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ITA Software Celebrates 10 Years of Online Travel Innovation

ITA Software, Inc., the leader in developing innovative solutions for the travel industry, today celebrates the accomplishments of QPX, its ground-breaking airfare pricing and shopping engine. Launched 10 years ago at The PhoCusWright Conference, QPX has transformed the online travel industry. Within weeks of its launch, QPX had millions of users worldwide; today ITA has a more than 65 percent share of carrier-direct web sales in the United States, including six of the top 10 carriers. In 2009, QPX will power more than $25 billion in sales for United States airlines. ITA’s customers, including leading global brands in the airline, travel agency and metasearch markets, now rely on QPX for their most complex itineraries including international, interline and award travel.

Craig Stoltz, former travel editor at The Washington Post, was one of the first to cover QPX in-depth. Reflecting on ITA Software’s accomplishments, Stoltz commented, “While others in the online travel space were seeking to use web-based technologies to preserve the economic status quo, ITA came in from the outside and saw a way to disrupt the industry in a way that benefits consumers. ITA was tackling one of the most difficult problems in data processing - analyzing massive amounts of data from a bewildering range of legacy sources in real time and delivering it as a solution to a business problem. Considering all that ITA has accomplished so far, it’s hard to imagine what the company might pull off in the next 10 years.”

Continuing to Push the Boundaries of Technology and Travel Innovation

ITA Software has a history of building innovative travel solutions from the ground up. Just as it did with QPX, ITA identified a need in the passenger servicing market and set out to create an entirely new system that has the power to dramatically alter the way an airline’s customers are managed. Its cutting-edge Passenger Services System (PSS) is now the only passenger service system for full-service carriers built entirely from scratch since the introduction of the legacy systems more than 40 years ago. With this offering, ITA has incorporated all of the functions to sell and service a customer through the entire travel experience from demand stimulation, to shopping, to check-in within its modular, flexible and value-driven platform. With its PSS, ITA continues to be the industry’s most innovative IT partner – delivering unrivaled business agility and profit optimization.

“We were ITA Software’s first customer and we continue to be impressed with the complete flexibility and creativity of their products, which has helped us evolve to address changing distribution needs, including delivering greater self-service options and booking flexibility,” said Steve Praven, vice president business development, Orbitz Worldwide. “It’s clear that ITA’s commitment to technology and innovation is part of the company’s DNA and we congratulate them on 10 years of great success. We look forward to seeing the innovative products ITA develops in the future.”

Within the past year alone, customers including Air Canada, Alaska Air, ANA, Continental Airlines,, LOT Polish Airlines, nuTravel and Southwest Airlines have all initiated new or expanded contracts based on their use of QPX.

Additionally, as ITA Software continues to push creative new solutions to market, it has formally unveiled the next phase of its proprietary shopping engine at The latest release, Matrix 2, serves as a showcase for new online travel features and functionality that ITA’s customers will be able to incorporate into their own offerings. Novel travel search innovations include:

  • Geo Search – for searching by airport code, city or destination
  • Event Finder – to plan a trip with a listing of events for select cities
  • Interactive Calendar – for exploring date ranges to find the lowest fares
  • Real-Time Filters – for focusing on flights that suit individual travel preferences

QPX: A Decade of Excellence

“When we launched QPX in 1999, we hoped to change the way that people shop for air travel,” said Jeremy Wertheimer, founder and CEO of ITA Software. “We want to thank our customers, and all QPX users, for a decade of shared commitment to innovation. We look forward to continuing to deliver innovative technology during the years ahead.”

To provide a broader view of ITA’s major accomplishments, following is a timeline with select company and QPX product highlights:

  • QPX launches on November 2, 1999 in Miami at the premier travel industry event, The PhoCusWright Executive Conference.
  • In June 2001, Orbitz successfully launched using QPX. At the time, it was billed as the largest internet launch on a single day.
  • In 2002 America West became the first airline to launch QPX on its direct sales web site, followed by Continental, Alaska Airlines and Alitalia.
  • American Airlines launched QPX in November 2004 along with a major redesign of its web site, resulting in high praise by consumers. During this time, ITA continued to add new customers across multiple segments - airlines direct, travel company intermediaries and technical service providers.
  • The year 2005 marked the rise of the metasearcher with the launch of Kayak, which was followed over time by Hotwire, Farecast (now Microsoft Bing), FareCompare, TripAdvisor and TravelZoo.
  • In 2006, ITA announced $100 million in equity financing which was the largest New England venture capital deal of the preceding five years; the funding fueled expansion of ITA’s revolutionary new passenger shopping and reservation platform.
  • In August 2009, ITA’s newest QPX shopping customer was Southwest Airlines, and Air Canada committed to the faring and web technology components of the new Passenger Services System.

For more information on ITA Software and QPX, please stop by booth #1 at The PhoCusWright Executive Conference in Orlando November 17 -19, or visit to read case studies and learn more about specific product functionality.

About ITA Software

ITA Software, Inc. ( is the leader in developing innovative solutions for the travel industry. Hailed as a catalyst for change in the online travel industry, ITA provides the world’s leading airlines and travel distributors with the technology they need to improve the customer experience, identify new revenue streams and become more operationally efficient. ITA is used worldwide including Air Canada, Alitalia, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, FareCompare,, Hotwire, Kayak, Microsoft’s Bing, Orbitz, TAP Portugal Airlines, TripAdvisor, United Airlines, US Airways and others. ITA now offers a completely new passenger services system that will dramatically improve business agility and the customer experience for airlines. ITA Software was founded by computer scientists from MIT and is headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., USA.

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