If you’ve got travel plans coming up in the near future, you’re likely looking for other options, or at least for clarification over whether it’s wise to make your trip.
If you’re a customer of Opodo, however, those answers might not exactly be forthcoming, as the travel agent has confirmed that it could take up to a week to respond to queries.
As customers frantically tweet the agent – who operate online but don’t currently have a web-chat service that allows you to speak to a representative – the Opodo team are responding that they’re ‘currently experiencing a higher volume of queries due to current global events.’
As a result, they say it could be up to seven days between the initial call from customers and a response from a customer service representative.
While it’s understandable that travel agents are swamped with calls at present, there seems to be little recourse for those who need to firm up plans more urgently.
Other travel agents and aggregators have also been criticised for their handling of customers when it comes to questions about coronavirus and what to do.
A number of airlines, including EasyJet and British Airways – have suspended flights from the UK to Italy for the time being, with those who had booked to travel being issued refunds.
Travellers are also being advised by the government to ‘check with your airline, tour operator, cruise line or other transport and accommodation providers as applicable’ with any concerns about their destination.
They are signposting people to TravelHealthPro for further guidance on travel, and stating that the list of countries it’s safe to travel to is regularly changing.
An Opodo spokesperson commented, ‘The situation is changing rapidly and we are in constant contact with our airline partners for the latest guidance on our customer’s bookings. Our systems automatically informs customers if there has been a change to their booking.
‘If our customers are travelling in 48 hours to a specific restricted area we are asking them to contact us via our 24/7 phoneline or online chat. For less urgent bookings, customers looking to make voluntarily changes, and for contact made to us via social media, we are advising it may take up to 7 days to respond due to the demand created by these unprecedented events, although imminent departures are being prioritised by our teams.
‘Instructions from governments and airlines are changing rapidly and in each case we are doing our utmost to assist them in the shortest period of time.’