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sharkster77

Question for those who have navigated Zurich airport

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Hi all--

 

I am getting slightly nervous as our trip approaches (1 month away).  We have a 90 minute layover in Zurich, catching a flight from ZRH--AMS.  TA assured us we'd have enough time.  Looking at maps of the airport, international flights arrive in Terminal E, which is detached from the main terminal and is connected by a "people mover", which looks like a train of some sorts.

 

Flights within Schengen (like our ZRH--AMS flight) leave from gates in the main terminal.  I realize we will have to move along, but will we have time to go through passport control and get clear across the airport in 90 minutes?  I believe our short flight to Amsterdam is treated like a "domestic" flight, hence the passport control in ZRH instead of in AMS.

 

CC'ers, please advise, and thanks in advance.

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We cleared customs in US before our initial flight to Munich and I do not remember getting into another customs queue until we went to United Kingdom after our cruise ended. had a short flight from Munich to Budapest and no customs there either.

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6 minutes ago, doverboy said:

We cleared customs in US before our initial flight to Munich and I do not remember getting into another customs queue until we went to United Kingdom after our cruise ended. had a short flight from Munich to Budapest and no customs there either.

Pre-clearance depends on the agreement of both of the countries, and sometimes on the airline and airport too. If pre-clearance is available for this flight it is simple; if not, the OP is correct that they will go through passport control in Zurich. They actually go through customs in Amsterdam, but it is just a question of choosing the green (nothing to declare) or the red (something to declare) line to exit.

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The attached PDF may be helpful (downloaded via: https://www.zurich-airport.com/passengers-and-visitors/arrivals-and-departures/transfers ). The longest walk between gates appears to be 30 minutes. Provided the incoming flight is on time, 90 minutes should be more than sufficient. 

 

It may also help your anxiety to look at other departures to AMS that day. If the BOS-ZHR and ZHR-AMS flights are on the same ticket, Swiss is obligated to put you on the next available flight. There appears to be a 5:30pm flight on Swiss that should still work as well as options via KLM. Would you be able to change to the earlier Swiss departure (assuming there is one - I don't know if the 5pm and 9:45pm flights are daily departures)? That may get you a 6hr layover - arguably too long (though long enough where you could get into the city of Zurich for a little bit). 

Flyer_transferinformation_20171028_EN.pdf

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I had the exact same question for our late June trip with connections in Zurich.  Only ours were more in the neighborhood of an hour instead of 90 minutes.  Others on this board assured me that Zurich airport isn't huge and is quite efficient.  And they were correct. Going to Europe we had no issues whatsoever, plenty of time.  Coming home, there was a delay on the tram, so a little closer but still time to make boarding.

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So if I  understand correctly, once we go thru passport control in Zurich, we'll just have to pick up a boarding pass for the ZRH--AMS flight?  Or will that boarding pass be given to me in Boston?    Both flights are on Swiss Air, so I am assuming that it'll all be one one ticket.  Sorry to be a pain, but we've only flown internationally on direct flights until now--I guess our luck finally ran out.

 

@cheeruson, your positive experience gives me hope that I am getting anxious for no reason--thanks!

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1 hour ago, sharkster77 said:

So if I  understand correctly, once we go thru passport control in Zurich, we'll just have to pick up a boarding pass for the ZRH--AMS flight?  Or will that boarding pass be given to me in Boston?    Both flights are on Swiss Air, so I am assuming that it'll all be one one ticket.  Sorry to be a pain, but we've only flown internationally on direct flights until now--I guess our luck finally ran out.

You should be given your boarding pass in Boston for both flights. It may not show a gate assignment yet; you might have to look for monitors when you arrive in Zurich. 

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I did Vienna to Zurich to Chicago in November.

 

I remember at the Gate in Zurich, they setup a small booth about 45 minutes before the flight and we had us show our passport to them. I had gotten my boarding passes in Vienna. It was very informal. It wasn't stressful at all. Very clean and impressive airport. Kudos to those who run the airport.

 

I also did Swiss, Swiss and then once in Chicago United.

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OP here--thanks to all the advice--CC'ers are the best people!  Thanks again.

 

I will definitely report back on how things proceed.

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The people mover is a train that comes very quickly. I didn’t waited more than 5 minutes the two times I was there last year. This is Switzerland, land of efficiency.

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Flew from Boston to Zurich to Barcelona. Our connection time was 1:30 and we made it with time to spare.

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