In this video we show you How To Find out The Cheapest Flight In The Shortest Time
Many of you are probably wondering what is really the best way to search for low-priced airline tickets. Perhaps you’ve been burned in the past by finding a lower fare on another site AFTER you already booked your own, and you’re just looking for a reliable deal.
In this case, it’s safe to say that the ITA Matrix software search tool is the best search tool out there.
Actually, most other flight search engines are based off its technology. This article will tell you more about what the Matrix is (not the Neo one!) and how to use it.
Some of the best credit cards for earning airline miles are the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express (3x points in American Express Membership Rewards) and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x points in Chase Ultimate Rewards).
In addition, the company also created a mobile app called OnTheFly, which utilizes the software to help mobile users find cheap plane tickets on the go.
Currently, the company is in version 3.0 of the software as it has now integrated with Google. Details of the updates and the software can be found here.
From a user standpoint, it’s a simple form where you input your desired flight details and get flight options in return. The details you input are:
Default ITA Matrix Form with Advanced Routing Codes Showing
Round Trip, One-way, or Multi-city
First, select your type of trip. The difference between round trip or one-way is that you won’t be allowed to select return dates for the latter.
If you want more than just a “there-and-back” trip, selecting multi-city allows you choose multiple different departure and destination cities.
Departing From City/Destination City
Type in the airport code (ORD, JFK, etc.) or city name and the Matrix will find the appropriate airport. You can also have it select all airports within an area if there are multiple.
Advanced Routing Codes (Optional)
Use these to choose or exclude specific airlines as well as many other options. These are discussed in detail in the advanced section.
Dates (Exact or Calendar)
This option allows you to choose by exact or flexible dates, or elect to see a calendar. If you stick with “exact dates” you’ll get the next two options.
Outbound and Return Dates (Exact or Flexible Date Options and Preferred Times)
Put in the dates you need if your trip days are inflexible. Otherwise, use the options to make it flexible up to +/- 2 days. You can also select preferred flight times if you want to restrict the search to a certain time of day.
Number of Adults (Children or Seniors Optional)
You’re likely searching for flights for yourself or another adult as well, but you can also add children and seniors as needed.
Cabin Type (Class of Service)
Keep default selections to stay in economy, or change to premium, business, or first.
Number of Desired Stops/Extra Stops Allowed
In this section you can choose to look at only non-stop, one-stop, or two-stop flights. Then, you can also have the program search a range, such as 0-1 stop, 0-2 stops, etc.
Other (Airport Changes, Only Flights With Available Seats)
These two options can be used to ensure you make it back to the same airport you left from and don’t have to swap between airports on multi-stop trips.
You can also search for airline tickets even if they don’t have seats, in case you want to compare.
Currency and Sales City
These two advanced options will be discussed in the second part of this article.
Final Thoughts on How to Use the ITA Software Matrix
Using the Matrix is as simple as putting in your details and clicking the “Search” button in the bottom right of the form.
As long as you have an idea of what you want out of your flight, you can narrow down your options to something that works for you.
If you’re just looking for cheap flight tickets, you can input minimal data and come back with the cheapest fares. Of course, don’t forget to purchase it with a points/miles card!