I use ITA Matrix all of the time to find flights, and find it to be one of the best free tools in the travel-sphere.
Here’s what ITA Matrix allows you to do, in a nutshell:
- Search an entire calendar month worth of flights, to find the cheapest fare.
- Search a preference of how many nights you wish to be away, and see the lowest fares across a broad spectrum of dates.
- Find specific routings, meeting specific parameters.
When you first look at ITA, it looks a bit “daunting,” however the syntax used to get you the information you need is fairly easy. In using ITA’s glossary and syntax guide, I’ve compiled this chart to help you, along with the chart they publish, as well. This isn’t a full guide to using ITA, but rather what are probably the most commonly used codes. I’ve used airline and airport codes as examples in the chart, since this is the easiest way of reading things.
You’ll enter the data here:
It’s important to note that a “direct” flight can be a flight with connections, but doesn’t have to be. A non-stop flight, is, of course, a flight from one destination to another without any stops, such as JFK-LAX.
[table id=8 /]
In general, you’ll see several short-codes to use, too:
- C: – When you use this, you’re referring to flights operated by or code-shared by.
- O: – When you use this, you’re referring to flights only operated by the airline specified.
- X referes to a connection city
Hopefully you find this guide helpful, and it serves as a go-to reference when you don’t know which advanced routing code to input. Comment with any questions below, and I’ll do my best to help answer them!
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