One Month Startup

Daily updates on my attempt to start a web based business in 30 days

API’s or lackthereof

I decided to research flight API’s so I can just take a look at what’s available. What I saw did not give me the best news. I am hoping it will work out, or I will need to figure out some creative solutions.

In the past, I have been using this app called Skyscanner for my travels. It has this great feature that allows you to use ‘Anywhere’ as a search term and it finds loads of places to go and their prices. It has been really helpful for making decisions on where I like to go. I also remembered seeing somewhere that they had an API and assumed it was free or at least public, and probably has that built in.

I thought it would be a great API to use as it would fit perfectly for my app. After a bit of research, I found it is not “public” in the sense that I can’t just register for an API key and start making requests. What they have is a partners program, which involved me filling out a request form and sending it along. The problem is, the auto response email I received said that they get a lot of emails and it’s not guaranteed that they will even see my request.

If the odds are ever in my favor and they do see it, they still need to accept me into their club. Not sure what the criteria is for acceptance or rejection, but since my app is still just a twinkle in my eye and not a thing yet, not sure what I can provide to up my chances.

If I do get accepted, it appears to be free and they may even have some sort of affiliate program which could generate some money if I go that route, so there is that.

I then decided to look for other options and remembered Google had a flight API. So as of April 2018, they officially took down the public flights api which they call QPX Express API. The details are here https://developers.google.com/qpx-express/.

So FML right. The two APIs I thought would be good to go are either not guaranteed or flat out dead. I’m gonna keep a lookout for other API’s and an email from Skyscanner. If I get nothing, I may need to go with some bots or something to scrape data, but this is not my favorite option. I feel like this route yields inconsistent results and can be pretty inefficient.

Staying optimistic.

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2 Comments

  1. Alex Tulchinsky

    Danny: fyi — https://www.phocuswire.com/Free-APIs-that-travel-startups-should-consider-when-building-any-search-product
    This should bolster your hope of being contacted

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