In step with a general trend within the travel industry SWISS will introduce an Optional Payment Charge (OPC) across all distribution channels for payments made with credit card, effective November Protected content . Customers will continue to have the option of selecting alternative forms of payment for which no charge applies.
As of 2 November Protected content , the Optional Payment Charge (OPC) will apply in all SWISS sales channels to payment made by credit card. The Optional Payment Charge will apply to tickets for travel commencing in Switzerland and the amount charged will vary according to the region in which the destination lies. The payment charge will be CHF 6 per ticket for flights within Switzerland, CHF 11 for flights within Europe and CHF 22 for flights outside Europe.
By introducing the OPC, SWISS is passing on to the user the costs that the company gets charged in connection with credit card transactions. Credit card holders enjoy benefits that extend beyond the ability to make secure non-cash payment. Depending on the card product, such benefits include an extended deadline for settlement of payment and/or the provision of insurance services. Recent years have seen a rise in the related costs, which SWISS has hitherto borne. The introduction of the Optional Payment Charge represents a distribution of the costs on a user-pay basis.
SWISS customers will continue to have a choice of payment formats to choose from for which no charge applies, such as Maestro card, Postcard or in cash.
With this restructuring, SWISS is keeping abreast of a general trend in the airline industry. A number of airlines and tour operators already administer a charge for payments made by credit card. The Lufthansa Group partner airlines (Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, bmi and Brussels Airlines) will accompany SWISS in simultaneously introducing the OPC.