All of the major UK tour operators have been offering this service for years.
The airline will endeavour to allocate you seats together on both the outward and return flights, although, as with the scheduled airlines, NO GUARANTEE can be given.
The choice to pay to guarantee seats together offers people a little peace of mind, with a 100% guarantee that seats will be adjacent. Having been a holiday rep, I know that people actually worry about if they will be split up from their partner / family, especially if they are nervous of flying. Many tour opeators also allow you to check-in only 1 hour before scheduled departure time, instead of 2. So less time to hang around at the airport, unless you like that of course.
I think that the real benefit is on the inbound flight. Obviously on the outbound flight, you can turn up early and try to get the seats you want. But on most package deals, on the return flight you are dropped at the airport by coach. If you are the last coach to arrive, you will be at the back of the queue and may be disappointed.
I know people moan about paying extra, but IMHO at least you have a choice. There is not one scheduled carrier that will guarantee
your seats together. They usually add a disclaimer to the effect that they will make every effort
to provide you with the seats you have booked, but due to operational reasons blah blah.....
We used Travelcitydirect last year. Waste of money paying for preassigned seating. The seating was NOT preassigned, our wheelchair-bound passenger did NOT get the seat he required (he wears calipers which requires more legroom), and, to add insult to injury, there was no record on the way back of us having paid £240 for 12 of us to request seats. A rip-off if you ask me.
You should have recieved a refund for that. That is disgraceful. If you pay for a service, you should receive that service. No arguements. In fact and I can only speak for Thomson / Tui on this, you would have received a refund for that IN
RESORT. No letters, no hassle.