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SWISS AIR - Beware of new seating policy

posts: 5
reviews: 12
SWISS AIR - Beware of new seating policy

Just booked two tickets to Florence - Apparently Swiss air won't let you reserve seats anymore unless you are willing to pay at least $29 per seat extra - found this out the hard way after buying the tickets - they are telling us to call 24 hours in advance to request seats - the airlines just keep dropping another notch in customer service

20 replies to this topic
Syracuse, New York
Destination Expert
for Seven Mile Beach, West Bay, Syracuse
posts: 2,660
reviews: 69
1. Re: SWISS AIR - Beware of new seating policy

So they're becoming like a lot of other airlines, now. Charging for seat selection prior to the opening of OLCI.

Remember the days when the *only* way to get a seat assignment was to check in at the airport? The best seats went to those that were there earliest. If you cared about this then you had to be there ridiculously long before departure and then hang out, waiting.

Now they are saying that if you care enough about pre-selecting your seat, you need to pay for that. I'd rather have the choice, to be honest, and save money when I don't care about where I sit.

Cala d'Or, Spain
posts: 3,121
reviews: 89
2. Re: SWISS AIR - Beware of new seating policy

Sounds pretty much par for the course. Swiss Air are being pummelled by the likes of Easyjet etc. on their European routes.

London, United...
posts: 16,362
reviews: 23
3. Re: SWISS AIR - Beware of new seating policy

It's fairly normal. Look at it this way, instead of your ticket being 25 bucks higher, it's 25 lower and you get the choice of whether you want to pay for seat selection or not. Some folks don't care where they sit, others, really do. A la carte pricing is the way many are going,

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 17,023
reviews: 5
4. Re: SWISS AIR - Beware of new seating policy

Here it is. It came into force on July 15th (last week) - http://bit.ly/1x7kHHX

SWISS are part of Lufthansa AG, and Lufthansa have also introduced charging for advance seat selection for Economy class based on the fare basis of the ticket and frequent flier status. In fact, pretty much exactly the same as LX.

lufthansa.com/online/…

Note that there's nothing on that page to indicate that Star Alliance Golds are exempt from these charges, only Lufthansa Senator and Hon Circle. And on the SWISS presentation link it states specifically (page 11) that *Gs have to pay ---

"For all other M&M status customers, Star alliance status customers and FFP status customers from other airlines regular ASR rules & pricing apply".

Edited: 1:12 pm, July 24, 2014
Worldwide
posts: 2,324
reviews: 620
5. Re: SWISS AIR - Beware of new seating policy

Ah, the race for the bottom. One wonders when we should consider the legacy Skytrax 3-star airlines to have fallen to two stars, and (in the case of LX and LH) when 4-star airlines are falling into the 3-star range..? To me, some have passed the downward transition; and others are getting quite close.

Fortunately, in the 21st century, we can do more work electronically, with less need for physical meetings & travel.

Unfortunately, vacations/leisure and air travel are becoming more of an oxymoron.

London, United...
posts: 16,362
reviews: 23
6. Re: SWISS AIR - Beware of new seating policy

Well people can always pay more, and get more. It's all out there and available. The issue is people go for the cheapest they can't find and want everything thrown in. Can't have it both ways, either pay for it and get it, or don't pay and don't get it. How the fare is structured is effectively moot, overall it's the total price that's important, ticket, seats if you want them, luggage if you need it, food and drink if you want to buy it. You can either buy a base fare and add on ie a la carte pricing, or you can pay a total fare and it's all included.

What you don't get,,,is it for free.

Travelling The World
posts: 11,727
reviews: 17
7. Re: SWISS AIR - Beware of new seating policy

"The issue is people go for the cheapest they can't find and want everything thrown in."

I think the issue is that the cheapest used to include more and now it doesn't. On airlines like Swiss and Lufthansa and BA for example the cheapest fares used to include seat allocation before check in. Now they don't. There may be good reasons why airlines are doing this, but for many it is a reduction on what they got before for the lowest fares. So I can see why people grumble.

Edited: 2:20 pm, July 24, 2014
London, United...
posts: 16,362
reviews: 23
8. Re: SWISS AIR - Beware of new seating policy

That's true, it's a different pricing model that evolved due to the low cost carriers, where even though it was not included,,,people still went for the cheap fares first and foremost. So other airlines had to compete on price and the only way to do that for many is to effectively operate the same menu pricing structure.

People grumble yes, but to be honest, irrelevant of how it's structured, folks are still going to whinge about the price.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 17,023
reviews: 5
9. Re: SWISS AIR - Beware of new seating policy

I tend to agree with DC8. As airlines are getting squeezed they either have to put up fares or cut costs/services. or introduce new fees. In this case it's new fees.

Lufthansa AG has been in some financial trouble for a while, as they're getting squeezed by European LCCs and the Gulf carriers (and by some of their Star partners). It's not surprising that they're having to find ways of bringing in more money while keeping advertized fares down.

Having had BA start this among the European mainlines (even though BA's motive may have been different) it's easy to follow suit.

Travelling The World
posts: 11,727
reviews: 17
10. Re: SWISS AIR - Beware of new seating policy

"People grumble yes, but to be honest, irrelevant of how it's structured, folks are still going to whinge about the price."

The other issue is that people don't perceive the total price to be lower (or even the same) as a result. It may be that prices have gone up for other reasons, but if people (like me) are seeing that they could fly from Geneva to NY last year for £600 on Swiss and this year it's £700 PLUS seat fees, then people will see the seat fees as adding insult to price hike.

But yes, the total price is what matters.

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