Short version: 1. Opodo insists that a canceled flight had flown as scheduled. 2. Opodo’s Twitter support ignores all requests, the web chat refers me to the hotline, the hotline refers me to sending an email, and the email system refers me to a contact form that does not exist.
Long version: I booked a flight with Opodo from Dublin to Beijing (via Frankfurt), operated by Lufthansa / Air China. The outbound flight took place as planned. However, three days before the return flight, Lufthansa sent a message that the flight had been canceled due to the Corona Virus. Lufthansa’s hotline told me I should contact Opodo to find a solution for my canceled flight (2nd of February 2020, flight code CA6221/LH721).
I called Opodo’s hotline and additionally chatted online with an employee. Both times, Opodo insisted that the flight would take place and is “all good to go”. When asked why Lufthansa would send me a cancellation message if there wasn´t any problem, Opodo just replied they wouldn’t know. I should call them again 24 hours before the flight departure.
(just for completeness, here is the full chat log)
One day before the flight was due to depart, I tried to check-in online. Not surprisingly, I couldn’ t check-in as the flight indeed was canceled.
The cancellation was also shown on the websites of Beijing Airport…
… and Frankfurt airport, as well as…
… on other websites on the Internet.
I called the Opodo hotline again, and they insisted the flight would depart as scheduled.
I hadn’t trusted Opodo in the first place and had booked another return flight with Emirates.
I post the chat log on Twitter, and Opodo’s Twitter team replied they would be happy to assist me through the private messaging system.
After giving Opodo on Twitter the requested details nothing happened. Opodo did not respond at all.
A week later, I chatted again with the support team, which insisted the flight had been flown, and I should call the hotline to discuss this issue.
So, I called Opodo’s hotline, asking for a refund of the obviously canceled flight. Despite the fact that all over the Web various websites show that the flight had been canceled, Opodo insisted that the flight had flown as scheduled, according to their data.
Opodo told me they couldn’t resolve this issue on the phone. I would need to send proof of the cancellation to Opodo via email. The support staff on the phone promised me that directly after our phone call she would send me an email with more details.
Opodo indeed did send that email. The email instructed me to reply to that email and send copies of the cancelation proof. However, the email was sent from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guess what happened when I replied to the no-reply address? I received an automatic reply that Opodo doesn’t accept emails. I should rather use the contact form. I had a look at Opodo’s website but couldn’t find any form that would allow me to attach files.
I called the hotline again and after 5 minutes in the queue, the connection was automatically disconnected.
Now, in conclusion, I have to say: Opodo, you won. I am giving up. While I might still claim compensation under EU Regulation 261 from Lufthansa, you can keep the money for the ticket. But this was certainly the last time I booked a flight with Opodo.