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AAdvantage MileSAAver: Through Award Fare Restriction Dec 2018

AAdvantage MileSAAver: Through Award Fare Restriction Dec 2018

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Old Mar 22, 19, 5:17 pm
  #61  
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Then, Expert Flyer illustrates the restriction perfectly. Each nonstop flight shows award availability for the max 7 seats. Yet, when the desired connection is viewed in American's system, the award seats on both segments vanish. Availability drops to T0.

It makes no sense to me to call this restriction (the inability to sew together two nonstop award flights that meet all of American's connection protocols) a "Married Segments" restriction. Every definition I've seen of Married Segments indicates that availability for a PAIR of flights is restricted to that origin and destination, and only tickets to that origin and destination can be issued under the award seats made available under that married segments restriction. Looking at each segment, separately, shows no availability.

Married Segment requires two flights to make the marriage.

It appears that American, at or near the same time as increasing their Married Segment availability last year, also placed new restrictions on award seats to nonstop destinations that began to disallow those same award seats from being pieced together in a multi-segment itinerary. I was told on the phone this new process is a Through Award Fare restriction. Nonstop flight award seats can no longer be stitched together to make a single award ticket unless revenue management specifically issues a Through Award Fare in the fare management system for the combination of flights.

Sure, I guess we all can just call this another application of "Married Segment" logic. If that's the case, the Wiki should be updated to make it clear that Married Segment restrictions don't just prevent us from booking individual segments seen in a multi-segment award, but that the reverse is also true: We can no longer find award seats on preferred nonstop flights and then piece them together to come up with a valid multi-segment award ticket. (I still stand by my point that American sees these a two different, albeit complimentary, restrictions.)

This much is clear. There are two distinct restrictions in play:

1.) An award seat that is made available as part of a pair of Married Segments cannot be booked for each segment separately/individually.

2.) An award seat that is made available individually (for a nonstop flight) cannot be booked together with another award seat that is made available individually (for a nonstop flight) unless revenue mgmt has specifically issued Married Segment (or Through Award Fare) availability for the combined pair of segments.
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Old Mar 22, 19, 5:43 pm
  #62  
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Originally Posted by bruinfan90 View Post
Then, Expert Flyer illustrates the restriction perfectly. Each nonstop flight shows award availability for the max 7 seats. Yet, when the desired connection is viewed in American's system, the award seats on both segments vanish. Availability drops to T0.

It makes no sense to me to call this restriction (the inability to sew together two nonstop award flights that meet all of American's connection protocols) a "Married Segments" restriction. Every definition I've seen of Married Segments indicates that availability for a PAIR of flights is restricted to that origin and destination, and only tickets to that origin and destination can be issued under the award seats made available under that married segments restriction. Looking at each segment, separately, shows no availability.

Married Segment requires two flights to make the marriage.

This is exactly what married segment availability is. 2 segnemts may have their own availability but different availabilty when put together (married)

From the IATA glossary of terms

Originally Posted by IATA
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.

Originally Posted by bruinfan90
1.) An award seat that is made available as part of a pair of Married Segments cannot be booked for each segment separately/individually.

2.) An award seat that is made available individually (for a nonstop flight) cannot be booked together with another award seat that is made available individually (for a nonstop flight) unless revenue mgmt has specifically issued Married Segment (or Through Award Fare) availability for the combined pair of segments.
It is only 1 restriction. If you want to book an itinerary from A-C via B, there has to be availabiltiy for the journey A-C

In some cases the airline does not do segmented availability and so teh availability for A-B and for B-C will always be the same as A-C via B
If the airline does use segmented availabilty, then it doesn't matter what the individual availabilities are , the only thing that matters is the through availability

Conversely If wanting to do A-B , it wouldn't matter that A-C via B is available if A-B is not available as a standalone booking

This is a very common thing and see it a lot in paid and also in award fares across many airlines

In relation to the thread title, there is nothing new that has come about, this is something that has been around for quite a while

Last edited by Dave Noble; Mar 22, 19 at 5:54 pm
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Old Mar 22, 19, 6:13 pm
  #63  
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Yes, I agree that Married Segments have been around for years and American did use them (in a limited capacity) to restrict award availability for many years as well. American declared last year that they were going to IMPROVE availability by issuing more seats through married segments. What American kept secret was that they were going to also include a very big change to their award availability ... Restricting nonstop award availability from being pieced together into multi-segment travel UNLESS a specific married segment (Through Award) fare is issued. What they actually did was two-fold, but they only publicized the positive change. (And most people only picked up on that change.)

This much is true (and is the essence of my post): Prior to the changes made last year, AAdvantage members could freely combine T award space on separate nonstop flights, provided the connection met American’s other program terms. That capability is now gone. It is a significant deterioration in the flexibility of the redemption side of the AAdvantage rewards program.
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Old Mar 22, 19, 8:45 pm
  #64  
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Originally Posted by bruinfan90 View Post
Yes, I agree that Married Segments have been around for years and American did use them (in a limited capacity) to restrict award availability for many years as well. American declared last year that they were going to IMPROVE availability by issuing more seats through married segments. What American kept secret was that they were going to also include a very big change to their award availability ... Restricting nonstop award availability from being pieced together into multi-segment travel UNLESS a specific married segment (Through Award) fare is issued. What they actually did was two-fold, but they only publicized the positive change. (And most people only picked up on that change.)

This much is true (and is the essence of my post): Prior to the changes made last year, AAdvantage members could freely combine T award space on separate nonstop flights, provided the connection met American’s other program terms. That capability is now gone. It is a significant deterioration in the flexibility of the redemption side of the AAdvantage rewards program.
It is simply the side effect of married segment availability - availability is based on journey, not segments - this is the same whether it is paid or award. Once availability is defined with married segments, then trying to piece sector by sector doesn't work , award or paid. Plenty of examples of this sort of situation around

What there isn't , in relation to the issue encountered, anything new that has happened this month
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Old Mar 22, 19, 9:39 pm
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
It is simply the side effect of married segment availability - availability is based on journey, not segments - this is the same whether it is paid or award. Once availability is defined with married segments, then trying to piece sector by sector doesn't work , award or paid. Plenty of examples of this sort of situation around
I disagree with this assessment. One is most certainly NOT a byproduct of the other.

I know for a fact that married segment award availability has been present in the AAdvantage system for many years. I’ve personally run into it several times over the years. This new Through Award Fare restriction is not a simple “side effect” of married segment availability. It did not exist in any form until the “newly improved” availability rolled out last year. Clearly, it’s no necessary side effect to the use of married segment availability. It was a conscious additional restriction added into the system when they rolled out “greater availability” through expanded (not new) married segment usage. They didn’t have to do it. They chose to add the additional restriction.
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Old Mar 22, 19, 9:52 pm
  #66  
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Originally Posted by bruinfan90 View Post


I disagree with this assessment. One is most certainly NOT a byproduct of the other.

I know for a fact that married segment award availability has been present in the AAdvantage system for many years. I’ve personally run into it several times over the years. This new Through Award Fare restriction is not a simple “side effect” of married segment availability. It did not exist in any form until the “newly improved” availability rolled out last year. Clearly, it’s no necessary side effect to the use of married segment availability. It was a conscious additional restriction added into the system when they rolled out “greater availability” through expanded (not new) married segment usage. They didn’t have to do it. They chose to add the additional restriction.
It is a standard requirement of married segment availability ; when booking A-C via B , then the availability needs to be available for A-C . not just A-B and B-C ; it isn't something new that has just come out; that for a while there was more success in circumventing the restriction does not mean that it wasn't there

There are numerous cases mentioned in the thread on this topic where people are complaining that they cannot get an A-B flight

Married sectors have been around for many years; that AA mey not have been using it doesn't change what they are

In your situation, you just need to decide - do you want to do those specific flights, in which case the mileage cost will be higher and need to be 2 bookings or whether to take other flights which are available.
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Old Mar 23, 19, 8:04 am
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American DID use married segment award availability prior to last year. The airline has been using it for many years. They just vastly increased the use last year.

Sorry, but never before (last year’s changes) was a single segment with T availability prohibited from being joined with another single segment with T availability, provided that the two segments, combined, met American’s rules for a valid through connection route. There was no requirement that T award availability had to be specifically released for the combined routing; it just required that the route be a published route. Heck, one didn’t even need to call in to book it. Often times, the online multi-segment tool could be used to select the desired segments and it would price the combination appropriately. To claim otherwise is just plain wrong.
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Last edited by bruinfan90; Mar 23, 19 at 8:26 am
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Old Mar 23, 19, 9:08 am
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Originally Posted by bruinfan90 View Post
...Sorry, but never before (last year’s changes) was a single segment with T availability prohibited from being joined with another single segment with T availability, provided that the two segments, combined, met American’s rules for a valid through connection route. There was no requirement that T award availability had to be specifically released for the combined routing; it just required that the route be a published route.
Right.
Last year’s changes.
You seem to get it now, hopefully.
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Old Mar 23, 19, 9:09 am
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Originally Posted by bruinfan90 View Post
American DID use married segment award availability prior to last year. The airline has been using it for many years. They just vastly increased the use last year.

Sorry, but never before (last year’s changes) was a single segment with T availability prohibited from being joined with another single segment with T availability, provided that the two segments, combined, met American’s rules for a valid through connection route. There was no requirement that T award availability had to be specifically released for the combined routing; it just required that the route be a published route. Heck, one didn’t even need to call in to book it. Often times, the online multi-segment tool could be used to select the desired segments and it would price the combination appropriately. To claim otherwise is just plain wrong.
I'm not sure what you are arguing about in reality. Nobody isn't arguing that the change you say is recent isn't so. It's just you are insisting married segment means only one aspect of married segment but the rest of us say it's two sides of the same coin. Married segment logic means A-B and B-C availability are not related to A-B-C availability (as one award). Both (A-B-C available but not A-B and/or B-C are available) and (A-B and B-C available but not A-B-C) are examples of married segment logic.

Whether you ran into A-B or B-C not available even though A-B-C was earlier than the rest of us doesn't make "Through Fare Award" not a subset of married segment logic. Maybe there is an internal AA memo using those words, maybe the agent made it up. . If married segment logic existed before, it was imperceptible to me other than when booking 100% partner airlines (CX in particular) but happy to concede it impacted you. Still not a second change beyond the recent institution (or expansion) of married segment logic.
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Old Mar 23, 19, 10:09 am
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If it were two sides of the same coin as some of you claim, then we would have never seen married segment award availability in American's system prior to 2018. We did.

What American did when they expanded married segment availability last year is they appear to have also restricted availability for all connecting travel on AA metal only to married segment availability Hence, what was told to me by agents on the phone, "A Through Award Fare must exist to allow award seats on two separate nonstop flights to be combined into a single MileSAAver award ticket."

Here is my point:

1.) Married Segments existed in the American award availability system long before 2018.
2.) American vastly expanded the use of Married Segment award availability in 2018.
3.) The restriction that prevents two nonstop award seats from being combined into a single valid award ticket was also newly introduced in 2018.
4.) American did not have to implement #3 when they expanded #2 . They chose to do so, quietly devaluing the program in an effort to further protect their cash ticket sales.
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Old Mar 23, 19, 10:17 am
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Originally Posted by bruinfan90 View Post
If it were two sides of the same coin as some of you claim, then we would have never seen married segment award availability in American's system prior to 2018. We did.

What American did when they expanded married segment availability last year is they appear to have also restricted availability for all connecting travel on AA metal only to married segment availability Hence, what was told to me by agents on the phone, "A Through Award Fare must exist to allow award seats on two separate nonstop flights to be combined into a single MileSAAver award ticket."

Here is my point:

1.) Married Segments existed in the American award availability system long before 2018.
2.) American vastly expanded the use of Married Segment award availability in 2018.
3.) The restriction that prevents two nonstop award seats from being combined into a single valid award ticket was also newly introduced in 2018.
4.) American did not have to implement #3 when they expanded #2 . They chose to do so, quietly devaluing the program in an effort to further protect their cash ticket sales.

Your initial claim was very different, you're only confirming what (most) people have been trying to tell you the whole time-- seeding confusion the whole time.

Again, your initial claim was erroneous (and based on a confusing Agent comment) and now you seem to be realizing that.

Not everyone here makes sure they know their facts before entering into a prolonged debate (and will tirelessly, pedantically, forcefully split hairs *interminably*,) but my record there is beyond reproach, so just take my word for it.

My work being done on this one, I exit gracefully.
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Old Mar 23, 19, 10:27 am
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
Your initial claim was very different, you're only confirming what (most) people have been trying to tell you the whole time-- seeding confusion the whole time.
Again, your initial claim was erroneous (and based on a confusing Agent comment) and now you seem to be realizing that.
I have a lot of respect for you and your contributions to these boards, JonNYC. I do beg to differ in your assessment that my initial claim was erroneous, or tangibly different from my most recent summation. The only thing I did not know was that #3 was rolled out at the same time as #2 . My point all along has been that #3 is additive to #2 and was a conscious 2nd step taken by American, not a necessary side effect to the expansion of married segment award availability. While #2 was positive, #3 was a very negative move.

Maybe I'm the only one on these boards that was unaware of #3 when #2 was proudly announced by American last year, but I doubt it.
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Old Mar 23, 19, 10:39 am
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Originally Posted by bruinfan90 View Post
...that #3 is additive to #2 and was a conscious 2nd step taken by American, not a necessary side effect to the expansion of married segment award availability.
Yeah, that I'm agnostic on, and, unlike some, I won't pretend to know the answer on that when I don't.
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Old Mar 23, 19, 2:05 pm
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Originally Posted by bruinfan90 View Post
Maybe I'm the only one on these boards that was unaware of #3 when #2 was proudly announced by American last year, but I doubt it.
I wasn't aware American announced married segments publicly at all. Can you point out the announcement please?
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Old Mar 23, 19, 10:51 pm
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Though the throughAAward business stinks, if it also means more nonstop award availabilty, then at least i can book some Avios itineraries

The itineraries with overnight layovers and married segments have turned my avios to CrapVios



Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
No, not 12,500 BA Avios, but just 15,000 BA Avios (7,500+7,500) -- which is a lot better than 20,000 AA miles, especially if you can catch a 40% or 50% transfer bonus from Amex MR to BA.
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