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Flying Across America: The Airline Passenger Experience
by Daniel L. Rust
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press

, Norman, OK

Web Site:
Binding:  Hardbound Height:




Pages:  268 No. Photos:
 100 B&W and color

Today passenger planes are delivering travelers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except on very rare occasions such as 9-11. Itís an everyday occurrence to hop on a plane and to fly to any destination in the world. Sometimes it takes longer to get to the airport and through security than the flight itself takes.

Weather is rarely a factor any more, but occasionally a blizzard or hurricane will close some airports. Because there are so many passenger planes flying, the closing of a major airport may cause a ripple effect that creates delays at several other airports. But for the most part, people think no more of flying across the country than they do of hopping in their car and driving across town. Some people even commute by air from home to work.

It wasnít always like that. In the early 1920s a passenger shared a compartment or open cockpit with the mail bags. Obviously, passenger accommodations and air travel itself have come a long way. Flying Across America gives us a glimpse of what it was really like in those days. It was rugged, but as time went on, the planes got faster, could carry more passengers, and the amenities gradually improved.

Initially, it was the copilot who served the passengers. Eventually that duty was given to a hostess, but she had to be a registered nurse. In 1930 it took 36 hours and 11 stops to fly from Los Angeles to New York. Today itís nonstop in less than six hours. Much has changed since passenger travel started in the 1920s, and that is what this book is all about - what it was like then from the passengerís perspective and how it has changed as the aviation industry grew from a few visionaries. The author tells of the trials and tribulations endured by the passengers and crews, the adventures and misadventures, and how it has become the way we live and travel.

What effect did WWII, the Jet Age, deregulation, and todayís security concerns have on the airline passengerís experience? Itís all here in this book that is filled with photos, airline advertisements, logos, and interesting facts about the planes, the airlines, and air travel. Flying Across America: The Airline Passenger Experience by Daniel L. Rust is informative as well as entertaining.

Larry Bledsoe


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