When traveling with Swiss your cabin and check-in baggage allowances will vary according to your travel route, and also your selected class of travel/fare type.
In this article, I explain Swiss’s free cabin and check-in luggage allowances, and describe how you can purchase any additional baggage allowance that you may require.
Swiss provides up-to-date baggage information on its website and a Baggage Calculator that you can use to check the exact cabin and check-in baggage allowances for your itinerary and travel class/fare type.
Swiss Air Cabin Baggage Allowance
Number of Cabin Baggage Items
When you fly with Swiss you can carry either one or two carry-on bags into the cabin with you, depending on your class of travel:
- Economy and Premium Economy – one item
- Business and First – two items
Your cabin baggage must be stored in the overhead locker or under the seat in front of you. Carry-on baggage that is too big or too heavy will be taken at the gate and carried in the aircraft held as check-in baggage, for which there may be a charge. Charges at the gate are significantly higher than those online. Even if your carry-on baggage complies with the rules, Swiss Air may ask you to check it in on particularly busy flights.
Alternatively, a foldable can also be accepted as an item of carry-on baggage.
Adults and children with their own seats may also take on board one handbag, laptop bag, or shoulder bag.
There is an exception to these standard rules; countries such as Italy and the USA have stricter cabin baggage rules. Passengers traveling in the First and Business Class cabins with a second item of carry-on baggage must check this in if traveling from those countries.
Cabin Baggage Size and Weight Limitations
Each item of carry-on baggage has a maximum weight limit of 8kg, and the maximum allowed dimensions are 55cm x 40cm x 23cm (height x width x depth).
Foldable garment bags are accepted as an alternative to a carry-on bag with maximum dimensions of 57cm x 54cm x 15cm.
The maximum dimensions of personal items are 40cm x 30cm x 10cm.
Special rules on the size of carry-on baggage apply to flights from and within South Africa. The maximum allowed dimensions are 56cm x 36cm x 23cm, and a maximum weight of 7kg.
Swiss Air Check-In Baggage Allowance
When flying with Swiss, your check-in baggage allowance is based on your class of travel and your fare type.
If your journey involves multiple legs, and/or multiple airlines you should check your baggage allowance at the time of booking.
On European routes, in the Swiss Air Economy Class, your check-in baggage allowance depends on your chosen fare type. All passengers traveling on Economy Class fares, except Economy Light, are allowed to take one 23kg check-in bag. The Economy Light fare is a cabin baggage-only fare and so no check-in baggage allowance is provided.
For Business Class travelers there is a two 32kg check-in baggage allowance.
On Swiss intercontinental flights in Economy Class, you can choose between the cabin baggage-only Economy Light fare, or Economy Saver, Economy, and Economy Flex fares, which include one 23kg item of baggage. In Premium Economy Class your check-in baggage allowance is two 23kg bags.
In Business and First Class, your check-in baggage allowance is two 32kg bags.
There are quite a few exceptions to the standard rules described above:
- On certain routes, Economy Class passengers (where a baggage allowance is included) are allowed to take two 23kg check-in bags with them. These exceptions are too numerous to list here, but include many transfer routes via Europe e.g. USA/Canada and the UK to certain parts of Africa, India to the USA, and certain routes from Switzerland to destinations in Asia such as Japan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
Swiss provides an online Baggage Calculator that allows you to see your free check-in allowance for your specific route, travel cabin and fare type.
Check-in Baggage Size and Weight Limitations
The maximum permitted weight of check-in bags is 23kg when flying on Economy and Premium Economy fares, and 32kg if you are traveling in the Business and First Class cabins.
If your bag weighs more than 32kg you will be required to repack/redistribute your baggage so that no single item of check-in baggage exceeds 32kg.
The sum of the length, width, and height of each standard check-in baggage item cannot exceed 158cm. Any item larger than 158cm will be classed as excess baggage. The maximum permitted size carried by Swiss is total dimensions of 292cm.
Frequent Flyer Members
Miles&More and some Star Alliance frequent flyers have a higher free check-in baggage allowance on all Swiss flights when traveling Economy Classic, Economy Flex, Business Class and First Class. This benefit does not apply to Economy Light fares. The benefits vary depending on whether you are traveling within Europe, or on an intercontinental flight, as follows:
Swiss allows the purchase of two additional check-in baggage items for all passengers on top of your free allowance. The additional bag fees depend on a number of factors, including your fare type, class of travel, and your travel route. There are specific additional baggage fees for passengers traveling to/from Japan.
You can book two additional bags online up to two hours before your flight’s departure time, or through the Swiss Service Center (where a $US5 per bag supplement applies), or at airport check-in.
If you want to take more than four check-in bags with you, you will need to arrange this through the Swiss Service Centre
Economy Light Fares – First Additional Bag
If you have traveling on an Economy Light fare without a check-in baggage allowance and you want to add check-in baggage, your first 23kg check-in bag will cost from $US20 one-way for domestic flights if bought online, and from $US30 to $US70 one-way if bought online for international routes. If you wait until the airport and purchase a check-in baggage allowance there the one-way fees per bag will range from $US60 to $US105.
Other Economy Fares and Travel Classes – Additional Bags
If you have purchased a ticket that includes a free baggage allowance and you want to add more check-in bags you can buy an additional allowance online, or at the airport check-in. The typical fees are as follows:
For flights to/from Japan a flat rate of $US200 applies to each additional 23kg check-in bag allowance purchased.
Additional Baggage – Discounted Routes
On some long-haul intercontinental routes, you can benefit from lower additional check-in baggage rates if flying Swiss Economy class. There’s a flat rate of $US85 for each 23kg check-in bag bought online, or $US100 if purchased at the airport. These compare to standard rates of $US230 and $US287 respectively.
Your check-in baggage will be classified as excess baggage if it exceeds Swiss’s permitted weight and/or dimensions. Excess baggage fees depend on your booking class and your travel route.
If any check-in bag within your free allowance is either overweight or oversized, one-way charges of between $US46 and $US193 apply. If your check-in bag is both overweight and oversized, one-way charges of between $US93 and $US346 apply.
There are separate rates for flights to and from Japan as follows:
- Overweight – $US150
- Oversized – $US300
- Overweight and oversized – $US450
If you have purchased additional check-in bags outside of your free allowance and these exceed Swiss’s size and weight limits then different one-way charges apply, as follows:
- Overweight or oversized – $US126 to $US460
- Overweight and oversized – $US172 to $US633
The equivalent rates for flights to and from Japan are as follows:
- Overweight – $US350
- Oversized – $US500
- Overweight and oversized – $US650
Swiss will transport your sports equipment free of charge if:
- Your item is within Swiss’s check-in baggage standard weight and size limits,
- You do not exceed your checked baggage allowance, and
- You are not traveling on an Economy Light fare
Charges will only apply if you carry more check-in baggage items than your allowance, or if your baggage is heavier or bigger than Swiss’s standard limits.
You will need to register your sports equipment through the Swiss Service Center.
One exception to these rules is that in addition to your check-in baggage allowance, you can transport ski or snowboard equipment free of charge on all Swiss-operated flights. Although this benefit does not apply to flights booked on Economy Light fares and to codeshare flights. The additional one-way fee for Economy Light passengers within Switzerland is €70, and for flights within Europe it is €80.
Additional fees for sports equipment larger or heavier than Swiss’s standard check-in bag size and weight limits are divided into two categories – ‘normal’ and ‘large’.
Normal sports equipment includes bicycles, small boards up to 2m long, and fishing equipment. Large sporting items include hang-gliders and longboards. The one-way fees for normal sports equipment range from $US80 to $US287. The one-way fees for large sports equipment range from $US126 to $US460.
Provided your musical instrument does not exceed the standard dimensions or weight for carry-on baggage, you can take it on board the aircraft with you without any prior booking or notification.
If your musical instrument exceeds the standard carry-on baggage dimensions or weight, you will need to book an additional seat for it; this cannot be done online, you will need to book your own seat and the additional seat through a travel agent or a Swiss point of sale where you can also discuss other carriage options for your musical instrument such as checking it in.
Traveling With Infants and Children
Infants in all fare classes are entitled to take a foldable pushchair. If traveling on Economy Classic or Economy Flex fares, infants are entitled to one 23kg item of check-in baggage.
When traveling with Swiss, your cabin and check-in baggage allowances will vary according to your travel route and your selected class of travel/fare type.
All passengers are allowed one free personal item and at least one carry-on item in the cabin.
Free check-in baggage allowances are provided for all passengers, except those traveling on Economy Light fares. The number of check-in bags allowed and the weight of check-in bags varies according to your travel class and fare type. All passengers have the option to purchase an additional check-in baggage allowance if required. If you are a member of the Miles&More or another Star Alliance frequent flyer program you may benefit from additional free check-in baggage allowances.