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Swiss International Airlines

The Swiss International Airlines (SWISS) pet policy for 2024 includes various options for flying with dogs or cats in the cabin, or in the hold as checked baggage or cargo. Details of the Swiss Air pet policy for travelling on international and transatlantic flights with your cat or dog are included. For dogs and cats in the cabin or hold, or those travelling as cargo, pets must be at least 12 weeks old. When flying with dogs and cats in either the cabin or cargo hold with Swiss Airlines, pets must be able to move around within their carrier, and they have to travel with an adult passenger. The price for flying your pet in a Swiss Airlines cabin or cargo hold varies, depending on the route, method of travel and the size of your pet. Swiss Airlines pet travel rules do not allow cats and dogs on certain flights, or to specific international destinations. In addition, the Swiss Airlines dog policy doesn’t accept certain breeds either in the cabin or cargo hold. From 2021, Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are no longer recognised by SWISS, and most other airlines. Only professionally trained Assistance and Service Animals are permitted to fly in the cabin free of charge, therefore ESAs must travel under the standard Swiss Airlines pet travel policy. Psychiatric Service Dogs (PSVDs) are allowed on direct flights to and from the USA. However, be aware that there’s currently a ban on dogs being imported to the USA from over 100 high risk rabies countries. You can also check out pet travel reviews for Swiss Airlines, or leave a Swiss Air pet travel review if you fly your cat or dog in the cabin or hold! Read on for the full Swiss Airlines pet policy for 2024.

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Dogs & Cats in the Cabin of the Plane
Dogs & Cats flying as Checked In Baggage
Pets flying in Cargo Hold
Assistance Dogs in Cabin
Psychiatric Service Dogs in Cabin
Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) in Cabin
Swiss Airlines Pet Policy 2024

Does Swiss Airlines Allow Pets in the Cabin?

Dogs and cats are the only pets accepted in the Swiss Air cabin in their travel bag, up to a combined weight of 8 kg. Each passenger may take one cat or dog in the cabin, and one in the hold. However, there are restrictions on the maximum number of pet crates allowed on each flight.

The travel bag or kennel must meet the Swiss Airlines specifications outlined in their pet travel policy. On the flight, the travel bag will be stowed underneath the seat in front of you, you can’t remove your cat or dog during the flight for safety reasons.

To fly your cat or dog in the cabin with Swiss Air, the pet travel carrier can’t exceed the maximum dimensions of L 55 x W 40 x H 23 cm.

IATA Regulations for Cats & Dogs Flying in the Cabin

While you need to ensure that your pet’s travel crate meets the maximum dimensions set by Swiss Airlines to fly in the cabin, remember that you must also adhere to the Live Animal Regulations (LAR) set by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). This includes calculating the minimum inner crate dimensions allowed by the IATA LAR for your cat or dog to fly in the cabin. In addition, the airline pet travel carrier must adhere to the criteria set by the IATA LAR, in terms of ventilation, design etc.

If you’re new to pet travel, check out 8 IATA Compliant Airline Pet in Cabin Carriers.

Swiss Air Pet in Cabin Price

The cost of flying your pet with Swiss Airlines in the cabin depends on the route. Note that the price is per pet, per flight.

RoutePet in Cabin Cost
Within Switzerland
To and from Japan
Levante & North Africa

Short Haul Intercontinental


Medium Haul Intercontinental


Long Haul Intercontinental
Swiss Air Pet in Cabin Price Table 2024

Does Swiss Air Allow Pets in the Hold?

If your cat or dog weighs more than 8 kg, and up to 32 kg, they must travel in the hold in accordance with the Swiss Airlines international pet policy 2024. The crate dimensions must also meet the following SWISS Airlines specifications:

Kennel SizeDimensions
(L x W x H cm)
57 x 37 x 36
71 x 50 x 51
82 x 57 x 60
93 x 65 x 68
105 x 75 x 79
Swiss Air Pet in Hold Crate Dimensions 2024

Cats and dogs may not be accepted to travel in the Swiss Air hold if you have a flight connection exceeding three hours.

You can take one cat or dog in the cabin with Swiss Airlines, and one in the hold. Or you may opt to travel with two pets in the hold.

IATA Requirements for Pets Flying in Hold

For the safety of your pet during air transport, the airline travel kennel must meet the legal requirements of the Live Animal Regulations (LAR) set by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Therefore, in addition to ensuring that your cat or dog in their travel crate adheres to the maximum weight and dimensions set by Swiss Air, the minimum inner kennel dimensions defined by the IATA LAR must also be met.

You can calculate the minimum inner space permitted by the IATA LAR, in addition to learning about the required construction, design etc for the pet in hold travel crate.

IATA dog crate calculator pet kennel dimensions formula airline approved cat dog carrier

Should you need a new travel kennel, check out 4 Popular IATA Compliant Pet in Hold Crates.

Swiss Airlines Pet in Hold Price

The cost of flying your pet in the Swiss Air hold as checked baggage depends on the kennel dimensions, and route. Note that a surcharge of €150 is payable if you transfer via Geneva, Frankfurt, Vienna or Zurich.

Route with Kennel Size 1Pet in Hold Cost
Within Switzerland
To and from Japan
Levante & North Africa

Short Haul Intercontinental


Medium Haul Intercontinental


Long Haul Intercontinental
Swiss Air Kennel Size 1 Pet in Hold Price Table 2024

Route with Kennel Size 2-5Pet in Hold Cost
Within Switzerland
To and from Japan
Levante & North Africa

Short Haul Intercontinental


Medium Haul Intercontinental


Long Haul Intercontinental
Swiss Air Kennel Size 2-5 Pet in Hold Price Table 2024

SWISS Airlines Pet Policy for Dogs & Cats as Cargo

In some cases, your pet may have to fly in the hold with Swiss Air as cargo, rather than as checked baggage. For instance, if you’re travelling on a different flight as your pet, or you’re flying to a country that requires pets to arrive as cargo.

For example, all animals, including cats and dogs must arrive in the United Kingdom (UK) as cargo, they can’t enter in the passenger cabin or in the hold as checked baggage. When flying to the UK, Swiss Airlines only transports cats and dogs as cargo, due to legislation set by the Department for Agriculture, Environment, Forestry and Agriculture (DEFRA).

Your pet will also fly as cargo if their weight and kennel dimensions exceed the maximums for flying a cat or dog as checked baggage with Swiss Air. Species other than cats or dogs must also fly as cargo with Swiss Air.

To transport your pet as cargo, you will need to contact one of Swiss World Cargo in order to arrange your pet flight.

Swiss Air Snub Nosed Cat & Dog Breed Policy

Snub-nosed (brachycephalic) animals, such as French Bulldogs, Pugs and Persian Cats, can have trouble breathing during the flight, due to high temperatures and stress. To ensure their well-being, most snub-nosed (brachycephalic) animals may not be transported in the hold. This means that these pets can only fly in the Swiss Airlines cabin, they aren’t allowed to travel as checked baggage in the hold of the plane.

When flying with a snub-nosed pet in the cabin, remember that you need to add 10% to your IATA compliant pet carrier calculation.

Banned Dog Breeds with Swiss Airlines

The following dog breeds are classed as dangerous by Swiss Airlines, and aren’t permitted to fly in the cabin, or in the hold as checked baggage:

  • American Bulldog
  • Caucasian Ovcharka (Caucasian Shepherd Dog)
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Karabash (Kangal Dog) (Anatolian Shepherd Dog)
  • Rottweiler

These dog breeds may only be transported in the hold as cargo, and they must travel in a special IATA compliant dog crate. You can check out an example of a suitable crate in 4 IATA Pet in Hold Crates.

Swiss Air Assistance & Service Dog Policy

You may travel with your Assistance or Service Dog in the cabin free of charge with SWISS. It’s recommended that you make the request during booking and no less than 48 hours before your departure. But try to make the reservation as far in advance as possible.

Your Assistance or Service Dog must be fully trained and accredited, and their original documentation has to be provided at check in. Your Dog must also wear their identifying harness and vest.

SWISS Airlines Policy for Emotional Support Animals & Psychiatric Service Dogs

SWISS Airlines no longer accepts Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) for travel. Only registered and professionally trained Assistance & Service Dogs are accepted to travel in the cabin free of charge. Note that trained Psychiatric Service Dogs (PSVDs) can travel under the Swiss Airlines Assistance Dog policy on flights to and from the USA. Psychiatric Service Dogs differ from ESAs, as they have been trained to perform a specific task, or tasks, for their owner.

All pets other than Assistance & Service Dogs, including Emotional Support Animals (ESAs), must adhere to the standard Swiss Airlines pet policy, and comply with the size, weight and breed restrictions.

Pet Travel Documentation & Vaccines

Swiss Airlines is, of course, a Swiss international pet friendly airline, so for flights within the EU, your cat or dog has to meet the EU Pet Travel Scheme criteria. This means that you’ll need to arrange either a Pet Passport or Animal Health Certificate, and ensure that your cat or dog is microchipped and vaccinated against Rabies.

You can also check out the pet travel laws for other worldwide destinations in 2024.

Swiss Air Excluded Pet Flight Routes

Due to government pet travel rules, you can’t fly your cat or dog in the cabin to certain countries. These rules are in place in some pet friendly destinations that are currently rabies free, in order to protect their borders. For example, when flying to the UK (Scotland, England, Wales & Northern Ireland), all pets arriving on a plane must travel as cargo in the hold.

However, you can fly your cat or dog in the Swiss Airlines passenger cabin on flights from the UK.

At present, the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) has extended the ban on dogs travelling to the USA from more than 100 high risk rabies countries. If your dog has visited any of these countries in the last six months, the same rules apply.

Are Pets Safe on Planes?

If you’re worried about your furry travel companion’s wellbeing when flying, check out our comprehensive post regarding pet safety on planes. While in the USA, a monthly report is provided for airline pet incident rates, there isn’t an equivalent in Europe at the moment. So, there’s no data available for incidents when flying pets in the hold with Swiss Airlines. Note that even the airline pet incident reports submitted in the USA are only for cats and dogs flying in the hold, and don’t include any in cabin events.

No doubt, at some point your trip will involve a car ride, so have a look at our 12 Essential Pet Car Safety Tips too. Should your cat or dog suffer from motion sickness, we’ve also compared some of the treatments, strategies and medications for pet travel nausea.

It’s important to be aware that you can’t sedate or tranquilize your cat or dog for their flight, whether your pet, or pets, are travelling in the Swiss Airlines cabin or hold.

In addition, to protect your pet’s health and wellbeing in a new country, be sure to keep your cat or dog safe from vector-borne diseases. In particular, Heartworm from mosquitoes and Leishmaniasis from sandflies pose a serious pet threat in Southern Europe.

You might also want to check out 10 Pet Friendly Airlines in the EU, Pets in Cabin from the UK and 7 Transatlantic Pet Friendly Airlines.

And don’t forget the all important Essential Pet Travel Accessories!

Prior to booking, always view the Swiss Airlines pet travel policy on their website for any recent changes. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, some airlines are frequently amending their rules for pets on planes.

Have a safe and wonderful trip, and remember to leave a Swiss Airlines pet travel review if you fly your pet cat or dog, in the cabin or hold!

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