Indian low cost carrier Spicejet has relaunched its loyalty program SpiceClub. The revision replaces its prepaid loyalty program launched in 2016 and now makes it free for registration. SpiceClub offers upgrades, complimentary meals, discounts and exclusive deals. The airline website claims that the new structure is live effective 17th August but the airline has not started active marketing around this program yet.
The airline allows collection of points (miles) every time you fly Spicejet. The airline also allows you to earn these points for purchase of meals, excess baggage and possibly everything that is part of ancillary services on offer. These points can be redeemed for free flights.
The loyalty program is tier based akin to that of full service carriers and has four tiers – Classic, Silver, Gold and Platinum. A flier can register for free and joins the Classic tier. A flier upgrades to Silver after 5 flight bookings, to Gold after 15 flight bookings as Silver member and 30 flight bookings as Gold member would upgrade a flier to Platinum. The spend benefits start at 2 points per 100 rupees as Classic member and goes up to 8 points per 100 rupees spent for Platinum.
Silver members and onwards start reaping benefits of the tier. Silver tier onwards, members are eligible for free priority check-in and bag-out first along with 20% discount on meals and SpiceMax for Silver and Gold members.
Gold and Platinum members are eligible for free seat selection. The airline currently charges between INR 99 to 300 for seats on its Boeing aircraft with SpiceMax service being priced at INR 1000. Gold and Platinum tiers are also eligible for 1 free flight after every 10th booking.
While Gold tier gets one free change or cancellation, platinum tier gets two such vouchers. Platinum tier exclusively gets four free meals and four upgrades to SpiceMax. A flier can retain Platinum tier with 30 flight bookings. The calculation of number of flights is done from the date when the flier attained the tier status and flights taken in a year from that date.
While the earlier program allowed the earning of points only when booked on the airline website or mobile application, the revamped SpiceClub allows users to earn points for bookings made via Indirect channels like Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) or Travel Agents. However, the airline has incentivised direct booking and offers upto 400 Bonus points for bookings done on the airline website or mobile application. The airline is also offering additional miles for top-up of SpiceCash – its e-wallet.
SpiceClub terms and conditions specify that a flier should not just fly the minimum number of flights but also spend a certain amount to move up to the next tier or retain it. The amount specified is INR 25000, INR 75000, INR 150000 for Silver, Gold and Platinum respectively. At the specified number of flights, this translates into INR 5000 per ticket.
The rates at which fares are being currently offered in the country, sometimes it is difficult to find a ticket which is at INR 5000 or more !
AirAsia India is the only LCC currently operating domestic routes in India to offer a loyalty program. Go Air has tried implementing its loyalty program a couple of times in the past without success and while it has been long rumoured that IndiGo will start a loyalty program, the airline hasn’t made any announcements to that effect.
Over the last year or so, Spicejet has been working hard for a long term plan and has expanded into retail, cargo and explored long haul widebody services along with sea planes. The airline, it seems, is looking to diversify into a larger consumer offerings and not just airlines and could effectively use its loyalty program for the same.
While earlier loyalty programs by low cost carriers looked to help only fliers who book through direct channels, there seems to be a change of heart at SpiceJet and the airline is looking for a first mover advantage in the low cost carrier segment with the loyalty program. As the airline starts induction the B737 MAX aircraft and expand, time will tell if it can make a dent to the Full Service carriers by loyalty offerings.