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Are you addicted to ITA Matrix for your flight searches? I am.
Their recent nonstop “Sorry, the server was unable to process your request. If this continues to happen, please try again later” errors are maddening.
There have been periods like this over the past year, however this seems the worst, affecting nearly all my searches this week. ITA’s response:
Our Matrix site is not down, but has recently experienced an increase in traffic, especially automated traffic that frequently causes all our QPX servers to be busy (at peak times about 3 out of 4 search queries may fail). We are trying to address this issue by blocking excessive use. We are also planning to switch Matrix over to Google App Engine soon, which will provide additional controls preventing abuse of the site. I apologize for the inconvenience caused in the meantime.
To increase the odds of your search succeeding, select specific date search rather than calendar search whenever possible. Also switch to “complete trips” (rather than “individual flights” or “time bars”), if you can.
Telling me to give up time bars is like telling me to search for trips on Orbitz (gack!).
If you care about ITA Matrix, please let them know on this support thread.
The nearest proxy is Hipmunk, which works for simple requests, and there are ways, courtesy of Wandering Aramean, to hack in most of ITA functionality, however I have not found ways to do +-2 day searches along with ITA codes. Hack My Trip has a great primer on Advanced Routing Language in ITA.
Google has a history of killing off consumer products, and while the business-facing side of ITA I am sure is safe, and at public events in the past Google has said ITA Matrix is safe, it is important to let them know how important this is to savvy travelers.
Please let them know here.