Expedia Integrator Release Notes

v3.1.2 - Released 20 July 2017

This is a small update to include the following bug fixes or enhancements 

  • We are now displaying the Total and GP Share values on the final confirmation screen at the end of the booking process

EANNewRatesOnConfirmation.png

  • The room availability screen now shows how many rooms are available from allocation

EANRoomAllocation.png

  • The system will no longer include the 'Hotel Mandatory Tax' amount in the totals displayed on the final confirmation coupon/voucher Hotel Collect rates, these will still be detailed in the 'Mandatory Tax' section of the 'CheckIn Information'
  • Small updates required by specific customers

 

v3.1.1 - Released 16 June 2017

This is a small bug fix release addressing the following

  • An issue where searching could not be performed on workstations using a comma as the decimal separator for currency has been resolved
  • Introduced a new 'Deal' icon as the previous one was proving hard to read on some monitors
  • Introduced a new icon to denote 'Hot Deals' for those with access to MOD rates (this will depend on the commercials with EAN)

 

v3.1.0 - Mandatory Update Released 02 June 2017

EAN have introduced a whole new set of geographical definitions that can be used when searching for hotel locations. Previously users had the ability to search for approx 195,000 locations globally, however with this release, this has expanded to over 350,000 'regions'. Update 3.1.0 includes these new geography definitions into the Expedia Integrator platform.

Other improvements or enhancements are:

  • The solution has changed to use a local SQLite database for the geography definitions to improve speed when searching through almost double the number of records. (This also removes the reliance on the SQL CE 4.0 installer from Microsoft)
  • We have addressed an issue where Amex credit cards may be incorrectly deemed invalid
  • We have improved some of the error handling when Price Mismatches are returned from the Hotels during a reservation request
  • We are now using GZIP compression in the communications from EAN to improve speed and bandwidth usage
  • We are now using HTTPS POST Body values to rectify any limitations placed on URI length on some networks
  • We have rectified the 'Expect 100 Continue' issues experienced on some customer networks
  • We have introduced the ability to perform a Searched based on Region ID from the new Geography definitions instead of Lat/Long requests (if you wish to take advantage of this new search, please let us know)

 

v3.0.15 - Mandatory Update Released 16 February 2017

This release addresses the following

  • Addressed the issue where the EAN API had been changed and some information was no longer being returned, which caused Hotel Searches to not return any properties
  • Fixed an issue where some users were accidentally able to select the Expedia Affiliate Card as payment on Hotel Collect rate bookings
  • Improved handling of search results when no hotels are returned for one rate but may still be available at other rate levels
  • Updated Hotel List logic to address an issue where searching for some hotels would return results in different areas
  • Updated Log files to record a lot more processing information
  • Introduced new logic to handle additional situations when Hotels are not returning with their closest Airport code

 

v3.0.14 - Released 24 January 2017

This release addresses the following

  • The Total Price for the hotel stay is now displayed in Bold on the main Hotel Search screen
  • Fixed a minor issue with the Maps that wouldn't allow certain destinations to display correctly
  • Hotel 'Featured Image' is now always the first picture displayed on the Availability screen
  • Hotel Image thumbnails now show a tooltip description of the picture
  • Removed redundant Hotel Policy wording from the Create Booking Screen
  • Included new Visa payment wording to comply with Visa payment mandate
  • Updated links to new T&C from EAN on Create Booking Screen and Vouchers/Confirmations
  • Switched the system to use the EAN CDN API endpoints
  • We have increased the 'time out' when creating bookings with multiple rooms

 In this release we have also included three new features

  • Agencies can now select to have both EAN Affiliate Collect Card and Credit Card payments available on the Create Booking Screen. When this feature is activated (new EAN CID's are required) the system will ask the user what type of payment method will be used for the booking when doing a Hotel Search. The user has the option of 'Expedia Affiliate Collect Card (On Account)' or 'Customer / Corporate Credit Card'

  • Multiple Room Images are now displayed for each room type on the Hotel Information screen, users can scroll through the pictures to see various views of each room

  • A new Occupancy tab has been added to each rooms description to advise how many people are included in the rate quoted, and how many people the room is able to accomodate 

 

v3.0.8 - v3.0.13

 These were internal or Customer Specific releases with no new functionality for general use.

 

v3.0.7 - Released 4 October 2016

This release addresses the following

  • Expedia Affiliate Network (EAN) have introduced a new algorithm for the calculation of Gross Profit Share, this release includes the new calculation to ensure we are displaying the correct amounts on screen for those showing GP Share information
  • Some minor screen and error logging tweaks

 

v3.0.6 - Released 9 September 2016

This release addresses the following

  • Fixed a small bug for non en-US users which occurred when switching to the MAP view

 

v3.0.5 - Released 5 September 2016

This release addresses the following

  • We have upgraded the solution to use version 30 of the API from EAN
  • The Hotel / Room availability screen has been updated to highlight any important Fees / Instructions received by the hotel.  
    • If a hotel has provided information about Mandatory Fees, the 'Notifications/Fees' tab now highlights in RED.
    • If a hotel has provided Special Check In Instructions, the 'Check In Details' tab now highlights in RED.

  • 'Special Check In Instructions' are now shown in a new section when available (as per above, the tab will highlight in RED when these details are available)

  • The new 'Special Check In Instructions' are now output on the confirmation / vouchers produced at the end of the booking creation process
  • A bug has been fixed which meant that some Hotel Collect bookings where sometimes not successful
  • The system can now correctly handle the situation where a hotel doesn't return any images at all for display in either the screen or confirmation/voucher output

 

v3.0.4 - Released 23 August 2016

This release addresses the following issues

  • Full validation is now carried out on the various fields on the Booking Creation screen before the booking is submitted to EAN
  • The screens have been changed slightly to reduce wasted space and allow more hotels to be displayed at once on the Hotel List response
  • We have updated the Airports, Regions and Points of Interest to the latest files from EAN

and introduced some updated functionality

  • 'Search Point' is now shown on the map view so users can tell just how close hotels are to the search term entered.  When searching using a postcode, the pointer will show as close to the centre of the postcode area as possible. In the below example, we searched for hotels around the Spanish Steps in Rome, this is now indicated by a Purple pointer icon on the map

  • When the map opens to show all Hotels in the list, the map now centres on the Search Point instead of on the first hotel in the list. (If you select to show a specific hotel on the Map, then that hotel will still be shown in the centre of the map).
  • Agencies can now choose a new Sort Order to be the default on the Hotel List screen (if your agency wishes to introduce this, please contact us), the options are
    • Budget - sorts by profitability, giving preference to hotels at the budget end of each market
    • Champion - sorts by profitability, giving preference to hotels in the middle of each market
    • Premium - sorts by profitability, giving preference to hotels in the top end of each market
    • High Margin - based on Champion sort, however gives preference to hotels giving the biggest margin percentage
    • Proximity - sorts the results by distance from the initial search point such as Airport/City/POI etc
  • If a hotel has Mandatory Taxes applicable to the hotel stay, these details are now clearly shown with the pricing details of each Room (the tooltip also points the user to the Notifications/Fees tab for more details about the taxes applicable)

  • The Mandatory Tax details are now shown on the Create Booking screen in the Price Breakdown section

  • Gross Profit Share is now being displayed for Hotel Collect bookings (if yours isn't please contact us as this also requires a configuration change with EAN).

 

v3.0.3 - Released 7 June 2016

This bug release addresses the following issues

  • Fixes a bug where non English numeric formats would cause the system to crash when switching to Maps view or when selecting a Hotel Filter
  • Further improved the handling of Package Rate hotel issues being experienced by the EAN API (Ticket 143439)

 

v3.0.2 - Released 19 May 2016

This bug release addresses a few issues that have been discovered since the release of version 3.0.0, namely

  • EAN have acknowledged a fault in their API for Package Rate hotels which is returning incorrect information. This may mean that for some Package Rate hotels, when doing a follow up Availability, the price may change. This version includes a temporary workaround provided by EAN to ensure follow on Availability is retrieving the correct Package Pricing. EAN continue to investigate the root cause of the issue (Ticket 143439)
  • Many customers have experienced instability when trying to complete a booking with Room Charges being reported as different, and responses of 'Invalid Request' - this has now been resolved
  • Resolved a problem when performing a search using Postcode where the postcode could apply to several areas

 

v3.0.0 - Released 06 May 2016

Our latest version of Expedia Integrator marks a significant move forward in features and functionality for all users. The key points for this release are:

  • Access to Hotel Collect rates available from EAN. These are rates that allow the user to pay for their stay with the hotel directly. This is vitally important in markets such as the UK as it will allow your customers to reclaim any VAT paid as their own company is being billed for the service directly.
  • Maps - yes, they are finally here!  You can now see all the returned hotels plotted on a map and access the hotel rate information directly from the map display.
  • Updates to confirmation / voucher information.
  • Various Bug fixes and updates

 

New Rates, More Choice

With this new release, the Expedia GDS Integrator now has access to three types of rates from EAN:

  • Expedia Standalone Rates, these are prepaid rates at Expedia standard rates
  • Expedia Package Rates, these are prepaid rates at discounted package prices and are optionally available if there are flights booked for the destination
  • Expedia Hotel Collect Rates, these are 'pay on departure' rates where the hotel collects the payment directly from the traveller

In previous versions of Expedia GDS Integrator, the system always displayed the lowest rate if a hotel returned both a Package and Standalone rate. With version 3 we are now displaying all three rates on screen so you can compare the pricing for yourselves and choose which is better for your clients. On the main Hotel List display, users will now be shown up to three rates for each hotel, for example

In the above example, the first line is a Prepaid Package rate, denoted by the Credit Card and 'Plane + Bed' icons. The second line is a Prepaid Standalone rate, denoted by just the Credit Card icon. The last line is a Hotel Collect rate, represented by the Wallet icon.

NB: By default, all Hotel Collect rates are returned in the local currency of the Hotel, as this is the amount that will be billed to the customers credit card on check out, however if you hover the mouse over the 'Nightly' or 'Total' rate, the system provides an approximate value in your agencies local currency for comparison.

The booking process remains the same regardless of the rate chosen, however if your agency uses the Expedia Affiliate Collect Card for payments, these cards cannot be used for Hotel Collect properties, so a credit card will need to be entered on the 'Create Booking' screen.

If your agency wishes to have access to Hotel Collect rates, please contact your Expedia Representative as they will need to order a new Hotel Collect CID and provide the details to Navitas Solutions.

 

Show it on a Map

With version 3 of Expedia GDS Integrator we have introduced one of the most requested enhancements, a Map view. When users have performed a Hotel search the interface is now split into two tabs, one will show the default Hotel List display and one now displays the new Map display.

All the blue icons represent one of the hotels that has been returned in the Hotel search. Users can click on an icon to display information about the rates available at that hotel, such as

The blue icon turns red to show the currently selected hotel, and the rate display is shown at the bottom of the map screen. Users can choose to select a rate from this display.

Users can also switch to the map display to show the location of a hotel from the list view, to do this, click on the 'Show On Map' icon at the top of the chosen hotel

The display will automatically switch to the Map tab and zoom into the selected hotel.

At all times when using the Map, users can pan (click and drag the mouse) or zoom and switch to satellite view using the controls on screen

 

Ensure your customer is better informed

The EAN launch requirements have changed over the last few years based on customer feedback, as such our confirmation / vouchers have been updated to include the following information

Check In Information

Any extra checkin information provided by the hotel is now automatically displayed on the confirmation / voucher

Taxes and Fees

The confirmation / voucher now displays information about any mandatory taxes and fees charged at the hotel that are not included in the rate. Information about optional extras available at the hotel are also now shown for reference

Terms and Conditions

It is a requirement that a link to the Terms and Conditions is provided on the confirmation / voucher.  The footer has also been updated to display the correct supplier name of Travelscape LLC (instead of Expedia or EAN etc)

Hotel Collect Cost Breakdown

Finally, for all Hotel Collect bookings, a full breakdown of the costs is displayed so that your customer has this information when checking out of the hotel and know how much they are to be charged

NB : All customers with customised confirmation / vouchers have also had their templates updated to reflect this new information.

Bug Fixes

Version 3.0.0 of the software also addresses the following outstanding bugs

  • Resolves the 'Object not set to an instance of an object' prompts that could occur if the hotel did not return any pictures of the property in a Hotel search
  • Resolves issues being faced when searching for Hotels in locations that contained a ' character in the place name
  • We have included the latest list of destination cities / points of interest available with EAN. Several previous entries have been updated to include new areas and new names etc

 

 

v2.0.2 - Released 16 Nov 2015

Version 2.0.2 rectifies the issue where the Gross Profit Share figures disappeared from the interface after the 2.0.0 update. This was due to a small change in the logic required now that we are using the REST protocol when communicating with EAN.

 

v2.0.1 - Released 6 Nov 2015

Version 2.0.1 was a small update required for those agencies accessing the system using a non UK Date/Time format

 

v2.0.0 - Released 4 Nov 2015

Version 2.0.0 is a MANDATORY update as we have migrated from EAN's old SOAP interface to use the REST protocol instead. The SOAP infrastructure is being turned off at the end of November 2015 so those that remain on an old version will no longer be able to use the software.

Apart from the above protocol change, this release includes the following enhancements to functionality and logic.

  • On the main Hotel List screen, the system now provides a list of filters that can be selected to reduce the hotel list according to featured amenities.

NOTE: The filters listed are those provided by the Hotels to EAN and are not always representative of the actual amenities provided by the hotel. For example, several cases show that a hotel may not have selected to provide the 'breakfast' filter but do still provide a breakfast option with some room types.

  • When creating a booking with EAN, the user now has the option to include 'Special Request' information for the hotel.

The request information is added to the PNR as a Itinerary Remark, such as

The request information is also displayed on the Confirmation screen presented by Expedia Integrator software. 

NOTE: The system automatically adds the line "SPECIAL REQ NOT GUARANTEED AND AT HOTELS DISCRETION". The special requests do not appear on any of the EAN generated itinerary confirmations however they do appear on the Travelnow.com website.

  • When submitting the booking details on the 3rd screen, the system now performs a check directly with the hotel for any changes to rate or room availability. If a rate change is found, the user is now informed and is given the choice to continue to create the booking using the new rate or not.

  • The system is now sending in a Unique Identifier for each booking automatically which consists of your PCC/OID plus a 16 digit GUID
  • Logging can now be switched off if required (controlled centrally, so please let us know if you no longer wish the system to log its activities - it can be activated again if a problem occurs that needs to be looked at)
  • The list of 'Points of Interest' has over 4000 new entries
  • Various other small bug fixes and speed improvements

 

v1.1.6 - Released 25 Nov 2014

Version 1.1.6 is a MANDATORY update as it handles some changes made by EAN with the API. This release removes all Venere product until the cut over to 'Hotel Collect' is complete.

Due to confusion by some users, this release introduces a change to specifying children for a booking. The user must now specify 'how many children' and then specify 'each childs age'.

This release also introduces the ability view the Confirmation/Voucher response for existing bookings. When launching the product on a GDS PNR containing an Expedia Integrator hotel segment, simply select the "Edit Exiting" button from the lower right hand corner of the display.

On the list of hotel segments that appears, simply click the 'View Confirmation' button to redisplay the confirmation/voucher screen. (as shown below on release 1.1.2)

 

v1.1.4 & v1.1.5- Internal / Customer specific Release

These versions where for internal / customer specific release with no general release notes

 

v1.1.3 - Released 08 Jul 2014

Version 1.1.3 is a very minor update to fix an error prompt that can occasionally occur when hotels have not loaded their postcode into the EAN database.

 

v1.1.2 - Released 03 Jul 2014

Version 1.1.2 is a major update to the Expedia Integrator and introduces a key new feature - customizable output. When a booking has been completed, a new Confirmation Window is displayed to the end user

The contents of the 'white' area on this screen is 100% customisable to each agencies needs, from a full confirmation through to a 'pre paid voucher'. The above screen shot shows the default output provided if no customisation has been done.

As can also be seen, users are able to email a copy of the confirmation to email address(s) as well as place a copy of the output onto the windows clipboard for pasting into Email, Word Documents etc (as per our Decoder Suite).

In order to activate the email functionality, Navitas Solutions needs to be provided with the following

  • SMTP server address
  • User name (if required)
  • Password (if required)
  • SMTP Port Number
  • If your SMTP uses SSL
  • A default 'from' email address (something like eanbooking@youragencyname.com)

If your agency hasn't supplied these details, the 'Send' button will be disabled.

Other Updates

  1. Cancelling bookings with multiple rooms is now fixed

 

v1.0.4 - Released 13 Feb 2014

The version 1.0.4.0 release incorporates a range of improvements aimed at giving the user a greater experience when searching, creating and maintaining hotel bookings.

Search Improvements - Postcode Search

Users are now able to enter a Postcode/Zipcode when searching for hotels.

If there are multiple results for a given Postcode, a list is presented to the user to allow them to further quality the preferred location.

Search Improvements - City, Landmark or Airport

The system now uses a local ‘SQL Compact Edition’ database to hold all the EAN location data for Cities, Airports and Landmarks around the world. This has significantly improved performance on displaying the drop down of suggested matches to the user input.

When entering a common word, like MAN or NEW, the system is much quicker to respond. If there are 3 characters typed in, the system displays the main airport matching that code, if available, first - followed by all other airports containing the search phrase - airports are denoted by having their Airport code in parenthesis () characters after their name. Following this all Regions matching the phrase are displayed.

When entering more than three characters the list shows all Airports, Regions and Landmarks that match the search phrase. Obviously the more characters typed increases the likely hood of closer
matches being found in the system.

At all times, the list is displayed in the following order

  1. Results that BEGIN with the search phrase
  2. Results that CONTAIN the search phrase

NB : There is no longer a need to search for airport codes using the (xxx shortcut with this release.

Search Changes - Sorting / Support Number

Once a search has been complete, the user always had the ability to sort the returned results using a drop down list of options. This drop down list has been relocated to the footer of the search screen in version 1.0.4.0. The support number for the EAN help desk has also be relocated to this area of the screen.

Create Booking Improvements - Auto Populate / Selection

To further improve the GDS to Expedia integration, and cut down on key strokes needed to create a booking, the system now performs the following

- Automatic population of GDS booking Passenger names

The passenger names are read in from the booking file open in the GDS and ‘best match’ logic is used to assign each room a name. If there is only one room being booked, the room is filled with the name of the first passenger in the booking. If multiple rooms are being booked, the system will fill each room with the first passenger from each Surname group, if available, or with each passengers name if only one surname group is available. 

- Auto selection of Bed Type and Smoking Preference

In the above screenshot, there was only one bed type returned for the room selected, so these have been automatically selected for the user, however the smoking preferences still need to be selected as more than one option has been returned by the hotel.

New Functionality - Cancel Bookings

If a hotel booking needed to be cancelled, the agency would need to contact EAN directly or use the self service tools. In version 1.0.4.0 we have introduced the ability to cancel hotels directly from the interface.

When launching the Expedia Integrator, there is now a new Edit Existing button located in the footer of the screen. Clicking this button will show a list of EAN hotel bookings contained in the current booking file in the GDS.

The user is able to click Cancel to send a cancellation request to EAN and remove the hotel segment from the GDS booking file. A cancellation confirmation email is sent to the email address used when the booking was created.

New Functionality - Resync Bookings

At this stage, the EAN API doesn’t permit modifying of any hotel bookings, to add an extra day or change room type for example, the agency must contact EAN using their dedicated EAN Support number to perform the change. Once the change is confirmed however, version 1.0.4.0 of the Expedia Integrator allows the user to update the GDS Booking file with the latest information held about the hotel booking. By clicking the Edit Existing button on the search screen and clicking the Re-Sync button, the system will download the latest information about the booking from the EAN system and automatically rebuild the GDS Segment and Remarks with the updated data.

Other Updates

The following bug fixes and minor updates are also included in this release

  1. Updated logic to improve Bed Type and Smoking preference validation for Venere bookings
  2. Updated logic to replace - character with / character in email addresses in associated remarks (as - character denotes ‘new line’ in Galileo GDS)
  3. Improved handling of EAN Affiliate Collect cards for some bookings
  4. Improved handling of segments when no Airport Code is returned from EAN - these will now default to use a ZZZ city code

 

v1.0.3 - Released 31 Oct 2013

Release 1.0.3.0 represents a major step forward in the beta process by including work arounds and code fixes for the majority of issues experienced in the first stages of the beta test. Errors returned from EAN are now presented to the end user in a more friendly manner, and the logging has been significantly improved to provide further details on where any unhanded errors may have occurred. There have also been large improvements to the user experience through the introduction of advanced Location Search functionality and entry validation.

Decoding of Airport / City Codes

In previous releases, any airport codes picked up from the GDS booking were placed directly into the Location Search input field. These codes are now being decoded to EAN approved search terms and longitude/latitude values to ensure a faster and more targeted result is returned

Advanced Location Search

Users are now able to search through all the valid Regions, Airports and Landmarks accepted by EAN when looking for a hotel. The system will provide a drop down list of any entry that matches the entered text (you must enter at least 3 characters before the search results display).

The drop down list will show anything ‘starting’ with the entered text, followed by any entry that 'contains’ the entered text. Users can use the mouse or keyboard to select the exact search term to be used. If nothing matches the search will be performed with the exact text entered by the user instead.

Improved Failure Reporting

Any errors generated by the system are presented using more user-friendly prompts.

Trip Advisor Reviews

If your agency has signed up to received Trip Advisor reviews, these will now appear on the hotel list screen

as well as at the top of the hotel availability screen

Users can now directly access TripAdvisor reviews from the new 'Reviews' tab located under the TripAdvisor Rating icon.

Price Sorting

If mixed currencies are returned in a Hotel search, the price sorting option now sorts on 'equivalent' local currency.

Mandatory Field Validation

All fields that are mandatory are now validated and any errors displayed to the user before the booking is sent to Expedia, giving the user the opportunity to fix them before moving away from the Booking screen.

Email Address added to the PNR

In order to retrieve the booking on the EAN self service tool, the agent needs both the EAN Itinerary number and the email address used for the booking. Whilst the EAN itinerary number has always been added, the email address is now also handed off in the associated remarks against the hotel segment in the GDS.

The following characters are substituted due to limitations on the Remark entries permissible by the individual GDS :

  • the @ symbol will show as // in Galileo, Apollo and Sabre
  • the _ symbol will show as * in Galileo, Apollo and Sabre
  • the - symbol will show as / in Galileo, Apollo

NB : Amadeus doesn't require any character substitutions.

Improved Character Filtering

During the first phase of the BETA a few bookings where being successful on EAN but failing when being updated into the GDS PNR. This was tracked down to the existence of a number of
special characters in Hotels Names and addresses which are not accepted in the GDS. All these characters are now filtered about before sending the entries to the GDS.

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