Easier phone access to U.S. flight services

Update: Alas, no longer — by August 2006, my cell phone was not working with U.S. flight services again, and a reader left a comment to the same effect. It was nice while it lasted.

A bit over a year ago, I wrote a posting linking to a PDF list of local U.S. flight service numbers. At the time, the U.S. 1-800-WXBRIEF number did not work with Canadian land lines or even Canadian cell phones roaming in the U.S., so without a list of local numbers, there was no way to get a briefing or even to close a VFR flight plan in the U.S. using your cell phone — as a result, I always carried a printout of the list in my flight bag.

Recently, the U.S. privatized its flight services, outsourcing them to Lockheed-Martin (though ATC is still public). I decided to try the 1-800 number again, just in case things changed with the privatization. BINGO! The call goes through from my Canadian land line or my cell phone with no problem (and the specialist knew what he was talking about — I take that for granted in Canada, but have not always been able to do so in the U.S.).

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About David Megginson

Scholar, tech guy, Canuck, open-source/data/information zealot, urban pedestrian, language geek, tea drinker, pater familias, red tory, amateur musician, private pilot.
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4 Responses to Easier phone access to U.S. flight services

  1. Mark says:

    I was down in OshKosh this weekend and unfortunately our Canadian cellphone was not able to access the 1-800-WX-BRIEF. The worst part was the pay phone nearest our camping spot on the field had the numbers 1 and 8 U/S. AND the telephone operator would NOT dial the number for me, no matter what I said.
    Needless to say, we made a flight itinerary with some folks back home and flew out.
    I had read your blog before I left and was excited to hear that news.

    Otherwise I have no complaints about the US FSS. They are great people who will try to do as much as possible for you.

    mc

  2. david says:

    Thanks for the comment Mark — that’s bad news about the cell phone. I wonder if it depends now on the carrier (I use Bell Mobility).

  3. Tim says:

    Hi Mark,

    Came across this list of direct FSS numbers I found when looking Flight service phone numbers for a trip I’m
    planning. I had the same concern that I would not get the “correct” one. But this should make it easy ?

    Tim

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