RUMOUR: EasyJet to introduce Business Class?

Now here’s something to be taken with a rather large pinch of salt. According to EasyJet GalleyFM, the airline is preparing to launch their own version of a Business Class cabin and frequent flyer program in the next 12 months. EasyJet already offer a paid program for their flyers which includes fast track security, priority boarding and free seat selection which costs £215/year, however this new product is rumoured (I cant stress that its only a rumour enough) to be more of a traditional frequent flyer program, with a selection of tiers and the offer of free flights after you’ve taken a set number of flights with the airline. Its not thought that the new program will be points based – more sector based with a sort of “buy 5 flights get one free” kind of deal. Much like its EasyJet Plus program, it will also be possible to buy access to the highest tier, which would include access to third party lounges. Although whether there will be a limit to the number of visits you can make like a lot of bank accounts is unknown. If the basic paid program costs over £200, then I’d be surprised if the new package costs less than £500 if paid for.
There is also a highly unpublicised further tier to the current scheme named the flight club. Access to this is by invitation only, for passengers who have flown at least 20 EasyJet flights in the previous 12 months, flown 10 flights and spent at least £1500 with the airline in the previous twelve months or flown at least an average of 10 flights in the previous 10 years with the airline. Although the benefits of this program are hardly the same as BA Premier… it basically entitles you to free booking changes, and presumably the benefits of the EasyJet Plus program – minus the yearly fee. I suppose this could make way for a new scheme, where the only real addition would need to be getting a free flight (plus taxes presumably) and maybe a LoungeKey membership.
With regards to the new Business Class offering, to be honest it sounds more like the SAS Plus model. There wont be any curtain to separate the two cabins – merely just different coloured headrest covers, so fairly easy (excuse the pun) for the crew to adapt the cabin if/when needed. Unlike the SAS Plus model however, the middle seats in the new cabin will remain free, much like the rest of the European carriers. It’s not known whether food/drink and baggage would be included with these new fares, but you’d think so. It won’t cost the airline any extra to include checked baggage and, again, using the SAS Plus model rather than go for full blown gourmet meals on fine china, the airline could offer complimentary items from the buy on board menu – therefore reducing any extra costs that’s needed to set things up.
It’s worth noting that if the new product does go ahead, then it’s unlikely it will be available on all routes – only business orientated routes. For example, London-Zurich, Manchester-Paris or Glasgow-London.
This will be an interesting development for the airline that was previously seen as a no frills airline. Over the last few years, the airline has made improvements with the fleet and service, where as the other so called legacy carriers have made cut backs meaning there’s less and less to differentiate between the two models of airlines now. If this does come to pass, it will be a further signal of intent that the airline wants to chase after the type of customer that previously only went for the so called full service airlines.
As mentioned throughout this article, the information contained here is pure rumour, but I felt it might be worth writing an article and seeing how things, if anything develops from this over time.

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