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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 Mar 15, 2018, 5:44 pm
  #121  
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I am trying to book aaa to bbb to ccc and there is no availability. However there is availability aaa-bbb and bbb-ccc. It is the Caribbean so it should be 17.5 in saver but by not letting me book it as one ticket it’s is essentially an anytime award. Will a phone call to aa help?
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Old Mar 15, 2018, 6:48 pm
  #122  
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Originally Posted by abk
I am trying to book aaa to bbb to ccc and there is no availability. However there is availability aaa-bbb and bbb-ccc. It is the Caribbean so it should be 17.5 in saver but by not letting me book it as one ticket its is essentially an anytime award. Will a phone call to aa help?
It would definitely help if you'd say the exact cities and not just aaa, bbb, etc.
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Old Mar 15, 2018, 6:56 pm
  #123  
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey
It would definitely help if you'd say the exact cities and not just aaa, bbb, etc.
pop-mia-stl. I just spoke with an AA agent and a supervisor who confirmed that there was no availability pop-stl but that there was availability on each individual segment. Listening to them both trying to explain this was laughable; however, I did get the feeling after the call ended that they both started with a scripted answer. In effect they are saying there are no awards available in the pop-stl market even though both components are clearly available.
My take is that they have some way of determining when an award gives the customer to high of value for their points.

Interestingly enough for 25k I can book business pop-mia with a coach downgrade on mia-stl which is actually the leg I would want in business

Last edited by abk; Mar 15, 2018 at 7:09 pm
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Old Mar 15, 2018, 7:17 pm
  #124  
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Originally Posted by abk
pop-mia-stl. I just spoke with an AA agent and a supervisor who confirmed that there was no availability pop-stl but that there was availability on each individual segment. Listening to them both trying to explain this was laughable; however, I did get the feeling after the call ended that they both started with a scripted answer. In effect they are saying there are no awards available in the pop-stl market even though both components are clearly available.
My take is that they have some way of determining when an award gives the customer to high of value for their points.

Interestingly enough for 25k I can book business pop-mia with a coach downgrade on mia-stl which is actually the leg I would want in business
That's a weird one, I've never seen it where the segments are available on their own but not together as a connection.

What about trying for POP-MIA-STL-somewhere else? Add on a STL-ORD or STL-DFW etc segment the following day. If you were able to get it on hold or ticketed, you could then call AA and see about dropping the segment, which is sometimes easier that combining or adding to a reservation. If that didn't work, then just no-show for it.
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Old Mar 15, 2018, 7:30 pm
  #125  
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey
That's a weird one, I've never seen it where the segments are available on their own but not together as a connection.

What about trying for POP-MIA-STL-somewhere else? Add on a STL-ORD or STL-DFW etc segment the following day. If you were able to get it on hold or ticketed, you could then call AA and see about dropping the segment, which is sometimes easier that combining or adding to a reservation. If that didn't work, then just no-show for it.
Good idea. I just looked and I can book pop-ord with an overnight in Stl. Interestingly they would also let you fly pop-mia-ord also for the same points. It also works in business.
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Old Mar 15, 2018, 8:59 pm
  #126  
 
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This nonsense might be the last straw for me. Earlier this month I was trying to string together an award itin using AA pesos. FRA-DFW was available in U, DFW-OKC was available in T, but they weren't available "together" so no number of calls to AA worked. I called multiple times and explained that I knew DFW-OKC would be a voluntary downgrade but can we please book it as a single ticket. One AAgent actually got quite belligerent with me and said "don't you think if that ticket was available that I would book it for you?" Ended up just using UA miles instead. What an utter joke of a FFP.
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Old Mar 16, 2018, 3:37 pm
  #127  
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Originally Posted by no1cub17
This nonsense might be the last straw for me. Earlier this month I was trying to string together an award itin using AA pesos. FRA-DFW was available in U, DFW-OKC was available in T, but they weren't available "together" so no number of calls to AA worked. I called multiple times and explained that I knew DFW-OKC would be a voluntary downgrade but can we please book it as a single ticket. One AAgent actually got quite belligerent with me and said "don't you think if that ticket was available that I would book it for you?" Ended up just using UA miles instead. What an utter joke of a FFP.
I laugh just because it didn't work this time, it's a horrible program. What I have found out is, when you live close enough to a gateway city, it's just easy enough to just purchase a ticket OKC-DFW.
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Old Mar 16, 2018, 3:39 pm
  #128  
 
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Originally Posted by FlightNurse
I laugh just because it didn't work this time, it's a horrible program. What I have found out is, when you live close enough to a gateway city, it's just easy enough to just purchase a ticket OKC-DFW.
I'm well aware of that and have done so multiple times (don't really have much of a choice at times) - but what I don't get is the complete absurdity of offering a U or T seat in one instance and not the other. But if AA makes you happy then suit yourself.
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Old Mar 16, 2018, 3:45 pm
  #129  
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Originally Posted by no1cub17
I'm well aware of that and have done so multiple times (don't really have much of a choice at times) - but what I don't get is the complete absurdity of offering a U or T seat in one instance and not the other. But if AA makes you happy then suit yourself.
I have more AA miles then I do UA miles, I just learned how to play the game and not allow it to get me upset. There are bigger issues than redeeming miles and not getting your way.
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Old Mar 16, 2018, 5:20 pm
  #130  
 
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Originally Posted by FlightNurse
There are bigger issues than redeeming miles and not getting your way.
Really now! I had no idea. Thank you so much for that life lesson!
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Old Mar 16, 2018, 6:50 pm
  #131  
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Originally Posted by abk
Good idea. I just looked and I can book pop-ord with an overnight in Stl. Interestingly they would also let you fly pop-mia-ord also for the same points. It also works in business.
You might also try getting yourself some BA Avios, and book POP-MIA for 7,500 Avios, and MIA-STL for an additional 7,500 Avios -- with or without a stopover in MIA.
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Old Mar 16, 2018, 9:20 pm
  #132  
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Originally Posted by no1cub17
This nonsense might be the last straw for me. Earlier this month I was trying to string together an award itin using AA pesos. FRA-DFW was available in U, DFW-OKC was available in T, but they weren't available "together" so no number of calls to AA worked. I called multiple times and explained that I knew DFW-OKC would be a voluntary downgrade but can we please book it as a single ticket. One AAgent actually got quite belligerent with me and said "don't you think if that ticket was available that I would book it for you?" Ended up just using UA miles instead. What an utter joke of a FFP.
Another day, you might be the one lucky to be able to get a through award due to the sectors not being available standalone rather than them all having been snapped up by those at the hub
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Old Mar 16, 2018, 10:35 pm
  #133  
 
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Wonder if AA applies married segment logic to partners which cannot be booked online. Ex. might adding a domestic leg to an intl award with CX metal result in wider domestic availability?
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Old Mar 16, 2018, 10:40 pm
  #134  
 
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In my case, no.

I have MCO-MIA-MAD-MUC booked with MCO MIA on AA in coach but the rest in IB biz.

I have a 11 hour layover in MIA, and waiting for a later MCO-MIA. There is one available as part ofCO-MIA-MAD on an all AA coach award but not Im conjunction with IB biz.
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Old Mar 16, 2018, 10:46 pm
  #135  
 
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Actually this is quite interesting. I'm seeing these results on ExpertFlyer indicating married segment logic, but unable to replicate this with a phone rep. Am I doing something wrong?



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