I have a European passport, and I'm connecting via Zurich to another European country.

I want to enter the new Swiss lounge in Concourse E (non-Schengen area). I won't visit the non-Schengen area at all, since I'm coming to Zurich from another Schengen area country, and departing from Zurich to another Schengen area country

Will they let me go to the non-Schengen area from passport control since I don't have a ticket to a non-Schengen city? Also will they let me enter the non-Schengen lounge, knowing that I fly to a Schengen area country (and direct me to the Schengen lounge)?

  • 2
    I have no experience in Zurich, but I have in several other Schengen airports and you are not allowed in the 'non Schengen' parts of the airports unless you have a boarding pass for a flight from that part of the airport.
    – Willeke
    Sep 4, 2016 at 17:53
  • 1
    Last time I transferred Schengen->non-Schengen at Zurich, I don't remember a place where they checked your boarding pass to ensure you were allowed in Concourse E, but obviously you do have to go through passport control. I may just be not remembering it though. I'm not sure how getting back from Concourse E works though, since normally only arriving passengers would make that trip, probably going through transfer security and Schengen immigration, so getting back for you could be a problem. Sep 4, 2016 at 19:34
  • 1
    @Kostas662 "I suppose the same regulations applies to all European Airports". Absolutely not, see my answer.
    – Crazydre
    Sep 4, 2016 at 20:16

2 Answers 2


I do this regularly for plane spotting. Border guards at ZRH do not require you to show a boarding pass. I just show my (Swedish) ID card and sometimes they ask where I'm going, in which case I just make up a random city where there's an upcoming flight. Done!

And yes, you can go back with no issues - just follow the signs for the A/B gates.

  • 6
    Glad to know you can get back, but I'm, er, not sure that lying to border guards (even when EU citizenship makes that check largely a formality) is really a great plan. Sep 4, 2016 at 20:16
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    @ZachLipton I've got the impression that there are things bothering them a lot more than a plane-spotting brat. If someone were to catch me and disapprove, I'd tell them the truth and apologise if necessary. However I've done it 20 times so far and no one notices - I don't exactly act suspiciously on purpose when hanging in the area
    – Crazydre
    Sep 4, 2016 at 20:20
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    @ZachLipton I agree it isn´t a good idea to lie to border guards, it could get you in trouble. I'd try just saying I'm planespotting. But they probably ask to be helpful. Most common reason I've seen for people being turned away by Immigration on the way to airside is they're lost and heading towards the wrong gate. It saves the hassle of trying to get back to landside when they realise the mistake, which could be a bind for both passenger and Immigration and could make them miss their flight. Swedish citizen can´t be denied access to Switz for a minor misdemeanour. Other nationalities can Sep 5, 2016 at 0:38
  • @LevelRiverSt "Swedish citizen can´t be denied access to Switz for a minor misdemeanour. Other nationalities can". Swedes are foreigners in Switzerland, but with an unrestricted right to enter and exit the Schengen Area (of which both Sweden and Switzerland form a part). The reason why I strongly suspect entering the non-Schengen area as a non-passenger is officially not allowed is in order to have better control regarding who is in the airport for security reasons. Airports are sensitive territory after all
    – Crazydre
    Sep 5, 2016 at 7:33

I visited the concourse E without any trouble. When the agent at passport control asked me where I was going, I simply told him that I'm visiting a specific lounge on the other side, and he let me through.

When I came back I had to go through customs and I had to pass one more time through security.

I also managed to do this on Frankfurt. I used the new, automatic machines that scan your passport and take a picture of you, in order to let your through (I didn't need to explain myself to an agent)

  • Customs? You probably went to the Exit then - should've just followed the signs for the A/B gates
    – Crazydre
    Apr 20, 2017 at 19:00

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