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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 18, 2018, 7:29 am
  #106  
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Originally Posted by George Purcell
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?
Using EF I'm not able to replicate the results Dave posted above. AUS-PHL-PRG is T0 on all segments, including AA1644/AA52 and AA1670/AA52. AA.com doesn't show any availability as well.

The PHL-PRG segment is the problem, if you could get back to at least T1 on that leg, then you could switch to one of the AUS-PHL nonstops that are only showing available connecting to another AA flight.

That is super annoying, considering you already have the PHL-PRG segment booked as part of your original itinerary.
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Old Jan 18, 2018, 10:44 am
  #107  
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Originally Posted by Psyclone*Jack
Yes, ticketed. Booked it 1/12. Called to change it 1/15.
They seemed to identify rather quickly that it is a married segment.
thats what I ran into when I started this thread

I suggest anyone that wants to roll the dice that you either place the res on Hold and try or book it and try within 24 hrs so you can CX the res for $0, otherwise you will be stuck with what you booked, unless you wont have any checked bags when HC can be played , which needless to say cant be played when starting on the Outbound

Last Sun I saw apx 7 NS LAX-JFK available in Saver Y as long as you werent starting at LAX, wanting to start at LAX meant paying 50K even thou it was 12.5k from SFO-LAS-SAN, when I landed in LA the previous week they announced gates for 3 SFO flights , they werent allowing JFK-SFO NS flights. I dont understand why they want to tick off their member base since Saver is available just not if you are ending at the destination but only if connecting onward. Wasted 3 hrs on Mon , thats OK I simply let everyone know that they arent allowed to book AA any longer for rev tkts unless its $100 or more in savings and then theyd need a wavier. Basically AA just lost a ton of $$$, I dont believe in getting angry, Id rather get even
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Old Jan 18, 2018, 3:54 pm
  #108  
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Has anyone else seen this for international flights involving partner airlines?

I found a milesaver xxx-SFO-SYD-yyy for later this year, in biz (2 seats). But it needs to be those exact points; if I drop the the first or last segment or change either to something else it goes away. There is some timing flexibility on those first/last segments.

As milesaver awards to Australia seem rather scarce, I'm tempted to just book it and run. Perhaps as the time gets closer something else will open up. Thoughts?
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Old Jan 18, 2018, 4:16 pm
  #109  
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Originally Posted by George Purcell
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?
Unfortunately there is a copy/paste typo

It was meant to say

AA1644 shows T0 booked in conjunction with AA52 to PRG
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Old Jan 18, 2018, 5:02 pm
  #110  
 
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Originally Posted by aztimm
Has anyone else seen this for international flights involving partner airlines?

I found a milesaver xxx-SFO-SYD-yyy for later this year, in biz (2 seats). But it needs to be those exact points; if I drop the the first or last segment or change either to something else it goes away. There is some timing flexibility on those first/last segments.

As milesaver awards to Australia seem rather scarce, I'm tempted to just book it and run. Perhaps as the time gets closer something else will open up. Thoughts?
Two businessclass milesaver awards to Australia? "Rather scarce" is a bit of an understatement, I think. But it is an interesting datum that AA is using married segment availability in conjunction with Qantas. If they were to use married segment availability with a partner, my first expectation would have been a joint venture partner.

It would be nice to have the actual city pairs, dates, and availability recorded in this thread for information. But if you're planning to book it, I understand keeping your cards close to your vest until it's booked!
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Old Jan 18, 2018, 5:09 pm
  #111  
 
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So heres an Example of weird married segment availability, which is useless. I have MCO MIA MAD (IB) on an award.

Its an 11 hour connection in MIA. I see a far better connection in expert flyer, the only difference is that the MIA MAD is the AA codeshare.Sure enough, I cant chsnge my flight since Im ticketed with the IB flight (same flight, just not the codeshare).

And you cant book awards on the codeshare. So that MCO-MIA segment is married in a way that makes it impossible to use.

Last edited by beachfan; Jan 18, 2018 at 8:24 pm
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Old Jan 18, 2018, 6:08 pm
  #112  
 
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Originally Posted by Psyclone*Jack
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?
Got it fixed. Just had to talk with the 'right' person. As stated above, I think my error was not calling closer to the booking, or maybe when it was on Hold.
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Old Jan 19, 2018, 5:44 am
  #113  
 
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble
Unfortunately there is a copy/paste typo

It was meant to say

AA1644 shows T0 booked in conjunction with AA52 to PRG
OK, that fits with my conversations yesterday then.
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Old Jan 25, 2018, 12:03 pm
  #114  
 
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Any recent experience with this?

I have JFK-MAD-XXX in U and need to add RDU-JFK, which is available RDU-JFK-LHR-XXX (in T) but when I search RDU-JFK, nothing is available (T or U).

Is there any way to hold the second record drop the other segments, then merge the itinerary? This is annoying.
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Old Feb 18, 2018, 4:38 pm
  #115  
 
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For the second time I called and managed to have the isolated segments booked at the lower mileage rate (YYZ-PHL was not available alone, only as part of YYZ-PHL-ISP and they booked for me YYZ-PHL for 7.5K miles)
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Old Feb 18, 2018, 4:57 pm
  #116  
 
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Originally Posted by travellerK
For the second time I called and managed to have the isolated segments booked at the lower mileage rate (YYZ-PHL was not available alone, only as part of YYZ-PHL-ISP and they booked for me YYZ-PHL for 7.5K miles)
Thanks for the update.

Was this after ticketing or before?
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Old Feb 18, 2018, 4:59 pm
  #117  
 
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Before ticketing. If I would have ticketed, it would have been 15K
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Old Mar 1, 2018, 8:22 am
  #118  
 
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XXX-MIA is not available for Saaver
XXX-MIA-YYY is available

Will this hidden city award itinerary cause me problems if I don't board MIA-YYY and just get off in MIA? not worried about IROPS or baggage issues... i'm talking mileage confiscationz

What if I have a return award trip MIA-XXX on separate PNR? Will that be enough to trigger problems?
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Old Mar 1, 2018, 10:12 am
  #119  
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Originally Posted by aubreyfromwheaton
XXX-MIA is not available for Saaver
XXX-MIA-YYY is available

Will this hidden city award itinerary cause me problems if I don't board MIA-YYY and just get off in MIA? not worried about IROPS or baggage issues... i'm talking mileage confiscationz

What if I have a return award trip MIA-XXX on separate PNR? Will that be enough to trigger problems?
No issues, you just missed the flight like thousands of other people do for various reasons on any given day. Of course AA will not confiscate any miles or anything like that, assuming you don't do it every week. No issues as well with your return.

Have you put the itinerary on hold and called AA to see if they can drop the 2nd segment?
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Old Mar 3, 2018, 2:22 pm
  #120  
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I missed Gary's article so wasn't aware of this until I went and booked our vacation over this coming thanksgiving.
I went and looked up flights from PHX-LAX-LHR-DUB. Couldn't find saaver J awards unless I dropped PHX-LAX, I couldn't find saaver J on our return NAP-LHR-LAX-PHX, unless I dropped the NAP-LHR and the LAX-PHX. I placed them on hold and called AA. While on the phone the agent was able to see awards and booked all my orginal flights with AA miles and in J on AA. While I was talking to the agent, I askjed is she see's an saaver F awards for our flights, and in 2 minutes she said yes. So the PHX-LAX-LHR andLHR-LAX-PHX are in F with the other flights in J. I can see why some people would't be happy about this, but I'm sure happy.
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