A Letter from the Publisher: Jan. 13, 1986

The writer of a major TIME story rarely works in the field, relying instead on the magazine's network of correspondents and reporter-researchers. For this week's story on People Express and the deregulated airline industry, however, Associate Editor Charles Alexander decided to do things differently. "I usually write about abstract things like economic policy," he says. "My previous cover story was on the budget deficit, and I got buried under statistical reports. This one was a change of pace, a consumer-oriented subject. It made sense to take a firsthand look."

That approach included booking his first flight on the airline, an orderly...

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