TRAVEL NEWS, TIPS & STORIES
CheapTickets.com offers amazing deals to meet all your travel needs. You’ll get the guaranteed lowest rate on hotels, free upgrades on rental cars, and access to airfares you won’t find anywhere else. See for yourself how simple finding great deals can be.
Web Cam's of the Week * Website of the Week * Special Offers * Bonus Mile Offers * Where's Johnny Jet? * Reader Tip of the Week * SkyGirls ?'s * SkyGuys ?'s * Jet Captain ?'s * Celeb Q&A * Chicago Tribune * LA Times * NY Times * Washington Post * USAToday * Columnists * Other News * Frommers * ABC News * CNN * MSNBC * Good to Know!
|LIVE WEB CAMS OF THE WEEK|
|WEBSITE OF THE WEEK|
Security Game - Can YOU Spot The Threats?
Baggage screening is our last defense against terrorist at airports. If you've always wondered what it was like to be a baggage screener, now is your chance. This website (brought to you by MSNBC) lets you take a 2-minute shift in that important position. After a quick introduction, your job will be to "red flag" any bags containing potential threats (bombs, guns, knives...). Don't mess up!
As a TSA agent you have the ability to stop any bag on the conveyor belt. After doing that you can zoom in, zoom out, switch to a black-and-white view, or add color to better spot any suspicious explosives (as you will learn, these come up in orange).
During your shift you will hear typical airport background noises, such as flights and passenger names being paged over the P.A. If those sounds aren't distracting enough, wait until you stop a bag for closer inspection and take too long. You're sure to get flak from angry passengers saying, "Come on, hurry up, I got a plane to catch!" Or, "My grandma can do a faster job than that!" But ignore them; just concentrate and do your job.
At the end of every shift you will be notified how many bags you screened, how many contained potential threats, how many threats you correctly identified, any false alarms you declared, and your grade. Everyone's shift is different, so try multiple times and see how well you do as a baggage screener.
And keep in mind: If a real baggage screener missed one threat, he or she would be fired.
As you can see, baggage screening is only as effective as the people behind the machine. I bet you'll be a bit more patient the next time you fly, right?
Here's an example: Woman gets past N.Y. airport security with stun gun, knife
BOOK ONLINE WITH JOHNNYJET.COM!
Orbitz • Expedia • Travelocity • SideStep • Hotwire • Priceline • Delta Air Lines
BOOK ONLINE WITH JOHNNYJET.COM!
Hotels.com •1800USAHotel • Lodging.com • SideStep • Expedia • Orbitz • Travelocity • Priceline • Hotwire
BOOK ONLINE WITH JOHNNYJET.COM!
Auto Europe • Budget • Enterprise • Hertz • Thrifty • SideStep • Expedia • Orbitz • Travelocity • Hotwire • Priceline
BOOK ONLINE WITH JOHNNYJET.COM!
Cruise Deals • Cruise 411 • Cruise Wizard • Cruise Direct
HIT THE SLOPES
|BONUS MILE OFFERS|
OFFERS THAT ARE STILL GOOD
|WHERE'S JOHNNY JET ?|
= WEBSITE |
Didn't have a chance to read last week's newsletter? Click here!
HOUSE KEEPING: Remember when you click on the pictures in "Where's Johnny Jet," they will open up in another window. Just click the “x”(close) in each picture to get back to the newsletter. This should alleviate complaints about closing Johnny Jet. Thanks again for your support, and remember: If you book trips on the web, please go through johnnyjet.com (we get a commission and it doesn't cost you any more money). "If you want JJ to continue I need your support and the support of your fellow travellers".
Greetings! I hope you had a great week. Before I forget: Those of you who have not confirmed your subscription to this free newsletter will receive a confirmation email very shortly. Hopefully this will ensure delivery of our newsletter, because so many spam filters are wrongly blocking us.
Back to business: Last week we visited three great places to view planes while grabbing a bite to eat near LAX. This week we visit more restaurants (minus the planes buzzing by) as we take out-of-town guests on a tour of the Los Angeles area. My good friend Mike, who is from Connecticut, has been to L.A. many times, his but girlfriend Henrietta had never set foot on California soil. That's a treat for me. I get almost as excited as the visitor when I show off all the great Southern California sites.
Henrietta grew up in Hungary, where her and her friends’ favorite TV show was Baywatch. Since it was filmed in nearby Santa Monica, that was one of the first places we took her. After we checked out one of the beaches they used, we drove north along the Pacific Coast Highway. Everyone got hungry real quickly so we pulled into the closest restaurant, which was Duke's. This is a chain, located primarily on the Hawaiian Islands. In fact, Duke’s Waikiki is one of my favorite restaurants in the world because of its location, menu and kick-back atmosphere (I always wear shorts and flip-flops). Duke's in Malibu is okay, but it doesn't compare to the one in Waikiki. Both the atmosphere and the menu are a little different. However, the prices are fair, and the coastal setting is amazing.
We sat next to the window and watched the surfers catch waves. The biggest treat was seeing a gray whale only 100 yards away. Duke's Malibu, 21150 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, CA; tel.: (310) 317-0777.
Speaking of whales, the following day we took another drive along one of my favorite coasts in the world. This is of course the Palos Verdes coastline. I used to drive it every day going to work at Marymount College. The views from this area are simply breathtaking, and nothing beats smelling the fresh, clean Pacific Ocean air. We also saw some harbor seals, which made the day even more special.
This is a great time of year to spot gray whales, because they are migrating to Mexico. We drove a little further, then pulled into another turnoff and ran into volunteers who count the whales for the annual census. They used to set up their chairs at the PV Lighthouse, but since it is closed for renovations (I think) they are at this location. We did not spot any whales, but the volunteers said they had seen seven the day before. One of the volunteers offered to take this picture of us, and we got talking. It turned out the nice gentleman was also originally from Connecticut. Not only that, but his brother went to school with my father at Fairfield Prep. Small world, huh?
The most interesting part of our conversation was listening to the gentleman tell us all about how he was the first employee at Pepperidge Farm. It turned out this man used to deliver bread to people around town. He said Margaret Rudkin, the founder, could not make enough of it, even though it was almost four times more expensive than the bread in stores. Her bread was supposedly much healthier and tastier. Our conversation brought me back to when my mom used to tell me similar stories about how Mrs. Rudkin started baking in her house for friends. As you can see, I come from a small town where people appreciate a good American success story.
We drove this way not only to see the magnificent coastline but to get to San Pedro, so I could take Mike to my favorite Italian restaurant in the area. I have talked about Raffello's before, but it's so good and so inexpensive (for lunch) that it shouldn’t be overlooked. In fact, I have been there twice already this week. Every table gets fresh baked bread, pizza, the best roasted peppers, a crisp salad and entree. I order the Rigatoni Pomodoro. I don't drink alcohol, so I can walk out for under $11. Mike said, "It's incredible.” I said, “No. It's Raffaello's." 400 S Pacific Ave., San Pedro, CA; tel.: (310) 514-0900.
After showing Henrietta around Hollywood, we went to one of our favorite late- night joints. This place was immortalized in the movies "Swingers" and "Pulp Fiction.” Do you know what I’m talking about? Of course you do: Roscoe's for chicken and waffles. I always order Number 13: one succulent chicken breast and one golden waffle. Ummm ummm! Roscoe's House of Chicken ‘n Waffles, 1518 N. Gower St., Los Angeles; tel.: (323) 466-7453.
The following day we went to the Santa Monica farmers’ market. Mike and Henrietta made Amber Airplane’s week by getting her a pink orchid. After buying a bunch of fresh fruit and goodies we went to breakfast at the Omelette Parlor on Main Street. This place is a scene on weekends, and the staff actually aren't that friendly, but it's soooo good we still go there. I especially like the breakfast tacos or the Schwarzenegger (can you spell his name?) omelette. Omelette Parlor, 2732 Main St., Santa Monica; tel.: (310) 399-7892.
We were so close, we had to stop by the world famous and eccentric Venice Beach. Despite the reputation, I am starting to despise this place. It's so dirty, and the people are a bunch of freaks. I can take it only once a year, so hopefully we won't get any more first-time California visitors. Luckily those guys felt the same as me and after twenty minutes and a couple of freak shows we split.
That night Amber Airplane had to get something from the store (a shocker, I know) so we went to the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. The best part about this excursion was that Mike and I found a Ms. Pac Man machine on the bottom floor of Urban Outfitters. It was the first time the girls ever had to wait for us guys to leave a clothing store.
Everyone was hungry again. Believe me, we ate out so much, I am describing only a third of the places we dined at. We were all in the mood for Mexican food, so we drove back up PCH to Marix Tex Mex Cafe. I hadn't been there in a long time, and it sure wasn't a scene like in the old days. It used to be the biggest meat market. However, it was just as well, because none of us are single, and the food is still good. We had a cozy table near an open fire. (FYI: There are two Marix restaurants, and the one in West Hollywood is known as a popular gay hangout. That’s not a bad thing; I just thought I would let you know. Marix Tex Mex Café, 118 Entrada Dr., Santa Monica; tel.: (310) 459-8596.
I don't remember which day it was, but I do know we went to Westwood to check out UCLA and Westwood Village. These guys couldn’t decide what they wanted to eat, so I took them to Jerry's Famous Deli. That was a bad move, because the menu is so big that even people who know what they want have trouble choosing. Jerry's Famous Deli, Westwood Village, Weyburn Ave.. tel.: (310) 208-3354.
I did know one thing for sure: After dinner I was making a beeline to Diddy Riese for the best 35-cent cookies around. (They used to be a quarter, but even with the 10-cent hike they’re still a bargain. The never-ending line out the door is proof of that.) Their menu is filled with more than 10 kinds of warm cookies and 12 different Dreyer's ice cream flavors. My favorites are the double chocolate with white chocolate chips (no nuts), and the white chocolate chip cookies without nuts (just in case you want to buy me cookies sometime). Diddy Riese Cookies, 926 Broxton Ave., Los Angeles; tel.: (310) 208-0448.
Before I go catch a flight, I have to tell you one last thing. This drives me batty. Mike and Henrietta rented a car (online and from JohnnyJet.com, of course) from Thrifty. When I dropped them off I told Mike that whatever he did, not to let the agent hard-sell him products like collision damage waivers. Most people who read their credit card and/or personal automobile policy agreements will find they are already covered.
Almost all rental car companies use scare tactics to push these additional fees onto customers. Sure enough, Mike called me as he was driving up the California coast and said that the agent did indeed put heavy pressure on him. It got so bad that Mike had to give her the stink-eye and say, "Listen, I’ve read my car insurance policy. I KNOW I AM COVERED, and if for some reason that doesn't cover me, my credit card will!”
He declined everything, but she did sell him on the pre-pay gas option. I forgot to tell him to say no to that too. He thought it was a good deal, because if he forgot to return the car full he would've been charged over $4 a gallon. With the gas option he could return it empty, and they would charge him $1.40 a gallon. That’s a good deal for gas, but you need to return the car almost completely empty to make it worthwhile. So people come dangerously close to running out of gas, or else they make numerous trips to the pump because they keep trying to put in what they think is just enough gas. That’s what Mike did. Just so you know, the area around LAX has plenty of gas stations. So the next time a car rental agent tries to put the hard sell on you, treat them like a drug dealer. Just say “NO!”
P.S. Do me a favor and click one of the sponsors below and book all your online travel through JohnnyJet.com. It will help keep this newsletter free of charge. Thanks
|HELP SUPPORT JOHNNY JET! BOOK YOUR TRIPS THROUGH US|
AIRLINE TICKETS: Orbitz • Expedia • Travelocity • SideStep • Hotwire • Priceline • Delta Air Lines
HOTELS (UP TO 70% OFF): Hotels.com •1800USAHotel • Lodging.com • SideStep • Priceline • Hotwire
CAR RENTALS: Auto Europe • Enterprise • Hertz • SideStep • Hotwire • Priceline
CRUISES: Cruise Deals • Cruise 411 • Cruise Wizard • Cruise Direct
LAST MINUTE PACKAGE DEALS: Site59
|THIS WEEK'S MEDIA|
|QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:|
|TIP OF THE WEEK|
FREQUENT FLIER QUESTION|
(Q) My question concerns a friend whose husband died suddenly a couple of years ago. When she tried to redeem his mileage plan, she was told that since they were in his name, she could not use them. Isn't this a bit unfair? Afterall, she was his wife, and had he lived he would have redemmed them for himself and her. Does she have any recourse?
I had our good buddy Tim Winship from FrequentFlier.com answer this...
(A)Yes, it does seem unfair. But all airlines have language in their terms and conditions which states that they are under no obligation to transfer your friend's late husband's miles to anyone else.
Here's the verbiage from the world's largest program, American AAdvantage, which is similar to other programs': "... (M)ileage credit is not transferable and may not be combined among AAdvantage members, their estates, successors and assigns. Accrued mileage credit and award tickets do not constitute property of the member. Neither accrued mileage, nor award tickets are transferable by the member (i) upon death, (ii) as part of a domestic relations matter, or (iii) otherwise by operation of law. However, American Airlines, in its sole discretion, may credit accrued mileage to persons specifically identified in court approved divorce decrees and wills upon receipt of documentation satisfactory to American Airlines and upon payment of any applicable fees."
Notwithstanding that bit of verbal jiujitsu, all is not lost. In practice, airlines will often transfer miles from a deceased program member to another person. But as the last sentence in American's policy suggests, they will require documentation, typically 1) that the member in question has indeed died (a death certificate), and 2) that the deceased intended the miles to be given to the second party in question (a will).
If your friend's husband's will makes no specific mention of his frequent flyer miles, it may be enough to establish that she is in fact his wife and therefore entitled to any of his property not willed to others. But that's a gray area, and depends on the discretion of the airline concerned.
In any case, if there are a substantial number of miles at stake, it is worth placing a call to the airline program's customer service department and further discussing their policy and requirements. It could be as easy as faxing a death certificate and will to the airline.
Have A Travel Tip? (Send it to Johnny@johnnyjet.com)
|CHICAGO TRIBUNE (Free Registration)|
|LOS ANGELES TIMES (Free Registration)|
|NEW YORK TIMES (Free Registration)|
|WASHINGTON POST (Quick Survey Required for first time visitors)|
|USA TODAY (Free Registration)|
|GOOD TO KNOW!|
Insider's Paris: Five things to do under 10 euros |
Oo-la-la. The season of love is upon us, and what better place to celebrate l'amour than in Paris. No matter what time of year you visit, Paris is full of romance and beauty. Here are a few ideas for inexpensive things to do with someone you love, or on your own, to celebrate the spirit of Paris. Almost all the activities we suggest carry a price tag of 10 euros or less, and many are even free. Click Here To Read Article
This Newsletter is sent by permission only. If you wish to subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription at any time, please login HERE . If you have any questions or suggestions please send message addressed to Johnny@JohnnyJet.com