Swiss starting Buy on Board from Geneva.

I’m a huge fan of Swiss in that they have a pretty good product across all of their cabins, including one of the best first class experiences in the air.  Zurich is also a good hub to connect through and being part of the wider Lufthansa group means that if something goes wrong there’s a good selection of flights to be moved to.

However they confirmed today in a tweet that they will be introducing buy on board onto most flights to and from Geneva.

If you’ve purchased a hang baggage only fare (or Economy Light as it’s known across the Lufthansa Group), you’ll get nothing.

There are very few other details at present.

  • Will status passengers get something for free like most of the US carriers provide?
  • Will you be able to pre-book food?
  • What is the cost for alcohol?
  • Will you be able to pay with miles?
  • Acceptance of cash and cards?
  • Ability to “buy up” from a Eco Light fare after booking?
  • For passengers that have booked an economy light fare already, what will happen to them now getting no food?

There’s probably a number of other questions that I haven’t thought of too.

Personally, I think this is terribly sad.  Swiss are absolutely a premium carrier and devaluing their brand like this can’t be a good move.  You only need to look at the NPS hit that British Airways has taken in part from the introduction of Buy on Board to see that this isn’t good for passengers.

Operationally it’s going to be tough too for the crew to go through the aircraft and single people who are and are not entitled to food as well.

I hope this is one trial that doesn’t go well, and they revert to their regular offering.  The Lufthansa Group has their low-cost strategy with Eurowings, so it’s dangerous to tinker with their core airlines.


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