Swissair AG/S.A. (German: Schweizerische Luftverkehr-AGFrenchS.A. Suisse pour la Navigation Aérienne) was for many years the national airline of Switzerland.

It was formed from a merger between Balair and Ad Astra Aero (To the Stars), in 1931. For most of its 71 years, Swissair was one of the major international airlines and known as the “Flying Bank” due to the financial stability of the airline, causing it to be regarded as a Swiss national symbol and icon. The airline thrived into the 1980s, when it was one of the “Seven Sisters”[citation needed] of Western European commercial aviation. It was headquartered at Zurich Airport and in Kloten.

In 1997 the Swissair Group was renamed SAirGroup (although it was again renamed Swissair Group in 2001), with four subdivisions: SAirlines (to which Swissair, CrossairBalair and FlightLease belonged), SAirServices, SAirLogistics and SAirRelations.

Burdened by over-expansion due to the controversial “Hunter Strategy” in the late 1990s and after the economic downturn following the September 11 attacks, Swissair’s assets dramatically lost value, grounding the already-troubled airline in October 2001. The airline was kept alive until 31 March 2002 by the Swiss Federal government.

On 1 April 2002 successor airline Swiss International Air Lines was founded on the base of former Crossair, taking over most of the routes, planes and staff of the former Swissair. Today, The SAirGroup company still exists and is in the process of being liquidated. Swiss International Air Lines was taken over by the German airline Lufthansa in 2005.

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Hand baggage

Everything important on board

Travelling with hand baggage is practical and efficient. On short trips, it enables you to dispense with checked baggage. Please note, though, that there is only limited space on board, and that certain items are not allowed on board.

Hand baggage regulations

  • SWISS Economy
    1 x max.8 kgDimensions max. 55 x 40 x 23 cm
  • SWISS Business
    2 x max.8 kgDimensions max. 55 x 40 x 23 cm
  • SWISS First
    2 x max.8 kgDimensions max. 55 x 40 x 23 cm
  • Your hand luggage must be stored in the overhead locker or under the seat in front. Please observe the maximum permitted dimensions and weight for hand baggage.

    Please note that the rules are implemented consistently when boarding. Hand baggage that is too big or too heavy will be taken at the gate and carried as checked baggage, for which there is a charge. These charges are considerably higher at the gate, and can only be paid by Maestro or credit card.

    Further information on the overview of charges for checked baggage

A foldable garment bag with the maximum dimensions of 57 x 54 x 15 cm can also be accepted as hand baggage.

Other permitted items

Adults and children with their own seats may also take the following on board:

  • Handbag, laptop bag or shoulder bag (max. 40 x 30 x 10 cm)
  • Child’s seat
  • One pair of crutches, arm or leg splints, other kinds of prostheses
  • Medical equipment


If smaller aircraft are fully booked, we may have to check hand baggage in at the gate. If we do, it will be for your safety and comfort.

Countries such as Italy and the USA have stricter rules regarding hand luggage. Passengers in First and Business Class with a second item of hand luggage must check it in if travelling to those countries.

Special rules apply to hand baggage for flights from and within South Africa. Economy Class passengers may take one item of baggage (maximum circumference 56 x 36 x 23 cm, maximum weight 7 kg) and one thin laptop bag with them. Business and First Class passengers may take two items of baggage (maximum circumference 56 x 36 x 23 cm, maximum weight 7 kg) and one thin laptop bag with them.

Baggage limits on intercontinental flights

On intercontinental flights, the tickets for all classes include at least 1 item of baggage. The information in the table applies per person on all SWISS flights.

  • SWISS Economy
    1 x max.23 kgTotal weight max. 23 kg
  • SWISS Business
    2 x max.32 kgTotal weight max. 64 kg
  • SWISS First
    3 x max.32 kgTotal weight max. 96 kg
  • An item of baggage must not exceed 158 cm in size (width + height + depth).–– external link

    Any items of baggage that are bigger or heavier will be transported as excess baggage. If the number of items of free baggage is exceeded, there will be a charge for every additional item of baggage. SWISS does not accept any items of baggage weighing more than 32 kg.

    Additional information on excess baggage

Frequent flyers benefit from additional baggage.

Passengers with the following status enjoy the benefits of higher baggage limits on all SWISS-operated intercontinental flights:

Status To /from/via USA, Canada Other Destinations
HON Circle
+1 Bag 23 kg in Economy Class
+ 1 bag with 32 kg in Business and First Class
+ 1 piece of luggage 23 kg in Economy Class
+ 1 bag with 32 kg in Business and First Class
+ 1 Golf Equipment
Frequent Traveller
+1 Bag 23 kg in Economy Class
+ 1 piece of luggage 23 kg in Economy Class
SWISS Golf Traveller
+ 1 Golf Equipment
+ 1 Golf Equipment

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