In case you missed the news last week, SWISS has confirmed that they will begin charging $100-$200 to reserve a “throne seat” in business on their A330, A340, and B777 planes. The seats are commonly referred to as “thrones” because they have side-tables on either side.
They are also quite limited, according to the SWISS maps, there’s only 5 throne seats out of 47 total business seats on the A340 and just 12 out of 62 on the new B777-300ER.
While these may be the preferred seats for many solo travelers on SWISS’ staggered business configuration, many find them “tight and claustrophobic” when sleeping.
Previously, Miles & More HON Circle and Senator members were able to reserve these seats as soon as their ticket was booked, while they were released to non-members at the start of check-in. However, beginning at the end of this month, anyone will be able to reserve these seats for $100-$200 depending on the flight.
Essentially, you can consider the previous elite benefit to now be watered down…likely far fewer throne seats available for selection if non-elite members opt to pay to reserve these seats at the time of booking.
This is an email sent by SWISS as per FlyerTalk member MichielR explaining the changes:
As a loyal and valued customer, we would like to inform you in advance about the following changes in SWISS Business.
With the remodeling of SWISS Business on long-haul routes, we have introduced exclusive single seats that are marked by more space and discretion. 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.
As a token of our appreciation, we are delighted to continue offering these seats to you at no charge, as long as they are still available at the time of booking.
On behalf of SWISS, I would like to thank you sincerely for your loyalty and your continued trust. We look forward to seeing you onboard again soon.
Chief Commercial Officer
Member of the Management Board
Swiss International Air Lines
Of course, British Airways already charges Business Class passengers to reserve seats, though Lucky makes a strong case as to why that fee might makes sense given the variability in the quality of BA business class seats.