Sign up for Airline Email or Text Message Alerts

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Cell phone in hand (Photo: Index Open)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on September 11, 2008. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: airfare, Molly Feltner, technology and gadget.

When booking airfare online, be sure to sign up for the airline's (or online travel site's) flight alerts. These messages can help keep you abreast of schedule changes, flight delays and cancelations, and other important news.

Signing up for these services is more important than ever now, as many airlines are changing or cutting back their schedules to save money in the face of high fuel prices. It's not uncommon to find out that the perfectly timed direct flight you booked months ago has been changed to a connecting flight that departs much earlier or later than your original flight. It'd be nice if you could expect the airline's customer service reps to call you directly in the event of a major change, but by and large that hasn't been happening.

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This is where automated airline alerts come in so handy. While not all airfare sellers offer these notifications, many allow you to sign up for email or text message alerts during the booking process. Then, in the event of a schedule change or other major occurrence, you'll receive an email or text message informing you of the change. Even if you missed the sign-up opportunity when booking your tickets, often you can register for an alert service by signing in to the booking site and viewing your itinerary. It's one easy step that can spare you a lot of pain down the line.

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