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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: ďCranky Flier got American to confirm last week that much of the space theyíve opened up is on connecting flights. Theyíre offering married segment availability ó award space thatís highly restrictive...Ē

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

How to Game Americanís 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 youíre searching for award space... youíll 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 10, 2018, 3:52 pm
  #61  
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Originally Posted by beachfan
Then what is the term for what Iím referring to? Iíve run into many examples of that, would be interested in seeing an example of what you are referring to (say in domestic 48 states so routing rules donít come into play)
I always thought it promoted connecting flights over non stops, not vice versus.In your example, which segments are married and cannot be separated.
Married sector availability can mean
A-B plus B-C are available but A-C via B isnt
or
A-C via B is available when one oe both of A-B and B-C are unavailable

The issue that was being referred to is where B-C is not available standalone whilst A-C via B is
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Old Jan 11, 2018, 4:54 am
  #62  
 
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Originally Posted by lbbzman
I suspect that's true for an award search, but I think it will throw a wrinkle in setting up EF availability alerts. To the best of my knowledge, availability alerts, including for awards, have to be set up on a segment-by-segment basis. Do I have that right? If so, does anyone have thoughts on how to set up an award availability alert that factors in married segment availability? That is, if DFW-ORD-LHR is available but ORD-LHR is not, I'd like to get an alert nonetheless.

Cheers,
LBBZman
I have not found anyway to use EF to do this. For most EF functions (eg Search for awards), anything other than segment-by-segment often yields wacky, unusable results.
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Old Jan 11, 2018, 9:29 am
  #63  
 
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[QUOTE=Dave Noble;29276527]Married sector availability can mean
....
A-C via B is available when one or both of A-B and B-C are unavailable [\QUOTE]

Which airline has implemented that?
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Old Jan 11, 2018, 9:45 am
  #64  
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Originally Posted by beachfan
Originally Posted by Dave Noble
Married sector availability can mean
....
A-C via B is available when one or both of A-B and B-C are unavailable
Which airline has implemented that
I have seen it a lot with Qatar Airways; I have wanted to book A-DOH-C but have had to book A-DOH , have a stopover in DOH and then continue > 24 hours later on DOH-C

I don't know what AA is setting up, but such availability restrictions can definitely exist

Last edited by Dave Noble; Jan 11, 2018 at 11:22 am
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Old Jan 11, 2018, 11:01 am
  #65  
 
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble
I have seen it a lot with Qatar Airways; I have wanted to book A-DOH-C but have had to book A-DOH , have a stopover in DOH and then continue > 34 hours later on DOH-C

I don't know what AA is setting up, but such availability restrictions can definitely exist
I've seen that with CX too. I.E. SIN-HKG-ORD will be available for J through-booking, but either single sector won't.
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Old Jan 11, 2018, 8:59 pm
  #66  
 
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I also think they are using search data to make awards disappear.

I.e. i've been searching a particular city pair on a low demand time period midweek.

just that day has gone to no availability
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Old Jan 11, 2018, 9:07 pm
  #67  
 
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so how are you supposed to search awards with LAN combined with AA etc.
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Old Jan 11, 2018, 11:04 pm
  #68  
 
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I ran into this a couple days ago while looking at LAX-SYD awards on AS's website. It showed that LAX-SYD on AA was available for economy, but not business or first. But it also offered BUR-SEA-LAX-SYD (with LAX-SYD on AA) in first. I should have taken a screen shot; I can't replicate it now.
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Old Jan 13, 2018, 11:35 am
  #69  
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Originally Posted by aubreyfromwheaton
so how are you supposed to search awards with LAN combined with AA etc.
I've been looking for a flight LAX-LIM, hoping for the nonstop to be released for a date I can use, but in the meantime I'm finding (through QF searches on Award Nexus) AA LAX-MEX connecting to LATAM MEX-LIM, or a couple weeks ago AA LAX-MIA connecting to LATAM MIA-LIM. (Neither of these worked for me timing wise.)

So there are sometimes connections AA-LATAM that show up in searches through other OW sites. (I haven't researched to see if the individual flights exist as awards, or only the connections.)

(LATAM is the new name for LAN after the merger with TAM.)
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Old Jan 13, 2018, 11:45 am
  #70  
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I have never seen married sector situations when connecting between airlines, only for conenctions within an airline. I am not sure how it could be implemented between carriers
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Old Jan 13, 2018, 3:26 pm
  #71  
 
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble
I have never seen married sector situations when connecting between airlines, only for conenctions within an airline. I am not sure how it could be implemented between carriers
See the post by sdsearch above, where they (think they) were finding domestic AA flights that were available for connections to IB long haul but (possibly) not standalone. AA certainly could make their own segments available as part of a connection but not individually (I recall a while ago reports here that this was fairly routinely possible by a request to revenue management if you called in, at least for some AAdvantage members). It would be harder/impossible for AA to make a partner segment available as part of a married sector when it's not available individually.

I don't think sdsearch has demonstrated compellingly that it happened; it would be interesting to see if someone could show that clearly.
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Old Jan 13, 2018, 3:31 pm
  #72  
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Originally Posted by ashill
See the post by sdsearch above, where they (think they) were finding domestic AA flights that were available for connections to IB long haul but (possibly) not standalone. AA certainly could make their own segments available as part of a connection but not individually (I recall a while ago reports here that this was fairly routinely possible by a request to revenue management if you called in, at least for some AAdvantage members). It would be harder/impossible for AA to make a partner segment available as part of a married sector when it's not available individually.

I don't think sdsearch has demonstrated compellingly that it happened; it would be interesting to see if someone could show that clearly.
AA wouldn't control IB inventory , so I would think it unlikely that IB inventory would only exist in conjunction with the domestic flight
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Old Jan 13, 2018, 3:43 pm
  #73  
 
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble
AA wouldn't control IB inventory , so I would think it unlikely that IB inventory would only exist in conjunction with the domestic flight
What sdsearch thought they observed was the other way around. IB had availability BOS-MAD. AA did not have availability on LAX-BOS (standalone) but apparently did have availability on LAX-BOS-MAD (as well as BOS-MAD standalone). That is certainly within AA's powers to do; whether they do is not really clear (because what sdsearch really observed was that LAX-BOS wasn't available after, not before, they booked their ticket).
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Old Jan 14, 2018, 9:23 pm
  #74  
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Originally Posted by ashill
What sdsearch thought they observed was the other way around. IB had availability BOS-MAD. AA did not have availability on LAX-BOS (standalone) but apparently did have availability on LAX-BOS-MAD (as well as BOS-MAD standalone). That is certainly within AA's powers to do; whether they do is not really clear (because what sdsearch really observed was that LAX-BOS wasn't available after, not before, they booked their ticket).
Actually, it was LAX-JFK outbound, BOS-LAX inbound. U availability (thus business class on the LAX-JFK 3-class, first on the BOS-LAX 2-class).

Anyway, I think I was wrong. I just did some other searches for research purposes only, and found that on Sep 8 at this moment there is LAX-(AA)-JFK-(IB)-MAD-LIS as well as LAX-(AA)-MIA-(IB)-MAD-LIS in U, but the very same 6 am-ish flights LAX-JFK and LAX-MIA are indeed available by themselves. (There's no nonstop availability on LAX-JFK at any other time of day, though. There is, btw, multiple "pages" of 1-stop U availability on LAX-XXX-JFK that day. And, btw, if all you want to fly is LAX-JFK, you have to pay 7.5k miles more to do the nonstop than to do a 1-stop.)
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Old Jan 15, 2018, 11:17 am
  #75  
 
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Just tried this and have been told by two different Exec Plat agents that American sent a memo 'within the last week' stating that married segments cannot be split. In order to drop a first segment, award availability must be otherwise present on the second segment in order to maintain booking on the second segment.

I had a booked Saaver Award ticket, A-B-C. B-C was what I wanted. But now in order to drop A-B and keep B-C, there must be Saaver availability on B-C to complete the change. So this negates the whole intent of unlocking this secret inventory.

This loophole may now be closed, be advised. Anyone getting a different outcome?
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