Text search & alerts now available from Wandering Aramean Travel Tools


Apparently this whole SMS thing is a pretty popular technology these days. Seems that it would be useful to have the various tools available from the Wandering Aramean Travel Tools site able to understand and interact with SMS messages, so they now can do precisely that. There are two main areas where the SMS interaction is available today: Search and Alerts.

Search

Wondering what the next flight out is between a city pair? Or if there are seats available on it? Timetable and Inventory searches are now available. After configuring your account for SMS you can send a message to 678-619-2637 (678-61WANDR) and it will explain the query syntax to you for these two functions. As you can see in the screenshots below, it is a pretty simple syntax overall. It will reply back with up to 5 SMS messages containing the response to your inquiry.

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Additional search functionality is on the horizon; if there are any particular functions that you want to see in the tool let me know either via email or in the comments here.

Alerts

There are two main areas where the Travel Tools Alerts have been most useful recently, both focusing on flight inventory. If you want to receive those notifications via SMS not you can do that.

For the Star Alliance award search alerts the full details of the award aren’t included in the SMS; there is simply too much information there to try to consolidate it in to 155 characters. Instead the alert includes a link to the search results (in a mobile-friendly UI) so you can quickly see what the award results are.

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For the Flight Inventory Alert (searches for a specified fare bucket on a single flight) option the alert actually includes the specific flight and inventory details so there is more information to act on directly there.

Like most things in life, there is a catch to this great new functionality: you have to be a First Class member to get access to it. I would love to make this freely available to everyone but the SMS gateway system actually has costs associated with it and I have to cover those costs or none of this will exist. That said, if anyone wants a 15-day free trial just let me know and I’m sure I can make that happen.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and .

11 Comments

  1. WOW!!!! All for free… and no shilling credit cards either!

    I VOTE this Blog #1 for Travel Readers

  2. Do you want to black out the phone number at the top of the *A award inventory SMS transcript?

    1. @Stuart – OneWorld award searches are on my list. I’m not sure of the timing but that’s definitely something I want to be able to do sooner than not.

      @palefire – Thanks for the concern about the phone number. That’s actually one of the numbers I use for the SMS gateway so anyone sending a text to it will get the same useful data and won’t really be bothering me at all.

  3. Thanks for these tools …

    How can I delete the alerts that I have set-up online? I am only able to deactivate it but cannot delete it … will use the SMS feature and will come back with more queries/comments.

    1. Right now I don’t have it set up to delete things, just deactivate them. It should display the active ones on top so the old stuff should just filter to the bottom anyways. This was a conscious decision, mostly to protect me from myself. I’m open to thoughts on why it is no good (and I suppose that eventually performance will dictate that I change my mind), but right now that’s the way I’ve got it.

      Also, the purple/green icons are now clickable so you can toggle those on and off quickly from the index page rather than going in to the edit page.

  4. With regards to the standard reward searches, do those alerts just get emailed as a non-first class user? The website is a bit unclear on how the alerts are delivered…and how frequent are they?

    1. If you are a regular subscriber you will get an email notification on the alerts still. First Class lets you add SMS to the options.

      As for frequency, *A awards are a minimum of 1x daily for regular and 4x daily for First Class. The other inventory is currently a minimum of 4x daily for everyone, with the intention of changing it in the very near future to give first class users notifications as quickly as hourly.

    1. I’m working on getting support for a UK SMS gateway online as well. Sadly, the costs of that option are significantly higher so I might have to skew the pricing model a bit to make it work, but technically it is a reasonably trivial adjustment.

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