Last week, Diana, a colleague, was asked to take an impromptu trip with relatives to Guatemala City for a week in early July. After the initial excitement about the trip’s possibilities her excitement quickly turned into frustration and sadness. Sitting next to her, I could not help but hear the frustration in her voice as she contemplated not taking the trip because the best rate she could find was with United Airlines for over $1,100, which would have exceeded her budget.
Knowing that there had to be a better fare out there somewhere, I asked her for the trip details (origin, destination, and time frame for her trip) and set about trying to find her a better deal. The challenge was on!
My Points, Miles and Martinis’s partner, The Weekly Flyer, is an astute traveler and knows where to find great rates. Since I really only travel on frequent flyer miles I did not know where to turn so I asked him where I should start. ITA Software was all he said.
ITA Software – Company Background
Founded in the mid 90’s by a group of computer scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, ITA Software (ITA) is an airline IT and services provider at the forefront of a new generation of technology that is changing the way the travel industry works. Combining advances in computer science, innovative problem-solving, and deep industry knowledge, the company’s solutions deliver improved power and flexibility to the travel industry and greater efficiency for airlines, travel distributors, and passengers.
ITA Software – The Software
The Software ITA’s software searches the public fares published by the airlines very thoroughly, and then presents the answers to you in a form that’s easy to read and easy to reorganize, so that you can easily compare the features that are most important to you. We can find and organize more options than a traditional travel agent or travel web site. While we don’t have any private fares and will not be able to list fares that are part of special deals negotiated by travel agents or travel websites, we can often beat these private fares with our solutions.
I pulled up Points, Miles and Martinis and clicked on the ITA Software link to enter in her trip information. After hitting the Go! button with her trip information, a few seconds passed by then a list of flights from a variety of carriers came back. Low and behold, there were numerous flights for much less than $1,100 she was originally quoted with several options in the $500 range. In a matter of minutes I was able to cut the cost of her trip in half.
She was ecstatic and I was sold on ITA. The site provided us with the market rates for flights which, in this case, where much less than the original price quoted. There is a reasonable chance that flights could be found for a lower rate (i.e. specials on the airline site, Priceline, Orbitz, Travelocity, etc.) and with this new information, we, and now you, know where to go to see if your flight’s cost is on par with competitors or possibly could be lowered. In this case, Diana knew which airlines to investigate further and with the fares ITA provided she was able to find a flight for $50 less with one of the carriers. ITA saved her nearly $600 dollars and what will surely be an unforgettable trip in Guatemala.
Take advantage of this resource. ITA Software is a great place to compare easily and effectively the going rates for flights both domestically and internationally. I found the site easy to use for basic inquiries but for the serious traveler that wishes to use stopovers, open-jaws, or multiple connections through a particular airport learning and mastering the various query options will take some time. To take advantage of this software just follow the link on the right.