Recently, I was looking to book with one of the traditional "scheduled carriers" who now offer both baggage-inclusive and hand baggage only fares. Looking on the airline's own website, the fare at the time with a single piece of checked luggage was about $10 more than the hand baggage only fare. Searching around, I found a fairly well known OTA (Online Travel Agent) offering the same flight for slightly less than the airline's hand baggage only rate, but with one piece of checked luggage. Figuring that OTA had a special offer on, I took some screenshots, and booked with them.
A little bit after booking, I then went to the airline's website to pick my seats. In the Manage My Booking process, it was happy to let me pick a seat, happy to accept my frequent flier details, but... insisted that I was booked into a hand baggage only fare, with no checked baggage allowance, and would need to pay about $40 online to add a bag, or more at the airport!
Since then, I've contacted both. The airline say it's nothing to do with them, and I have to speak to my travel agent. The OTA say that I have to speak to the airline about baggage, it's nothing to do with them, and point me to a help section on their website which claims that the airline in question always offers at least a single bag of up to 23kg, which isn't actually the case based on the airline's own booking site! The OTA seems mostly to respond in cut'n'paste standard answers, so haven't yet replied specifically about my screenshot, not specifically about their website disagreeing with the airline.
This leaves me rather stuck. The airline says I booked hand baggage only, and any disputes over that are with my travel agent. The OTA claim (via their help section) that I must by default have one bag, and otherwise tells me to ask my airline about baggage. I don't want to wait to get to the airport to be hit with a large fee, but equally I don't want to pay online for a piece of luggage that I thought I'd already paid for.
In this situation, with both parties pointing at each other, who is it that I need to concentrate my attention at to get the inclusive baggage allowance shown during booking?
Is it the airline's responsibility, or the OTA's?