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PA110
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KLM - Fix Married Connection Logic!

Thu Jul 21, 2005 1:56 am

It would seem that KLM is scraping the bottom of the barrel these days for computer programmers who know what they're doing. KLM married connection logic is a yield management tool that turns off and on various fare inventories based on O&D markets. However, it doesn't work correctly half the time, and makes no provision whatsoever for clients wishing a stopover.

KLM, its time you traded in Corda for a real system and hired systems programmers who are taught how tariffs work before programming the system!
It's been swell, but the swelling has gone down.
 
BigOrange
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RE: KLM - Fix Married Connection Logic!

Thu Jul 21, 2005 2:05 am

It's not just KLM who have the stupid married connection logic. CO and DL also have it.

This was started in the late 90's presumably to stop travel agents like me who found a way to beat the previous yield management system. On DL if a routing from the UK to a US city was full, we used to book a UK-MEX flight, cancel the ATL-MEX connection and book a domestic connection.
 
geoffm
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RE: KLM - Fix Married Connection Logic!

Thu Jul 21, 2005 3:17 am

Don't blame the programmers, blame the people that designed it! After all, programmers only work to specs. If the spec says jump, they jump. The people that designed it (convert the requirements from the customer and turn them into designs for the programmers) need shooting.

I wonder how much simpler fares would be if it wasn't for these complex, multi-tier, muilti-tangent fare structures? Everybody in Y pays X - that's it. If you connect, then you get 1/3 off the cheapest leg, for example.

Geoff M.
 
Leskova
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RE: KLM - Fix Married Connection Logic!

Thu Jul 21, 2005 3:42 am

Quoting PA110 (Thread starter):
However, it doesn't work correctly half the time

You're thinking of that "nice" situation when, after checking dozens of flights, you've finally found a connection that works and has an availability in the class you need, only to find that the availability isn't really there because the system returns the segments with a UC as status code?

Quoting PA110 (Thread starter):
and makes no provision whatsoever for clients wishing a stopover.

Which, essentially, is exactly the logic behind married segments - or do you know an airline that offers the ability to have stopovers between married segments? I cannot think of one...


There are occasional cases (although, fortunately, I don't have to hunt for availabilities any more these days) when those yield management systems go nut - I remember several situations with BA bookings in which I had a lower Q-class fare and a higher O-class fare; when I checked the flights segment by segment, I got availabilities in both; when I checked the full connection, I got Q but O was down to 0...

Regards,
Frank
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HotelEchoFox
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Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 10:46 pm

RE: KLM - Fix Married Connection Logic!

Thu Jul 21, 2005 4:04 am

Hey all -

Please forgive the new guy's ignorance, but what exactly is a 'married connection'? Thanks for your help.

HEF
 
BigOrange
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RE: KLM - Fix Married Connection Logic!

Thu Jul 21, 2005 5:25 am

Quoting HotelEchoFox (Reply 4):
Please forgive the new guy's ignorance, but what exactly is a 'married connection'? Thanks for your help.

A married connection is where a flight has a connection, but the reservation system wont give you availability for the connection unless you complete the trip exactly as booked.
 
HB-IWC
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RE: KLM - Fix Married Connection Logic!

Thu Jul 21, 2005 12:07 pm

KLM's yield management tool has indeed quite a bit of flaws. Ex Asia, one will only be able to book connecting flights in the lower fare categories (Q and H) for flights to Europe.

Although the local KLM office issues confidential fares for the local market for destinations in Africa and North America in those classes, they are almost never available. A recent search for a Q fare between CGK and YUL, YYZ and CPT resulted in not a single availability in the entire 340 day period open for booking left not a single connection available for any of these destinations, although there was plenty of availability on all of the individual segments. What is the point then of issuing confidential fares for the local market using these booking classes?

Strangely enough, the system would allow me to book the lowest available fare on a routing CGK-KUL-AMS-JNB-CPT with only CGK-KUL and AMS-JNB operated by KL, whilst KUL-AMS and JNB-CPT are operated by MH and BA respectively (with KL flight number). The yield management tool seems not to be active for codeshared operations. Also, for KL flights to South America ex CGK there is no problem, I could book a Q and even V routing CGK-AMS-GRU-EZE nearly every single day.

In the end, it turned out cheaper to book seperately CGK-AMS-LHR and LHR-AMS-CPT. When all was said and done this routing was about USD150 cheaper than the CGK confidential rate for CGK-AMS-CPT.

While I believe in the virtues of Yield Management, I have experienced that KLM's system is by far not finetuned as it does not cater for quite some everyday situations. In all likelihood, those resposible for drawing up the specifications of the system, have to do quite a bit more of field studies to further optimize their tool.
 
RobNL
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RE: KLM - Fix Married Connection Logic!

Thu Jul 21, 2005 2:24 pm

KLM will migrate reservations from Corda to Amadeus soon as Air France is on Amadeus also.
Can't provide a timetable for the migration though. Maybe GlobeTrekker or Lamedianaranja or somebody else knows?

Rob
 
HotelEchoFox
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RE: KLM - Fix Married Connection Logic!

Thu Jul 21, 2005 3:33 pm

Thanks, BigOrange. I was getting the jist of it from context, but it helps to have someone lay it out for you.

HEF
 
JGPH1A
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RE: KLM - Fix Married Connection Logic!

Thu Jul 21, 2005 4:05 pm

Quoting PA110 (Thread starter):
KLM, its time you traded in Corda for a real system and hired systems programmers who are taught how tariffs work before programming the system!

They will probably do so, in conjunction with AF, in the next few years. Reservations meanwhile, is being migrated to Amadeus, I'm told in March 2007.

Quoting RobNL (Reply 7):
KLM will migrate reservations from Corda to Amadeus soon as Air France is on Amadeus also.
Can't provide a timetable for the migration though.


17 March 2007 (to be exact)

Marriage Logic is hideously complicated and a pain in the arse, to be blunt. I worked for 4 years on BA's Marriage Logic product, and it was pretty good - it only adjusted availability in favour of the agent (availability was never reduced based on the O&D), and only married the segments when the availability has been adjusted to offer more seats for the O&D than were made available on the individual flights.

Some carriers go a step further and base marriage not only segments being sold that transaction, but also on segments that have already been sold (even in a previous transaction) in the same PNR. This is called Marriage to Journey Data, and only a couple of carriers do it - KL being one of them. We do have problems sometimes with carriers with complex O&D systems, that offer availability but then deny sell based on other segments in the itinerary - mentioning no names of course (*cough*LX*cough*).

[Edited 2005-07-21 09:24:29]
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NWrr
Posts: 81
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RE: KLM - Fix Married Connection Logic!

Thu Jul 21, 2005 7:25 pm

Ugh. Journey Logic (as NW calls it) annoys the heck out of me. I had someone call once who was looking at itasoftware, I think, and said, "Well, if there is K from SMF to MSP, and K from MSP to MEM, and K from MEM to VPS, then why can I not get this K fare from SMF to VPS?" My answer: "Because they aren't giving any more seats out in K from SMF to VPS, but if you would like to book a separate fare on each of those flights in K, I'd be happy to do that in three different, convenient reservations."

(If you detected the slight hint of sarcasm there, you're doing well!)

It drives me crazy to see a flight itin that has the first 5 or 6 fare classes zeroed out, and when you check the actual flight load, there have been a whopping two seats sold on each flight. Sigh. When people ask me why yield management does this kind of thing, I just sigh, apologize, and say, "Well, no one ever said airline pricing had to make any sense."

About two or three days out, from what I've seen, they do drop all journey logic, thus causing me to be able to force fares it normally wouldn't let me do. Otherwise, in order to get the lower rates, you have to have a 4+ hour layover in a hub. Now doesn't that sound like fun?
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PA110
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RE: KLM - Fix Married Connection Logic!

Fri Jul 22, 2005 4:43 am

I wasn't aware of this secondary Journey (il)logic! It sounds like the Journey Logic exists simply to prevent sales in some O&D markets. Otherwise, why bother? Simple married connection logic would suffice. It would seem that married connection logic favors the longhaul connection, whereas Journey Logic is being used to deny the longhaul connection.
It's been swell, but the swelling has gone down.
 
AirScoot
Posts: 667
Joined: Thu May 12, 2005 6:44 pm

RE: KLM - Fix Married Connection Logic!

Fri Jul 22, 2005 6:00 am

Ahh for the days when you could override it using a point beyond.. Used to be able to get all sorts of oddball segments by throwing AMS in the routing somewhere on NW.. and throwing the RFD bus in on UA used to make wonderful things appear.

JGPH1A -

I've been out of the wholesale side of things for a while but you can probably answer this. Did BA ever get the H/Z problem worked out? This has been a couple of years but it used to wreak hell with us reaching contract numbrs. Every time we brought it up to BA Sales here in the US we got the standard shoulder shrug..

(i.e. point beyond London showing available always in a point to point situation, but not on a connection, and the reverse on nonstops between the US/UK)

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