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More award availability restricted by married segments / connections

More award availability restricted by married segments / connections

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Old Apr 24, 19, 7:05 am   -   Wikipost
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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.

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Old Jan 17, 19, 4:23 pm
  #331  
 
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Pardon me if this is a dumb question, but does married segment logic apply to awards with AA miles that only contain partners? In other words, would I be able to piece to together an itinerary using Etihad and Alaska only, for example? Thanks
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Old Jan 17, 19, 5:12 pm
  #332  
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Originally Posted by mpeterson78 View Post
..Even just a year ago, I was definitely allowed to swap individual legs if a seat opened up in U.
This all changed last month- agents being told they must "see the full journey" at any given time/change (although it seems some agents are actually overreacting in order not to get in trouble: )

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Old Jan 17, 19, 6:37 pm
  #333  
 
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
This all changed last month- agents being told they must "see the full journey" at any given time/change (although it seems some agents are actually overreacting in order not to get in trouble: )

https://twitter.com/xJonNYC/status/1072268510561214470
While...I guess...it's not a violation as there is no (public) policy and have full control over the miles and availability, this is still complete nonsense without a *public* notice so customers can make an informed choice.
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Old Jan 18, 19, 2:09 am
  #334  
 
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Originally Posted by iadisgreat View Post
While...I guess...it's not a violation as there is no (public) policy and have full control over the miles and availability, this is still complete nonsense without a *public* notice so customers can make an informed choice.
I totally agree that AA should be more transparent on this and numerous other things. I assume that they feel that would not be in their interest to do so.
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Old Jan 18, 19, 9:10 am
  #335  
 
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
This all changed last month- agents being told they must "see the full journey" at any given time/change (although it seems some agents are actually overreacting in order not to get in trouble: )

https://twitter.com/xJonNYC/status/1072268510561214470
Wow, so this is definitely what's happening then. It sounds like what you're saying is that I may get "lucky" with someone who is willing to do the swap, but in general it's no longer standard practice. Really pathetic....
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Old Jan 18, 19, 10:37 am
  #336  
 
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FLL-DFW available in F.
DFW-SLC available in F

FLL-DFW-SLC available in F on the first segment and Y on the second segment.

This makes no sense at all.
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Old Jan 18, 19, 11:20 am
  #337  
 
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Originally Posted by michael_v View Post
FLL-DFW available in F.
DFW-SLC available in F

FLL-DFW-SLC available in F on the first segment and Y on the second segment.

This makes no sense at all.
Exactly my problem. It's infuriating!
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Old Jan 18, 19, 2:23 pm
  #338  
 
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Originally Posted by michael_v View Post
FLL-DFW available in F.
DFW-SLC available in F

FLL-DFW-SLC available in F on the first segment and Y on the second segment.

This makes no sense at all.
The opposite of what I saw for my ITIN posted above. Jeeze, this makes it soooo frustrating. I think this goes against the idea that they monetize the award. Point to point is more expensive.
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Old Jan 19, 19, 8:59 am
  #339  
 
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
This all changed last month- agents being told they must "see the full journey" at any given time/change (although it seems some agents are actually overreacting in order not to get in trouble: )

https://twitter.com/xJonNYC/status/1072268510561214470
Jon, thanks as always with the updates from the horses mouth. Question:

How does this apply to AA + OW Carrier itineraries?
Only AA jounry needs to be available (not point to point) and OW sections are add-ons based on their segment availability?
Or AA has incorporated entire journey (including flights not operated by them) in their 'cost' calculation for availability?

Getting really hard to search for the 'entire journey', especially when trying to do long or complex connections, due to carrier limitations on aa.com, EF limitations on displayed results, and multi-segment not pricing correctly on aa.com (as single journey if valid connections/routing).
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Old Jan 19, 19, 9:55 am
  #340  
 
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Originally Posted by zozeppelin View Post
Jon, thanks as always with the updates from the horses mouth. Question:

How does this apply to AA + OW Carrier itineraries?
Only AA jounry needs to be available (not point to point) and OW sections are add-ons based on their segment availability?
Or AA has incorporated entire journey (including flights not operated by them) in their 'cost' calculation for availability?

Getting really hard to search for the 'entire journey', especially when trying to do long or complex connections, due to carrier limitations on aa.com, EF limitations on displayed results, and multi-segment not pricing correctly on aa.com (as single journey if valid connections/routing).
The way it was supposed to work was: Any origin-destination segments that AA can take you(NYC-DFW) for example they have to look at all the segments available at the same time to book. There is no restriction of getting the segments of OneWorld partner.
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Old Jan 19, 19, 11:36 am
  #341  
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Originally Posted by zozeppelin View Post
Jon, thanks as always with the updates from the horses mouth. Question:

How does this apply to AA + OW Carrier itineraries?
Only AA jounry needs to be available (not point to point) and OW sections are add-ons based on their segment availability?
Or AA has incorporated entire journey (including flights not operated by them) in their 'cost' calculation for availability?

Getting really hard to search for the 'entire journey', especially when trying to do long or complex connections, due to carrier limitations on aa.com, EF limitations on displayed results, and multi-segment not pricing correctly on aa.com (as single journey if valid connections/routing).
When the agent queries their system, it has to return award availability for the entire itin is my understanding.
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Old Jan 20, 19, 5:24 am
  #342  
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For the last year, I thought that my status (or lack thereof) made non-stop awards unavailable, so I was surprised to learn this is playing an equal, if not greater factor. I think this scheme is patently absurd since AS offers direct routings on AA flights for the nominal price, but I have to struggle when redeeming through AA. For me, there's really no incentive to credit anything to AA going forward.
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Old Jan 26, 19, 5:07 pm
  #343  
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Originally Posted by Aristophanes80 View Post
My home airport is a small regional airport and I have noticed many of the absurdities discussed here. Using AA miles on AA flights has become increasingly frustrating and feels punitive.
This has been driving me nuts for the last several days as I've been trying to find saver Y flights. I'm in the same situation as you (small regional airport--SGF).

SGF-DFW: available
DFW-GDL: available
SGF-DFW-GDL: nope
MCI-DFW-GDL: available
STL-DFW-GDL: available
SNA-DFW: available
XNA-DFW-GDL: nope
LIT-DFW: available
LIT-DFW-GDL: nope

So, if I can fly from a larger airport with mainline aircraft, they're happy to sell me saver space. Anything smaller/regional? Nope, even if the regional flight has seats open in saver.

Oh, and SGF-DFW-MEX is wide open. It's like they're specifically blacking out the SGF-GDL city pair (trust me, no one here in SGF has GDL on their mind, unless Bass Pro is opening a new Outdoor World store there, so it's not like it's in high demand...).

Originally Posted by Aristophanes80 View Post
I wonder if anyone knows of a OW airline partner that still pieces together segments to create awards, and would therefore allow some of these AA flights using married segment 'logic' to be booked with their own mileage currency. For example, if DCA-PHL and PHL-YUL are both independently available as saver with a <4 hr connection between them, but DCA-PHL-YUL is not available as saver on aa.com, is there a partner that will price DCA-PHL-YUL as a single saver award by piecing segments together?
Not oneworld, but it seems possible to force it on AlaskaAir.com by using multi-city search (at least I was able to come up with a SGF-DFW-GDL itinerary there by forcing SGF-DFW and DFW-GDL in a multi-city search. But I would really prefer not to use my valuable AS miles for this...

Last edited by jackal; Jan 26, 19 at 5:21 pm
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Old Jan 26, 19, 6:00 pm
  #344  
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Can those who understand more tell me how the married segments would enhance AA's profitability?

From the earning release of the latest quarter

Passenger revenue per available seat miles was 14.59 cents
Cost per available seat mile was 15.21 cents

https://americanairlines.gcs-web.com...nd-full-year-3

Seems the FFP is the only business unit that continues to float the airline. With the super customer unfriendly or downright hostile married segment carried out to the extreme, just how it could incentivize customers continue to fly AA if they can help it not to fly AA? Even at the fortress hub like DFW people may still have other options.

I dont believe the decision making honchos at AA would be stupid enough to believe that the married segment would make customers book their awards by 2 separate ones? The most common outcome at least for me anyway, I may pay COMPETITORS a positioning flight if AA keeps preventing me to add an otherwise available domestic connection to the partner awards. AA still lose out by 1) it would not make me to spend more miles (therefore reduces its liability by making the full trip more expensive to redeem), 2) drives me to fly revenue ticket on competitor.

So what does AA have to gain by employing this devaluation in disguise?
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Old Jan 27, 19, 9:10 am
  #345  
 
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I am running into the following problem when trying to book Economy Saver awards
TUS-ORD available
ORD- ATW available
TUS-ORD-ATW only available as Economy Anytime or Business Saver

I also tried multi-city TUS-ORD and ORD-ATW and can book that as Economy Saver at 20k

what the heck? that makes no sense at all. I want my whole trip at the 12.5k redemption!
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