Chai Book Club Giveaway: Cockpit Confidential

Pilot and author Patrick Smith is out with his new book, Cockpit Confidential.

From the blurb:

Cockpit Confidential covers not only the nuts and bolts of flying, but also the grand theater of air travel, from airport architecture to inflight service to the excitement of travel abroad. It’s a thoughtful, funny, at times deeply personal look into the strange and misunderstood world of commercial flying.

The ideal book for frequent flyers, nervous passengers, and global travelers.

Mr. Smith is a regular contributor on Rudy Maxa’s World radio show, and I am interested to read his book.

Please share something interesting from your most recent flight by Tuesday, July 02 at 23:59 EDT. One potential winner will be  selected at random and notified by email by Wedensday, July 03 at 23:59 EDT and posted here. A valid email address in the comment form is required to notify the potential winnerwho must respond to accept the book by Tuesday, July 09 at 23:59 EDT. Available to US entrants/addresses only.


And the winner is #24, jamie, who wrote: “most recent flight was MCO-MDW on WN (Southwest). Thought that the best way to guarantee an empty seat next to me was to leave a middle seat between me and my 4 year old. Surely that’s the last seat anyone would want. I was right, it was the very last seat taken on a completely full flight. LOL. (Of course, I scooted my child over to the middle and let the grown-up sit in the window, but if there had actually been any extra seats, the one next to me would’ve been unoccupied).”

Chai Book Club 01Jul13

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  • dj

    My last flight was last week on Delta. Had to connect in Atlanta. We started to board. After a while I looked up and realized they had stopped boarding after zone one. Ten minutes later Captain came on and said ATC problems and we all needed to get off lol. I was tempted to tell them I’d been kicked out of better places 🙂

  • joel a.

    Flight was diverted and ultimately arrived 7.5 hours late!

  • Andy C

    United flight in first class, SFO to SEA. Delayed almost an hour and the IFE was broken. Story of my life…

  • Colleen

    Intl flight into MIA; Global Entry kiosks now have a great set-up (and much greater number), helpful employees, and NO LINE!!

  • Krzysztof Rybak

    My last flight was as uneventful as it gets. At the gate, I asked the agent for a better seat — closer to the front — and at first she claimed there weren’t any. Then she looked at me and asked, indignantly, “why do you want one?” I kept smiling and said that I prefer to sit closer to the front whenever there are seats available. After a moment of hesitation, she grudgingly took my boarding pass, muttered something under her nose, and issued me a new boarding pass for row 4 of the little regional jet.
    The boarding was smooth, the plane barely one third full, and off we were on our 2 hour flight from San Francisco to Victoria. The seat was cramped, the cabin tiny. There was no drink or meal service of course, but who could possibly eat or drink with the pervasive smell of stale urine wafting through the cabin from the bathroom?
    The only interesting thing about the flight was that there were several German-speaking passengers on board. I wondered if they connected from a the Lufthansa Frankfurt flight on the Airbus 380, and what they thought of the little United commuter jet.
    We arrived on time, and I was the first to clear immigration. In a nutshell, yet another ordinary flight on United.

  • James

    My most recent flight was UA SFO-SAN. While I have had Global Entry for half a year I had not experienced PreCheck. WOW. Loved walking past all those lines.

  • Josh F

    Bird strike on my last flight. Caused a brief delay since we had to return and get checked…

  • Rui

    Had to teenage girls next to me that kept talking and laughing and wouldn’t let me sleep!

  • A tour company booked me on a one-way economy domestic Norway segment on SAS. I went to the self-check in/self-tag kiosks for my boarding pass and one large suitcase. The machine rejected my luggage as overweight (It was over 50 lbs.). I then walked on over to the Elite check-in/Star Alliance Gold where there was an actual person, thank goodness! Bag was accepted and arrived with me in Oslo.

  • Chris

    Last flight UA RSW-EWR, took an overnight bump for $300. Another day in the sun is always fun.

  • Chris

    Flight from ord to bos, took 15 minutes for a developmentally disabled child to board the plane

  • Natalie

    My last flight was via VX SAN-SFO, it was great aside from the weird chick who put her bare feet up above the seat in front of her. Cuckoo.

  • Ryan S

    I wish I had a more interesting flight story…after scrambling and getting Gold status (or any status!) for the first time in my life, I haven’t traveled but once this year…it’a strange how my work transitioned so quickly! Best I can do is I tried a new nonstop out of two airports I haven’t used before (CLE-MDT), nice simple flight on a tiny plane!

  • Michael H.(oldfox)

    My last flight was IAH (Houston) to Frankfurt, and I barely escaped disaster. When we landed at Frankfurt, there was a lot of snow causing slow movement of planes on the tarmac. It was 40 minutes before we got off. I ran like crazy to get my connection to Istanbul. The airport at Frankfurt is huge. I was breathless when I got ot the gate!

  • flyer708

    last flight was from KHH to HKG, last flight out of the evening, and only to realize it was canceled when I arrived at the counter. Didn’t get any notice. Had to take the first flight out the next morning. Wasn’t surprised, but would be nice to get notified though.

  • paul v

    On my last flight on a regional jet I watched with amusement when a passenger became very indignant that someone was in his seat (row 3)…ranted, raved, demanded to see the purported “violator’s” boarding pass, threatened to get the pilot involved. This irate person actually had a seat in row 13 but WANTED to sit near the front of the plane. Eventually went to his assigned seat loudly complaining that he was never flying this airline again! Ha!

  • Mark R.

    Last flight was FLL-DTW in FC – first off the plane & luggage was already spinning when I got to baggage (DL).

  • Amy

    I had a free Go Go wifi pass that I kept for 3 months waiting for a flight last week. The flight was to be the last segment on a trip home after a week in a country where I only had wifi if I paid and worked (walked to another hotel, etc) for it. My plan was perfect: I would save the pass (which expired Friday) for Wednesday’s flight. During the flight I would get through the stragglers from a week’s worth of email in my work account. I would delete all the pesky groupon and other emails from my personal account, then turn to reading my favorite travel and miles blogs.
    I boarded, plugged in my phone, and waited for my most productive three hour flight ever to begin. Of course (thanks AA), the power ports for my row didn’t work. (Even after the flight attendant reset them.). And because we stood by for an earlier flight, I didn’t have time to charge before the flight.
    My fantasies of arriving back from vacation totally on top of work were dashed. Instead I spent the flight irritated with myself and contemplating how to torture the woman in front of me who spent the entire flight fully reclined into my middle seat. (Because of course since we stood by, we lost our good seat assignments.)

  • I was flying from SJU to DFW and my seat mate had one of the most interesting life stories. She has lived a rough life, yet she had such a positive attitude.

  • Baqa

    LAX-SEA on AS, had a beautiful northern approach over the sunny Seattle skyline / waterfront. Made me happy to be home!

  • Amy

    I witnessed a less than pleasant flight attendant rudely tell a customer to pass through the aisle behind her as she leaned forward into an empty seat and when he tried to explain to her that she was leaning into “his” seat, she said “I can’t do anything with you standing there.” so he went past her and waited for her to move and then sat down. She was the rudest flight attendant I had ever seen. Southwest.

  • Michael M MA

    SWA BOS to BWI with the SWA Companion Pass taking my son with stay at the Radisson for Father’s Day weekend of baseball at Camden Yards. The simple points and miles life can be a blast.

  • Miles

    I flew from SFO to Austin on Southwest. After years of spurning WN in favor of the big international lines, I’ve been testing them out again.

    My conclusion so far is that it’s actually a decent airline, no worse than AA/DL/UA/US. The safety briefing was entertaining, flight attendants friendly, boarding process worked well.

  • jamie

    most recent flight was MCO-MDW on WN (Southwest). Thought that the best way to guarantee an empty seat next to me was to leave a middle seat between me and my 4 year old. Surely that’s the last seat anyone would want. I was right, it was the very last seat taken on a completely full flight. LOL. (Of course, I scooted my child over to the middle and let the grown-up sit in the window, but if there had actually been any extra seats, the one next to me would’ve been unoccupied).

  • phill gold

    last flight (for security will not state from/to) a passenger was getting unruly and a flight marshal sitting next to me in first identified himself and told passenger to sit or else would be detained.
    after i talked to marshal and it was his first week on job!!! lol, i assured him he did great, and being ex-military I had his back if need be.