The Perfect Stocking Stuffer

Looking for a cool, inexpensive holiday gift?

Here’s the ideal stocking-stuffer for the frequent flyer, nervous passenger or global traveler on your list.

Cockpit Confidential is wry, thoughtful, and at times provocative look into the confounding world of commercial air travel. More than just a book about flying, its subject is everything and everything about the grand theater of air travel, from airport architecture to terrorism to the colors and cultures of the world’s airlines.

NOW A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“A book to be savored and passed to friends.”
— William Langeweische, Vanity Fair

Patrick Smith has been called the thinking man’s pilot. For the better part of a decade, his Ask the Pilot column at Salon.com was a singular and remarkable sensation: an aviation column, for heaven’s sake, that could offer up trenchant analysis of an air disaster one day, then the next day stride fearlessly into politics, culture, or even rock music, and somehow tie it all together. Cockpit Confidential features the best of that material, refreshed and adapted into a seven-chapter volume of FAQs, essays and personal memoir. Whether it’s the nuts and bolts of cockpit operation or a hilarious critique of airline logos and color schemes, Patrick Smith can riff with surprising levels of humor, insight and eloquence. Cockpit Confidential is smart, funny, and brimming with useful information.

“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, Condé Nast Traveler

• How planes fly, and a revealing look at the men and women who fly them
• Straight talk on pilot training and safety
• The real story on congestion, delays, and the dysfunction of the modern airport
• Terrorism in perspective and a candid look at security
• Airfares, seating woes, and the pitfalls of airline customer service
• The colors and cultures of the airlines we love to hate
• The yin and yang of global travel
• Gratuitous references to 80s-era indie rock bands

 

SECOND EDITION NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK, ELECTRONIC AND AUDIOBOOK VERSIONS.

IN THE U.S.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM AMAZON
CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM BARNES & NOBLE

IN CANADA

ORDER HERE FROM AMAZON CANADA

IN THE U.K. AND IRELAND

ORDER HERE FROM AMAZON.UK

IN AUSTRALIA
BOOKTOPIA

 

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  1. Dan says:

    Don’t mean for this to sound like a plug, but this book helped me find pleasure back in flying (as a passenger, I am not a pilot).

    Let me elaborate. The first time I was taken onto a plane was when I was only 3 months old, and due to the nature of having family in two countries very apart removed, I found myself on long plane rides multiple times a year, every year of my life (and somewhat remains that way).I always LOVED flying, never had a fear of boarding a plane and am overall thrilled by the magic of air travel and everything that goes with it, especially internationally.

    However, in 2014 I became a parent-to-be. I was still flying about 25-30 weeks out of the year, and I was told I was going to be a dad the day I was supposed to fly back home from CA to GA. As if a spell was instantly cast upon me, I all of a sudden became extremely fearful of flying. Genuinely anxious, terrifying. And that fear of flying stuck for many long agonizing months.

    Then I started to read more into flying, and somehow got pointed to and hooked on this blog – askthepilot, mostly on the misconceptions of flying. That in turn made me order the book, which I read on a flight and it made me feel more at ease with flying again.

    Now my kid is 6 and I (and she) LOVE to fly and travel, and the irrational fear of flying lasted about 12 months, and I truly believe the key to getting more comfortable back in a plane was due to the book.

    Figured I’d share the story. Thanks Patrick!