So, cool new thing. Google has a service that allows you to send a text message from your cell phone for flight status information. By allows you, I mean you. Not me.
You can get the details on this on the Google Mobile website. Basically, all you do is sent a text message to Google (466453) with the airline code and the number of the flight. For example, KL642 is KLM Flight 642 and AA2110 is American Airlines Flight 2110.
You get a text message back with the flight information – the flight status, the departure and arrival times and the gate number, all provided by flightstats.com. And the message includes the toll-free number for the airline, in case you want to call for more details.
And by you, I really don’t mean me. The service works on all the major cell phone carriers, including mine, which is T-Mobile. But I have a prepaid account, and the service doesn’t work on T-Mobile prepaid accounts.
That’s annoying because I think it’s a really cool thing and I want it. But I have to put up with this in order to be free of the horribly expensive contract I used to have. And, to be fair, I have to applaud T-Mobile for offering one of the best prepaid plans in the United States. I’m just waiting for more features.
In Europe, most cell-phone customers use prepaid plans, not contracts. I think that day is coming here, too. And then we prepaid customers will rise up and demand our Google text messaging.