Full Upright and Locked Position by Mark Gerchick
Not-So-Comfortable Truths about Air Travel Today

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While his book can’t save readers from airport purgatory, the insights provided will make the turbulence a little easier to bear.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

"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.

 

About Mark Gerchick

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Mark Gerchick, an aviation consultant, has advised some of America’s largest airlines and busiest airports over the past fifteen years. A former chief counsel of the Federal Aviation Administration and senior Department of Transportation aviation official, he lives in McLean, Virginia.
 
Published June 10, 2013 by W. W. Norton & Company. 365 pages
Genres: Travel, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Full Upright and Locked Position
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

Publishers Weekly

Good
on Apr 15 2013

While his book can’t save readers from airport purgatory, the insights provided will make the turbulence a little easier to bear.

Read Full Review of Full Upright and Locked Posit... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

WSJ online

Good
Reviewed by DARRELL HARTMAN on Jul 18 2013

In his fact-packed and engaging critique of air travel, "Full Upright and Locked Position," Mark Gerchick cites a credible-sounding estimate that 15% of them carry firearms. "Flying today," he notes, "is a jarring contradiction—amazing and god-awful at the same time."

Read Full Review of Full Upright and Locked Posit... | See more reviews from WSJ online

Kirkus

Good
on Jun 08 2013

A thorough disclosure on today's airlines and the passengers who use them—best read while still on the ground.

Read Full Review of Full Upright and Locked Posit... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Reader Rating for Full Upright and Locked Position
75%

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