Johnny Jet's Travel Blog

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Marriott's Spirit of Aloha Tour

The reason the Marriott Hotels of Hawaii invited me out was so I would tweet (my Twitter handle is @JohnnyJet) about their upcoming four-week 12-city Spirit of Aloha Tour, which kicked off last week. I was on hand for their Phoenix party as well.

What I love about Marriott is that they are always coming up with clever ways to promote their brand and along the way help other people. On this tour they are bringing a whole slew (a busload) of Hawaiian entertainers including lovely hula dancers, musicians, and a fireknife dancer from Hawaii's Polynesian Cultural Center. They are performing and teaching the hula to patients at 11 Children's Miracle Network hospitals across the country.

Marriott's Spirit of Aloha Tour began on January 11 at the Kapi‘olani Center for Women & Children in Honolulu; the first destination on the mainland was the Phoenix Children's Hospital on January 19, followed by stops in Dallas and Houston. Here's the rest of the schedule:

• Children's Healthcare of Atlanta – Thursday, January 28
• Levine Children's, Charlotte, NC – Saturday, January 30
• Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville – Monday, February 1
• Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, St. Louis – Tuesday, February 2
• The Children's Hospital, Denver – Friday, February 5
• Children's Miracle Network headquarters, Salt Lake City – Tuesday, February 9
• Children's Hospital Los Angeles – Thursday, February 11

Marriott has been working with the Children's Miracle Network for 26 years and has raised more than $66 million to help sick and injured children in local communities. If you see their colorful bus drive by, be sure to stick out your hand and flash them a Shaka sign. Read on ...

Cousin Marie Scofield

From Phoenix I flew back to Los Angeles on Southwest and was supposed to fly straight to JFK on Delta to attend the funeral of my great cousin Marie later that day in Connecticut. Marie died last week at the age of 91. She was a very special person and reminded me a lot of my mom (they were best friends as well as cousins).

Unfortunately, Marie didn't have any kids of her own and her husband died years ago so she was home alone most of the time. My cousin Karen took care of her like she was her own mother and I used to call her at least once a week to check in and always sent postcards from wherever I went. She got a huge kick out of them and always carried them to the hospital to show the nurses as they filled her up with chemo.

I felt so guilty not getting on the plane but I was coming down with a cold and exhausted so I thought it was best for everyone if I stayed home. That evening my cousin Ray—who is probably the most eloquent writer I know—sent me an email with the subject line: You were there believe me. The body of the email read: "Today at Marie's service you were mentioned like you were her one and only son. You kept her alive, you took her places she never dreamed of, and because of you she is always going to be remembered as the little person who filled the room and the world with love and laughter! Please know you were in her heart bigger than any place you have ever visited." This has to be one of the nicest emails I've ever received, which is why I felt compelled to share it. I hope you keep Marie in your prayers.

Pics and Stories from Lyon, France

The first thing I did after collecting my luggage at baggage claim was hit the ATM to get some crisp Euros. I do this every time I land in a new country. TIP: Stay away from the currency exchange booths because they will rip you off. However, if you are traveling with a bunch of people and you all want to exchange cash, pool your money so you won't all have to pay the change fee. Read on ...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Los Angeles Airline Memorabilia Show 2010

On Saturday I attended the bi-annual Los Angeles Airline Memorabilia Show & Sale at the Hacienda Hotel near LAX. My friend and Tahiti travel specialist Jean-Louis has a table of his own goods and encouraged me to come down. It wasn’t too difficult to convince me since I love aviation and LAX is right near my house. To see what travel products were on offer, check out my 20-picture slideshow. Read on...

Friday, January 22, 2010


Thursday, January 21, 2010

FEATURED STORY: New York City 2010 Events

New York City 2010 Events
It's a new year, which means a new roster of fun and interesting events in this great place we call New York City. I've compiled a list of some of the more popular events coming up this year. Put them on your calendar: You won't want to miss out! Read on...


Our "Twitterer of the Week" goes to ...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Kauai, Hawaii

Monday, January 18, 2010

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Martin Luther King "I have a dream"

Southwest Airlines WI-FI

I just flew Southwest Airlines from LAX to PHX. When I boarded the 737 I was excited to see an information card stating the plane was equipped with Wi-Fi and available for $2 to $12 per segment. When we reached 10,000 feet I turned on my computer to see what the charge was and was shocked it was $8. EIGHT DOLLARS! The flight is only 51 minutes and when you factor in one can only be on your laptop when you reach 10,000 feet and you usually have to stow your belongings 20 minutes out I would’ve had enough time to reply to one email. However, I probably would’ve paid $2 since I’m addicted to the WWW.

Friday, January 15, 2010

VIDEO OF THE DAY: The Island of Kauai

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Help Aid Haiti

Haiti needs money not volunteers. The easiest way to donate is send a text "haiti" to 90999 to automatically make a $10 donation to the Red Cross. You can also text "yele" to 501501 for a $5 donation. Other travel industry ways include:

Delta customers can donate SkyMiles to the Red Cross thru SkyWish.

Continental customers can donate OnePass miles to Red Cross

United Mileage Plus members can donate by logging on to

American Airlines AAdvantage members can donate to the American Red Cross

Virgin United’s link is

HiltonHHonors points for relief efforts

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


First of all, our hearts and prayers go out to all those in Haiti - hundreds of thousands of people could have died in yesterday's earthquake. According to President Obama, Americans trying to locate family members should contact the State Department at 888-407-4747. If you wish to donate, here are the links for the American Red Cross and Wyclef Jean's Yéle Haiti. Delta customers can also donate SkyMiles to the Red Cross to aid Haiti relief efforts thru SkyWish.

Monday, January 11, 2010

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: The Tallest Building in the World

The Tallest Building in the World
Last week the tallest building in the world was unveiled in Dubai. The $1.5 billion (U.S. Dollars) 160-floor tapering metal-and-glass spire is being billed as a "vertical city," as it has apartments, offices, restaurants, stores, pools (4), a private library, and a hotel (designed by Giorgio Armani). I hope to visit it in the next few months to give you a firsthand account, but for now here's its website.

Friday, January 08, 2010

In the last couple weeks the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) has come under fire by the media and the general public, as they rightly should. The TSA seems to make one mistake after another, including going after my two travel colleagues for posting a security directive that the TSA had sent to 10,000 airline and airport workers. Hopefully, President Obama is going to clean house and make the agency start over on how they do security checks, because what goes on right now in the airports is basically security theater. If I were the head of the TSA I would hire the folks who are in charge of Israel's Ben Gurion Airport and the security detail for El Al, Israel's national airline. These folks have it down pat, as I experienced firsthand a few months ago. Here's a fantastic article about how Israel deals with their security threats (they get over a dozen a day). In the meantime, here's a website that pokes fun of the TSA's ridiculous rules instituted last week- like passengers must stay in their seats for the last hour on U.S.-bound flights and they can't touch their carry-ons or even read the in-flight magazine-called The TSA in this case stands for Travel Safe Activities; the website will explain the rest. BTW: To my knowledge all those asinine rules have been lifted.

FEATURED STORY: Become SCUBA Certified Overseas

Take the Plunge: Become SCUBA Certified Overseas

by Rebecca Harris Thompson

I didn't mean to become SCUBA certified on my recent vacation to Fiji, but 1.) I was staying at Jean-Michel Cousteau's Resort (the man's father basically invented diving); 2.) the water temperature was a lot warmer in Fiji than back home in Los Angeles; 3.) the visibility was between 50 and 100 feet; and 4.) the snorkel just wasn't a long enough leash. Read on...

Thursday, January 07, 2010

SLIDESHOW OF THE DAY: Guadalajara and Tequila, Mexico

Last week I left off from Bogota, Colombia; from there I traveled to Guadalajara, Mexico, via Mexico City. Here are 20+ photos from my trip.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

SLIDESHOW OF THE DAY: Rose Parade Floats

I don't know about you, but New Year's Eve to me is the most overrated night of the year. I found the perfect fun, free alternative to spending a lot of money at some restaurant or bar with people you don't know who won't stop spilling their drink(s) on you. It's visiting the Rose Parade floats while they add last-minute touches; the action starts around 10 p.m. and lasts until the parade begins at 8 a.m.

Monday, January 04, 2010

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Hotel Security

Saturday, January 02, 2010

What Israel can teach us about security

This Star Newspaper article "What Israel can teach us about security" is so true! I wish the American/Canadian public would demand that our government do an overhaul of our airport security.

I was in Ben Gurion Airport last May and flew EL AL to (here's the
story) and from (story) Toronto. It was a pleasant and eye opener experience.

FYI: The Photo Above is the first security check point entering Ben Gurion Airport.