“ Zürich Airport (IATA: ZRH, ICAO: LSZH) also called Kloten Airport, is located in Kloten, canton of Zürich, Switzerland and managed by Unique Airport. It is Switzerland's largest international flight gateway and hub to Swiss International Air Lines (soon to be a Lufthansa hub). Skyguide is responsible for all Air Traffic Control for Zürich Intl. „
Zurich, famous home of the gnomes is the hub from which most Swissair flights leave, and is generally most crowded just before and after business hours, with the jet-set taking off and landing here. I flew through Zurich twice in the last month, arriving first time round at 11am and then the second time round at 7pm. On both occasions I found that the airport was very clean, which was no surprise, since the Swiss are renowned for their tidiness. The airport is currently undergoing major expansion, which did mean that moving walkways were not working (they were still being finished) and so you had to go by foot between one terminal and another. This is however not too much of a hardship and the airport was very well signed, with signs in English. As a non EU state, Switzerland still has the Tax and Duty Free shopping facilities that are not open to people within the EU. The shops are clean, although of course being in Switzerland there are no Euro pricings unlike other airports. There are a range of coffee shops and cafés to get a quick bite to eat. Not being there for very long (connections usually in around 1 hour) I did not have an opportunity to sample their delights. There are also shops at the gate (selling chocolate etc... how very swiss). The toilets and washrooms were clean and tidy, there was no graffiti on cubicle walls, and generally the atmosphere was present. Whilst there are still some smoking areas at the gates, there is a lot more non-smoking space than at some other airports. The only gripe I had was with the security check, with an over-zealous person who pushed my through it before I even had a chance to remove my mobile phone, my palmtop, keys etc. Other than that the staff at the airport were very polite, and spoke English if necessary, although I spoke German or French with them. If you need to be contacted, then mobile phone reception is very good at the airport, with all three Swiss networks (
DiAx, Swiss GSM and Orange) giving good signals throughout the airport. The airport is also only twenty minutes from the city centre which is a vast improvement on some of the places I have flown to and from, and there are various reliable services to get you into the city centre. The airport will be even better when the extension is completed. The train connections are, I have been informed, probably the best railair links in the world. When next in Zurich I will have to test them out...
While travelling from Zimbabwe to London, I had the misfortune to have to change at Zurich airport. Upon landing I was greeted with an airport which looked as if it hadn't seen a paint tin for many years. The interior was dull and lifeless, apart from the odd designer shop dotted around and an internet corner. The signs were not clear and I had to look very carefully to make sure that I found my way to the correct departure gate for the flight to London. The information boards were extremely out dated, resembling those found at British Rail train stations and very difficult to read. The only indication that a flight was boarding was a Green light which came on, there was no explanation as to what the Green light meant. People are expected to be able to work it out for themselves. I saw very few airport staff around who I could have asked questions to if I was unsure of where I should be going. in addition to all of the this the seating in the departure lounges was far from comfortable, it felt like I was sitting in church on hard pews. I would recommend that people take a cushion along to sit on if they have a long wait. In conclusion I truly believe that Zurich airport needs a lot of work done to it to make it an interesting place to have to wait for connecting flights, and in the mean time I suggest that people try to avoid changing at Zurich.
The Zurich airport is located (12 km) north of the center of Zurich. There is a tourist information office in the arrivals area of terminal B, where transcontinental flights arrive. There is also a tourist office in the central rail station, the Hauptbahnhof. Taxis are available outside the arrivals hall. The fares are metered and will be about 55 Swiss francs. Travel time to the centre about 20 minutes, up to 40 minutes during rush hours. The easiest and best way to central Zurich is with the Swiss Rail (SBB) feeder service. Trains leave directly from the airport rail station, which is underneath the airport. It is a short walk from the arrivals area. Trains depart the airport station for Zurich Hauptbahnhof (central) every 10 to 15 minutes all day, travel time to Zurich is 10 minutes. There are also direct trains to many Swiss cities such as Bern, Lucerne, Interlaken, Geneva, Chur, and others. The fare is about 10 Swiss francs. First Class and 6 Swiss francs Second Class. There's plenty of luggage space; the train easy to use, with frequent departures. Along with Geneva and the London Gatwick Express, this is probably the best airport transportation in the world.