The ITA Matrix is definitely better than the movie, The Matrix. Unlike a world where Keanu Reeves is our great hope, The ITA Matrix offers incredibly powerful search tools for every flight on earth. Whether you are a rookie buying a simple ticket or a seasoned frequent flier trying to optimize your flying, this is an essential tool. From searching months at a time, duration of stay, allowed free stopovers, alternate airports, different currencies and more, you can become the savior of your own wallet, without Keanu Reeves.
Most of you just want the cheapest ticket and want to know where to find it. Cool. You can access the ITA Matrix HERE. Once there I highly suggest searching by "see calendar of lowest fares" and entering the potential length range for your stay. I always recommend making the length of stay as flexible as your travel allows for best searching. For most simple searches, this is really all you need to have a wealth of information presented to you. As you can see below, following these exact steps, a search of New York to Miami turned up vastly different options depending on day and length of stay. For longer, more international itineraries, the matrix will show you the actual fare rules and allowed destination which make up the ticket. You can use these to find stopovers and other money saving, destination expanding tricks. To do so, simply click "rules" next to the fare you pull up.
For you deal hunters looking to score business class seats for less than coach, the ITA Matrix is a super power tool, though do note, airlines like Cathay Pacific don't file all their fares on the Matrix. Check both. For best results, try techniques such as changing the location of purchase or currency for a ticket, often to or from your destination, even though you are actually just sitting in your living room. For example, searching for a trip from Hong Kong to Bangkok, I'll find much better price by searching in Hong Kong Dollars and booking in local currency rather than using US dollars on US search engines, where I'm sitting. Additionally, if you know of a specific fare code, routing or fuel dump, you can put the matrix like code into your search. You can always play around with location regardless of what ticket you are looking for, in fact I suggest it. We all like a deal!
This is such a no brainer. Though you will have to visit an actual travel retailer like your airline, Expedia, Orbitz or other to actually book, this is where you find the perfect flights, the fare rules, which will help you figure out stopovers, the best prices and routing options. Everything you could ever want to know from every airline is presented to you in the most powerful way with as many opportunities to save money as there are on earth. Get to it and even if you are a rookie, consider playing around to see if there are money saving opportunities.
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