Please sign in to post.

Swiss Air baggage requirements

I'm concerned about carry-on bags. The website specifies 55X 40 X 23 cm which seems to equal 21.7 X 15.7 X 9 inches. The smallest roll-a-boards I've been able to find our 22 x 14.5 X 9 inches. My current carry-ons are almost the same. Does anyone know how strict Swiss air is? Do they have a box with these exact dimensions that my bags must fit into? We will be departing SFO for Zurich and then connecting in Zürich for CDG. I've emailed them (3.5 hours on the phone was too much for me) but have yet to hear back.

Posted by
1358 posts

Does that measurement include the wheels? If not, you may possibly be too big. I've found that the two-wheeled bags usually measure smaller. Also, use the inside straps to squeeze your clothes smaller, so your bag doesn't bulge.
European dimension are different, and its difficult to find the exact dimensions in a suitcase here; the dimensions are wider but thinner than most US suitcase.
I actually was checked at SFO Swiss Air December , 2019. I had found a carry-on that meets their requirements, but it was a search.
Good luck!

Posted by
4763 posts

Most airlines check bag dimensions - some most flights and others at random, in my experience. They have the box/cage that you need to be able to squeeze into. The bags are most likely to be checked if the flight is full.

Posted by
575 posts

I fly Swiss Air a lot but usually in Biz class (my employer pays for my tickets). If you are traveling on business class, then they are quite lenient, unless the aircraft is a small one with very limited overhead bin space. Check the aircraft type for your ZRH-CDG flight and see if the overhead bin size can fit a roller. Swiss' website won't tell you this information, but you can find photos or videos of this aircraft type from a Google search.

Calling Swiss isn't going to help. They will give you the official answer--all dimensions count, including the handles and the wheels. For economy class, they can be strict, especially for intra-Euro flights. It's really up to the counter agents to enforce the rules.

Nowadays, airlines, European and American alike, are getting stricter with oversized carry-on rule enforcement. Delta is particularly strict, for example. They have the sizer at the boarding gate.

In addition to carry-ons, you can take one "personal item" with you. There are also restrictions for this. Check the Swiss website.

Posted by
1357 posts

I don’t think this is worth losing sleep over. With multiple trips every year through Europe on the way to India and Africa and trips to Europe I haven’t had anyone question the size of the carry on. The worst is that you may come across a strict gate agent in which case you may need to check the bag but I wouldn’t go by a new bag just on the small probability of having a strict agent.

Most of my travels have been on star alliance carriers including Swiss when returning from Malta 3 years ago

Posted by
421 posts

Thanks everyone. Pat, yes the measurement does include the wheels and the handle that sticks out very slightly above the actual bag. It's hard sided so I don't think I can make it any shorter (the bag measures .3 inches above their allowable). Jennifer, good to at least know that they have the box/cage. I haven't flown since Sep 2019 and then it was on US carriers. Barkinpark, I am indeed flying business class (many miles saved up). SFO-ZRH is Boeing 777-300 ER, 340 seats. ZRH-CDG is Airbus 320-200 (320) with 180 seats. I've not been able to find any real information as to what the overhead storage dimensions are. But if there is a cage for measuring upon boarding then maybe it doesn't matter how big the space in the overhead compartments is. The Swiss website says we can take 2 carry-ons plus a personal item. I checked the dimensions for the personal item as well and that's fine. We don't, however plan to take 2 carry-ons as is just too much for us to manage along with our checked bags. It sounds like we might be okay with the transatlantic flight but maybe not for the intra-European flight, which makes it a nonstarter. Guess I'll just have to continue looking for a smaller wheeled carry on. Any suggestions about where I might find one? I'm in Berkeley California.

Posted by
25772 posts

cheaper to check it if needed

it isn't RyanAir

Posted by
1357 posts

I really think you are overthinking this. Especially if you are in business class, you are not going to be checked or hassled. Over the last 3 weeks I had 9 flights in Europe of which 7 were on Star Alliance carriers (3 Lufthansa, 2 Austrian, 2 LOT) and there was no checks on any of the carry on bags and neither were there any bag sizers, at least none that I noted. Since Swiss is part of the LH group, I would assume that you will find much the same with them.

There are lots of Americans that carry 22 in rollerboards and are constantly connecting onto European flights from what I saw and there were no checks either for the # of bags or their sizes. On Saturday, I saw a woman boarding with 3 carry on bags and a baby in hand and had a stroller that was gate checked and nothing was said.

Posted by
1358 posts

I was in business class and I was checked while waiting at the gate for boarding in SFO for a Swiss Air flight. No one was in line yet. A grumpy Swiss Air staffer wandered through the boarding area, checking bags, then attaching "ok for carry-on" stickers to the acceptable bags.

I agree that based on the feedback here, the percentages are in your favor.

Safe travels!

Posted by
1358 posts

Oh, I was also checked by the Australian Airlines once.

Posted by
575 posts

Well, in this case, for the safety of mind and for future travels, it may be worthwhile to buy a new carry-on. Years ago, I bought the "international version" of an Eagle Creek 2-roller carry-on. It's significantly smaller than our standard version, but fits the requirements of almost all European airlines, LCC included. Since then, I have used it several times per year and therefore it's well worth the extra cost.

Before this bag, I bought another Eagle Creek carry-on--I measured the dimensions myself and found that the actual size is LARGER than stated in the website. Therefore, I returned it and got my return shipping covered.

One online shop I really like is Luggagepros. Their customer service is top notch. See if they have a price match policy.
https://www.luggagepros.com/collections/18-20-international-carry-on

eBags used to be very good but it was bought by Samsonite or another major luggage vendor. Customer service level has declined since.

PS: You are not overthinking this matter. European gate agents can be fussy. My husband only flies biz class in Europe but has been gate checked before.