Hong Kong 3: For the LOVE of Avios! With Swiss and British Airways
Zürich Night Stop – “Zürich Dayrooms”, Senator Lounge
- Memo to Self: Stop looking at Booking Engines Late at Night
- Leaving Birmingham, Servisair Lounge, To Zürich with Swiss and OLT Express on LX425
- Zürich Night Stop – “Zürich Dayrooms”, Senator Lounge (THIS SECTION)
- LX1952 Barcelona to Zurich
- A Free Tour of Barcelona
- Back to El Prat, Lounge, BA0475 Barcelona – London
- British Airways T5 First Class Lounge
- BA027 London Heathrow – Hong Kong
- Holiday Inn Express Soho, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Island
- One Time Exception: Macau with TurboJet
- GhettoIFE Special: Images of a Fragrant Harbour
- Lounging Around Hong Kong Airport
- BA026 Hong Kong to London Heathrow
- British Airways T5 First Class Lounge, BA484 London Heathrow – Barcelona El Prat
- Barcelona Switch, Lounge, LX1955 Barcelona – Zürich Airport
- Run like the wind, LX424 Zürich – Birmingham Airport, Homeward bound
- Avios? Oh Yes, Oh Yes, OH YEAH
As I insinuated earlier, the Swiss for “Hotel” is “Open your Wallet and Scream”. With a short layover (10 hours at most), it’s hardly worth paying for a hotel room… when there are better options...
After arriving and being deposited at the D Gates, I had to stop at Kiosk to pick up some chocolate for a co-worker (Branches. No I don’t know why she wanted them. But hey… anything for 10 minutes P&Q in the office).
After that, I headed to the D gate clearance area and tried to head upstairs… well… multiple times with doors not opening. In the end I asked one of the security guards to help, and he escorted me up to the Zurich Airport Dayrooms
Overnight – Zurich Dayrooms – Couch Area
Cost 40CHF (~£25 or so).
I was welcomed to the dayrooms and after my details were confirmed as well as my onwards flights, I was given a wet-wipe, towel and an alarm clock set for 6:00 when I needed to be going. I was told of the access policy (the doors are locked between midnight and 5:30am), and then I was then shown through to the couch area
Here are few pics.
The couch as you can guess.. is a couch. It had an adjustment to tilt forward or tilt backward. On the couch, there was also a blanket as well. More importantly, there was power sockets (annoying fully recessed so the Euro-pin converter sockets don’t fit) and a lockable cabinet for all the valuables in life. Whilst it was not big enough to fit my rucksack, it meant I could take out my camera and other bits.
About 3 other people arrived at different stages of the evening, keeping the environment very quiet with the odd keyboard tapping.
WiFi isn’t included. Being Swiss and very neutral, there were a variety of ways to get different providers – ones who charge by the hour, ones who charged CHF5 for 24 hours and one who charged CHF4.60. I went with the cheapest because really – I didn’t overly care.
Wandering around outside, it was very quiet as the last flights were going or near enough gone, with some stragglers stuck in the Non-Schengen Zone. I wandered out to have a look around. Nearby there was a smoking lounge and vending machines.
Whilst the vending machines took cards, one item stuck out
Swiss Cannabis Ice Tea- http://www.cswiss.com/en/home.html
No wonder the Swiss are so neutral. Looking into the product, those who want to enjoy it more than they should do – will be disappointed to note the product has very little to none THC in the product. And no, I didn’t sample any – I was tired out.
I bedded down for the night – and slept all the way till about 5:30CDT. Not bad, and to be honest, the couch was darn comfortable especially when I angled it correctly.
I woke myself up with a quick shower. Again, the bathroom facilities were simple, clean and shared – all you really need for a quick wake up before heading out into the big bad world.
As 6am came, the alarm went, and I repacked my bag, ready for the off. I checked out and that was that.
Overall: Facilities like this serve a purpose for those who can’t justify heading out to an overpriced hotel for the night – or those stuck in a foreign country and can’t move till the next flight. I just wish more airports had these places to rest at. The place was clean, comfortable and quiet. What more did I need?
After leaving the Dayrooms, I cleared Swiss Immigration (with a bit of an inspection as I had overnighted at the airport). I was then clear to enter the B Gate area and the transfer area.
My next stop would be somewhere a bit more comfortable: The Swiss SEN lounge. Walking through there, Zurich Airport was in full Christmas mode.
SWISS Senator Lounge
I entered the lounge which seemed to be in full morning mode – ie. busy. I was dealt with quickly, and my SEN data was updated in the Swiss system, with a new boarding card spat out.
The lounge itself – well it’s very.. Swiss. Lots of dark sofas, the odd bit of art and even at 6:15 in the morning – a very busy place.
Still, there was some cold cuts in the breakfast as well as the usual yoghurt’s and muesli.
I resisted the bubbles for this time of the morning – least of all I was planning to be very active when I got off the plane.
Meanwhile, another thing I like about the SEN lounge is the attention to detail – from the staff cleaning up quickly to three different power outlets at the chairs (UK BS1363, Swiss connector and European CE7/7 style plug )
It’s the details that matter.
As I don’t smoke, I didn’t head to the cigar bar, but just settled for a bit until my flight was called.
And eventually it was – at gate A82 – or the backside end of the A Gates.
Reluctantly I passed the Swiss A340 bit of art, and thanked the lounge staff, and headed on my way.
Overall: Still a darn good lounge. Some hot breakfast offerings would be nice, but nothing to complain about. The staff remain the highlight of the lounge.
Off to the end of the world…
When I arrived at the gate area, boarding had not begun. To best honest, I’d rather be early to the gate – least of al European travellers seem to have caught a nasty habit from US travellers with people using the biggest bag they can legally get through – therefore if you want overhead bin space – get on board first.
Boarding was split to self-boarders in normal economy, and Star Gold/Business having assisted boarding.
Finally a call was made, and I boarded with the priority boarders