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Hard Landing: The Epic Contest for Power and Profits That Plunged the Airlines into Chaos Paperback – Illustrated, December 24, 1996
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- Item Weight : 1.3 pounds
- Paperback : 624 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780812928358
- ISBN-13 : 978-0812928358
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 1.29 x 8.23 inches
- Publisher : Currency; Illustrated edition (December 24, 1996)
- ASIN : 0812928350
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #334,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Inevitably, not all of the issues that mattered then are relevant today. Petzinger spends a lot of time on the topic of control of global distribution systems ("computer reservation systems" is how most folks think of them) and the order of the display of flights within them (from which human travel agents would select flights). Yes, this was a big deal back in the day, it did truly matter. And yet today, it's irrelevant. Airlines don't even own such systems any longer, and travel agents, at least the human kind, are largely obsolete.
What we really need is someone to do a volume on the subsequent 20 years up to today. Who could have guessed that the next 20 years would be at least as tumultuous as the era described in Hard Landing? As an indication, Hard Landing mentions America West Airlines only twice, both times in passing. And yet, America West turned out to be one of the dominant forces in the past 20 years, with that management team merging first with US Airways and then with American. Little America West is now, in the guise of American, the largest airline in the world. That is not to criticize Petzinger -- no one else would have guessed this would happen either. But it's just another indication of how much we need someone to write Hard Landing II.
If you are a Pan Am fan this, of course is a must read.
At the end of the day, this company could have been saved. And not by spending any taxpayers money.
I doubt if any corporation ever did more to help this country. Starting with FDR's flight to Casablanca and ending with Desert Storm.
Pan Am did more than it's share and put it's equipment and flight crews at risk every step of the way.
De-regulation and an uniformed president, (Jimmy Carter) put Pan Am in the grave. All's the government had to do was give Pan Am the domestic flights it needed to feed it's overseas flights....and we would still have this company!!
In Hard Landing, Thomas Petzinger transports the reader back the glory days of the airline industry. Early on, Petzinger introduces the mythological giants Herb Kelleher, Frank Lorenzo, and Bob Crandall early in their respective careers. Petzinger introduces most of his characters directly out of their respective Ivy League school. All men are classic airline giants--hard drinking, cursing, smoking, demonstrative men of the airline industry. Petzinger uses profanity-laced quotes to show the vigor with which the heads of the various airlines competed against each other. In some books, writers inappropriately use profanity to underscore points that ultimately require no underscoring. In Hard Landing, Petzinger selectively drops profanity filled quotes into the narrative to place the reader "in the action" of the story. This method works quite well as the reader will find him/herself unable to stop reading this insightful work.
The airline industry is a complex monstrosity. Petzinger deconstructs the industry with masterful precision. As an editor of the Wall Street Journal, Thomas Petzinger is likely accustomed to deconstructing complex stories. A search on Amazon.com reveals that Petzinger wrote two other books on complex subjects. Petzinger's other books deal with men and women in the modern marketplace and the large oil companies. Petzinger may not have aviation industry experience but it is quite clear that he researched Hard Landing meticulously and gave his subjects the utmost respect.
Some reviewers have criticized Petzinger for his focus only on America's airlines, specifically his focus on Texas-based airlines. This is an unfair criticism because it displays a lack of understanding of the history of the airline industry. Texas International, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Continental Airlines all have strong roots in Texas. Furthermore, Walter Folger Brown and the eventual Civil Aeronautics Board built the most extensive and successful airline structure in the world. Petzinger is correct to focus exclusively on the American airlines.
Beyond the history of the airline industry, Petzinger also shows the collusion between the airlines and the United States government. When the Carter Administration took office in 1977, the corruption and collusion between the airlines and the government reached a monumental scale. Petzinger's account of the political wrangling involved in the deregulation of the airline industry is simply fascinating. Many major political players of today played a major role in deregulation. Even George W. Bush's former Transportation Secretary, Norman Mineta, appears to provide the decisive vote needed to pass deregulation. Petzinger's political history is as fascinating as his airline industry history.
Petzinger makes an interesting point in his postscript. When he completed Hard Landing in the late 1990's, the airlines were in a period of relative calm. In the final lines of Hard Landing, Petzinger says, "Only when the economy again moved into the minus column would anyone know for sure whether the leaders of the industry had changed their war-mongering ways, or whether at last, they, and their industry, had matured." Subsequent to the tragic events of September 11, it is safe to say that the airline industry has moved into the "minus column" once again. The amazing airline drama continues.
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It really paints an incredibly detailed picture of how the aviation industry evolved and grew up through fierce competition and regulation.
The book also remains entertaining throughout and is an incredible resource of knowledge and information for future generations to come.
Lo he comprado de segunda mano gracias a la plataforma de Amazon, lo que encima ayuda tanto a ahorrar dinero como a reutilizar las cosas. Gracias por hacer posible un mejor aprovechamiento de los recursos. Es importante.
El libro está entretenido para leer.