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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 Nov 5, 2018, 2:23 pm
  #241  
 
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Originally Posted by guv1976
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.
Thank you, solid advice. As you say, "There's no harm in asking...".
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Old Nov 6, 2018, 4:05 pm
  #242  
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Originally Posted by guv1976
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.
Plus if there's a schedule change and your minimum connection time at PHX gets messed up, you can call and ask them to just drop the first two segments.
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Old Nov 18, 2018, 4:12 am
  #243  
 
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any tricks to getting AA married segments requiring a connection to price with Avios on BA?

any tricks to getting BA phone reps to book these things
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Old Nov 23, 2018, 9:06 pm
  #244  
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Originally Posted by aubreyfromwheaton
any tricks to getting AA married segments requiring a connection to price with Avios on BA?

any tricks to getting BA phone reps to book these things
What have you done to get this to work? That would help
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Old Dec 10, 2018, 7:22 pm
  #245  
 
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Does married segment logic apply to individual flights as well as city pairs?

I'm looking for a Business MileSAAver GNV --> BOS on 12/16. Paying with cash, I can take the 6:02 PM flight out of GNV and connect out of CLT at 8:34 PM. One award option offered is the 6:54 AM flight GNV-CLT connecting to the 8:34 PM flight CLT-BOS. However, taking the 6:02 PM flight out of GNV will only allow a connection to CLT-BOS the next morning. So it seems like both segments have SAAver space...just not together. Is that because of married segments?

Also, if I booked the overnight connection, I couldn't standby for the flight the night before because it's not the same calendar day, correct?
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Old Dec 10, 2018, 9:41 pm
  #246  
 
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I've now had a frustrating issue a few times with married segments that never happened before.

Here's an example: I booked 3 tickets in SAAver 1st from CMH-DFW-SEA around Christmas. They were on two separate reservations. On one reservation, there was no 1st class availability for CMH-DFW, so I booked a mixed itinerary and set an ExpertFlyer alert. Availability came up, and I called 6 or 7 times trying to get them to swap the economy CMH-DFW leg for 1st. They wouldn't do it because there was no full CMH-DFW-SEA itinerary available at the time. I finally gave up. A month later, 3 SAAVer spots in 1st on a better timed DFW-SEA flight came up. I called in to swap the DFW-SEA leg on all three tickets. No luck again, with the stated reason again that there was no full availability from CMH-DFW-SEA. I called back 4 times with the same reason given each time.

One of the strengths of awards with AA has always been the ability to make free changes to individual legs, provided that you aren't changing the origin, destination, or award type. I've booked many awards in the past that I then optimized as better flight legs came up. It's almost impossible to do that now with anything but direct flights, if they require all legs to be available every time you make a change.
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Old Dec 10, 2018, 9:57 pm
  #247  
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Post

Originally Posted by mipaho
...Availability came up, and I called 6 or 7 times trying to get them to swap the economy CMH-DFW leg for 1st. They wouldn't do it because there was no full CMH-DFW-SEA itinerary available at the time.

...No luck again, with the stated reason again that there was no full availability from CMH-DFW-SEA. I called back 4 times with the same reason given each time.

...they require all legs to be available every time you make a change.
Yes, clampdown in progress:

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Old Dec 10, 2018, 10:23 pm
  #248  
 
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Originally Posted by JonNYC
So basically the voluntary downgrade to T unless and until U space becomes available is now (basically) a thing of the past for connecting itineraries?
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Old Dec 10, 2018, 10:29 pm
  #249  
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Originally Posted by iadisgreat
So basically the voluntary downgrade to T unless and until U space becomes available is now (basically) a thing of the past for connecting itineraries?
No - only where married segment availability impacts award space

If you downgrade, there has to be U availability in conjuncton with the other segment , not just standalone - not all flights will have this issue
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Old Dec 11, 2018, 9:33 am
  #250  
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Originally Posted by iadisgreat
So basically the voluntary downgrade to T unless and until U space becomes available is now (basically) a thing of the past for connecting itineraries?
Not a statement I'd agree with personally, highly route-dependent.
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Old Dec 11, 2018, 9:57 am
  #251  
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Yeah, but if you've already grabbed the U space (especially if we're talking about a pair of tickets or more) on leg #1 (with T on leg #2 ), what are the odds that additional U availability becomes available on leg #1 at a later point when it's available on leg #2 ? Especially on domestic equipment with only 8-16 premium seats anyway.

It definitely feels like they're making things much, much more difficult than they used to be.
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Old Dec 11, 2018, 10:00 am
  #252  
 
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mipaho'scase seems like the opposite of what is described at the posted link.
'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."
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Old Dec 11, 2018, 11:50 am
  #253  
 
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Originally Posted by rrgg
mipaho'scase seems like the opposite of what is described at the posted link.
'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."
Sort of. The reasoning that I keep receiving on the phone is that my original itinerary involves married segments, and there's no way to break those up to replace one of the segments with an unmarried segment, even though it's independently available and practically identical.

The thing that I find frustrating is that when I booked the itinerary, both segments were also available independently. This wasn't a scenario where I could only see availability on the 1st leg by also including the 2nd. Despite this, booking them together somehow created married segments. This implies that there's no sure way to guess ahead of time what multileg itineraries will be subject to married segment logic.
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Old Dec 11, 2018, 11:56 am
  #254  
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Originally Posted by ijgordon
Yeah, but if you've already grabbed the U space (especially if we're talking about a pair of tickets or more) on leg #1 (with T on leg #2 ), what are the odds that additional U availability becomes available on leg #1 at a later point when it's available on leg #2 ? Especially on domestic equipment with only 8-16 premium seats anyway.

It definitely feels like they're making things much, much more difficult than they used to be.
If booked in U on A-B and T on B-C and wanting to book U on B-C
It does not require that U be available on both sectors to make the change, it just requires that U class be available onB-C when checking availability on A-C via B
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Old Dec 11, 2018, 12:35 pm
  #255  
 
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I'm probably just confused here, but does this new focus impact the ability to drop the first segment of an award ticket without penalty if it doesn't change the total number of miles required for the ticket? I've done this before, but it's been a couple of years. So, for example, I find married STL-DFW-HKG availability, but no DFW-HKG availability. I'm pretty sure that I used to be able to ticket the connecting itinerary and then call and drop the first segment. Is that dead or something that could get the agent in trouble?
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