Google is shutting down its QPX Express flight search API

By : |November 2, 2017 0

Google has announced that it is shutting down the developer access to a feed that automates data for airfare search engines. This move could severely affect the third party travel sites. The company has posted a notice on its FAQ page for software developers stating that it would be shutting down its QPX Express API service as of April 10, 2018, and that it would be ending new user registrations for the flight service. The company also sent out a note to API users, which was spotted by Hacker News.

Five years ago, Google bought ITA Software, the company behind the airfare search system known as QPX, which is used by Bing Travel and CheapTickets, and airlines including American and United. At the time the Department of Justice approved the acquisition under the condition that Google would keep the API public for five years.

Google did not say exactly why it is shutting down the service, but a Google spokesperson told Bloomberg that the shutdown was due to the low interest generated. With Google’s own flight-booking system steadily gaining new tools, shutting down the QXP Express leaves Google Trips with that API, while leaving competitors without the tool.

Google didn’t offer a list of suggestions for replacing the QPX Express API, but there are similar services available. According to TechCrunch, Fareportal, Skyscanner, and Skypicker offer similar flight-search APIs. Google is also building out its own consumer-facing Flights service, recently adding a cost-saving feature, such as flying on a different day, landing at a different airport, or checking to see how airfares vary over time on a graph.

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