Written on January 26, 2009 at 6:54 am, by Linda Bao
Today we’re thrilled to announce the release of the TripIt API, an important step in our history. Put simply, the TripIt API makes it easy for other web sites and applications to put data into and take data out of TripIt. Of course, all data exchange happens only with user permission.
When you think about it, the travel itinerary is the perfect source of data for travel-related applications. Until now, itinerary data has been trapped inside many different systems and applications–your business travel information might be in a GDS like Sabre or online booking tool like GetThere, while your leisure travel information is probably scattered across sites like Expedia, Marriott.com, and others. And your information about activities, meetings and restaurants are in different places, too. On top of all this, most sites that hold your information typically aren’t open to third parties, so there’s really no easy way to access ALL the information in your travel itinerary, until TripIt.
TripIt has always been about bringing together the various parts of a trip into a single, master itinerary. Our email import technology, the Itinerator, helps travelers automatically input information from different sources into a single place. Because TripIt is the only place where travelers can store ALL the components of a trip, we’ve had companies contacting us since we launched about how they could interface with us.
Behold the TripIt API which opens up the TripIt itinerary platform to third parties. Here are just a few examples of what’s possible with the TripIt API:
“Add to TripIt” – A tour company might present its online customers with an “Add to TripIt” button, which would transmit reservation details automatically to the traveler’s TripIt account. This is pretty cool for the traveler, but also great for the tour company who now has immediate access to the powerful tools TripIt offers, such as a mobile application and live sync to the traveler’s calendar.
Expense Applications – A travel expense application could import your travel activity (basics like air, hotel, and car, and also restaurants, ground transportation and events) directly into an expense report for you. The expense app only needs a single connection to TripIt to access this data, and can avoid the cost and complexity of interfacing with various GDS and other booking systems. Note: Expens’d is already using the TripIt API to provide this service.
Ground Transportation – When you book a rental car or airport limo, you often need to look up your flight information so you can schedule your pick-up. Using the TripIt API, the ground transportation company could look at your TripIt itinerary and see your flight information automatically. Also, if your flight plans changed, the scheduled pick-up could be updated accordingly.
These are just a few ideas, and we’re really looking forward to seeing the many more useful and interesting ways that developers dream up to take advantage of the TripIt API. Many applications are currently under development and will be released over the next few weeks, and we’ll be featuring them here as they launch. So keep an eye out for TripIt, as we might be popping up in some unexpected places!