• Stéphane Pingaud

Ancillary Services. Checked

Updated: Sep 18, 2020

It’s been nine months since we last posted something on our blog. And what nine months! Who would have expected last December that 2020 will turn out to be the most uncertain year for our industry, ever?

When it became clear that the current crisis would destroy our sales pipeline almost entirely, the question for the team was: what now? Do we focus on “connecting” more airlines to our platform? Or do we concentrate on solving a major feature challenge based on our existing airline integrations?

We chose the latter and decided to take on the challenge of airline ancillary services, with the goal to find the best way to enable the distribution and sales of those in a consistent way across all our connected airlines. As we explained a few months ago at a webinar organised by our friends from IATA, we see ancillary services as taking an even greater role in airlines’ product and commercial strategies as they prepare for the industry’s rebound. Travellers are likely to demand a greater level of customisation in terms of comfort, convenience, flexibility and safety, when they are able and decide to fly again.

For those who are working with the aggregation of airlines’ distribution APIs (NDC and non-NDC), you’d agree that the main difficulty is about defining a data model and a distribution flow that is scalable. And such difficulty increases as you go deeper into the integration of those distribution APIs. That’s clearly the case when you look at ancillary services and how each airline makes them available through their API.

So, here we are, 6 months later, with a pretty solid Add-On Services feature, which now allows our channel partners to:

  • easily sell additional bags for check-in, on top of those included in the fare chosen by the traveller - prior to completing the order;

  • let travellers select, book and pay for their desired seats in advance.

The way we address this challenge was to leverage our basket/{id}/customize API endpoint used to add a previously created Basket the above Add-On Services together with the passengers and payment information.

API Flow Overview

Today, our channel partners can sell add-on bags on Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, British Airways, Iberia, Vueling, United, and shortly on Aegean Airlines, Olympic Airways, Singapore Airlines and Transavia, while our brand new Advance Seat Reservation feature has been deployed with all Lufthansa Group airlines and Vueling.

Seat Map Display (Testing Tool)

If you would like to check our API documentation, or simply ask some initial questions about our Air Travel API, send us an email at contact@flyiin.com and we’ll be in touch.

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