eDreams ODIGEO rescues travel plans for over 5 million customers hit by airline disruptions
BARCELONA, Spain, Sept. 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- eDreams ODIGEO ("www.edreamsodigeo.com"), the largest flight retailer in the world -excluding China- and one of the largest European e-commerce businesses, today announces that it has successfully assisted over 5.12 million customers hit by airline and airport flight disruptions since the start of the pandemic. Whilst flights slowly began to resume throughout 2020, operational complications derived from the pandemic - including airline and airport shortages of staff, amongst others - have meant many travelers have continued to experience flight disruptions in the present day. During this time, the business has put in place the largest operational effort in the company's 22+ year history, to work unabatedly on behalf of their customers to re-book cancelled flights, retrieve refunds from airlines and re-organise travel plans for consumers.
The unprecedented travel disruption caused by the pandemic caused a 240% increase in the number of travelers seeking assistance with their travel plans, compared to pre-pandemic levels. In response to this, eDreams ODIGEO increased its customer service and operational refunds team to further support its customers.
This additional investment from the business has reduced the average wait time for customers by 65% since the pandemic, with the average speed to answer calls from customers now standing at 95 seconds, contributing to nine out of ten customers (87%) now stating they were satisfied or very satisfied with the service they received.
This momentous effort has resulted in 97% of customer refunds reaching a resolution, with airline refunds needed to ensure 100% of all cases are resolved. The company's role is as an intermediary between travel uppliers and travelers, and under its leading travel agency brands - eDreams, Opodo, Travellink and GO Voyages -, it supports customers with all their travel needs, including submitting refund requests to airlines on behalf of the customer.
While many airlines have notably improved their refund processing times, the average time that airlines have taken to process refunds that the Company has placed on behalf of its customers has stood at 89 days since the beginning of the pandemic. In a move to further support its customers hit by airline disruptions, for a set of trusted airline partners the Company is advancing refunds to consumers even before receiving the funds from the carrier.
The business has also strengthened its operations by heavily investing in developing the leading self-service platform for flights. The company has worked with customers over the past 2 years to ensure that their needs can be fully met in a simple, clear, intuitive and customer-friendly manner. This platform allows travelers to manage their bookings autonomously and perform a number of tasks including cancelling their booking, making modifications, performing check-in to their flights, managing flight disruptions, adding seat selection and bag allowance or downloading invoices, amongst other things. With this self-service tool, eDreams ODIGEO's customers can easily manage their bookings 24/7 from anywhere.
As a result, over 85% of customer enquiries are now successfully resolved online, although the customer service phone number is available on the company's help pages and is also provided to anyone who asks to speak to an agent via the online live chat feature that is available on the site.
2022 travel disruptions
Post-pandemic, the travel sector has continued to experience turbulence with staff shortages impacting airlines and airports across many countries, resulting in tens of thousands of additional flight cancellations. In the first eight months of 2022 alone, eDreams ODIGEO processed airline schedule changes that amounted to almost half (49%) of the total disruptions registered in the first three months of the pandemic, when travel was most restricted by national lockdowns. During this time, the business remains determined to continue to support customers, ensuring those affected by airline and airport disruptions continue to receive the necessary assistance.
Dana Dunne, Chief Executive Officer at eDreams ODIGEO, said: "We have always strived to offer our customers the best possible service and have continued to make significant investments in our customer service offering to support consumers affected by airline and airport disruptions. We've responded to industry needs and have listened to our customers by strengthening our customer care with additional front-line agents. Also, as a travel tech company, our mission is to make travel easier and more convenient for consumers through the development of cutting-edge technology solutions. As part of this, we have heavily invested in developing the leading self-servicing technology in the travel industry, empowering our customers to manage their bookings at any point from anywhere, all without needing to contact us. We are proud to be the leading online travel agency in terms of customer experience."
About eDreams ODIGEO
eDreams ODIGEO is one of the world's largest online travel companies and one of the largest e-commerce businesses in Europe. The business is the largest player worldwide in flight revenues, excluding China, and the largest in Europe. Under its four leading online travel agency brands – eDreams, GO Voyages, Opodo, Travellink, and the metasearch engine Liligo – it serves more than 17 million customers per year across 44 markets. Listed on the Spanish Stock Market, eDreams ODIGEO works with over 690 airlines and +2.1 million hotels. The business conceptualised Prime, the first subscription product in the travel sector which has attracted 3.5 million members since launching in 2017. The brand offers the best quality products and the widest choice of regular flights, low-cost airlines, hotels, dynamic packages, cruises, car rental services and travel insurance products to make travel easier, more accessible, and better value for consumers across the globe.
 Figure as of August 30th 2022
SOURCE eDreams ODIGEO