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Zürich Airport: 2 questions

I have never flown to/from Zürich. I’ll be arriving from JFK on Delta.

I know each day varies but how long could it take on average to go through passport control & then walk to the airport rail station? This will be on a Thursday.

Leaving Zürich, my flight departs at 1:40pm on a Wednesday. I’ll be staying in Luzern & there is a direct train that arrives at the airport rail station at 10:44am. Is that enough time to walk to the terminal, check luggage, and go through the security process? It’s just shy of Delta’s 3 hour recommendation. If it makes any difference, I will be using their wheelchair service because I cannot stand on lines due to a back injury.

Thanks for your help.

Posted by
15573 posts

I have landed at Zurich many times, but always in the winter. I don't think I have ever spent more than 5 minutes to get my passport stamped. I have always been at the luggage carousel waiting for my bags to show up on the belt.

Leaving on a Saturday in winter is a different matter. That is skier turnover day and it is a complete zoo. Despite the reputation of Swiss efficiency, chaos is the order of the day. Nonetheless, in the worst possible circumstances, 3 hours has been sufficient to make a flight. You will have secondary security at the gate, and some lucky people will get a special dose of security. It happened to me once, and the Swiss security guy more or less winked at me. "It keeps your government happy." Only people who arrive early at the boarding area get this treatment, as the Swiss do believe that airplanes, like trains are supposed to depart on time. Last minute stragglers coming in on connecting flights just get waved on board.

I did notice a big wheelchair coral in the check in lobby. Skiers usually arrive in one piece, but sometime depart a little damaged.

PS, I have always used Swiss, which has its own check in lobby. I don't how things fare at the other terminal. All the overseas flights arrive and depart from the same remote concourse which is reached by an underground shuttle train. Complete with yodeling and mooing cows on the PA system.

Posted by
8560 posts

I've arrived at Zurich airport a few times as well. Passport control has never been long but the walk can be. The rail station is not far from the customs exit. I've taken the direct train to Zurich twice. Very simple.

As far as returning, your plans as far. That three hours is not wirtten in stone.

Posted by
3131 posts

I assumed the walk could be long (20 minutes) from aircraft to passport control depending upon where the flight disembarks.

Thank you for the heads up about where the wheelchairs are located. I was hoping they would be near the ticket windows when departing Zürich. Delta tells me there will be a wheelchair at the jetway when my flight arrives. I hope it’s just one wheelchair and not several in tandem involving waiting for each.

When I asked about the time it takes at passport control, I was wondering with an arrival time of 10:30 AM, would I be able to board a train that departs at 12:15? If not, there’s always 1:15. Buying a ticket in advance would be a cost savings.

So it sounds like departing Zürich, I can take a train that arrives at 10:44 AM for a 1:40 PM departure.

I will look forward to hearing mooing cows in the airport terminal!

I’m happy I’m not leaving Zürich on a Saturday in winter!. How sad that skiers might need wheelchairs. My trip will be in mid April so hopefully it will be quieter at Zürich airport.

Posted by
15573 posts

It really is not a very long walk after deplaning. You'll arrive at the "E" concourse, walk to the middle and down a couple escalators to the shuttle train that will take you to the main terminal where you go through Immigration, then the luggage carousels are close by. After you exit the "Nothing to Declare" door, you will be at the ground floor (level 0 on the linked map). Arrival 2 (on the left) is I believe all Swiss and partner airlines (United, Lufthansa), so I believe you'll be at Arrival 1, which is all other airlines. Follow the signs across the road to the Airport Shopping center. I know there is at least one skybridge. Take the escalators down to the train station, then down another level to the platforms.

https://www.zurich-airport.com/mobile/mapplic/map.html

Posted by
5484 posts

You should have enough time but check-in and baggage drop off lines are long during the late morning 11am hour. (We got to the airport abut 11 am for a 1:15 pm flight). If you can, check in on-line and have a printed boarding pass to be able to use the baggage drop off. Your alternative to on-line check in is to use the self-service check-in kiosk in the terminal.

https://www.zurich-airport.com/passengers-and-visitors/arrivals-and-departures/check-in-methods

You can print out your boarding card at home.

You can then hand over your baggage at the „Bag Drop“ counter in the
respective check-in area at Zurich Airport.

Check-in machines Save time by checking in at a self-service
check-in machine at Zurich Airport. Rail passengers can go to Check-in
3 for a straightforward self-service check-in. This is located
directly above the train platforms. It is also possible to check in
with baggage at the self-service machines and this service is offered
by the following.... https://www.zurich-airport.com/passengers-and-visitors/arrivals-and-departures/airlines-en

Mobility assistance:
https://www.zurich-airport.com/passengers-and-visitors/airport-services-en/reduced-mobility

Services for passengers with reduced mobility

Zurich Airport offers support for passengers whose mobility is reduced
due to disability or age.

Posted by
3131 posts

Thank you for the links. I hope to be able to check in online via the Delta app the day prior when departing Zürich but for some reason, checking in via the Delta app isn’t available at all European airports. indeed it would save time as I could do a baggage drop off as opposed to waiting on a line at check-in.

I contacted Wheelchair Services at Delta when I bought my airline tickets. A week prior to departure, I will call them again to confirm that there will be a wheelchair both at the jetway when I arrive and ask for specifics about locating the wheelchair desk at departures.