Friday, October 28, 2011

Travelling with infants and children

Mathias Sulger, Intern Online & Social Media Marketing at SWISS

Some time ago we asked you to let us know what you regarded as important when travelling with children. Thank you for the many comments and interesting questions. We have now compiled your questions and provided answers. We hope you find the following information worthwhile and helpful for your preparations for your next trip with children.

Free baggage and carry-on baggage allowance:

Free baggage allowance for infants and children
In all classes of travel, infants (0-2 years of age) have an allowance of 1 piece of baggage weighing up to 23kg with total dimensions of 158 cm (L+W+D), plus a folding buggy.

Children aged 2 and up have the following free baggage allowance (same as parents):

• Economy Class: 1 piece, max. 23kg plus 1 car seat
• Business Class: 2 pieces, max. 32kg plus 1 car seat
• First Class: 3 pieces, max. 32kg plus 1 car seat

Carry-on baggage for infants and children
No carry-on baggage allowance exists for infants. But you are permitted to bring baby food on board along with a certified car seat that can be installed on your child’s seat on the flight.

Carry-on baggage allowance for parents
In addition to the adult carry-on baggage allowance, you may bring baby food on board along with a certified car seat. See below for information regarding the use of a car seat on board.

Baby buggies, children's seats and cots/bassinettes:

Baby seat
By booking a separate seat for your infant at the children’s rate (two years of age or older), you can then use your own car or baby seat on it. This way, you will have enough room for yourself and the baby. Please ensure that the car/baby seat is certified for air travel and is appropriate to our seat dimensions (40x40cm/15.7x15.7 inches). It can be used during the cruise phase of the flight but not during take-off and landing.

Folding buggy/pushchair
Ask at check-in if you can take your folding one-piece buggy (about the size of an umbrella when folded) with you until you board the aircraft. During the flight the buggy will be transported in the cargo hold. Depending on where you are flying to, your buggy will be returned to you either when you disembark or on the baggage carousel. Larger buggies must be given up at the gate and retrieved at the baggage carousel.

We offer a baby-bassinette in all classes on long-haul flights and in Business Class on short-haul flights. It measures 70x30x20 cm and is suitable for babies up to the age of 8 months and weighing about 10 kg. It may be used during the cruise phase of the flight but not during take-off and landing.

Parents may order a bassinette at the time of booking. Because availability is limited, we advise you to book one as far in advance as possible.

Parents may also check-in the car seat. One car seat per child can be checked in free of charge.

Age and travel, conditions:

What fares apply for babies and infants?
Infants up to two years of age normally enjoy a discount of 90% off the adult fare. No booking fee applies. In such cases, the child does not have its own seat on board, sitting instead on the lap of one of its parents. No airport tax is usually charged in the case of infants but this varies from country to country. Reduced rates apply for children aged 2-11 on most routes. The usual Swiss service fee applies. The service charge is usually lower when booking online. Children aged 2 years and older have their own seat on board.

As of what age may a child travel alone?
According to international law, children under the age of 12 years are not allowed to travel alone. Children travelling without a companion are known as “unaccompanied minors” (UM), and we offer special assistance for them at the airport and on board.

Baby food:

What special meals for infants / children are available on board?
You may order a special baby meal (up to 24 months of age). The product is baby food in a jar. This is available in all classes.

First and Business Class: A children’s meal will be automatically loaded on board for children between 2 and 9 years of age. A children’s meal can be ordered separately for children up to the age of 12.

Economy Class (long-haul): A children’s meal will be automatically loaded on board long-haul flights for children between 2 and 9 years of age. A children’s meal can be ordered separately in advance for children up to the age of 12. (No children’s meal in Economy Class on short-haul flights.)

Lounge access:

If the mother/father holds a Senator card, can the entire family accompany them to the lounge?

Holders of a Senator card are entitled to visit the lounge together with a companion, including his or her own children younger than 18 years of age.

Earning miles:

As of what age can miles be earned?

Children can earn miles from the age of 2 and up at which point they occupy a seat of their own. Prior to this, they travel on the lap of their parents which means they are not entitled to earn miles before reaching their 2nd birthday.

Play areas:
The availability and location of play areas varies from airport to airport. We have no influence in this regard.
In Zurich, there are play areas in Transit A and on Dock E, and they have toys and craft items for children of all ages. All this will help to make the time fly by!


  1. Can you please comment on using the car seats in international/long haul business class?

  2. hi, first time visiting ur blog, and fell in love with it straight away.

  3. Can anyone advise me where the bassinets seats are normally located. Eg on a wall so near a lavatory and has lots of traffic?

  4. I liked the digital version and quite enjoyed watching it too. I have a good information on made in America products after watching the presentation.

  5. Why can an infant car seat be used during the cruise phase of the flight but not during take-off and landing? Isn't the child more secure strapped in a seat than on an adults lap?

  6. The only way to read a book of aphorisms without being bored is to open it at random and, having found something that interests you, close the book and meditate. ~Prince Charles-Joseph de Ligne, 1796

  7. When we called about taking a car seat on an international flight (12 hour stretch) we were told, only if its one on the list and if the child (3 years) will stay in this car seat during the trip. Anyone who makes a statement like this has no idea bout children....its most uncomfortable and kids need to lay donw on lap etc - and get some sleep. Its impossible to leave them on car seat.....the car seat needs to be checked without problems. and Picked up on final destination. Why we get so strange answers sometimes when calling - I dont know. Besides: the child paid full rice anyway - so having a piece of suitcase (23 kg) is no the car seat. Please be more child friendly alltogether and let families make seat reservations when booking - to ensure they can get a good seat for them and their children. Not just for infants.

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