SWISS International Airlines has been operating for 13 years and offers competitively priced tickets. They allow one free checked bag per passenger and are on time 79% of the time. They serve 106 destinations across the world and offer a number of entertainment options for the passengers on flights including top movies and TV shows.

 

Rank Chart
Checked Bags
WiFi Price
Our Score
#1
Free
$8/day
8.2
#2
$25-$35
$16/day
7.9
#3
$25
$16/day
7.6
#25
Swiss International Air Review - logo
By Weight
No
5.0

The Good

SWISS came in very competitively with other top airlines on their ticket prices. Often SWISS ticket prices were the same as United or a little less. SWISS also came in at a lower price than Delta most of the time. The flight needs to be coming from or going to either Geneva or Zurich which greatly limits the number of flights tickets could be purchased for on SWISS. However, those flights that are available would be one of the best prices available for the flight. They also had a number of options available for the SWISS flights, each at competitive prices. Some of the top airlines may be around the same price and passengers could possibly get a better deal from the bigger airlines with miles or other discounts. But when the ticket price itself is looked at, SWISS would be a competitive option coming in at a very similar price to most of the top airlines.

SWISS flights allow one carry-on and one checked bag in each ticket price. If the passenger has more bags or their bags are larger than the size restrictions, there is a fee associated. For bags that are too large, it is $300, for heavier bags it is $150, and for bigger and heavier it is $450. To add bags it is an extra $150 a bag when added online, $200 at check-in and $210 at the gate.

SWISS offers one free checked bag for each ticket price which a lot of the major airlines do not offer. Most require a fee for any checked bags; however their fee is generally much lower than the fee for extra bags checked with Swiss. If a passenger is able to get all they need in the allowed hand and checked baggage, they could save money with SWISS compared to other airlines. However, if they need more they may be paying much more than other airlines would charge.

SWISS offers seat selection at the time of check-in. This helps the boarding process go smoother if passengers know where the seat they have selected is before they board the plane. Because SWISS offers online check-in 23 hours before the flight, passengers can choose their seat even farther in advance and feel more comfortable boarding the flight. SWISS also offers a mobile boarding pass through their online check-in that is valid at baggage drop locations, document checkpoints, duty-free shops and at the gate when boarding the plane. SWISS offers passengers the option to choose automated check-in while booking the flight. They will then automatically send the boarding pass by email to print out or as a mobile boarding pass to the smartphone. SWISS allows passengers to check-in from self-service kiosks or at the check-in desk at the airport. Most of the check-in counters open between 2-3 hours before departure time.

SWISS serves 106 destinations in 49 different countries. 80 are in Europe and 26 are overseas. They are Switzerland’s national airline and have a fleet of 94 planes from Zurich and Geneva. The United States destinations include:
• Boston
• Chicago
• Las Vegas
• Los Angeles
• Miami
• New York (EWR)
• New York (JFK)
• San Francisco
• Tampa

SWISS serves most of Europe with destinations in 31 countries and multiple cities in many of those countries. This is small compared to one of the largest airlines, United that serves 375 destinations or Delta that serves 334 destinations. SWISS is based in Europe, and they have 80 domestic destinations which is respectable. However, only 26 international destinations is very low when comparing to top airlines. This makes SWISS a much smaller airline than some of the top options. They would not be able to take passengers everywhere that the top airlines could.

The amount of meal service provided on SWISS flights depends on the class of the ticket. Some of the First Class features include:
• Appetizers
• Main course meals
• Desserts
• Wines, champagne, and fresh brewed coffee
• Gourmet meals delivered whenever the customer chooses

Some benefits of Business Class include:
• European flights enjoy a breakfast, lunch, or dinner meal with a beverage
• Snacks and ice creams for in between meals

Economy offers:
• Depending on the length of flight, either a meal or snacks provided
• Meat lovers meal or vegetarian offered

Each class also has the option of ordering a special meal in advance of the flight.
SWISS flights also offer a number of entertainment items. They allow each passenger to individually start, stop, or pause any film, CD, series, or game that they would like. They offer over 140 films and TV programs. They have over 400 CDs as well as music channels. They also offer a variety of children’s films and games for the younger passengers. SWISS Magazine is also an award winning option of entertainment for passengers to choose from. It portrays a number of city portraits. On each passengers screen, they have the ability to follow the flight as it travels through its route and view more information about Zurich and Geneva as they come closer. There is a telephone at seats that can be used for a charge. Business and First class also provide power sockets. On the SWISSA330 each seat has their own USB connection and Business and First Class can also watch music and movies on their iPods, iPads, or iPhones if the passenger provides a cable.

Finally, SWISS flights also offer Duty-free shopping while on the flight. Their catalog provides the best SWISS chocolate, watches, and beauty products that passengers can peruse and order from during their flight. There is no Wi-Fi on SWISS Airlines as there are on some of the larger airlines. They also do not have specific meal options as some airlines offer and, for the most part, cannot offer passengers to use their own personal devices for entertainment.

SWISS International Airlines was founded on April 1, 2002. They have been operating for the past 13 years. This is a very small amount of time compared to some of the larger airlines such as Delta which has been in business for 91 years or United Airlines that has been flying for 89 years. SWISS is a new airline company and is continuing to grow and develop. SWISS has a 100% subsidiary, SWISS Global that flies to only 30 destinations in Europe. However, in January 2016, they will be adding various routes from SWISS International Airlines to SWISS Global. SWISS is committed to helping children in need throughout the world; their employees take voluntary payroll deductions to benefit children as well as many donations made by customers through Swiss. SWISS is Switzerland’s national airline and they take the responsibility to be ecologically and socially responsible very seriously. They have target groups continuously working on how SWISS can become a better company for their environment. SWISS is a part of the Lufthansa Group and a member of the Star Alliance.

The Bad

SWISS Airlines had 79% of their flights on time in the last month according to Flightstats.com. 11% were late and only 4% were very or excessively late. The flight from Chicago to Zurich was their best flight, receiving 4.6 stars out of 5. It was on time 93% of the time and had only a 1% canceled and 0% diverted flights. Some of their other top flights include:
• Zurich to Dublin (4.5 stars)
• Moscow to Zurich (4.2 stars)
• Geneva to Moscow (3.6 stars)

The flight from Zurich to Istanbul was late the most at 48% on time. Zurich to Miami was also often late, it had only a 53% on-time rate.

When SWISS is compared to other top airlines, they come out only a little behind. Some of the top airlines and their on-time flights include:
• Delta: 86% on time
• Southwest Airlines: 87% on time
• United: 82% on time

This shows that SWISS is not quite as accurate on their timings as some of the larger airlines. They are not radically lower, but they are consistently lower than these larger chains. The specific flights on SWISS had lower stars than other airlines did as well. SWISS only had three flights with four-star ratings while many other airlines had quite a few more in the four and three-star range. SWISS had many more flights that only received two stars for being consistent and on time.

The Bottom Line

Swiss International Airlines is a solid option for international flights. They have a number of different flights around the globe and have decent prices. Because of their relatively low amount of flights on time, we do not recommend them as a top airlines company at this time.

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