Even Some Business Class Passengers Now Have to Pay to Reserve Seats
From adding baggage fees to cutting meal service, airlines are squeezing every last penny of profit they possibly can from passengers.
Up until now, the cuts and extra fees associated with an airline’s bottom line pertained mostly to economy travelers. But it turns out airlines are looking to business class, too.
Last week, Swiss Air announced that it would start charging business class passengers a fee to reserve certain types of seating.
“With the remodeling of SWISS Business on long-haul routes, we have introduced exclusive single seats that are marked by more space and discretion,” the airline wrote to members of its rewards program, according to The Points Guy. “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.”
The seat in question is a single-aisle window seat option that offers passengers in business class the most privacy possible in the cabin.
Among the people who received the email announcement were Swiss Air’s top-tier Senator and HON Circle Miles & More members, who were told that they could continue to reserve a seat for free. But, basically, unless a customer is within Swiss Air’s most loyal tier, they will have to pay to reserve a window seat in business class.
Swiss Airlines is not the first to charge business class passengers an additional fee to reserve their seat. British Airways began charging fees to reserve a business class seat in 2013 and has maintained the practice, despite much chagrin from passengers.