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Techtalks: Traveltech

Revenue Management System

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Maryna Ivakhnenko, Copywriter/Editor at AltexSoft

answered  May 31, 2021

Hi there,
It’s not unusual for PMS providers to separate their Revenue Management module from the base software. With providers such as Protel and eZee Absolute, you will have to either pay extra for RM features, while others like Little Hotelier have simple tools for integrating with third-party revenue management software. Both of these options are normal in the industry and are not complicated to set up.
 
If you still require RM to be included in the base PMS package, consider these products:

  • OPERA 5 and OPERA Cloud have rate management functionality and flexible inventory control features out-of-the-box, plus numerous add-ons. Read more about Oracle’s proposition here.
  • Maestro PMS has an integrated dynamic rate and yield management module.
  • Hotelogix has dynamic pricing features and offers price recommendations.
  • IQware provides occupancy forecasts and calculates five levels of yield.


We have a more detailed overview of these and other PMSs in a separate article, so make sure to check it out. Hope it helps!

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ward rose

answered  Oct 3, 2022

With the use of Channel Manager, simply when a guest makes a reservation on an online channel, it will automatically update the corresponding availability through other online booking channels that the hotel is distributing.
When you update room availability and rates on Channel Manager, it syncs with all the hotel distribution channels you're selling. 
Benefits of using Channel Manager
- Help you sell the most rooms through many distribution channels without worrying about overbooking
- Reduce the time of managing room availability and rates on many different channels by using only a single management point

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Ivan Mosiev, Solution Architect at AltexSoft

answered  Jan 22, 2021

Hi, Francisco!
Thank you for your question and feedback

First of all, let me draw your attention to the fact, that from API point of view your request is not correct. {flight-orderId} you can see in Amadeus API reference for bookings management is not a PNR. This is an order ID, you can find this order ID in /booking/flight-orders response when you create a booking using POST verb. This is Amadeus internal identificator that is required to get PNR information using self-service or enterprise REST API of Amadeus.

However your assumption about access issue is also correct. You can not retrieve any PNR from GDS without appropriate permissions and not always PNR that passengers see on their tickets are the same PNRs that can be retrieved from Amadeus. If several systems are involved in the booking process, (say, an OTA booked a flight via Sabre, but an airline operating the flight hosts its CRS in the Amadeus system), each of them generates its own booking reference to the file with flight details. 
So, to work with a certain flight order in Amadeus, you have to enter the record locator (6-character code) returned particularly by Amadeus  — not the PNR number you see on the e-ticket or in the booking confirmation e-mail.

Please contact us in case you have more questions, we will be happy to help you with GDS integration for your business

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Ihor Lobastov, Copywriter at AltexSoft

answered  Dec 22, 2020

Hello!
 
Concerning the first part of a question:
 
It’s a rule of thumb that in travel no data can be accessed for free. In most cases, you’ll need to contact either a booking platform, or a metasearch to access travel data API, if there is one. 
 
Which is currently a big question: few platforms offer such APIs. 
 
For example, Scyscanner has an API for sourcing pricing data dynamically. Scyscanner states that the API includes flight, hotel, and car rental data. So you may request the access by contacting them. 
 
There is also an unofficial API on KAYAK that also offers hotel information. 
 
So, to wrap it up, the best way is probably reaching out to other meta searches/hotel websites, to gain access to their APIs, source rates, and probably get the deeplinks.
 
A less recommended way is web scraping. You can monitor web pages to receive pricing and other information on booking using crawler programs. However, this isn’t reliable, as prices won’t be updated dynamically. Moreover, the use of a crawler may cause legal issues, as travel content providers forbid the use of such programs. 
 
As for the second part of the question. The secret prices, or “Private Rates” are usually visible for authorized partners of a given hotel. These rates are shipped via a paid subscription or membership in the private rate group. 
 
So for entering such a group, there is no other way then contacting the provider directly. 

But, pay attention that private rates are not allowed to be publicly exposed. So for the metasearch business model, it’s probably not possible to use them. They are primarily intended for bed banks and other types of distributors.

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Maryna Ivakhnenko, Copywriter/Editor at AltexSoft

answered  Oct 29, 2020

Hi Muhammed,
We don’t have a confirmation that any GDS provides bus booking capabilities. But you can look into software providers such as Travelopro or Etravos to integrate bus APIs. Alternatively, you can contact Sabre, Amadeus, or Travelport for more information.

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anonymous

asked  Oct 6, 2020

I want to store multiple travelers information during booking using loop , i am using Amadeus Nodejs sdk please guide me.

ePower API for our travel website

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Anil Sharma

asked  Aug 16, 2020

We are India based searching ePower API for our travel website. In Indian Amadeus office nobody knows details of ePower.

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Siddhartha Sen

asked  Jul 1, 2020

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?

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anonymous

asked  Jun 4, 2020

does someone know if ElAl has open api of flights and others..
and how to access it?

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anonymous

asked  May 11, 2020

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Saloni Saxena

answered  Jan 21, 2022

So I will recommend the best flight api from which you can book flights and Simply get the seating information and details about number of flights .

The best flight api I would suggest are -

  1. flightapis.com
  2. Amadeus
  3. Sabre
  4. Mystifly
  5. TravelPort
  6. TravelFusion

These are the top 6 Flight API I would suggest.

Hope this information will help you. To know more details about API integration go through this link .

Hotel information API?

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Saloni Saxena

answered  Jan 20, 2022

Hello Everyone ,

The Hotel Search Api I would recommend are -

  1. Amadeus
  2. Sabre
  3. HotelBeds
  4. Bedsonline
  5. Travellanda
  6. Travel Boutique Online

These are some of the hotel Search API I would suggest. If anybody wants to know more about HotelApi go through this link  .

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Kseniia Bezuhla, Copywriter at AltexSoft

answered  May 8, 2020

Hello Massimo,

Thank you for your interest.

First, let’s unravel the payment processing flow.

You described the business model where a travel agency is accepting direct payments from customers and functions as a merchant of record. Adding a commission to the net-price, an OTA charges the client. Usually, an agency integrates a payment gateway to process payments.

In more detail, payment processing works like this:

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When the money is on the agency’s account, it pays the supplier its share. In the case of flights, OTAs must be IATA-accredited to pay airlines directly. Small OTAs aren’t usually certified, so they leverage a consolidator as a payment mediator between them and an airline.

But if an OTA doesn’t function as a merchant, usually, it redirects to a supplier (in case of a direct distribution) or a larger OTA like Expedia or Booking.com for a transaction. According to this business model, OTAs get paid their percentage of the total price at the end of the month. Payment processing isn’t on their shoulders so they don’t owe commissions to payment gateways.

Expedia, for instance, provides EPS Checkout - a white-label solution that collects credit card data and then transmits it to EPS servers where the data is validated and stored.
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Distributing hotels, some agencies list the rooms and allow customers only to book but pay already at the property. So that the hotel will pay back the OTA the contracted commission after the check-out.

Your second inquiry was about cost-efficient payment processors.

Setting up a payment gateway is lucrative in case your OTA has a large payment volume:
The more transactions a gateway processes, the less percent it charges per card. Hence, an OTA with about 5000 transactions per month will pay a higher commission per transaction than an OTA with 50000 transactions.

There’s a great number of payment gateways but they offer a similar set of services for a fairly similar price. So, we wouldn’t say that looking for a cheaper payment gateway can save you a lot of money. What really can be a game-changer is negotiating competitive rates and deals with end-product suppliers. Besides leveraging GDS generic deals, it’s necessary to extend your own pool of providers ready to work with you on exclusive conditions. You can read more marketing tips for travel agencies in our article.

All in all, defining a payment processing strategy is a complex task. So, you may want to get in touch with our sales team for further discussion.

OTA generally

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Maryna Ivakhnenko, Copywriter/Editor at AltexSoft

answered  Apr 24, 2020

Hi there,
 
Good question and you’re right, there’s a lot to learn and do when starting an OTA. First, let us recommend a video series we’ve been doing where our Travel Technology Competence Leader Andrey Chebotarov talks about OTAs basics, booking engines, commission engines, and so on. It should be helpful.
 
Now, there are four main things you should focus on for a new OTA.
 
First is the inventory and access to it. Contact your suppliers for exclusive prices and conditions that will make you stand out among other booking websites.
 
Second is IATA, ARC, or CLIA compliance. Here’s our detailed article on IATA accreditation that will guide you step by step and explain your options. 
 
Third is a smart marketing strategy. This covers your SEO and communication strategies, and even integration with metasearch sites. Again, here’s an article that should clear a lot of things out. 
 
And fourth is the technology. That’s your search, booking, and commission engines that should all work effectively together to bring your and your customers the most value. 
 
Let us know if you have any specific questions here or in person at solutions@altexsoft.com

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Chinny Anthony

answered  Feb 16, 2021

Good evening all
Please how do i create a flight booking, after getting data from flight offers, will i use the array i got from flight offers into "flight-orders"?
I have done all the process of flight search and my challenges now is the process of booking, please help

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Kseniia Bezuhla, Copywriter at AltexSoft

answered  Apr 7, 2020

Hi there,
 
Thank you for this insightful question.
 
Every flight search API has access to airline schedules that include connecting airports. But not always this API is capable of processing stopover requests.
 
Pulling flight data from Global Distribution Systems, you can set a stopover airport as an additional search parameter. So the API will return you only the flights with the leg in the selected airport.
 
Also, you can do it from your side: Once the itineraries are retrieved via the API, сreate a business rule for this data that will execute filtering by the stopover airport.

OTA Commission on Airline Tickets

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Olexander Kolisnykov, Editor at AltexSoft

answered  Mar 10, 2020

Hi there,
 
Thank you for the question. 
 
Airlines used to pay commissions to travel agencies for reselling their tickets but they rarely do it today. Commission cuts started in the 2000s and these days they’ve been brought down almost to zero. Though, airlines still give agencies a productivity-linked incentive of two percent on average. 
 
If not commissions than what?
 
These days, OTAs rather make money by topping the flight price with markups. OTA’s commission engine adjusts markup sizes depending on a number of factors like current demand, competition, season, etc. 
 
Agencies have other income streams like service fees, consultation or planning fees, insurance costs. In addition, OTAs provide other services like hotels or car rentals where the commission situation is more favorable.
 
Besides that, OTAs have agreements with some airlines that allow them to negotiate more favorable terms for selling their tickets. Usually, it means aligning with a host agency or consortium.

Travel agent Vs affiliate

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Olexander Kolisnykov, Editor at AltexSoft

answered  Jan 31, 2020

Hi Rob,

Yes, generally it’s better to become a travel agent, more expensive, but if you get returns they will be way higher than those of an affiliate. As an agent you’ll must be able to do all customer service (e.g. cancellation management), which isn’t the case for an affiliate. 
 
You can start off with contacting wholesalers (or bed banks) if you plan on working with hotels. Check Hotelbeds, WebBeds, and there are a whole lot of other niche wholesalers. They provide access to content, availability, pricing, and booking capability. And it’s easier for newcomers to work with hotels rather than flights as usually you get higher commissions and can test your hypothesis and marketing strategy.  
 
Then you can try flights using either the affiliate model or by working with flight consolidators. In fact, there are very few ways you can start selling flights and ticketing them without the IATA agent certification.

Cruise prices API (no booking)

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Maryna Ivakhnenko, Copywriter/Editor at AltexSoft

answered  Jan 20, 2020

Hi there,
 
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.

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AltexSoft Team

answered  Feb 6, 2020

Hi there,
 
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.