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Old Jul 20, 11, 9:17 pm   #1
 
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ITA Matrix [ITA Software]

Been searching fares for some international trips and I have been alarmed at how inaccurate ITA matrix fare searches have been recently.

For example, WAS-MNL, TPE-WAS open jaw on Delta (or other airlines) economy fares or MNL-YVR business / first class fares.

More specifically, choose a cheap outbound date for WAS-MNL with a Jan. 3 or 4 return TPE-WAS fare. ITA says the lowest fare is $2821 even when you restrict your search to Delta alone (currently drops to $2817 for Delta flights when you search for all airlines), Delta easily books to a $2134 fare, slightly lower was possible with further tweaking. There are many, many more cases where I have seen the same kind of inaccuracies for ITAsoftware. Anyone else experiencing such difficulties with matrix.itasoftware.com?
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Old Jul 20, 11, 10:35 pm   #2
 
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Not infrequently I see wide variations in prices between ITA and OTAs or airlines' sites.
I had figured it was to do with the timing of fare filings and availabilities. That is, ITA was finding fares the booking sites either no longer had or had not yet received.
Thus, when keen on a specific fare or destination, I'd search at different times throughout the day in the event the second assumed possibility were true.
Clearly, just my $.02
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Old Jul 21, 11, 8:03 am   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desdinova View Post
I had figured it was to do with the timing of fare filings and availabilities. That is, ITA was finding fares the booking sites either no longer had or had not yet received.
I've seen the same thing so this is part of the issue at least. But I am seeing a lot of these discrepencies. My perception is that matrix searches are running out of gas more quickly than they use to - i.e., the failure rate at retreiving the lowest fares goes up more quickly as one increases the scope of a fare search.
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Old Jul 21, 11, 4:38 pm   #4
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Did you confirm DL will actually let you book at that fare, or do you get one of those infamous "This fare has just sold out" error messages after you hit Purchase?
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Old Jul 21, 11, 11:37 pm   #5
 
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Limiting search scope sometimes works for me to pull out some of those unusually low fares.
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Old Jul 22, 11, 8:55 am   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rawilliam View Post
Limiting search scope sometimes works for me to pull out some of those unusually low fares.
I'm getting odd results for simple domestic fares too. Some flights simply aren't showing up on ITA, even thought they're bookable on United.com. And Kayak is showing me a multi-city itinerary for $100 cheaper than anything I can book on ITA.
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Old Jul 22, 11, 3:20 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javabytes View Post
Did you confirm DL will actually let you book at that fare, or do you get one of those infamous "This fare has just sold out" error messages after you hit Purchase?
Actually, prior to posting this I went through and purchased 4 of these roundtrips (at different times) without problems on delta.com even though I usually couldn't get the lowest available fare to show on Matrix. Delta.com sometimes readily showed the lowest fare, but at other times it was necessary to put in connections by multi-city or to use other tricks to get it to show on Delta.com. I had to use experflyer.com and a few other websites to confirm the lowest fare available for my travel dates. I played around with this for a few hours, that's why I'm confident that something is going wrong with the usually reliable ITAsoftware Matrix engine. I had to use multiple avenues to ensure I was getting the lowest fare because I wasn't getting reliable results from Matrix2 even when greatly narrowing my search parameters.
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Old Jul 23, 11, 4:51 am   #8
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If you haven't done so already, we would love to hear about these issues through the comments link on the site. Please provide specific examples, somebody will look into them.
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Old Jul 25, 11, 1:21 pm   #9
 
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Originally Posted by ITA Hacker View Post
If you haven't done so already, we would love to hear about these issues through the comments link on the site. Please provide specific examples, somebody will look into them.
The low cost carriers in Europe are not included in the software. I use European comparison sites instead.
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Old Jul 26, 11, 9:42 pm   #10
 
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Itahacker, thanks for your response. I'm going to start listing discrepancies as I see them. This one tonight is for a domestic fare:

Quote:
Chicago (ORD) to Binghamton (BGM) - Mon, Oct 31
Chicago (ORD) to Washington (DCA) - Mon, Oct 31
United 602 Dep: 7:00AM Arr: 9:42AM 1h 42m Airbus A319 Coach (K)
Layover in DCA 3h 1m
This flight contains airport changes

Washington (IAD) to Binghamton (BGM) - Mon, Oct 31
United 3875 Dep: 12:43PM Arr: 2:13PM 1h 30m SAAB SF 340 Coach (K)
OPERATED BY UNITED EXPRESS/COLGAN AIR
Shows up as $116 a.i. with matrix2.
On CO and UA websites prices at $162 a.i. (books into T class).
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Old Jul 28, 11, 8:20 am   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrizShel View Post
Itahacker, thanks for your response. I'm going to start listing discrepancies as I see them. This one tonight is for a domestic fare:



Shows up as $116 a.i. with matrix2.
On CO and UA websites prices at $162 a.i. (books into T class).
We did investigate this, and it appears to us that the price is valid. Unfortunately, you need married availability across the airport change between DCA and IAD, and we weren't able to find any websites that would do that, we think mostly because there are much better connections at the same price (there's a 181-minute layover to transfer between airports, and the minimum connect time is published as 180 minutes).

We do note that there are other flights, without cross-airport connections in Washington, at the same price that morning, and they are widely bookable.
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Old Jul 30, 11, 12:42 pm   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael9 View Post
The low cost carriers in Europe are not included in the software. I use European comparison sites instead.
What sites are you using?
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Old Jul 30, 11, 1:15 pm   #13
 
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This is unrelated to previous issues

I enetered the following search (using XP SP3 and IE8)



I get a super low price that is actually much higher if selected


Last edited by cheltzel; Jul 30, 11 at 2:11 pm.. Reason: finally figured out how to include the images
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Old Nov 17, 11, 8:43 pm   #14
 
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Just now searched:
Out: WAS AA+
In: SFO
Depart Dec. 3 or day after.
Return Dec. 4 or day before.

matrix header says:
Multiple airlines $1021
American $1695

But lowest fare actually displayed is $1540.

But of course this is a highly improbable result for these off-season travel dates.
So I look at Orbitz first.
it has the lowest AA fare of $365, which is bookable:

Sat, Dec 3 Depart: 7:05 am Baltimore, MD (BWI)
American Airlines 1063
1 stop
Arrive: 12:30 pm San Francisco, CA (SFO)
American Airlines 1461

Sun, Dec 4 Depart: 7:45 am San Francisco, CA (SFO)
American Airlines 312
1 stop
Arrive: 6:15 pm Baltimore, MD (BWI)
American Airlines 1658

Searching on AA.com, get a fare of $220.80 which is bookable for several itineraries, including the following (and this has been available all day today):
Flight Depart Arrive
AMERICAN AIRLINES
1107
Washington (DCA)
December 3, 2011 06:00 AM

Travel Time: 3h 35m
Cabin Class: Economy
Seat: unassigned

Dallas/ Fort Worth (DFW)
December 3, 2011 08:35 AM

Booking Code: O
Plane Type: 738

AMERICAN AIRLINES
1937
Dallas/ Fort Worth (DFW)
December 3, 2011 09:15 AM

Travel Time: 3h 55m
Cabin Class: Economy
Seat: unassigned

San Francisco (SFO)
December 3, 2011 11:10 AM

Booking Code: O
Plane Type: 738

AMERICAN AIRLINES
554
San Francisco (SFO)
December 3, 2011 02:10 PM

Travel Time: 4h 20m
Cabin Class: Economy
Seat: unassigned

Chicago (ORD)
December 3, 2011 08:30 PM

Booking Code: O
Plane Type: 738

AMERICAN AIRLINES
532
Chicago (ORD)
December 3, 2011 09:10 PM

Travel Time: 1h 35m
Cabin Class: Economy
Seat: unassigned

Washington (DCA)
December 3, 2011 11:45 PM

Booking Code: O
Plane Type: 738
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Last edited by GrizShel; Nov 17, 11 at 9:03 pm..
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Old Nov 17, 11, 9:12 pm   #15
 
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Just did an matrix search again for Dec. 3 same day return fare only, this is the lowest AA fare that came up:


Baltimore (BWI) to San Francisco (SFO) - Sat, Dec 3
Baltimore (BWI) to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) - Sat, Dec 3
American 1063 Dep: 7:05AM Arr: 9:45AM 3h 40m Boeing 737 First (P)
Layover in DFW 0h 55m

Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to San Francisco (SFO) - Sat, Dec 3
American 1461 Dep: 10:40AM Arr: 12:30PM 3h 50m Boeing 737 First (P)


San Francisco (SFO) to Washington (DCA) - Sat, Dec 3
San Francisco (SFO) to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) - Sat, Dec 3
American 498 Dep: 1:40PM Arr: 7:10PM 3h 30m Boeing 737 First (P)
Layover in DFW 2h 25m

Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to Washington (DCA) - Sat, Dec 3
American 1900 Dep: 9:35PM Arr: 1:05AM 2h 30m Boeing 737 First (P)
Sun, Dec 4
Cost per passenger (including taxes & fees) $1,918.80
Total cost for 1 passenger $1,918.80
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