ITA Matrix

News on the travel hacking frontier has been slow lately.  As a result, I’m not posting every day.  I don’t want to post something just to say that I posted every day.  But during this lull, I got thinking about travel basics that I may not have covered.  And I was surprised to see that I never talked about ITA Matrix.

ITA Matrix is a way to search for non-award flights.  This tool is free and it has great functionality.  What I like best about ITA Matrix is the flexible date search.  You can say that you want to travel, let’s say, sometime during the month of February 2012 for 5-7 days between 2 cities.  ITA Matrix can do that search!  If you want to connect through a certain city, you can also force your search to only look for flights with connections through a certain city.  There are so many features of this tool.  Here’s a link to their help page so you can see all of the different ways you can search. 

This is the tool that many mileage runners use to find cheap flights.  (For those who are not familiar with the term mileage runner – it is someone who searches for flights that have a low cost per mile.  Taking those flights allows them to build their EQM – butt in seat miles – and helps them gain status on an airline.)

ITA Matrix is a search only tool; you cannot purchase the tickets from this site.  When you find the flights you want to purchase, you have to go to the airline or travel site (like Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity, etc) to purchase the flights.

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