The personal booking experience
Downtown Zurich is still stirring itself awake when the first customers arrive at the SWISS City Ticket Office on Paradeplatz. “As a rule, our mornings are pretty quiet,” says Katja Rinaldi-Martin, the 37-year-old manager of the exclusive City Ticket Office, which is the only one of its kind in the SWISS world.
“Over lunch and in the early evening, though, we often have all our desks in use. Having said that, no two days are ever truly alike – which is what makes our work all the more exciting.” Katja turns to attend to an older couple who have just come up to one of the elegantly designed islands that the office now boasts. “Off to Miami for a bit of sun again?” she asks them. The couple nod enthusiastically, and then thank flight attendant Susi von Siebenthal for the coffee and the SWISS chocolates that she has just provided. “Miami’s one of our most popular destinations,” Katja tells us, “especially in the colder months. But we also get a lot of demand for Bangkok, New York, São Paulo, London, Vienna and Nice,” she adds, before turning again to the couple, who clearly prefer this personalized booking experience to the online alternative.
SWISS’s Zurich City Ticket Office is available to both business and leisure travellers. But it’s the latter who make up the bulk of its clientele. What all its customers have in common, though, is an appreciation of the personal contact, the professional assistance and the years of experience that the office and its team provide. “Many of our visitors book Business or First Class, inquire about round-the-world tickets or are interested in routings that are a little out of the ordinary,” Katja observes. “Or they may have some specific issue with one of our products: a question about the additional services we offer under SWISS Choice like seat reservations, or about our à la carte meals, our gift vouchers, our mileage upgrades or our special offers.”
The Zurich City Ticket Office, which was totally refurbished last November and now features an interior that is closely modelled on the elegant SWISS First Class lounges, will not only book customers on flights to any of SWISS’s 102 destinations, but can arrange air travel on any member airline of the Lufthansa Group. And the most unusual request they’ve had to date? “That could be the couple who were emigrating to the USA and taking their dog with them,” Katja recalls. “They really didn’t want it to have to travel in the cargo hold. So they booked the whole First Class cabin! We provided a blanket and a personalized bowl for the long flight. And the day after they arrived, we received a photo from them showing a clearly very contented canine enjoying the First Class experience at 39,000 feet. As you can see,” Katja concludes, “at our SWISS City Ticket Office, almost nothing is impossible!”
Text: Tamás Kiss / Photos: Claudia Link