Gone: no more ability to quickly find cheap British Airways Club World tickets via ITA Matrix
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If you wanted to save money – a lot of money – on British Airways Club World (or any other airline) tickets by starting outside the UK then there was one piece of free software which was essential.
What is ITA Matrix?
The key to finding cheap ex-Europe long-haul flights was a nifty bit of software called ITA Matrix, now owned by Google.
ITA Matrix was hugely powerful because you could search from multiple departure points at once.
Let’s imagine you wanted to fly to New York. You could type in:
MAD;MLA;OSL;OTP;PAR;PRG;PSA;SOF;VIE;WAW :: BA+
…. as your Departure City, and then New York as your Destination City.
ITA Matrix would search for flights on BA from ALL of these starting points, covering most of Europe. In one click you could track down countries where British Airways was quietly knocking out tickets on the cheap.
ITA Matrix is now a lot less useful
A recent IT change – which is not an error, it is strategic – has made ITA Matrix virtually useless for our purposes.
You cannot now search for fares from different departure countries in one search.
You CAN still search for prices from multiple airports in the same country. Using
…. as your departure point would search for flights leaving from major UK airports. This is nowhere near as useful, however, especially for BA flights when the best deals will usually be in mainland Europe.
If you have never used ITA Matrix and the coding above looks like nonsense, take a look at this HfP article which explains how it works. Or, more accurately, how it used to work.
Before you ask …..
There is no other website or piece of software which has the same functionality. Google Flights has a five city limit.
You could never book flights via ITA Matrix. All it did was scour the airline systems for the prices. You had to plug the exact times and dates into Expedia or an airline website in order to book. With no revenue stream, there was little incentive to keep it going as it was. The reason Google bought it was to get hold of the team, which was set to work beefing up Google Flights.
This is very annoying …..
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 2023)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard
25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review
Barclaycard Avios Mastercard
5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
British Airways American Express
5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.