BA outshines Swiss on holding a flight booking

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  TMC Woking 25 May 2018
at 09:32

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)

  • SwissExPat

    I have not ever used the facility to “hold a flight booking for 72 hours” for a fee, but just did so on a booking where I had some complicated scheduling of hotels etc and wanted to get my flights sorted before sorting the hotels.

    I am delighted to say this involves me having a holiday in Scotland this Summer with Mrs ExPat. (Edinburgh mainly)

    Despite direct flights with Swiss/Edelweiss, I found cheaper flights with BA through Heathrow at decent times and the extra baggage allowance, not needing to ring the airline to book a bike onboard and also BAEC gold status with lounge access swung the decision.

    However it was the difference in the ‘Hold booking’ conditions that was surprising.

    With Swiss, the fee was CHF 25 per person and this was not refunded.

    With BA, it was CHF 7 per person, refunded if you proceeded with the booking.

    That’ll pay for a nice wee dram for us both on arrival at the Caledonian Hotel.

    Anyone use this feature with regularity on other airlines?


    Despite direct flights with Swiss/Edelweiss, I found cheaper flights with BA through Heathrow at decent times and the extra baggage allowance

    In your case you may have found that BA suited you better, but Swiss/Edelweiss is a better product, hence the higher price, and that’s a price I willingly pay to avoid ‘cheaper’ BA. BA has to be really cheap to tempt me on board, particularly on longhaul.



    Being such a regular on routes operated by BA and SWISS, I have written much on the comparison…. as in back in 2015

    Since writing this, SWISS has improved the aircraft (no more AVRO) and also BA has introduced paid on-board F&B whilst SWISS retains the F&B included in the ticket price.

    Given these changes, I agree completely that SWISS offer a significantly better product on the UK-Switzerland Routes.

    Based on my recent experiences the Gap is even larger on J short haul bookings. I had an excellent DUB-ZRH flight in J with Swiss.

    However, it is the existance of the BAEC that brings BA back into the running. I have given up trying to get Swiss Silver FTL level and even if you have this, you still dont get into most lounges in the LH/LX network (DUB for example). I qualify quite easily for BA Silver (occasionally Gold) and the benefits of Free seat selection, extra bags for all in my party (Swiss only allow the card holder an extra bag) and CONSISTENT lounge access across their network, and AVIOS means the BA offering is in this instance my preferred choice. Also I dont need to call to book my bike onboard (Swiss force youto do this and it is a real hassle with them officially only carrying 3 bikes on a A320).

    But the point of my popst was the discussin on the ‘Booking hold option’ and its pricing. SWISS are off the pace here and by quite a distance.


    I’ve used the hold my booking feature several times with Swiss and while not refunded if cancelled I’m pretty sure it was taken in part payment of the full ticket price when I completed the booking.


    It’s also worth mentioning that the Swiss product ex GVA will become a lot more aligned with the BA short haul product in Y when they introduce BOB on routes out of that city.


    @ LP..

    Sadly this is not the case.

    The CHF 25 fee is payable in addition to the ticket price.

    After paying the fare plus the fee, you then have 72 hours to decide to cancel the ticket.

    The refund is then the Fare element and NOT the CHF 25. The conditionsl specifically state that this is ‘Not Refundable’..

    i.e “The charge for this option cannot be reimbursed”.

    So the BA deal even better than I thought since you only need to pay the CHF 7 per PAX fee upfront and then this is credited against the fare. With Swiss you pay ALL upfront and dont get the CHF 25 back !!

    Strange that BA are so far ahead on this one !!

    TMC Woking

    @SwissExPat – the option to hold a booking, FOC in fact, has always existed in the airlines’ fare rules. Travel agents/Travel Management Companies make bookings on a daily basis with a fare guarantee of between 24-72 hours provided FOC; it is only in more recent times that airlines have started to offer the option to hold a booking, but for a fee.

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