Seeking Travel Agent That Can Issue Those ITA Matrix Fares that Drive Us Nuts When We Can’t Find a Website to Book Them

ITA Matrix is a power airfare search tool with a big limitation: it doesn’t book tickets.

(For getting started on ITA Matrix, see the Travel Codex guides Introduction to Using ITA Matrix and Advanced Routing Language in ITA Matrix, and Other ITA Features.)

There are imperfect proxies such as Google Flights and Hipmunk, the latter has had many more issues than successes lately replicating ITA on my searches.

I realize some fares on ITA are not available anymore or incorrect, however there are plenty the OTA websites can’t handle yet travel agents can book.

The standard online advice then is to find a full service travel agent without suggesting a name. I know travel agents are out there, I just don’t want to call a bunch of agents who are going to have a ‘who is this nut?’ reaction to my request. Two jobs ago our corporate agent would issue personal tickets at employee cost, since then I have been without.

ITA Software How to Buy This Ticket

Here’s what I am seeking in an ITA Emergency Plan Travel Agent:

  1. Reasonable flat fee pricing for issuing a ticket based on the ITA instructions submitted.
  2. Able to follow instructions and ticket exactly as submitted.
  3. Fast response time, no later than same-day. Ideally have 24/7 availability, after-hours surcharge acceptable.
  4. Store profile and payment method to speed ticketing.

Hello travel agents, if you are out there and can do this, you may find an interesting niche in going after this business. We do all the research, you push out the ticket. I’ve got a Royal Air Maroc itinerary all teed up to try you out.

Readers, if you can vouch for a travel agent, let us know.

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  • I would be glad to help you out, I am travel agent and very familiar with ITA Matrix tool. Feel free to email me at the email address given.

    P.S. David Code from the Huffington Post is the one who led me to you post here.

  • Suzanne

    I’d love to know this too. I’ve had the same frustration as you. Can you post and let us know if you find such a travel agent? Thanks.

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Lindsey Schlabach – I will email you, thanks!

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Suzanne – I will do so, I have a couple responses that I am contacting and plan to start building a resources page. Some travel agents, unfortunately due to lots of scamming out there, work only word of mouth rather than publish their information so I am working to accommodate that.

  • Suzanne

    Thanks!

  • st1575

    Have you tried the ITA “userscript tool”? Nothing beats a good travel agent, but the tool is pretty good at finding otherwise unfindable itineraries on a bunch of OTAs.

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @st1575 – I just learned of it yesterday from someone who wanted to stay anonymous, I will be testing it out, though maybe not publicizing it loudly, thanks for sharing that, any specific tips for someone starting out other than “read the FT thread?”

  • worldtraveler

    I too am looking for the same thing. Had the very same frustration just two days ago trying to book a trip. Thanks for any help.

  • Hi,

    My name is Sue and I am a full service travel agent and sell tons of air. I am happy to assist with booking air as needed. What ITA doesn’t tell you is that those are “cached” flights that are updated daily, but not always available at any given time. Prices can also change. A good travel agent will have tools to get you the best price at a given time and be able to hold it for you with just a name and a birthdate until payment arrangements can be made. We can also, many times, get better than published air rates through our consolidators for International air.

    I’m not sure I can be available 24/7, but I certainly can help out. Feel free to email me.

    Best,

    Sue

  • Shonuffharlem

    where is the “Have you tried the ITA “userscript tool”?? Thanks~!