We are traveling to Basel from the East Coast US and exploring the least stressful/most efficient way to get there. Opinions on flying directly into Zurich and connecting to private transfer or train from there or fly into Basel which requires a connection in Frankfurt/Munich/Paris? We will have already had an East coast connection to deal with and connections can sometimes be lengthy.
In these situations I long ago learned fly direct to the nearest big airport and connect by train. Basel is not much more than an hour away from Zurich airport by frequent trains, many direct. Even if you fly to Basel, you still have a bus ride to the city.
I agree with flying into Zurich and taking the train to Basel, using the very friendly and efficient Swiss train system.
We also try to fly direct when possible or with the least amount of transfers. We have flown into Zurich a number of times and taken the train to other destinations in Switzerland. We would also suggest flying into Zurich and taking the train from there.
I'd make the decision on price. I have no problem with two segment flights on PARTNER airlines, one ticket.
It sounds like you can get to Zurich with one plane change, but will have to make two plane changes to get to Basel. If that's the case, definitely fly to Zurich and take the train, right from the Zurich airport to Basel. I did this a few years ago. I was able to get a direct train with no changes, which in my jet-lagged state with luggage was worth waiting for (I forget if there's one or two per hour).
Definitely Zürich airport + train.
Basel airport has lots of flights to Europe, North Africa and Middle East, but nothing further. For intercontinental I would choose Zürich.
There are FOUR train departures every hour from Zürich airport to Basel, it takes between 1h20 and 1h30 and it costs CHF 39.00. Buy your ticket at airport station when you get there. This is way easier than adding an extra flight connection.
I would even consider flying into Geneva + train (3 hours by train). Sitting in a comfortable train is a lot better than waiting in an airport for a connecting flight.
Another vote for Zürich! The train is really very easy and the walk from the airport terminal to the train station is quite short.
Thanks for all the great responses. Zurich it is. I am especially happy that there might be a possibility to get a direct from the airport train to Basel.
If you’ll use www.sbb.ch/en you’ll be able to see the trains and know the schedule even before you arrive. Or use the SBB app on your phone
"I am especially happy that there might be a possibility to get a direct from the airport train to Basel." - of those 4 trains per hour from Zürich airport to Basel I mentioned, one is direct (same train all the way). The other 3 departures require a change of train in Zürich HB (main station).
You can look it all up on the SBB website: https://www.sbb.ch/en
The station at the airport is called Zürich Flughafen, the one is Basel is Basel SBB.