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How to avoid the $200 fee for Swiss Business Class Throne Seats before check-in
I’m headed across the pond and flying through Zurich to London on Swiss Business. I used 70k United Miles to book the ticket and I even missed the close-in booking fee by using a little trick that’s been around for a long time. I’ve never flown Swiss Business Class and I’m STOKED. I love experiencing new products and Swiss is supposed to be DOPE. What have I been the most excited about? Snagging a Throne Seat. These are heralded as the MUST GET seat on 2-2-1 / 1-2-2 configured cabins as they provide the most space and privacy. They’re on Aer Lingus, Swiss, Austrian, Brussels, Finnair, etc. The problem…Swiss charges $200 to get a throne seat ahead of check-in. MEH! Lemme show you how I nabbed a Swiss Business Class Throne Seat 2 days ahead of check-in FOR FREE.
The Throne Bed.
Before we get started I thought we needed another picture of how much better these seats are than the other seats on the plane.
I use Expertflyer to keep an eye on how cabins are filling up.
They populate “seatguru” configurations for the flight you’re taking, and as the cabin fills up their technology accesses the flight loads from airlines and populates flights. Here is the glossary for reference
As you can see in the Glossary $P means paid& premium seats, X means blocked, and if it’s solid blue= occupied.
Outside of 48 hours you will see this.
If you look at this seatmap you can see seats in the A and K lines that are singles: 5k, 7a, etc. —- Those are the THRONE SEATS. They are BY FAR the best seats that Swiss Business has to offer and THE SEATS YOU WANT. The problem is – they are marked $P. That means that they are reserved for Elites ( Premiums) or to pay for those seats. Pay to the tune of $200!!!
A little history is that the thrones are highly sought after and used to be reserved only for Senators and HON members of the Miles and More program that Swiss participates in until check-in. Then Swiss realized they could monetize those incredible seats and opened the space up to mere mortals for $200. So yes…even after buying a business class ticket you aren’t allowed to select the seat you want and need to pay more. The only way around it was to wait until check-in and ask to be moved into one…fingers crossed.
HOWEVER! Within 48 hours you will see this…This is different than what had previously been accepted: thrones were available to mortals at check-in. Now it seems they peel off roughly 48 hours ahead of departure.
Now THE BEST seat in business class is 4A. IMO the 2nd best seat in the cabin in 5k, but it’s blocked. Now it can be blocked for a variey of reasons, but in my experience, seats are usually blocked for elites. Bummer, right?
So what’s our third choice? Any other THRONE seat besides 12k. That seat doesn’t have a window. However…17k is a THRONE and it seems to be available. Let’s try and snag a throne…
So I logged into Swiss and checked to see if I could move my seat from 14D to 15k and snag a THRONE seat. This is what I was pleasantly greeted with:
Remember all of those blocked seats we saw from expertflyer? Remember 5k was blocked? The weren’t actually blocked. I don’t know how this happened.
It’s seems that roughly 48 hours to departure the seats change from $P to either blocked or available.
There are a lot of seats that are still blocked when you compare the Swiss load vs Expertflyer/SeatGuru. It’s at least worth checking the expertflyer/seatguru load vs Swiss to see which ones you can reserve and which are still blocked. I was very fortunate 5k opened up.
Oh…One last tip. You can save yourself a call into United to get your Swiss record locator so you can login and choose a seat. Just use the E-Ticket number.
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