Google is offering flight status information via SMS. Just send your flight number (e.g. UA 484) to GOOGLE (466453) and you get a return message with flight departure and arrival times, gate information and the airline’s phone number. (With most phones you can extract the phone number and call without having to re-enter the number.)
Flight information is a great SMS application – it requires little input and the answer can be delivered in 160 characters or less. It’s faster than trying to use the mobile Web browser to get to the airline’s Web site and navigate through the menus. And it sure beats trying to get the information through the voice-activated phone system.
Many airlines already provide the option to get mobile alerts automatically. United EasyUpdate sent me an alert two hours before my departure from Dulles last week. Unfortunately, in that two hours they moved my flight to a gate half way across the terminal.