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Full Upright and Locked Position: The Insider's Guide to Air Travel [Kindle Edition]

Mark Gerchick
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Book Description

"Sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight," our pilots still intone. But who are they kidding?

Former FAA chief counsel and senior aviation policy official Mark Gerchick unravels the unseen forces and little-known facts that have reshaped our air travel experience since September 11, 2001.

With wry humor and unique insight, Gerchick takes us past the jargon, technicalities, and all-is-well platitudes to expose the new normal of air travel: from the packed planes and myriad hassles of everyday flying to the alchemy of air fares, the airlines’ endless nickel-and-diming, and the elusive hope of escape from steerage. We find out what pilots do in the cockpit, what’s really worth worrying about when it comes to airline safety, and why we get sick on planes. Meanwhile, Gerchick ponders the jarring disconnect between our quaint expectations of "service with a smile" and the grim reality of cramped seats, no-free-lunch, and "watch-yer-knees."

With sympathy for both fliers and airlines, Gerchick shows how the new "business-all-business" airline industry has finally learned to make money, even in the face of crushing fuel costs, and get millions of travelers where they’re going every day safely and quickly.

From his singular vantage point as former aviation regulator and policymaker, Gerchick gives us a straightforward insider’s view of how hard it is for government to improve the traveler’s lot by explaining the vagaries of consumer protection rules as well as the political realities and the economic forces at work. While Gerchick offers reasons to hope for a better future in air travel, he presents an unvarnished look at what we can expect—good and bad—when we take to the skies. Some of it will reassure you, some will make you cringe, but all will open your eyes to what it means to fly today.

Product Description


"...strangely compelling and very readable." --Wanderlust

About the Author

A former chief counsel of the Federal Aviation Administration and a US Transportation Department policy official, Mark Gerchick is an aviation consultant.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 798 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (10 Jun. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007Q6XL1Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #72,672 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The bad new days for the airlines... 17 Jun. 2013
By Jill Meyer TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
Mark Gerchick's new book "Full Upright and Locked Position", is an insider's look at the airline industry in the past ten or so years. A lawyer, Gerchick has worked as counsel for both the FAA and the DOT. Now he's an consultant to airlines which are struggling to stay ahead of the economic and legal and safety problems which have plagued the airline industry. Mark Gerchick makes reference to another recent book - by pilot Patrick Smith - who looks at the industry from a slightly different point-of-view. Both books are very good and give the interested reader a view from both the cockpit (excuse me, "flight deck") and the business end of flying. Smith's book is a more passionate, personal book while Gerchick's is more measured emotionally, but both are worth reading.

I'm a former travel agent and probably a bit more "into" the business end of the airline industry than most readers. When Gerchick writes about fare manipulation by smart flyers and talks about "hidden cities" and buying two cheap round-trip tickets and throwing away half of each, I "get" what he's talking about. Hell, in my career twenty years ago, I was considered the "queen of point-afters" by my clients. But after the airlines quit paying commission to travel agents, the business model of travel agents using airlines as a source of income cratered and was hurt further by the internet and travelers becoming their OWN travel agents. That was in the mid-1990's and the airline business never looked back. Perhaps they should have, but that's for another book. Gerchick's book is about the years post-2000

Many people think the airlines tales-of-woe began post 9/11, but they really began a bit earlier. The economic downturn beginning in the early 2000's was exacerbated by the attacks of September 11th.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I didn't want to know that...whilst flying!!! 22 May 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Bit of a technical journal but interesting for all that. Don't read it at the airport though.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Far cry from Cockpit Confidential 24 Sept. 2013
By T. Harris - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Although there are a handful of interesting tidbits, Full Upright is a distant second to Cockpit Confidential. Written from the perspective of a bureaucrat and not a pilot, Full Upright focuses more on policy and operations than technology.

It has a tendency to be repetitive and incomplete at times and condescending at others. For example, it introduces acronyms without defining them, saying that the readers don't care what the letters stand for, or discusses technical concepts with scant description because it would be too "tedious" or "boring". Please, let the readers decide for themselves.

It also refers to past events assuming that readers are already familiar with them. Minimally a brief description each event should be included.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Eye-opening, even for aviation professionals 10 Sept. 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First, I read this on a long flight. That's a great place to contemplate the revelations in this book. As a long-time commercial pilot, I knew those facts about the science of flying that the author reveals (which are valuable for all) - but the rest of the revelations were nothing short of fascinating. Just the discussion about the passenger environment inside the aircraft today (and tomorrow) is worth the cost of the book. So many interesting and important things about aviation are revealed in this book that you should read it just to understand how you are managed, priced, herded, treated - and the way in which this is likely to play out in the future.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reiterates much of what we already know 16 Aug. 2013
By Kristopher Munn - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For a novice traveler, this book helps expose some of the 'secret' craft of the industry. For those of us who travel all of the time; most of the text is just a refresher of the information we are already all too aware -Understanding airline miles, seats, service and day to day travel is something most road warriors pride themselves on. That being said, the book does highlight on a few interesting topics about airline ticket price justification, as well as, helping the reader understand government regulations and the process that creates change. I enjoyed reading it, not because I gained much new insight; but, because I found myself nodding my head in agreement as if I was in an echo chamber.
4.0 out of 5 stars a must for anyone who flies 4 Jun. 2014
By Bill Lewsis - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A great read. The inside story of the airlines. If you want to know what really going on your next flight, read this book.
4.0 out of 5 stars WIll not make you happy.. 15 May 2014
By David M. Decker - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When you read this text you may become more synical, but at least you'll understand what is happening behind the curtain in the Airline industry. You will be no more comfortable in your airline seat, but you'll understand better how you lost the leg room over time. Written by an insider who has the passenger at heart, this text should not be read while traveling, but worth the read and time spent.
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