I travel a lot (too much). As such, my favorite airline (Southwest) has become the proverbial company bus. Actually, that’s not really in any proverb, but you know what I mean.
Anyway, I travel often enough that the process of purchasing flights, placing them in my calendar, and scheduling the ‘Flight Status Updates’ gets a little tedious and error prone. Apparently at one time southwest provided the option of placing the flight in a iCal file, but it went away with a recent website update. What to do? Geek it?
Here’s my solution:
Southwest sends an email with your itinerary in a psuedo-pretty XML format when you purchase a trip. I use procmail to filter my incoming mail and southwest.com email gets put in it’s own special ‘folder’. I recently added a simple bash script to ‘grep’ the contents of this folder and extract relevant itinerary information. The script is executed directly by procmail.
The output of the script is a CSV format text file that is accessible by a php script executed by apache. This script takes the text file, munges it with some information about the airport location and DST and arrives at a starting and ending time of the flight. This is output via iCalcreator as an iCal format file that your favorite calendar program can handle (right?)
There are a number of dependencies. See the README file for them all