Old Feb 23, 19, 7:12 am
  #14  
MSPeconomist
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Some of these systems use somewhat outdated information for the search and then only verify real time inventory availability during the purchase step. This is why one sometimes sees the message that the fare is no longer available after it appears during a search. The alternative of setting aside inventory during the search would be less desirable, although I see this happening on other types of websites that sell restricted inventory and tell you that it's being held for you for a certain period of time. Starriott Bonvoy shows the time remaining, although apparently doesn't pull the inventory until you go past the search phase and begin to book the room. Eventbrite appears to set aside the tickets at an earlier stage (again showing you have much time you have to complete the transaction), although typically on that website there's no search and consider step as one goes there to purchase a ticket to some particular event.

In the famous "fraudulent" ticketing case of the AA elite who did searches to check likely upgrade availability. It was claimed that AA sets aside inventory and creates a PNR at a much earlier phase than other airline websites generally do.
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