Plane problems? Just page me.

It's aggravating to race to the airport only to discover that your flight has been delayed, or worse, canceled. And who hasn't been frustrated sitting at the airport, waiting for information - any information - about a delayed flight?

To improve passenger relations, several airlines have instituted flight-notification paging services that automatically e-mail up-to-date flight information to alphanumeric pagers, Palm Pilots, or cellphones that can receive text messages.

These notification services let travelers know about any changes, delays, or cancellations, and sometimes give the gate number within 1-to-4-hours of the departure time.

To take advantage of these new services, go to your airline's Web site and fill out a registration form. In some cases, you may need to do this for each flight you book. Three airlines currently offer this service: United (, American (, and Continental (

The service is a welcome step in keeping passengers informed, but remember, once you do get to the airport, always check the arrival or departure screens for the very latest times.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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