Over the past 18 months EasyJet has been trialling, what they’re calling, a new recognition scheme and it appears that they’re now ready to roll it out in full.
“Flight Club” will launch in early 2016 and will be very different from the regular airline loyalty programs we’re used to.
The biggest difference between Flight Club and most other loyalty/recognition schemes is that not everyone can join.
The criteria [for membership] will be based around having booked and flown 20 or more easyJet flights and/or making a minimum spend on easyJet flights over a 12 month period.
The airline doesn’t say what the minimum spend will be (details will be released closer to the launch date) and I find the use of the term “and/or” in that sentence a bit ambiguous.
It suggests that it could be possible to fly 20+ flights with easyJet and still not meet the criteria for membership – that seems a bit harsh!
The new scheme was announced with the following short statement:
Following a successful trial we are introducing a recognition scheme for our most frequent travellers, Flight Club, which will reward loyalty and provide flexibility for frequent flyers.
If it’s going to be possible to fly with easyJet 20 times in a year and still not make the grade then the system doesn’t “reward loyalty” at all – it rewards cold hard spend.
- Fee free flight changes
- Free name changes – up to five name changes per year
- Price promise – easyJet promises that passengers will always get the best price fares from easyJet. If a passenger finds the same flight at a lower price, they’ll be given the price difference towards their next flight.
- Previews and special offers – members will be the first to know what’s coming up so they will receive exclusive previews of new routes and special offers
- Dedicated contact centre team to access the benefits of Flight Club
Wow. I’m not sure it’s possible to be more underwhelmed.
Firstly there are only two real benefits to membership of the program – I don’t classify a price promise, previews/special offers or a dedicated contact team as true benefits. They’re frills designed to make it look like members are getting a lot more than they are.
Fee free flight changes are a good perk to have and something that I’m sure a lot of people will find very useful – especially people with unpredictable work schedules.
Free name changes are nice too but how many people will this benefit? When I’m going on vacation I tend to be pretty sure who I’m going with (as I’m sure most people are) and I don’t know of many businesses who need to change the travelers’ names often enough for this to be considered a big thing. This will be a benefit for a very small niche group of passengers.
I’m really not sure what easyJet’s is thinking with Flight Club because I genuinely can’t see what its purpose is. The “benefits” are so miserly it’s an insult to call them rewarding – so it’s not a reward system – and they’re also unlikely to change anyone’s travel patterns – so it’s not going to breed loyalty to the airline. So what’s the point?
If I traveled on easyJet 20+ times in a year (and met the minimum spend criteria too) I wouldn’t be particularly impressed to find out that their idea of “recognition” is this set of benefits.
As things stand, I know what to expect from easyJet – not that much – and I’m ok with that because, when I fly them, I fly them for the low-cost aspect of their offering and nothing else. And I’m pretty sure that most of their passengers feel the same way. But when easyJet starts playing around with a half-baked scheme like this and starts talking about introducing minimum spend criteria, it makes me think that they’re losing their focus from the low-cost part of their brand. It makes me start to wonder if easyJet really is a true low-cost carrier anymore.
Perhaps easyJet should have taken a leaf out of the movie their scheme’s name is attempting to play on and not talked about Flight Club in the first place.
Featured image courtesy of easyJet