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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 they’ve opened up is on connecting flights. They’re offering married segment availability — award space that’s highly restrictive...”

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

How to Game American’s 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 you’re searching for award space... you’ll 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 Jul 20, 2018, 5:49 pm
  #196  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
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Ran into individual segment availablity in T class from LAS to PHX and separately from PHX to CLT that even BA could find as one interary but AA couldn't online. A patient agent was able to manually build the interary but couldn't see it right away either. Is this typical now as well?

Had I wanted to connect onward from Charlotte nonstops LAS to CLT were wide open but not for travel ending in CLT, this is the "upside" of this new program.

Last edited by firemandan9; Jul 20, 2018 at 6:06 pm
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Old Jul 20, 2018, 9:36 pm
  #197  
 
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Originally Posted by firemandan9
Ran into individual segment availablity in T class from LAS to PHX and separately from PHX to CLT that even BA could find as one interary but AA couldn't online. A patient agent was able to manually build the interary but couldn't see it right away either. Is this typical now as well?

Had I wanted to connect onward from Charlotte nonstops LAS to CLT were wide open but not for travel ending in CLT, this is the "upside" of this new program.
In my case, the agent was unable to wrestle the desired two-segment itinerary from the individually available segments, even after consulting the rate desk, so you obviously got a very good agent. May s/he could have used the same skill to cancel the segment CLT-XXX if you had booked and held LAS-CLT-XXX.
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Old Jul 21, 2018, 12:12 am
  #198  
 
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Originally Posted by firemandan9
Ran into individual segment availablity in T class from LAS to PHX and separately from PHX to CLT that even BA could find as one interary but AA couldn't online. A patient agent was able to manually build the interary but couldn't see it right away either. Is this typical now as well?

Had I wanted to connect onward from Charlotte nonstops LAS to CLT were wide open but not for travel ending in CLT, this is the "upside" of this new program.
On BA, you’re redeeming two awards (because connecting itineraries always require multiple awards with BA), so my guess is that separate LAS-PHX and PHX-CLT is fine for them. Would AA let you redeem separate awards for those two flights (not that that would be an award I’d be willing to pay for)? Or do I misunderstand what you ran into?
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Old Jul 21, 2018, 12:16 am
  #199  
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Originally Posted by ashill


On BA, you’re redeeming two awards (because connecting itineraries always require multiple awards with BA), so my guess is that separate LAS-PHX and PHX-CLT is fine for them. Would AA let you redeem separate awards for those two flights (not that that would be an award I’d be willing to pay for)? Or do I misunderstand what you ran into?
I am pretty sure that if searching for A-B , that if it comes up with a connection via C, that it has checked availability for A-B via C , rather than A-B and B-C separately

This seems more like an issue finding the flights , than availability - the details suggest to me that LAS-PHX and PHX-CLT were available individually and that LAS-CLT via PHX was also available - in that case, not surprising that an agent ( once able to find the flights) was able to book it
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Old Jul 24, 2018, 12:04 pm
  #200  
 
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How are changes handled?

I am looking at an itinerary (domestic) where two segments are T=7 individually, but show T=0 when married (there's a joke there somewhere...). There is an earlier A-B flight that I can find married availability with my preferred B-C. If I book that combo, then attempt to change it later, I assume I will still have to find availability on the married journey?

I am thinking of booking it still, and worst case, I can SDC/SDSB that day.
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Old Jul 25, 2018, 10:15 am
  #201  
 
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So a followup

i ended up holding two PNR’s with the legs I wanted and hoped that they could be ticketed as one ticket but alas no luck (I have no status of that matters)

so I booked it as two tickets and got violated on the extra fees ($75 close in fee x5 people, as well as APD, which I am contemplating asking for a refund)

Trip went fine

on way way back was able to same day confirm change to earlier flight from Phl- Home for free

couldbt checkin online and that caused stress but with aggressive and direct request for help the AAngel at the transfer desk checked us in, checked our luggage and we easily made it through precheck. Without precheck woulda had to beg to cut the line maybe

In short the married segment issue sucks.

and you may end up having to book as two tickets for double the fees and more miles so it feels like a money and points grab and I don’t know how protected you are on two tickets either.

but whatever I still got good value out of the miles, just frustrating to jump through hoops and pay more taxes and fees



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Old Jul 29, 2018, 10:01 am
  #202  
 
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HUCA doesn't seem to be working anymore, and I'm thinking that AA agents are being instructed that garbage is a "FEATURE" of the AAdvantage program. In the past when I tried HUCA to break up a married segment, the agents were usually stumped why it wouldn't break up. The agents usually TRIED to make it happen for me, and offered to check with supervisors to make it work. Now, it seems the agents see right away a married segment error message that says something about the fare only available in the local market. I've had no luck with supervisors/RSD agents breaking up the married segment either.

As an example of this married segment garbage, look up MIA-MAD on ~Aug 8. You'll get MIA-PHL/CLT/DFW-MAD all coming up. Yet, PHL/CLT/DFW-MAD are all unavailable in T when booked alone. Trying to go LAX-PHL/CLT/DFW-MAD, so I need the married segment split up. AA is really playing games. I'd been thinking about this trip for a while and regularly monitoring the inventory, and PHL/CLT/DFW-MAD were all T7 for weeks until a few days ago.
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Old Jul 29, 2018, 4:55 pm
  #203  
 
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Originally Posted by LAX_Esq
HUCA doesn't seem to be working anymore, and I'm thinking that AA agents are being instructed that garbage is a "FEATURE" of the AAdvantage program. In the past when I tried HUCA to break up a married segment, the agents were usually stumped why it wouldn't break up. The agents usually TRIED to make it happen for me, and offered to check with supervisors to make it work. Now, it seems the agents see right away a married segment error message that says something about the fare only available in the local market. I've had no luck with supervisors/RSD agents breaking up the married segment either.

As an example of this married segment garbage, look up MIA-MAD on ~Aug 8. You'll get MIA-PHL/CLT/DFW-MAD all coming up. Yet, PHL/CLT/DFW-MAD are all unavailable in T when booked alone. Trying to go LAX-PHL/CLT/DFW-MAD, so I need the married segment split up. AA is really playing games. I'd been thinking about this trip for a while and regularly monitoring the inventory, and PHL/CLT/DFW-MAD were all T7 for weeks until a few days ago.
No luck before or after ticketing?
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Old Jul 29, 2018, 6:29 pm
  #204  
 
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Originally Posted by beachfan
No luck before or after ticketing?
Before!
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Old Sep 3, 2018, 6:36 pm
  #205  
 
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MUC-WAS SAAver Y award flights July 2019 (married segments)

For the last several weeks, I have been looking into booking a OW Saver Y award flight MUC-WAS in mid-July 2019 (somewhat flexible dates). As most or all of you know, AA will no longer be flying MUC-PHL by that time, but will be operating new flights MUC-CLT and MUC-DFW, with connecting service to the three WAS airports.

As of earlier today, Saver award tickets are available MUC-CLT and CLT-WAS on some of these days, but only Anytime award tickets are available for MUC-CLT-WAS on the same days and the same flights. A single award ticket MUC-CLT-DCA can be booked only for 65k, but two award tickets (MUC-CLT; CLT-DCA) can be booked separately for 30k + 7.5k (=37.5k), for exactly the same flights.

I have other possible alternatives (award travel on IB/AA or on UA for 30k), but any advice or suggestions would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old Sep 3, 2018, 9:07 pm
  #206  
 
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Married segments. You might be able to call in and see if an agent can work some magic, but otherwise you are SOL.
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Old Sep 4, 2018, 6:35 am
  #207  
 
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Originally Posted by iadisgreat
Married segments. You might be able to call in and see if an agent can work some magic, but otherwise you are SOL.
Thanks. I was afraid of that, but it seemed to be worth asking for advice.
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Old Sep 4, 2018, 8:35 am
  #208  
 
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AA generally has the policy of protecting you on separate PNRs if the long MUC-CLT is delayed and you miss your CLT-DCA connection. You'd have to retrieve your bag at US Customs anyway, I'd think about booking two separate tickets if you cannot get them to book it as one.

Yes its annoying to have to pay the extra 7.5k for the CLT-DCA ticket, but I don't think it would be much of an issue if you had to book it that way.
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Old Sep 4, 2018, 8:42 am
  #209  
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Originally Posted by MathMusic
AA generally has the policy of protecting you on separate PNRs if the long MUC-CLT is delayed and you miss your CLT-DCA connection. You'd have to retrieve your bag at US Customs anyway, I'd think about booking two separate tickets if you cannot get them to book it as one.

Yes its annoying to have to pay the extra 7.5k for the CLT-DCA ticket, but I don't think it would be much of an issue if you had to book it that way.
In this case, the MUC-CLT and CLT-DCA would still all be on the same PNR on a single ticket, AA is just (annoyingly) charging for 2 separate awards due to married segment availability.
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Old Sep 4, 2018, 12:55 pm
  #210  
 
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey
In this case, the MUC-CLT and CLT-DCA would still all be on the same PNR on a single ticket, AA is just (annoyingly) charging for 2 separate awards due to married segment availability.
Is that possible? AA is quoting the AAnytime price (65k), not the sum of the two separate segments (37.5k) for WAS-MUC. I thought the point was that AA is using married segment logic to charge a price that is higher than the sum of the individual flights, let alone the price of a saver WAS-MUC award (30k), unless they're booked separately.
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