Salon recommends

Elliot Hester's hair-raising tales from 30,000 feet and more of our favorite new books.


Salon Staff
February 20, 2002 3:45AM (UTC)

What we're reading, what we're liking

Plane Insanity by Elliot Hester
Elliot Hester's column was one of the gems of Salon's late, lamented travel site, Wanderlust. Hester makes his living as an "in-flight bartender/referee/therapist" -- that is, as a flight attendant -- and this book collects many of the stories he has written about his adventures in the air. "Human behavior is rarely more incomprehensible than when witnessed in an airplane at 30,000 feet," Hester observes, and in his day he's witnessed reeking Frenchmen, vomiting kids, a fistfight in coach class, various animals running wild in the cabin, hysterical co-workers and couples who don't even bother to move to the lavatory when they decide to join the Mile High Club. A natural raconteur, Hester manages to be witty about even such unpromising topics as carry-on baggage restrictions, while his yarns about the jaw-droppingly bad behavior of travelers have given me a whole new respect for the patience of flight attendants everywhere.

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-- Laura Miller

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