NDC, Chatbots, and APIs Streamlining Business Travel at NDCHack in Berlin

June 01, 2016

By giving the traveler more control, the more personalized and streamlined their travel experience will be, leading to happier travelers and more efficiency and indirect cost reductions in the business travel sector.

This myth dispelling insight, delivered by Aurélie Krau from Festive Road, sparked the creation of an incredible range of clever and imaginative apps by partipants at the recent IATA NDC Hackathon in Berlin, for improving and streamlining the business travel booking and Day of Travel experience. Festive Road, the travel and meetings engagement agency, has partnered with IATA to become the eyes and ears of the NDC project for the global business travel community.

Teams had to use the IATA NDC or BA API as core APIs to build applications that met a number of business travel challenges. In addition to the Developer.aero APIs that we provided as sponsors of the event, other APIs available included the IATA Timatic API, LinkedIn Public API and Routehappy APIs. A number of prizes were on offer from IATA including a Business Traveler Journey prize, Travel Data prize, Developer prize and Incubation prize.

Dominique Elbez, VP Portfolio Management, SITA Messaging Business Line, was on hand at the event with some members of the Developer.aero team who mentored the participants and supported the API usage.

22 teams took part in the event and 17 out of the 22 teams used SITA APIs. Many teams implemented chatbots after attending an interesting workshop entitled 'First Chatbot in 30min', giving an overview of chatbots and open source technologies available to create chatbots.

Winners of the SITA prize,Team '2GOAway' with
Stephen O'Donnell and Manraj Sabarwal from Developer.aero

SITA awarded a prize of a €1000 Amazon Voucher for the most innovative use our Developer.aero APIs. Choosing the winner proved to be hard decision, but in the end, the 2GOAway team won the day with their chatbot based booking and travel management app which used SMS. This app provides the capability to get flight information, book flights, get boarding pass, get weather information and book a taxi all via SMS ... excellent potential for developing countries where internet connectivity may not be the best and smart phones may not be easily available. Check out the app at http://touchhgti.wix.com/2goaway

See some more great photos of the event on flickr

So, onwards and upwards to our next hackathon event, so stayed tuned for more details coming soon.