Automatic for the people

Since TripIt launched back in 2007 we’ve been on a mission to make organizing travel effortless. The Itinerator–the technology that automatically creates rich itineraries from emails forwarded to plans@tripit.com–is a great start. It understands emails from thousands of travel suppliers and does its job almost instantly.

While forwarding emails to plans@tripit.com is great for lots of people, it can be hard to remember to do it for all your plans. Many TripIt travelers have set up email filters to automatically forward all their travel booking emails to plans@tripit.com. That works okay, but setting up the filters you’d need is complicated. And once you have them set up, important plans still fall through the cracks. We’ve always thought there’s got to be a better way.

Well, now there is.

We’re thrilled to announce the beta of auto-import for Gmail and Google Apps. It’s a true “set it and forget it” experience that benefits travelers no matter how they access TripIt: via our free apps for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry; the dozens of partner apps built on our API; our mobile site (m.tripit.com); calendar feeds; or www.tripit.com.


How does it work?

First, you establish a link between TripIt and Gmail. That link is built on OAuth, a secure protocol that lets you grant services like TripIt access to your Gmail without ever revealing your Gmail password to us. It also means that you can turn it off easily, either from TripIt or Gmail’s account settings.

Once the link between TripIt and your inbox is set up, TripIt automatically imports travel plans, no matter where you booked them. (We only import and parse travel plans from your inbox. We don’t import anything else.) It bears mentioning that TripIt is proud to be TrustE certified. We built auto-import using the same best practices with which we’ve built the rest of TripIt.

You can choose to be very hands-on with your plans as they flow from your inbox to TripIt. You can have TripIt put the plans it imports into your Unfiled Items folder on TripIt, where you can assign plans to trips manually. (Of course, you can also turn auto-import off at any time and resume forwarding confirmation emails to plans@tripit.com, too.) Either way, you’re in control.

Now, you can think of TripIt with auto-import as the Internet’s smartest travel email filter. It’s always working to make sure your plans don’t get lost in your inbox, and DO get into your calendar, onto your phone, and shared with your key people. You don’t need to lift a finger–it all just works.

At this point, auto-import works with Gmail and Google Apps email accounts. We will be adding support for other email services soon.

We think this is a game-changer for travelers and for developers who build apps that work with TripIt. More data with less work: what’s not to love? :)

We can’t wait to hear what you think of it! You can set it up here.

Thanks and Happy Travels.