June 25, 2008

E-Mail Update Service Off the Ground at Logan

By Donna Goodison, Boston Herald

Jun. 25--Airline passengers traveling via Logan International Airport can now get more accurate flight updates by e-mail.

With its relaunched flight-alert e-mail service, Logan hopes to avert what happened in April, when many travelers arrived at the Boston airport unaware that American Airlines had canceled hundreds of flights nationwide for plane reinspections. The e-mail service had been offline for a year for retooling, and Logan's flight-alert Web page failed to accurately reflect the cancellations.

The e-mail service now incorporates Federal Aviation Administration airspace information and historical data that helps to more efficiently tabulate airplane taxi times, in addition to FAA radar-supplied and airline-supplied flight data.

"It's just one area where the data is constantly evolving," said Tom Domenico, director of information technology operations for Logan. "More airlines are providing us with data, and there are more other disparate sources of data, so we can provide more accurate information."

Logan's Web site gets about 400,000 unique visitors a month, and most of them are looking for flight information, which is why the airport decided to strengthen its e-mail service, he said.

Travelers using the service can have e-mails sent to their computers, personal digital assistants and mobile phones. They can choose to be notified of their flight status up to three hours before their departure, including when a flight is delayed by more than 30 minutes or is diverted or canceled, and when a flight departs and arrives.

The e-mail service now also offers information about all code-share flights, which is when an airline sells seats under its own name on another carrier's flight. It also provides tracking of cargo flights and some smaller charter services.

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