ITA Matrix’s Little Brother: OnTheFly

Though many savvy travel hackers are familiar with the ins and outs of Google Flights and its underlying engine (ITA’s Matrix), not everyone is aware that you can use ITA’s software on your mobile device! The app, OnTheFly, is in both the Android and Apple app stores and is surprisingly easy to navigate.

ITA's Advanced Routing Language
ITA’s Advanced Routing Language

Though you don’t have the ability to use the advanced routing codes that you would when using the web interface, you still have a fair amount of control. You can see these options below.

OnTheFly: Search Options Pt 1
OnTheFly: Search Options Pt 1
OnTheFly: Search Options Pt 2
OnTheFly: Search Options Pt 2
OnTheFly: Date Options
OnTheFly: Date Options

Unfortunately, you also are limited in the way the flight results are displayed, simply because of the limited screen real estate and functionality limitations of a mobile device. The information is presented in a clear manner, though, and the search is quite fast.

My only real complaint here is the fact that you can’t see time-bars. It is my preferred method of search result display for flights. That said, Hipmunk will give you this information, and it pulls its information from ITA as well. Small world, right?

OnTheFly: Search Results
OnTheFly: Search Results
OnTheFly: Outbound Flight Selection
OnTheFly: Outbound Flight Selection
OnTheFly: Outbound Flight Details
OnTheFly: Outbound Flight Details

Once both outbound and return flights are selected, you are shown the fare details, as well as the total trip distance (for those that are conscious on qualifying miles and cents-per-mile!). Naturally, you are shown the fare class, and are even given a breakdown on where the fare price comes from.

OnTheFly: Complete Trip
OnTheFly: Complete Trip
OnTheFly: Fare Details
OnTheFly: Fare Details
OnTheFly: Trip Distance
OnTheFly: Trip Distance

For more on ITA’s Matrix, check out Scott Mackenzie’s guides on Travel Codex. It’s very important reading for the aspiring travel hacker!

Have you played with ITA’s Matrix and OnTheFly?

10 thoughts on “ITA Matrix’s Little Brother: OnTheFly”

      1. Thank you, Hari, but all the Apple devices I use to call up that link say that it is “currently not available in the U.S. store.”

  1. They pulled the app from the app store couple of days ago – not sure why (on google play its still there) – maybe it is now exclusivel for Android ?

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