How do Travel Fare Aggregators Work? - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS

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Saturday, May 15, 2021

How do Travel Fare Aggregators Work?

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You have very likely been using travel fare
aggregators as your primary solution to cut costs of traveling. Skyscanner,
Cheapflights, Kayak, Trip and many many others are usually the first places
online you visit when planning a new trip – where else could you find all the
airlines under one roof?
And while it is an extremely convenient
service for travelers, have you ever thought about all the hurdles these
websites have to overcome? Travel fare aggregators have to collect vast amounts
of data from the web, so they would be able to offer you the best, real-time
prices for a flight, train or bus tickets, as well as accommodation pricing ,
car rental services, and any other travel related expenses.
We know that all the sources have extensive
security checks while trying to prevent any automated data collection, and they
do block every IP that is activated and controlled by a bot. So how do these
websites access that protected data? Well, I’m glad you asked because that’s
exactly what we will go over here!
Travel Fare Aggregation

Web Scraping

Web scraping is a process of gathering data
from various websites. There is a vast amount of reasons to implement this
process into your business, no matter what you do:
    
Market research – to stay competitive in the
market, you have to know what your competitors are doing and base your strategy
on this knowledge;
    
MAP and MSRP
monitoring
– while the manufacturer can’t really decide on a
minimum price of a product in retail, they can suggest it and set a minimum
price that can be advertised. Monitoring is necessary to make sure all
suggestions and advertising requirements are being followed by product
retailers;
    
Content aggregation – collecting huge amounts
of non-copyrighted content to create a hub requires something more than what a
human alone can do;
    
Brand protection – making sure that your
products aren’t being resold or your brand name isn’t being used as a keyword
on some phishy websites is a necessity for a business to protect their business
and a hard-fought market share;
    
Ad verification – imagine how annoying it
would be if your business expenses would be covering for ads that just won’t be
seen by potential customers! That happens, when your ads are being placed behind
other ads (this way making double the money for the website/app where your ads
are being “displayed”) or they are just sitting aimlessly on spam-y websites;
    
Pricing – to stay ahead of a competitive
e-commerce market, you need to adjust to even the smallest price changes that
your competitors make;
    
Travel fare aggregation – the reason why we
are all still reading this! These aggregators have to create an all-in-one
website for traveler’s convenience.
There are many tools, both free and paid for,
to optimize your data harvesting operations for you. For most of them to be
effective and successful, you will additionally need to bring proxies to help
out!

What is a Proxy?

To begin with, a proxy server, usually called
a proxy, is a middleman that stands between you and your data source. When you
are using a proxy server, your request travels through it, the proxy changes
your IP address and handles the process for you. Each proxy server has its own
IP address, this way granting your online actions extra security layer.
There are different kinds of proxy types:
  1. Residential proxies – IPs
    attached to a physical location, provided by an Internet Service Provider
    (ISP) to a homeowner;
  2. Data Center proxies – IPs
    that are not attached to any ISP, coming from cloud server providers.
Another way to categorize proxies is their
privacy:
  1. Dedicated proxies (private)
    – proxies that belong to you only, and you have to obligation to share
    them with anybody;
  2. Shared proxies – proxies
    that you share with other users, tend to get more banned;
  3. Semi-dedicated proxies (semi-shared) – proxies that you share with a small group of people.

Residential Proxies

Residential proxy has a real IP address given
to a homeowner by an ISP. It’s an IP address attached to a physical location.
You have one, just google it (“what’s my IP” is one of the most popular
searches ever). This kind of proxy is the least likely to be recognized as a
bot because, in the eyes of online sources, it looks like human surfing the
web. Residential proxies, though, are not only great for travel fare
aggregation but for many other reasons too – they all can be found in Oxylabs
blog post!
While residential proxies have many benefits,
the most important ones are:
    
They are perfect for scraping and harvesting data. This feature is the most important for any business, in this case,
travel fare aggregators’ websites.
    
They are highly anonymous, for all the reasons
mentioned prior. This is really important not only for businesses.
    
While using residential proxies,
you experience almost no blocks – an
essential feature for anyone harvesting data daily, or even hourly.
They have some cons too, well, a drawback:
    
Pricing. Residential proxies are for sure more
expensive than data center proxies. However, as discussed above, it is clear
for one to see how much value they hold.

Data Center Proxies

Data Center proxies, as their name already
states, are not affiliated with any ISPs. Instead, they come from a secondary
corporation. Important to know, that acquiring free data center proxies is not
the right choice for business (or in general – for security), because usually
the subnets are already blacklisted by many websites.
Main benefits of data center proxies are:
    
Speed. These proxies are rapid, compared to
residential proxies;
    
Price. They are usually much more affordable
than residential ones.
Some disadvantages of data center proxies:
    
Lower anonymity. These proxies can be slightly
less anonymous than residential ones, usually, because the ISP does not provide
them so it’s not that difficult to find their real user;
    
Blocks. They can get blocked pretty quickly,
especially by websites which have greater security levels(i.e. Google blocks a
lot of general use data center proxies). Worth noting that a lot of providers
will provide a package of proxies made explicitly for search engines.

Residential Proxies for Travel
Fare Aggregation

residential proxies for travel

As mentioned before, travel fare aggregators
are creating an all-in-one solution for travelers, so they would be able to get
the best deals for a plane, bus, train tickets, housing, rental cars and much
more. To even be eligible to participate in the fight for the throne of the
market these companies have to provide real-time data, which has to be
collected every couple of hours (official travel websites prices fluctuate
depending on… well, everything)
Best found solution for data gathering is
large scale web scraping. To manage these operations in-house, travel fare
aggregators should choose dedicated residential proxies to satisfy all their
data scraping needs. These proxies provide highest possible anonymity with the
added benefit of forgetting getting blocked by desired sources.
Another important feature that most proxy
service providers offer, and it’s necessary for a travel fare website –
specific location targeting. While there is a possibility to use other kinds of
proxies for cost-cutting reasons, dedicated residential proxies are hands down
the ones bringing the best results.

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