UK low-cost carrier easyJet has begun to sell ancillary services bundled with flight tickets. The airline is launching a new ‘standard plus’ fare option, which will contain the benefits of an up-front seat, usually sold separately.
Ancillary services are a crucial source of revenue for low-cost airlines and a boon for some passengers. For airlines, they allow a source of income on top of flight fares. However, their unbundled nature means that passengers only have to pay for what they want. That is to say, if they don’t wish to travel with baggage, they don’t need to pay for a fare that includes it.
easyJet’s new Standard Plus
easyJet is today introducing a third fare bracket. Standard Plus will be sold alongside the airline’s standard fare and its ‘Flexi’ fare standing as a mid-ground between the two, including some of the services currently found in the Flexi fare.
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According to easyJet, the Standard Plus fare will only be sold on flights where ‘Up front’ seats are still available. These are the airline’s premium seats at the front of the aircraft. However, it seems as though by offering the product, the airline isn’t changing much.
According to easyJet, the StandardPlus fare will cost the same as buying an up front seat, starting at £7.99. The airline states that the standard plus fare will include an up front seat, speedy boarding, dedicated bag drop facilities, and two cabin bags. As this is what the airline is already giving to those who buy an up front seat separately, it seems more like a strategy to achieve additional sales than a new product.
Commenting on the launch of the product, Sophie Dekkers, easyJet’s CCO, said,
“We are pleased to be introducing Standard Plus which combines our most popular products like Speedy Boarding and an Up front seat into one bundle so customers can see the total cost at the first stage of booking. By having our three fare options… we can help customers quickly select all the products best suited to their needs.”
Revenue down 88%
The new fare bracket is being launched at the same time that the airline revealed revenues had dripped by 88% year on year in the last three months of 2020 to £165 million. According to The Guardian, this was roughly equal to the 87% decline in passengers recorded by the airline.
The sharp drop in passengers has been prompted by the second wave of COVID-19 currently gripping Europe. This has led to countries imposing stricter travel rules, making travel hard. Many of Europe’s low-cost carriers have slashed their flight offerings to avoid operating unprofitable, nearly empty flights.
What do you make of easyJet’s new fare offering and revenue results? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.