TfL ‘not looking at’ London Underground fare ‘loyalty scheme’ despite recommendation

By Staff

The idea of a loyalty scheme on the London Underground, buses, Overground, Elizabeth line and other TfL services is not being considered, Sadiq Khan has said. The Mayor of London was asked about the premise, put forward by the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) as regards National Rail services, by Green Party London Assembly Member Siân Berry.

In November, CBT said that a ‘rail miles’ scheme could function based on ‘perks’ or ‘future subsidy’. Using the example of air miles offered by airlines, its report stated that perks can include early boarding, access to airport lounges, upgrades or protections against being bumped from your flight.

Ben Curtis wrote in a CBT blog post: “These incentives are redeemable by travelling regularly with a particular airline and air miles are proportional to the distance that you fly […] This system is fairly similar to many of the supermarket loyalty card schemes with points used to get money off future travel, upgrades or even hotels and car hire at your destination.

READ MORE: Why some London Underground customers will still have to pay peak fares during ‘off-peak Fridays’

“With this, most programmes will also offer loyalty points to supplement your spending, so the more times you choose their services, the more loyalty points you will gain. Loyalty points allow you to access rewards regularly without needing to trade in points. Keep above the loyalty points threshold and you’re welcome to the rewards they offer every year until you dip below that threshold.”

On how this would apply to railways, the report added: “By drawing inspiration from successful airline mileage programmes there is an opportunity to transform the way passengers engage with and perceive rail travel, while also generating substantial benefits for the industry as a whole.”

Mayor ‘committed to keeping fares as low as possible’

AM Berry asked Mr Khan: “A blueprint for fares and ticketing reform, by Campaign for Better Transport, includes a recommendation that a ‘rail miles’ loyalty scheme should be explored. Will Transport for London (TfL) implement a loyalty scheme to encourage people to move their journeys to public transport from other modes?”

The mayor responded: “Transport for London (TfL) is not looking to implement a loyalty scheme. I remain committed to keeping fares as low as possible, which is why I decided to freeze all TfL fares in 2024.

“This will make transport more affordable for millions of Londoners, encourage people back onto our public transport network and help to boost London’s culture, retail and hospitality sectors.”

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