Travelport's new APIs promise fast search, easy integration

Travelport’s recently released APIs enable faster travel searches and responses and are easier for travel agencies and OTAs to integrate into their point-of-sale solutions than previous Travelport APIs, says Kyle Moore, the GDS company’s global head of customer strategy and marketing.

In addition, the APIs have given Travelport the capability to display airline NDC-enabled offers on the same response screens as traditional ATPCO content.

Travelport unveiled the APIs late last month. They use JSON formatting, replacing the XML formatting Travelport has previously used to build APIs.

For travel advisors, the APIs’ ability to combine NDC content with traditional airline content on the same search response screen is likely their most obvious benefit. As an example, Moore presented a search response screen for flights from San Francisco to New York that showed traditional fares filed by Delta and Alaska through ATPCO alongside NDC-supported fare content offered by United. 

Travelport is currently certified to provide NDC content from American, United, Qantas and Singapore Airlines. Travelport says that it is finalizing terms with eight other airlines. 

With its upgraded APIs, Travelport is, for the most part, ready to accept any NDC content from airlines, Moore said. Exceptions would be when an airline wants to do something that has not been done before. Even then, the new APIs will allow for faster build-up than in the past. 

The other advantage of new APIs, Moore said, is that flight shoppers can more specifically spell out the service and product options that are most important to them.

Agencies can build the same capabilities into their own point-of-sale interface using the JSON APIs.

He explained, for example, that the search interface within the Travelport GDS enables shoppers to say that they are searching for a flight with a meal included as well as a USB power outlet at the seat. Those items are then prioritized in the search response. The system can also support personalized pricing, based upon a user’s travel history, which Qantas was the first to implement.

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Because the APIs bring back more targeted responses than Travelport’s previous technology, those responses also use smaller data sets, which increases response speed. Travelport says the average response message size of its JSON-formatted APIs is 56% less than XML-formatted APIs. Faster responses lead to fewer consumers abandoning the search, which should help conversion, Moore said. 

He also said that the new APIs are easier for agencies to integrate into their systems than previous Travelport solutions. Agencies that decide to add NDC capabilities have to rewrite programming, Moore noted. These APIs make that a less cumbersome process. 

Travelport’s release of the revamped APIs is part of its broader move to upgrade its travel retailing platform. 

In April, the company launched Travelport+, a single GDS platform that is intended to replace the Galileo, Apollo and Worldspan legacy reservation systems.

Travelport’s competitor Amadeus also became fully enabled to sell NDC-supported content this year.

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