How to Scrape Expedia using Python and LXML

Gathering travel data regarding flights is a mammoth task when done manually. There are hundreds of thousands of combinations of airports, routes, timings and ever changing prices. Ticket prices tend to vary daily (or even hourly), and there are a large number of flights available per day. Web Scraping is one of the solutions to keep track of this data. In this tutorial, we will scrape Expedia, a leading travel booking website to extract details on flights. Our scraper will extract the flight schedules and prices for a source and destination pair.

Here is a list of fields that we will be extracting:

  1. Arrival Airport
  2. Arrival Time
  3. Departure Airport
  4. Departure Time
  5. Plane Name
  6. Airline
  7. Flight Duration
  8. Plane Code
  9. Ticket Price
  10. No of Stops

 

Below is a screenshot of some of the data we will be extracting

details-for-scraping-expedia

Scraping Logic

  1. Construct the URL of the search results from Expedia- Here is one for the available flights listed from New York to Miami –https://www.expedia.com/Flights-Search?trip=oneway&leg1=from:New%20York,%20NY%20(NYC-All%20Airports),to:Miami,%20Florida,departure:04/01/2017TANYT&passengers=children:0,adults:1,seniors:0,infantinlap:Y&mode=search
  2. Download HTML of the search result page using Python Requests.
  3. Parse the page using LXML – LXML lets you navigate the HTML Tree Structure using Xpaths. We have predefined the XPaths for the details we need in the code.
  4. Save the data to a JSON file. You can later modify this to write to a database.

Requirements

For this web scraping tutorial using Python 3, we will need some packages for downloading and parsing the HTML. Below are the package requirements.

Install Python 3 and Pip

Here is a guide to install Python 3 in Linux – http://docs.python-guide.org/en/latest/starting/install3/linux/

Mac Users can follow this guide – http://docs.python-guide.org/en/latest/starting/install3/osx/

Windows Users go here – https://www.scrapehero.com/how-to-install-python3-in-windows-10/

Install Packages

The Code

The code is self-explanatory.

https://gist.github.com/scrapehero/bc34513e2ea72dc0890ad47fbd8a1a4f

If the embed above doesn’t work, you can download the code from the link here

If you would like the code in Python 2, you can check out the link here.

Running The Expedia Scraper

Assume the script is named expedia.py. If you type in the script name in command prompt or terminal along with a -h

usage: expedia.py [-h] source destination date

positional arguments:
source            Source airport code
destination       Destination airport code
date              MM/DD/YYYY

optional arguments:
     -h, --help show this help message and exit

 

The arguments source and destination are the airport codes for the source and destination airports. The date argument should be in the format MM/DD/YYYY.

As an example, to find the flights listed from New York to Miami we would put the arguments like this:

python3 expedia.py nyc mia 04/01/2017

This will create a JSON output file called nyc-mia-flight-results.json that will be in the same folder as the script. 

The output file will look similar to this:

{
    "arrival": "Miami Intl., Miami",
    "timings": [
      {
        "arrival_airport": "Miami, FL (MIA-Miami Intl.)",
        "arrival_time": "12:19a",
        "departure_airport": "New York, NY (LGA-LaGuardia)",
        "departure_time": "9:00p"
      }
    ],
    "airline": "American Airlines",
    "flight duration": "1 days 3 hours 19 minutes",
    "plane code": "738",
    "plane": "Boeing 737-800",
    "departure": "LaGuardia, New York",
    "stops": "Nonstop",
    "ticket price": "1144.21"
  },
  {
    "arrival": "Miami Intl., Miami",
    "timings": [
      {
        "arrival_airport": "St. Louis, MO (STL-Lambert-St. Louis Intl.)",
        "arrival_time": "11:15a",
        "departure_airport": "New York, NY (LGA-LaGuardia)",
        "departure_time": "9:11a"
      },
      {
        "arrival_airport": "Miami, FL (MIA-Miami Intl.)",
        "arrival_time": "8:44p",
        "departure_airport": "St. Louis, MO (STL-Lambert-St. Louis Intl.)",
        "departure_time": "4:54p"
      }
    ],
    "airline": "Republic Airlines As American Eagle",
    "flight duration": "0 days 11 hours 33 minutes",
    "plane code": "E75",
    "plane": "Embraer 175",
    "departure": "LaGuardia, New York",
    "stops": "1 Stop",
    "ticket price": "2028.40"
  },

 

You can download the code at https://gist.github.com/scrapehero/bc34513e2ea72dc0890ad47fbd8a1a4f 

Let us know in the comments how this scraper worked for you.

Known Limitations

This scraper should work for extracting most flight details available on Expedia unless the website structure changes drastically. If you would like to scrape the details of thousands of pages at very short intervals, this scraper is probably not going to work for you. You should read  Scalable do-it-yourself scraping – How to build and run scrapers on a large scale and How to prevent getting blacklisted while scraping.

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Please DO NOT contact us for any help with our Tutorials and Code using this form or by calling us, instead please add a comment to the bottom of the tutorial page for help

Disclaimer: Any code provided in our tutorials is for illustration and learning purposes only. We are not responsible for how it is used and assume no liability for any detrimental usage of the source code. The mere presence of this code on our site does not imply that we encourage scraping or scrape the websites referenced in the code and accompanying tutorial. The tutorials only help illustrate the technique of programming web scrapers for popular internet websites. We are not obligated to provide any support for the code, however, if you add your questions in the comments section, we may periodically address them.

Posted in:   Web Scraping Tutorials

Responses

Mahmoud Sabri May 27, 2019

Thanks a lot! this is very useful.

Reply

zach June 27, 2019

Why is it when I enter more adults or more children it is unable to run the script? I imagine it has something to do with going out of bounds, but I don’t see anywhere else where passengers/adults/children is used. Thanks!

Reply

Nora August 28, 2019

Thanks a lot,, It is so useful, but I faced one issue it scraped just 35 trips, even there are more than 50 trips. Have anyone face this issue?

Reply

    Zach October 23, 2019

    When you run the same code above, is it still working for you? My cachedResultsJson script is returning nothing, therefore there’s no data I can grab. Thanks!

    Reply

      drenaskillshop December 6, 2019

      need to update the link of the url !! The website got some changes!

      Reply

Michelle February 29, 2020

Hi. I’ll be trying this code. I am looking for extracting the flights between 2 cities and saving in a local file. Thanks

Reply

Théo July 4, 2020

Hi, first a great thanks to share your works!
With an URL which works fine with a brower, i have “error”: “failed to process the page” in JSON file?
Do you know why?
Thanks a lot.

Reply

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