Johnny Jet's Travel Blog

Travel blog featuring best travel sites, travel deals, travel guides, effective travel tips, daily stories with up-to-date travel information, travel pictures, travel webcams. For more, visit my travel portal,

Friday, May 30, 2008

SilverJet bites the bullet

First MaxJet, then Eos and now SilverJet is the latest business-only airline to halt service. For those who are booked to fly them from either of their three airports (Newark, London’s Luton or Dubai) … “You are advised to seek alternative travel arrangements with other carriers, and contact your credit card company or travel agent directly for information on obtaining refunds.”

This website is like the JohnnyJet of the TV news world. Instead of logging on to different local TV news websites, lays out more than 150 sites on three pages for easy reference. This way, you can get your news fill … raw and unedited on your computer at work, at home or from anywhere in the world. It’s perfect for people who just want to see what’s going on in their destination before they arrive.

Thursday, May 29, 2008



In no particular order, mind you ...
1. Use sleeping pills. Consult your doctor but Ambien seems to be the drug of choice.

2. Bring a blanket and pillow. Many airlines have cut back which means you might not even get one and if you do, it probably won't be very comfortable or clean (unless you are in business or first class). Many companies sell travel pillows/blankets from DreamSack (you can buy it here) to Satori.

3. Wear comfortable clothing. Smart travelers look sharp when boarding and deplaning but in between, they change out of their restrictive clothing and into pajamas, sweat pants and/or cozy socks.

4. Bring your iPod, Bose noise-canceling headset and earplugs. Need I say more?

5. Travel armed with magazines, newspapers and books. Everyone needs something good to read to pass the time.

6. Bring an eye mask. I don't like the cheap scratchy ones that the airlines pass out – instead, spend $9 and buy a fluffy one that will make you look silly but feel fresh. I have one from Lewis & Clarke.

8. Filter your air. I haven't used this yet but I like the concept of filtering the re-circulating air (

9. Bring snacks.

10. Get your game on. If you are traveling with someone, bring a deck of cards or games. My favorite is Travel Scrabble.

11. Reserve a good seat! Consult or for the choice ones.

12. Put on a smile and bring a box of chocolates. Be nice to the gate agents and flight attendants. They can make or break your flight.

John E. DiScala (a.k.a. Johnny Jet) travels over 150,000 miles and visits over 20 countries each year. He and his website have been featured over 1,000 times in major publications, including USA Today, Time, Fortune and The New York Times, and he has appeared on ABC, CBS, CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, FOX News Channel and PBS. has been named "one of the top best money-saving web sites for travel" by Budget Travel Magazine, while the L.A. Times calls it "one of the top 10 essential travel resources on the internet." In the May 2007 issue of Outside Magazine, Johnny Jet was touted for having one of the world's best "dream jobs". Every week, Johnny hosts a "travel website of the week" for several radio stations around the country, he writes weekly for and he has written for USAToday, The Boston Herald and Coast Magazine. Sign up today for Johnny Jet’s free weekly travel newsletter at

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

This website was designed for homebuyers, renters and real estate agents to help them find houses and apartments in great neighborhoods. But I think it’s even more useful for travelers as it shows users a map of what's nearby and calculates the walking distance to nearby attractions. It also rates the address in terms of a Walk Score – doling out scores out of 100, based on ease of access to things like restaurants, grocery stores, parks, libraries and cinemas. I just entered in the address where I’m currently staying in New York City and it was rated 100 – and I couldn’t agree more! I have everything I need within a seven-block radius. So, no matter where you’re staying, at a hotel or someone’s house, log on to see just how “walkable” the neighborhood is. Not only is walking good for your wallet (you don’t need to spend money on transportation!), but it’s also good for your health and the environment.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Everyone knows how important it is to regularly monitor their credit reports. But it's even more crucial for travelers, because they're very susceptible to the growing threat of identity theft. That's why a service like Wallet Shield is worth the monthly $12 fee. The best part about it is that each week, you'll be informed via email if any changes have been made to your account. In addition, members can take advantage of a slew of other services including credit card fraud protection and identity theft insurance.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

YIKES! AA to Charge For 1st Checked Bag

I warned everyone back in February that the airlines were going to go to Ala Carte pricing. Well, AA is following Spirit Airlines who began this practice months ago. Customers who purchase domestic economy class tickets on or after June 15, 2008 will be charged $15 each way for the first checked bag and $25 each way for the second checked bag. Our carry-on policy of one personal item (such as a purse or laptop bag) plus one bag remains in place.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

New York's AirTrain

When I landed it was rush hour so rather than pay $65 for a taxi or car service and then having to sit in traffic, I spent just $7 for the train, which took the same amount of time as driving. This was quick because I was traveling by myself and didn't have much luggage. It's easy as I just followed the signs. I took the AirTrain to Jamaica Station, which took 10 minutes and cost $5 (you pay when you get off, using a Metro Card). The Metro Card machines are easy to use and there are plenty of them. Prices vary, depending on where you're going. I was headed to the Upper East Side so I took the E Train (subway) to 53rd and Lexington Avenue, then transferred to the 6 Train for just $2. Door-to-door took me exactly one hour!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Do you fly American Airlines (AA) a lot? If yes, are you sick and tired of watching the same old boring movies over and over? OK ... listen up! AA is asking customers and flight attendants to participate in an in-flight movie selection process. Each month, customers and flight attendants are invited to visit American’s new entertainment web site,, where they can give two thumbs up for their movie favorites. It’s for the movies that will be shown on the main screen during domestic flights and the monthly selection sessions begin on approximately the tenth day of each month and remain open for seven consecutive days. Majority rules and the lists of selected titles will be posted here:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hilton Hotels is an official sponsor of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams. In preparation for the upcoming Beijing Games, they’ve asked a select group of outside experts (including yours truly) with backgrounds in travel, cultural awareness and character development, to provide unique perspectives on hospitality and the dos and don'ts of international travel. What an honor it is to be included in their Be Hospitable® traveler program. I hope Team USA, along with any other business and leisure travelers, will learn some important tips on Chinese customs, culture and etiquette.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

China earthquake-relief efforts

I returned from China the day before the earthquake and my heart and prayers go out to all those involved. The Chinese could not have been any nicer or welcoming and watching the horrible images on TV makes me feel so sad and helpless. Below is a list of organizations and groups working on China earthquake-relief efforts.

Red Cross: Providing emergency relief. Donate to Red Cross International Relief Fund via or American Red Cross International Response Fund, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

Church World Service: Supporting China-based Amity Foundation in providing emergency relief and rebuilding assistance. Donate via or 800-297-1516 or P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN, 46515. Please designate: Appeal # 699-B, 2008 China Earthquake Response.

Mercy Corps: Providing emergency relief. Donate via, 800-852-2100 or China Earthquake Fund, Dept. NR, P.O. Box 2669, Portland, OR 97208.

Operation USA: Planning to assist in reconstruction of schools and clinics. Donate via, 800-678-7255 or 3617 Hayden Ave., Suite A, Culver City, CA 90232.

If you’re an American who frequently travels internationally (at least four trips a year), you’ll appreciate this new Global Entry program managed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It’s similar to the Registered Traveler program (, which is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and creates a separate line at airport checkpoints for fee-paying passengers. Global Entry does the same but for clearance upon arrival into the United States for pre-approved, low-risk travelers. It kicks off on June 10 at three U.S. airports: New York’s JFK Terminal 4, Washington-Dulles International Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Applicants can apply online for a non-refundable, $100 per person processing fee and it’s only for U.S. citizens and U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents aged 14 years and older.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


This site is for all you travelers out there who also aspire to be music producers ... and are bored as can be in your hotel room. This Swedish website lets users create and record their own loops so they can be played back and sent to friends. It takes about a minute to load but it’s hilarious so be patient.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Ever wonder if your flight is going to depart on time or not? Well, you might have better luck playing roulette! But for better odds, log on to to find out what these experts predict. The estimates are based on historical data and it depends on which airport you are flying to/from and the time of your flight. They project four to five months in the future but they do not take into consideration "in the moment" delays such as weather or technical difficulties. I’m not too sure how accurate this information is, even though they claim that analytical professionals with a strong base in statistics run it.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Are you one of the few people who travel without a cell phone? If you are, then listen up. This website provides long-distance calling and prepaid phone cards for customers who are looking for a clear connection and cheap long distance rates. Supposedly, the prepaid phone cards offer the lowest rates with no or low connection fees. You can purchase a card on their website to receive a PIN instantly.