Swiss is introducing a fee to pre-reserve one of the popular solo business class seats on its A330 and B777-300ER aircraft.
Until now the carrier has offered these “throne” seats to business class passengers free of charge.
But from the end of March the airline, a Lufthansa group member, will be charging a stiff price for anyone (except high tier loyalty club members) who wishes to pre-reserve a throne seat.
The seats are available on long-haul flights on the carrier’s A330 and B777-300ER aircraft all of which have a staggered business class configuration.
See the entry displayed on seatplans.com for Swiss’ B777-300ER.
Throne seats are much sought after by knowledgeable solo passengers because of the privacy they provide.
However there is only a limited number of throne seats available on every flight and preference is given to loyalty club members holding HON Circle and Senator status.
At present they remain free-of-charge to ordinary business class passengers. But crucially they can only claim a throne seat very close to departure by which time they may already have been released.
With Swiss charging a fee it means all business class passengers qualify for access to a throne seat.
But (except for the above-mentioned loyalty club members) this fee wll range between Sfr 99 and 199 (£79 to £159) depending on the flight and route.
In a notification to eligible loyalty club members, Markus Binkert, CCO of Swiss, said, “With the remodelling of Swiss business class on long-haul routes we have introduced exclusive single seats that are marked by more space and discretion.”
“Due to the overwhelming demand concerning these ‘Privacy seats’ we will be giving our guests the opportunity to reserve these seats for a fee starting at the end of March.”
“As a token of our appreciation we are delighted to continue offering these seats to you at no charge, as long as they are available at the time of booking.”
This move by Swiss is designed both to raise extra cash but also to enable solo passengers to gain access to some of its better business class accommodation.
The move follows the carrier’s recent decision to allow economy passengers to access its Zurich/Geneva business class lounges for a fee.