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Travel Book Suggestion: Cockpit Confidential

August 27, 2014 at 2:38 PM | by | ()

The last book we recommended to you shed some light onto the dark side of the travel industry, showing that, for all the good it can bring, tourism has the capacity to become a virus that diminishes the cultures of destinations around the globe. This time, we're suggesting something a little more uplifting. And, believe it or not, it's about the airline industry.

Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel: Questions, Answers, and Reflections, written by commercial pilot Patrick Smith, attempts to unblur the line between fact and fiction when it comes to all things air travel.

The book, written in question and answer format, covers the following topics: How planes fly; Straight talk on turbulence, pilot training, and safety; The real story on congestion, delays, and the dysfunction of the modern airport; The myths and misconceptions of cabin air and cockpit automation; Terrorism in perspective, and a provocative look at security; Airfares, seating woes, and the pitfalls of airline customer service; And the colors and cultures of the airlines we love to hate.

In this sense, Cockpit Confidential takes a practical look at all the issues we think (and complain) about on a daily basis. Security, for example. But, for this writer, some of the most interesting aspects were the ones where the answer is not a matter of opinion. For example, what do commercial pilots actually have to go through before getting a job with a major carrier? How often is autopilot used? Why does the air conditioning sometimes turn off during takeoff? What's the quality of the air we're breathing on board? What causes such massive lines on the runway? Etc. Etc.

If your curiosity has been stirred, you can read an in-depth preview/sample of the book that recently ran in the New York Post here. Overall, we found Cockpit Confidential to be a quick and interesting book, especially when read at 35,000 feet where you can see in-person many of the things being discussed.

[Photo: FlyerTalk]

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