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.

432 views 1 answer 0 votes
Maryna Ivakhnenko
answered Aug 13, 2019

Hello Smail,

At the current moment, nearly all the largest low-cost airlines signed distribution agreements with GDS’s. You may contact their sales managers to get an API connection to some of the low-cost carriers.

As a matter of fact, the first GDS to consolidate only low-cost carriers was Navitaire, currently owned by Amadeus GDS.

Or, you can contact dedicated platforms, that consolidate low-cost only airlines. These are Pyton Flight Portal that offers over 100 low-cost carries via an XML API, and tfFlight platform owned by travel content aggregator Travelfusion.

You can learn more about the available low-cost API’s in our dedicated article.

We hope it answers your question!

Maryna Ivakhnenko
answered Nov 18, 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.

443 views 1 answer 0 votes
Olexander Kolisnykov
answered Nov 14, 2019

Hello Mayur,
 
Thank you for your interest. First, we’d like to specify that further by a car hire aggregator we’ll mean a metasearch that aggregates car rental offers from multiple suppliers. Please let us know if you had another idea in mind so that we can advise you accordingly. 
 
So, building the infrastructure of a car rentals aggregator, you’ll have to take care of: 
 
Inventory connection via APIs. Global distribution systems can give you access to a large car rental inventory. But car rental companies are increasingly switching to direct connect solutions rather than traditional distribution channels. Deciding on suppliers to connect to, our car rental APIs catalog should be of use to you. 
 
Crawlers for web scraping. Sometimes suppliers don’t allow for direct connection, so aggregators resort to web scraping. They launch a program that mimics human activity to extract data from the supplier’s website.
 
Data mapping. Each provider you distribute has its own way of presenting data. So you’ll need to group and process data first and then display it comprehensively on your side while keeping it up-to-date.  
 
Meta ranking. You need to compare car rental prices using business rules aka algorithms.
 
Database. Integrates with all the suppliers, database stores all the fetched data, that later can be used for tracking, reporting, and statistics. Such modules as a background sync process for static data and data cache control will help you manage the up-to-dateness of your DB. 
 
Search engine. The core of any aggregator system, search engine handles queries and searches through the databases. From the backed, it crunches data. From the front end, it provides the customer with the search results - cars for rent, in our case. 
 
If you plan to distribute car rental offers worldwide, you’ll need language and currency functions. Since aggregators don’t facilitate booking, you don’t have to worry about accounting and payment processing modules.
 
AltexSoft has expertise in building booking platforms. So, you can consult our team to get more specific recommendations. 

Avatar
asked Nov 1, 2018
Maryna Ivakhnenko
answered Jun 12, 2019

Hello,
 
Perhaps, there are not many options rather than described in official PNR retrieval guides by SABRE. Concerning the price, retrieving PNR doesn’t require any payments, despite the fact you have to be subscribed to SABRE.

1.1 K views 1 answer 0 votes
AltexSoft
answered Aug 22, 2019

Expedia is the second largest player in the online travel agencies market with about 32 percent market share, according to 2018 data. It’s second to Booking.com, which has 41 percent of the market. Actually, we’ve compared these companies in our infographic. Keep in mind that it uses 2017 data.

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.

296 views 1 answer 0 votes
Maryna Ivakhnenko
answered Nov 27, 2019

Thank you for your question.
 
We haven’t found any proof that the GDS has stopped supporting e-Power. Moreover, we communicated with Amadeus representative who also confirmed that they do sell e-Power as usual. 
 
Have a look at a non-customized standardized e-Power instance on staging at https://staging.epower.amadeus.com/noramstarterbase/. Amadeus warns that it might work slowly which doesn’t reflect the real response time in production.
 
If you still have any questions regarding e-Power left, we advise addressing them directly to Amadeus
 
For those who don’t know, here are a few words about the product. 
 
e-Power is an online booking engine fully integrated both with the Amadeus system and a travel agency website. e-Power enables OTA customers to book flights, cars, and accommodations. OTAs can customize e-Power design, including banners and logos. The e-Power platform also includes: 
 
1. marketing tools to manage customer relations and conversion rate,
2. technical tools to expose content on metasearch engines,
3. set of service fees and mark-up rules to resell services with benefit,
4. mobile-friendly interface,
5. available ancillary services to upsell.

3.6 K views 2 answers 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.

Maryna Ivakhnenko
answered Jun 7, 2019

Hi there,

Traditionally, GDSs offer access to back office via dedicated account. That assumes you will have to sign a contract with whichever GDS provider you choose and discuss the price to access this data personally. In any case, there is no well-known GDS back-office system that offers openly-published data without any subscriptions.

We hope it answers the question.

11 K views 4 answers 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.

429 views 1 answer 0 votes
AltexSoft
answered Aug 28, 2019

Klook is a travel activities (tours and attractions) platform. It allows travelers to book tours, diving activities, park visits, even train tickets, and more. It mostly targets travel in Asia.

From the inside, it works just as most big online travel agencies do. From the end-customer side, it has a mobile app and their website to book activities. And it connects with activity suppliers either via a SaaS interface (extranet) or an API. To get the idea, you can read how OTA back office works.

2.1 K 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.

185 views 2 answers 0 votes
Olexander Kolisnykov
answered Nov 28, 2019

Hello Clio,
 
Thanks for asking. 
 
In the API integration, there are two parties. So how you establish the connection will depend on what you are attempting to achieve and the API you pick. 
 
First, you. What’s your flight website? Do you want to enable booking or only provide flight-related information to your users? Are you targeting specific regions or want to service worldwide? Not in the last place are such constraints as budget and resources. Based on these facts you’ll be choosing an API with the corresponding capabilities and coverage. 
 
Whether you choose to integrate with a GDS, a tech service provider, an OTA, or a metasearch, the process will differ. For instance, GDS will feed you pools of raw airline data, while OTAs and metasearch have it sorted out but in their own way. If you haven’t settled on the API provider yet, read our article about flight booking APIs
 
Once you know the platform you’d like to pull data from, go through its API documentation and play around with its test version, if it’s available. You’ll need an HTTP client to make calls to the API. 
 
Now that you’re sure your website will benefit from using this API, obtain the API key for access and find out if the provider assists with integration or offers a pre-built API connection. If not, you may involve a third-party integrator. Prior to the release, make sure to validate the API responses from your side. 
 
We at AltexSoft specialize in travel APIs integration. Only recently, we’ve rebuilt an OTA’s booking engine integrating Amadeus GDS into it. So you can specify your situation to us and we can give you more tailored advice.

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.

Alayna Alva
asked Jun 15, 2019
2.5 K views 3 answers 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 Sep 17, 2019

Hi there, 

Have you tried contacting Amadeus support with this challenge? Perhaps, they will be able to help. You may also connect with our experts via sales@altexsoft.com or using the chat in the bottom right corner. It may take several hours to solve the issue. 

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.

AltexSoft
answered Dec 2, 2019

Hi there,
 
That’s actually the question small partners of QPX Express asked themselves in 2018 when the API was ceased. Modeling on Google Flights API, what we seek in substitutes are:
 
1. search for multiple airlines, including low-cost carriers
2. diverse filtering options
3. easy-to-use interface
 
Booking processing isn’t first on our list, as it’s not what a metasearch engine like Google Flights is aimed at. Now, to the candidates.
 
Skyscanner. Another metasearch engine, Skyscanner offers a suite of subscription-free flight search APIs. It pays commissions according to your conversion and traffic quality. The APIs aggregate over 250 airlines and compare them using powerful search algorithms to retrieve the cheapest prices, routes, and dates. This also includes Inspirational search features. Use Flights Browse Prices API for cached content and Flights Live Prices API for real-time queries. Besides flights, Skyscanner also provides APIs to connect car hire and hotel fare data. You can request the API access here
 
Travelfusion. Over 150 low-cost carriers are in your pocket if you connect to the Travelfusion Direct Connect XML API. This API also supports fully automated booking processes. So you can either book from your side or redirect to the supplier's website. If you aim at packaged tours, consider Travelfusion Fast API. Prior to using the XML APIs, you’ll have to register and sign the license agreement with set fees.
 
Kiwi.com. The coverage of Kiwi’s API set is about the same size as the Travelfusion’s. It includes both legacy and low-cost carriers. The booking is processed on the OTA’s side. Besides the general flight API capabilities, there’s an API that offers travel tips to customers helping them save time and money. To use the Kiwi API, register for their partner portal Tequila. You’ll get a 3 percent commission on every processed booking.
 
Kayak. If your traffic exceeds 100,000 visitors a month, you’re able to integrate Kayak searches and results into your platform. You can do so by enrolling in their affiliate program. You select the data you need among flights, cars, hotels, trains, packages. 
For more options, check out our article on flight booking API providers.