Pricing & Shopping Technology

QPX™, the airfare pricing and shopping engine from ITA Software, changed airfare shopping forever. Our comprehensive search depth and flexibility handles even the most complex travel queries with ease.


With QPX, airlines and travel distributors can offer precisely what every customer wants — user-friendly options, self-service offerings, and a wide array of accurate results.

QPX presents a developer-friendly XML interface loaded with information about fares, rules, schedules, and seat availability to the outside world. Faced with a travel query, QPX sorts literally billions of flight and fare combinations to arrive at the best and most comprehensive set of recommendations. Its computations are powered by novel graph algorithms, search techniques, optimization strategies, heuristics and a staggering volume of domain-specific knowledge. 


Here’s where you can learn more about the computer science behind ITA and QPX™:
Computational Complexity of Air Travel Planning
Carl de Marcken

Computer Scientists Find Unexpected Depths in Airfare Search Problem
Sarah Robinston, SIAM (Society for Industrial & Applied Mathematics)

How Big is 600 Trillion?

The Wall Street Journal




Illustrative Example
of Air Travel Complexity

This map plots the arcs in the 10,000 quickest paths from San Francisco to Boston, all still arriving on the same day.
For each one of these paths there are approximately 10,000 ways to price the itinerary, depending on the query. Now imagine performing this same search, combining pricing, availability, and user preferences, with the goal of returning the
top 10 results that best match each customer’s unique travel objectives (e.g., lowest fare, flexible dates, one passenger
vs. multiple, etc.).

This merely hints at the complexity of returning the “best solution” or “lowest fare option” for any given search.