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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 16, 2018, 9:37 am
  #91  
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Originally Posted by beachfan
As I said, this is a huge unannounced change if true. It sounds like supposition.

Nothing has indicated that AA is implementing married logic as you outline it (i.e., that the reverse holds true). You have always been able to add segments to existing awards if available.
If married sector availability is in use for a pairing

If currently booked A-B and then want to add B-C , then availability for B-C has to be available as a married search for A-B-C . If only standalone availability exists, then it will fail

You can still add sectors, just that the B-C availability has to exist when searched as A-C via B

This is standard as to how it works for paid bookings
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Old Jan 16, 2018, 10:37 am
  #92  
 
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And this definition is universal and followed by all airlines? Or just one or two?
The times Ive encountered it did not confirm to how you describe it in reverse.I dont see the analogy to paid bookings. If you are holding AAA-BBB-CCC, cant change the first segment even if the second is sold out( (subject to fees and fare difference)?

Last edited by beachfan; Jan 16, 2018 at 11:41 am
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Old Jan 16, 2018, 12:32 pm
  #93  
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Originally Posted by beachfan
As I said, this is a huge unannounced change if true. It sounds like supposition.

Nothing has indicated that AA is implementing married logic as you outline it (i.e., that the reverse holds true). You have always been able to add segments to existing awards if available.
There isn't an analogy, it just works exactly the same way

You can add segments to awards subject to availability - same as paid tickets
even just changing dates; if changing from a transit to stopover, the standalone avaiability is used - change from stopover to transit, then connection availability is used


Just that with married segment availability, the availability needs to be there based on the type of change being made.

How married segnemts work is standard - if AA has just started usimg it for award travel, that may indeed be new

It is defined in the IATA glossary as

Married segments is a term used to identify two or more segments in an itinerary which are actioned as a single unit (set). Acceptance and sending of marriage information is controlled by bilateral agreements. See IATA Recommended Practice 1777 and 1777a.

Last edited by Dave Noble; Jan 16, 2018 at 12:37 pm
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Old Jan 16, 2018, 12:40 pm
  #94  
 
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So assuming American release max of two F award seats on LAX-JFK and no more no matter what, and you are already booked on them, there will never be any further availability.

so if you are going SFO-LAX-JFK, all on an F award, youll never be able to change the first leg if a better connection opens up because theres no availability in the second.

And what is the basis for your assertion that this is how AA will implement this.
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Old Jan 16, 2018, 1:13 pm
  #95  
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I am not asserting anything - I haven't stated that AA has implemented married segment logic - but others have reported it

All I have done is describe how married segment logic works

How many seats AA makes available is irrelevant to this; as far as making a change goes ,
If changing flight A of A-B-C ( with no change to transit/stopover) , there just needs to be availability on the new flight A-B for a connection to B-C

Availability for B-C doesnt need to be searched for , since it is already held
What will not be of any use is A-B being available for standalone - only where A-B is available for A-B-C
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Old Jan 17, 2018, 7:00 pm
  #96  
 
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Still no luck in getting mine changed. Have tried a few different departments.
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Old Jan 17, 2018, 7:42 pm
  #97  
 
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Had a weird and frustrating married segment conversation with an AA agent.

I have a ticket AUS-ORD-PHL-PRG in Y. I've been monitoring the flight because I'd like to switch the AUS-ORD-PHL to the AUS-PHL direct flight. Checked this evening and there is now AUS-PHL availability for AUS-LHR on two flights. Agent swore up and down I couldn't get the AUS-PHL swapped out even though I asked her to check by modifying my existing reservation rather than just searching AUS-PHL (which is what I suspected she was doing).

I this worth HUCA or am I misunderstanding something here?

Last edited by George Purcell; Jan 17, 2018 at 8:20 pm Reason: Clairify flight with availibility.
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Old Jan 17, 2018, 8:00 pm
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Nobody knows the true rules yet. If it was me, Id HUCa more than once if needed.
they could be right. Did they say why? It could be the implemented according to Nobles outline of how it should work, due to the availability of just AUS-PHL as a married segment. Or it could be clumsily implemented and because there isnt availability AUS-PHL-LHR (probably because you are already holding the award space they intended to release and there wont be more until perhaps last minute.

Last edited by beachfan; Jan 17, 2018 at 8:07 pm
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Old Jan 17, 2018, 8:12 pm
  #99  
 
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The trick is that I want to go AUS-PHL-PRG while holding the PHL-PRG segment and the availability is AUS-PHL-LHR then PRG on BA.
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Old Jan 17, 2018, 8:55 pm
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And no availability for the stand-alone Domestic segment into PHL?

Then it seems like your trying to break the married segments.
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Old Jan 17, 2018, 11:20 pm
  #101  
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Originally Posted by George Purcell
The trick is that I want to go AUS-PHL-PRG while holding the PHL-PRG segment and the availability is AUS-PHL-LHR then PRG on BA.
If you want to change it to AUS-PHL-PRG , then there has to be availability on AUS-PHL for travel onto PRG ; if AA does not use married secctor availability for that route, then standalone availability is needed otherwise married availability.

The ssearch via Heathrow doesn't help for what you want ; what is the date of travel ; would be interesting to see what EF indicates
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Old Jan 18, 2018, 5:20 am
  #102  
 
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May 5 is date of travel. Currently AUS-PHL-LHR-PRG is available to book as a Saaver. I have AUS-ORD-PHL-PRG. So I don't see why I can't switch to the better routing AUS-PHL-PRG.
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Old Jan 18, 2018, 5:46 am
  #103  
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Originally Posted by George Purcell
May 5 is date of travel. Currently AUS-PHL-LHR-PRG is available to book as a Saaver. I have AUS-ORD-PHL-PRG. So I don't see why I can't switch to the better routing AUS-PHL-PRG.
For economy class, I can check U and Z later

AA1644 and 1670 show T0 booked standalone
AA1644 shows T7 booked in conjunction with AA736 to LHR
AA1644 shows T3 booked in conjunction with AA728 to LHR
AA1644 shows T3 booked in conjunction with AA52 to PRG
AA1670 shows zero regardless


Therefore cannot change to the non stop on AA1644
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Old Jan 18, 2018, 6:16 am
  #104  
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Increased award availability requiring connections is the happy spin on married segment availability now being applied to awards. This obsoletes the cumbersome but effective method of segment by segment award construction that people have employed for years. Clearly it's going to make changes more difficult.

MSA has been employed by US legacy carriers on purchased tickets for decades. Dave Noble's explanation is concise and lucid. You don't need to like it but AAdvantage redeemers do need to accept it. BTW, Delta and United use MSA on awards, too.

This doesn't, a priori, make miles less valuable. We will see examples both ways.
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Old Jan 18, 2018, 7:06 am
  #105  
 
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Ok, so this is interesting.

Right now it is possible to book a SAAver itinerary to Prague via LHR on either 1644 OR 1670.

But it sounds like the AAgent was full of it and I SHOULD be able to get 1644 (not 1670) since there IS T3 in conjunction with AA52, right?
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