EasyJet strikes deal for Parliamentary air travel
A year after offering free flights to MPs returning to deal with the summer riots, easyJet has been added to the list of preferred airlines for both Houses of Parliament. A deal for one year will allow cheaper flights than flag carriers for European flights, and works through the Parliament travel management company Hillgate Travel. They will get discounts on EasyJet fares. EasyJet is increasingly marketing itself as a business airline and wants more business passengers. They say they have over 9.5 million business passengers per year. From this winter it will be offering reserved seating and has been actively selling packages to the corporate market. Ryanair has complained in the past that the European parliament uses a flight booking system that excludes budget airlines.
EasyJet signs up MPs for Parliamentary travel
A year after offering free flights to Members of Parliament returning to deal with the summer riots, easyJet has been added to the list of preferred airlines for both Houses of Parliament.
By Jonathan Russell, Assistant City Editor (Telelgraph)
18 Sep 2012
The year-long deal should see MPs and Lords using easyJet for both constituency and Parliamentary business travel. The UK’s 1,500 lawmakers are understood to take tens of thousands of flights a year. EasyJet estimates that of the airlines currently available to MPs on the preferred list it will be cheaper in seven out of 10 flights.
EasyJet chief executive Carolyn McCall said: “We know that many MPs, Peers and Government ministers already fly with easyJet. This deal will make it easier and more cost effective than ever before. We are sure they will vote with their feet and travel with easyJet across Europe.”
In August last year 80 MPs took up easyJet’s offer of free flights to return them to London for an emergency recall of Parliament to debate the riots.
The deal with MPs comes as easyJet is increasingly marketing itself as a business airline. From this winter it will be offering reserved seating and has been actively selling packages to the corporate market.
Earlier this month the airline also sold tens of thousands of seats to Thomas Cook to use in their package holidays.
“This deal is a good example of easyJet’s strategy of increasing the number of business travellers flying with the airline,” Ms McCall said of the tie-up with Parliament. “Over 9.5m business travellers fly with easyJet each year. They are attracted by our combination of low fares and friendly service, carrying our passengers to primary airports at convenient times.”
The deal was done through the Houses of Parliament travel management company Hillgate Travel.
As one of the comments says: Now we know why Easyjet are allowing pax to choose particular seats!! Can’t imagine an MP standing in the scrum waiting at the gate
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Also the Daily Mail at
MPs and staff to get perks including speedy boarding in deal to fly easyJet on routes between constituencies and Westminster
……the agreement also means that politicians and their staff will be able to enjoy perks – such as speedy boarding – which were not previously available to them.
The flights are being offered to MPs on routes between their constituencies and Westminster, as well as on European trips.MPs will be given access to the company’s Flexi fare – which includes a bag in the hold, speedy boarding and fast-track security. Passengers usually have to pay between £4.50 and £14 for such perks.
Flexi fare also gives unlimited flexibility to change the date of flights up to two hours before the scheduled departure time. However Flexi fares can be double the cost of a basic flight.Hillgate Travel has access to fares through around 60 scheduled airlines. MPs are only allowed to claim travel costs incurred ‘in the performance of their parliamentary functions’.
They were supposedly banned from travelling first class in the wake of the expenses scandal. But figures show many are still exploiting a loophole which allows them to book first class tickets if they could find a more expensive standard class ticket.