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'It's a labyrinth': The verdict on whether Zurich airport is 'Europe’s best'?

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
'It's a labyrinth': The verdict on whether Zurich airport is 'Europe’s best'?
Is Zurich airport really 'the best'? Photo by Philipp Dubach on Unsplash

Switzerland’s largest and busiest airport has just been named the best in Europe. But is this high ranking justified? We asked our readers to weigh in.


For the 20th consecutive year, World Travel Awards, a platform that promotes global travel and tourism industry, has chosen Zurich as the best airport in Europe.

It beat out other airports in terms of customer convenience, services, and overall airport quality, the travel platform found. 

But is it really 'the best'?

We asked our travel-savvy readers  who had flown to / from /or through Zurich, to share their impressions of the airport.

Dozens of responses we received to the query on The Local’s Facebook page can be grouped into three categories: the ‘awesome,’ the ‘okay’, and the ‘terrible’ ones.

Let’s have a closer look.

The first category: ‘amazing’

Quite a few of respondents agreed that Zurich really is the best in Europe.

“I absolutely love that airport,” one commentator said, while another pointed out that it is “very nice and easy to go through; the best airport to travel through!”

“I like Zurich airport because it is small,” a reader said. “Definitely a good airport to change flights at without stress compared to other bigger airports.”

“I have flown through most of the major airports in Europe,” a frequent flyer said, adding that “Zurich is very good compared to many of those.”

“No complaints from me — services provided have been excellent so far,” yet another reader commented.

And one person summed it up thus : "Zurich airport is amazing!”


It’s good, but…

While many respondents said Zurich airport is indeed very good, they also mentioned some points that need improving.

For instance, one reader noted that “more food and restaurant options are needed at E Gates.”
Otherwise, however, “it is great airport,” especially in terms of shops and access to trains.

"It is a labyrinth and very confusing,” another respondent said." It gives the impression of being simple and easy, but is not.”
“However, once you learn, after a lot of mistakes, it’s easy,” this person added.

Another noted that “shopping selection compared to other [airports] is poor.”
On the other hand, however, “it is an efficient and very clean airport. I guess that is what really counts.”


An "unpleasant airport"

While they are definitely in the minority, a number of readers are clearly not fans of the  Zurich airport, pointing out some of its flaws.

A few cited their own experiences.

“Zurich airport is fine for departures but an absolute nightmare for arrivals, especially for non-Swiss or EU citizens traveling during the holiday period.”

This person said there was a very long queue to get through passport control — it “took well over 1.5 hours to pass through. It is terrible in this respect.”

Another reader is also underwhelmed by the airport: “Get real. Mindless corridors, and no logical people flow process.”

“An unpleasant, complicated airport."

Perhaps the most damning feedback, however, came from a reader who brought up an incident that happened in September, when SWISS airplane took off from Zurich without a single piece of luggage because of staff shortages at the airport.

READ ALSO: Swiss plane arrives in Spain without a single suitcase onboard

Let’s conclude with this testimonial:

"On Sunday October 1st, I landed at 10:20 pm and it took me 1.5 hours to get through passport control as a non-EU citizen (thanks to Brexit). It was extra stressful because I thought I was going to miss the last train home to Zug, and I really needed to pee! So Zurich is not my favourite airport at the moment. I heard this has happened to multiple different people, especially on Sunday evening. I guess Swiss efficiency really does take a break on a Sunday. “



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