This week I’m discussing 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.
Recap on Using ITA Matrix
Last time I introduced how to use ITA for a basic round trip flight from Seattle to Washington, DC. Among other things I showed you how to use time bars to display flight options and how to learn the fare breakdown for your final itinerary.
Although SEA-IAD seems like a very simple trip with lots of nonstop and one-stop options in each direction, there are ways to limit your search results to force certain airlines, certain flight numbers, and certain connections. ITA shares some of this information on its website, but I find it awfully brief. There are also other “secret” commands.
Where to Enter Advanced Routing Codes
So, how do we activate this magical feature? Underneath the fields for departure and destination there is a link that says “Advanced routing codes.”
Clicking on this will open one additional field under each airport. You can type your advanced routing codes here, or you can place them immediately after the airport code, separated by two colons. (I usually prefer to write them in the departure and destination fields after two colons. The routing code fields will populate automatically and I don’t have to fill them in separately.)
To walk you through some examples, instead of “SEA” alone, use this command to require that the flight be marketed by United.
SEA :: UA
Because “UA” is listed once, ITA will look for a single nonstop flight. Repeat multiple times to specify the number of flights (e.g., “SEA :: UA UA UA” for three flights) or use the plus symbol to indicate any number of flights all marketed by the same carrier (e.g., “SEA :: UA+”).
Coming up… How to search multiple airlines and airports at once.