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March 3, 2010

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WHERE'S JOHNNY JET?                    L.A. To Honolulu

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First of all my heart and prayers go out to all of those affected by the earthquake in Chile. That includes one of our writers, who's trapped in the southern part of the country on an assignment in Patagonia. Lisa McElroy and her husband, Steve, are safe but they can't get home to Pennsylvania to see their kids. (Here are the blog posts that Lisa wrote: The first one was 11 hours after the quake and the second 36 hours after.) For those who were contemplating not going to Hawaii or the South Pacific this week, give me your ticket-I will go for you. Seriously, don't let the news scare you. GO! It was comforting that the authorities were cautious and to see the tsunami warning systems in place and working. It's nice to know that if a quake like this happens again you will get a substantial warning unless you are right next to the epicenter or in a remote, desolate part of the world.

This week's edition includes stories and pictures from last week's travels, which took me to Honolulu and on a three-hour jaunt to Vega$ on Virgin America's private charter for their Fly Girls premiere. Check out our video of the week if you don't have time to read the story. In addition we have stories from Bruce Northam on skiing in Utah and on David Zuchowski's trip to Calgary, Canada. Congrats to our northern neighbors for hosting such a memorable Olympics-I hope to attend the next one.

P.S. The votes are in for which newsletter format style you like best, and it's a toss-up between the old and new (slide show). So for now we will just try and make everyone happy by doing a bit of both. This week our Virgin America story will be a slideshow and our Honolulu story is old-school.

I was fortunate to score an invite on Virgin America's private charter from LAX to Las Vegas to attend the premiere of their new Fly Girls show, which is debuting on the CW network on March 24 at 9:30 p.m. Fly Girls is a new reality docu-series that takes a 360-degree look at the airline's jet-setting flight crew.

Here's my slide show of the evening.

Aloha! I flew back to Hawaii last week, as I was invited by the tourism board and the Four Seasons Hotel to check out the island of Lana'i. But I didn't just want to go to Hawaii for four nights, so I made a pit stop in Honolulu on the way to Lana'i and back. This week I will tell you about my trip to Oahu (the island that the city of Honolulu is on) and next week will be Lana'i.

I had a 7:50 a.m. flight from LAX to Honolulu on American Airlines. When I rolled up to the gate area the agents were making an announcement that they were looking for three volunteers to give up their seats since the flight was oversold. In return, they would give those passengers a $500 American Airlines voucher and confirmed seats on American's next flight two and a half hours later. Hello McFly?! Of course I'm going to snag that deal, so I darted to the desk and was first in line. Unfortunately, they ended up not needing my seat, but they appreciated that I even offered. I appreciated that they even offered.

I kept my original seat and boarded the packed 757 plane. I had an aisle seat in the exit row in coach and sat next to a cool couple in their early twenties from Long Island who informed me that the terminals in LAX close during the middle of night except the Tom Bradley International Terminal. How do they know? They arrived into LAX late the night before and instead of splurging for a hotel for a few hours they slept in the airport. They said they didn't sleep too well on the airport floor, but they sure did on our five-hour-and-thirty-two-minute flight to Honolulu. It helped that there were no crying babies on the plane. What a difference that makes.

One beef I have with American is that we were on a morning flight going to a destination that's two hours behind and they were selling lunch items, not breakfast. Who wants a Boston Market beef brisket sandwich ($10), Caesar salad with chicken ($10), or cheese and crackers at 9 a.m.? Where's the ham, egg, and cheese bagel or a bowl of fruit and yogurt? I know, I should've packed my own, but what single guy has time to shop?

What's cool is that the flight attendants made an announcement that if there were any military on board who were hungry all they had to do is show their military ID and their food would be complimentary. They went on to say, "Thank you for serving our country. Now that made up for the lunch food at breakfast time and the fact that the flight attendants came down the aisles serving tap water from pitchers. Well, the latter should be an FAA violation, as those holding tanks are full of germs and the water tasted gnarly.

Two out of the four flight attendants were very nice, but the purser (lead flight attendant) had a bad attitude, and she's supposed to have the best. When I got on the plane I gave her a big Good Morning with a bright smile and she muttered hi. Maybe she was having a bad day, but you got to pick it up or call in sick instead of having a frown for the whole flight. Come on lady, we're going to Hawaii!

About 45 minutes out I asked my seatmate if he could see the Big Island from his window seat. He said he couldn't. I said, Well, in about five minutes you should be able to. Sure enough, there it was. A few minutes later I said, I better use the loo before the captain turns on the seat belt sign in about one minute. Right when I stepped foot into the bathroom sure enough-ding-on it came. I got back to my seat and they just looked at me smiling and saying, Who are you, James Bond? I said, no. Jet, Johnny Jet. They laughed. A few more things like that happened throughout the flight but I was just messing with them since I've done it so many times. It's just games frequent fliers sometimes play.

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Copyright 2010 JohnnyJet, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Pictures From

The Trip


Virgin America Story


Calgary Story


Ski Utah Story


AA Plane To HNL


Beef Sandwich For Breakfast




Landing at HNL





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Amy L. Scott
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