Getting started: How to use ITA Matrix


I was thinking about writing an in-depth tutorial for beginners but I decided I wouldn't be able to trump Hack My Trip's excellent introductory post on ITA Matrix.

So instead I'm going to give this a personal slant and show how I go about looking for my own flights. I hope this will give you an insight into my thinking and shed some new light into an otherwise murky area.

Let me firstly start by saying 99% of my flight searches begin with Matrix ITA Software because it is just so powerful. For me, the power comes in a few ways:

  • It allows for complex flight searches through using its advanced routing codes
  • It is elegantly presented, clutter-free and there are no silly adverts on the side.
  • Gives a full price breakdown of the base fare, fare rules and all the applicable taxes and surcharges.
  • Gives the full fare construction which will be useful if you book through a travel agent

There is only one problem though: You cannot book flights on Matrix. For me though, the power and functionality of Matrix vastly outweighs this downside.

So let's get started.

Part 1 — Simple searches 

Part 2 — Modifying your start point and open jaw tickets

Part 3 — Advanced Routing Codes