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I’ve written that ITA Matrix is a powerful airfare search tool with many built-in options not available elsewhere. It’s simple to perform basic searches, and you can filter results by airline, departure and arrival times, flight duration, number of stops, and more.
But there’s a big limitation – you can NOT book a ticket on ITA Matrix. Once you find a fare, you must purchase your flight directly through the airline or with an online travel agency.
Now, there’s a way to quickly book ITA Matrix itineraries without hunting for the fare elsewhere. BookWithMatrix finds the fare for you! All you do is copy and paste the itinerary from the ITA Matrix search.
I’ll show you how to use BookWithMatrix and help you decide if it’s worth using!
BookWithMatrix Is Easy to Use
Link: ITA Matrix
If you’re new to ITA Matrix, check out my series on How to Use ITA Matrix Like a Pro.
Here’s how to book a ticket using BookWithMatrix.
1. Go to ITA Matrix and Search for a Flight
Enter your search criteria on ITA Matrix.
2. Choose Your Flights
Select the specific flight itinerary you want by clicking on the price.
3. Copy and Paste Itinerary
You’ll see a detailed itinerary page which looks like this:
On this page, select ALL (the entire page!) and copy it. Here’s how:
- Hold “Command” and “A” to select the whole page (Or “Control” and “A’ on Windows computers)
- Hold “Command” and “C” to copy it (Or “Control” and “C’ on Windows computers)
You may also find these functions under the “edit” button on your browser.
4. Paste Itinerary Into BookWithMatrix
Go toand paste your selection (hold “Command” and “V”) from step 3 in the box. Or the “Control” key and “V” on a Windows computer.
5. Choose a Booking Site
BookWithMatrix will preview your itinerary, and you can choose your booking site at the bottom of the page.
Not all booking sites work for every itinerary, so try them all. They’ll each open in a new window.
6. Purchase Your Ticket
Once you find a booking site that works, purchase your ticket as you normally would.
Are There Drawbacks?
Limited Booking Options
I created different itineraries on the ITA Matrix, including several complex ones, and each time BookWithMatrix pulled up at least one option I could book.
That said, sometimes you must try more than one of their listed travel sites to find one that works.
BookWithMatrix currently only supports Priceline, Orbitz, CheapOair, American Airlines, and Alaska Airlines. Although that wasn’t a problem with any of my sample itineraries, there may be flights that won’t work with BookWithMatrix.
It May Be Cheaper to Book With Airline Directly
Some online travel agencies add booking fees or charge slightly higher fares than the airlines directly. So if you book through an online travel agency, it’s worth peeking at the airline website to be sure you’re getting the best deal.
This can negate the time you save using BookWithMatrix! But if you’re just concerned about finding and booking your flight quickly, you may be willing to pay a few extra bucks.
And some airlines, like Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, and SWISS, add an additional ~$18 to the price of your ticket if you book through a 3rd-party site!
Bonus Points and Double, Triple, and Quadruple-Dipping
Keep in mind, you’ll usually (but not always) earn bonus miles and points when you book through an online travel agency and use a card that has airfare as a bonus spending category. That’s on top of the miles you’d earn for the flight.
But some folks like to triple-dip by going through a shopping portal to an online travel agency site before booking. And I don’t see a way to use BookWithMatrix and a shopping portal.
Remember, some online travel agencies offer their own loyalty program. So it may be worth manually entering your flight details into the 3rd party site of your choice to earn:
- Shopping portal cash back or points
- Online travel agency loyalty points
- Bonus miles on your credit card
- Airline miles earned by flying
Keep Cancellation Policies in Mind
So if there’s a chance you’ll have to cancel your ticket within a short time of booking, you’ll want to use a booking method with the most flexible rules.
Who Should Use BookWithMatrix?
If you have a simple itinerary, it might be just as fast to copy the flight details and book directly through the airline, or manually enter the flights on the 3rd-party site of your choice.
But for complex itineraries (for example, multi-city, open jaw, or multiple airlines), BookWithMatrix could save you a lot of time.
If you use ITA Matrix as an airfare search tool, there’s now an easier way to book the itineraries you find. BookWithMatrix allows you to copy and paste an ITA Matrix itinerary, and could save you time you’d otherwise spend hunting for the fare online.
But it’s currently limited to a few booking sites (mostly online travel agencies). I didn’t have issues with the itineraries I tried, but I can’t guarantee it works for all trips.
And some folks might prefer booking manually through an airline or 3rd-party site to take advantage of stacking deals, better cancellation policies, or slightly lower prices.
Let me know if you give BookWithMatrix a try and what you think!