This is a recently documented case from 2018 where TUI Flights pre-authorised £1628.00 (GBP) to a consumers credit card and didn't give them any flights, instead offering a refund which could take three to five days to process. Which the team at #tafr think is ridiculous and our opinion is that, although within their rights to withhold inventory the tour operator have shown a contempt for their customers and a certain bias toward their own internal departments.
The following images were generated from screenshots taken 19th July 2018 at 1200 UTC approximately.
As you can see above the search was performed to establish whether two passengers could physically fly from Glasgow to Sanford Orlando outbound the 14th September and return the 21st September, a seven day duration and when searched as two different fourteen day duration flights the answer was, yes.
However when searching for those exact same flights but this time as a seven day duration, there's no availability. So wait a minute there are seats and the airline don't want to sell them? Well in a nutshell yes and we think it's because the package tour operator side of the TUI business can make more profit by selling longer duration vacations inclusive of accomodation, rather than just a flight.
Let's get back on thread here now we have established facts, the consumer searched for these flights and was shown availability for a seven day duration, made payment and 'strangely' the eights seats which were available, upped and ran out the door into the woods. We don't think so... however we accept that it's up to TUI to run their business and sell to who they choose to as they decide, it's also very likely that this is industry wide-spread and not just limited to one tour operator. Who are we? Oh, just their customers.
Be aware when researching your online flights deals that there just might be some underhanded tactics in play.