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Old May 2, 07, 10:21 am   #1
 
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Where do you buy ITA Software itineraries?

I am new to FT as well as ITA, so if I make mistakes please let me know!

If you use ITA, my question is, where do you buy the ticket? Is there an online place I could email the itinerary and buy tickets from? I apologize if the question seems trivial to more experienced forum members, but I am truly green and would benefit from a pointer.

I am also overwhelmed by the number of forums and sub-forums here. If I posted this in the wrong place and it is moved, I may never find it again. In that case (if the thread is moved), please send your response as PM as well.
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Old May 2, 07, 12:51 pm   #2
 
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Once you have the ITA itinerary you have to go to the airline website to buy those tickets. At least that is what I do when I plan corporate travel and find the flights I need on ITA.
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Old May 2, 07, 1:13 pm   #3
 
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If the itinerary has more than one carrier, you can generally find it on orbitz, which uses ITA as their search engine (though they use worldspan and sabre for ticketing).
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Old May 2, 07, 1:36 pm   #4
 
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I do have 3 airlines. I have tried at AA.com and also Orbitz but can never get the ITA itinerary to come up. Most of the listings are taken up by darn BA, that I don't want.

One problem is that neither site lets you specify airlines for individual flights. At Orbitz I can specify 3 airlines, but only for the entire trip, and they never come up with the ITA itinerary I have.

That's why I thought, should I not be able to email this to some agency and let them do it. I mean it is potentially big business, somebody must have thought of it?

Last edited by aktchi; May 2, 07 at 3:19 pm.
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Old May 8, 07, 4:17 pm   #5
 
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Originally Posted by aktchi View Post
I do have 3 airlines. I have tried at AA.com and also Orbitz but can never get the ITA itinerary to come up. Most of the listings are taken up by darn BA, that I don't want.

One problem is that neither site lets you specify airlines for individual flights. At Orbitz I can specify 3 airlines, but only for the entire trip, and they never come up with the ITA itinerary I have.

That's why I thought, should I not be able to email this to some agency and let them do it. I mean it is potentially big business, somebody must have thought of it?
If you can't find someplace to book it on-line, just look in your local yellow pages under travel agents and have one of them book it for you. If it is domestic they will charge you a fee. If it is international it may cost you nothing.
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Old May 8, 07, 11:39 pm   #6
 
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Originally Posted by USDHS1984 View Post
If you can't find someplace to book it on-line, just look in your local yellow pages under travel agents and have one of them book it for you. If it is domestic they will charge you a fee. If it is international it may cost you nothing.
I appreciate your response. I was looking for an international ticket, and ITA showed the routing we liked most. However, nobody could reproduce ITA's price; everyone kept coming up $50 higher, although every detail including fare class was the same. The few local travel agents I tried wanted $25-$40 extra per ticket. So, much as I'd like to support them, I decided to book at AA at $10 per ticket. (I just couldn't get this itinerary to come up on aa.com, where there would have been no fee.)

For future use, I am still looking for travel agents, local or online, who'd book an ITA-produced itinerary free or for a small fee.

Ideally, of course, ITA should provide links to such service(s). Are we getting greedy?
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Old May 9, 07, 5:21 am   #7
 
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Originally Posted by aktchi View Post
Ideally, of course, ITA should provide links to such service(s). Are we getting greedy?
Of course they should, but they also want to sell their system to travel companies such as Orbitz, and I'm sure the likes of Orbitz wouldn't want to see advertising to their competition on the ITA site.

It's already great that they make the service available freely. It's helped me many times with either my travel agent, or with finding the cheapest airline. In the end, there tends to be a small difference, because of exchange rates or such, but overall, I've saved thousands of dollars this way.

Cheers,

GenevaFlyer
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Old May 9, 07, 8:53 am   #8
 
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Originally Posted by GenevaFlyer View Post
Of course they should, but they also want to sell their system to travel companies such as Orbitz, and I'm sure the likes of Orbitz wouldn't want to see advertising to their competition on the ITA site.
One way around is to have an agency-neutral policy in which ITA simply lists all travel agents who use their system and have agreed to sell ITA produced itineraries.

But...I couldn't replicate ITA itinerary on Orbitz either. What gives?
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Old May 11, 07, 11:38 am   #9
 
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Did you try to replicate your ITN on Kayak.com then link to a travel site?
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Old May 12, 07, 12:48 am   #10
 
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Why don't you post what you are trying to book, and someone may be able to help you?
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Old May 12, 07, 12:21 pm   #11
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Originally Posted by aktchi View Post
The few local travel agents I tried wanted $25-$40 extra per ticket.
Why would they work for you free? Typically they get no commissions on economy tickets. $25-$40 sounds a reasonable fee for work like this.
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Old May 12, 07, 1:17 pm   #12
 
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Originally Posted by gomike View Post
Did you try to replicate your ITN on Kayak.com then link to a travel site?
I did. I tried aa.com, kayak, sidestep, orbitz, travelocity, quixo, Zuji, and a few others. Please see below for specifics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WillTravel View Post
Why don't you post what you are trying to book, and someone may be able to help you?
The itinerary was CHI-ROM-DEL-LON-CHI. It became clear pretty soon that AA had the best CHI-DEL fare (LLRIND) and it would be best to book this as a CHI-DEL round trip with stops in Rome and London. Moreover AA was the best choice for the CHI-ROM and LON-CHI legs.

The most troublesome leg was ROM-DEL. Most "majors" want to fly you back to LHR, AMS, CDG, FRA, etc, turning an 7-8 h distance into 16-24 hour flights. ITA produced two interesting options: A nonstop on Eurofly, a carrier unknown to us and no AA miles; a 1-connection flight on Royal Jordanian, convenient departure/arrival times, full AA miles. After some back and forth we chose RJ.

As for the DEL-LON leg, there are tons of flights but most have bad timings, or no/low AA miles. Again ITA helped us pick Finnair as the best compromise for us: full miles, great connection, good arrival time.

With the eye towards miles, I changed LON-CHI to LON-xLAX-CHI. So the final desired itinerary was ORD-FCO-xAMM-DEL-xHEL-LHR-xLAX-ORD.

It was not difficult to buy this ticket. We called AA and for $10/ticket, they were able to find the flights we told them to find. Their price (despite same booking classes) came to $50 more than ITA and I'd have liked to discover if someone could have sold the ITA routing at their price.

But one thing we could not do was to get this itinerary to come up at aa.com, kayak.com, orbitz.com, any of them. Their results were dominated by inept choices and there was no way to specify either a flight, an airline or connecting airport for an individual leg. On many portals I could specify 1-3 "preferred" airlines, but there was no way to say which leg I prefer them for, that I want ROM-DEL on RJ or DEL-LON on Finnair. If I specified RJ and Finnair as preferred, the search engine would offer ROM-DEL on Finnair with 24 hour layover in Helsinki, and DEL-LON on RJ.

I forget every detail at every portal, but the end result was that (i) I could not replicate my ITA itinerary at any online agency or aggregator, (ii) I could not purchase the ITA itinerary at ITA-quoted price anywhere, (iii) it was easy to book the ticket with AA over telephone, but at a higher price than ITA said it should cost.

Last edited by aktchi; May 12, 07 at 1:47 pm.
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Old May 12, 07, 1:23 pm   #13
 
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Originally Posted by holtju2 View Post
Why would they work for you free? Typically they get no commissions on economy tickets. $25-$40 sounds a reasonable fee for work like this.
I don't wish to deny travel agents their fair compensation, especially if they had found the best routes and flights for us. In this case, I had done all the work and did not feel like paying $50 each ticket for someone to just issue the ticket, especially since AA does the same for $10.
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Old May 12, 07, 2:09 pm   #14
 
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Originally Posted by aktchi View Post
Their price (despite same booking classes) came to $50 more than ITA and I'd have liked to discover if someone could have sold the ITA routing at their price.
Why would anyone do that? ITA's price depends on the exchange rates they have loaded, versus whatever agent has loaded. For me, ITA's price is a reference, and as long as I'm within a few percent, I'm happy. Unless someone uses ITA's system, you cannot guarantee the same price.

Did you check whether ITA's currency rates were up to date? If not, that could explain the $50 ...

In my case, I'm just thankful that ITA is available and for free ... the $50 bucks is nothing when they've helped me save $200 to $500 on trips from Europe to the US.

Cheers,

GenevaFlyer
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Old May 14, 07, 9:49 am   #15
 
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Originally Posted by GenevaFlyer View Post
Why would anyone do that? ITA's price depends on the exchange rates they have loaded, versus whatever agent has loaded...For me, ITA's price is a reference...Did you check whether ITA's currency rates were up to date? If not, that could explain the $50 ...
I apologize that I didn't notice your post for a couple days. Let me summarize my own viewpoint, which is a little different, and the reasons for starting this thread.

ITA does not view their fare quotes as for "reference" only, whatever that term means to you. Instead, those are publicly published fares, accurate until a few minutes ago, and one should be able to purchase them.

As for the $50 discrepancy being due to exchange rates, I also thought of that, but I have dealt with numbers enough in my life to know that the probabliity is almost zero that exchange rates would lead to an error of precisely $50.00. An even number like that means either (i) ITA missed some new fees, or (ii) AA tacked on a fee of their own.

While $50 is a small amount, and I did buy the tickets, let's remember two points. (i) For a family that needs six tickets it becomes $300 which is a little more substantial. (ii) What if the discrepancy is $200 per ticket next time? By shrugging off $50 as small, we don't learn anything. I was approaching this as a matter of principle, that a published fare should be purchasable. This thread was basically to ask the more experienced members here if they have discovered where to purchase ITA itineraries at their quoted prices

Of course, nobody works for free and I certainly expect the selling agency to add their own fee. However, if I have done most of the work, I'd expect this fee to be small. I found AA's $10 fee reasonable and won't mind paying a similar amount again.

Last edited by aktchi; May 14, 07 at 10:56 am.
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