Swiss Service Fee

Starting January 3rd, SWISS will begin charging a “Swiss Service Fee” for booking tickets in its home Swiss market – including tickets purchased online.

    SWISS unveiled its new and more transparent 2005 Distribution Model to the travel sector back in June 2004. Under the new model, the price paid for any SWISS ticket will consist of two components, which will be shown separately on the ticket. The first of these will consist of the fare, all airport user fees and any other flight-related surcharges. The second will be the SWISS Service Fee. The new approach will enable customers to distinguish clearly between the price they pay for their journey by air and the service fee they are charged for the advisory, booking and ticket-issuing services provided by SWISS.

Maybe they should charge a higher fare for business class customers? After all, they get more service!

The idea that the fee is really for the service provided in booking the ticket, as distinguished from the fare for flying, is truly silly. They charge the fee for online bookings, but not for online booking of web specials. Clearly the service is being provided in both cases but online specials are the most price sensitive so they don’t apply the add-on.

I think I’ll open an auto repair shop and advertise brake specials, plus a separate cash register fee. Oh, and a separate fee for writing the work order.. Another one for calling up customers and detailing the problems with their car that they need fixed (plus an additional surcharge if I have to explain the problem a second time to the customer’s spouse). The idea that these are separate and distinguishable services that a customer is buying is absurd.

It’s simply a fare increase by another name.

But it’s particularly galling because while the Swiss website is simple, it’s (admittedly, my personal sample size is small here) pretty darn unreliable.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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