How to get free travel APIs?
There are almost no absolutely free APIs in the travel industry. One way or another, you have to pay for product use. That said, you may enroll in affiliate programs to share commission fees with a provider or just try sandbox versions for your MVP. Here are some popular APIs that you can get kinda free or with shared fees.
Travel Innovation Sandbox by Amadeus
Sandbox APIs include: flights, hotels, cars, trains, and points of interest.
How? Just register, get your API key, and you’re good to go.
Limitations: No commercial use. No more than 5 concurrent transactions and no more than 5,000 calls per user per month.
Use cases: PoC, testing, student works.
API Explorer by Sabre
Flights, hotels, ground transportation, and cruises. Additionally, fare ranges, low fare forecasts and history, top flight destinations, and air travel seasonality.
How? After you fill out the test API form, the Sabre account manager will contact you and provide you with a token.
Limitations. No commercial use. You get access to REST APIs only, while Sabre also suggests a set of SOAP APIs. Depending on your profile, some APIs may not be available at all.
Use cases: PoC, testing.
The API includes info on flights. As soon as you generate over about $1300 worth of revenue per month, you can start earning.
How? You directly request API access from Skyscanner.
Limitations. Only info sourcing with no booking. They’ll vet you. Live flights calls are limited to 100 per minute, flights cache up to 500 per minute, car hire up to 100 per minute.
Use cases: Metasearch startups.
You get real-time flight and aircraft info.
How? It’s open and can be used right away.
Limitations. Noncommercial use.
Use cases. PoC, student works, nonprofit projects.
The API is mostly aimed at accommodations. You become their affiliate partner and receive part of the booking fee.
How? Apply for an affiliate program and receive your API access.
Limitations. Booking will vet you. Some APIs may not be available and no more than 20 simultaneous API connections are allowed.
Use cases. Accommodation booking.
Very similar terms are available at Agoda Affiliate Program as they belong to Booking Holdings.
Expedia Rapid APIs
The APIs are also aimed at accommodations. As with Booking.com, you get an affiliate fee.
How? Apply for the affiliate program and receive your API access.
Limitations. Each API has its limits of updates per message. Consult the FAQ at each API documentation for specifics.
Use cases. Accommodation booking.
Ticketmaster provides info about and ticket reservations for concerts and sport events. They have two open APIs that are free to use.
How? You have to create an account on the developer portal.
Limitations. Up to 5000 API calls per day.
Use cases. Tour and attraction services.
Other suggestions to try?
Hey. I was looking for a travel API too and came across this post.
After a way long search with a tight budget, I also agree that there is no such thing as a “free travel API”. The ones I tried out were a complete waste of time.
I found this provider called Aviation Edge on Google though and gave it a shot. The number one reason we wanted to give them a shot was that they have a reduced price offer for the first month so we were able to test the data for 5 bucks only. I’ll use AltexSoft’s way in the response to let you know our experience 🙂
Link for you to see their scope of data: https://aviation-edge.com/premium-api/
Aviation Edge API
Provides live flight info and airport schedules. They also have passive data APIs for airlines, airplanes, routes, cities, airport etc. at no add. charge. Having them as extra is a plus even if you don’t need them now.
How? Easily follow the steps to subscription on this link and the API key is sent to you automatically. They have guidelines on the usage on their website too.
Limitations. They have several packages for different levels of needs. The smallest one has 30.000 API calls monthly and the largest has 500.000. You can also apply for an Unlimited package if you need more than 500k.
Use cases. Any field that doesn’t require data on far-future flights as they don’t provide that but only live ones.
My notes. I compared the data to other more expensive options. Haven’t spotted any discrepancies. They fully cover the data on airlines that are a must for us, at least. Uptimes are good and so has been the integration.
I say they are definitely worth testing. The only downside is that they don’t have data on historical and future flights. We’ve been saving the data on our end to use it as historical data in the future but if you are looking for earlier-historical or far-future flights it might be a bit tricky. It’s fine for our project though.
Hope our little experience helps you!