More Tips on ITA Advanced Routing Language

Advanced Routing ITA

Brad told me a while ago that I should continue my series on how to use ITA, focusing on how to combine different pieces of advanced routing language when using ITA's Matrix search engine. ITA is one of the most powerful ways to search for flights, with rules that will allow you to specify individual flights, carriers, alliances, and just about anything else you can think of. It’s great when you … [Read more...]

Other Features of ITA Fare Matrix

This week I’m reviewing some of my most popular posts, including how to use ITA Software’s Fare Matrix. If you’ve never used it before, today’s post will not make any sense. I suggest you read Part 1 first, and maybe Part 2. Part 1: Introduction to ITA Fare Matrix Part 2: Using Routing Language with ITA Fare Matrix Part 3: Other Features of ITA Fare Matrix You should now know how to use … [Read more...]

Using Routing Language with ITA Fare Matrix


Today I'm going to show you the true power of the ITA Fare Matrix search engine. Some of this routing language has been incorporated into Hipmunk, although it's not widely publicized. (Read my reviews to learn more; there are links in yesterday's Hipmunk Giveaway post.) How to Use ITA Yesterday I introduced how to use ITA for a basic round trip flight from Seattle to Washington, DC. Among other … [Read more...]

Introduction to ITA Fare Matrix

This blog has grown tremendously since I started writing in January, so I thought I'd share a few of my earliest and most popular posts this week. I've also gone through and edited them for clarity in some cases. Nearly every search I do starts with using Fare Matrix by ITA thanks to its flexible display options and advanced routing language. I know many experienced travelers enjoy using KVS … [Read more...]

Are Y-Up Fares or Mileage Runs Better for Free Upgrades?

One of my blog posts recently got picked up by Lifehacker, and while I’m pretty stoked about the extra publicity, it also prompted some questions from new readers. The article was discussing the usefulness of Y-Up fares to save money on first class upgrades. These tickets are essentially full-price or slightly discounted coach fares that include an instant upgrade to first class. My blog was … [Read more...]

Upgradeable Fares Can Cost Double on United vs. American


A few days ago I provided a comparison of United's Premier 1K status and American's Executive Platinum status. One of the benefits of top-tier status with an airline is usually systemwide upgrade certificates, and a reader asked if I could compare the actual cost of purchasing an upgradedable fare on United vs. American. I hope these results will be useful not just for comparing the cost of … [Read more...]

Finding Mileage Runs

Mark emailed me this morning about a United fare sale for travel this weekend and asked if it was a good opportunity to find some mileage run candidates out of Seattle. Unfortunately, my answer was "no." Fare sales in my experience are not a terribly good way to find cheap fares and often fall into two categories. First, you get last-minute sales like the one happening right now. These are often … [Read more...]