How and Why You Should Use ITA Matrix to Research Flights

If you’re familiar with Google Flights, you might be aware that it’s based off software used by ITA Matrix. If you really want in-depth information about cheap flights, using ITA Matrix is a must. It delves deep into each available flight and gives you the information you need to purchase the best deals. However, at first glance, it can seem overwhelming. If you want to know how to use the ITA Matrix website to research flights and what benefits it can offer you, start here.If you’re familiar with Google Flights, you might be aware that it’s based off software used by ITA Matrix. If you really want in-depth information about cheap flights, using ITA Matrix is a must. It delves deep into each available flight and gives you the information you need to purchase the best deals. However, at first glance, it can seem overwhelming. If you want to know how to use the ITA Matrix website to research flights and what benefits it can offer you, start here.

City Input

Upon opening the website, you’ll see options similar to direct booking sites. While you can’t purchase flights from ITA Matrix, you can get all the information you need to do so through airline websites. To start your search, you’ll want to input your origin and destination airports in the appropriate boxes. You’ll notice that you have the option of viewing nearby airports as well to find the best deals. Sometimes traveling to another city first can shave money off your travel costs. You can also click on Advanced Controls to put in airline or fare class codes if you have something specific in mind.

Dates of Travel

You have two options when putting in the dates of your trip. If you know the exact dates that you’d like to go, simply put them into the correct boxes. However, if you’re looking to choose the cheapest dates that month, you can click on See Calendar of Lowest Fares, put in the earliest date you want to go and a range of how many days you’d like to stay. For example, 3-7 days. It will then bring you to a calendar setup with the cheapest fares listed for each day of the month. Clicking on a specific date will bring up a list of fares depending on how long you choose to stay. When you find a fare you like, click to display the flight.

Foreign Currency

If you’d rather search for deals in a different currency, you can do that too. Sometimes you’ll find it’s cheaper to purchase in the currency of your destination country. To do so, simply choose the currency and sales city that you’d like to use before clicking the search button. This is only recommended if you know the difference between the Norwegian Krone and the US dollar.

Fare Rules and Restrictions

Once you’ve found your possible flights, check out the itinerary of each. ITA Matrix will show you everything from flight times, plane type, flight number and airline, and of course, fare codes. Fare codes are incredibly important and ITA Matrix can help you determine what the rules are for each flight fare. For example, look for the following category restrictions:

  • Category 10: Combinability – If you’re looking to add extra legs to your trip or fly into a different airport than is listed on the fare, this is the category that will tell you if you can do so under the flight you’ve chosen.
  • Category 2: Day and Time Restrictions – Certain flight fares require that you fly during specific times of day or days of the week. This category will tell you exactly what those restrictions are.
  • Category 5: Ticketing Restrictions and Advanced Reservations – With some fare packages, you’re required to purchase your ticket a certain number of days in advance. This is important information if you want to get the best deal. If you’re coming up on the deadline, you’ll want to buy your ticket immediately after your search.

Remember, ITA Matrix will help you find cheap flights, but you’ll have to book them on a separate website. Just write down the date and time information as well as the flight number and purchase through an airline or online travel agency. While it adds an extra step to booking a flight, ITA Matrix is one of the best tools out there for finding the best deal.

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