Reluctant Flier Jonathan Miles Takes a Pen to (Un)Friendly Skies

Dear American Airlines is dedicated to Brown, who was 53 when he died of a heart attack in 2004. "The saddest day of my life," Miles says, "was the day I finished the novel but couldn't call up Larry and tell him."

Brown never understood Miles' interest in journalism and travel.

But Miles says that when he began writing for GQ, Details and other magazines, he'd have done it "for the plane ticket alone. It seemed like such a delicious scam to me, getting someone else to fly me somewhere — anywhere. But the air travel experience has been degraded so much that now I'll do anything to avoid it. Now I want hazard pay just for heading to the airport."

On his tour, he's flying US Airways, United, Northwest, Delta and Alaska Airlines, but not American. "This is probably wise, karmically speaking," he says. "But I was kind of looking forward to sneaking copies of the book into the seat pockets."

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