Airline Insider secrets: What Are Married Segments? | Prince of Travel

A topic which is been coming up far more and far more regularly in the Miles & Details environment as of late is married segments.

Broadly talking, married segments are two or far more flights among city pairs that airways offer together as a single bundled device, instead than as two or far more personal segments. Married segments apply to equally hard cash and award bookings.

Let’s acquire a deeper search into married segments and how you may possibly experience them when organizing your journeys.

What Are Married Segments?

Numerous of us have expended innumerable hrs seeking for the best itinerary. A baffled glimpse seems on your facial area when you see your suitable flight available as element of a multi-flight itinerary – but when you look for for the person segment alone, it magically disappears.

This probably is not an occasion of phantom award room. Rather, what you are encountering is a married segment.

There can be any variety of stipulations put on how the flights may perhaps be marketed, usually buried deep in the fare procedures.

For married segments, the airline may point out that a unique flight pairing ought to be booked collectively at a distinct value, and the flights could not be booked independently for the same fare.

For award bookings, an airline may well release “Saver” or decrease-charge award seats on married segments, but not on the very same personal segments.

Married section logic has been applied with greater frequency to award bookings in modern a long time. Observe that the loyalty program has no handle about married segment logic alternatively, the airline whose tickets are being offered decides which segments are married.

Why Do Airlines Use Married Segments?

Airways use married segments strategically to increase revenue.

By managing the two the issuance of regular flyer details and the flights for which factors may perhaps be utilised, including married segments, airways ensure that they are raking in as significantly income as feasible.

Most key airlines have origin and vacation spot controls to determine how a lot income contribution they’ll get for every flight. To attain this, the airline may well decide to marry segments collectively to avoid travellers or travel agents from generating bookings in a way that goes in opposition to the profits contribution the airline is aiming for.

Airlines use married segments to maximize income.

For instance, direct flights are almost often extra high-priced than connecting flights. A immediate flight from Vancouver to Toronto may be far more high priced than a flight from Vancouver to Montreal with a connection in Toronto, regardless of whether in conditions of dollars or dynamic award pricing.

Immediate prolonged-haul flights are somewhat simple for airways to market. In main towns, these kinds of as Toronto, New York, Los Angeles, or Vancouver, there’s a affordable expectation that premium cabins will offer, even up to the very last moment, for business enterprise journey.

Airways make a lot of dollars from very last-moment quality cabin bookings

With the likelihood that someone will pay out money for those seats, the airline may well not launch as numerous award seats on the immediate route, specially at the “Saver” or most affordable amount. By permitting another person else ebook that exact same seat “for free” on an award booking, the airline could lose out on profits.

However, that exact seat may be offered on a married segment with a connecting flight at a reduce cost. 

Let’s consider a glance at an instance. Suppose you are living in Toronto and you’d like to fly to Paris. One of the options is to fly with Air France making use of Air France/KLM Flying Blue.

A research for your favored date delivers a direct flight among Toronto and Paris at a price of 70,000 miles.

Yet another place you have been pining to check out is Sofia, Bulgaria, so you choose to look at the availability to there. Curiously, the price really drops to 55,000 miles, even however you’d be on the precise exact same flight among Toronto and Paris.

There are a host of examples of married segments, and the only way to come across them is to forged a broad lookup net to different locations. Notice that there may possibly be other things, such as dynamic pricing, at enjoy way too.

Whilst quite a few airways use married segments, the adhering to listing includes some carriers commonly recognised to use the logic with award bookings:

  • Air Canada
  • Air France/KLM
  • Austrian Airways
  • British Airways
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Delta
  • Etihad Airways
  • Lufthansa
  • Qatar Airways
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Swiss
  • Tap Air Portugal
  • United Airlines

Can You Break up Up a Married Section?

In short, the solution is ordinarily no. While there are surely exceptions to the rule, in the broad the greater part of circumstances, a married phase itinerary need to stay as originally booked.

You may well think that reserving a married segment and then hacking it up into two items would be a savvy way to get what you want. Unfortunately, it doesn’t pretty perform that way.

One particular motive that married segments just can’t be split up is that airlines can issue penalties to ticketing brokers who really don’t observe their fare rules. These penalties are referred to as “Agency Debit Memos” or “ADMs”.

If an agent split up a married segment to gain obtain to booking courses that are in any other case unavailable on the specific routes, the airline could strike back again with an ADM.

The real price of the ADM can differ, but an case in point may well be the distinction in fare involving the authentic married segments and the two people today segments, as well as a penalty of $300 per section for every passenger.

This will come out of the agency’s income, so it’s undoubtedly not in their ideal interest to be breaking any regulations. Remember this the next time you’re on the phone with an Aeroplan agent who can not break up up your married segment in spite of their greatest attempts. 😉

Can Married Segments Be Advantageous?

Typically speaking, married segments do not truly operate in the consumer’s curiosity. Immediately after all, owning the exact seat out there for different price ranges doesn’t seem to be honest.

Nonetheless, married segments can operate in your favour if you’re originating or arriving in a place that’s not an airline’s key hub. You may well be extra most likely to benefit from married segments if you must consider a connecting flight to get to where by you want to go.

Married segments might gain all those who journey to or from lesser markets that usually require a connecting flight.

A person follow you might have heard of is hidden-metropolis ticketing. This is the apply of booking flights without having the intention of using each section, in an hard work to rating a deal.

The very same practice could be used to married segments. If you are able to get an award seat on a connecting flight, you could make a decision to skip the previous flight and continue to be in the town to which you required to fly in the first area.

In the Air France instance higher than, you could ebook the Toronto–Paris–Sofia itinerary for 55,000 Traveling Blue miles and then mysteriously drop sick and skip your flight in Paris, with the silver lining of conserving you 15,000 miles as opposed to only scheduling the Toronto–Paris direct flight.

This doesn’t occur without pitfalls, although, and I would not propose earning a practice of it.

One hazard is that the airline could revoke your regular flyer miles and/or elite status, if you continuously skirt fare and ticketing regulations by strategically lacking flights.

The airline controls who may possibly use loyalty applications, and since tactics like breaking up married segments or skipping segments on goal violates their agreement of carriage, it could final result in you getting rid of your points and/or standing privileges.

A further hazard is that in the function of irregular functions, the airline is only obligated to get you to your last spot. In this regard, you operate the hazard of not finding to your intended place, which could be rather considerably away.

If you skip a segment on a round-journey flight, the rest of your booking is typically forfeited. Hence, this sort of apply is finest reserved for a person-way bookings.

And finally, if you look at a bag that is by way of-checked to your closing vacation spot, you will be devoid of your bag if you strategy on exiting your journey partway via. Although you could request for your bag to be shorter-checked to the intermediate place, there is no promise that your desire will be granted.


Married segments are one of several finer intricacies of the airline planet. When there are some cases exactly where they may perhaps function in your favour, that’s typically not likely to be the scenario.

This is legitimate with each hard cash and award bookings. Unique to award bookings, it may possibly be a lot more hard to come across award place on direct flights, whilst the very same flight might be readily available as portion of a married section.

If you just cannot discover your ideal award flight, try out on the lookout at locations that would call for a connecting flight. You may perhaps be shocked equally with the award availability in a married phase, as well as identifying a desired destination you might not have regarded as checking out just before.

Bettina Cabana is a web designer and a freelance fashion blogger. She loves to write about the latest trends, women's fashion, and a lot more in the industry. Bettina has been working for multiple clients in the past many years. She likes to explore new places, cultures, and cook in her free time.

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