Attention All Passengers
The Airlines' Dangerous Descent---and How to Reclaim Our Skies
By William J. McGee
(Harper, Hardcover, 9780062088376, 368pp.)
Publication Date: June 2012
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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 insiderspilots, 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.
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.
Airline veteran and writer William McGee says airlines' aggressive cost-cutting hasn't just added fees and hassles. He says they're taking steps that compromise safety â?? and regulators are letting it happen. More at NPR.org
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“A damning indictment of the airline industry, and the lax oversight and economic and political pressures that are jeopardizing the safety of everyone who flies.”
-Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, Retired Airline Pilot, consultant, speaker, CBS News Aviation and Safety Expert, And Author of Making a Difference and Highest Duty: My Search For What Really Matters
“This book is the broadest consistent page-turner I’ve read on airlines, including our own.”
-Ralph Nader, co-author with Wesley J. Smith of Collision Course: The Truth About Airline Safety
“…well-researched narrative…McGee’s exploration of this lack of accountability is intriguing…Informative”
“McGee is making a serious and important argument, and he ends with a series of suggestions...that reflect both insider knowledge and common sense.”
“Attention All Passengers deserves to be heeded for its discussion of airline safety. Mr. McGee addresses areas of serious concern that have largely remained off the radar screen.”
-Wall Street Journal
“[A] provocative new book… McGee makes a compelling argument that minor annoyances such as baggage fees and shrinking seats are symptoms of deeper problems that are eroding the bottom line and, eventually, the safety of passengers.”
-Cleveland Plain Dealer
“This eye-opening book should be required reading for anyone who flies, as well as airline employees and government officials.”