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.
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