Qantas to use flight, travel data in first hackathon

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Qantas to use flight, travel data in first hackathon

$4000 worth of flights on offer for the winner.

Qantas will hold its first-ever weekend coding event next month, in which app developers will use public flight and travel data to come up with solutions to travelling problems.

Fifty developers will hack it out in Qantas' centre of service excellence facility in Alexandria, Sydney, between May 30 and 31 at the airline's Codeshare event.

The developers will be given access to flight and travel data to build apps.

A Qantas spokesperson told iTnews the data would include publicly available fare information, feeds of available hotels for a certain destination on the Horoo travel agency website, and articles on Travel Insider.

"None of the data we intend to provide is private and security sensitive," the spokesperson said.

The event is aimed at bringing together a group of creative thinkers to come up with smart ideas in concentrated period of time, the spokesperson said.

"We know we don't have a monopoly on good ideas and want to engage with smart people who can help us solve business problems in a collaborative way." 

The hackathon is part of a broader innovation agenda at Qantas led by chief information officer Luc Hennekens that focuses on using new technology to improve the customer experience at various stages of travel, such as bookings, check-ins or inflight entertainment.

Other airlines such as EmiratesBritish Airways and American Airways are also looking outside their organisations for innovation to help them remain competitive in the tough travel market.

If a ground-breaking concept or solution is found through the hackathon, Qantas may take it further and discuss commercial options with the team in question.

Developers who take part in the hackathon will retain all rights to anything they produce, the spokesperson said.

The developers will have to pay $10 each to enter the Codeshare hackathon, and stand to win up to $4000 worth of flights, the company said.

Clarification: This article initially stated that Qantas would use anonymised customer data and flight data in its hackathon, as per details listed on its event page. The airline has since edited the page and advised iTnews no customer data would be used.

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