By far the most dominant frequent flyer currency in the UK is “Avios” used by British Airways, its fellow IAG airlines and many partners such as Flybe.
The sheer range of earning opportunities through flying and everyday expenditure as well as the redemption opportunities on flights from the UK, means that rival airlines struggle to offer a competitive alternative.
That may change next year. Virgin Atlantic will partner with Air France-KLM when the two combine their respective transatlantic joint-ventures with Delta into one.
easyJet also promises to relaunch its frequent flyer proposition next year.
Currently, easyJet has two parallel schemes, easyJet Plus and Flight Club.
easyJet Plus is paid for membership scheme which affords certain benefits such as free seat selection and fast track ground facilities.
Flight Club is a scheme for frequent flyers who book more than 20 flights a year with easyJet. They are invited to join at the discretion of the airline and afforded benefits such as free flight changes.
easyJet’s New Programme
easyJet intends to relaunch its frequent flyer programmes with a new currency where points can be earned in a range of ways.
The new programme will be announced next year and rolled out across Europe in 2020.
It will be behaviour led. It will be possible to earn points in a variety of ways, specifically those that contribute to easyJet’s bottom line. This includes using certain online services or buying easyJet branded financial services such as travel insurance. Third parties will also be invited to participate in the programme.
Points can then be redeemed on “exclusive rewards to enhance the trip” and reward flights for points and a cash payment. easyJet also suggests that the programme will have tiers which will provide additional benefits.
easyJet’s approach to loyalty to date is to focus on activities that generate additional revenue without adding significant expense or operational complexity. This is likely to continue. Do not expect a full blown replica of the Avios programme. However, easyJet clearly sees this as a means to win more passengers from legacy airlines.
What easyJet’s programme may lack compared to the Avios currency is an “aspirational” reward, such as business and First Class long-haul flights. However, given easyJet has a very extensive short-haul network from Gatwick, this is one we’ll keep a watching brief on.
With just under half of travellers flying with easyJet once a year there is a major opportunity to drive loyalty across leisure and business travel. easyJet’s ambition is to drive customer loyalty even further whilst proving that expensive and complex structures are not needed in order to be innovative.
easyJet is now evolving its loyalty offering to grow the total value per passenger through a customer- centric loyalty programme that enhances the end-to-end travel experience, driving loyalty through personalised benefits that offer fair value and relevancy.
Our ambition is to make the programme as relevant to customers as possible, whilst building further demand for flights, ancillaries and holidays and creating new and sustainable revenue streams.
Instead of recognising only flying behaviour, easyJet’s new loyalty programme will recognise and encourage all behaviours that positively contribute to the bottom line. From booking direct to inputting customer data to build the member profile, spending with partners, and easyJet’s financial services product, customers will be recognised and rewarded for various behaviours and choices. The programme will constantly evolve to address the changing behaviours and attitudes of our customers, leading to an enriched end-to-end travel experience that is personal to them.
With the intention of building a profitable ecosystem, easyJet plans to build a comprehensive network of cross-industry programme partners, in order to reward customers for purchases beyond the flight. This gives us the opportunity to engage as many customers as we can, as often as we can, unlocking new profitable revenue streams across the easyJet business, including Holidays and Business.
The programme will be powered by a new currency, in which customers are rewarded and recognised for their behaviours.
This will create higher yielding fares with greater penetration of ancillaries and allow partners and brands to invest into the programme. This will be achieved as follows:
Spend: customers earn points for every purchase with easyJet and partners
Redeem: customers use points to purchase exclusive rewards to enhance the trip
Recognise: customers progress easily and quickly through loyalty levels to unlock enhanced
Having appointed its first ever Head of Loyalty, easyJet has started to assemble a new team dedicated to designing and developing the loyalty programme. The intention is to launch the programme in 2020 across key European markets. Further details of the programme will be announced, designed and developed in 2019, with further rollout of benefits and partners planned ahead of full launch.
easyJet is confident that a loyalty programme will build further value into the overall easyJet experience, and will drive increased average revenue per seat, whilst also providing profitable new revenue streams from external partners.
In the meantime easyJet will continue to develop and launch further loyalty initiatives during this financial year, through enhancements to both easyJet Plus and Flight Club to try and build as much value for members as possible.
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