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A while ago, I had the idea of creating a travel site that catered to the group of people that enjoy traveling but aren't bound by time (i.e. I want to go to X, but I don't care when -- just show me the cheapest weekend for the next 3 months).

Anyway... it turns out that flight APIs are ridiculously non-existent. I ended up scraping two different airline sites, but since it was against their terms, I never took the site any further.

So, Skyscanner? (Pick'Whole month' / 'Whole year' for the date).

This is the first I've heard of Skyscanner, and they kind of get what I was going for, but I want more of a "set it and forget it" type of service -- something where I can enter in the closest airport and a list of cities I want to visit, and every time I log in I'll see the prices for those cities over the next several months (or get alerted via email, etc.).

The hospitality and travel industries are very slow to update their technologies. I used to work with Ritz Carlton and St. Regis and even those brands are practically in the stone age, so I can't imagine how scraping for flight info would go.

I've thought of even building a simple event aggregator for some friends in the industry and they are blown away that it's possible. Then I remember how many venues are in cities like Charlotte and San Francisco and realize why these industries lag in technology. There just isn't a large pool of developers who want to solve their problems.

Do you have any projects you are currently working on?

Completely agreed on the "lag in technology" -- couple that with the fact that even if you do manage to book a flight as an affiliate, most providers only give you a flat fee (as opposed to hotel affiliates which tend to give a percentage).

Disclaimer: Those claims were relevant the last time I investigated (>1 year ago). It could have changed by now.

On the plus side, building out the flight tool really endeared me to hacking on things - which eventually lead me to leave my last job and co-found something new. :)

Sabre just opened their API to the public. Not sure if it's paid or not but we were going to do this exact idea for YC Hacks.

Oh wow, how did I miss that? I looked at sabre when I first started scraping, but the application process to just look at the APIs was exhausting.

Thank you!

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