In connection with the upcoming holidays and the associated travel period, the FOCA would like to highlight that there may be waiting times at airports for check-in and at security and border controls. For a safe and stress-free journey, please take the following information into account.
You can help to reduce waiting times with good preparation before your journey starts and with cooperation at the airport.
Before travelling, you should make sure that your travel documents are valid and complete. Find out in advance which documents and health certificates (i.e. vaccination, recovery or test certificates) you need to show when checking in at the airport, and in what format they must be.
Arrive at the airport in good time and proceed to check-in immediately after arriving at the airport. Then go directly to security control and then on to the departure gate.
Airlines and airports often offer digital and contactless services for check-in and baggage check-in, or the option of checking-in the evening before. We recommend checking the website of the airline and the relevant airport for recommendations regarding check-in and security control before travelling.
In order to facilitate security control and avoid delays for yourself and fellow travellers, you should inform yourself in advance about the valid regulations for carrying hand luggage, electronic devices, liquids, etc. Information on allowed and forbidden items in passenger luggage can be found on the FOCA website.
At border control, you should have your travel documents ready to hand and ensure that no other documents are in your passport, for example.
We recommend that you check the current status of your booked flight (e.g. with regard to flight time changes) and the current valid entry regulations of your destination or transit country before starting your journey. Due to the current situation, changes may also occur at short notice. General information on the current situation and travel advice are available on the website of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA)
Depending on the airline and destination, masks may still be compulsory in the aircraft. Check with the airline before travelling.
Passengers taking a flight in Switzerland, in the territory of the European Union, in Iceland or Norway, or a flight in a third country which is operated by a Swiss or European air carrier and whose destination is in Switzerland or in the EU, are granted rights by Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 (Air Passenger Rights Regulation) in the event of flight cancellation, denied boarding or long delay. The obligation is always incumbent on the operating airline.
In the event of flight cancellation or denied boarding, passengers have the choice between full reimbursement of the ticket costs or substitute transport to their final destination. In the event of a flight delay of more than five hours, affected passengers can forego carriage and have the ticket costs reimbursed. Airlines must also provide assistance to affected passengers in a reasonable relation to the waiting time. This includes hotel accommodation where appropriate. The right to assistance does not apply in cases where the passenger has agreed to a full refund of his or her ticket costs. The same also applies if passengers decide at their own request for substitute transport at a later date.
The Air Passenger Rights Regulation also provides for the payment of a lump-sum, distance-based compensation under certain conditions. This does not apply to cancellations more than 14 days before the scheduled departure time of which the operating air carrier has informed the passengers concerned. There is also no right to compensation if the cancellation was caused by extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided.
Passengers who have booked a package holiday should contact their tour operator in the event of flight disruptions. Passengers who did not receive assistance from the airline and had to provide for themselves are advised to keep receipts and invoices and claim the costs from the airline afterwards.
Passengers who decide of their own accord not to take their booked flight or to travel at a later date should contact the respective airline or tour operator directly and find out about the options offered in each case. The Air Passenger Rights Regulation is not applicable in this case. In such cases, reimbursement options result from the general terms and conditions of the respective airline and the type or fare of the respective booked flight ticket.
Claims based on the Air Passenger Rights Regulation must be asserted directly by passengers against the operating airline. This applies to ticket reimbursements, any compensation to which passengers may be entitled, and to expenses incurred by passengers in individual cases for meals and/or hotel accommodation. The relevant forms can usually be found on the airline's website.
If asserted claims have been rejected by the airline or the airline has not decided on the claims within two months, affected passengers can file a complaint with the FOCA, the enforcement body for air passenger rights in Switzerland.
Last modification 12.07.2022