Europe’s largest online travel group, eDreams ODIGEO, revealed that it helped 5.12 million customers find alternative flights during the disruption caused by COVID19.
Opodo’s parent said the response to the pandemic sparked the biggest operational efforts in its 22-year history, as operators and airports canceled flights.
The travel disruption caused by the pandemic led to a 240% increase in the number of UK travelers seeking help with their travel plans, compared to pre-pandemic levels.
The firm said it ramped up its customer service and refunds teams to cope with demand from customers rebooking fights and reshuffling their travel plans.
He claims that due to his investment, average waiting times for customers have been reduced by 65%, while calls are now answered in an average of 95 seconds.
In addition, the firm said that 87% of its clients say they are satisfied or very satisfied with the service they received.
Refund requests to airlines on behalf of customers have had a resolution rate of 97%, although the average time to complete a claim has been 89 days.
Under EC Regulation, airlines must refund canceled flights within seven days; however, many disabled automatic refund processes while some actively blocked agent refunds.
EDreams said many airlines have dramatically improved their refund processing times and for some “reliable” airlines the company is refunding before the money is received.
The firm added that it has also strengthened its operations by investing in the development of a self-service platform for flights.
It allows travelers to manage their reservations autonomously and perform a series of tasks, such as canceling their reservation, making modifications, checking-in, managing interruptions, adding seat selection and baggage allowance or downloading invoices.
This has seen 85% of customer queries resolved online, although customer service operatives remain available to anyone who wants to speak to an agent via phone or live chat.
As disruption continued post-pandemic due to staff shortages in the first eight months of 2022, eDreams processed airline schedule changes amounting to 49% of total disruptions recorded in the first three months of the pandemic. pandemic.
Dana Dunne, CEO of eDreams ODIGEO, said: “We have always strived to provide our customers with the best possible service and have continued to make significant investments in our customer service offering to help consumers affected by airline disruptions. and airports.
“We have responded to the needs of the industry and listened to our customers by strengthening our customer service with additional frontline agents.
“Furthermore, as a travel technology 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 invested heavily in developing the industry’s leading self-service technology, enabling our customers to manage their reservations anytime, anywhere, all without the need to contact us.
“We are proud to be the leading online travel agency in terms of customer experience.”