Some time in the next week or so, a select few of Easyjet’s most frequent flyers will receive their “Flight Club” loyalty programme packs in the post.
The loyalty programme has certainly been thoroughly trialled. It debuted in the UK, France and Switzerland in August 2014 (see news, November, 2014), with some 15,000 flyers as part of that trial (see news). It was then launched officially in November 2015 (see news, November 2015), though at the time the airline declined to say how many members had been invited.
Speaking with Business Traveller at the launch of the carrier’s Venice base earlier this month (see story here), the Chief Executive of Easyjet, Carolyn McCall DBE, said that the programme would continue to be rolled out market by market, and as yet had not expanded beyond the three markets in which it had been trialled: the UK, France and Switzerland.
Part of the reason for Easyjet being so cautious is that it already has a programme in place for frequent flyers – Easyjet Plus – which it earns revenue from (it is currently priced at £170 in the UK, per year).
Nevertheless now seems to be the time that Flight Club will become better known (ironically, the association of its name (a riff on the film Fight Club, where the rule is “No one talks about Fight Club”) still seems to apply. Internally this is because Easyjet does not want to raise expectations amongst its best customers only to disappoint them.
The benefits of the scheme are listed here and include
- Free flight changes without paying admin fees
- Free name changes – up to five name changes per year completely free
- Price promise. If passengers find the same flight on easyjet.com at a lower price, the price difference can be put forward towards the next flight booked.
- Previews and special offers
- Dedicated contact centre team
As a result, the new Flight Club is invitation-only, and is only for Easyjet’s most frequent passengers (the minimum requirement being twenty return flights each year).
In addition, the 20 flights is “the minimum threshold,” according to Dame Carolyn. In other words, just because you have had 20 flights this year, you still might not be invoted to join.
“If we had loads of people who had made 50 return flights, then we would limit the number of guests with 20 flights per year that would be invited to join”
It’s also the case that only those booking direct with Easyjet would be invited to join. So if you are making your bookings through a Travel Management Company, Flight Club will remain a rumour.
Interestingly, the Flight Club programme won’t include lounge access.
“We’ve looked at that and it’s not a big demand from our passengers who are very frequent” she said.”They have the airport down to a fine art. They go through fast track and they are landside to airside in five or ten minutes, even in Gatwick, and I say even in Gatwick because it’s our largest airport.”
Despite Easyjet not seeing a demand for lounge access for short haul business, there might be changes for some longer leisure routes.
“We are working with some airports, Gatwick North terminal we will be thinking about what we might do there to satisfy some customers, but we have no plans to put it into Flight Club. There are lots of ways of getting lounge access such as credit cards.”
Finally, despite the introduction of seat selection, and fast track at security, and now a loyallty programme, there will never be a business class on Easyjet. Carriers such as British Airways keep the middle seat in Club Europe free for their business travellers, and Lufthansa offers more leg room (see news, January 2016), but don’t expect Easyjet to follow. If passengers want the middle seat next to them free, Dame Carolyn says they can buy it.
“The system is now set up so it will accept a booking in your name for two seats next to one another”.