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SMS coming of age

Here’s a neat SMS application for those who are still non-believers. The British Airports Authority, which runs the…er…airports in the UK, has set up a Flying Messenger service which lets you receive instant status on any arriving or departing flights via SMS messages to the mobile phone. It’s obviously early days yet, as the service is only available for Heathrow and Gatwick – two of the biggest in the UK – and it is only available to Vodafone and Celnet users.

But the service is still cool nonetheless, offering 3 automatic update SMS messages on flights delivered for 30p +VAT.

‘Example : If you key in BA123 ARR 05/06/01 and send to 2828 (BT Cellnet) or 8585 (Vodafone), you will receive a confirmation message and up to three updates for flight BA123 arriving on 5 June 2001.’

The 90p per request Plus version of the service also includes ‘final approach’ and ‘baggage in hall’ notifications for incoming, and ‘gate open’ notifications for the departing user. Very neat (especially if you’re a pickup driver!).

Reminds me of the excellent M-Ticket SMS service, which also shows how excellent SMS services can be when they concentrate on adding value and not merely adding cash.

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