SWISS Air Lines "Throne" seat in Business Class cabin is one of the preferred Business Class seats among solo travelers out there. The Business Class cabin is configured 1-2–2 and 2-2-1 seats in each row. So each row has one throne seat that provides greater privacy because you are not sitting next to anyone and you have your own exclusive private space with two huge side tables. However, what’s annoying about SWISS is that, Business Class passengers that do not have elite status with SWISS are still required to purchase those “Throne” seats for advance seat assignment up to 48 hours before departure. Therefore, if your SWISS flight is pretty occupied, chances are those throne seats can be already taken by those elite SWISS members or by those that are willing to pay for those throne seats in advance.

SWISS Business Class "Throne" Seat
Photo Credit: Points Life

How To Select SWISS Business Class "Throne" Seats For Free

A few blogs and FlyerTalk suggested that getting a "Throne" seat for free of charge if it’s still available at the 48 hours mark before departure time. This may be true in the past, it appears that SWISS no longer allows that.

In my experience, when my flight was at exact 48 hours before departure time, I pulled up the seat map on SWISS website under manage my booking. There was only one throne seat available and it became free for selection. However, no matter how I did it, I could not change the seat from my non-throne seat to that throne seat. The system allowed me to select and change but the seat would not stick once I refreshed my booking. I have reached out to SWISS agent for help but all they said was that advance seat selection had been closed and locked, so they could not open and look at the seat map. They advised me to change seat during online check-in which is open 23 hours prior to departure. I also attempted to look at the seat map by doing a dummy revenue ticket's booking, and at the seat selection screen, the booking interface stated that:

All the seats for advanced reservation have already been allocated. But you may still choose your seat within 23 hours before departure when you check-in. Further information can be found in our conditions of seat selection.

Free SWISS Seat Selection 24 hours NOT 23 hours

Right exactly at 24 hours before local departure time, I tried my luck again by doing the online check-in using SWISS website. To my surprise, I was able to perform check-in at 24 hours mark as opposed to 23 hours mark like what SWISS says. I was able to go through the online check-in and successfully changed my non-throne seat to the throne seat, free of charge.

What’s odd is that under my reservation, my seat still had the non-throne seat number, whereas my boarding pass had the throne seat number. I wanted to make sure so I called SWISS up to confirm my seat. The agent on the phone confirmed that my seat indeed was the throne seat.

How To Do Online Check-In With SWISS To Get The "Throne" Seat For Free:

  • Sign into your SWISS account and go to My bookings under your profile if you already added you booking there. If not, you will need the confirmation code to add your booking. 
  • Click on your flight's booking. 
  • On the left hand side should say online check-in. Once it’s clicked, it will take you to that section and give you a continue button to proceed.
  • Follow that to change seat and complete your online check-in. In the end, you can either print the boarding pass by having it send to your email or add the boarding pass to your mobile boarding pass app.

Bottom Line

SWISS no longer allows Business Class passengers that don't have elite status or don’t want to pay to select a Business Class "Throne" seat free of charge at 48 hours mark before departure anymore. The best case scenario now is to keep checking for the seat map between 48 to 24 hours before departure time and set a reminder at exactly 24 hours (not 23 hours) before local departure time to do online check-in. The 23 hours is what set by SWISS but in reality it’s 24 hours. So you actually gain an hour more before those that do not know about this and simply follow what SWISS says. 😊

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