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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 Oct 7, 2018, 9:39 pm
  #226  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: LAX,BUD
Programs: AA EXP,SPG G
Posts: 249
Originally Posted by Mwenenzi
As above married segments.
Or you be being offered SFO-LAX in J and LAX-LHR in economy. Check the screen carefully.
Tatl is in J but thanks
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Old Oct 7, 2018, 11:45 pm
  #227  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 192
Some data points:
trying to book business class award travel San Diego to Japan for late October. Have been obsessively looking at Alaska's website to check JAL availability. Check from San Diego...check from Los Angeles...check from San Francisco...check from Vancouver (some).....

Almost gave up and decided, why not check Hong Kong (thinking CX and then flight to Japan) .....checking that on Qantas site revealed a SAN-LAX-NRT-HKG route. What???? That's the route I wanted originally.

Went to AA site. Plugged in SAN-NRT and voila SAN-LAX-NRT available for 2 in business for the date I wanted. ExpertFlyer, Alaska, and BA showed no availability for LAX-NRT. Trying to book return flight, and I can get NRT-DFW-CLE to show up, but nothing west of the the Mississippi.
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Old Oct 15, 2018, 9:35 pm
  #228  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 192
Something funny is going on. Booked trip SAN-LAX-NRT and continued to check on availability for other days. (Thursday) showed lots of availability thru the end of the month with married segments via ORD/DFW/LAX. Great! fyi....business class
fyi
checked again on...
(Friday) nothing,....no award space
(Saturday) It's back...same availability
(Sunday) nothing
(Monday) nothing

it's that same space available whether it's next week or a month or 9 months from now....
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Old Oct 15, 2018, 11:12 pm
  #229  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Thousand Oaks, Ca., USA
Programs: AA Lifetime Plat; Bonvoy Titanium Lifetime Elite;Hyatt Globalist; HHonors Diamond; United Silver
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Originally Posted by sdfamily
Something funny is going on. Booked trip SAN-LAX-NRT and continued to check on availability for other days. (Thursday) showed lots of availability thru the end of the month with married segments via ORD/DFW/LAX. Great! fyi....business class
fyi
checked again on...
(Friday) nothing,....no award space
(Saturday) It's back...same availability
(Sunday) nothing
(Monday) nothing

it's that same space available whether it's next week or a month or 9 months from now....
Not sure if the days are the days WHEN you are checking for availability or the days you are checking availability FOR.
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Old Oct 16, 2018, 9:14 am
  #230  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 192
Those are the days WHEN I was checking availability. Today, still no availability. On the days last week when it reappeared it was the same availability, SAN-LAX-NRT, SAN-DFW-NRT, and SAN-ORD-NRT.
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Old Nov 5, 2018, 12:14 am
  #231  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Posts: 862
This makes no sense (married segment logic/award flight), to merge

Was planning on flying AA from PSP to AKL on 11/12 with an award ticket. The routing would be PSP-PHX-LAX-AKL for 40K miles. Then thought about driving to LAX. On the same day the segment from LAX to AKL, same flight is 90K miles. Also on the same day the only way you can fly to AKL from LAX for 40K miles is LAX-SYD-AKL . Am I missing something here?
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Old Nov 5, 2018, 12:39 am
  #232  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: CUR
Posts: 2,170
This would be married segment logic, no?

If you pay with cash, non-stops are also often more expensive than connecting flights.
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Old Nov 5, 2018, 5:16 am
  #233  
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Originally Posted by Djokison
This would be married segment logic, no?

If you pay with cash, non-stops are also often more expensive than connecting flights.
Married segment logic might come into play for an award trips which have fixed levels, but for revenue flights that's not what it's about. For revenue flights, it's just how many airlines structure their fares based on being able to charge more for non-stop flight convenience. So A-B-C fares are less than B-C fares. It's the fare themselves that are different, not necessarily the segment bucket availability. Married segment logic is different (there's A bucket availability for A-B and B-C fares, but only B bucket for A-B-C through fares).
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Last edited by xliioper; Nov 5, 2018 at 5:22 am
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Old Nov 5, 2018, 9:29 am
  #234  
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Originally Posted by Djokison
This would be married segment logic, no?

If you pay with cash, non-stops are also often more expensive than connecting flights.
Yeah, married segment logic on awards makes it easier for the airline to charge more for nonstop itineraries (like they've done on paid itineraries for ages often using different methods), without obliterating the award chart like Delta has.
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Old Nov 5, 2018, 9:58 am
  #235  
 
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there is not logic to AA pricing. Example, I booked a 12/8 LAX-RDU (via DFW) in F a few months ago for $ 458 each for 2 of us. I checked today, same price for one person, same flights. When I add a second person to the itin, the price jumps to $ 693 per person for the same flights.
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Old Nov 5, 2018, 10:04 am
  #236  
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Originally Posted by cynicAAl
there is not logic to AA pricing. Example, I booked a 12/8 LAX-RDU (via DFW) in F a few months ago for $ 458 each for 2 of us. I checked today, same price for one person, same flights. When I add a second person to the itin, the price jumps to $ 693 per person for the same flights.
Isn't it likely that this is just due to only one seat still available in the cheaper fare class? Just buy the one seat at $458 and then buy the second at $693 in separate transactions.
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Old Nov 5, 2018, 11:19 am
  #237  
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Exactly, that has nothing to do with logical or illogical pricing. Of course the savvy travelers know they can still get one seat at the cheaper fare and one at the more expensive fare, but will have to book them under separate reservations.

There was a post recently on the Air France board, someone was looking to buy 4 int'l F seats, but noticed that he could get 3 at, say, $8k r/t (so $24k total), when he tried to book 4, the price went up to like $60k. Seems illogical on the face, but obviously the flight had only 3 seats in the discounted "F" inventory, and booking for 4 pushed them *all* up to the much, much more expensive full "P" inventory.

Now, could the airlines disclose this better? Maybe, but I always search for 1 seat first, and if this situation arises, most of the sites are good about showing "Only 1 seat remaining at this price!" warnings.
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Old Nov 5, 2018, 11:35 am
  #238  
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Originally Posted by rbwpi
Was planning on flying AA from PSP to AKL on 11/12 with an award ticket. The routing would be PSP-PHX-LAX-AKL for 40K miles. Then thought about driving to LAX. On the same day the segment from LAX to AKL, same flight is 90K miles. Also on the same day the only way you can fly to AKL from LAX for 40K miles is LAX-SYD-AKL . Am I missing something here?
If you are prepared to fly the PSP-PHX-LAX-AKL routing, get the award ticket now. Then, monitor award pricing on the LAX-AKL stand-alone segment. If it comes down to 40K miles, then you can call AA and ask for the PSP-PHX and PHX-LAX segments to be dropped from the award; there is no charge for doing so. In fact, you can try to drop the PSP-PHX and PHX-LAX segments even if LAX-AKL segment does not come down to 40K miles, but reports here on FT indicate that AA won't let you drop an award's beginning segments when the stand-alone segment is still pricing higher than the married-segment itinerary. There's no harm in asking, however.
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Old Nov 5, 2018, 11:42 am
  #239  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
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Originally Posted by cynicAAl
there is not logic to AA pricing. Example, I booked a 12/8 LAX-RDU (via DFW) in F a few months ago for $ 458 each for 2 of us. I checked today, same price for one person, same flights. When I add a second person to the itin, the price jumps to $ 693 per person for the same flights.
This is literally how every airline does it. Nothing strange there.
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Old Nov 5, 2018, 12:00 pm
  #240  
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Originally Posted by cynicAAl
there is not logic to AA pricing. Example, I booked a 12/8 LAX-RDU (via DFW) in F a few months ago for $ 458 each for 2 of us. I checked today, same price for one person, same flights. When I add a second person to the itin, the price jumps to $ 693 per person for the same flights.
This means there is only one ticket left for the lower fare code
Book them separately. Then you will get one for $458 and the other for $693. They don't sell 2 different fares on one PNR
(One person with fare A and the second with fare B)
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