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12 Best practices for your airline APIs
12 Best practices for your airline APIs

So your tech team is developing your airline's own APIs? We've got you covered with tips from our own in-house integration team

Remi Giudicelli avatar
Written by Remi Giudicelli
Updated over a week ago

Search endpoint


Ensure your API return rates for both General Cargo and Express for any General Cargo requests and for 7 days at once. Other types of product can also be supported (Perishables, Pharma, etc.).


If there’s no bookable rate, ensure your API returns schedules AND detailed reason codes (to enable better analysis/ improvement/ steering) eg:

- Origin or Destination not in network => no action to be done

- No Routes defined between Origin and Destination => potential missing trucks or route created in system

- No Rates defined between Origin and Destination => need to create rates in system for most requested routes

- No capacity on flight between Origin and Destination => can be used by your network/RM to adjust

- Agent not authorized => we will be able to work with your offices to get those agent known if needed

- Unsupported product => we can work on it in the future case by case


Ensure your API provides dimensions check at shipment level before responding with bookable options to prevent loability issues at the time of booking.

Booking endpoint


Set up auto-AWB (allow your known forwarders to book without the AWB number and respond to booking request with an AWB assigned)


Ensure your API supports PUSH notifications to share updates proactively whenever there is any change in your system (booking status, cargo and routing details, etc.)


If Booking is requested with no capacity on flight => propose an alternative flight in the booking confirmation response instead of just rejecting booking (Also update CargoAi with the conditions under which the user should be able to reject the proposed options)


If Booking is requested but the AWB is already known in your system => respond with error message “This AWB already used” in such cases to allow CargoAi to request a new AWB from the user instead of cancelling the booking


If Booking is requested but there are missing details (for special commodities etc.) => respond with error message “More details required (remarks/shcs/packaging)” instead of rejecting/cancelling the booking => CargoAi will request more info from the user. Also update CargoAi with the latest business requirements


Pass back LAT, TOA and GHA information (name, delivery address) in the booking request response.


Ensure your API supports booking updates when requested by forwarders, such as flight or shipment modification. CargoAi should be able to query your system with an existing AWB & an UPDATE function, to override the previous booking.

Cancellation endpoint


Send Cancellation terms (fees and conditions) together with rates (or booking confirmation)

Tracking endpoint


Ensure shipment status is updated whenever there is any change in your system

Please note that these best practices are exactly that: best practices. Whilst some of them will constitute the backbone of our API integration, others are "great to have" but not mandatory to get started. Feel free to connect and talk to our team to evaluate your readiness for digital distribution and the benefits it would bring to your overall sales strategy!

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