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Google to kill tool of novice online travel agents

November 3, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Online travel agency newcomers face a harder time getting established now that Google has decided to shut down a software tool that lets small enterprises access search airfare information.

According to reports carried yesterday on Bloomberg and on tech site TechCrunch, Google has confirmed it will shut down its QPX Express API from next April.

The API airfare search feed emerged from Google’s USD 700 million acquisition of online airfare broker ITA in 2010/2011, a time when Google was investing in all sorts of things, including military robots. Google used ITA’s API tool to set up its airline price aggregator http://www.centarahotelsresorts.com/b2b/?utm_source=e-global&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=exotic-destination&fbtrack=CUST-exotic-destination-e-global-bannerGoogle Flights.

TechCrunch says Google will also terminate OnTheFly, ITA’s mobile flight-search app, from the end of this year.

Google has advised API users that QPX Express API, aimed at smaller companies and startups, will no longer be available from 10 April 2018. In the meantime, it will not take on new users. Existing users will receive a reduced rate on any API calls, with the usage fee falling from USD 0.035 a query to USD 0.02 per query (after the first 50 queries, which are free).

Google blames the closure on “low interest among our travel partners”. A version aimed at bigger businesses, QPX Enterprise, will continue to run.

TechCrunch said QPX customers have included Bing Travel, Cape Air, CheapTickets, Kayak.com, Orbitz, Alitalia, American, ANA, United Airlines, US Airways, and Virgin Atlantic.

Written by Peter Needham

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