Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Rapid Descent

Rapid Descent

by Barbara Sturken Peterson, James Glab

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Travel reporters Peterson ( Travel Weekly ) and Glab (former managing editor of Travel Management Daily ) use their knowledge of and contacts in the airline industry to provide this account of what must be one of the most mismanaged operations in America. How else could one explain the fact that, according to the authors, U.S. airlines lost $6 billion in 1990 and 1991, a sum greater than the profits earned by the airlines since commercial aviation was launched in the 1920s. In examining how the industry got itself into such a mess, the authors argue that while deregulation put in motion the events that would shape the future of the airlines, myriad other factors played parts as well. The firing of the air traffic controllers during the Reagan administration, the downsizing of the Federal Aviation Administration and, most importantly, the merger and acquisition craze of the 1980s were some of the events that helped create a financially troubled industry. The book is enlivened by descriptions of the colorful men who ran and still run the airlines and although the authors identify no clear heroes, there are plenty of villains, most notably Frank Lorenzo and Carl Ichan who the authors suggest ruined Texas Air (comprised of such subsidiaries as Continental and Eastern Airlines) and TWA, respectively. Those who are interested in corporate wheeling and dealing will find this an enlightening and enjoyable read. Photos not seen by PW . (May)
Library Journal
Instead of increasing competition, lowering costs, and improving service, the 1978 airline deregulation resulted in poor service, a confusing array of ticket prices, questionable safety, and fewer airlines. United, American, and Delta emerged as the deregulation winners; losers included Pan Am, Eastern, Braniff, People's Express, and Midway. Thoroughly researched and well written by experienced writers on the airline industry, this work paints colorful portraits of the airlines' prominent figures, including Bob Crandall of American and Carl Icahn of TWA, as it assesses the consequences of deregulation. There is also some discussion of the impact of Sabre (American's computerized reservation service), frequent flyer programs, super-saver fares, wage scales, and international competition on the industry. This is solid reading about the industry, politics, and business; highly recommended.-William A. McIntyre, New Hampshire Technical Coll. Lib., Nashua
Airline industry reporters trace the unraveling of the airline industry during fifteen years of deregulation. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
David Rouse
A number of recent books have profiled the troubled state of various airlines. All seem to allude to disaster, with titles warning of turbulence, free-fall, flying blind, tailspins, or being grounded. No exception, this book considers the effects of airline deregulation. Previous works that have looked at this aspect of the airline industry have been academic in their analysis, but this colorful, popularly written account explains why service is so bad and fares are so high and so confusing. Writers who cover the travel industry, Peterson and Glab provide a recent history of the business of air travel, with all its acrimonious labor disputes, bankruptcies, bitter buy-outs, hopeful start-ups, and big-shot operators.

Product Details

Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.35(w) x 9.57(h) x 1.24(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews