Searching for flights/fares via ITA Matrix

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  • Andrew
    Participant

    I haven’t used a travel agent for years as most of my flight searches for fares are on sites like Skyscanner, Momondo and Kayak.

    However a travel blogger I regularly read, has said that the best site to use to search for fares is ITA Matrix.
    It certainly looks like its aimed at travel professionals. The only downside is that unlike Skyscanner or Momondo etc you can’t actually book on the ITA Matrix site. What is tells you to do is to send the very detailed fare breakdown / analysis for your selected flights “to a travel agent or airline direct” presumably by email (?)

    Then an airline or travel agent can issue your ticket. My blogger friend says it’s the best way to get the cheapest fares and it is very interactive and easy to use once you know how.

    Has anyone used ITA Matrix for trip planning and what has been your experience in getting an airline or travel agent to issue a ticket based on the detailed fare computation you provide to them from the ITA Matrix site.


    FaroFlyer
    Participant

    Hi Andrew,

    I use ITA Matrix frequently. I rarely use a travel agent except for CX bookings where CX website is difficult to use, and TAs still get better deals.

    What I do is to research on ITA Matrix then construct the same journey using the website of the airline in the first sector. If it is not point to point then it is often better to book as multi sector flight by flight.

    Hope this helps.


    Julian
    Participant

    Andrew. It is a great way to search especially for fare rules. I have had no problem constructing the journey and then ringing the airline including BA or Amex to then ticket the journey. Works very well


    Andrew
    Participant

    Thank you FaroFlyer. Very helpful.

    Can i ask you something to clarify please?
    On multiple sectors where you say it’s “better to book as multi sector flight by flight” do you mean to book one multi city itinerary for the whole trip with one unique booking reference or do you mean I should book each sector individually as a one way ticket so you end up with a number of bookings and booking reference codes?


    Andrew
    Participant

    Thanks Julian. Do you actually email the resulting ITA Matrix detailed fare breakdown to the airline or travel agent and have you had any problems with them trying to dispute the fare or try to raise it higher?


    Tand
    Participant

    Thanks Julian. Do you actually email the resulting ITA Matrix detailed fare breakdown to the airline or travel agent and have you had any problems with them trying to dispute the fare or try to raise it higher?

    Hi Andrew,

    There is absolutely no need to go to the trouble of using a TA once you have found an itinerary that you would like to book on ITA. On Google Chrome, there is an extension called ITA Matrix Powertools, that once installed will provide you with the possibility to book the chosen itinerary at the click of a button.

    It works with numerous OTA’s and with quite a few airline websites as well (ie. Delta, American, BA, Qatar etc.)

    ITA is indeed a powerful tool to have, one that allows you to create complex itineraries and to make the best out of a published fare.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    FaroFlyer
    Participant

    Hi Andrew,

    Not separate bookings as that leaves you vulnerable to being “on your own” if there are any missed connections. With a single booking the airline will look after you.

    What I meant was that if you wanted to go Faro to Las Vegas then Matrix will show the connections as, for example, FAO > LGW then LGW > LAS and return in a similar format. If you go to BA website to book then don’t key in FAO > LAS as BA will usually give shortest connection, not necessarily the cheapest. Use the multi flight option on BA and enter 1st sector as FAO > LGW then 2nd as LGW > LAS etc. BA will then give you flight options and you select the flights that Matrix had indicated. That way you should get the best prices.

    Hope this helps, but ask if not clear.

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