10 Must Read Books If You Hate Flying

Posted on July 27, 2022

by Eric P

It hasn’t been a great summer for air travel. Unexpected delays, cancelled flights, lost bags, understaffed airlines – your best bet, if you want to enjoy your vacation, is to stay home. Thanks a lot, Orville and Wilbur.

And then there are the tantrums from volatile passengers. You know William Shatner in that old Twilight Zone episode? The one where he freaks out and keeps yelling at the window and has to be restrained by everyone else on the plane? Nowadays, flight crews just call that Tuesday.

So if you find yourself stranded near a departure gate, or waiting forlornly next to an empty baggage carousel, maybe you might want to take your mind off your misery by reading about travelers who are having even worse luck than you. Here are ten books that are emphatically not endorsed by the TSA.

Death in the Clouds

Death in the Clouds by Agatha Christie

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Hello, customer service? Hercules Poirot would like to lodge a few complaints about the flight. First, there was a bug. Also, there was murder. Worst of all, the in-flight movie was Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile.


Airport by Arthur Hailey

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It’s a bad night to be stuck at Lincoln International Airport. There’s a massive snowstorm. One of the runways is blocked. And the Cinnabon just ran out of napkins.

Turbulence by Samit Basu


Everyone aboard a London-to-Delhi flight develops extraordinary abilities upon landing. Besides, I mean, the usual ability to stand up and block the aisle as soon as the plane reaches the gate.

The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian

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The good news is that your flight attendant isn’t ignoring your call button because she doesn’t like you; she’s ignoring it because she’s hungover and might possibly have recently murdered somebody. So maybe hold off a second on asking her for that second bag of Craisins.

Flight or Fright by Stephen King and Others

eAudiobook | Audiobook

Please be careful when opening the overhead bins, as their contents may have become possessed by evil spirits during flight.

The Dead Girl in 2A by Carter Wilson

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Amenities on this flight include wi-fi, inflight entertainment, and, for our elite and platinum passengers, complimentary recovery of weird repressed memories.

The Last Flight by Julie Clark

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Two women who meet in an airport decide to switch identities, which is pretty unrealistic. In real life they’d just get stuck with each other’s suitcases.

Falling by T.J. Newman

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As a reminder, extortion is not permitted in any part of the aircraft, including the cockpit. Any attempt to bypass this prohibition could be extremely exciting.

Hostage by Clare Mackintosh

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The worst thing you can encounter on a twenty-hour international flight is brutal hijackers. Second worst is a guy in front of you who reclines his seat all the way back.

The Gravity of Missing Things by Marisa Urgo

Thank you for calling the airline help center. If you’re calling about a missing bag, please press one. If you’re calling about a missing plane, please flail wildly at the keypad in panic.


And here’s a bonus piece of nonfiction about the early 70s when hijacking commercial airlines was just kind of a groovy fad that everyone was trying, like bell bottoms, and Jacuzzis, and alienation.

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