Techtalks: Traveltech

What is the best flight API to integrate?

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asked  Dec 11, 2018

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AltexSoft Team

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.

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Semi Sagir

answered  Jun 7, 2019


I would recommend to check HitchHiker’s Flight API, because it provides access to all major GDS like Amadeus, Travelport and Sabre. Furthermore it offers direct connections to a great number of low-cost and full-service carriers.

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teamindia webdesign

answered  Dec 3, 2019


GDS is a worldwide “Global Distribution System” computerized reservation network used as a single point of access for accommodating airline seats, hotel rooms, rental cars, and other travel related items by travel agents, online reservation sites, and large corporations.
There are various flight API available in the market like sabre,travelport, Amadeus. it's totally depends upon on your requirment As per my opinon Amadeus GDS is one of the major GDS systems,The Amadeus software GDS integration providers offer you benefits like the control on live inventory, Easy connectivity, Real-time pricing, Automatic content update, Multiple channels for distribution and utilization.

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Nadia Severino

answered  Feb 5, 2020


Well I think you should try FlightAPI Which will provide you with 4 different kind of APIs:1) Flight tracking API which tracks any flight around the world in real-time by providing you the height , coordinates, speed & other essential data in JSON format.2) Flight Price Comparison API , which provides flight fares for any type of journey from multiple vendors & airlines.3) Nearby Airport & Airport Schedule  API4) Autocomplete API & IATA code APIAlltogether it's  a nice API. Do try it's FREE pack.

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Katie Patron

answered  Aug 12, 2020


I like using Travelpayouts for API. They provide it for Aviasales and Jetradar. It’s a metasearch API so the user searches a bunch of airline offers from your site, but the actual payment is done at the airlines’ site. Which is a very good thing because I’m not be responsible, if there’re any problems with the flight.
The best thing is that it’s completely free. The next best thing is that their support team is quick to answer and actually helpful.(Unlike Skyscanner who I’ve tried working with.) Also, they work with CPA. If you have quality traffic, than it’ll be way more profitable than CPC.