Healthy travelling

For a carefree flight

A long flight is physically demanding. Travellers with health problems need to be basically fit to fly. Healthy passengers can increase their well-being with a few simple measures.

Health guide

Find helpful answers to frequently asked questions regarding flying and health. If you are affected from any disease, physical impairment or medication, mind to consult your doctor regarding your planned flight.

Pregnancy: What do I have to consider when I am pregnant?
Mothers-to-be whose pregnancy has proceeded without complications can travel on SWISS flights up to the end of the 36th week of pregnancy, i.e. up until four weeks before their scheduled delivery date. If you are expecting a multiple birth and the pregnancy proceeds without complications, you can travel on Swiss flights up to the end of the 32nd week of pregnancy.

While it is not required, we recommend expectant mothers beyond the 28th week of their pregnancies to carry a current letter from a physician stating that the pregnancy is uncomplicated and confirming the expected date of delivery. The physician should state that the patient’s pregnancy does not prevent her from travelling by air.

Pregnant women also run a higher risk of developing a deep-vein thrombosis throughout their pregnancy. In view of this, if you are flying while pregnant, we advise you to wear compression stockings, and to drink enough. Best of all, discuss your air travel plans with your gynecologist in advance, to minimize any additional risk.

If you are not sure about flying in your particular situation, please contact SWISS Medical services directly.
Special menus: Can I order special menu on my flight?
We offer free special meals on all our intercontinental flights. You can already order your food selection during your booking on swiss.com (Step 4, Options). To find the right diet for you, please have a look at the wide range of special meals and their ingredients.
Diabetes: What do I have to mind if I am diabetic?
If you are diabetic mind the following for your flight and trip.

1. Medication
Discuss the type and number of insulin injections you will need to take with you with your doctor. Our advice is to take twice the amount of medication and materials with you, in both your carry-on baggage and your suitcase. This ensures that you have enough to hand in any case.

Ask your doctor to draw up a travel injection timetable for your flight and trip.

2. Travelling into other time zones
Travelling west: You are experiencing an extra-long day. Discuss with your doctor if you should eat an additional meal and take an additional dose of insulin.

Travelling east: Your day is shortened. It’s advisable to reduce your insulin dosage accordingly. Discuss the matter with your doctor.

3. Syringes on board
You might need to inject insulin during the flight and bring syringes on board. In this case you definitely need a medical certificate of your doctor for the security check.
Thrombosis: What is important to know about travel thrombosis?
Long, immobile sitting can cause the formation of a blood clot (thrombus) in veins which are thus partly or completely blocked. It mostly affects the lower half of the body e.g. in the veins of the legs and is known as deep venous thrombosis (DVT).

To prevent a thrombosis, make sure you drink enough during the flight, move as often as possible and bend & stretch your legs frequently.

If you have additional risk factors (e.g. history of thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, hereditary coagulation disorder, cardiac insufficiency or chronic vein insufficiency) you should seek medical advice before travelling. In particular, you should discuss whether compression stockings would be appropriate and whether anti-coagulant medication is necessary.
Vaccination: Do I need any vaccination for my destination?
For your own wellbeing and the health of persons in your surroundings, protect yourself from any contagious diseases. Consult medical advice on necessary and mandatory vaccinations or other recommended pre-cautions at least 4-6 weeks preliminary to your travel.

SWISS Medical Services can provide you with medical advice, information on diseases in tropical regions and the most important vaccinations.
Illness or surgery: May I fly with an illness or after surgery?
You must be extra careful if you are troubling with a current illness or if you had a surgery recently. Travel can be stressful, therefore it‘s wise to postpone your flight travel if you don't feel up to it.

Please check the cases in which flying is restricted. Moreover we absolutely recommend to consult your doctor for any medical advice on a planned flight and to clarify your physical well-being for a travel.
Restrictions: In which cases it is restricted to fly?
Divers
It is restricted to fly when you dove within 24 hours before departure. Further a doctor should be consulted if you faced problems while resurfacing.

Physical conditions
It’s restricted to fly when you are affected from one of the following:

Acute cold and severe feverish illness
Severe heart or lung-related illness: breathing difficulties recent heart attack, volatile angina pectoris, volatile cardiac insufficiency and pneumothorax
Recent stroke
Severe anaemia
Infectious diseases such as chicken pox
Recent surgery, especially abdominal and thorax operations
Certain acute psychological illness
Allergies: What do I need to know?
As an allergy-sufferer, when flying with SWISS you can be sure that we do everything we can to avoid allergens. SWISS was the first airline in the world to receive the ECARF quality seal. We are committed to reducing allergens in our cabins and lounges to a minimum, especially with regard to upholstery, air conditioning and food. You can also book special meals on long haul flights or flights within Europe in SWISS Business. On European flights in SWISS Economy, our on-board kitchen also has a range of lactose and gluten-free products and alternative snacks. Crew members are trained to deal with emergencies, and antihistamine tablets are carried on all our flights.

You will find information on nut allergies under special meals.
Medical certificate: When do I need a medical certificate?
In the following cases, we recommend that travellers take along a medical certificate for their own safety and/or due to valid security regulations:

Cardiac peacemakers or implanted metal parts (artificial joints, metal fixtures for fractures): Show your document to the security staff before passing the security check.

Diabetics and persons with chronic diseases requiring medication: Certificate stating the diagnosis and required medication.

Destination countries requiring certain vaccinations: Inoculation and vaccination record.

Syringes carried for medical reasons.

Depending on the degree of impairment, SWISS may require a SAF/MEDIF form.

Medical Equipment

If you would like to take a long your own medical equipment, please inform us when you book. Some devices need technical and / or medical clearance. Below you will find some information about frequently used medical equipment on our flights.

Personal wheelchair
You may take your own foldable wheelchair along. Please inform us about the dimensions, weight and type of wheelchair in advance.

Proceed to gate with your personal (no battery) wheelchair. Our staff will help you with boarding and store your wheelchair.

We will return your wheelchair at deboarding, if possible. Otherwise the arrival airport will provide a wheelchair to bring you to the baggage claim.

Battery driven wheelchairs are not allowed after check-in. Our staff will bring you to the gate with a substitute wheelchair.

Your wheelchair is transported in the baggage compartment free of charge.

Please note: For safety reasons, the following rules for wheelchairs with batteries apply. Before check-in, the batteries must be securely attached to the wheelchair and the battery terminals must be insulated to prevent accidental short circuits.

On board wheelchair
On long haul flights, we will assist you with our specially developed on-board wheelchair for transfers to the toilet.
Oxygen
The use of private bottles on board is not permitted.

We provide company oxygen bottles for use on board.

The oxygen bottle will be installed on your seat and ready to use.

Order the supplement oxygen at least 48 hours before departure. The oxygen is confirmed after received payment of the respective costs.

Medical details must be provided by filling out the SAF/MEDIF form (PDF).
Medicine
Despite the security regulation for hand luggage, indispensable medication in liquid form is allowed on board, e.g. medicine for diabetics.

The amount is equivalent to the requirements during the flight.

Depending on the situation, a medical certificate in English language may be helpful.
Syringes carried for medical use
We recommend to hold a medical certificate due to valid security regulations.
Portable oxygen concentrator (POC) / continuous positive air way pressure (CPAP)
POC: together with the medical details (PDF) we also ask you to read and fill in the POC form (PDF). Please send both forms at least 3 working days before departure to the SWISS Medical Services.
Email: medicalservices@swiss.com

CPAP: if you plan to use a CPAP machine on board, kindly read through the CPAP information sheet (PDF) and follow the instructions given. A medical attest is not necessary.

Health guide

Find helpful answers to frequently asked questions regarding flying and health. If you are affected from any disease, physical impairment or medication, mind to consult your doctor regarding your planned flight.

Pregnancy: What do I have to consider when I am pregnant?
Mothers-to-be whose pregnancy has proceeded without complications can travel on SWISS flights up to the end of the 36th week of pregnancy, i.e. up until four weeks before their scheduled delivery date. If you are expecting a multiple birth and the pregnancy proceeds without complications, you can travel on Swiss flights up to the end of the 32th week of pregnancy.

While it is not required, we recommend expectant mothers beyond the 28th week of their pregnancies to carry a current letter from a physician stating that the pregnancy is uncomplicated and confirming the expected date of delivery. The physician should state that the patient’s pregnancy does not prevent her from travelling by air.

Pregnant women also run a higher risk of developing a deep-vein thrombosis throughout their pregnancy. In view of this, if you are flying while pregnant, we advise you to wear compression stockings, and to drink enough. Best of all, discuss your air travel plans with your gynecologist in advance, to minimize any additional risk.

If you are not sure about flying in your particular situation, please contact SWISS Medical services directly.
Special menus: Can I order special menu on my flight?
We offer free special meals on all our intercontinental flights. You can already order your food selection during your booking on swiss.com (Step 4, Options). To find the right diet for you, please have a look at the wide range of special meals and their ingredients.

SWISS Special Menus
Diabetes: What do I have to mind if I am diabetic?
If you are diabetic mind the following for your flight and trip.

1. Medication
Discuss the type and number of insulin injections you will need to take with you with your doctor. Our advice is to take twice the amount of medication and materials with you, in both your carry-on baggage and your suitcase. This ensures that you have enough to hand in any case.

Ask your doctor to draw up a travel injection timetable for your flight and trip.

2. Travelling into other time zones
Travelling west: You are experiencing an extra-long day. Discuss with your doctor if you should eat an additional meal and take an additional dose of insulin.

Travelling east: Your day is shortened. It’s advisable to reduce your insulin dosage accordingly. Discuss the matter with your doctor.

3. Syringes on board
You might need to inject insulin during the flight and bring syringes on board. In this case you should have a current prescription for the insulin for the security check.
Thrombosis: What is important to know about travel thrombosis?
Long, immobile sitting can cause the formation of a blood clot (thrombus) in veins which are thus partly or completely blocked. It mostly affects the lower half of the body e.g. in the veins of the legs and is known as deep venous thrombosis (DVT).

To prevent a thrombosis, make sure you drink enough during the flight, move as often as possible and bend & stretch your legs frequently.

If you have additional risk factors (e.g. history of thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, hereditary coagulation disorder, cardiac insufficiency or chronic vein insufficiency) you should seek medical advice before travelling. In particular, you should discuss whether compression stockings would be appropriate and whether anti-coagulant medication is necessary.
Vaccination: Do I need any vaccination for my destination?
For your own wellbeing and the health of persons in your surroundings, protect yourself from any contagious diseases. Consult medical advice on necessary and mandatory vaccinations or other recommended pre-cautions at least 4-6 weeks preliminary to your travel.

SWISS Medical Services can provide you with medical advice, information on diseases in tropical regions and the most important vaccinations.
Illness or surgery: May I fly with an illness or after surgery?
You must be extra careful if you are troubling with a current illness or if you had a surgery recently. Travel can be stressful, therefore it‘s wise to postpone your flight travel if you don't feel up to it.

Please check the cases in which flying is restricted. Moreover we absolutely recommend to consult your doctor for any medical advice on a planned flight and to clarify your physical well-being for a travel.
Restrictions: In which cases it is restricted to fly?
Divers
It is restricted to fly when you dove within 24 hours before departure. Further a doctor should be consulted if you faced problems while resurfacing.

Physical conditions and communicable diseases

Swiss may refuse transport, require a medical certificate or impose conditions, restrictions or requirements if a passenger with a communicable disease or infection poses a direct threat to the health and safety of other passengers.

Swiss may make an individual assessment that a medical certificate is necessary to alleviate concerns of health risks to other passengers.

Swiss may also make an individual assessment that the least restrictive option for the passenger who has been assessed to pose such a threat to the health of others to wear a mask to protect other passengers from risk of being exposed to the communicable disease or infection.
Nut allergy: What do I have to mind if I’m allergic to nuts?
SWISS recognizes that some passengers are allergic to nuts. We do serve nut products and there may be trace elements of unspecified nut ingredients in meals and snacks. We make no provisions to be nut-free. Additionally, other customers may bring nuts on board. Therefore we cannot guarantee a nut-free environment on a SWISS operated flight. When making your travel arrangements, we recommend that you assess the extent of any allergies or other medical conditions to ensure that air travel is the right choice for you in regards to allergic reactions.
Medical certificate: When do I need a medical certificate?
In the following cases, we recommend that travellers take along a medical certificate (SAF/MEDIF form) for their own safety and/or due to valid security regulations:

If the passenger is travelling on a stretcher.

If the passenger needs medical oxygen during the flight (Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POCs).

If the passenger has a medical condition that creates reasonable doubt that she/he can complete the flight safely without requiring extraordinary medical assistance during the flight.

If the passenger has a communicable disease or infection that poses a direct threat to the health and safety of other passengers.

While it is not required by U.S. law, having a valid medical certificate or equivalent documentation can be helpful in other circumstances to assist passengers through security checkpoints and also for their own safety. We therefore recommend that travellers take along a medical certificate or equivalent documentation in the following cases:

If the passenger is travelling with a cardiac pacemaker or implanted metal parts (artificial joints, metal fixtures for fractures).

If the passenger has a chronic disease such as diabetes that requires frequent medication (i.e. a certificate stating the diagnosis and required medication).

If the passenger is travelling to a country that requires certain vaccinations (i.e. inoculation and vaccination records).

If the passenger is travelling with a syringe used for medical purposes.

Medical equipment

Reservations: Advance Notice Requirements
Generally passengers with disabilities do not need to give any advance notice to Swiss. However, in certain instances in order to offer the passenger the proper care and assistance, SWISS requires advance notice as follows:

72 hours advance notice for use of medical oxygen supplied by Swiss for international flights.

48 hours advanced notice for use of a respirator, ventilator, POC or CPAP.

48 hours advance notice for passengers travelling on a stretcher.
Personal wheelchair
You may take your own foldable wheelchair along. Please inform us about the dimensions, weight and type of wheelchair in advance.

Proceed to gate with your personal (no battery) wheelchair. Our staff will help you with boarding and store your wheelchair.

We will return your personal (no battery) wheelchair at deboarding, if possible. Otherwise the arrival airport will provide a wheelchair to bring you to the baggage claim.

Your wheelchair is transported in the baggage compartment free of charge. If the aircraft contains a closet or storage area big enough to accommodate the passenger's wheelchair (no battery), SWISS will designate it as priority stowage space for the wheelchair.

Please note: For safety reasons, the following rules for wheelchairs with batteries apply.

We request that passengers with battery powered wheelchairs check in one hour in advance.

Before check-in, the batteries must be securely attached to the wheelchair and the battery terminals must be insulated to prevent accidental short circuits.

On board wheelchair

On long haul flights, we will assist you with our specially developed on-board wheelchair for transfers to the toilet.
Oxygen
The use of private bottles on board is not permitted.

We provide company oxygen bottles for use on board.

The oxygen bottle will be installed on your seat and ready to use.

Order the supplement oxygen at least 72 hours before departure. The oxygen is confirmed after received payment of the respective costs.

Medical details must be provided by filling out the SAF/MEDIF form (PDF).
Medicine
Despite the security regulation for hand luggage, indispensable medication in liquid form is allowed on board, e.g. medicine for diabetics.

The amount is equivalent to the requirements during the flight.

Depending on the situation, a medical certificate in English language may be helpful.
Syringes carried for medical use
We recommend to hold a medical certificate or current prescription due to valid security regulations.
Portable oxygen concentrator (POC)/continuous positive air way pressure (CPAP)
POC: together with the medical details (PDF) we also ask you to read and fill in the POC form (PDF). Please send both forms at least 48 hours before departure to the SWISS Medical Services.Email: medicalservices@swiss.com

CPAP: if you plan to use a CPAP machine on board, kindly read through the CPAP information sheet (PDF) and follow the instructions given. A medical attest is not necessary.