Travelling with animals in Swiss Air
Travel documents and regulations
There are different rules and regulations for travelling by air with animals depending on your destination. So book your travel in advance and present the original versions of your pet’s documents. They include the import, export and transit papers and its health and vaccination certificates. If an animal is not allowed to enter a country because it has not had the required vaccinations, the owner must pay for the return flights.
New: Effective 1 January 2020, the transport of snub-nosed (brachycephalic) breeds of hares, rabbits, dogs and cats in the cargo hold will be restricted. This does not apply to bookings already confirmed for travel after 1 January 2020
Please note: each passenger is permitted to take a maximum of two animals with him/her (in an approved transport container).
Transport can be in the cabin and/or in the hold:
- A maximum of two animals (dog or cat) in the cabin
- One animal (dog or cat) in the cabin and one animal in the hold
- A maximum of two animals in the hold (in one or two approved transport containers)
Dogs and cats are only permitted to travel from the age of 12 weeks and above. The same rule applies to flights from the USA. For flights to the USA, travel is only permitted from the age of 16 weeks and above.
Please also note that in the following countries animals may only be imported as cargo:
- Hong Kong
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
Accommodation in the plane
Whether your animal travels in the cabin or in the baggage compartment depends on its weight and the size of its transport container. The regulations on the transport of animals differ according to the country and airport (e.g. transport only as freight or general prohibitions on transport). Contact our Service Centre to clarify the transport requirements.
Please note that it is not possible to transport large animals in the cargo hold to certain destinations due to local conditions and restrictions.
Transport in the cabin (less than 8 kg)
The following animals can travel in the cabin
Dogs and cats weighing up to 8 kg (weight including transport container). Larger dogs for protection or assistance (e.g. guide dogs for the visually impaired).
You must transport your animal in a soft container that is clean, escape-proof and scratch-proof. The maximum container size is 118 cm (55 x 40 x 23 cm).
There must be enough space in it for the animal, which must remain fully in the transport container for the entire flight. It is not allowed to run around in the cabin.
Your animal must be clean and healthy and should not bother any other passengers. It should not be dangerous, pregnant or smell.
The transport container must be large enough for the animal to stand in its natural position, turn around and lie down.
The transport container must be stowed under your seat during the entire flight. Due to the design of the seats in the Airbus 330/340, this is not possible in SWISS Business (except in the last row) or baggage compartments or under another passenger seat during take-off and landing.
There are no size and weight restrictions for dogs with protective or assistance functions. They can travel freely in the cabin and do not have to be in a transport container.
Emotional support dogs are only accepted free of charge on SWISS flights to/from the USA (including direct connections). For flights outside the USA, the emotional support dog will be transported in the cabin or cargo department depending on weight and size and additional charges apply.
Transport in the hold (more than 8 kg)
The conditions in the hold are similar to those in the cabin. The temperature and air pressure are also pleasant on longer flights. You cannot visit your pet in the hold during the flight. Check-in with your pet. You should be at our counter at least one hour before the latest check-in time.
The following animals travel in the hold
Dogs and cats, as well as hares and rabbits that weigh more than 8 kg (weight including transport container) and, are bigger than the permitted size (max. 118 cm; 55 x 40 x 23 cm).
Animals other than dogs, cats, rabbits and hares are not allowed to travel in the hold. Certain species may be transported as cargo. Find detailed information about which species are concerned under “Advanced regulations“.
Information and special requirements for the transportation of breeds of fighting dogs as well as short-nosed dogs and cats can be found under “Advanced regulations“.
Your pet must be clean, healthy and not dangerous. It should not be pregnant and should not smell.
It must travel in a suitable container or crate and must have enough food and water for the entire journey.
Guidelines for transport containers
The international aviation authority IATA has laid down regulations for transport containers. SWISS strictly adheres to these rules for reasons of animal welfare. They define the conditions, appearance and minimum size for transport containers.
Please make sure that the container is equipped with some absorbent material and is adequate for the size of the animal. Also, fix the IATA “Live Animals” label to your container.
|Kennel size||Dimensions in cm||Weight in kg|
|1||57 x 37 x 36||4|
|2||71 x 50 x 51||6|
|3||82 x 57 x 60||8|
|4||93 x 65 x 68||11|
|5||105 x 75 x 79||14|
Charges for transporting animals
The charges for transporting animals will vary depending on the route. Animals are not included in your baggage allowance and are always charged as excess baggage. The prices in transport containers refer to flights in the hold or in the cabin.
|Zones||Transport in the cabin (max. 8 kg)||Transport in the hold (cage size: 57 x 37 x 36 / 4kg)||Transport in the hold (cage size over 71 x 50 x 51 / 6 kg)|
|Within Switzerland||CHF 57|
|Levant and North Africa||CHF 93|
|Short-haul intercontinental||CHF 103|
|Medium-haul intercontinental||CHF 115|
|Long-haul intercontinental||CHF 126|
|From/to Japan||CHF 90|
Transport as cargo
The following will be transported as cargo
Animals that are travelling without a human companion.
Animals travelling to countries where they are required to travel as cargo.
Your animal will also be safe and comfortable if it travels as cargo. Whether it travels on the same flight as you depend on the flight’s capacity.