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Rethinking airline data sharing from an airline's perspective

Alright, a rather catchy headline but let’s take a deeper look. For any developer, it is common sense that, APIs have developed to be the most important means of interconnecting services both internally and externally of companies. APIs have been doing exactly that for quite some time.

Looking at travel: Long before retail or even software vendors were using APIs as a way to distribute their products online, airlines were using APIs for so much more! Airlines were using APIs to make sure that flight seat availability was pushed to local travel agencies or other airlines and passenger data was transported correctly to ensure customers arrived at their intended destination.  

Why the history lessons?

Legacy tech is one of the hardest things to overcome. A great example of this is how the passenger and mobility industry is trying hard to accomplish an engine swap at full throttle with IATAs New Distribution Standard or IATAs One Order Initiative, IATAs One Identity plus many more measures and accompanied by various economic incentives (GDS Fee,…)

 

Picture from a good read on the current airlines content distribution with focus on ticket-able content - https://medium.com/@AltexSoft/how-airline-distribution-works-f3118be5c9e4

 

Most of those initiatives rely on the interoperability of services without heavy middlemen and therefore also rely on APIs.

 

Lufthansa Group, as a tech-savvy airline, wants to be on one of the top frontrunners of the above-mentioned changes and has created various ways to interact with the group.

One of those ways is the Lufthansa OpenAPI where, together with the Lufthansa Innovation Hub, we provide an easily-consumable, but limited in functions, free Open API.

 

To consume the API, you just have to register with our friends at RapidAPI or directly on the developer portal.  

LH Open API Developer Portal - https://developer.lufthansa.com/

 

Rapid API - https://rapidapi.com/lihcode/api/Lufthansa%20Open

 

 

Immediately afterward, you are able to access a big, non-Lufthansa Group-specific, DB of reference data. This data includes information about airlines, airports, planes as well as live information of Lufthansa Group flight status, schedule, and the seat maps of our flights!

We even went a step further:

Over the course of this year, we even enabled 3rd parties to use the OpenAPI to sell flights directly to their customers. Please just be aware that we need some further vetting of your service before you can use the fare and booking information due to commercial, regulatory reasons and not based on volume that you contribute! If you want to apply for access please start the process here - https://lhopenapi.typeform.com/to/vGfxwx

 

So have fun using our data here at RapidAPI and do hold back with feedback or criticism as we are also learning with each one of you!


Booking Capability - LIVE

New functionality - Booking Capability

The booking capability for the OpenAPI was on our roadmap from early days on. Honestly, we thought it would be easier and work way quicker but were taught differently.

It is, hoewever, a major milestone and we are happy to have reached it!

The OpenAPI booking capability is live starting today!

We are again looking for new ventures/startups interested to take their first steps in air travel and are no travel agents or travel tech companies (highly recommending the NDC offering from LHG for your needs - see our post about the NDC Partner Program)

Partners looking for access: please complete our adopted Typeform here! The form is a slightly altered version of the "fares and availabilities" form and will now be used for either registration.

Early on, the booking capability will only be available for the UK market (flights to and from UK) but we are ramping up other markets soon!

Furthermore, as with fares and availabilities, we are targeting startups and ventures rather new to travel who are no travel agencies or travel tech providers. The affiliate program from fares and availabilities will also apply for the booking feature and incentivize our new partners.

Register here for the booking capabilty

If you have any questions please contact us via the contact form, send a mail to developer@lh-innovationhub.com or text us via Twitter!

Lufthansa Group NDC Partner Programme

Lufthansa NDC Partner Program

Lufthansa Group is happy to kickstart a NDC Partner Programme for agencies, travel tech provider and corporate accounts. The program offers NDC compliant API based booking and also comes with further incentives.

Within the OpenAPI we are, by intention, not NDC compliant when distributing fare and availability data. The reason for this decision is that we want to attract partners from outside the travel tech environment and in our opinion NDC is too heavy for those partners.

For more information please visit the website of the Lufthansa NDC Partner Program.

New Fare Calls: BestPrice

BestPrice or no BestPrice, that is the question!

New fare calls are available to you: "BestPrice Lowest Fares" and "BestPrice Best Fares" to complement the already existing "Lowest Fares" and "Best Fares" calls!

The obvious question to fit your programming needs: BestPrice or Non-BestPrice calls?

The existing calls are Airline Catalog based. In your call, you have to specify an airline code to retrieve the fares of a specific airline.

The new BestPrice calls offer information on all airlines on LH.com. No need to include the airline code here!

You can review the documentation on the calls here.

Happy coding!

Fare and availability data

New data, partnering and kick back model to start 2017!

Exciting times ahead at Lufthansa Open API

A year of growth comes to an end and I’m very proud of what our team has achieved:

  • More than 118 Million API calls, which is more than the number of passengers traveling with our group around the globe!
  • Crossing the 1000 developer signups
  • Our first public partnership with Flightstats in March!

Graph: Total API calls

2017 is going to start with an already announced release of new data from fares, availability and deep linking for Eurowings, Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines. It took us some time but as fares and availabilities are at the core of an airline, things needed further approval rounds!

Kickback for data integration

From mid of January 2017 on we will offer a variety of fare calls from all fares for a specific date, lowest fare for a specific date to best fare in a period.

For all we do offer the same response structure looking like in the Postman picture below:

API response structure
More information will soon follow within our documentation at http://developer.lufthansa.com

Within the response structure you will find 2 sections, the AirShoppingRS and the Meta part. For those, familiar with IATA’s NDC (New distribution capability the AirShoppingRS part is heavily based on equivalent part within NDC standard.

In AirShoppingRS you find some general information about the offer, the offer itself (OffersGroup) and the corresponding traveller/flight segment information (DataLists).
The latter part of the response, Meta, is filled with deep links to the offers in the respective portals for customer booking purposes (in case of the picture to http://eurowings.com/….)

New partner model

Together with fares, we are also introducing a new partner model. To be able to consume our fare data, we do want you to give us some further information about your company and the service you are providing. This means you have to complete the questionaire here. We will then check your information come back to you individually with next steps.

Please be ensured, that we will answer all of your registrations asap and are well aware that this model is not a scaleable solution. Evolving from this first humble steps is besides the new data, at the core of our interests!

Speaking of partners

As fares are shared with various providers in different contexts by our group, the open API has its own distribution segment.

We are looking for partners with B2C services that are not metasearcher, traveltech provider or companies that own a IATA designator for travel agencies. If you consider yourself as one of above mentioned, I may forward your inquiry to the respective department within our group for further steps. If not, happy to discuss next steps!

The kickback model — 1,5%

Furthermore the new partner model, also comes with a compensation that is inline with affiliate marketing compensation modell! Each Lufthansa fare information comes with a personalized deep link that forwards to LH.com for booking of the offer. If the deep link leads to a booking on LH.com we compensate your efforts.
The principle is nearly the same as within affiliate marketing where the last cookie resulting in a purchase is rewarded with a kick back.

More for 2017 …

As fares and deep linking are just the start, we are working on expanding the functionalities and are tackling booking integration, ticket servicing and loyalty information.

Stay tuned for more …

Merry christmas and a happy new year!

Links for you to register or if you have any questions!

Register for fare partnership here

Mail: developer@lh-innovationhub.com
Twitter LH Open API @lh_api
Github Link
HithHQ Link
ProgrammableWeb Link

#NewData - Eurowings live Flightstatus and Lufthansa WIFI + Inflight Entertainment

Data offering on the Lufthansa OpenAPI is getting bigger again!

Today we successfully released live information about Eurowings flights.

You can retrieve the data via all the flightstatus calls within the operations group

Furthemore Lufthansa flights do now have information about availability of WIFI - Flynet - and Inflight Entertainment onboard, integrated.

To get the information you just have to use the schedule call from operations and have a look at the Equipment Object.

Here is an example of LH400 from JFK to FRA on September 1st.

API response for equipment

If you are registered - Check the playground for testing - IO/docs

If not - Register here!

Follow us here on Twitter for news and updates!

Live Data Integration

Happy to annouce that last week the OpenAPI team and FlightStats team successfully ended integration testing.

FlightStats provides data services and applications to the travel industry and traveling public and is now using the flight status information provided by the OpenAPI within its services.

Already in the testing phase both partners could see benefits from the accuracy and broad usage of the data.

Thanks to both teams and looking forward to further integration projects!

Just follow @lh_api for further news.

Austrian Airlines - Flight Status

Happy to annouce that our methods "Flight Status" and "Flight Status by Route" do now also offer data for Austrian Airlines and Swiss Airlines

Germanwings / Eurowings data to follow soon.

Looking forward to your feedback on other data you love to see on the OpenAPI .

Just follow @lh_api for news! 

Lounge Data

Lounge Data released!

Our offer information just got a bit better. You can now retrieve Lounge Information through the API. Find information about airport specific lounges, opening hours and amenities. For a detailed documentation check the API docs.

Have fun & let us know what you are missing!

New airports...

Good news, more airports!

We have expanded our airport database and we are now giving you access to the world's most important 1,261 airports. It is an overall database to power your services and not directly linked to the airports that Lufthansa specifically serves today. 

Thanks for your feedback on your needs for the API based on which we continuously expand our services.


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