This article may contain compensated links. Learn more in our disclaimer.

Swiss International Air Lines Connecting Flights


Last updated:

This is a Swiss International Air Lines connecting flights guide.

This guide will help you book a Swiss connecting flight. It also contains information about passenger rights, baggage policies and flight compensation. Swiss International Air Lines is the flag carrier of Switzerland. It operates scheduled flights to destinations in Europe, North and South America, Africa and Asia. Swiss has codeshare agreements with several large airlines, including Air France, Lufthansa, and SAS Scandinavian Airlines.

Did you miss a connecting flight? File a compensation claim online.

Swiss International Air Lines Plane


Is It Protected?

Yes, it’s a protected connection.

Traditional airlines sell airline-protected connecting flights. It’s more convenient and more safe than self-transfer flights. You don’t need a visa for connecting flights like this.

Unless you book flights separately.

WayAway – Cheap flights with cashback


Baggage Rules

Airline takes care of your baggage.

Mostly, you will check in baggage only once — you won’t have to recheck baggage for every flight. This is how it works with full-service airlines and airline-protected connecting flights.

Baggage allowance depends on the ticket, destination and occasionally some other factors. 


Travel Insurance

Make your trip more safe.

Add travel insurance right away. Protect yourself against possible itinerary changes later right from the very beginning. Insurance must be for the duration of the trip.

Make your trip safe from day 1.

SafetyWing – Travel insurance for digital nomads

1. Swiss International Air Lines Connecting Flights

Swiss International Air Lines is a full-service traditional airline.

Just like any other traditional airline, Swiss offers airline-protected connecting flights. It allows passengers to connect to destinations even if there are no direct flights. Airline-protected connecting flights are one of the main reasons why people choose traditional airlines over low-cost airlines. Airline-protected connecting flights are better than self transfers.

Airline-protected connecting flights are:

  • More safe. Your airline takes care of flight problems.
  • More convenient. Baggage transfer is automatic.
  • Easier to book. You book several flights as a single journey.

Yes, Swiss sells airline-protected connecting flights.

1.1 Connecting Flights, One Airline

In some situations your connecting flight will be wholly operated by Swiss. 

You will have two or more flights, and all of them will be operated by Swiss International Air Lines. These will be Swiss airplanes manned by Swiss staff. But it’s not the case with every Swiss connecting flight

1.2 Swiss International Air Lines Codeshare Partners

Sometimes airlines share their flights.

You have booked a connecting flight with Swiss International Air Lines. It doesn’t mean that the flight will be wholly operated by Swiss. Connecting flights with different airlines are a common practice in aviation industry. It’s nothing extraordinary. These kind of flights are called codeshare flights, and airlines collaborating — codeshare partners.

What you should know is that:

  • If you miss a connecting flight through no fault of your own, contact Swiss to ask for an alternative flight. As long as it’s a Swiss connection booked from Swiss, they are called marketing airline, and they are responsible for solving these problems.
  • If your flight is heavily delayed, cancelled or overbooked, compensation is paid by airline operating this particular flight. If it’s operated by some other airline, not Swiss, then they are called operating airline — they have to pay compensation when it’s due.

See a list of Swiss International Air Lines codeshare partners here.

People walking at the airport
Hong Kong Airport

2. What If Swiss Cancels a Flight?

Why is Swiss cancelling their flights?

Flights get cancelled due to a number of reasons. These reasons are the same for every airline. Staff shortage, technical problems, airport congestion, bad weather, security issues. These are just some of the reasons why airlines cancel their flights.

2.1 One of Your Flights Is Cancelled

Swiss International Air Lines is a European airline.

According to the EU Regulation 261/2004, they must:

  • Offer you a choice between a new flight and full refund.
  • Offer you assistance at the airport (you have a right to care).

This applies to all their commercial flights.

If one of your flights is cancelled, and you miss your next flight, contact Swiss to find out what are your options. In most cases however, you are entitled to a new flight free of charge or a full refund. The rules are the same with all Swiss cancelled flights.

You may have a right to compensation (more on this below)

Did you miss a connecting flight? File a compensation claim online.

2.2 All Your Flights Are Cancelled

Overall, for you as a passenger, the options are the same.

According to the EU Regulation 261/2004, Swiss must:

  • Offer you a choice between a new flight and full refund.
  • Offer you assistance at the airport if it’s a last-minute cancellation and you are already at the airport (you have a right to care).

This applies to all their commercial flights.

Refund must be paid within seven days.

You may have a right to EU flight cancellation compensation.

2.3 Swiss Refund for Cancellation

Yes, you have a right to ask for a refund.

If the airline has offered you a new flight which unfortunately doesn’t fit your travel plans, you may ask for a refund. Keep in mind that refund must be paid by bank transfer — to the same bank account, from which you made a purchase.

You don’t have to accept any coupons from Swiss.

Hong Kong airport layover
Hong Kong airport

3. Swiss International Air Lines Missed Connecting Flight

Why people miss their connecting flights?

There are a number of reasons. You can miss your connecting flight just because you fell asleep while waiting for your flight. Or you waited at the wrong gate. Or there were long queues at the airport. The most common reason, however, is delay or cancellation of the previous flight.

3.1 What Happens If You Miss Swiss Connection?

If it’s your fault that it happened — it’s your responsibility.

If it’s not your fault, then your airline has to take care of that. If you booked a flight from Swiss International Air Lines, it doesn’t even matter if the flight is operated by Swiss International Air Lines or not, you should contact Swiss International Air Lines. It’s their responsibility to find a solution. You missed a connecting flight, the airline must offer you a solution.

According to the EU Regulation 261/2004, they must:

  • Take you to your final destination as soon as possible.
  • Offer you assistance at the airport (you have a right to care).

Read more: Missed Connecting Flight Due to Delay 

3.2 Right to Compensation from Swiss International Air Lines

Sometimes you have a right to compensation.

If your Swiss flight is late, and as a result, you land 3 or more hours later than scheduled, you may be entitled to compensation. As long as the delay or cancellation was due to the fault of Swiss International Air Lines. Sometimes even a 2-hour flight delay is enough for you to be entitled to compensation. The latter applies to situations when one flight is cancelled last-minute.

Flight cancelled less than 2 weeks before the trip?

You might be entitled to flight cancellation compensation.


File a Claim Online

3.3 Right to Care from Swiss International Air Lines

On all Swiss flights you have a right to care.

According to the EU Regulation 261/2004 airline should provide:

  • Free food and drinks in a reasonable relation to the waiting time.
  • Free hotel accommodation if a stay of one or more nights is necessary;
  • Free airport transfer to hotel and back.
  • Plus, two telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails. So that you can get in touch with your loved ones and notify about changes in your travel plans.

It applies to all domestic and international flights with Swiss. Again, it’s because Swiss is a European airline. With non-European airlines it applies only to flights departing from European airports.

When it comes to air passenger rights, unless otherwise stated, we talk about air passenger rights in the EU, EEA and UK. When we say Europe or European, we mean EU, EEA or UK. This is done for the simplicity, since the according laws in these countries are about the same.

Istanbul Airport
Istanbul Airport

4. How to Book Connecting Flights with Swiss International Air Lines?

You can do it directly from Swiss or via a third-party.

These are two best options. You can either go on the website of Swiss and book Swiss connecting flights from there, or you can book using a third-party booking website.

How to Book?

Airline website (directly).

This is the easiest way to book a connecting flight. It’s also the safest way to book a connection. You make a single booking, have a single reservation code and the booking includes several flights. Sometimes they are all with one airline, other times – two or more. Anyway, in this case, you can be 100% sure that you have a proper connecting flight.

Other Option

Flight booking websites.

Few examples:,,

Pay attention to the details. Because some of these sites are only search engines, and sellers are other websites. Apart from that, they often sell both airline-protected connecting flights and self-transfer flights. If it’s a self-transfer, know that it comes with its own risks, and there are things you should take into account. Self-transfer is not the same thing as airline-protected transfer. 

For extra protection, buy also a travel insurance covering flight disruptions, or book with sites like, who offer extra protection.

With you are more protected than normally.

Read more: How to Book Connecting Flights?

Two backpacks

5. Swiss International Air Lines Connecting Flights: Baggage

Since Swiss is a full-service airline, everything’s very easy.

Baggage rules on connecting flights with Swiss are simple.

In short, Swiss Air Lines takes care of your baggage. You check in your baggage upon arriving at your origin airport. The airline takes care of it until your final destination. Unless you have a self-transfer (flights booked separately), or you’re traveling through a country that requires everyone to collect and recheck their baggage (e.g., the U.S.).

If you aren’t sure, ask the staff when checking in your bag.

5.1 Baggage Transfer: Different Airlines

What happens if there are several airlines?

What if one of your flights is operated by different airline, not Swiss? As we already talked, you may experience this, because Swiss does share some of its flights with its codeshare partners. In this situation the rules are the same — your baggage is being taken care of by an airline. In most situations you won’t have to worry about it.

Read more:

5.2 Swiss International Air Lines Free Baggage Allowance

Baggage allowance varies — it’s not the same on all flights.

Baggage allowance depends on the airline, destination and travel class. To find out what is your baggage allowance, check booking confirmation or use “Manage my booking” option on the airline’s website. If you haven’t booked a flight yet, make sure you pay attention to baggage allowance when booking.

5.3 Economy Light

This is the cheapest option for long-haul flights.

Economy Light comes without free baggage allowance.

We see this all across the industry. Full-service traditional airlines are offering also tickets without free checked baggage allowance. The wording is also often the same — Economy Light. So, if you see this, most likely it’s without checked baggage (carry on baggage only).

So, the next time you see cheap Swiss flights, pay attention to this. Because Swiss also offers Economy Light tickets. If you want to travel with a checked bag, this option is not for you.

A beach in Malta
A beach in Gozo, Malta

6. Connecting Flight Examples

Here are two connecting flight examples with Swiss.

6.1 Protected Connecting Flights with Swiss International Air Lines (Most Common)

For this example I’ll be using the website of Swiss.

For example, I want to fly from Vienna (Austria) to Malta.

Vienna - Malta Connecting Flight with Swiss International Air Lines
Vienna – Malta connecting flight with Swiss

I search for flights on September 1, and these are my options:

On their website, Swiss sells only protected connecting flights. However, as you may already know, not all connecting flights will be operating by the marketing airline (in this case, Swiss). In fact, in Vienna – Malta case, neither of the connecting flights are operated by Swiss. All of them are operated by codeshare partners such as Lufthansa, Air Malta and Austrian Airlines.

Total flight duration, departure and arrival times, stopover airports and price also are different for each connecting flight.

Choose the best connecting flight according to your convenience and budget.

6.2 Self-Transfer Flights with Swiss International Air Lines

Now, let’s assume, that Malta is not your final destination. 

You want to fly to Malta, where you plan to spend, let’s say, 3 days, and then head to Catania in Sicily. How to book such a connection?

  1. You can book a connecting flight to Malta, like in the example above. For example, you’re taking the cheapest option, the first one, which arrives in Malta at 11:55 am. 
  2. And then you go to, or some other airfare search site, and book a flight from Malta to Catania. Leaving yourself, let’s say, 3 days in Malta. 

Your flight from Austria to Malta is an airline-protected connecting flight. This means that you are protected by the airline in case of flight disruptions. If your first flight is delayed or cancelled, and because of that you miss your next flight, Swiss International Air Lines will put you on another flight for free. However, the last leg, Malta – Catania flight, is a separate flight. You will check in for it separately, and get boarding passes separately. Take this into account!

What is your experience with Swiss International Air Lines? Have you ever missed a connecting flight with Swiss International Air Lines? How did the airline solve this? Did you receive compensation from Swiss International Air Lines? If yes – how long did it take?

Featured photo by Max Walter

About the author:

Co-founder and Editor at Connecting Flights Guide

Una is an organized globetrotter and foodie who’s been living a digital nomad lifestyle since 2013. She always starts her day early with a good book before diving into work. Apart from traveling and aviation, her other passions include gym, hiking and cycling. Una is also a strong proponent of AI technology. She firmly believes in its potential to simplify life and has often advocated for its wider adoption in our day-to-day activities. Her favorite airlines are Qatar Airways, Emirates, and KLM.


Stay Safe

SafetyWing – Insurance for nomads


Stay Connected


Get Cashback

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connecting Flights Guide

Your go-to guide to air travel rules and regulations. Connecting flights, self transfer, onward tickets and more – we want you to understand air travel better

This article may contain compensated links. Learn more in our disclaimer.

Latest posts: