Earlier this year, I had read that Swiss had decided to start charging for certain, more private business class seats on their airplanes. Those seats, and other blocked seats, would remain free for Miles & More Senator and HON Circle elite members. Is it tacky to charge business class passengers to select some seats?
Is It Tacky To Charge Business Class Passengers for Selecting Certain Seats?
Swiss Charges More for Privacy
Swiss is certainly not the first to do this. British Airways has done this as well, though I think we would more expect British to do something like that. I would not normally expect a carrier like Swiss to charge for this, certainly not for business class customers.
I recently booked my first Swiss business class ticket and was reminded of this when I went to select my seats. I had wanted to try Swiss before but other airlines had better options for my travels. It was the same this time, but I decided to finally just book and fly Swiss to give it a try.
Let me say first – I understand that, as an award ticket passenger, some may think that it is a little much to think that an airline should not charge award ticketed passengers for something like this. After all, other carriers have stripped certain benefits and perks from mileage ticket holders in favor of preserving the value for paid ticket customers.
Pay $200+ To Select a Certain Business Class Seat!
But, I am asking this for all passengers. Imagine you paid over $4,000 for that same ticket I am flying on – and then you find that you need to pay another $200+ to get a more private seat in business class?
Yet that is exactly what Swiss does. Here is how they describe this add-on: “For an even more exclusive travel experience, we give you the opportunity to reserve the most sought-after Privacy Seats in SWISS Business for all long-haul flights before take-off. Privacy Seats are individual seats that offer a higher level of privacy.”
For business class seats, the cost is from about $99 – $199, depending on the length of the flight (it is supposed to be 199 Swiss francs which is just about $199 but I was actually going to be charged in Euros so $220!).
That’s right, after paying $4,000+ for a business class seat, if you decide you want one with more privacy (so a throne-like seat without having a seatmate), you will need to pay – up to $200+! It is similar to the seats on Austrian and they do not charge that!
The problem is, I really want one of those seats! 🙂 But, not enough to pay $220 for it! So, I will just wait to see what happens as time gets closer. In the meantime, I have selected a seat that, currently, does not have a seat mate.
I understand that there is demand and Swiss wants to keep their elites happy, but maybe block out some of the seats for elites if that is what they want instead of charging everyone else for every single one of those seats.
Is it tacky for an airline to charge for certain business class seats or is it a good business decision?
Featured image courtesy of SWISS