Have you heard of eDreams, but are not quite sure if it’s safe to use?
Before you spend your hard-earned money with them, let me take you through the story of eDreams and the people behind it to help you decide for yourself… is eDreams legit?
eDreams ODIGEO was founded at the peak of the dot-com bubble in 1999 and survived the turbulent early 2000s to grow into the largest online travel company in Europe. You can book flights, hotels, car rentals, transport, activities, and travel insurance with just a few clicks via their website or mobile app (iOS, Android).
Today eDreams operates in 44 countries, with the strongest presence in Europe, although it’s making significant inroads into North America. The website and app are available in 21 languages and support 37 currencies, covering 80% of the global travel market.
What is eDreams Prime?
I wrote an in-depth article about the subscription program, eDreams Prime, earlier this year. To sum up, you pay an annual fee of US$59.99 (€54.99) to receive the lowest possible flight prices and other discounts from eDreams. From the tests I did, the savings were noticeable, and the more you travel, the more you save. Launched in 2017 as the industry’s first subscription program of its kind, the growth has been staggering, reaching 3.6 million subscribers as of September 2022, with no signs of slowing down.
How to Find the Best Flight, Accommodation & Rental Car with Prime?
If you’re not already a Prime member, you have the option to sign up during your first travel booking. You can even try it for free for 30 days – no strings attached. Accessing the Prime discount is incredibly easy. Just follow these steps:
1) Search for a flight, accommodation, or combo package at edreams.net.
Enter your departure city, destination, and dates.
2) Compare the options in the search results. The Prime discount is identified (see red arrow). Once you’re happy click “Select”.
3) Choose to continue without a hotel or add a discounted hotel.
4) Continue the checkout steps to add passenger details, optional luggage, insurance coverage, and submit payment, then receive all the travel info via email or within the eDreams mobile app.
Related reading: My comprehensive guide to find cheap flights with eDreams.
So, is eDreams Legit in 2023?
eDreams serves a whopping 17 million customers per year. Let’s look under the hood at how eDreams works, and the steps taken to protect customers.
While the last few years have shown that any business anywhere in the world can be a target for hackers, it’s heartening to see that eDreams takes customer privacy and online security very seriously.
All payments are secured using industry-standard encryption according to PCI standards. For extra protection from fraud, you must enter your credit or debit card details each time you place an order.
Company & Accountability
The company was founded in 1999 by Javier Pérez-Tenessa, James Hare, and Mauricio Prieto. Javier served as CEO from 2000 until 2015, when he retired. Then COO Dana Dunne was promoted to CEO. The current COO is Gerrit Goedkoop, CFO is David Elizaga, and Chief Product Officer is Christoph Dieterle.
Although eDreams was started in Silicon Valley, within the first year, it relocated to Barcelona, becoming the first online travel agency to offer its services in Spain.
In April 2014, the company went public on the Madrid stock exchange (code: EDR.MC), raising €433 million at a valuation of €1.1 billion. eDreams ODIGEO was the first IPO of an Internet startup in Spain. Being a public company, all audited financial information is openly available.
eDreams now has over 1,700 employees, and the number is growing as CEO Dana Dunne brings in new talent to pursue the goal of 7.25 million Prime members by 2025.
eDreams is a fully licensed travel agency and holds accreditations with several industry bodies, including IATA.
Customer Reviews of eDreams
You can find customer reviews on sites like TrustPilot, SiteJabber, and Google. It’s worth taking these with a pinch of salt… not because they’re not factual, but because of the nature of complaining and human behaviour.
Without trying to discredit any genuine customer complaints, it’s worth noting that there is always a negativity bias in any review platform. Happy customers just get on with their day, and unhappy customers want to tell the world about it. So, viewing the “average” score on these sites will always be worse than it is in real life.
Even when companies like eDreams make the best efforts to resolve a customer’s self-inflicted difficulty, there are some times when the situation is beyond their control (such as waiting for refunds from airline suppliers). Public complaints might focus on 1 part of the situation, but ignore eDreams’ efforts to make their plight more favourable.
Regardless, there are still thousands of positive reviews of eDreams from satisfied customers, so you can rest assured that you’re in safe hands.
How to get a Refund from eDreams?
Sometimes things don’t go to plan. So, it pays to understand how refunds work with airlines, and the options available from eDreams. Most of the time travellers get frustrated because they don’t fully understand what their risks, obligations, and coverages include during the purchase process. Or they make a rushed purchase decision and then change their mind. Be aware that refund policies can vary from airline to airline. So there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to refunds – each case is handled individually.
Tip: In Europe, passengers have greater rights to claim refunds in specific situations.
eDreams makes it easier to choose the level of coverage you want during the checkout process. It’s a balance between the cheapest price and maximum peace of mind. I always recommend reading the fine print, so you don’t get caught unawares.
You can get a refund when:
1. If you purchased a flight ticket with free cancellation.
2. When the airline cancels your flight (in exceptional cases like strikes, Coronavirus pandemic, etc).
3. If you have purchased insurance through eDreams AND can’t travel for any valid reason.
You cannot get a refund when:
1. If you purchased a low-cost airline ticket with no cancellation policy. Most low-cost airlines do not offer refunds for ticket cancellations. That’s why they are “low cost”.
2. If the airline you chose does not have a free cancellation policy (there may be fees to cancel a ticket).
You can cancel your flight booking from the Manage MyBooking area on the eDreams website. Your booking reference number and email address will be required. Depending on the terms of that particular booking, you could be entitled to a refund or credit voucher.
If you did not choose the “Standard” or “Premium” service option during checkout, and yet the airline agrees to give you a full or partial refund, then eDreams will take a €60 fee for the work they do.
eDreams have a comprehensive blog post covering everything you need to know about cancellations and refunds.
The Truth About Refunds from eDreams
eDreams have a track record of going the extra mile for customers when processing refunds. To help offset the pandemic-era airline turmoil and post-pandemic industry recovery, eDreams increased the size of its customer service and operational refunds team. Average wait time has decreased by 65%, while 87% of customers stated they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the service received. With the extra efforts put into customer service, now 97% of customer refunds reach a resolution.
According to European legislation, airlines must refund cancelled flights within 7 days. However, due to industry disruptions since the start of the pandemic, the average time airlines have taken to process refunds is 89 days. Although eDreams acts as an intermediary between airlines and travellers, it has taken on the burden of advancing funds to customers even before receiving funds from trusted airlines.
How many online travel agencies do that?
More Questions About eDreams
Q: What type of payment methods are supported by eDreams?
A: During checkout, you can use Visa and MasterCard debit or credit cards.
Q: How many airlines are available by eDreams?
A: Currently, there are over 690 airlines found on the eDreams platform, and that number is growing regularly.
Q: How do I get in touch with eDreams?
A: You can reach the customer support team via live chat (web or mobile app), email, and phone. Most questions can be answered instantly in the Help Centre portal. And the best phone number to use is your booking confirmation email. Prime members have access to a dedicated support line and priority support. The eDreams call centre operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Tip: Please do not use other unsupported channels like writing comments in blog posts, reviews on app stores, or ranting on your Twitter account. For a full explanation of support options, read this blog post.
The Bottom Line
Size does matter. Especially when it comes to economies of scale provided by reputable large online travel agencies like eDreams. Their buying power means they can demand the best prices from suppliers, and pass those savings onto travellers like you and me.
And I’d much rather have a big player like eDreams in my corner when booking a dream vacation.
You just can’t put a price tag on peace of mind.