Posted on: 18 November 2014 by Mark Howells
easyJet has been trialling a frequent flyer loyalty scheme for three months, with 15,000 passengers across France, Switzerland and the UK benefitting from increased flexibility on bookings, a price guarantee and a dedicated phone number for enquiries, as the airline has found it to be more cost effective to retain existing customers than to attract new ones.
The airline claims that 91% of the trial group say the prospect of a loyalty scheme appeals to them. “In setting up our trial we listened to our passengers to understand what they most value and tailored the scheme to reflect this,” explained easyJet CEO, Carolyn McCall. “Unlike traditional airlines difficult to use mileage schemes, our loyalty scheme gives passengers benefits they really value and is simpler to run.”
This information has been revealed in conjunction with data suggesting that easyJet passengers are more loyal than ever before. The airline has reported that the proportion of bookings made by existing customers has increased from 50% in 2010 to 57% in 2014, meaning that over 37 million passengers are rebooking each year compared to 25 million four years ago (a 50% increase). The figure for returning business customers is even higher at 62%.
Furthermore, the easyJet Plus membership which the airline has in place – offering unlimited allocated seat choice, dedicated bag drop and Speedy Boarding, as well as upcoming enhancements like the addition of Fast Track security at major airports in early 2015 – is already very successful.
Across Europe, easyJet Plus membership has risen by 14% in the last 12 months to an all-time high, with retention rates having increased by over 30% in the same period, particularly in Spain and Portugal.