Lufthansa Developer Center Developer Blog

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://www.altexsoft.com/infographics/how-airline-distribution-works

 

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!