With high hopes for the public and the entire air travel industry, the US Federal government deregulated the airlines in the 1970s. The effect was chaotic fares, fewer airlines and a decline in service. This book discloses how good intentions went wrong and how deregulation's promising take-off led to a disastrous nose dive. Tracing 18 years of deregulation, the authors survey and analyze all the clashes, and describe the colourful characters who have changed the face of the industry. The book explains why the start-up airlines never succeeded, and how computer reservations and the hub-and-spoke airport system strengthened the larger airlines while strangling smaller ones, creating a debacle that continues today.