As Hurricane Gustav spins toward Louisiana, expect massive disruptions at Gulf Coast-area airports. But if you’re an air traveler, you don’t have to be left in the dark.
Most airlines offer a free alert service to keep you posted on delays.
For example, Continental Airlines has a free application called TripAlert or Flight Status Notification. Delta Air Lines has a service called Messenger. At Northwest Airlines, the notification service is called My Travel Alert. At United Airlines, it’s EasyUpdate, and US Airways has a text message service where passengers can text their flight numbers to TEXTUS and receive flight status updates.
The major online travel agencies — Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity — also offer flight alerts to their customers.
(We can’t link to any of these, since they’re behind a firewall and only available to passengers.)
Another option that I use every time I fly is FlightStats, site that will allow you to set up mobile or e-mail alerts for any flight with any airline, as well as provide current airport operating conditions and information, real time flight tracking, and flight status by flight and route.
It has been my experience that setting alerts has been more effective at keeping me informed about my flights than airline agents.