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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 Jan 4, 2018, 12:21 am
  #31  
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Originally Posted by CPRich
I see 6 non-stops Tuesday, 10 non-stops Wednesday, 4 non-stops Thursday, 2 non-stops Friday, all sAAver.

Monday I see 1 SFO connecting flight, 1 SAN connecting flight, and no sAAver at all to LAS non-stop, through LAX, or anywhere else.



For giving you options and trying to assist? I hope she responded in kind. Do you think she created award availability?
Trust me yesterday there were no JFK-LAX non-stops available at least for next Weds or Thurs unless you were connecting onward. eg put in for next Thurs you will find on pg 4 (at least thats where they were earlier today a 11:30am flight (or 11) to LAX and connecting to LAS but to end in LAX theres now the 6-7-8am & 2:30pm, while there are more choices as long a syoure not ending at LAX.

I dont think she created any availability, simply that between my searching the 1st thing this morn and by the time I got the call back from AA, during those 15 mins, AA opened up the non-stops, at 1 point today almost every single flight was available for next Weds.

Id still wish theyd open up the flights as long as they are opened with connections, but I doubt AA will do anything that will benefit the flying public if they arent getting a better benefit out of it
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Old Jan 4, 2018, 7:19 am
  #32  
 
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme
Married segment availability means that one may not always successfully construct an award A-C given availability on segments A-B and B-C.

Search SAN-DOH, if DOH is your destination.
But it also means that someone from A has to go through B to get to C, while someone from B has to go through A to get to C, costing the airline four extra unnecessary segments RT and annoying passengers in A and B.

Why make someone from MIA connect through CLT and someone from CLT connect through MIA for each to take a nonstop TATL? That just makes no sense.

I understand it for non-hub cities, but for two hubs it doesn't make sense to force pax from Hub A to connect through Hub B just for the sake of not offering a nonstop to the customer in Hub A, when the customer in Hub B would be forced to connect and take the nonstop from Hub A.
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Old Jan 4, 2018, 8:52 am
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by craz
i never even thought of it from that side, but thats maybe why they wouldnt allow LAX-LAS to be dropped, since it was a change in Destination not that that should matter. Could be it wont allow it either if the Origin changes. My gut says it wont allow any dumping that changes the O or D of a tkt.
In the wiki to this thread, JonNYC provided links to screen shots that show the drop segment policy. It also contains information about what to tell the agent -- information that has worked for me in the past.

Dropping last or first leg of an award ticket - any repercussions? (merged threads)

It's certainly possible that they've changed the policy given this new married segment thing. But I don't think I've seen anything from JonNYC stating that the policy has changed.
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Old Jan 4, 2018, 9:11 am
  #34  
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Originally Posted by zachary
In the wiki to this thread, JonNYC provided links to screen shots that show the drop segment policy. It also contains information about what to tell the agent -- information that has worked for me in the past.

Dropping last or first leg of an award ticket - any repercussions? (merged threads)

It's certainly possible that they've changed the policy given this new married segment thing. But I don't think I've seen anything from JonNYC stating that the policy has changed.
In the linked thread as well as Gary Leffs piece , the tkts were for Intl travel, so it may still work in regards to an Intl tkt. I can tell you I spoke to no less then 10 csr's over a 5 day period 9I kept rolling over then Hold PNR till it was no longer available so it had to be tkted on Tues) I was put om hold each time and was told the samething the computer wouldnt do it, they could CX the res but no promises that JFK-LAX will be there or even what I had booked.

I have no idea what the case would be with an Intl tkt maybe it too wont work any longer, if everything now are 'married segments' or maybe irs just an LAX problem
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Old Jan 4, 2018, 9:23 am
  #35  
 
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I think the trick is to drop the segment after ticketing, not while the reservation is on hold.
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Old Jan 4, 2018, 10:42 am
  #36  
 
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I think beachfan has it right. There's nothing in the rules previously posted that would be impacted by whether the ticket is domestic or international. Unfortunately, your best source on whether the policy has changed is JonNYC. Or someone here might have some very recent experience with the dropped segment rule.
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Old Jan 4, 2018, 10:55 am
  #37  
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Gary Leffs recent article, linked to in the Wikipost at the top of the page, has some relevant information.

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Old Jan 4, 2018, 12:08 pm
  #38  
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Originally Posted by beachfan
I think the trick is to drop the segment after ticketing, not while the reservation is on hold.
I thought Garys piece was about a tkt on Hold and changed while on Hold.

Personally Im not willing to roll then dice booking say JFK-LAX-LAS having it tkted and then finding out it cant be changed. Ive heard from some folks that once you placed a res on Hold you cant CX it for free , but I will admit my ignorance on the issue. If a Hold res still gets 24 hrs to CX for free after being tkted thats worth a shot, but if its considered a married segment I dont see what the difference is between a res on Hold or Tkted, but maybe there is a difference

Since I have a non-stop now although not the time I wanted I can work with what I have tkted, so I will be following the thread to see if anyone else chimes in with being able to drop a segment once tkted on a domestic res
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Old Jan 4, 2018, 12:24 pm
  #39  
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I'm running into this issue big time for an award I need in a few weeks.

RDU-JFK-HEL on AA/AY is the desired itinerary, but not available.

JFK-HEL is available on it's own.
RDU-DCA-JFK-HEL is available.
RDU-JFK-MAD-HEL is available.
RDU-JFK-BCN-HEL is available.
But no RDU-JFK-HEL makes no sense. Going to try putting one on hold and massaging it into what I need.
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Old Jan 4, 2018, 12:32 pm
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JJeffrey, I would recommend again searching for inventory with an extra leg you can drop, either XXX-RDU-JFK-HEL or RDU-JFK-HEL-YYY. Looks like the policy is that you can drop the extra leg once ticketed if there is no change to the award zones or flights other than dropping the undesired leg. If you can find an itinerary with the desired three flights in a row then you should be good.
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Old Jan 4, 2018, 1:14 pm
  #41  
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Originally Posted by MathMusic
JJeffrey, I would recommend again searching for inventory with an extra leg you can drop, either XXX-RDU-JFK-HEL or RDU-JFK-HEL-YYY. Looks like the policy is that you can drop the extra leg once ticketed if there is no change to the award zones or flights other than dropping the undesired leg. If you can find an itinerary with the desired three flights in a row then you should be good.
The rules of awards may allow drooping of a segment without charge, but if a married sector relationship exists, may find that there is no availability to enable it to be done
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Old Jan 4, 2018, 9:39 pm
  #42  
 
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Expert flyer impact?

How does this impact segment by segment searches on EF? In the nyc/lax example above would EF show "U" or "T" if the search was nyc/lax or only if the query was nyc/sfo? (Showing a one stop via lax routing)
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Old Jan 4, 2018, 11:05 pm
  #43  
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Originally Posted by nismo240ssx
How does this impact segment by segment searches on EF? In the nyc/lax example above would EF show "U" or "T" if the search was nyc/lax or only if the query was nyc/sfo? (Showing a one stop via lax routing)
Unless AA is doing something very non standard, EF will return results taking married sector availability into account
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Old Jan 4, 2018, 11:53 pm
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Thanks Dave for clarifying. Seems well have to do the beyond city dance on EF as well. Time to add to my saved searches.
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Old Jan 5, 2018, 12:03 am
  #45  
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Originally Posted by nismo240ssx
Thanks Dave for clarifying. Seems well have to do the beyond city dance on EF as well. Time to add to my saved searches.
If it turns out that married sector availability is poorly implemented and can be easily circumvented , then yes; I suspect that AA will be able to implement it such that it works
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