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More award availability restricted by married segments / connections

Old Jan 3, 2018, 5:05 pm
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Last edit by: Prospero
AA has increased award availability at the SAAver / MileSAAver level, apparently at the cost of reducing the availability of nonstop and direct routing and increasing availability requiring connections using married segment logic.

This means those originating travel at one hub may well find themselves forced to connect through another hub - whose residents will also be required to connect through another hub. This is suspected to be a way of accommodating SAAver awards without competing with those purchasing more convenient nonstop routing. See post #17 by ashill.

Gary Leff: Cranky Flier got American to confirm last week that much of the space theyve opened up is on connecting flights. Theyre offering married segment availability award space thats highly restrictive...

See American Significantly Increases Coach Award Space On Connecting Flights, By Cranky Flier on Dec 21, 2017

How to Game Americans New Connecting Flight Award Availability to Get the Ticket You Want, by Gary Leff on December 26, 2017 but see post #75 by Psyclone*Jack; this loophole may now be closed.
Married Segment Logic and Effects on Awards

"When selling seats for through flights and the desired inventory is not available, you cannot opt to sell the flight point-to-point. If sold point-to-point, the error response MULTIPLE SEGMENTS FOR SAME FLIGHT - SELL AS ONE SEGMENT will be received, indicating this booking is not allowed. Overriding the error check by ending the PNR twice is not acceptable." Link to FT thread; see wikipost info by JonNYC and hillrider.

"Sometimes when youre searching for award space... youll find that some seats will show as available when you search for them from origin to destination, but when you call to book the flights segment-by-segment, those flights show as unavailable."

"Married segment logic is a tool used by airlines that restricts availability based on origin and destination, rather than by segments."(DCTA, on Boarding Area)

Married segment logic controls routings based on origin and destination, rather than segment-by-segment availability. Boarding Area
Link to Boarding Area: Sunday Reader Question: What are married segments?

From Amadeus: Married Segment Control Link

Amadeus Married Segment Control is a revenue maximisation tool that ensures that airline revenue management decisions, made at availability time, are applied throughout the booking process. It prevents agents bypassing availability controls, based on origin and destination (O&D) information. It also improves both load factors and revenue forecasting accuracy.

Key benefits
  • Ensures more effective forecasting by preventing O&D misuse and matching revenue forecasts with final revenues.
  • Improves consistency of sales processes by controlling travel agent selling behaviour.
  • Fully customisable and flexible solution that meets airline unique system requirements.
Link to Worldspan page with extensive information on MSL and coding.

Older posts have been archived off to https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/amer...nnections.html
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More award availability restricted by married segments / connections

Old Jun 18, 2018, 9:35 pm
  #181  
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Originally Posted by aubreyfromwheaton
Rule #1 blame the op!
When appropriate
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Old Jun 18, 2018, 9:54 pm
  #182  
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Originally Posted by aubreyfromwheaton
Rule #1 blame the op!
I have no greater sympathy than for the MS'ers/Card Churners who have difficultly redeeming their miles. Tragedy of the commons. What's that about? Obviously, it all the airlines fault in the first place for allowing people to play these games.
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Old Jun 21, 2018, 12:31 pm
  #183  
 
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Look I get it and I already knew that there are endless threads on married segments etc.

My point is let's say you are OK with paying an extra 7500 or 12500 miles for the last segment. You accept that BS from the married logic....

What I don't want to accept is that if the two married segments are priced out as multicity, if the time between them is a legal stopover time like 24 hours and could qualify as a one way, then you can only book them on two separate tickets. You can't agree to pay the extra miles and have it on one PNR. The award calendar on multicity will make you think you can, and you will waste time entering all the names of your pax.... but then it errors and you can't.

You can however book them and pay the extra miles if you use 2 PNR's. So within 21 days as a Kettle AAdvantage member you would pay a second $75 fee [ or wait on hold for a year with BA to use Avios on AA ]

This is a stealth enhancement. If the 2 PNR nature was poasted elsewhere, sorry for annoying you guys.
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Old Jun 21, 2018, 2:36 pm
  #184  
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Originally Posted by JDiver
There is a difference between voluntary connections or involuntary connections. We can have 3:59 (or LIFO when possible), AA can give us convoluted, irrational routings and a rash.

Yes, the final connection is part of an international award and would normally be treated that way. But if anyone reading thinks they could get a 36 hour connection, they wont be able to do so.
I'm not talking about convoluted routings or LIFO. I just searched for an ITH-DFW award for next month. AA is offering several options at the SAAver level; one of them is ITH-PHL-DFW with an 8-hour connection at PHL for 12.5K miles.

Lots of these >4-hour domestic connections are now being offered by AA as a single award.
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Old Jun 21, 2018, 2:43 pm
  #185  
 
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Originally Posted by guv1976
I'm not talking about convoluted routings or LIFO. I just searched for an ITH-DFW award for next month. AA is offering several options at the SAAver level; one of them is ITH-PHL-DFW with an 8-hour connection at PHL for 12.5K miles.

Lots of these >4-hour domestic connections are now being offered by AA as a single award.
Did you find any with only one connection and less than 4 hours?
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Old Jun 21, 2018, 4:58 pm
  #186  
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Originally Posted by beachfan
Did you find any with only one connection and less than 4 hours?
Not on that particular search. But look at ITH-MIA on July 11: Single-connection itineraries are offered with <4 hours and >4 hours in PHL. (Be sure to look at the second page of results.)
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Old Jun 21, 2018, 5:12 pm
  #187  
 
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Originally Posted by guv1976
Not on that particular search. But look at ITH-MIA on July 11: Single-connection itineraries are offered with <4 hours and >4 hours in PHL. (Be sure to look at the second page of results.)
Fair enough. My issue is I suspect that the removal of the 4 hour requirement was not for the customers benefit, but for window dressing on award avaibility - just like mixed cabin sucker awards (short segment biz, long coach).

To me, there has to be a choice for the removal of the 4 hour requirement to be seen as an enhancement.
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Old Jun 27, 2018, 10:09 pm
  #188  
 
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I think I've figured it out.

To begin with, crankyflier's analysis is batsh-t crazy wrong. It's not the case that it costs less to fly from those smaller cities. Au contraire, mes amis, those small market airports that aren't serviced by SWA end up charging through the roof - because they can. So if I fly to my parents in upstate NY, it's more than flying from ORD to the Caribbean, Hawaii, even Europe. It's crazy.

And that's the secret. The airlines are charging big fees for flying to those small destinations, so they keep the planes flying there. And since they charge twice as much, they can be as profitable flying half as many people. So they do it; but if those planes are flying half empty, it's wasted space. If it weren't a monopoly, prices would drop and seats would fill. But because those small markets are often monopoly markets, the airlines don't want to drop fares. Booking awards reservations through those cities allows them to make use some of their empty seats without lowering paid fares to those cities.

The solution is probably something like a consumer board monitoring price per mile flown, with some kind of investigations to follow if it exceeds a certain amount. The effect of high airfares is horrible to cities served by those airports. Which is why those cities try hard to bring in the cheap carriers (Frontier, SWA, Allegiant). No one really wants to fly them (well, almost no one), but lots of people do, and the competition drives down the price.

All that said, it really sucks for those of us who book award tix. Fingers crossed I don't get stranded in Oklahoma on my way back from Peru. (not making that up).
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Old Jul 15, 2018, 10:38 am
  #189  
 
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Another "married segment" data point: I tried to book a one-way sAAver award from a Caribbean island-MIA-EWR. There was plenty of T class space island-MIA and also MIA-EWR, but none island-EWR, only island-LGA. (There was plenty of available revenue space MIA-EWR.) Nothing could get the AA computer to book me onto that EWR flight. An EP agent played with it for awhile, then called the rate desk, then gave up. (In the end, with no checked bag, I simply went to the gate in MIA and was happily boarded to EWR.)

Why did AA want to force me into LGA under those circumstances?
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Old Jul 16, 2018, 9:17 am
  #190  
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Originally Posted by AlreadyThere
Another "married segment" data point: I tried to book a one-way sAAver award from a Caribbean island-MIA-EWR. There was plenty of T class space island-MIA and also MIA-EWR, but none island-EWR, only island-LGA. (There was plenty of available revenue space MIA-EWR.) Nothing could get the AA computer to book me onto that EWR flight. An EP agent played with it for awhile, then called the rate desk, then gave up. (In the end, with no checked bag, I simply went to the gate in MIA and was happily boarded to EWR.)

Why did AA want to force me into LGA under those circumstances?
A better question is why wouldn't tell us the island you traveling from? There are so many Caribbean islands. It helps when the particular island is named.
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Old Jul 16, 2018, 9:41 am
  #191  
 
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Originally Posted by FlightNurse
A better question is why wouldn't tell us the island you traveling from? There are so many Caribbean islands. It helps when the particular island is named.
It's the one where the buried treasure saver award seats are buried. If the poster told you, it wouldn't be a secret. It's probably why he or she wasn't able to get it issued as one.
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Old Jul 16, 2018, 10:13 am
  #192  
 
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Originally Posted by FlightNurse
A better question is why wouldn't tell us the island you traveling from? There are so many Caribbean islands. It helps when the particular island is named.
It's St. Thomas, although I don't see what that has to do with the married segment MIA-EWR vs MIA-LGA situation...
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Old Jul 16, 2018, 10:25 am
  #193  
 
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Originally Posted by AlreadyThere
It's St. Thomas, although I don't see what that has to do with the married segment MIA-EWR vs MIA-LGA situation...
Another FT with more knowledge might be able to add to this, but what was the connecting time in MIA between the two individual segments? Maybe this was an MCT issue or perhaps AA really didn't want to sell a ticket with those two segments to EWR.
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Old Jul 16, 2018, 10:47 am
  #194  
 
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Originally Posted by enpremiere
Another FT with more knowledge might be able to add to this, but what was the connecting time in MIA between the two individual segments? Maybe this was an MCT issue or perhaps AA really didn't want to sell a ticket with those two segments to EWR.
The MIA-LGA flight the computer insisted I take leaves at 7:50 pm; the MIA-EWR flight I actually wanted leaves at 8:05 pm. (So I'm pretty sure that MCT is not the issue here. )
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Old Jul 18, 2018, 10:37 am
  #195  
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Originally Posted by AlreadyThere
It's St. Thomas, although I don't see what that has to do with the married segment MIA-EWR vs MIA-LGA situation...
It's hard to follow data points when correct airports are not cited
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