Travelling with children

For a relaxed adventure

Children usually find it really exciting to be on an aircraft. And if the little ones have been well prepared, the parents can relax on their journey. Special rules apply for children who are travelling alone.

Tickets and seats for children

Infants up to 2 years of age: Your child will require a valid ticket, but does not have to have its own seat. The ticket will cost about 10% of the standard price. During the flight, an infant will sit on an adult's lap, secured by a special seatbelt. Newborns less than a week old need to have a doctor's certificate stating that they are fit to fly. If a child has its second birthday at the destination, it must have its own seat for the return flight.

Children aged between 2 to 11 years: Your child will travel on its own seat at the favourable child's tariff (plus SWISS service fee) on most flights. If you book online, the service charge is usually lower.

Children's seats on an aircraft

Take your child's seat on board the aircraft if your child is under 2 years of age and you have booked a separate seat for it. The car seat must be certified as suitable for air travel and fit on a SWISS seat (43 x 43 cm). Although you are responsible for fitting the seat, our crew will be pleased to help you.

Cots and buggies

Cots are available in all flight classes on long haul flights and in Business Class on European flights. They are approved for babies of up to 8 months and weighing a maximum of 11 kg. The number of cots is limited, so please be sure to contact our Service Center in good time.

Take your fold up one-piece buggy right to the aircraft. You will be given a label at the check-in desk. Depending on your destination, your buggy will be returned to you either when you disembark or on the baggage carousel. Because of their size, prams and buggies for more than one child must be checked in as baggage.

Menus for babies and children

We serve special baby meals on all flights. Of course, special children's menus can also be provided on request. On European flights, this service is only available in Business Class. Babies' and children's menus can be ordered up to 24 hours in advance from the Service Center.

Entertainment on board

  • Entertainment on board

    To help prevent boredom, our crews usually hand out puzzles, colouring books and other toys on most flights. On long haul flights, we entertain our younger passengers with films for all ages, computer games and with our music channel for children.

When not to fly

A healthy child can fly without any concerns whatsoever. However, should you be uncertain, contact your paediatrician. We do advise against flying if your child has a bad cold, a high temperature or has recently had surgery. Parents are required to change their flight arrangements if their child has an infectious childhood disease such as chicken pox or measles. Additional charges may be incurred.

Symptoms may only become evident during a flight if a child has a congenital disease that has not yet been identified. These diseases include serious anaemia, heart defects and deformations of the lungs.

Children travelling alone

  • UM

    Parents often worry when their child is about to embark on this particular adventure. And although there are various reasons why a child might have to fly unaccompanied, there is no reason to worry about it. Our UM service takes care of children travelling alone before, during and after the flight. The UM service is compulsory for a UM (Unaccompanied Minor) under 12 years of age. You are welcome to book the service if you like for minors aged between 12 and 17 years.

  • Important: The UM service is only available if the child's entire journey is booked on one ticket. All flights must be under the same flight ticket number. If a child is travelling with several tickets, we cannot guarantee the connecting flights and so are unable to offer the UM service.

  • Below 2 years

    Must always be accompanied by an adult person of at least 18 years

  • 2 - 5 years

    May only travel if accompanied by:

    - a silbling or a legal guardian of minimum 16 years
    - a person of minimum 18 years of age

  • 5 - 11 years

    If travelling alone: UM service is mandatory

    If accompanied by a person of minimum 12 years: UM service is not mandatory1

  • 12 - 17 years

    UM service is available upon request but not mandatory1

  1. If parents still request the UM service, the UM fee applies for the unaccompanied minor and the accompanying passenger(s)

How it works

  1. BookingCall Center

    The UM service is only available through our Service Center. Book the ticket and the UM service by phone.

  2. Assistance formDocuments

    Make sure that all the necessary travel documents are available. Complete the Assistance form (Handling Advice Form) on a computer and print out enough copies. The child will need two copies of the form for each sector. So if travelling, for instance, Zurich-Paris-Zurich, four copies will be required. Your signature confirms that the costs for meals, overnight accommodation or transfers will be paid if the person who is to meet your child fails to turn up at the destination and the child has to fly back. Please also observe the special Visa regulations for children.

  3. HandoverHandover

    One of the parents or an authorised adult takes the child to check-in along with the signed assistance forms.

  4. CrewAt the airport

    Our assistance staff will collect your child from check-in and stay with him or her through passport control and security to the gate. The person who brought the child must remain at the airport until the flight has taken off.

  5. AircraftOn the aircraft

    A member of the cabin crew will welcome the child on board and look after him or her for the duration of the flight.

  6. DestinationAt the destination

    After landing, our assistance staff will welcome the child at the gate and take him or her through passport control and customs. The person who is collecting the child must arrive punctually at the terminal, be a legal adult and have identification.

Costs

The prices for the UM service apply for flights that are operated by SWISS. The tariff is charged per child and sector. The outbound and return flights are counted as two separate flights.

Flight sector Costs
Flight sector
Within Switzerland
Costs
CHF 50
EUR 40
USD 60
CAD 60
Flight sector
Within Europe
Costs
CHF 50
EUR 40
USD 60
CAD 60
Flight sector
Intercontinental
Costs
CHF 100
EUR 80
USD 120
CAD 120

Examples

The charge for one child from Geneva-Zurich-Athens will be CHF 100 (CHF 50 within Switzerland + CHF 50 within Europe)

The charge for one child from Paris–Zurich–New York will be CHF 150 (CHF 50 CHF within Europe + CHF 100 intercontinental)

The right preparation

Talk to your child about the planned trip in plenty of time. Answer their questions, and encourage them to look forward to this adventure. Explain exactly what will happen on the journey and who will be waiting for them at their destination. Make sure your child is well rested before travelling and has everything he or she will require in their hand baggage.

The most important tips

It will take a little while for any child to get used to travelling by air, especially when flying long haul for the first time. The air is drier; there isn't much room, and the environment is strange. If possible, book an overnight flight if you are planning a long journey. Your child will sleep in a cot or in its seat, and suddenly the time will seem much shorter.

Preparing for your trip

Talk to your child about the planned trip. Make him or her excited about flying, and tell him or her what will happen before and after it. Make sure you are all well-rested on the day of travel and Check in the night before. Depending on where you are travelling to, we recommend talking to a paediatrician about vaccinations or prophylaxes in plenty of time.

At the airport

To help pass the waiting time at the airport, take your children to explore. You can go to the viewing terrace to watch the aircraft take off. There are numerous restaurants with all the things children like. You can also ask the airport staff about any play areas. All the major airports have separate rooms where children can play, make things and generally let off steam. At Zurich Airport, these play areas are in Transit A and Dock E.

During the flight

There are certain things that simply must be included in your hand baggage if you are taking your children on a long flight. Here are our tips for a pleasant journey with no unpleasant surprises:

  • Your child's own familiar blanket will help to calm it and keep it warm
  • Travelling is always more comfortable without shoes, so be sure to take some thick socks
  • Don't forget the absolute favourites: toys and cuddly animals will make the time on board seem shorter
  • Pack your child's favourite snack in case he or she gets hungry while you're travelling
  • Take enough nappies and baby wipes in case your journey ends up taking longer than expected
  • Spare clothing for yourself and your child in case of mishaps
  • A bottle and/or pacifier will help with the pressure changes when taking off and landing
  • Older children will prefer chewing gum or sweets
  • If your child is on any important medication, you must take it in your hand baggage