Travelport Prepares Universal API for Travel Industry

Alex Stone
Sep. 17 2010, 02:00PM EDT

Travel information service, Travelport is about to release what many are calling a "game-changing" Universal API. The new API hopes to make tons of information more easily available to travel agents and travel-related companies by funneling several information sources into one, all encompassing, API.

As with most large corporations, Travelport hopes that an open API will lead to new tools that they haven't thought of yet or simply don't have the time to invest in. I can imagine that, right off the bat, we'll begin seeing some awesome new tools for travel agents.

It looks as if the Travelport Universal API will allow users to be able to book everything from point A to point B and back again all through the API. I'm sure this will make the whole process of traveling anywhere much easier to arrange and coordinate.

The API does, however, use SOAP, a protocol that in recent years is not as popular with developers as REST. However, SOAP is still widely used within enterprises, where Travelport is likely focused.

On the consumer side, it would be great to see some Travelport Mashups with Gowalla, showing a list of Gowalla Trips or Featured Spots that will be in the area of my destination. Maybe even a nice mashup with Twitter to see what's going on in that area before I get there.

Travelpro is so excited about their Universal API that they've launched an 'API Eliminator' Flash game, where the goal is to "blast unnecessary APIs to smithereens!"

Travel APIs are definitely going to pick up as we move towards the big traveling holidays. Travelport's Universal API is definitely one to keep an eye on.

Alex Stone Virginia-based web developer. I'm into cool ideas and phones. You may recognize me from such mashups as Super DVD Robot! and the upcoming Twitter app, Birdcage.

Comments

Comments(2)

"It looks as if the Travelport Universal API will allow users to be able to book everything from point A to point B and back again all through the API. I’m sure this will make the whole process of traveling anywhere much easier to arrange and coordinate."

What they show is one unique web service to display travel solutions from multiple service providers, Air, LCC or Rail.

However, they do not demonstrate nor mention they have the ability to BOOK. Also they do not seem to display any AVAILABILITY associated to LCC or Rail.

On the contrary, within the white papers, they clearly mention that the Host PNRs need to be booked through the Service Providers legacy API.

To me, it is clear that Travelport universal API is useless without the additional legacy APIs...

It seems very early to talk about benefits from implementing universal API, as there is no Forecast about when and for which providers, availability, booking, fulfillments or post-fulfilment functionalities would be available through the pseudo-universal API