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FAQ: TCP, "Linking" / link / merge itineraries / PNR (master thread)

FAQ: TCP, "Linking" / link / merge itineraries / PNR (master thread)

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Old Sep 4, 20, 12:54 pm   -   Wikipost
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FAQ: "Linking" or Combining of Separate PNRs / Itineraries / Tickets

Q. Can we have our bookings / reservations / awards merged to have them on the same PNR?

A. No; it's generally not possible unless you cancel what you have and get it all done on one PNR. Some agents may be able to merge PNRs if one has contiguous paid and award tickets on hold.

Q. Can I have separate PNRs merged so I can Through-check baggage?

No. And with separate PNRs, baggage can not be through-checked.

Q. Can I have PNRs linked so status benefits can be shared?

No. But notes can be added to the OSI field, and status “linking” can occur for upgrades, etc.


Q. Can I "link" my partner's and my PNRs (so we can sit together, stay together in OSO / IROPS, check luggage through, etc.)?

A. "Linking" (or combining) PNRs is not actually possible. There is no way of establishing a "hard" electronic link between PNRs.

Q. What can the airline do in this regard?

A, Requesting "linking PNRs" causes a note to be entered into the PNR OSI (Other Service Information) field (usually a TCP (To Complete Party) note). There is no physical or other actual connection to one's PNR; the field must be read by an airline agent for requested actions to be implemented. (See hillrider's post #9 and link below.)

Q. How can that help?

A. In case of OSO (IROPS/IRROPS) an agent can read the reference and work to keep the parties together when reaccommodating in OSO. (Remember, uniquely among airlines, AA will honor missed “connections” on separate PNRs between AA and oneworld airlines by seating passengers on the next flight with seat availability.)

GLOSSARY (specifically for airline use)
  • IROPS / IRROPS: Irregular Operations - see OSO
  • OSI: Other Supplementary / Service Information- PNR field for supplemental information; low-priority messages usually used for information purpose only.
  • OSO: Off Schedule Operations - when schedules are disrupted by various factors
  • PNR: itinerary reference "handle", six letters with AA; temporary, as PNRs recycle - only ticket numbers are permanent
  • TCP: To Complete Party - a note indicating passenger is traveling with another, etc.


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Old Jun 20, 11, 5:26 pm
  #1  
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FAQ: TCP, "Linking" / link / merge itineraries / PNR (master thread)

We are traveling to Mexico next week and all of us are on different locators. I called AA to link them in case there are travel disruptions, but the agent told me that they can't do that. She used the word "merge" synonymously with "link" and she was very sure about the inability to do so.

Is it true that AA can't link records?

Last edited by JDiver; Sep 29, 15 at 9:31 am Reason: Restore original post title
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Old Jun 20, 11, 5:34 pm
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When I had asked that this be done a year or so ago, I was also told there was no ability to do it
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Old Jun 20, 11, 5:36 pm
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I've been told the same thing, but the rep did say she could put a note in each PNR. I don't know how much good that would do though.
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Old Jun 20, 11, 5:39 pm
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I recently called the GLD desk to do this on a domestic flight, and they said it would apply to upgrades only and not baggage/Priority AAccess.
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Old Jun 20, 11, 5:43 pm
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Contrary to the popular FT advice that floats around on here to "call AA and have them link the PNRs," I too have never had success at this.

As mentioned above, all they really can do is put a note in the PNR.
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Old Jun 20, 11, 6:04 pm
  #6  
 
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I have not to try to do this recently (within 6 months or so), but AA used to be able to do this.

When the PNR's were linked everyone inherited the status of the elite status member (at least that was my experience).
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Old Jun 20, 11, 6:23 pm
  #7  
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AFAIK, PNR's have never been 'linkable' or 'combineable'.

What can be done is have a "TCP"¹ appled to each PNR, referencing the other(s). They still need to be accessed separately, but the TCP will show to agents whenever processing/accessing them. Of course, the agent (or entity accessing the booking(s)) needs to notice.

¹ To Complete Party
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Old Jun 20, 11, 6:37 pm
  #8  
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i have never heard that linking is anything more than cross reference between the records....
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Old Jun 20, 11, 7:30 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by clacko View Post
i have never heard that linking is anything more than cross reference between the records....
That is correct.

It's an OSI entry called TCP (to complete party) that cross-references each itinerary, and amounts to a formatted note in the PNR. Which systems at AA do something with it (as opposed to ignoring it) it's still a mystery to me; I presume that their recent and excellent OSO (rebooking) software may actually be looking at it, but have no evidence either way.

I Googled and found some public info at http://hualin58.blogspot.com/2011/05...ay-delete.html
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Old Jun 20, 11, 7:43 pm
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As one data point, as a GLD a few months ago I called and asked AA to "link" PNRs for me and a travel companion (no status). In the same call, I had them move my companion to be adjacent to me (exit row). The flight times were subsequently changed by AA, and we were placed in nonadjacent seats.

The AAgent told me at the time that she would indeed "link" the PNRs, but per info here it seems that there is no such thing, and the fact that the seats were separated is consistent with that.

Am I correct that if my companion and I had been on the same PNR, then our changed seats would still have been adjacent, if space allowed?
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Old Jun 20, 11, 8:05 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Eye of Storm View Post
Am I correct that if my companion and I had been on the same PNR, then our changed seats would still have been adjacent, if space allowed?
Yes, that's my (repeated) experience with that (oldish) software.
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Old Jun 20, 11, 8:10 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Eye of Storm View Post
As one data point, as a GLD a few months ago I called and asked AA to "link" PNRs for me and a travel companion (no status). In the same call, I had them move my companion to be adjacent to me (exit row). The flight times were subsequently changed by AA, and we were placed in nonadjacent seats.

The AAgent told me at the time that she would indeed "link" the PNRs, but per info here it seems that there is no such thing, and the fact that the seats were separated is consistent with that.

Am I correct that if my companion and I had been on the same PNR, then our changed seats would still have been adjacent, if space allowed?
many [every!] time that my bw & i get sticker ug's, she gets a window, i get an aisle [per our profiles], but in different rows and we are in the same record....this has nothing to do w/linking as such, but illustrates that some work remains to be done...

because a link requires a person to do something about it, if the system does whatever automatically, the link info isn't used & even if a person does it, the link can be ignored...

Last edited by clacko; Jun 20, 11 at 8:17 pm
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Old Jun 20, 11, 9:44 pm
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by Deltahater View Post
We are traveling to Mexico next week and all of us are on different locators. I called AA to link them in case there are travel disruptions, but the agent told me that they can't do that. She used the word "merge" synonymously with "link" and she was very sure about the inability to do so.

Is it true that AA can't link records?
So, to go back to answer the question of the thread:

Yes, you can still link PNRs the way you always could, which, as a few people have pointed out, is simply a cross reference. It does (as stated) give a person with lesser status the higher status with regard to upgrades, and I have successfully (and recently) used it to do so. Other things that you might expect to be linked (like seat assignments) aren't automated.

The AAgent you spoke to was confused and incorrect. It is true that you can't merge two PNRs, but that is a different thing than manually cross referencing (i.e., "linking") them.
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Old Jun 20, 11, 9:52 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by sj-flyer View Post
I have not to try to do this recently (within 6 months or so), but AA used to be able to do this.

When the PNR's were linked everyone inherited the status of the elite status member (at least that was my experience).
Uh, no. It has never been that case , and its impossible to do that.

If a delay happens, and an agent contacts the elite member and sees the note, he/she can then advise and adjust the booking accordingly. But if the computer does it, there is no way the computer will 'read' the TCP remark. That is why when flight changes occur, you find yourself seated away from your companion.
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Old Jun 20, 11, 10:01 pm
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by sj-flyer View Post
When the PNR's were linked everyone inherited the status of the elite status member (at least that was my experience).
Originally Posted by Guy Betsy View Post
Uh, no. It has never been that case , and its impossible to do that.

If a delay happens, and an agent contacts the elite member and sees the note, he/she can then advise and adjust the booking accordingly. But if the computer does it, there is no way the computer will 'read' the TCP remark. That is why when flight changes occur, you find yourself seated away from your companion.
GB, I'm pretty sure your wrong, but it's because your statement and sj's statement are not mutually exclusive. It is true that the linked person inherits the status (for certain purposes, notably the upgrade list). It might also true that it is not automated. It might not even be official policy. But it certainly has worked for me, repeatedly.
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