Petzinger, a reporter and editor for the Wall Street Journal, presents a thorough analysis of the growth of the airline industry from the 1930s to the present. He demonstrates in a highly detailed manner the competitive nature of the airline business in such notable battles as those between Robert Crandall (American) and Dick Ferris (United) and between Frank Lorenzo (Texas International) and Herb Kelleher (Southwest). Fueled by the big egos of their respective bosses, the major airlines fell into a financial abyss trying to serve the maximum number of passengers and destinations, only to face rising fuel, labor, and operating costs as well as rising debt-while Southwest Airlines became a model of success and profitability. Petzinger exposes the men behind airline growth and competition, computerization, deregulation, strikes, mergers, and bankruptcies and covers current alliances such as the one between KLM and Northwest. Recommended for public libraries.-William A. McIntyre, New Hampshire Technical Coll. Lib., Nashua
Most books (and there are usually two or three new ones a year) on the airline industry treat it as a single entity, describing the effects of deregulation or strikes or fluctuating oil prices. Or else these books profile a specific airline, personifying it by its controversial or flamboyant owner or CEO. Petzinger, though, combines both approaches. He portrays the airline industry as a boy's club run by only a handful of egotistical, ambitious, and arrogant men. Petzinger, once a baggage handler for United Airlines and now "Wall Street Journal" reporter and editor, colorfully chronicles the changing alliances and enmities of these men as they battle to "win at any cost" and change the way the world travels.
Petzinger, a Wall Street Journal reporter and former baggage handler for United Airlines, exposes the inner workings of the airline industry in the decade and half since deregulation, offering a portrait of modern business practices and ethics and the sometimes ruthless industry leaders in their wars against competitors. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)