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Reviewed by Dr. Jordan Alexander for Readers' Favorite
So You Want to Fly Private? The Rules by Shannon McDermott is a laugh-out-loud, flirty, fun exposé into the aviation industry. Inspired by true stories, McDermott tells all - from celebrities to wannabees, best tippers, and worst travelers. She holds nothing back, including the colorful language used on the flight deck, with unruly passengers and sometimes cool and other times cringy crew. It comes with a warning; the content includes crude humor, reference to drugs and alcohol, and sexual content. All are part and parcel of what your average CFA faces each flight. Even the cartoons need caution as they add giddy graphics to this tell-all tale.
So You Want to Fly Private? contains ten rules for charters, such as don’t make ridiculous catering requests, CFAs are not hookers in disguise, and please, for the love of God, do not do a number two in the lavatory. Each chapter ends with CFA Advice with friendly tips such as no, you cannot do drugs on the plane, and The TEA section is where you get the insider scoop on things like how much Beyonce, Taylor Swift, and Oprah paid for their planes; around $40 million each. A regular traveler myself, I learned a ton about flying private, the origins of the Mile High Club, and how to join properly, plus many benefits of chartering a plane. Did you know there are no security or luggage checks? You will also never miss your flight because you decide when to leave!
I appreciated the Aviation Lingo Glossary that McDermott uses to warm us up on what to expect. Her sarcasm permeates every definition and each paragraph thereafter. No one, not even the captain and co-pilot, can reach the emergency exit unscathed. Flying private is not as exclusive as I thought, and the seasoned CFA reveals ways for commoners to try it at reduced rates. I gained a new appreciation for what happens behind the scenes. Erratic work schedules mean they suffer from health issues including sleep disorders, depression, fatigue, and anxiety. So next time you are flying, spare a thought and leave a hefty tip for your flight crew. In the meantime, take Sinatra’s advice to come to fly with me and pick up a copy of ShannonMcDermott’s hilarious story.