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I have a bit of a messy plane ticket booking. I am based in the UK.

In 2021 I booked a flight with Opodo to Costa Rica. The airline was/is Lufthansa.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions in the UK at the time I wasn't allowed to fly, so I tried to get a refund. The flight was still scheduled to run despite all the restrictions, so I was told I wasn't eligible for a refund but I can instead turn the ticket into an open ticket, so long as I updated the booking before August 2021.

Approaching August, I no longer needed to fly to Costa Rica, so I updated the booking to fly to Thailand in June 2022. I had to pay a little extra to cover the difference, but all was well.

Fast forward to now, and the airline have cancelled the flight.

I intend on contacting Opodo, since the booking is handled by them, but before I do I wanted to know what my options are.

Am I legally entitled to a refund now?

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Unfortunately flight bookings through a third party provider are legally very murky and depends on the terms and conditions of both the OTA (online travel agency) and the airline. Often these say contradictory things and you are stuck in the middle

For a legal reading of the combo Expedia/United see https://law.stackexchange.com/questions/77489/whats-the-nature-of-expedias-contract-with-a-customer

Your specific case is Opodo/Lufthansa.

Opodo's terms and conditions can be found https://www.opodo.com/terms-and-conditions/. They flat out claim that they do not have a contract with you at all

When you make a booking via this Website, the contract will be between the Travel Supplier(s) and you. Opodo is therefore not a party to the contractual relationship in relation to the products and services you order on our Website, unless explicitly provided otherwise herein. Any queries or concerns relating to the product should be addressed to the Travel Supplier.

I'm not sure that this would hold up to a legal challenge (since they do offer a service for money) but these are the terms you agreed to when making the booking.

Lufthansa's Legal Limmericks can be found at https://www.lufthansa.com/us/en/business-terms-and-conditions-1#9

That is refreshingly straight forward:

10.2.1. We will give you a refund as set out below if we cancel a flight, fail to operate a flight according to the timetable (i.e. delay of more than 2h for a long term irregularity or delay of more than 5h for a short term irregualarity.

Most other airlines specifically refuse servicing tickets that have been issued by OTA's but I didn't see anything in Lufthansa's terms. That doesn't mean, it's not there, I just didn't see it.

So your best shot would be to call Lufthansa directly and reference section 10.2.1 of their Terms and Conditions. If you get any push back, than ask for the specific section that the service agent is referring to. You can also start mentioning regulation EU 261 which Lufthansa is bound to. Technically that may not apply here, but the service agents tend to be sensitive to it.

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    Lufthansa might, however, be limited to return the money exclusively to where it came from - which would put it back to Opodo. And then Opodo might or might not send it back to your credit card automatically; could be you need to follow up with them...
    – Aganju
    Feb 6, 2022 at 21:47

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