Budget carrier Flybe has launched a new frequent flyer reward scheme called Rewards4all. The Exeter-based airline, which bought BA Connect earlier this year, has replaced its previous Passport to Freedom scheme (open to economy plus passengers only), with a programme for all customers.
Under the new scheme passengers will earn one point per single journey and two points for a return flight in economy, and double the points in economy plus. These points can then be redeemed for either flights (taxes and charges not included) or a year's executive lounge access. Redemption figures start at 16 reward points for one return UK economy flight (22 in economy plus), 20 points for an annual lounge pass, and 24 points for a European economy flight (or 30 in economy plus). So for example four return flights in economy plus is enough for a domestic economy flight redemption, while ten trips in economy will get you a year's lounge pass.
Rewards4all members can redeem flights for anyone they choose, but one-way redemptions are not available. Flybe says that existing Passport to Freedom members will be able to exchange their points at a rate of ten old points to one point in the new scheme (giving them the same redemption values as in the old programme) – members should visit the website to complete a transfer form before October 31.
Unlike the old scheme where members were issued with a booklet, the Rewards4all programme will be entirely web based. Passengers booking flights directly on the carrier's website will automatically be credited with the points, while those purchasing tickets through an agent will need to log in to their account and quote their booking reference – points can be added retrospectively up to three months after the flight.
Members redeeming the annual lounge pass will receive a Premier card giving 12 month's access to all of Flybe's lounges – by this September the airline will have facilities at 11 airports including Birmingham, London Gatwick, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Southampton.
Flybe's decision to launch an all-encompassing reward scheme may well have been prompted by Bmi's similar move to include its low cost arm bmibaby within its Diamond loyalty programme earlier this year. Rivals's Ryanair and Easyjet have yet to go down the rewards route, although the latter is due to be launching a scheme in conjunction with Natwest and ebookers, in response to the bank losing its 19-year association with Airmiles (see online news May 2).
For more information visit flybe.com.
Report by Mark Caswell