TripIt says it became the first travel company to integrate its services with Gmail and Google Apps email accounts for individual users.
Using a secure protocol, OAuth, which is an open standard to enable API authorization, users with Gmail and TripIt accounts can log onto TripIt and click an Start Auto Import button to authorize TripIt to import their travel-itinerary confirmations automatically instead of having to email them manually to TripIt.
TripIt's integration of Gmail and Google Apps is in beta. It is an opt-in program and users can sever their Trip-It-Gmail tie-in at any time, TripIt says.
"Many TripIt travelers have set up email filters to automatically forward all their travel booking emails to firstname.lastname@example.org," according to the TripIt Blog. "That works okay, but setting up the filters you'd need is complicated. And once you have them set up, important plans still fall through the cracks. We've always thought there's got to be a better way."
A TripIt spokeswoman adds: "No more forgotten or missed emails. You can be 'in the air' now, literally, and we’ll pull the confirmations, update your itinerary, and when you land -- it’s all there on your phone. We monitor and check your inbox for travel confirms and do the work for you."
Getting access to travelers' itineraries has been a sticky issue for itinerary management companies such as TripIt.
The company, founded in 2006, has struck several deals with the likes of BCD Travel, Orbitz for Business and Cornerstone Information Systems, where clients' booking data can automatically populate travelers' TripIt itineraries.
Until now, other travelers have had to manually email each confirmation or itinerary change to email@example.com.
Traxo, a TripIt competitor, chose to resolve the issue by getting permission to access travelers' user names and passwords for airline websites, and then to scrape the sites periodically to retrieve travelers' itineraries.
But, for individual TripIt users who use Gmail, the Gmail-TripIt integration, if privacy and security safeguards work, would seemingly resolve the issue of having to manually email each confirmation to TripIt to keep travel itineraries and trip changes up to date.
The TripIt blog says when it accesses Gmail it only imports your travel plans. And, users can choose to have their confirmations automatically flow into their TripIt itineraries or aggregate them into an Unfiled Items folder in their TripIt account for later sorting.
TripIt plans on soon introducing similar auto-import features for other email services, as well.