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Attention All Passengers: The Airlines' Dangerous Descent---And How to Reclaim Our Skiesby William Mcgee
Synopses & Reviews
Award-winning journalist and leading consumer advocate William J. McGee offers a shocking, essential exposé that reveals the real state of the "friendly skies."
From outsourced call centers in India to the Alabama location where all lost baggage ends up, William J. McGee crisscrossed the country and traveled around the globe immersing himself deep into the world of commercial airlines. And what he found was shocking.
McGee interviewed countless industry insiders—pilots, TSA security screeners, FAA inspectors, legislators, the CEOs of the major carriers, and even Ralph Nader and Steven Slater, the disgruntled flight attendant who famously jettisoned a JetBlue flight. Here he reveals how airline executives are cutting costs in "a mad race to the bottom" by delegating flights to second-tier regional airlines and outsourcing critical aircraft maintenance and repairs to unlicensed "mechanics" in China, Singapore, Mexico, and El Salvador. And while the U.S. airlines have raked in tens of billions of dollars for checked baggage alone in recent years, our skies (and our airports) are not getting any safer. What's more, McGee explains how both political parties and all branches of the U.S. government have conspired to place corporate interests above the interests of consumers, workers, the nation's economy, and even the planet itself. Attention All Passengers will change the way you view the airline industry and make you think twice the next time you see the fasten seat belts sign.
"Air travel, once glamorous, is now an ordeal for passengers, a financial drain for investors, and a nearly unsustainable business model for the dwindling number of U.S. airlines. McGee, a former flight operations manager turned journalist and consumer advocate, explains what's wrong with commercial air travel in his debut book. The wonder is that it doesn't run to thousands of pages. He quickly cites as a cause the 1978 Airline Deregulation Act, which transformed airlines from public utilities run on a quasi-monopolistic basis to a free market business. McGee sides with critics who call for some reregulation to improve passenger experience and airline safety, and stabilize business operations. The dissection of major airlines' use of regional carriers with lower safety standards for short flights, among other troubling practices, makes this an effective polemic. However, though he backs his assertions with statistics that show 'airline accidents caused by maintenance factors have increased significantly in recent years,' McGee's extensive research yields a jumble of confusing references to various accidents, a slew of names from many interviews, and an occasional slip into professional jargon, distracting from an otherwise compelling read. Agent: Rob Weisbach, Rob Weisbach Creative Management. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A Fast Food Nation for the airline industry, Attention All Passengers is a shocking and important exposé revealing the real state of the “friendly skies” in which we fly. Award-winning Consumer Reports travel journalist William McGee, a former editor of the Consumer Reports Travel Letter, spent nearly seven years in airline flight operations management, and what he learned was less than uplifting. From TSA power grabs and an endemic lack of oversight to legislative battles and lobbying boondoggles to antiquated flight patterns and outsourced maintenance workers, the airlines and the Government are in cahoots, conspiring to turn a profit any way they can, no matter who has to pay the price. A provocative and hard-hitting call to action, Attention All Passengers will explode all our previous misconceptions about the airline industry.
About the Author
William J. McGee is an award-winning travel journalist for Consumer Reports and the former editor of Consumer Reports Travel Letter. In 2010 the U.S. secretary of transportation chose him as the lone consumer advocate on the Future of Aviation Advisory Committee. He also writes a monthly travel column for USAToday.com and has contributed to Condé Nast Traveler, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Money, New York, Parents, Good Housekeeping, and many other magazines, newspapers, websites, and blogs. Prior to becoming a journalist, McGee spent nearly seven years in airline flight operations management; he is an FAA-licensed aircraft dispatcher and served in the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary. He earned an MFA from Columbia University and teaches creative writing at Hofstra University. He lives in Connecticut.
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