easyJet Plus gets a sharp price rise with few new benefits

easyJet is rolling out a loyalty scheme, Flight Club, to selected flyers, but it is strictly ‘invite only’ at the moment which is why I haven’t focussed on it.  If you meet the following criteria:

  • You have booked and flown on 20 easyJet flights or more in the past 12 months, or
  • You have booked and flown on 10 flights or more, and spent £1500 or other currency equivalent in the past 12 months, or
  • You have booked and flown on an average 10 flights or more for 10 years, with at least one flight every year

then an invitation will eventually make its way to you.  easyJet Plus is the nearest thing that easyJet has to a loyalty scheme for the rest of us.

The scheme has been around for a few years now and clearly seems to be working.  It offers a number of benefits:

Free seat selection – this is a genuine cash saving given the usual fees of up to £15.99 per flight.  This ONLY applies to the member and NOT to other people travelling on the same booking.  It appears to include premium seats, ie the front and exit rows.

Free speedy boarding – although this is less important if you have a seat selected

Fast track security at selected airports

Access to ‘fast bag drop’ desks at selected airports

A free second item of cabin baggage (maximum 45cm x 36cm x 20cm) which must go under the seat in front of you

These benefits can all be purchased separately for one-off easyJet flights, so easyJet Plus only makes sense if you are a regular traveller.

easyJet Plus

easyJet seems to be treating easyJet Plus as a cash cow.  Either that, or they are trying to minimise the number of members in order to protect the benefits offered.

The fee to join easyJet Plus is going up to £199 per year, up from £170, from 1st April. 

Additional cards for partners are going to up £169 (was £149) and £119 (was £99) for children.

Two new benefits are being introduced, but in reality they already existed:

The key one is the ability to ask for a fare refund if the price of your flight is reduced.  This was a benefit for everyone.  Going forward, it is only available to easyJet Plus members.  Importantly, only the card holder is covered – other family members on the same booking are not covered.

The second benefit is take an earlier flight for free.  This allows you to switch your return flight to an earlier one on the same day at no cost.  This benefit is available to everyone, not just easyJet Plus cardholders – but if you are not a member you must pay a £20 administration fee.

Full details on easyJet Plus can be found on their website here.

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Comments

  1. “Free speedy boarding – although this is less important if you have a seat selected”. It’s important if you have carry on luggage and want to keep it close to you.

    • I don’t think it’s important, but I was going to question why it’s less important if you pay for a seat? That would only make sense to me if they didn’t have allocated seating, but they have for over 4 years now.

      • because there is no guarantee they can store your carry-on luggage & if you get on last, then usually your luggage will either end up somewhere else on the aircraft or in the hold.

        • I fly regulalry using the seat selection option that gives the extra bag and speedy boarding. As others have said it is the increased chance to keep your carry on close (particularly given the number of people who use this service and store both items in the overheads) and reduced risk of getting to the gate and being told your carry on is going in the hold (even though you’ve paid for it to be in the cabin)

        • But how does that change with paid seat selection – are those who pay for seats exempt from having their carry on in the hold?

        • My understanding is yes for extra legroom seats (they give you that benefit plus use of easyJet Plus check-in and priority boarding, just no fast track security), however you don’t get the same guarantee for other preselected seats.

        • No the point was without speedy boarding you get on last, and if you get on last there may be nowhere to stow your bag.

        • No you’ve misread it, that wasn’t the point (not that I disagree with your point!). Alan partially explains it though with the free speedy boarding for extra legroom and upfront seats. I guess the original comment was just slightly “overreached” by including all selected seats and not just those premium ones.

      • Because if you’re anything like the guy on a BA flight I was on recently, you board early, stick your carry on in the locker above a CE seat, then head for the back of the plane. Where locker space is at a premium, early boarding means you get the space.

        • Hate when people do that. Was on one flight though where they were running out of room and cabin crew (very much to their credit) started checking who owned which bags. It rap

        • Apologies if previous message half-posted!

          Hate when this happens, some folk are so inconsiderate. However had a fantastic experience where cabin crew (very much to their credit), realised that there was no way they should have run out of space based on how many CE pax there were. They then started asking folks who owned which bag. It rapidly became clear that there were a few bags that didn’t belong to anyone nearby. All bags apart from those put up in the lockers until some folk sheepishly came forward from much further back to claim them. No space by then so they went in the hold 😛

        • the real harry1 says:

          can’t see that being the smart early bird described by Fenny is any more selfish or wrong than being a somewhat late boarder (say, 2/3 already boarded) who spots that locker space is already at a premium & who has a seat towards the back – he takes any space he can in the locker just in case, no criticism from me for doing that. You seem to be arguing either that CE locker space is sacrosanct; or that you must only put your bag in a locker immediately near your seat, both of which I disagree with. Why should your misfortune to have ‘neighbours with plenty bags’ who grabbed the locker space near you before you pitched up preclude you from taking your % of any locker space still available?

        • It’s not so much anything special about CE space (it’s just more obvious there sometimes if it is quiet), but if lots of folk getting on and sitting at the back put their luggage at the front as they walk down then those who get on after them and are sitting at the front have to then put it in the space (presumably) left down the back. Which then causes total chaos on landing as they then have to try and fight their way back to wherever they ended up having to leave it. In general I’d say the accepted convention is to try and put your overhead bag in a space vaguely near your seat – makes life much easier for everyone getting off at the end…

        • the real harry1 says:

          sure, and that’s what I do, with a careful look to see if I need to find space a few rows early when it’s jammed – I don’t like the idea of not being able to see if anybody is going through my bag in any case.

          what peeves me (& peeve is chosen deliberately as it’s a somewhat pathetic peeve, I freely admit) is people who board early then put their jackets/ coats in the lockers, meaning available space for hard luggage is compromised – why (why oh why 🙂 ) can’t they wait until the bags are stowed by other passengers then stick their jacket on top after? I tend to be brutal in that case and if space is tight, grab the jacket & pull it out, stick in my bag then see if I can squash the jacket on top – you get a look from the jacket owner but what the heck lol

        • Agree re jackets – on domestic flights BA crew still seem reasonable at offering to hang coats for folk in the first few rows which at least helps alleviate the issue a tiny bit!

    • It is also important when you have two hand luggages and put BOTH in the overhead lockers and basically being a total dick. I have seen this happening so many times especially after hand luggage only fares to Oslo.

  2. Alastair France says:

    I have been an easyJet plus member for a while, (and a Flight Club member too). They do offer very different privileges and both are of value. The most useful (for me) Flight Club benefit is that any fare becomes “flexible” – i.e. the flights can be changed (you may have to pay more if the fare is higher but you don’t lose what you have paid). For easyJet plus – I always try to travel in the front row or exit row (I have long legs which I can’t check in!), and even at £199 it’s going to be a cost saving rather than booking individual flights. Unfortunately they have now stopped serving Moscow (which was about the limit of bearability of the low cost model), but as they run regularly from Stansted to Belfast (close to home to close to my main office) – and I have the opportunity of getting on an earlier flight home it’s a worthwhile payment. It won’t be for all.

    • All Easyjet tickets are changeable (route as well as flight !).
      However, you have to pay a fee unless Flight Club or it is a Flexi ticket and within the parameters.
      And you have to pay any increase in fare unless it is a Flexi ticket and within the parameters.

      So the Flight Club benefit is saving the GBP35 change fee.
      Perhaps more interestingly Flight Club can also change name on a flight for free up to five times a year.

  3. They introduced a slightly different invite only scheme a couple of years ago. The only real benefit I can remember is free cancellation and amendments of flights. It wasn’t very glamorous, however was useful for frequent flyers as you could jump forward a flight if you arrived at the airport early.

  4. Welcome to Flight Club. The first rule of Flight Club is: you do not talk about Flight Club. The second rule of Flight Club is: you DO NOT talk about Flight Club! Third rule of Flight Club: someone yells “stop!”, goes limp, taps out, the flight is over. Fourth rule: only two guys to a flight. Fifth rule: one flight at a time, fellas. Sixth rule: No shirts, no shoes. Seventh rule: flights will go on as long as they have to. And the eighth and final rule: if this is your first time at Flight Club, you have to flight.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist 🙂

  5. It is a bit disingenuous to advertise these as new benefits to justify a price increase. I actually think easyjet+ it is worth every penny (I fly easyjet at least 4 times a month) and still do despite the price rise.

    There is now no real difference to flying on BA short haul with status if you twin easyjet+ with priority pass.

    I would have preferred them to not lie to us though….

    • Assuming you can expense Priority Pass and Easyjet Plus?

      • This is for private travel so no (still fly BA for work). Get PriorityPass free with my NatWest Black account.

        • I had that but they’ve eroded the benefits horribly 🙁 The last straw was when my parents got too old to be covered by the travel insurance.

  6. The earlier flight for free on day of return flight used to be completely free for anyone. Used to always book my return from Belfast to one of their Londons, on the cheap late flight, then turn up early having checked availability and change to an earlier one which would have cost more at time of booking.

    • Yep, they introduced the fee in I think August last year.

      I imagine introducing the fee was partly intended to increase the value proposition of the easyJet Plus product. A shame nontheless!

  7. I have found easyJet Plus a really useful benefit the last couple of years. I value it primarily for the extra legroom. Being 6’4″ I always take the wing seats for my partner and I. The speedy boarding is useful for ensuring your baggage is closeby. And the pre paid €s card has come in handy. The fast track security is a little hit-and-miss in its usefulness.
    We have used easyJet for 5-6 return flights a year and therefore Plus has made sense. With the new pricing (effective 1st April so after our next renewal) it’ll need to be at least 6 going forward.

    • Are you talking about the standard Easyjet prepaid card (open to anyone) with the loaded exchange rate? If you’re travelling often I don’t see why you wouldn’t just get a decent debit/credit card (Halifax Clarity being the obvious one).

  8. Shame the refund if flight price reduces will only be for members now 🙁
    Does it affect existing bookings ?
    Parents have 5 pretty pricey return flights booked for a family trip later this year and I’m confident the flights will be cheaper than they paid at some point.
    How does the system work ? If you spot the flights for cheaper do you just let them know ? What if they go down further from your initial refund ?

    • Aha, they’ve changed the Price Promise so it only applies for easyJet Plus and Flight Club members.

      Perhaps MoneySavingExpert had done too good a job of promoting its existence. Oh well.

    • It depends when you made the original booking. I got a refund without a quibble for flights from Luton-Split yesterday, which I had booked in the autumn, for mid-May. The refund was in the form of a voucher though, and i think that it only lasts for six months.

      If anyone is after a cheap break in May, flights to Split are currently around £40 return 🙂

      • Lady London says:

        It’s not just the voucher is only valid for a period, when you come to use it it’s also timeconsuming. You can only use the voucher by calling to book. It can’t be used online. Their advertised number is of course a premium number. You can get round this. However it still takes time to get through and to get the booking done. You also have too call to claim the voucher. When I claimed my one pathetic voucher of 5 euros it also took a while to persuade the person on the easyjet desk that answered that a refund was indeed due to me. Hassle factor was pretty high overall.

  9. David Prior says:

    I fly EDI-LGW return almost every week – if I make 80 flights a year it comes to £2.50/flight (less than I’d pay just to reserve a non-premium seat), so I still see it as reasonable value.

    What I don’t like is the fact that the price increase is justified on the basis of added benefits which I get as a Flight Club member anyway. This would be a good time for easyJet to add a 15% discount on easyJet Plus to the list of benefits included with Flight Club.

    I also intend to contact easyJet to see if I can get away with paying the lower price this year, given that on 19th January, I received an email saying “You’ve been enjoying easyJet Plus for nearly a year and it’s time for your membership renewal. You don’t need to do a thing, the recurring payment* that was set up when you joined or renewed will automatically take £170.00 from your chosen credit or debit card ending in [xxxx] on 1st March 2017.” (I have since received the mail detailing the “additional benefits” and related price rise to £199.)