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, www.johnnyjet.com.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: NWATagYourBag.com

NWATagYourBag.com
Check it out! A bunch of companies offer custom-made luggage tags, ones where you can upload the picture of your choice as a background. Well, for a limited time, Northwest Airlines is allowing their frequent fliers to redeem 1,000 WorldPerks® miles to create their own luggage tag(s). Just choose an image from your photo gallery and voila! The custom luggage tags also make a great gift for family or friends.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: MyDropCard.com

MyDropCard.com
This is not a travel website but it can definitely be useful for travelers, whether you’re traveling for leisure or business. Have you ever met someone on a plane or at a convention and wanted to give them your contact information, only to discover that you’ve run out of business cards? Instead of looking like a prehistoric fool and writing it on a napkin, just send them a text message! It’s that simple. Simply log onto MyDropCard.com and fill out the information fields (name, address, phone, website, etc) and hit save. It will also automatically capture your Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace URLs. It takes about three minutes to sign up and the service is free. Then, anytime you want to give someone your 411, just send a text with the word “drop” followed by their email address to 41411. For example, if you wanted to send me your contact info, simply send a text from your cell phone to “drop Johnny@JohnnyJet.com” to 41411. It’s that easy.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: http://quake.usgs.gov/

http://quake.usgs.gov/
I just arrived late last night into L.A. so I could attend this year’s NBTA and less than an hour ago I was greeted to a 5.8 quake. The L.A. convention center shook pretty good for about 5 seconds (it felt longer). Everyone headed for the door jam but everything seems to be fine now. Within a minute I logged on to the USGS website and sure enough it had the 5.8 magnitude and everyone was gathered around my laptop to get the 411.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: Aviation-Safety.net

Aviation-Safety.net
Flying is still much safer than driving, but have you ever wondered where you can find up-to-date information on airliner accidents and safety issues? The Aviation Safety Network (ASN) is a good place to start. Founded in the Netherlands in 1996, it covers accidents and safety issues with regards to airliners, military transport planes and corporate jets. Their database contains detailed descriptions of over 10,700 incidents, hijackings and accidents.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: Travel.alltop.com

Travel.alltop.com
If you’re one of those people who prefers to subscribe to RSS feeds rather than email newsletters, then you’ll love this cool new travel website. Travel.alltop.com aggregates the five most recently published stories from over 70 travel news sites and blogs (including yours truly, Johnny Jet’s Travel News). Just hover your cursor over the story of your liking for a detailed description. If you don’t want updates from any of the providers, you can customize your page and narrow down the number of feeds by x-ing out those you’re not interested in.

Friday, July 18, 2008

JohnnyJet.com Featured On CNN

Check it out! JohnnyJet.com was just featured on CNN (http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/living/2008/07/13/pkg.web.sites.cnn)! Host Niloufar Motamed from Travel and Leisure Magazine called it “one stop shopping for all types of travel”. What a way to begin a weekend! Happy Travels

Thursday, July 17, 2008

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: Eye.fi

Eye.fi
Everyone loves to share their vacation photos and now people can do it before they even leave their destination. The new Eye-Fi Explore Card allows travelers to wirelessly and automatically upload photos to their home computers and favorite photo-sharing website without the use of a cord or computer. Just get the special wireless SD memory card, turn on your camera and Eye-Fi will remotely upload your travel pictures to your home computer and photo-sharing account like Facebook or Flickr via Wayport hotspots; there are almost 10,000 nationwide. $129 MSRP. For more information, visit www.eye.fi.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: Google.com/goog411

Google.com/goog411
Google does it again as it continues to help travelers. Their new 411 information service is similar to regular 411, except that it’s free. Just dial 1-800-GOOG-411 (1-800-466-4411) to connect with local businesses. If you watch the 90-second video on the website above, a Google rep demonstrates ordering a pizza. Speaking of pizza, my stomach is starting to growl. I need to order one, too.

Monday, July 14, 2008

$59 O/W sale fares on Virgin America

A bunch of people have asked me how I scored the last minute $160 fare from LAX to JFK yesterdat. It appears it's because of Virgin America's "Summer Splash Fare Sale" which they just extended for a couple more days. Fares start at $59 one-way and most other airlines are matching it. Click here for more

Airline fees survival guide, part one

With airlines adding new fees seemingly every day, booking a flight is no longer a straightforward process. Simply popping an itinerary into a flexible-search engine and booking the cheapest fare will no longer work, because not every airline charges the same fees for the same services. You've got to work harder to find the best fare. Here are a few examples to show you the way. More info.

Friday, July 11, 2008

ExpressJet Airlines: Ready. Set. Gone on Sept 1

ExpressJet Airlines suspends branded commercial operations

ExpressJet Airlines announced today that it will suspend flying under several lines of its at-risk flying operations in September 2008. ExpressJet mutually agreed to terminate its agreements with Delta Air Lines effective September 1, 2008 and will cease its branded (XE) commercial passenger flight operations on September 2, 2008. The 39 aircraft currently used in these operations will be among those returned to the lessor no later than June 2009.
(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080221/NYFNSN01LOGO)

ExpressJet Airlines will continue flying a fleet of 205 aircraft as Continental Express to more than 150 destinations, as well as continue to serve charter customers with a fleet of 30 aircraft through ExpressJet Corporate Aviation.

"On behalf of everyone at ExpressJet Airlines, I would like to express our gratitude to the communities that provided such a warm welcome and were always supportive of our branded service," said Jim Ream, President and Chief Executive Officer. "If we had any other choice, we would not take this difficult action. However, rising fuel prices has made the operation impossible to sustain."

Tickets on ExpressJet Airlines for travel prior to September 2 will not be affected. In fact, ExpressJet will continue selling tickets for any customers desiring travel prior to September 2. Tickets are available for purchase online at http://www.expressjet.com, by calling 888.958.XJET (9538), and through most travelers' preferred providers, including travel agents and online distributors.

Customers holding tickets for a flight after September 1, 2008 should contact ExpressJet Reservations at 888-958-XJET (9538) to request a refund. Effective immediately, ExpressJet will stop selling tickets for travel beyond September 2, 2008. For more information, contact ExpressJet Reservations at 888-958-XJET (9538).

SOURCE ExpressJet Airlines 07/08/2008

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: SaferParks.org

SaferParks.org
Here’s a website for the whole family. No matter if you’re young or old, there’s something for everyone here if you like to visit amusement parks. Saferparks.org offers users safety tips, risk factors, public accident records, kids’ games and a whole lot more. So before you take the family to Six Flags or Disneyland, log on to SaferParks.org to become a more informed thrill seeker.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Airlines to charge for middle seats!

Can you believe airlines are beginning to charge for middle seats! Here's the story.

Monday, July 07, 2008

“Georgie Jet” has just departed New Zealand

My sister “Georgie Jet” has just left New Zealand to return home. However, if you want to see her awesome blog from the trip with daily pictures and stories log on to: http://www.georgiejet.blogspot.com/.

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: KeepYouSafe.com

KeepYouSafe.com
Ever since the invention of scanners, I’ve been preaching the importance of scanning important documents. Just empty your wallet and scan the fronts and backs of important cards and scan your passport. I keep these scanned files in a web-based email account that I hardly use but if you don’t feel comfortable doing that, keepyousafe.com is a new online safety deposit box that you can use for $4 a month. NOTE: This is not the same company we featured last year; that was an Australian website. This one is American, which might make you feel safer, though it really makes no difference. TIP: In addition to keeping your information online, always keep a photocopy of your passport and credit cards in a safe, separate place, just in case your bags and/or wallet get stolen. It’s also a good idea to leave a second copy at home with a loved one. This will allow you to cancel or get new cards or documents as soon as possible if necessary.

Friday, July 04, 2008

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!

The picture above was taken a couple weeks ago when I tried out Delta's new helicopter service to JFK. Here's the story:

U.S. HELICOPTER & DELTA
Delta arranged for me to try out their new helicopter service to and from JFK. It's operated by U.S. Helicopter, which used to offer it for American Airlines (here's that funny story I wrote two years ago). U.S. Helicopter is also partnered with Continental for passengers going to/from Newark.


WALL STREET HELIPORT
As everyone knows, getting to JFK can be a complete nightmare – you just never know how good or bad traffic will be and though AirTrain is inexpensive, it's a chore to navigate while lugging baggage. Well, thanks to U.S. Helicopter, nothing could possibly be any easier. U.S. Helicopter flies out of two NYC Heliports: East 34th Street (TSS) and Wall Street (JRB). To get to the latter, I jumped on the 5 Train from Grand Central (I could also have taken the 4 Train) and got off at the Wall Street stop. I walked six blocks through the heart of the money capital until I reached the river and then walked two blocks to the heliport. I had two small bags so it was easy but taking a taxi would have been even easier.


NYC TO JFK VIA HELICOPTER
At the heliport I checked in for my Delta flight to Los Angeles. It took 20 seconds and checking a bag would've added another 10 seconds. I then cleared what has to be the commercial aviation world's most secret, stress-free security checkpoint. There was no one around in the small building except for the two girls who checked me in and the three TSA agents working the checkpoint. Here, they have all the same safety measures as at an airport: laptops out, shoes off, no liquids ... except that everyone was relaxed and there was no tension in the air.

THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN NYC

EIGHT MINUTES TO JFK
After I'd put my shoes back on, I could have sat in one of the leather seats in the small but nice gate area. But I didn't even need to sit down because I arrived 15 minutes before departure so once I cleared security, the other passenger and I had a quick safety briefing and then were escorted out to the plush Sikorsky S-76 dual-engine helicopter, which holds eight passengers and two pilots. The co-pilot greeted us and gave us another quick safety check, then shut the door. What's interesting about helicopters is that the pilot is on the right-hand side, not on the left like in an airplane. Within seconds, we were off and treated to a spectacular view of the New York City skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge. Even though I'm afraid of heights I didn't have an ounce of fear. Not even sweaty hands. That's how big, stable and comfortable this thing is. We arrived at JFK eight minutes later. That's right – it took just eight minutes! A shuttle picked us up and drove us 300 yards to Delta's terminal building. That was it – I was done. No more security, no more checking in. Talk about a stress-free trip to the airport. And on top of that, my Delta upgrade went through.BTW: This helicopter service is not just for the super-rich. Prices begin at $159 each way, which is not much more than a premium car service. NOTE: US Helicopter does not operate on weekends, holidays or if there's low visibility. If the weather does get bad at the last minute, they will either refund your money or arrange a car service. To book your ticket, log on to either Delta.com or FlyUSHelicopter.com.
VIDEO
Here's a two-minute Johnny Jet video of my trip on the helicopter and I'm also linking to a video created by Delta's marketing guru, Brian Rutter. Plus, we also have all the Johnny Jet videos ever made on YouTube.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Where The Hell Is Matt II

A while back, we featured Matt Harding’s first YouTube video. It was simply amazing to watch him as he danced himself around the world ... no wonder the video received 10 million views! Well, Matt’s back and in this video, he invites the world to dance along with him as he circumnavigates the globe a second time. If you ask me, he’s done another fine job!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: Boingo


Do you want free WiFi that’s available at 500 airports, 17,000 hotels and even places like McDonald’s, Barnes & Noble, and The Coffee Bean? If the answer is yes, then listen up! This weekend Boingo, the world’s largest Wi-Fi network is celebrating Independence Day by giving users a free day pass if they download their software (Nothing in this world is free). If you want to get online this weekend to blog, chat, upload pics, or whatever – then surf over to http://www.boingo.com/freedom/.

OpenSkies and L’Avion tie the knot

British Airways announced today an agreement to buy French airline L’Avion and integrate the company with its new premium transatlantic subsidiary OpenSkies. The announcement follows OpenSkies’ launch of premium transatlantic service two weeks ago. The combined airline will operate up to three daily flights between Paris Orly and the New York area using Boeing 757 aircraft. For more info see http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/080702/nyw008.html?.v=101

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: http://apps.cbp.gov/bwt/

http://apps.cbp.gov/bwt/

With the economy in a slump and gas prices skyrocketing, we know many of you will be staying close to home this summer. But for those of you who still want to fit in some international travel without paying exorbitant airline fares, you can always visit our bordering countries the old-fashioned way. By foot! This website will help you plan your trip by monitoring pedestrian wait times at the border crossings. This website provides a table with estimated wait times for reaching the primary inspection booth, the first point of contact with CBP (Customs Border Protection), when crossing the Canada/U.S. and Mexico/U.S. land borders. Happy walking!