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Old Mar 12, 15, 8:45 am   #1
 
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How to fish for bargain flights?

Apparently, my net is snagging, my lines are lagging, and my lures are lacking the ability to attract any good catches while flight fishing.

Part of the problem is my insurmountable ignorance on how to use the comprehensive ITA (or is it ITS?) website, which I can't even abbreviate correctly, much less code with all the search letter /switches correctly.

Instead, I've been cribbing off of google/flights recently, because I heard that google uses the same database as the Matrix... but still wonder if google is the best way to find a coach flight from point A to point B on day C returning any flexible day D after a Saturday night stay.

As for recent experience, I've booked 15 flights thus far this year, but those have all been domestic, where the gap between a gouged price and a great deal is still only about a $200 difference in coach . However, the next flight I am trying to price out right now is International. Now the gap is 4 figures.

I'm looking for some fishing techniques that a mere layman can understand on how to catch a better priced fare where the departure date is fixed, but the return date is flexible. My only status is with Delta.
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Old Mar 12, 15, 9:20 am   #2
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I believe Google has messed with their setting to make the site unreliable in order to push people to google.com/flights
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Old Mar 12, 15, 12:02 pm   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDKing View Post
I believe Google has messed with their setting to make the site unreliable in order to push people to google.com/flights
So it's not just me who has become a little disenchanted with ITA Matrix.

It is still my go-to.

If the OP has specific questions about Advanced Routing Codes he should post them. There's a vast base of FT experience with Matrix.

Otherwise I offer this as a template for Matrix searches:

All DL-coded flights
Fixed departure
variable return +/-2 days
no change of airports (no LGA-JFK nonsense)
max 1-stop each way


Last edited by 3Cforme; Mar 12, 15 at 12:07 pm.
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Old Mar 12, 15, 12:09 pm   #4
 
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You can use google flights. See the support pages.

You can search up to 5 destinations at a time
Restrict to Sky Team
Set firm outbound date
Change return date and use + or – 2 days, repeat with new return date.

Example: Outbound is day 1. Earliest return is day 6.

First search is return day 8, +- 2 days
Next is return day 13, then day 18, etc. until you’ve either planned to move there or found what you want.

More ITA coding info here
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Last edited by SuperG1955; Mar 12, 15 at 3:46 pm. Reason: Link to ITA Wiki
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Old Mar 12, 15, 12:18 pm   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
So it's not just me who has become a little disenchanted with ITA Matrix.

It is still my go-to.

If the OP has specific questions about Advanced Routing Codes he should post them. There's a vast base of FT experience with Matrix.

Otherwise I offer this as a template for Matrix searches:

All DL-coded flights
Fixed departure
variable return +/-2 days
no change of airports (no LGA-JFK nonsense)
max 1-stop each way

...
I also prefer ITA but Google is really pushing Flights.
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Last edited by SuperG1955; Mar 12, 15 at 12:21 pm. Reason: eliminate original graphics for cleaner post
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Old Mar 12, 15, 12:30 pm   #6
 
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Google owns ITA. They purchased them several years ago. Google's search engine for flights now uses ITA.
ITA previously also had a reservations system that one airline used, Cape Air, they now have closed that down completely and Cape Air has moved to a different res system.

Use one or the other, but you will eventually end up with the same information since it comes from the same place.

https://www.google.com/press/ita/

Last edited by dtabbs; Mar 12, 15 at 12:31 pm. Reason: Added hyperlink
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Old Mar 12, 15, 3:26 pm   #7
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Please continue to follow this thread in the Travel Technology Forum.
Thanks...
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Old Mar 16, 15, 5:10 pm   #8
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...and I'm going to move it to Travel Tools, where there are many existing threads on the topic.
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Old Mar 16, 15, 5:22 pm   #9
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The Wiki in the sticky thread, Welcome to the Travel Tools forum: find a list of tools here, contains a comprehensive list.
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