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News: Hilton Winter hotel sale, Opodo flight discount, congratulations Anika

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News in brief:

Hilton Winter sale now on

This slipped through the cracks when it launched, but I should mention that Hilton is currently running its Winter sale across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Due to coronavirus, all rooms booked in the sale are fully flexible. This means that the quoted discount of 25% from the Best Flexible Rate (20% for non-members of Hilton Honors) is a genuine one.

You need to book by 31st January for stays by 31st March. The sale home page is here. The picture below is Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik which we reviewed in our ‘My Favourite Hotel’ series recently.

Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik

£25 Opodo flight discount

Opodo launched a new flight discount deal yesterday, running to 31st December.

You will receive £25 off any flight booking worth £275 or more. You need to use promo code OP25DEC.

Many online travel agents have not exactly distinguished themselves with their service levels during the pandemic, so you trade off the saving against the risk of additional problems if your flight is cancelled, changed or postponed.

You can book the Opodo offer here.

Congratulations Anika

I’m delighted to say that Anika had her second child, another girl, on Christmas Eve.

Having two children under 14 months old will not, clearly, leave her with much free time and we don’t know when she will be back.

Anika was the first person I hired for HfP, nominally to run marketing, and the day she went full-time was also the day we moved into a permanent office. After five years, HfP had suddenly become a proper ‘thing’ and I had responsibilities towards other people.

Within 15 months she had won ‘Best Newcomer to Business Travel Journalism’ at the Business Travel Journalism Awards and we had taken big strides in developing the commercial side of the site. Soon after that she met an American guy in the pub who was working temporarily in the UK and before we knew it she was married and moved to Virginia …..

I am hopeful that we haven’t heard the last of her, but for now she is definitely taking a break with her two girls.

PS. With Sinead also expecting a baby soon, we will be looking for a new Marketing Manager in the Spring. We are not starting the process until we are back in a permanent office, but if you or someone you know may be interested then please keep an eye on the site for an announcement. A track record in travel and/or affiliate and/or financial marketing will be necessary and you will need to be London based.

Comments (51)

  • ChrisC says:

    Well doing a treasure hunt will be even more of a challenge for her now!

  • Michael C says:

    Massive congrats to Anika and little…Pfizer?! ;o)

  • Gideon Hoffman says:

    I would really caution anyone from Opodo specifically. Long before Coronavirus I discovered that my appalling experiences with then were ones that many many Twitter stories showed was just run of the mill for them. Whatever the issue, they find some outrageous terms in the small print you have agreed to, so any normal small or no fee is never small or free with them. Even when airlines refund you, they find outrageous excuses to keep the money, administrative charges at absurd levels mean they make their best margins when flights are cancelled. Instead of a small. % commission- they keep way more that they ever would have earnt from “processing refunds”.

    That £25 will soon be won back by them. I laughed simply reading the offer.

    I now always simply exclude Opodo from Kayak when searching.

    • AB says:

      Agreed. Dreadful service, and blatant underhand trading tactics. They neglected to return my £1,500 from Singapore Airlines, after both they and the airline confirmed a refund in April 2020. I endured several hours waiting on the phone on multiple occasions, each time being told what I wanted to hear, with promises that my payment would be paid, I gave up and resolved through a charge back on my credit card. Countless similar experiences on line.
      They can offer some great prices, compared with direct booking. But the risk is 100% yours…and who wants that in the middle of a pandemic…

      • Akebah says:

        Agreed about Opodo. I will never ever use them or similar for booking flights. 3 flights to Indonesia – flights cancelled due to Covid – airline referred me to travel agent (even though legally it is the airline who are responsible – they had already refunded Opodo the money ). It is impossible to contact them by any means. I eventually got a reply (2 or 3 months after requesting refund) but by this point I had done a charge back via my bank. At the deadline for the charge back appeal they claimed that Spanish state of emergency laws meant they did not have to pay back the refund. My bank agreed with me and the money has stayed in my account. I will only ever buy flight only direct from now on, no matter what discount such companies offer.

      • Sam G says:

        Agree. Left my family stranded in Thailand and only called me back months later to see if we needed rebooking! I’d be avoiding any OTA currently

        • Mikeact says:

          So, why would you book through a TA instead of direct ? I got caught out once, never again….trying to sort out an issue down under with an airline, “You need to go back through your TA”. Great, when it’s the middle of the night over here.

          • RussellH says:

            It is ironic, given Opodo’s history.
            Founded by a consortium of European airlines, including British Airways, Air France, Alitalia, Iberia, KLM, Lufthansa, Aer Lingus, Austrian Airlines + Finnair, It has a perfectly respectable history as a sort of inhouse consolidator.
            As a consolidator, in its early days at any rate, tickets bought from Opodo would have been covered by an ATOL, whereas tickets bought directly were not, meaning that financial protection was automatically in place when buying from Opodo, unlike buying from the airline.

            And while everyone here, I am sure, always buys their tickets with a credit card, both for the S75 cover and for the points, many people still buy with a debit card, or, if over the counter in their local travel agency, with used fivers.

            And yes, everything that I have seen here and elsewhere should be enough to put anyone off using Opodo.

      • Alex Sm says:

        I can’t agree more… Their covid customer service was dreadful – I am still awaiting a refund for my cancelled SWISS flights to Italy in March. They feed you with promises and do not deliver on them. I had another issue with them years ago when my Alitalia flights were cancelled due to a strike but they eventually refunded those after a big battle.

  • vol says:

    Congratulations Anika and family 🥳 👶 🎀 💗🛍🌸

  • DANi says:

    Opodo… No, just no.

  • Anna says:

    Congratulations again Anika (and SInead – there must be something in the water at HFP!)

  • Chelseafi says:

    Congrats Anika. Enjoy your special little ones

  • Erico1875 says:

    I dont understand why Opodo continually gets plugged. They are just a dodgy foreign OTA now

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      …and there’s a warning to that effect in the article. How many other sites would have the integrity to deliberately reduce the income from a posted affiliate link in that way?

    • Crafty says:

      “Dodgy foreign”?

      I hope you’re using those adjectives as separately as you should.

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