When the pandemic hit, like most in the travel industry, our focus turned from business as usual to gearing our products toward COVID-related travel. We added travel advisories, COVID stats, and quarantine information to our API in an attempt to make it more relevant to the times. Every travel company out there is building its own little COVID bandaid. However, it is increasingly clear that no single company is going to solve the problem of getting travelers all the information they need to travel safely again, and that the virus is here to stay for several more months at least. It's time to open the data up and share it through simple APIs so the entire industry (and ultimately, travelers) can benefit.
The travel industry isn't known for sharing data through easy-to-use APIs. One of the biggest sources of friction in a traveler's journey is that data isn't easily shared across the ecosystem, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed this lack of underlying connectivity.
Over the past several months, we've been asked by customers for various pieces of data that might be useful while traveling. Are case counts increasing? What are the lockdown restrictions? Do I need to fill out a form? What is my airline's cleaning policy? Can you tell me how many people will be on my flight? Are restaurants open in the city I'm going to? How does public transportation work? What they're really asking is this: Is it safe to travel again and how much of a hassle will it be?
At Lumo, we worked on incorporating travel advisories, COVID stats (cases and deaths), and quarantine information into our API. We know this data isn't perfect or complete, and that we don't have the bandwidth or the data sources to answer all the other questions travelers have. So, we've decided to open up our API for free, in the hope that someone out there will be able to augment their data with ours to build a better, more useful, product.
You can now get an API key with nothing more than an email, and use our data for free in your products. Let's do this.