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I am interested in accessing a large amount of airline ticket prices for a research project. I want to be able to access the price of an itinerary in each of the available fare classes repeatedly on many dates starting from several months before the flight date until the day of. I also want to be able to access the fare rules associated with these fare classes.

I expect that accessing this raw data requires some kind of subscription that travel agents have. How can I get access to this? Who do I need to buy it from?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Have a look at ExpertFlyer, their premium subscription plan offers the following features:

  • Airfare prices are available in the currency of your choice
  • Shows all published airfare prices between two cities
  • Airfare prices displayed for one-way, round-trip and Around The World (RTW) fares
  • Shows both booking class and fare basis code
  • Specify a particular booking code fare or see all fares
  • Choose up to three particular airlines or see all airline fares
  • View detailed fare rules and routing rules for a particular airfare
  • Search for airfare prices based on advance purchase and seasonality restrictions

There may be other services offering the same functionality, this is just the first one I found.

However, services like these are essentially just front ends for the GDS [Global Distribution System]. There are 4 main players that make reservation systems: Amadeus, Galileo, Sabre, and Worldspan. Most airlines have a reservation system provided by one of these 4 companies, the only exceptions are low cost airlines.

Depending on your needs, contact each of the GDS systems and enquire about getting access, they will all provide data access, although at a cost.

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I am familiar with ExpertFlyer, but am not sure whether they would tolerate 10,000 to 1 million queries per month for the standard subscription they offer. I have contacted them inquiring about bulk access, but it seems that they are just an interim level provider of this kind of data. Who does ExpertFlyer and travel agencies (including OTAs like Expedia and Kayak) get the data from? I don't think it is directly from the airlines. –  user13983 May 25 at 19:15
    
You probably should have added the volume of queries you require to your original post, as it will affect the answer. I've updated my answer with these in mind. –  Gavin Coates May 26 at 15:01
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