Pricing out lots of options for flights
January 9, 2019 10:16 AM   Subscribe

Hello hivemind, One of my job responsibilities is to compare lots (and I mean hundreds) of different options for flights in a short amount of time. Is there a solution to do this faster someone knows of?

For example, I could be asked to price out 50 different trips for people flying all over the country from and to various airports. Looking on Expedia and taking screenshots of each trip is time consuming and causes me to burn the midnight oil too often for last minute changes. Does anyone (maybe travel agents?) have a better idea than pulling up each option individually and taking a screenshot / making a pdf?
posted by skittlekicks to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Have you tried using the ITA Flight Matrix? I'm not sure it's exactly what you're looking for, but it's a bit more robust than most consumer sites.
posted by matrixclown at 10:18 AM on January 9, 2019 [5 favorites]

This article has some information on how to do this with Google Flights (up to 7 itineraries). And here's some information on using ITA Flight Matrix. Happy searching!
posted by stoneweaver at 10:24 AM on January 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

If this is for work, would it be possible to purchase a travel booking tool like Concur that will suggest flights given rules you provide? I've usually been responsible for booking my own flights, and most of my workplaces have used Concur or a similar tool.

If you can give a little bit more context about what you're doing, we might be able to provide additional or better reqs, even if it's just about automating the screenshots.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 10:43 AM on January 9, 2019

Have you tried working with a travel agent? A lot of agents with corporate clients deal with requests like this regularly, and will email back a nicely formatted list of flights and prices.
posted by Jairus at 11:02 AM on January 9, 2019

Is there a reason you cannot work with a travel agent or professional self booking tool? The agency we work with offers a self booking tool linked to the major pricing tools for subscription fee. It generates lists and overvies, comparisons etc
I don't know if there is a limit for searches in it per day but i doubt it. If it interests you i can send you the Name oft the tool in memail.
posted by 15L06 at 1:04 PM on January 9, 2019

I have also compared a lot of flights, and currently I like Google Flights. It lets you change up days and airports and see the results almost instantly, even for multi-city itineraries, and the fare calendar is easy to use (just give it a few seconds to populate). Google Flights is powered by ITA Software, so I think it's the same information. Kayak is another one I use for a second opinion, though I have found major gaps when doing multi-day searches, which is somewhat understandable because the queries do cost money. However, when there are exactly two daily nonstops to a destination, I would expect them to show up on all the days I'm asking about. For open-ended travel, I like SykScanner, because it lets you use a region or country as a destination.
posted by wnissen at 1:57 PM on January 9, 2019

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