Zurich Airport started in 1945 as the need for a dedicated commercial airport in Switzerland was realized. This led to the federal government giving land in Kloten to the Canton of Zurich, starting the contruction of the airport.
The airport is about 13 km north of the city. It is a major hub for Swiss International Air Lines and its subsidiaries, including Edelweiss.
There are three terminals for boarding and deplaning. Check-in and security is done at the Airside Center, which has three concourses where the counters are.
Zurich has a considerable route network, with flights to most major airports on the globe. Many major North American, European, and Asian (including Middle Eastern) airlines have flights here. The airport serves all inhabited continents except Oceania - in fact, Swiss's route network alone serves all five such continents.
Here is a list of terminals at the airport:
|Terminal A (Schengen only)|
This is the oldest terminal currently in the airport, built in 1971. It is directly connected to the Airside Centre at one end. Most Swiss domestic flights are here.
|Terminal B/D (Schengen and non-Schengen)|
This terminal was built in 1975 and is also connected to the Airside Centre. It can serve both Schengen and non-Schengen flights at the same time with the same set of gates - depending what type of flight is being served, the gate number is prefixed either with a B (for Schengen) or D (for non-Schengen). There are separate ways to get to the gates so that the passengers don't mix.
|Terminal E (Non-Schengen)|
This is the newest terminal, finished in 2003. It is also the only terminal not attached to the Airside Centre (thus, its alternative name of "Midfield Terminal"), requiring a trip in a driverless train to get there.
Theere are three check-in facilities. Check-in 1 and 3 are used mostly by Lufthansa group members, while all other airlines use check-in 2 (with the exception of Vueling, which uses 3). Check-in 1 and 2 are attached to the Airside Centre, while 3 is across the street and is connected to 1 (and thus the rest of the airport) via an underground passageway.
All trains go to 1 Zurich Airport railway station. It is located under check-in 3. Train tickets are available at the station as well as at Arrival 1 and 2 (look for the SBB machines).
serve the airport. They go into the city with the first stop being Zurich Oerliken. S24 also runs the other direction towards Winterthur, while other lines turn around at the airport.
Regional and intercity trains
Trains go to much of Switzerland as well as Munich. Most trains go directly to Zurich Hauptbahnhof, but some InterRegio trains, like the S-Bahn, stop at Oerliken before reaching Zurich HB. In the other direction, many trains stop at Winterthur HB.
Tram lines 10 and 11 stop at a small station outside the Airport Centre.
A regional bus station is also outside the Airport Centre.
The airport is accessible via highways A11 and A51. See Driving in Switzerland for more details on speed limits and driving laws.
There are several major car rental places.
Terminal E is connected to the Airside Centre by the SkyMetro, an underground automated train. It takes about 3 minutes. Look out the window - there are pictures on the corridor that resemble a movie due to the the movement of the train.
Otherwise, walking is how you reach most of the terminals.
- ASPIRE Lounges.
- dnata Skyview Lounge, ☎ . 06:00-22:00 daily. Fr. 38.
- Emirates Lounge.
Eat and Drink
Free Wi-Fi is available for 2 hours, with the usage amount being refreshed every 5 hours. Additional internet usage is available for a fee. Connect to the ZurichAirport network and get a verfication code via text via a boarding pass scanner (list of locations, along with more info such as sites that can be visited for free at all times is here).
The airport now has a page on Sina Weibo and a WeChat account to handle queries - useful for Chinese residents and visitors.
- 1 Transit Hotel at Zurich Airport, Transitbereich D, Level 1, Terminal E (Terminal B/D also has a location) (Between E42 and E43). Check-in: Any time (3 PM at the earliest for overnight stays), check-out: 9 PM (day), 9 AM (night). From CHF 45 (day, up to 3 hours) to CHF 94 (overnight) for a single room.