I noticed something odd after completing my wife’s business class reservation on SWISS from Los Angeles to Zurich. Seat assignments that should have been complimentary were not…and seats that should have incurred a charge were complimentary.
Heidi was traveling with Augustine and I wanted to reserve her a “throne” seat that would give her a bit of room and more privacy. After completing the reservation with Aeroplan, I navigated to the SWISS website to reserve a seat.
To my surprise, when I pulled up the seat map I saw this:
Yellow with star is premium and white is not. Notice the center seats (those that are usually complimentary) are reserved for HONs and Senators while at least four throne seats were open and available for free assignment.
I grabbed 16A for my wife, the last throne seat in the rear business class cabin. Curious as to whether the seat assignment would actually stick, I logged out and logged back into her reservation on the SWISS website. Indeed, the seat assignment stuck and she had no trouble at check-in or onboard.
I wasn’t sure if this was a one-of, so I pulled up the reservation of another client who will shortly be traveling on SWISS on another 777-300ER route Interestingly, when I pulled up the seat map for her flight, it showed that all seats were available at no charge! Nothing was blocked.
I assigned her 16A as well and it stuck.
As a data point, one reservation was booked with Aeroplan while the other was booked with United.
I’m not quite sure what is going on right now, but if you have SWISS reservations coming up in business class, check the seat map. You may be able to assign yourself a premium cabin “throne” seat at no extra charge.
You seem to use Swiss a lot, but don’t seem that big a fan, particularly compared to Lufthansa. Why keep flying Swiss?
No scam charges when booking with Aeroplan.
Duh. Should have thought of that. Nice catch.
I remember when you had the issue with Swiss First
I would like to know, as someone who has flown first and business on Swiss and Lufthansa
what is so great about Swiss? I never had a flight on Swiss First that could compare to Lufthansa F for example
Can you please elaborate?
I also would take Lufthansa First over SWISS First nearly any day.
I’d say SWISS and Lufthansa business are a draw, with preference to SWISS for the seat but Lufthansa wins in every other category.
But here’s the big reason why my family uses SWISS so much: non-stop flights. We go between Los Angeles (our home) and Zurich (near where my in-laws live) often and making a stop is not ideal when traveling with the baby.
The lack of fuel surcharge on SWISS versus Lufthansa when booking with Aeroplan is icing on the cake.
It’s definitely worth a shot, but you may get kicked out of the throne seat at a later date. That happened to me once, around 3 months after I reserved the throne seat, and I had to pay to get my seat back.
Doesnt let me do that on my existing reservation Zurich to Newark.
Any tricks? Or is it for status holders?
My wife has no status.
No luck here either 🙁 EWR-ZRH
Just looked at my flight ZHR-LAX on 773 this August… they are still charging 189 euros for the throne seats. I’m hoping to score one at the gate…
Must have been a glitch because looking at the reserved seats for HON and Senator members I see that they are in wrong locations. I tried 4 reservations, no luck with any of them.
Exactly, the fact that the “normal” seats are reserved suggests this is a glitch.
With regard to your article over Swiss Business Class seats incurring a zero charge for per-assignment, I have never (as of June 20th 2018) been presented a charge for per-assignment of my seats whilst booked in any business class inventory (J/C/I/D/ext) with any Lufthansa Group carrier ( Lufthansa/Swiss/Austrian) and, if not mistaken, any Star Alliance carrier either, as long as i am booking with under the operatring carriers code (for example, not booked as UA9724 yet booked as LX64 — this scenario will not display a seat map most of the time until check-in, yet still not incurring a fee). I presumed that it was inclusive of the business class product offering- and a method of differentiation from the parallel product offering of, i.e., British Airways. Is this incorrect?
I was also completely shocked when I saw them charging for seat assignments in business class, but that’s what they do now and I’m sure other airlines will follow… To be clear, SWISS only charges for the “extra” premium business seats aka “throne” seats. Each row has 1 seat that is a standalone seat (2-2-1 config), so they label these as special extra privacy seats and charge 189 euros for it.
When approximately was your wife’s departure date? I’m asking because it might have something to do with the day(s) left till departure. It has been known for a while that at check-in you could select those throne seats free of charge. My most recent data point, however, is that 54 hours before departure I could grab those throne seats on a reward LX DXB-ZRH flight booked with SQ miles. Technically speaking this is prior to the OLCI window so is interesting.
Good question. Was less than 48 hours prior to departure (but prior to check-in) for my wife. However, it was about 72 hours prior to departure for the other client.
Check in of a flight is loaded well before 24h. Here you have the answer, as soon as check in takes over (about 48h before) LX will release those seats.
Do you have any update on your Swiss First Class Reservation issue? My apologies if I missed it.
I’ve asked Matthew along with many others but he has avoided the question.