About TravelTech

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.
1 K views 0 answers 1 vote
asked Nov 1, 2018
AltexSoft
answered Nov 1, 2018

Galileo is one of three GDSs along with Apollo and Worldspan that comprise Travelport GDS. Travelport has a pretty straightforward workflow to get started with product.

  1. Request trial access to Galileo APIs and submit a form on Travelport’s website. There, you’ll have to choose your preferred GDS from the three (Galileo in your case). This is free, and you will receive a key to Galileo in a few minutes. Here’s a link to documentation to help you.
  2. When you’re done with testing, contact an Account Manager from your profile or Travelport itself, and they will supply you with authorization.
  3. After you are authorized, contract finalization and certification will start. This is called the Pre-Production stage. Travelport asks you to complete a Universal API Requirements Questionnaire [.docx] to evaluate your capacity needs. After completion, you should request a sales representative call to review your questionnaire and finalize certification.
  4. When you receive your API certification, you enter the Production system. Make sure your developers and systems comply with Travelport’s requirements. You will receive further instructions from your account manager.
AltexSoft
answered Nov 1, 2018

Hotelbeds Group has a huge market coverage allowing you to distribute accommodations, activities, and transfers in 185 countries. It has a few APIs but all with the same integration process, so we’ll walk you through it.

  1. Register for a test key. This will create an account in Mashery – an API database that powers Hotelbeds and many other APIs in different industries.
  2. After receiving a confirmation email, generate your API key, which will give you access to documentation and the Sandbox. At this stage, you’ll also need to choose at least one Hotelbeds API that you’re planning to choose. There are three: Booking API, Content API, and Cache API. Read a brief explanation here.
  3. Be prepared for integration. You will be contacted by a Hotelbeds representative.
452 views 1 answer 0 votes
AltexSoft
answered Mar 28, 2019

Klook doesn’t provide APIs for businesses (like OTAs) that distribute tours and attractions. Currently, they suggest a number of tools within their affiliate program. You can add Klook banners, deep links, and search boxes to your product.

If you’re interested in integrating Klook as a merchant and you want to distribute your T&A services on their platform, they suggest API integration on top of the web interface.

asked Nov 1, 2018
1.3 K views 1 answer 0 votes
AltexSoft
answered Nov 1, 2018

The TripAdvisor Content API allows you to display detailed information about accommodations, restaurants, and attractions on your website. Integrating TripAdvisor Content API is fairly easy.

  1. Of course, first review the display requirements because it should be approved before the launch on your website.
  2. Submit an application form. Note, that access to the API is limited and it may take a while to receive a confirmation or rejection email.
  3. In the last section, you’ll have to describe how the API will be displayed, which is where you need to know the requirements from the step one.
Olexander Kolisnykov
answered Mar 29, 2019

Hotelbeds doesn't publicly publish their rates. As their APItude service has multiple sets of APIs and various types data that you can request, the end pricing can be very different depending on your needs.

So, the best option would be to contact Hotelbeds directly and provide them with the list of services that you plan to use.

However, you can test the APIs in the sandbox mode prior to opting for some specific services.

960 views 0 answers 0 votes
asked Nov 1, 2018
980 views 1 answer 0 votes
AltexSoft
answered Nov 1, 2018

Sabre is one of three main global distribution systems (GDSs) on the market, along with Amadeus and Travelport. GDS is a database of travel data pulled from various service providers that connect travel agents with hotels, airlines, car rentals, cruises, and railways. What used to be a manual system with each reservation taking up to 3 hours is now a global network. Sabre was the first of such GDSs. Basically, you can’t make the reservation process automatic without connection to this system.

You can use just one GDS – Sabre, for example – or a combination of a few, but if you specialize in only cruises or railways, research which GDS gives you a better shot at covering all providers. As you can see from the image below, Amadeus is an undisputed leader in everything but hotels, and with Sabre you’ll receive an average number of companies, only if you don’t want to cover all the cruises.

Maryna Ivakhnenko
answered Apr 2, 2019

Hi Cho

Yes, Travelpayouts looks like a nice option. Rome2Rio doesn’t have booking capability. It has search only.

If you’re fine with affiliate programs, also check Skyscanner, Allmyles, and KIWI. You may also consider Booking.com and Expedia affiliate programs, but they mostly address accommodation booking.

asked Nov 1, 2018
Olexander Kolisnykov
answered Apr 1, 2019

Hi there,

It’s nearly impossible to get access to all airline seating info as some airlines may not share this data in the first place.

However, there are two main options. The first one is obvious: you may contact airlines directly and ask for their API access with seating capabilities. For instance, Lufthansa Open API provides seat maps. But most airlines don’t support APIs at all.

The second option is to source seating info from GDSs.

Amadeus provides seat maps in their enterprise APIs.
Sabre has a broad set of APIs for seating.
And TravelPort Universal API has a seat map capability.

They still may be limited by the data that carriers provide.

It doesn’t look like SeatGuru has an open API, but it’s also worth trying to contact them directly.
Getting access to GDS APIs isn’t that simple, but it seems like the best option for your problem.

1.6 K views 1 answer 0 votes
AltexSoft
answered Nov 1, 2018

You can enroll in their affiliate program and then use a RESTful API. Useful info can be found here. Basically, you apply and, if approved, you get all needed credentials and can find the key in their Partner Portal.

Then you can enter a testing environment to try you requests and configure the integration.

The final step is to ensure that your site meets Expedia requirements. You’ll undergo their review prior to going live and then you’ll start working with end-users.

3 K views 1 answer 0 votes
AltexSoft
answered Dec 11, 2018

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.

420 views 1 answer 0 votes
AltexSoft
answered Apr 9, 2019

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.

AltexSoft
answered Nov 1, 2018

While they are subsidiaries of the same holding company, there are some differences both in terms of business models and the ways they partner with affiliates.

Booking.com is an online travel agency, meaning that travelers pay a hotel directly for a stay including a fee to an affiliate and Booking itself. They use a progressive approach to affiliate earnings. In other words, the more checkouts per month you generate, the higher your earning rate is. For instance, if you bring only 0-50 customers, your rate will be 25 percent. If you make 501 or more, you get 40 percent. Booking provides an API. You can also place branded banners and widgets on your website or integrate a search box.

Agoda combines a travel agency model (similar to Booking.com) with that of a wholesaler. The latter means that at some hotels they purchase an inventory in advance to sell at a higher rate. Agoda also suggests a progressive approach, but in this case, you can get 35-60 percent in commission earnings. You can use an API, Agoda ads, links to integrate with the portal, and some other tools.

As you’ve guessed, Booking is a more robust and complex product than Agoda. And it deals with a lot more customers daily, being the largest accommodation OTA in the world. It’s also a more trusted one. On the other hand, with Agoda you have the potential of earning a higher commission per checkout.

832 views 1 answer 0 votes
AltexSoft
answered Jan 4, 2019

It depends on what’s you’re looking for. Check our research on the best travel agency software providers to get a broad view. In short, there are four main software categories that travel agents use. We’ve curated the best representatives within each category:

Booking and reservation systems with GDS connectivity and payments: Bookinglayer, Lemax, PHPTravels, Dolphin.

Accounting and invoicing with bank integration: Xero, TravelWorks, OnlineInvoices.

Tour building tools: Tripcreator, Tourwriter, Orioly.

Travel-specific CRM systems: Zoho Travel, Agency CRM, LeadSquared, Travel CRM, Kapture Travel CRM.

Olexander Kolisnykov
answered Apr 15, 2019

Hello Ted,

Booking.com, as well as most major OTAs, has its own web interface, an extranet. Basically, the extranet is a dashboard for managing a property. There you can add photos of your property, provide rates, define policies, configure payments, etc.

But there’s a problem with using an extranet. If you want to list your property at multiple OTAs like Booking.com, Airbnb, Expedia, and more, you have to manually update room availability in each separate extranet belonging to different OTAs.

That’s why some hotels -  those that want to distribute their properties via many channels at once - use channel managers. These systems have their own dashboards and automatically update room availability and property details across all connected OTAs. So, hotel owners can operate using channel manager software only.

But since there are many small property owners that are fine with managing their rooms manually in a handful of OTAs, they stick with extranets. It’s likely that the majority of hoteliers listing their properties at Booking.com are doing so.

4.9 K views 1 answer 0 votes
AltexSoft
answered Nov 1, 2018

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.

Skyscanner API
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.

OpenSky API
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.

Booking.com API
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 APIs
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?

698 views 1 answer 0 votes
AltexSoft
answered Jan 15, 2019

Check our articles on top hotel PMS systems as we’ve done a broad research and mentioned the best providers there. Here are our top picks by categories of hotel business:

Beasty PMSs for hotel chains: Oracle Property Management, 5stelle, Maestro PMS, Clock PMS, IQware.

For business-oriented hotels with conference and catering: Protel, eZee Absolute, MSI cloud, RoomKey PMS, SkyTouch Hotel OS, StayNTouch.

For apartments, vacation rentals, and timeshares: Vreasy, Stays PMS, eZee Front Desk, Guest Tracker, innRoad, Hoteliga, Xotelia.

Small hotels: Little Hotelier, Hotelogix, Amadeus Hotel, Charts Beds, Cloudbeds, WebrezPro, Sirvoy Software, Frontdesk Master, Ikonnect PMS, HotelTime.