The easyJet Frequent Flyer Programme
Most people may have heard of the paid for easyJet Plus membership (currently £199 pa), however only a small number will know that they also offer an exclusive, invitation-only easyJet frequent-flyer loyalty programme called easyJet Flight Club.
Within this easyJet Plus review I’ll look at the criteria for qualifying for easyJet Flight Club and how the benefits compare to an easyJet Plus membership. We’ll also be taking a look at the possible changes to both schemes in 2019 and 2020.
Let's break this post down...
easyJet Flight Club
The easyJet frequent-flyer club scheme launched in early 2016 offering recognition for some of easyJet’s most frequent flyers. To qualify for the invitation-only loyalty scheme customers need to meet one of the following criteria:
– Have booked and flown over 20 flights in the past 12 months;
– Have booked and flown over 10 flights and spent £1,500 with easyJet in the past 12 months;
– Have booked and flown an average of 10+ flights for 10 years, with one flight every year.
easyJet Flight Club members will receive the following benefits:
– No fees for changes: Members can make unlimited changes to the dates and travel routes of bookings without having to pay any admin fees. You will however have to pay the difference if there is a variance in the cost of the flights.
– Price guarantee: If you’re able to find an equivalent flight which is cheaper within 48 hours of making the booking, easyJet will refund the difference. You’ll also receive a voucher worth 10% of the difference for your next flight.
– Price promise: If the price of your flight drops and you’re observant enough to notice on the easyJet website, you’ll be given the difference in vouchers which can be used for your next flight.
– Free name changes: Should plans change you can make up to 5 passenger name changes per year for free.
– Priority seat releases and sales: You’ll get advanced notice of scheduled seat releases and sales.
What are these benefits worth? I’ve set out a list of easyJet fees below.
Truth be told I’m not really sold. Price guarantee, price promise and priority releases do not really add any value and have most probably been included to somewhat ‘bulk out’ the benefits. How many people really go back online and check the prices of the tickets they’ve already purchased?
There are two elements which could provide value to frequent flyers. Having the flexibility to change the names on the ticket for free could be of benefit to those who book for large groups. Whilst limited to only 5 changes per year, each saving could be worth between £20 and £52 depending on the number of days before travel and whether you amend online or through a call centre. Similarly, flight changes will cost anywhere between £17 and £52 per person per flight which for easyJet Flight Club members would be reduced to zero.
With a large number of Avios points earned using the (free for the first year) American Express Gold Card (reviewed here) I rarely travel with easyJet (redeeming my Avios can be considerably cheaper). That said, in 2018 I took 8 easyJet flights all of which were booked within 7 days of my date of travel. As such there was limited chance of the price dropping or needing to change the details of the flight. In this instance the easyJet Flight Club would provide limited value to me but if you’re the type of person whose plans are susceptible to change it may be of some value.
easyJet Plus Membership – What are the Benefits?
For those who do not qualify for easyJet Flight Club there is the option to pay for easyJet Plus, which comes with a price tag of £199 each year. The easyJet card offers the following benefits:
– Select any seat on the plane for free: Subject to availability easyJet Plus members can select front-row or exit seats at no extra costs.
– easyJet Plus bag drop: Beat the queue with the dedicated bag-drop desk.
– Fast-track security: Currently available at 41 airports, fast-track security can save significant time especially when travelling during school holidays. I’m a big fan of fast track! A list of current airports is set out below.
– easyJet speedy boarding: Some love it whilst others think it’s a waste of time. With speedy boarding you should (theoretically) be able to skip the queue and board first resulting in less chance of your hand luggage having to go into the hold (although if you’re last on the flight this isn’t guaranteed!).
– Additional cabin bag: Bring a second, under-seat bag (handbag/laptop) in addition to your main cabin bag (56 x 45 x 25cm).
All of the above benefits can be purchased on a per-flight basis at check-out with prices ranging from £12.99 to £29.99 per ticket. Additional benefits of the easyJet Plus card include:
– Earlier flight for free: Arrive at the airport between 3hrs and 60 minutes before an earlier flight and you can transfer to that flight free of charge (subject to availability).
– Price promise: Similar to easyJet Flight Club, if you find your flight cheaper on the easyJet website at a later date you’ll receive a voucher for the difference in price.
One big negative of the easyJet Plus membership card is that the benefits are only available to the cardholder. As such if you’re travelling as a family you’ll still need to pay for the benefits for each of the other travellers, which can cost as much as £30 per person per flight during peak times!
Whilst it’s possible to purchase a partner card for £169 and £119 for children, the annual fee for a family of 4 would be a staggering £606. With an option to purchase the benefits at check-out reaching a maximum cost of £30 per person per flight, a family of 4 would need to travel more than three times a year for the easyJet Plus card to begin to provide value for money. With the price of these benefits falling to as low as £12.99 per flight the real answer is likely to be a lot more!
What’s Happening in 2019? The New easyJet Frequent-Flyer Scheme
easyJet released their company accounts in November 2018, which made for interesting reading with regards to a potential launch of an enhanced loyalty scheme. The full year accounts presentation can be found here.
Within the presentation, easyJet propose the following additional benefits for frequent flyers:
– Members will be able to earn points for all easyJet purchases (including partnerships with other brands)
– Option to redeem points in conjunction with cash (similar to the likes of British Airways)
The new proposal is expected to be launched in 2019 alongside further, undefined enhancements to the easyJet Plus and Flight Club schemes.
easyJet Cashback – Did You Know?
If you’re thinking of booking an easyJet holiday you could receive cashback through topcashback.com. Whilst the offers vary throughout the year, you can currently receive 4% easyJet cashback. You’ll also receive £5 for signing up using this link.
easyJet Plus Review Summary
Whilst easyJet Plus offers a number of benefits over the easyJet Flight Club, you’d need to travel a considerable amount and be accustomed to paying for the premium features (ranging between £12.99 and £29.99 per flight) to offset the £199 annual charge for the card. In fact, even accounting for the most expensive upgrade option, you’d need to take 7 flights each year, increasing to 15 flights if you’re flying on the most affordable routes. Don’t forget that the benefits of the easyJet Plus membership card cannot be used for others travelling on your booking. As such if you’re travelling as a family you’ll either need to forego the benefits of the card (unless you’re braver than I am) or alternatively pay the premium for the rest of the family. If the second choice is the option you’re likely to take and you’ll travel a considerable amount together, then the partner/child cards at £169 and £119 respectively may provide best value.
If you’re looking to reduce the cost of travel whilst experiencing an enhanced flying experience, did you know that by signing up to the (free for the first year) American Express Gold Card(reviewed here) and spending £2,000 in the first 3 months you could earn enough points for a return British Airways Club Europe flight from London to Geneva? With Club Europe you benefit from dedicated check-in desks, hold luggage weighing 32 kg, fast-track security, lounge, priority boarding, window or aisle seat (on planes with 3 seats on each side the middle seat is empty), 2 cabin bags and complimentary food and drink. Worth thinking about… If this is of interest you may also want to read my recent BA First Class Review where I provide step-by-step instructions to redeem a First Class for 2 for less than the price of economy!