Text2fly.com.ng: Check domestic flights availability in Nigeria by SMS

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Passengers arriving the domestic wing of Nnamdi Azikwe Int'l Airport, Abuja
Passengers arriving the domestic wing of Nnamdi Azikwe Int'l Airport, Abuja

Each time I had a tough time travelling within Nigeria, I always wished there was an electronic Nigerian travel information service that met the needs of the business traveller. A service that offered flight, hotel, car rental information via SMS, mobile web or a full-fledged website. Though there are several websites that offer air travel information, the information they offer is either too scanty or out-dated. I was thus pleasantly surprised when I received a message via email this morning, announcing Text2fly.com.ng I would reproduce the message in full and comment thereafter.

Hi Oluniyi

I just wanted to tell you about Text2Fly – a mobile service that let’s you search for flight schedules by sending an SMS that command that sounds like English e.g. “From lagos to abuja on monday at 8am”. Your schedules arrive in seconds.

Text2Fly is a Nigerian solution to a Nigerian problem.

The simple task of finding the next available flight is an inefficient and labour intensive undertaking for the Nigerian business traveller. Nigerian airlines don’t operate call centres and the Internet is slow. So the business traveller must assign staff to search all airline web sites or even send them to the ticketing office through stifling traffic.

Text2Fly lets you check Nigerian domestic flights via SMS, essentially solving this problem by putting a “travel agent” in your mobile phone.

Text2Fly makes it easy by letting users enter an SMS command that appears to be an English language sentence for example, “From lagos to abuja on friday at 6pm”.

The Text2Fly approach to delivering an application by SMS is patented and brand new. In theory it can be applied to searching for train times or bus schedules in busy Western European economies.

Text2Fly has one simple aim – to make air travel in Nigeria much less of a hassle.

If you’d like to find out more please visit text2fly.com.ng

I immediately tried the Text2Fly.com.ng service. The speed of SMS delivery was amazing. The information was accurate too. With this new service, I would no longer have to check multiple websites, just to find the right flight that would meet my needs.

I know several questions would be streaming through your mind right now. The information on their FAQ page shares more information about the new service:

Here’s how to get Text2Fly

The 3 most important things you need to know

1. What’s the format of the message I send to search for local flight schedules?
Send us your text in EXACTLY this format:

From CITY to CITY on DAY (or DATE) at TIME (e.g from lagos to abuja on monday at 8am)

2. To what number do I send my text message?
+447786201082, please store this number in your phone.

We use a UK number because in Nigeria we’d have to use a short code and charge you a premium from day one.

3. What will this Cost me?
To introduce Text2Fly we’re not charging you anything. You pay for your text message and we pay for the reply. Most Nigerian networks charge you only N15 for a text to the UK.

As the number of users grows we may have to limit usage or move to premium charging.

Try Text2Fly today and start enjoying less hassle while you travel!

Since Text2Fly.com.ng is still in beta phase, one can only expect things to get even better.

12 COMMENTS

  1. “Though there are several websites that offer air travel information, the information they offer is either too scanty or out-dated.”

    “The simple task of finding the next available flight is an inefficient and labour intensive undertaking for the Nigerian business traveller.”

    While I think that text2fly is a good idea I totally disagree with those two comments I have posted. Finding and booking for flights in this country is not like those two comments. While SMS will make it easier lets call a spade a spade. I do a lot of flying and sometimes I even plan my flights up to 3 weeks ahead and I don’t have problems. You can even change bookings after paying for some of the airlines! A company has even just started an online check-in service. So maybe you have to do a little bit of more research before you write your articles!!!!!

    • Take it easy “Concerned Nigerian”. I have booked online several times through Nigerian airlines’ websites for my flight. My point about scanty information refers to flight websites like kayak.com
      Kayak is a foreign website and covers only about two Nigerian airlines.

      Most Nigerian airlines have their respective websites and in many cases allow would-be passengers to book and pay online. However, show me a Nigerian flight schedule aggregator. A website that enables you to search multiple airlines simultaneously and offers you real-time flight information like text2fly.com.ng does.

      Just last Tuesday morning, I spent so much time moving from one airline’s website to another, just to find the earlierst flight out of Abuja and the lowest rate. Text2Fly.com.ng allows me to check the earliest flights from several airlines, simultaneously. 😉

      • “My point about scanty information refers to flight websites like kayak.com
        Kayak is a foreign website and covers only about two Nigerian airlines”

        Well if this is your point, you left it out in the right up!!! Which is exactly my point. You never know who will read your blog, so keep your views, well researched, accurate and non-partisan. Dont get me wrong Tex2fly is a good idea, but don’t lets make the good idea a reason to put forward inaccurate or incomplete information.

        • You misunderstood my post thus your reaction. “…several websites that offer air travel information” are different from airline websites. My blog post referred to the former.

          I never put out inaccurate information. I only write about what I know or have researched about extensively.

          Thanks for your feedback.

  2. You are good at identifying problems.

    Forgive my age an experience though not too bad atleaats i can assure that…

    I’d say that i’m good at solving well define problems

    So this is wat i propose:

    I’d surf your site at intervals and come up with solutions where i have enough controls to effect changes…

    You are a good communicator too and i’d say keep it up. You will definitely go places, it appears u are already…

  3. Hi Text2Fly.com.ng, I also think the concept is cool. I’m always a big fan of people using SMS to help solve some of our African problems.

    I understand wholly the problem with getting short codes. I suggest passing through a 3rd party VAS rather than working directly with mobile operators.

    You can also check out this African SMS mobile phone directory video demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmmX48C1nts

  4. This text2fly look pretty cool despite the fact i wasn’t able to navigate thru all the messages, to me this ll really ease off stress from so many nigerians who are already overwhelm with stress of many kind. This is a welcome development pls keep it up.

  5. try – 1spotsearch.com They are a Nigerian airfare aggregation service.

    In fact their blog says they were set up to solve the problem you had – “….I spent so much time moving from one airline’s website to another, just to find the earlierst flight out of Abuja and the lowest rate…..”

    I used to have the same problems as you but I discovered 1spotsearch and this particular problem has been solved.

  6. please can u tell me how i can get a flight from Port Harcourt to Abuja on thursday the 3rd June, please i will really love to knwo thank you so much.

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