I found this book to have rather a petulant tone. A new Boeing 787 starting price is around 120 million US. Even a midsize regional jet starts at around 50 million. Considering the cost of the aircraft, the insurance, the maintenance, landing fees, fuel, and the number of bodies it takes to get it safely from point A to point B, it s a wonder anyone can afford to fly any where. The author seems to feel that the aviation industry is busily keeping as many secrets as possible in some kind of conspiracy.
A great one for the plane...or maybe not.
Full Upright and Locked Position: Not-so-Comfortable Truths about Air Travel Today --- by Mark Gerchick. Gerchick is an “aviation consultant” and a former member of the FAA so he ought to know his stuff. He’s written a very readable, highly informative book with an extensive Bibliography which should be of interest to all of us: air travellers; frequent flyers; and “road warriors” as he calls them. Right off the start: there’s nothing particularly shocking in this book nor is there anything most of the flying public didn’t already know or suspect. But to have it all laid out for, economical warts, technological shortcomings and justifications is, none the less, enlightening and not about to raise anybody’s blood pressure too much .After all, all the nasties of air travel are things with which most of us have come to terms long ago. Pleasantly written, pleasant to read: you might even take this with you to read on the plane.
A hot meal? Free checked baggage? A welcoming smile from a living, breathing employee? Forget it. Welcome to the world of modern air travel, a mean, profit-seeking business that places passengers at its mercy. In his entertaining and fascinating new book, former FAA chief counsel and Transportation Department policy official Mark Gerchick explores the industry's transformation since the jet fuel cost explosion in 2008 and the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
Gerchick provides peeks into seat-price schemes and shows why the hassles of airline miles programs outweigh their benefits. He gives insight into the causes of flight delays and of lost (and damaged) luggage. He rattles off statistics about onboard fatalities and divulges why forcing passengers to arrive uber-early equals profitable “dwell time” for airport businesses. He revolts readers with health-related information pertaining to the barely potable water used to make coffee and the zillions of bacteria residing on the bathroom door lock. Perhaps most resonantly, he explains how airlines no longer sell flights but rather “a bundle of separable, flight-related services — transportation of luggage, making a reservation, having a seat assigned, snacks and drinks, legroom, even jet fuel.”
Although some mild repetition throughout the chapters becomes tedious, Gerchick effectively and engagingly brings light to the "new normal of air travel." He does smartly include some hope for the future in the form of forthcoming technological improvements to the industry but, by in large, sitting back and relaxing appears to be a thing of the past.
Seems that there is a mention of September 11 or 9/11 on nearly every page. Enough of this crap already. I KNOW it changed air travel; nobody who is reading this book cares anymore.
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