GOING THE DISTANCE: THE LONGEST FLIGHTS IN THE WORLD
What is the final frontier of long-haul flying?
TRUMP AND THE TRAVEL BAN
Plus, the airlines of failed states, and meditations on a photograph.
THE SCOURGE OF INFLIGHT GARBAGE
The Passenger Hall of Shame, volume II. And, can a simple plastic bag save millions for an airline?
THOUGHTS ON THE MOVIE, “SULLY”
Plus, heroes, miracles, and others who weren’t so lucky.
ASK THE PILOT CHRISTMAS, 2016
A beautiful book about Pan Am, and the worst Christmas song of all time.
THE SILENT ANNIVERSARY
One of the most remarkable milestones in aviation history goes all but unmentioned.
LETTER FROM CHERNOBYL
A photo essay from the site of history’s worst nuclear accident.
HOW YA DOIN’, MISTER VICE PRESIDENT?
Politicians, planes, and pilot black magic. True stories of jinx and coincidence.
THE SHUTTLE SHUFFLE
Donald Trump’s failed airline, and a look back at the East Coast air shuttles.
The language of love, undone.
BOSTON TO THE MOON
The massive expansion of long-haul flying from Boston’s Logan Airport.
DAY OF THE COCKROACH
September 11th, then and now.
PILOTS AND ALCOHOL
Tough questions after two pilots are arrested in Glasgow.
LETTER FROM BOSTON: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PARK PLAZA HOTEL?
Out with the old; in with the trite.
EMIRATES 777 CRASH LANDS IN DUBAI
Plus, deadly stupidity redux. Passenger recklessness yet again.
SHOULD KIDS BE BANNED FROM FIRST AND BUSINESS CLASS?
Two experiences rekindle the debate.
The search for MH370 is finally called off.
THE UNITED STATES OF TRASH AND NEGLECT
Garbage is the new normal. Plus, what’s with all the plastic flossers?
TSA’s SUMMER MELTDOWN
The solution that nobody dares talk about. Also, seven ideas to make airport security better.
ODE TO THE 757. WHAT CAN REPLACE THIS MOST VERSATILE OF JETLINERS
And an open letter to Boeing. The hell with the 737, give us a real plane.
THE EGYPTAIR CRASH. WHAT HAPPENED TO FLIGHT 804?
Plus, the pros and cons of cockpit video streaming.
WELCOME TO HIDDEN AIRPORT: UNEXPECTED PLEASURES AT A TERMINAL NEAR YOU.
Update: The Boston connector, Kansas City easy, and underground Atlanta!
In the wake of the attacks in Brussels and Istanbul, some bad ideas for airport security.
THE FLY DUBAI CRASH IN RUSSIA
Was it windshear, pilot error, or something else?
ROYAL BRUNEI’S ALL-FEMALE COCKPIT CREW
Was it a political statement? Plus, remembering Apartheid, and the Saudi double standard.
THE WORLD’S COOLEST RESTAURANT.
Fine dining in a converted DC-10. Plus, the sad confessions of a non-foodie.
THE ESKIMO AND THE FLUORESCENT NOODLE
Tradition and travesty in the new Alaska Airlines livery. And, paintjobs to feel good about!
FACT AND FALLACY OF THE PILOT SHORTAGE
The pilot shortage is here, and it’s real. But what is it, exactly?
HIJACKING AS ART
A new movie about the heroine stewardess of Pan Am flight 73. And, the Golden Age of Air Crimes revisited.
Q&A WITH THE PILOT
Volume 3: Windshield wipers, busted windows, and other oddities of flight.
WHEN IS A COUNTRY NOT A COUNTRY?
Border-crossing conundrums for travelers.
Holiday travel worries are mostly a state of mind
WELCOME TO AMSTERDAM, THE AIRPORT OF QUIRKY CHARMS.
Plus: North latitude. A memoir from 1991.
HOLIDAY CREEP. THREE COOL BOOKS TO STICK UP YOUR STOCKING.
It’s never too early for an Ask the Pilot Christmas.
LASERS, LASERS, EVERYWHERE
Don’t shoot shoot shoot that thing at me. Plus, memories of hysterics past.
FIRST CLASS, LOW CLASS, NO CLASS
The passenger hall of shame.
WHEN A PILOT DIES IN FLIGHT
Pilots, Copilots, Heroics and Hyperbole.
CHECKED, SET, ROGER
The peculiar ballet of the cockpit checklist.
ET TU, KLM?
The parade of awful airline liveries continues.
DEADLY STUPIDITY: WHAT NOT TO DO IN AN EMERGENCY
Yet another incident of people taking their luggage during an evacuation.
THE DRONES DANGER
Even a small UAV is potentially deadly to a commercial plane.
THE GERMANWINGS DISASTER
Pilot suicide appears to be the culprit, but the conversation is out of control.
REMAINS OF THE DAY
Debris from MH370 washes ashore, and MH17 becomes the forgotten catastrophe.
THE GREATEST MOMENTS IN CIVIL AVIATION HISTORY
Three planes that changed the world.
Q&A WITH THE PILOT
Volume 2: Atlantic flying, landing gear, and everything you (never) wanted to know about lights.
FUMING OVER FUMES
Is there a hidden menace in cabin air?
THE NEW SCOURGE OF GLOBAL TRAVEL
Quick, what’s the worst thing to happen to sightseeing in the past 25 years?
THE HIJACKING OF TWA FLIGHT 847
Imagine this happening today. Plus, a look back at the Golden Age of Air Crimes.
THE LATEST TSA SCANDAL. ARE WE SURPRISED? SHOULD WE CARE?
What is a weapon, anyway? Plus, some ideas to make airport security better.
LUXURY AIRLINE SMACKDOWN: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE OVERRATED
Welcome aboard the world’s most elite airlines. What you find might surprise you.
PILOT REPORT: A FLIGHT WITH AIR MALTA
Amsterdam to Malta with this little-known European carrier.
PILOTLESS PLANES? NOT SO FAST
Busting the myth of the airplane that “flies itself.”
Q&A WITH THE PILOT
Volume 1: Everything you wanted to know about noisy exits, Ryanair pilots, rates of climb and more.
PILOTS AND COPILOTS. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?
Oh my god there’s a copilot at the controls!
THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE U.S. AIRPORT
We’ve done it to ourselves through flyer-unfriendly policies.
THE FACTS AND FALLACIES OF COCKPIT AUTOMATION
Are pilotless planes really in our future? An op-ed in the New York Times.
THE (SECOND?) GREATEST ALBUM OF ALL TIME TURNS 30
Forty fearless minutes of unstoppable energy.
OH MY GOD THERE’S DUCT TAPE ON MY PLANE!
So it might appear. The truth isn’t so scary.
HOMAGE TO THE BOARDING PASS WALLET
The weird and wonderful world of airline collectibles.
THE MEDIA’S AIRPLANE PROBLEM
The latest photo blunder, and how Hollywood gets it wrong.
THE CRASH OF AirAsia FLIGHT 5801
Flight tracking, distress calls and thunderstorms. Plus, the year 2014 in perspective.
THE DE-ICE MAN COMETH
Snow, Ice, and the perils of winter flying.
HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS FOR 2014: SIX COOL BOOKS TO STICK IN YOUR STOCKING
Plus: Memories of Holidays Aloft, and the Worst Christmas Song of All time.
AUTOMATION AND DISASTER
A rebuttal to the Vanity Fair story on the crash of Air France flight 447.
LETTER FROM HANOI
Traffic as art and chaos on the streets of Vietnam. Plus, a ride with EVA Air, Taiwan’s “other” airline.
LETTER FROM GHANA
Rubber floors, mysterious odors, and the world’s worst hotel artwork. Plus: the perils of room service.
AIR TRAVEL AND EBOLA
Which is the bigger worry, the deadly virus or panic and hysteria? Plus: when passengers get sick.
SEVEN ANNOYING MYTHS ABOUT FLYING
Most of what people think they know about flying is wrong.
THE LATEST AIRLINE LIVERIES: THE NIGHTMARE CONTINUES
From Southwest to Etihad, several airlines unveil new looks. The grades aren’t impressive.
SHOULD CHILDREN BE BANNED FROM FIRST AND BUSINESS CLASS?
A miserable experience on Asiana Airlines.
IMAGES FROM LIBERIA
As Africa grapples with the Ebola crisis, scenes on and around Roberts Field.
THE NAME GAME
The mangling of airline names is a tradition. Even The New Yorker can’t help itself.
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH THE 787
There are things to like, and things not to like, about Boeing’s newest jetliner.
THE CRASH CLUSTER
Multiple accidents this year have made travelers nervous. But take a look at history!
MALAYSIA AIRLINES JET SHOT DOWN IN UKRAINE
The crash of MH17 becomes the seventh-deadliest air disaster in history. Plus: flying over hostile areas.
NOW AND ZEN. THE GREATEST ALBUM OF ALL TURNS 30 YEARS-OLD!
Plus: a new documentary about one of the most important songwriters of our time.
TWO PLANES ALMOST COLLIDE IN BARCELONA. SORT OF, NOT REALLY.
Taking on the hype of a YouTube sensation. Plus: runway incursions for dummies.
ESCAPE SLIDE DEPLOYS IN FLIGHT. WHAT WENT WRONG?
Plus: Everything you need to know about doors, and What Not to do during an evacuation
Airport innovations south of the border. Plus: Mexico City, more than crime and grime.
BOSTON ARRESTS UNDERSCORE TSA HYPOCRISY
The folly of airline crew screening. And RIP Massimo Vignelli, creator of the “AA” logo.
FLYING WITH THE ONE PERCENT: BUSINESS CLASS ON THE A380
Plus: My strange childhood of airlines real and imagined.
STOWAWAY SURVIVES FLIGHT TO HAWAII IN LANDING GEAR BAY
And others who weren’t so lucky.
MY KINGDOM FOR A CUP HOLDER
Sometimes it’s the (really) small things.
Two classics are put to pasture, and the world of aviation is that much less colorful.
THE MALAYSIA AIRLINES MYSTERY
Where is Flight 370?
NONSENSE FROM THE HUFFINGTON POST
HuffPo scrapes bottom with a goofy list of half-truths. Come on, who needs a fact-checker?
Everything You Need to Know About Flying Through Rough Air.
RUMMAGING THROUGH THE SEAT POCKET OF THE MIND, Volume 1
Armrests from hell; the language of luggage; and more annoying flight attendant habits!
ICE, SNOW, AND AIRPLANES
Icing, Deicing, and the Travails of Winter Flying.
FEARFUL FLYERS TAKE HOPE
If you think you’re incurable, SOAR might be the medicine you need.
YAK HUNTING IN LIBERIA: A PHOTO ESSAY FROM WEST AFRICA
What’s the odd attraction to old abandoned airplanes?
AMERICAN AIRLINES TO KEEP NEW LIVERY
But, was the election rigged? It’s the logo, stupid!
TSA TO EXPAND PRECHECK PROGRAM
There are things to like about PreCheck, and things to not like. Plus: three ideas to speed-up security.
A LOOK AT THE ASIANA CRASH IN SAN FRANCISCO
What went wrong, and how? Plus, are Korean carriers safe?
SORRY, WRONG AIRPORT… AGAIN
First it was a 747 in Kansas. Now a Southwest 737. How do these things happen?
ECONOMY CLASS, DONE RIGHT
The woes of steerage, and some ideas to make it better.
GUNS AT THE CHECKPOINT
Should TSA screeners be permitted to carry weapons?
LET YOUR GADGETS FLY
The FAA eases the rules on PEDs. But let’s hop the phone ban stays in place.
SAFETY VIDEO HELL
Virgin America’s new safety video leaves passengers gasping for air.
R.I.P LOU REED
Plus, the Simpsons, the Replacements, and the Arc of Creative Decline
THERE’S NO FLYING IN BASEBALL?
The strange parallels between flying and America’s favorite pastime.
A CHAT WITH THE CRANKY FLIER
An interview with Brett Snyder, host of CrankyFlier.com
LETTER FROM JFK
Will Kennedy Airport’s famous TWA terminal become a boutique hotel?
THE THINGS WE CARRY
All those gadgets and gizmos are supposed to make life easier. Do they?
THE NOISY, SWEATY MISERY OF SMALL PLANES
In a cramped cockpit over Cape Cod, I want nothing more than to be down on the beach.
A photographic toast to one of the world’s great cities.
ASK THE PILOT VOTED ONE OF TIME’S BEST BLOGS OF THE YEAR
TIME includes ASK THE PILOT on its list of best blogs of 2013.
TWA 800 REVISITED
17 Years ago a 747 blew up over Long Island. What really happened?
NONSENSE FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES
A frequent flier describes 90-degree banks and disoriented pilots. Did it really happen?
LANDING GEAR COLLAPSES AT LA GUARDIA
Plus, remembering LGA’s friendly old control tower.
DOWN & OUT AT THE YANKEE CLIPPER. MY FAVORITE AIRPORT RESTAURANT HITS THE SKIDS.
Is there a future for non-chain restaurants at airports?
THE SKIES BELONG TO US
A great new book: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking.
FLIGHT OF FANCY
Calling foul on a trumped-up story in the New York Times.
TSA POSTPONES NEW CARRY-ON RULES
Moving the security conversation out from under the emotions of 9/11.
LETTER FROM BOSTON
Terror in perspective, and the sad spectacle of a city gone bonkers.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, YOU’VE BEEN SEQUESTERED
Air traffic control delays and Congressional gridlock.
HIJACK BY ANDROID?
Can you really take over a plane using a smartphone application?
AIRFARES BY THE POUND
A tiny Samoan airline is charging fares based on the weight of its customers.
PLANES, PRANKS, AND PRAISE: ODE TO AN AIRPORT
From terrazzo floors to exploding soda cans, here’s Boston’s airport like you’ve never seen it.
“ARGO” GETS ITS PLANES WRONG
Hollywood puts considerable efforts into getting period details correct. Except when it comes to planes.
AIRFARES DOWN 50 PERCENT SINCE 1978, STUDY SHOWS
Flying is cheaper than ever. Plus, the myth of the Golden Age.
AMERICAN AND US AIRWAYS TO FORM THE WORLD’S LARGEST AIRLINE
Except not necessarily. A look at mergers, and when biggest isn’t really the biggest.
MORE MEDIA NONSENSE ABOUT COCKPIT AUTOMATION
“The Daily Show” and “Wired” are the latest purveyors of the Myth that Won’t Die.
THE FAA GROUNDS ALL 787s AFTER YET ANOTHER BATTERY FIRE
What does it mean for the future of Boeing’s showcase jetliner?
AN ASK THE PILOT CHRISTMAS
Memories of holidays aloft. Plus, the worst Christmas song of all time.
A RIDE ON THE 787
Boeing’s new jet is sleek and comfortable. But could they please fix the windows?
THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE CONCORDE DISASTER
What really happened in Paris twelve years ago?
PILOTS, ALCOHOL, HOLLYWOOD AND FARCE
A look at Denzel Washington in “Flight.”
IN DEFENSE OF FLYING. IS IT REALLY THAT AWFUL?
A different look at the woes and hassles of air travel.
JUST ROLL DOWN THE WINDOW, SAYS MITT ROMNEY
The facts and fallacies of cabin pressure.
THE UGLIEST PLANES OF ALL TIME
We’re told that modern aircraft are boring because they have to be. Is it so?
HAVE PILLOW, WILL TRAVEL
From whence the phenomenon of teenage girls carrying giant pillows onto planes?
HOW TO SPEAK AIRLINE: A GLOSSARY FOR TRAVELERS
A key to deciphering the insufferable jargon of air travel.
LETTER FROM MUMBAI
An afternoon in “Maximum City.”
AIR TRAVEL IN ART, MUSIC, AND FILM
Movies, songs, album covers. From Kieslowski to the Clash, air travel is everywhere!
THE JOURNEY OF THE POTATO
The mystery of the funniest-ever pamphlet is solved at last.
Visit the Blog Archive Back to the Ask the Pilot Home Page Back to Top!