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I have had a lot of comments regarding this review, mainly defending Opodo and syaing its great! I still cant see why people rate it. See my recent experience at the end!
I am a long serving internet flight booker and must have used, or at least tried to use all the major net booking services.
I have just booked my latest holiday (cant wait!) and have once again found that Opodo's flight options were both indirect and expensive.
The website is generally much the same as the others (eg Expedia, ebookers, lastminute..) but has its own niches.
SITE DESIGN I am always attracted to Opodo as the site is attractive, and always shouting about its special offers (they are plaguing my spam email account!). The site is logically designed and therefore easy to navigate.
FLIGHTS Opodo uses lots of different airlines (claims to use 500!), despite being owned jointly by 7 European airlines. Unlike most web booking services, it also offers charter flight options.
Opodo's strength is its excellent multi-stop and open jaw (ie return to a different point) options. You can plan a very complex journey with little hassle on this site.
BOOKING FLIGHTS Opodo allows unrestricted fares (ie the expensive ones) to be held for 24h if you want to contemplate for a bit before committing. I have never got as far as booking so dont know how easy the process is!
HOTELS On the hotel front, Opodo is much the same as the other sites. (They all seem to be much of a muchness to me! I almost always find it cheaper to book directly with the hotel company's website)
OTHER SERVICES Opodo offers ready made holidays, car hire (through Hertz and Holiday Autos), late deals and a fare alert (whereby they email you when a flight fare changes). There is also a small area where you can read about destinations, and they offer a 'travel mag' by email (which is just a not very well disguised advert)
PRICES I think this is Opodo's big downfall, and its a shame as it could otherwise be excellent. If you are looking for a simple return journey, it comes up with cazy results at high prices. For example, i tried to book a flight to Miami. Expedia / ebookers etc offered good value return fares. Opodo however offered indirect routes at mroe expensive prices. The suggestions often involved going out with one airline, and coming back on another! And accordingly, the price was extortionate! (I guess it was charging for 2 x 1-way journies) I have found this to be the case almost every time I have used Opodo, and therefore have never ended up booking with them.
CONCLUSION In all.. if you want a cheap (direct) return fare to one destination, and plan to fly back to the same place, I wouldnt bother looking here for the best deal.
If however, you want something a bit more complex, this may be a good starting point.
I never like to judge a company by one experience, but I did recently book a weekend break through Opodo. It was very cheap and I couldnt resist. A few pointers which annoyed me though: 1) I definately booked through Opodo - but the receipt came from Lastminute.com! On calling Opodo, they said that they sometiems sell other people's products and there may have been a mix up! Very odd. 2) It said the flight was with Iberia. I got to Heathrow and found that the flight was actually operated by BA! Wouldnt have been a problem, but we were in completely the wrong terminal. Other sites eg Expedia make it clear if a flight is operated by another company. 3) I ordered a Veg meal for my partner and it never got through to the airline. Bit annoying.
Im still open to other people's ideas about Opodo, but still think its 3rd rate compared to Expedia and even Lastminute.