POSTED ON February 27, 2020

Book affordable flight via matrix ITA software: powerful tool for trip planning

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The process of planning a vacation starts with a flight booking. For power travelers, the matrix ITA software is the best tool for flight deals hunting.

In the past, people tent to hire an assistant from travel agencies to plan their trips, since they lacked information in comparing several options. Especially in slight booking, travel agents seemingly hold the absolute advantage providing selections that were believed to bring more benefit to their business rather than their customers.

In recent years, along with the innovation of software development, people can easily approach flight search engine tools, which allow airline fare comparison. Skyscanner or Kayak refers to the common software that serves millions of traffics daily. Instead of direct services, they also provide Application Programming Interface (API) to software development company building the travel planning software. In which, those apps connect with matrix flight search engine to display search result directly in the apps.

However, there is one airfare search with less popular but more powerful than anything else, called Matrix ITA software. This matrix flight search engine does not allow direct booking but detailly describes option information. Additionally, users can access several parameters of their search. Emerge the huge database of most airline brands, private users and travel agents can browse for available seats and find the best deals for booking. In fact, other matrix flight search engine technology mostly based on ITA software. We will show you more about Google ITA matrix in this article.

What is matrix ITA software to flight booking

ITA Software is a matrix airfare search, initially developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1996. ITA refers to the first flight search engines that return the cheap flight options. In 2011, Google was successful in acquiring matrix ITA software to add it to Google’s ecosystem.

Recently, Google ITA flight matrix allows several travel companies to use its platforms to airfare search. Particularly, Google Flights, Orbitz, and Kayak are empowered by the ITA matrix.

Fortunately, internet users can directly access matrix ITA software version 3.0. For advanced searchers who know exactly what they are looking for, the ITA matrix tends to be the most expeditious tool to feed their needs. It provides a high level of customization in cheap flight searching. As a result, experienced travelers and travel agents are seemingly two strategic users of ITA software.

On the other hand, matrix ITA software also has some limitations, which should be improved shortly. It takes more loading time than most of the remaining search engines. Furthermore, while ITA might include an enormous database from airlines, there will be a small portion of flights that searchers might miss. Google currently does not allow direct booking in matrix ITA software. It means you only see your options and details. Alternatively, searchers can use other software, typically BookwithMatrix to get the booking links. For a multi-location search, matrix ITA software allows to input of up to six pairs. However, users have limited options that only nearby cities will appear to search for. Additionally, the ITA interface seems to be not user-friendly, which requires some advanced skills. We will show you how.

Matrix ITA software airfare search operation

Matrix ITA software provides a simple form that allows users to fill in:

  • Trip details: You can select trip types, including round trips, one-ray or multi-city trip.
  • Departure and destination: You can select airports with airport codes (usually with 3 letters) and cities with location codes for selecting all airports in the city.
  • Outbound and return dates: ITA matrix allow both exact and flexible date and time. For flexible options, you can search for up to +/- 2 days on your preferred date.
  • Number of travelers: input the number of adults, children or seniors optional.
  • Class of services: Enter preferred cabin types, including economy, premium economy, business, or first class.

ITA software advanced features

One of the biggest reasons behind the power of Google ITA matrix is advanced codes included in search steps. Matrix ITA software allows users to input simple coding syntax, which makes the flight search more customizes. ITA Searchers can explore some simple rules to specifically define specifics airport and flight brands inside the outbound extension codes box, within the departure and destination fields. For selecting more options, users can easily use commas to separate the selections.

Common airport codes consist of three Upper characters, while 2 upper characters often represent airline codes. ITA matrix search also allows putting flight numbers and country names. We generate popular routine codes below:

Code exampleInterpretation
FIdentify a specific flight number or a placeholder
?Zero or one flight or airport meeting the specific criteria Often put behind the codes. Ex: “HAN?” means direct flight or one stop in Hanoi
X?Direct flight or one-stop anywhere
~Negation: can be applied to airport codes, airline codes, and attributes. Often put forward the codes Ex: “~HAN”: single stop not in Hanoi
+One or more flights or airports meeting the specific criteria Often put behind airport codes, airline codes, or flight number code
*Zero or more flights or airports meeting the specific criteria
1000-2000Flight number ranging from 1000-2000
,Or Using to separate options Ex: “DL,AF”: either DL or AF airline
NNon-stop flight only
N?Non-stop flight on any airline
:Operated by Ex: “O:UA” single flight operated by UA (United Airlines)
F+ One or more flight on any airline
UA CHI UATwo United Airlines with a connection in Chicago

For more code details, you can check with Google ITA matrix support.  

Apply matrix flight search engine API and GDS in travel planning software development

Airfare search API allows the software development company to build travel planner apps and websites with powerful airline search included, instant accessing to flight inventory globally. Particularly for a small business travel agent that plans to develop a travel and hospitality software, Flight API intergrade effortlessly enormous inventory on mobile apps or websites.

On the contrary, setting up API might challenge travel without appropriate support from an  IT development team. This process requires comprehensive code capacity, those travel startups might find themselves inadequate. In this case, hiring a software outsourcing development company refers to a beneficial choice. 

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