I am an avid traveler and am always hunting down the cheapest flights. When budget carriers like Spirit, Ryan and Wow came on the scene, they advertised shamefully cheap flights to international destinations, sometimes half the price of the next cheapest carrier. They make of the difference by charging for extras that other airlines provide with the base ticket like baggage, food, or an assigned seat. I would see a cheap ticket, then read the baggage policy on the airline's website, then mentally calculate the true price of the ticket. There had to be a programatic solution.
What it does
True Price has a database, painstakingly curated by yours truely, of most major airlines' baggage fees that are automatically summed to the price of the ticket depending on the number of carryon or checked bags brought. The True Price of the airfare is shown to the user to they can make the best educated choice of which carrier they would like to use.
How I built it
I build the web gui using ReactJS and added my custom baggage fee results to the Google QPX flight data api. In order to be compliant with competition, I compile the static ReactJS website and put it in a .war to be used with JBoss Tomcat
Challenges I ran into
There is no central authority on baggage fees. I encountered some websites that attempted to aggregate baggage fees but they were limited. My baggage fee database outlines the cost of 1 - 3 checked bags and 1 carry on bag. I return a range of fees since some carriers charge different rates based on distance, international vs domestic or the traveler's status with the airline.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I created an application that I will use when doing airline research! If I know exactly how many bags I might be bringing on a trip, I can get a darn good estimate at how much the trip will actually cost.
What I learned
Openshift is a very powerful platform. I am acquainted with Cloud Foundry, but OpenShift has more rich features like attached storage that isn't available on Cloud Foundry. React is difficult to learn for a newbie like me but I just gave it time and I was able to understand what was going on. Also about which carriers charge what. I was astounded to see some airlines charging over $200 for an additional bag!
What's next for True Price
Including costs associated with Assigned Seats, Food/Beverage, Priority Boarding, Seat Upgrades. Most of the things airlines like the charge for piecemeal these days.