zurich Liquor
Liquor.
Swiss Senator Lounge E Zurich Alcohol
More liquor.

Lighter items to eat included whole fruits (bananas, apples, and oranges), jars with both sweet and salty snacks, and a selection of salads.

There was also some bread.

Swiss Senator Lounge E Zurich Fruits
Fruits.
Swiss Senator Lounge E Zurich Snacks
Snacks.
Swiss Senator Lounge E Zurich Salad
Salads.
Swiss Senator Lounge E Zurich Bread
Bread.

As I didn’t feel well during my visit to the lounge, I didn’t check out the hot dishes closely but the selection seemed fairly limited. There appeared to be two main dishes with sides and a soup.

I am not sure how much more extensive the selection is when the live cooking station is operating. During my visit, it was closed due to “the current staffing situation.”

Swiss Senator Lounge E Zurich Hot Meal
Hot dishes.
Swiss Senator Lounge E Zurich Hot Meals
More hot dishes.
Swiss Senator Lounge E Zurich Soup
Soup.
Swiss Senator Lounge E Zurich Front Cooking
Live cooking station was out of service.

What stood out to me the most in the buffet was the selection of desserts. There were five different types including mousses and cakes.

Additionally, there was also a freezer full of Movenpick ice cream. Three flavors – strawberry, Swiss chocolate, and panna cotta raspberry – were available.

Swiss Senator Lounge E Zurich Desserts
Desserts.
Swiss Senator Lounge E Zurich Ice Cream
Movenpick ice cream.

Swiss Senator Lounge Zurich Airport Terminal E Summary

The Swiss Senator Lounge in Zurich airport’s terminal E offered an excellent place to wait for my flight.

While I couldn’t fully enjoy it as I wasn’t feeling too well during my visit, it offered all that a solid lounge needs to offer – plenty of seating, dedicated working space, dedicated relaxation/sleeping space (where I spent most of my time), plenty of power outlets, and a decent selection of drinks and food.

As an aviation enthusiast, though, the one feature that made the lounge worth arriving early at the airport for was the terrace.

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