How SMS Will Help Guide You around the London Olympics

6 August 2012

SMS messaging is great for providing real-time, completely up-to-date information straight to the palm of people’s hands. In light of the London Olympics and upcoming Paralympics, live travel updates are a popular use for this medium both for those travelling to the games to watch events, and also for those commuting through London for work. Below are some examples of how SMS messaging is being used to help people to get around during the Olympics.

Using the Tube:

Transport for London (TFL) – in association with BBC London – have a free SMS travel alerts service which provides real-time travel updates for the London underground, as well as for the London Over Ground and the Docklands Railway (DLR), straight to peoples phones. Those who provide their oyster card number when signing up will receive personalised updates. The SMS alerts service will use data from the oyster card so that you will receive the most relevant service updates to your phone first, by notifying you when there are any problems or delays with the lines you regularly use. This will be especially important to those who commute on the Jubilee and Central underground lines, as these lead to directly to Stratford where the Olympic Park is situated and will be extremely busy as a result.


Several airlines, such as British Airways, are also using SMS to provide live travel updates to passengers. Many have a text-in service where you can text in to a short code number to receive information on departures or arrivals as an SMS straight to your mobile. The text service from British Airways works by individuals’ texting in either D for departure information or A for arrivals information with the associated date and flight number, an SMS is then sent back with up-to-the-minute flight information. This service from British Airways is only available to UK and US registered mobile numbers and are charged at the standard message rate, with an additional 25p charge for UK mobiles.

Here we have given you just a small example of how SMS is used by the travel and transport community. There are many local rail, bus and coach services throughout the UK now offering SMS updates to their customers, to help keep them up to date with timetable changes, scheduled arrivals, departures and delays.

If you would like more information on how your business can use SMS marketing to provide real-time information to your customers, please contact a member of our team on 0845 1221 302.

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