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ITASoftware.com - airfare searches


WillTravel
By WillTravel,
in

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ITASoftware.com is the back-end software used for sites like Orbitz. I have done a few test itineraries and have gotten great prices. It is better than Orbitz, because it also searches itineraries that do not begin in the US.

I like how it allows you to search for airports within a set radius (up to 300 miles or so) from the airport you select. You can see some totally unexpected results, with certain airports being much cheaper than other airports, for no apparent reason. Also, some open-jaw itineraries end up being cheaper than simple round trips.

ITASoftware doesn't have booking capacity, but if you get the itinerary, you can get a travel agent or the airline to book it for you.

http://beta.itasoftware.com/cvg/dispatch/

It doesn't have web fares and may miss a few other things. I'm curious now as to how often Priceline beats the best ITA price.

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Thank you for the link, sounds interesting.

What I miss the most is the good ol' Easy Sabre on Compuserve many years ago. A command-line-based application that let you explore rate availability, and book flights in far fewer steps than today's GUI's. But then came Travelocity and replaced it :-(

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  • 4 weeks later...

Another site that searches multiple sites is:

Qixo - http://www.qixo.com

Of course, all these sites should be used with caution. For example, Qixo found the Air Transat flight I am planning to take on June 27 to London and return July 14, but gave a price that is higher than you pay if you go through either AirTransat's web site or ITravel2000.com. ITASoftware can't find charter airfares at all, apparently.

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Another site I've been using: http://www.flights.com

ItaSoftware.com definitely has its weaknesses when it comes to international itineraries. It came up with weird results for me that were unbookable, although they sounded great. Plus, I was looking at summer LHR-TLV itineraries for a friend, and flights.com was able to do considerably better with apparently real fares.

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Well, for me, it's mostly academic, as I don't take that many flights, and most of the ones I do take leave from Vancouver - so I can't use Priceline or Hotwire or Orbitz for them. I could use Priceline or Hotwire to leave from Seattle, but that adds so many logistical difficulties with me having to get down there way ahead of time in case of a border delay, etc. Plus, I usually have specific times in mind, and don't want to deviate much from them. I can always leave from Bellingham, but that means a non-jet flight to a larger airport - and it costs a bunch more too.

Still - whenever a friend mentions wanting to take a trip, I'm willing to look to see what I can find :). Plus, I'm always planning possible trips in the future.

My verdict is that, unfortunately, there is no winner. You really have to look at every airline site and every search engine, and then it might drop in price the next day anyway.

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I frequently use Orbitz to compare prices and then book direct with the airline to get mileage credit for online booking (if it's offered). HW and PL don't suit my airfare needs as I generally must know my travel times before purchasing.

What really bugs me is the new "service charge" that Orbitz and Expedia have added. They will sometimes insist that paper tix are a necessity and then add a $20 delivery charge for the paper tix on top of the $10 service charge.

Have used Orbitz a few times to book but most recent experience has me leaning towards all direct booking. They were much cheaper than anyone else including direct booking for my upcoming NYC to Dublin trip but when Continental dropped a flight, I had a painful series of calls to Orbitz to get the best new times arranged. They had to keep calling Aer Lingus and Continental (it was a connecting booking) to get info and Aer Lingus is only open Mon - Fri business hours on Irish time. Orbitz made it MY job to keep calling back. Major PITA - I believe Continetnal would have handled the whole thing for me much more easily.

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I hate to sound like a simpleton.... but twice in the past year I've found cheaper rates, and better itineraries through Cheaptickets.com, than through Orbitz or the airlines websites..

American last year, and Delta this month.

Of course, given the option, I'll stick with the cattle cars of Southwest Airlines!! :)

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I don't know if this is a bug or what, but I put in a sample itinerary on Travelocity and specified up to 1 connection.

I then checked to see if it would be cheaper if I put in 2 connections. It turns out Travelocity gives me a price that is about $150 US more. 3 connections is the same price as 2 connections.

I have no explanation for this, but if you are looking at international flights (or any flights I guess), I think it would be prudent to check with 0, 1, and 2 connections all separately.

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