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Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel: Questions, Answers, and Reflections Paperback – May 7, 2013
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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
-- William Langewiesche, Vanity Fair
“Nobody covers the airline experience like Patrick Smith. He brings balance and clarity to a subject all too often over-hyped. And, he's a damned good writer.”
-- Clive Irving, Conde Nast Traveler
“I wish I could fold up Patrick Smith and put him in my suitcase. He seems to know everything worth knowing about flying.”
-- Stephen Dubner, coauthor of Freakonomics
“Patrick Smith is extraordinarily knowledgeable about modern aviation, and communicates beautifully in English, not in pilot-ese. Th ideal seatmate, companion, writer and explainer.”
-- Alex Beam, Boston Globe
“A brilliant writer, Patrick Smith provides a laugh-a-page tour of a misunderstood industry -- a journey into the world of aviation, stripped of the mumbo-jumbo and filled with humor and insight.”
-- Christine Negroni, aviation correspondent and author of Flying Lessons
"Patrick Smith doesn’t just know everything about air travel, he possesses a rare knack for explaining it in lucid and witty prose."
-- Barbara Peterson, Condé Nast Traveler
“Patrick Smith is one of the best writers around, period, which certainly makes him by far the best writer ever to have earned a commercial pilot's license. A soaring accomplishment, indispensable for anyone who travels by air, which means everyone.
-- James Kaplan
-- Rudy Maxa
“Patrick Smith manages to demystify the experience and remind us of the magic of aviation. Also he has a great sense of humor – which is critical when you are wedged into seat 14D on a regional jet.”
-- Chris Bohjalian
“Brilliantly down to earth and reassuring”
-- Cath Urquhart, The Times (London)
"What a pleasure it is reading Patrick Smith's surprisingly elegant explanations and commentary. The world needs somebody writing E.B. White simple and sensible about a topic everyone has a question about."
-- Berke Breathed
“Patrick Smith doesn’t just know everything about air travel, he possesses a rare knack for explaining it in lucid and witty prose.”
-- Barbara Peterson,
Condé Nast Travele"Cockpit Confidential is the document that belongs in the seat-back pocket in front of you."
-- David Pogue, New York Times correspondent and PBS television host
About the Author
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More About the Author
For ten years his "Ask the Pilot" column was a fixture in the magazine Salon. Today he hosts the popular online site WWW.ASKTHEPILOT.COM, which covers all aspects of air travel, from terrorism and security to airline customer service.
Patrick has appeared on over 200 radio and television outlets, and his work has been cited in numerous publications worldwide.
Patrick's writing incorporates a wide range of knowledge and experience from both inside and outside of aviation, incorporating personal stories and insights into geography and culture from his life and travels abroad.
An avid traveler, Patrick has visited more than eighty countries.
He lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.
Top Customer Reviews
Smith is often pedantic and always opinionated, and it all makes for an entertaining book. He has some definite thoughts about the service on airlines, which is a little surprising, since he is a pilot for a major U.S. airline (but he doesn't say which one), and he also has some comments about passengers, which are usually less strident, such as his puzzlement over why sudoku is so popular. Just don't get him started on airport security.
One important reason Smith's book may appeal to more people than a straightforward question and answer book would, is that Smith is not only an industry professional, but he's often a passenger, traveling for fun, so he knows what it's like to sit in coach. This dual point of view, which is apparently not very common among airline employees, many of whom don't care to travel on their own time or dime, gives Smith more perspective, so he's not just the lecturer here, he knows your travelin' pain.
Not only does he travel, he enjoys airports, flying, and seeing new places. He intersperses his question and answer sections with musings on travel.Read more ›
Patrick Smith - the name "Smith" is a nom-de-plume - is an airline pilot and blogger, who operates out of Boston. He used to blog for SALON magazine but I'm not sure he still writes for them. In any case, he has his own website, askthepilot.com, and this new book. His previous one, "Ask the Pilot: Everything You Need to Know About Flying", was published in 2004. Smith has been been a pilot and in love with all forms of air travel since, as a child living in Boston, he'd sit on the Revere beach and watch in awe as planes landed at nearby Logan Airport. He grew up to make a living as first a pilot for a commuter carrier - flying up and down the Atlantic seaboard and all around New England - and then he "graduated" to flying cargo jets for a freight airline. Finally, he's now flying for an international passenger airline. (I think it might be Delta, from what I've been able to glean from his writing. Or, if not, American.) He has been subjected to layoffs during his career and is quite honest about how he - and other pilots - struggle with the on-going airline politics and economic ups-and-down that make a pilot's career somewhat haphazard.
Okay, Patrick Smith and I are airline fanatics. And, probably so are most people reading this review. Most of us fly a lot - Smith is lucky that he gets paid to do so - and we like to see new places.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was a real hoot to read, and very, very informative about how everything in the airline industry works (or doesn't work sometimes).Published 1 day ago by Kenneth Himmel
excellent in case you're afraid of flying and still very interesting if you are not ☺Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
great read and helpful information about current state of air travelPublished 7 days ago by unclerardy
Entertaining. Captain Smith is a good storyteller, with many laugh-out-loud moments of some of his adventures in flying and the not-so-glamorous side of being a pilot or... Read morePublished 11 days ago by lona wolfe
Very interesting and an easy read. I flew briefly in college, so I had a slight grasp of the basics, but was never licensed This book was not too technical, but enough so to give... Read morePublished 12 days ago by Jack
I found this to be interesting for the most part. There were sections I didn't care too much about, but everybody will not agree on what is important, so I think the author... Read morePublished 13 days ago by MikenSueNY
Lots and lots of information provided in an easygoing manner that made this a good read. It also provided answers to a lot of questions I'd forgotten that I wanted to know.Published 13 days ago by TFB