1.4 K views 1 answer 0 votes
Maryna Ivakhnenko
answered Nov 12, 2019

Hello Roman,

Thank you for your feedback.
We assume you’re considering which database to integrate with: a metasearch or a GDS.
Let us know if we misunderstood your request.

Now to the point. The flow you describe is indeed common for metasearch engines aka aggregators like Skyscanner, Google Flights, or Kayak: they answer queries using formatted and ranked results from third-party search engines or directly from airline and OTA partners. Once travelers proceed with booking, a metasearch redirects them to the actual owner of the deal. And that’s how they make money - for every click on their link.

A metasearch engine’s business model is to provide the richest flight options that exactly match the traveler’s needs. They are able to reach more precise fare returns for a lower cost than GDS. They achieve that by aggregating data from millions of flights both past and present and comparing prices using strong search algorithms.

Some metasearch engines tap into New Distribution Capability to enable direct bookings through their websites. An example is Skyscanner’s direct booking platform. They can connect directly to the airline’s Central Reservation System via an NDC API to aggregate flight data.

As per your question, a metasearch engine pulls information from the APIs by flight data providers. Airlines and OTAs are usually the ones to initiate a connection with metasearch, as they want to broaden their customer base. Besides direct partners, aggregators integrate with:

Some airlines don’t provide direct access, though. Low-costers are the majority of them, as they strive for direct bookings. In this case, aggregators have the practice of mimicking human activity on airline websites aimed at extracting fare info. It’s called web scraping and it’s semi-legal so aggregators had better agree on that with an airline first.

For a full picture of airline distribution, check our infographic.

Speaking of the metasearch APIs capabilities, they don’t enable booking on your website. For this purpose, you’ll have to redirect users to either the aggregator itself or directly to the deal owner.

1.5 K views 1 answer 0 votes
AltexSoft
answered Nov 1, 2019

Currently, Moovit doesn’t provide a public API for their services. Instead, they suggest using their widget, links, and buttons. So, you should contact them directly to access the API.

And there’s another thing you can try. Since November, 2018, Movit is a partner of Microsoft’s Azure and their transit data is available through Azure Maps service. It supplies developers with a variety of APIs and a rich customization toolset. To start using Azure Maps, you must create an account, sign into the Azure portal, choose subscription, pricing options to start working with APIs.  You may check their documentation first.

Still, working with Azure maybe more expensive than getting access to the API directly.

AltexSoft
answered Oct 28, 2019

Well, if we’re comparing a reservation system to an Excel spreadsheet or even a paper notebook, it has all the pros, and the costs pay off in the long run. Reservation will basically automate main booking operations like:

  • Showing room status (booked/vacant)
  • Collecting payments made online
  • Managing inventory
  • Sending confirmation emails, etc.

Besides, it’s not always fair to talk about reservation software as a separate unit - often, hotels would purchase this functionality within a property management system, so the whole hotel can be managed via a single platform.

The pros would be are those, usually addressed to software - sometimes, you will need the help of support, but they won’t be available, or the price may appear too high (though, often, it depends on the hotel size), or your staff would have to learn a new workflow, which always takes time. Also, in case of a power outage or if your Internet is slow, you may have problems checking in clients, but that’s manageable if you choose a provider who has offline access or simply use a backup solution.

1.2 K views 1 answer 0 votes
Maryna Ivakhnenko
answered Oct 11, 2019

Hello Dipali,

Thank you for your question. If we’re on the same page, you’re a property owner whose properties are listed on the Booking.com platform. So you’d like to sync the data regarding your bookings there with other services like a cleaning company.

For this purpose, Booking offers its partners a property management interface to retrieve and modify data for their properties - Connectivity APIs.

But if you leverage multiple channels, you may want to use the help of a channel manager. It will connect you with every platform you expose your properties on. If that’s your case, read our article that will help you choose a channel manager product for your hospitality business.

Please let us know if we addressed your point.

4.8 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.
AltexSoft
answered Nov 1, 2018

Skyscanner is a large metasearch engine that provides a set of info APIs totally free. This means you can source their data, but you won’t be able to set booking on your website. You have to redirect users to either Skyscanner or straight to a supplier. But, you can earn a commission once you generate more than about $1300 worth of revenue per month. To do that, you must first get API access as Skyscanner vets candidates and not all of them are rewarded with access. Once you reach the $1300 threshold, you can sign a contract with Skyscanner and directly negotiate your commission.

Advantages:

  • Skyscanner is a well-recognized metasearch business that has been on the market since 2001 and currently accesses about 1200 providers worldwide.
  • They keep their tech and documentation up to date. It’s transparent: You can always ask questions and solve problems.
  • They use RESTful API with both JSON and XML available.
  • You get access to both cached and live data. For instance, you can use cached data (that updates up to every 14 days for unpopular routes and more often for popular ones) to make flex search comparison of flight fares and retrieve live quotes for specific dates that a user requests.
  • You can enroll in a partnership for free. And once you start generating more than £1000 or ~$1300, you can start earning.

Disadvantages:

  • The main problem is that not just any business gets accepted by Skyscanner. Even though theoretically everyone can get access, they’ll vet your company to make sure that you are capable of generating revenue and attracting users.
  • No surprise, there are limits. If you’re looking for live prices, you can make up to 100 calls per minute.
  • Skyscanner forbids caching on your side. In other words, you can’t store old prices to build, say, a flex-fare search based on previous user requests. You still have to use their cache, which is limited to 500 fares per minute.
  • You have to make sure that all your customers know that your app is powered by Skyscanner by adding a message to that effect. Theoretically, you can negotiate something else, but you must refer to them by default.
5.9 K 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.

3.8 K views 1 answer 0 votes
AltexSoft
answered Mar 27, 2019

Orbitz doesn't provide its own API. This OTA is a brand of Expedia Group. So, look for a connection with them.

If you’re an OTA, TMC, metasearch, or other travel provider, Expedia has its Rapid API. It lets you retrieve hotel data and booking rooms. To get access to Rapid, you first have to apply for a partnership with Expedia. If they approve you as a partner, you can start testing the API. Here’s their Expedia Partner Solutions page.

Before going live, you must make sure that you comply with their requirements.

If you're a hotel, use Expedia Connectivity to hook your property to all Expedia products. Check their API documentation. The API manages bookings and sends updates about your property, rates, availability, etc. To become their lodging partner, first, register your property by joining Expedia Partner Central.

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.

1.8 K views 1 answer 0 votes
AltexSoft
answered Sep 30, 2019

GDS industry is monopolized by three players, Travelport included. So we’ll compare it with the other GDS - Amadeus and Sabre.

First, we have to admit that Travelport is less popular among OTAs than Amadeus and Sabre. Still, it has strong sides and we’ll tell about them.

Industry coverage. It all depends on what travel service you want to integrate. The table below shows that Travelport is a good choice to reserve airplane seats, hotel rooms, and cruises. But when it comes to railways and car rentals, they don’t cover that much.

GDSs-in-numbers

Market share. Using the most popular GDS for a region means better seating options and pricing from carriers. Amadeus is the best fit for Europe but it’s weaker in the US. Sabre suits the needs of North America. Travelport’s advantage over the rivals is that its coverage is more evenly distributed across the world. It outperforms in Eastern Europe and Africa while growing in Asia and America.

API functionality. Actually, Travelport comprises three GDSs: Galileo, Worldspan, and Apollo, which are combined into a single Travelport Universal API. Unlike Amadeus and Sabre, the universal API is a bundle of functions and you can easily try it out with no strings attached. However, Amadeus certainly provides larger API variety.

GDS-functionality-comarison

Travelport also was the first GDS to obtain level 3 compliance as a New Distribution Capability aggregator -  a required status to provide NDC services. Some consider NDC the future of communication in the travel industry. If you’re out of the loop, our article has all you need to catch up.

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 solutions@altexsoft.com or using the chat in the bottom right corner. It may take several hours to solve the issue. 

3.8 K 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.

2.2 K views 1 answer 0 votes
Olexander Kolisnykov
answered Jul 30, 2019

Hi there,

I don’t think you can, because Dohop uses a Booking.com affiliate solution to run its accommodations. So, you should try Booking.com affiliate program instead.

Avatar
answered Sep 11, 2019

Yes, their API has low entry requirement, but I often find their prices incompetitve.

2.5 K 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.

4.5 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.

Alayna Alva
asked Jun 15, 2019

There are various types of services given by dialing Air Canada Airlines Reservations number are given below:
•Flight Schedule
•Flight status
•Flight Cancellations
•Refund status
•Check-in facilities
•Baggage facility

3.6 K views 0 answers 0 votes
Avatar
asked Nov 1, 2018
Olexander Kolisnykov
answered Aug 14, 2019

Hi there,

First, this business model is viable. There are hundreds of online travel agencies that work with flights and hotels only.

But it’s actually hard to give absolutely accurate numbers. Why? The thing is, every online travel agency tries to get a competitive edge over others by finding the lowest rates possible to increase their margins. This can be done by negotiating rates with GDSs, suppliers, and consolidators/wholesalers. And, these negotiated deals aren’t usually disclosed.

Traditionally, commissions that large OTAs like Expedia and Booking.com receive range from 15-30 percent in the hotel industry. If you use the Booking.com API as a partner, expect an average commission of about 15 percent going to Booking.com with commissions differing based on the region.

Flights are more complex and commissions there are usually lower. But they will depend on the agreements that you negotiate with providers, GDSs in particular. Also, keep in mind that you won’t be able to issue tickets if you aren’t IATA-certified. This also comes at a cost that will depend on what kind of travel provider you are and the regions you operate in.

Also, a large part of online travel agency success revolves around the search and commission engine that you tweak on your side.

Finally, you have to invest heavily in marketing to jumpstart your traffic.

So, yeah it’s a viable business model if you do a lot of things right.

1.4 K 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!