This year I had something that happened to me twice, that I had never seen before or thought was possible: an airline has flights for my legs that I would like to fly in, but if I try to book the entire trip, it only proposes one more trip complex with an extra leg. Meanwhile, the desired reservation is possible on an OTA website.
I suppose this could be because OTAs have access to more inventory, but this seems strange. The two examples were:
London to Yekaterinburg: I flew with British Airways + S7. They are partner airlines and S7 can sell me the London-Moscow leg of the trip, but S7 was only offering me a more complex trip (something like: London – Berlin – Moscow – Yekaterinburg)
London to Longyearbyen: I booked a SAS trip with Layover in Oslo (canceled due to Covid19), but the SAS website only offered me trips like: London – Copenhagen – Oslo – Longyearbyen or London – Stockholm – Oslo – Longyearbyen
In the above cases, I booked from an OTA, but would really prefer to avoid it in the future (in one direction, my luggage would not be able to check in all the way, even if that went smoothly on the way back. I got multiple check codes- in for the same reservation, and making changes is generally much more painful if a travel agent is involved).
I managed to find another example (again, for Longyearbyen: just an example, as I'm not currently planning to fly there in September):
As you can see, only 2-stop trips are offered for the day.
But I checked 4 different OTAs, and they all offer a single-scale reservation:
This seems even stranger when you consider that the individual legs are actually available for purchase from SAS itself:
But somehow SAS doesn't allow me to buy this trip directly with them.
How common is this? Are there any other solutions besides booking through an OTA? Could I make the reservation by calling the airline directly? (and if so, would this be standard practice, or should I expect it to be unpredictable depending on the airline?)