Introduction to ExpertFlyer: Finding Availability and Constructing Fares

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In yesterday's post I reviewed the basics of searching for airline fares. Today I will use that fare information and match it with the booking class availability on different flights. I strongly recommend you read yesterday's post so you can pick up where we left off. Otherwise not much will make sense. Other posts in this series: Introduction to ExpertFlyer: Fare Rules and … [Read more...]

Introduction to ExpertFlyer: Fare Rules and Prices

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This week I'll be trying to recreate elements of my talk on ExpertFlyer at Frequent Traveler University Advanced. Some people who attend these presentations ask for a copy, but I usually give it live and have nothing to offer. Others only sign up for the regular FTU and wonder what they're missing. Other posts in this series: Introduction to ExpertFlyer: Finding Availability and … [Read more...]

Flying Together? Find the Lowest Fare on ITA

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During FTU I gave two talks, on ITA Matrix and ExpertFlyer, in which the central message was that an educated customer is better prepared to get the best flight for the lowest price. These search tools don't magically create low fares. They just help you find the low fares that already exist. Not all airline websites or online travel agencies work very well, so it can be very useful to know what … [Read more...]

How to Find a W Fare to Redeem a United Global Premier Upgrade

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I'm providing some step-by-step examples of real scenarios to help people learn to use ITA Matrix based on feedback from this blog and my Chicago Seminars presentation. Let's imagine you want to book a flight on United Airlines and apply a Global Premier Upgrade. United has certain restrictions on who operates the flight (United), who sells the flight (United), and the fare class (W or higher). … [Read more...]

Does It Matter When You Buy Tickets?

Airline Reporting Corp. released a new survey on the best day to buy airline tickets, as reported in The Wall Street Journal yesterday. View from the Wing mentioned the survey on his blog this morning, but I have a different take that I'll get to in a moment. The survey claims that weekends have become a cheaper day to buy. Historically people have argued in favor of Tuesday or Wednesday, after … [Read more...]

How to Use ITA Matrix to Avoid (or Find) Codeshares

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Many airlines operate codeshare flights. These are flights operated by one carrier (sometimes referred to as "the metal") but sold with a different flight number. For example, American Airlines doesn't operate any flights between Seattle and San Francisco despite serving both airports from Dallas. But if you go to their website to buy a ticket between those two cities, they won't make you connect … [Read more...]

An Introductory Guide to Fare Rules

I’m discussing airline inventory this week, including fare class availability, fares themselves, and fare construction. A lot of talk about fares for a product some people don’t think is priced very fairly at all. But maybe that's just because they don't know what to look for. I get upset, too, when things seem unnecessarily opaque. I'll try to clear things up. Introduction to Airline … [Read more...]