ITA Matrix is a power airfare search tool with a big limitation: it doesn’t book tickets.
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.
Here’s what I am seeking in an ITA Emergency Plan Travel Agent:
- Reasonable flat fee pricing for issuing a ticket based on the ITA instructions submitted.
- Able to follow instructions and ticket exactly as submitted.
- Fast response time, no later than same-day. Ideally have 24/7 availability, after-hours surcharge acceptable.
- 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.