Today I received a nice email from Jet2.com, reminding me that I have gathered enough loyalty points for a free flight anywhere in Zone 1 (Europe). These loyalty points work as follows:
Hurrah. Great news. In fact, the loyalty scheme was the reason I previously booked all my flights with Jet2.com. Now I had enough for a free flight!
I went to the website to check it out. And sure enough, no mistake:
But then there's always catches with these things. I checked the email again and found this in the small print.
FREE applies to base fare only. Ok, what is the base fare?
I tried a few days in Prague, flying from Edinburgh.
The base fare is £26.99 each way. So if you had to buy this flight, instead of getting it free with your loyalty points, it would only cost £53.98. Not too shabby, really.
But of course that's just the base fare.
You must then add the other fees Jet2 insist upon charging you. They charge you to check in and charge you to take your luggage with you and charge you to select a seat (mandatory, as far as I can tell) and charge you to book the ticket and then charge you to pay for it. They will also give you a couple of microwaved ready meals for £12, if you can bear that. I couldn't. This was all getting out of hand.
They call this "drip pricing" and it puts the costs up a bit:
£103.53. Your cheap airfare has suddenly doubled, which would be annoying if you didn't have the loyalty points to get the flight for free.
Doesn't bother me, because I have a free zone one flight:
Except, hang on... didn't it say something about applying to the base fare only?
And the base fare is only 2 x £26.99 = £53.98. Annoying. My free flight doesn't seem to be free any more.
£103.53 - £53.98 = £49.55.
My free flight now costs £49.55.
Well, I suppose half price is better than no loyalty discount. So with wild abandon I clicked on the "Spend my Points" tab. I'm going to Prague in March for less than £50! That's still a good deal, even if my loyalty points aren't worth as much as I was told they would be. Of course I choose exactly the same flight I've already priced.
But then this happens:
Hang on, hang on...
Why is the base fare now 99p? It wasn't 99p a minute ago, when I checked the cost of the flight. Just to make sure, I went back and checked it again.
Some sort of weird glitch? Anyway, back to the "Spend my Points" tab.
Huh? There's definitely something funny going on here. If I want to pay in cash, the base fare is £26.99 each way. However, when I want to use my loyalty points to pay for the flight, the base fare drops to 99p each way.
So how much is my free Jet2.com flight actually going to cost me now? Remember, it originally cost £103.53.
I went through the motions.
So, £103.53 if you pay by cash. But if you use your hard earned loyalty points to get the flight for free, it costs £101.48. A deduction of £2.05.
£101.48 for a FREE flight.
It seems I have been mislead. Jet2.com tell you you can save up your loyalty points and use them for free flights. They do this so that you will think it is a good deal and book through them. But by changing the base fare when you attempt to book your free flight, they ensure that your flight is not actually free at all.