PHONE SERVICE RELAYS FLIGHT SCHEDULES New 'Flightcall' starts out in Chicago


CHICAGO -- A new service providing virtually up-to-the-minute information on flight arrivals and departures at O'Hare International Airport has been launched by Official Airline Guides in a venture that officials plan to expand nationwide.

Travelers who dial (900) 786-8686 and then the appropriate flight number get current departure and arrival times and gate information. The charge is 75 cents a minute, and company officials said information is provided quickly under its computerized "FlightCall" program.

People seeking flight information now typically call an airline's reservations number. Some airlines have current data on departures and arrivals, but others do not have "real time" data. FlightCall is updated no less than once every 10 minutes as OAG matches its schedule data base with information that appears on terminal screens, Official Airline Guides said. Information is posted up to six hours before flight time and retained for as long as two hours after arrival or departure.

The new service can handle 24 calls simultaneously, and calls typically are answered on the first ring, officials said.

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