It’s overwhelming how much technology transforms the way we travel. Mobile check-ins increase customer satisfaction tenfold, content from travel brands helps travelers make a final decision about destinations, and the whole 83 percent of millennials don’t bother about personal data sharing as long as it gives them the desired personalization. AR tours, data-driven flight shopping, Alexa in hotel rooms – this is just the tip of the TravelTech iceberg. Here, on Techtalks, you can discover new opportunities for your travel business, ask about the integration of certain technology, and of course – help others by sharing your experiences and reviews. Let’s grow the TravelTech community together.
Booking.com-owned OTA, Priceline has Partner Network’s API set for retrieving dynamic rates and availability as well as booking hotels, cars for rent, flights, and bundle packaging. You don’t have to integrate everything but can opt for a certain product. Besides the HTTPS-based API, Priceline partners can also get an adaptable private label solution. Note that they only consider partners who produce no less than five bookings per day. You’ll also have to tell about your company, its target customers, and make predictions as to your bookings growth. So if you meet the entry requirements and would like to make use of the Priceline API, fill out their contact form.
The most popular backoffice solution available for SABRE is TRAMS Back Office, which comes as a part of SABRE Red Workspace. Unfortunately, both solutions are desktop, meaning they have to be installed on each computer. As for the pricing, there is no publicly available information about the subscription price.
Trawex is a Travel Agency Software company and we help travel agents and service providers address complex business challenges by combining industry expertise, software engineering best practices, and an agile delivery model. We reduce the time-to-market for new products and features and improve quality with a cost-efficient approach.
Trawex offers global business-to-business travel technology solutions and integrated with all major global distribution systems and a board set of solutions that ready to integrate with your travel portal. Trawex platform includes a mobile-enabled platform for travel buyers to shop, price, book and pay for travel.
Trawex helps our customers to automate their Business Processes and enhance their customer experiences. Trawex Technologies is a world-class organization with a focus on delivering quality services to the travel companies on all continents. So, Trawex is the Best Travel agency software for Travel Agencies.
Regarding Kayak, they don’t use iframes. If you consider making metasearch functionality similar to Kayak, you’ll likely need to integrate both Expedia and Booking.com APIs to source IDs and other hotel content. Again, to connect Booking APIs, you’ll have to sign up for their affiliate program. To access Expedia API, apply here.
Unfortunately, as of January 23rd, SAP Concur terminated this travel metasearch turning down its co-founders’ buyback offer. While there might be some efforts taken to revive the brand, in the meantime, we suggest looking at some other alternatives.
The first substitutes that come to mind are Skyscanner and Kayak. Both offer flights, hotels, and car rental APIs while Kayak also distributes trains and package tours data.
But getting access to these APIs might be hard for small businesses. Kayak doesn’t permit integration unless your platform has more than 100,000 monthly visitors. In case of no response, we advise considering APIs of Global Distribution Systems like Amadeus. Their self-service air and hotel APIs are free for test environments, while fees apply when you exceed the number of free calls.
You may find more providers to consider in our extensive article on 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?
It depends. There’s no single best flight API. Your choice depends on the specific problem you’re trying to solve (e.g. enable flight and fare search, or track flight status with departure and arrival times, or enable flight booking). Generally, there are two basic options: source data from global distribution systems (or GDSs, the major, worldwide flight aggregators) or directly from airlines. In some cases, you can check APIs by tech providers like FlightStats.
If you need the widest airline coverage and you want to implement flight booking, check GDS APIs by Sabre, Travelport, and Amadeus. Each of them covers about 400 active airlines. They search for flights and low fares, and do booking and ticketing. The problem with this approach is that some airlines like Lufthansa set surcharges for booking through GDSs because they want to encourage direct booking or direct cooperation with resellers.
So, the option is to integrate and partner directly with each airline you need. That, however, presents an even larger number of problems as there are only about 40 airlines that have standardized XML-based APIs and each of them is slightly different. So, the engineering effort may be enormous. On the bright side, with direct connections, you get the widest ancillary booking support, seat selection, baggage customization options, etc. The most balanced approach to flight search and booking is to combine GDSs with some direct integrations.
If your goal is general info without booking capabilities, you may not need GDS or direct integration. The first place to go for fresh flight fare data is ATPCO, the main fare distribution provider. The largest pool for timetables, routes, and connections is provided by Innovata, a travel tech company. Also check FlightStats and Flightradar24 for flight and airport details like delay indexes, arrivals and departures, aircraft equipment, airport FIDS, flight status, etc.
If you need something simple and don’t want to go through raw airline data, you may contact OTAs or metasearch platforms to integrate their APIs. The key provider here is Skyscanner, but also consider Expedia or Kiwi.
For more details, have a look at our travel API's articles.
Hotelbeds is the leading wholesaler on the market with proven technology support and rich inventory. So, it’s definitely the first place to try. HotelsPro is much smaller, but it’s also worth checking out as they claim to have content mapping technology. If you get hotels from multiple sources, content mapping is a need-to-have feature. But keep in mind that you can also get content mapping from tech companies that specialize in it, like Giata or Gimmonix.
Besides the technical part of it, your choice boils down to specific deals that you can negotiate with wholesalers. If you can get better rates at HotelsPro, it may be the best option for you.
Also, check out our article on hotel APIs for more detail.
We are India based searching ePower API for our travel website. In Indian Amadeus office nobody knows details of ePower.
We totally understand your desire to tap into the cruise line industry, as it’s a rapidly growing sector within the global tourism market. However, it’s not that simple. You must have noticed that there are significantly fewer APIs for cruises than for flights, hotels, and car rentals as it’s a quite reserved space. Still, we’re not agitating for web scraping as it’s a quite unreliable way to aggregate data.
Out of all global distribution systems, only Amadeus provides APIs to access 53 connected lines. Have a look at their SOAP Enterprise Cruise APIs. Their Fare Availability API can respond with available prices from a particular cruise provider on a certain date. You can ask Amadeus for access to try it out.
Also, there are technology partners in the distribution of cruises. They offer cruise aggregation platforms you can connect to and have access to the integrated suppliers (e.g. Travelopro, Traveltek, Trawex, IST). But of course, none of them are free.
You can also go your own way of partnering and making XML connections with each cruise supplier separately. For example, MSC Cruises offers its partners an API Technology allowing for prices, availability, and bookings. Alternatively, they have a catalog with their routes and rates suitable for a "search tool" and a "quick request function", as they claim. It’s called Flat File and you’ll need to download it daily from their database. But not many cruise lines are as integration-friendly as MSC. If you're interested in any specific integrations, contact our sales team and we can advise you on the best approach.
If you're okay with sharing some details here, I can try answering your questions. Unfortunately, we haven’t heard of any channel managers that provide hotel rates to other products.
Say I have two flight segments A to B and B to C with three hour overlay. A to B is by (say) United and B to C is by another Airline where United may or not may not have a codeshare.
Now I want to build a single ticket from A to C in an single PNR so that baggage is automatically transferred and missed connections will be handled.
How can I do it?
Revenue management is a set of practices to maximize returns. In terms of the hospitality industry, revenue management entails finding the right clients for the right room and selling it at the right moment. To achieve this complex goal, hoteliers break the problem into four main problem areas:
- Customer segmentation - understanding the groups of customers, their requirements, price expectations, and booking patterns. For example, business travelers are more likely to book alone, they don’t care much about price, and may resort to last minute bookings. Leisure travelers, on the other hand, are likely to book in advance, be looking for cheaper rooms and may be traveling as a couple and their children.
- Demand forecasting - the name is pretty self-explanatory. Hoteliers look at the past demand numbers to predict future demand. E.g. there’s a higher demand for our rooms in July than in October unless there’s a football match in our city.
- Yield management - finding the best price that would both allow you to sell all rooms and sell the right rooms at the highest price possible.
- Dynamic pricing - a rather advanced technique of regularly changing prices depending on the demand at the moment to sell the room at a higher price. It’s usually solved with machine learning algorithms that consider multiple factors impacting the demand. For instance, we may increase the price if the weather is good and most hotels around look fully booked.
These problem areas and their solutions aren’t siloed. You would normally approach them simultaneously to improve gains. So things may get a bit complex and require active investments in IT, channel management (finding the best place to sell rooms), improving and selling ancillaries like food, transportation, or spa, and better managing overbookings (when the same room is booked twice). We’ve explained revenue management in more detail in our article, so check it out if you want to learn more.
Kayak has an affiliate program that you must enroll in before integrating their API. Keep in mind that Kayak doesn’t permit integration unless your platform has more than 100,000 monthly visitors.
If you have more, you can use their API or white label. To proceed you have to define which kinds of search data you want to receive and contact them directly.
If you have fewer than 100,000 monthly visitors, Kayak offers an affiliate programs trial using third party affiliate networks like CJ or Webgains. They will connect you with smaller brands belonging to Booking Holdings, like Momondo.
Thank you for the follow-up question. Let’s figure this out.
1) Flight Create Orders create a booking request, essentially a reference number
First, the filling of the customer details happens simultaneously with the booking request.
2) Then the search engine is responsible for filling in the customer details
After the itinerary has been found and the price confirmed, the search engine collects customer details and sends it together with the chosen itinerary via the Flight Create Orders API making a booking request. In return, it receives a reference number aka PNR which serves as a guarantee of the booking.
Now that you’ve charged your customer and got a PNR, it’s time to pay for the booking.
3) pass the booking request along with customer information to air consolidator, pay them and air consolidator will print the invoice for you.
Usually, consolidators provide an API for you to send a PNR and the needed details to complete the payment. But as each consolidator is different, we advise choosing one among the Amadeus partners and contact them directly to learn the details of their interaction between airlines and ticket distributors.
From our side, we’d be happy to help you with building integrations to connect your booking engine to Amadeus and a consolidator. Our platform of customizable flight search and booking modules with pre-integrated supplier APIs helps our clients reduce integration costs and time to market.
SeatGuru doesn’t seem to provide an open seat map API. Still, you can contact them directly and discuss a possible solution.
Data scraping won’t work as there are dozens of airplane types that vary from airline to airline.
Meanwhile, we can advise the following APIs from Global Distribution Systems:
SeatMap Display API. A part of the Amadeus Self-service APIs suite, the API retrieves the necessary information pre-booking from the Flight Offer including the flight number and displays an airplane cabin plan for a traveler to choose a seat during the flight booking flow. In addition, the API can display an airplane cabin plan post-booking from an existing Flight Order.
Get Seats API. It’s an API from Sabre. Get Seats retrieves flight seat location within the aircraft, availability, and pricing in New Distribution Capability (NDC) standard format. On the other side, the API is connected to the external seat map providers which are airlines including low-cost carriers, and Airline Tariff Publishing Company database. The obtained data follows the Passenger and Airport Data Interchange Standards.