Friday, August 21, 2020

What to make of SpiceJet’s old wine in a new bottle FFP

Early this week, Spicejet, India’s second-largest low-cost carrier (LCC), relaunched its frequent flier programme named SpiceClub. This is the third version of the airline’s frequent flier programme. The airline launched a prepaid FFP in 2016 and followed it with a revamped free for all programme in August 2018.

While the revamp in 2018 was a major difference from its initial launch, the current one looks more like old wine in a new bottle.

The airline has opted for a spend-based programme rather than a miles-based one that is common with full-service carriers. The new SpiceClub allows members to earn up to 10 points for every Rs 100 spent on booking flights and add-ons. Each point is equivalent to Rs 0.5 when it comes to redemption. Potentially, a customer benefits for 50 paise for each Rs 100 spent with SpiceJet.
The perks — free flight vouchers, free change/ cancellation, complimentary meals and upgrade, priority check-in, free seat selection and more are in line with frequent flier programmes of other airlines. The real question is this: LCCs are known to stay from frequent flier programmes to cut associated costs — so why does SpiceJet want to get into this business?

Typically, an FFP is associated with additional costs, a marked departure from the no-frills model associated with LCCS. But Indian LCCs have veered away from the core LCC philosophy long ago.
21/08/20 Ameya Joshi/
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