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This week we have four web cams, all from P & O Cruises. Get a captain's eye view from the bridge of one of their four cruises. They are always moving so I have no idea where they'll be, but I bet it's somewhere you'd like.
  • Adonia Webcam
  • Aurora Webcam
  • Oceana Webcam
  • Oriana Webcam
      When Nature Calls:  This is the Zagat for lavatories.  The Bathroom Diaries lists 6,000 public toilets in over 100 countries.  Bathrooms are rated on cleanliness, safety, operating hours and cost (if any).
    • Earn a free ticket after one trip to Europe
    • To earn more miles, say 'charge it'
    • More points: From June 16 through Aug. 31, Priority Club Rewards members earn 5,000 bonus points or 1,500 bonus miles for every third qualifying stay at InterContinental Hotels, up to 25,000 points or 7,500 miles. Registration required. For details .
    • Continental OnePass Miles For Cruise Travel: The Vacation Store has entered into a marketing and sales agreement with Continental Airlines to offer up to 10,000 OnePass miles for customers who purchase a cruise from Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, Costa Cruises, Windstar Cruises, and The Yachts of Seabourn. In addition, travelers will earn double miles for every stateroom booked through August 31, up to 20,000 miles. For more information or call 800-259-1489.
    • ALASKA DOUBLES SEATTLE-ORLANDO MILES: Through July 31, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members will  earn double miles when flying on the airline's new flights  between Seattle and Orlando. No registration is required.  From
    • Beginning Sunday through Sept. 30, Club Ramada members earn 250 frequent-flier miles in addition to Club Ramada points for each qualifying stay. Members can apply those miles to their American Airlines, Continental Airlines or Delta Air Lines frequent-flier accounts. Registration is required.
    •  Marriott Rewards members can earn elite status faster and receive benefits at more of Marriott's hotel brands. They can now reach the silver elite level after spending 10 nights a year, instead of 15 nights, in participating Marriott hotels. The hotel chain is also introducing special rewards for all three elite levels of its frequent-guest program. Elite-level members also earn bonus points for each stay — 20% for silver level, 25% at the gold level and 30% at the platinum level. All Marriott Rewards members can now request hotel-stay awards as little as 24 hours before they check in. More information about the changes is available online at
    • Amsterdam or Frankfurt through June from $198 R/T
    • Summer sale fares to four Hawaiian islands from $546 R/T
    • Sale fares to Costa Rica, Mexico, and more from $208 R/T
    • $99 Fares On New Interstate Jet Lehigh Valley-Los Angeles & Las Vegas Flights: Interstate Jet began service between Lehigh Valley (Allentown) and Los Angeles. Service will be on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. The airline also began Thursday and Sunday Lehigh Valley-Las Vegas flights. Both routes are flown by a 757-200ER with 209 seats.   Fares begin at $99 one-way with a maximum fare of $219 one-way. Taxes and fees are additional. No advance purchase or Saturday stays are required. To purchase call 877-359-4538. For more information on the airline access .
    • Sale: AirTran cut seven-day advance-purchase fares to all destinations. Buy tickets by June 10 for travel through Nov. 5. Fares not valid for travel Friday and Sunday. Offer includes an extra half frequent-flier credit for each one-way ticket booked at
    • MADRID: Most of Madrid in One, Big Bundle:  Spain's tourist authorities have introduced the Madrid Card, an all-inclusive pass to most of the best tourist attractions in the Spanish capital. The card entitles you to free entrance to 40 museums, monasteries and cultural institutions; use of the city's extensive public-transit system; unlimited rides on the Madrid Vision tour bus; a guided walking tour (Saturdays only); a guidebook and map; and discounts at 42 Madrid nightspots, restaurants and shops. The one-day version of the card costs about $30 dollars and includes five free public-transit trips; a two-day version costs about $45. The three-day version costs about $59 and includes 10 free transit rides. More information is available from the Tourist Office of Spain at 212-265-8822. A Madrid Card Web site is currently available only in Spanish. This deal wasfound Joe Sent Me.

    • ***Don't have time to surf the web to research your trip? Then call 1-800-JohnnyJet for a reliable full service travel agent. We can't beat the web for cheap airline tickets but what we can give you unbelievable service, a specialist who know can help map out your dream vacation or cruise and tremendous deals on Business and First Class tickets.
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    What a week! I will have plenty of pictures from my surprise B-day party and the MTV movie awards next week.  For now, grab your suitcase, wallet and bathing suit, because we're off to Vega$, baby!

    Let’s start first in a taxi in L.A. Now, getting a taxi there is not like in most cities. In L.A. you don’t hail a cab, you call for one.  This week was no different. 

    My taxi driver was from Jordan, which was a first. Coincidentally, it is where I am supposed to be right NOW (I was invited to go by their tourism board), but due to a schedule conflict my brother Frank took my place. It was perfect, because he had plenty of questions to ask a Jordanian.  So I called Frank and put him on speaker.  He kept joking, "I'm going for the jihad.”   That’s not funny, I know, but because of the way he said it the driver and I were in tears from laughing so hard.  Frank will give us a full Johnny Jet-style report as soon as he gets back. 

    Most of the time you can learn a lot from your taxi driver, as Frank and I did this week.  It's nice to get insights from a local -- unless you’re in Vegas.  Why?  Those drivers are known to get commissions from the places they recommend.  (In Vegas that’s called “the third-party tip.”) Instead, do your research on . Some of my favorite Vegas-only websites are: , and the .

    Every time I fly into Vegas it's bumpy. At first I thought I just had rotten luck (not the best thing to have in Vegas), but then I learned that the mountains and extreme heat really stir things up.  (I have no idea how – remind me to ask a pilot.)  As if the turbulence wasn't enough, this flight could have been nickname the SARS Express.  I'm normally not too worried about catching SARS, but when half of the passengers on the plane are a tour group connecting from mainland China, I had a legitimate reason to feel uneasy.  I felt like a super freak checking everyone out as they boarded, but they all passed my health inspection.  Otherwise, I would have been outta there. 

    But just as they shut the cabin door, a guy in a middle seat decided to move to an open aisle.  You can’t blame him – who hasn’t pulled the same move? -- but he was obviously sick, and the seat he chose just happened to be across the aisle from me.  I wasn't worried about SARS because he was not from the tour group.  Unfortunately, this chump was the rudest man ever.  He would not stop coughing, and had the audacity not to cover his mouth.  I seriously felt like smacking him, but he looked like he had ties to the guys who ran Vegas back in the day.  I had the whole row to myself so I moved to the window; otherwise I would have said something.   I despise people who don't cover their mouth – especially in close quarters like a plane.

    Since this guy has me all riled up, let me vent about the Vegas airport luggage system. It's the worst.  My bag took its usual half hour to come out the magical chute.  THIRTY MINUTES!  That's 30 more minutes I could've spent losing money in the casino.  The good news is I was by myself, and not in a hurry.  I wasn't supposed to meet Amber Airplane for a few hours, so I thought I would explore different modes of transportation to “The Strip.”  Although the taxi lines are usually long, they move quickly.  Still, it kills me to pay $10-15 to ride by myself.  Sometimes I ask if anyone else in line is going to the same hotel, but I always feel uncomfortable doing it.  I never know if I’ll wind up sharing a cab with a freak, or else if people will wonder what kind of cheapskate I am for asking.

    This time I went out the opposite door from the taxis.   The sign read "Shuttles and Buses.”  There was no line, and the man at information desk said the shuttle left every 10 minutes. It cost $4.  Four dollars?!  That's pretty darn cheap, even for Vegas.  Then I asked the most important question: "Which stop is the MGM Grand ?" He said it was the first.  Sold!  I waited a total of two minutes for the shuttle. It was packed (mostly with Europeans), and took a whopping six minutes to get to the hotel.  You gotta love saving money AND time!  

    Hint:  If you take a taxi to a Strip hotel, tell the driver not to go via “the tunnel,” which is the connector between I-15 and the airport (unless you’re headed to the Luxor or Mandalay Bay).  You can save as much as $5.

    The last time I stayed at the MGM was probably when they opened, about 10 years ago. I wasn't too fond of them then, but they have made some serious improvements.  I'm now happy to report it was excellent -- except they need new keys.  New keys?  You'll see. 

    Did you know the MGM Grand is the largest hotel in the world? It has 5,005 guest rooms, ranging from 675 to 6,040 square feet.  Amber Airplane and I were in one of the 675-square foot ones.  Nothing special, but comfortable.  My biggest problem with it besides the key (you'll see, I promise) is that we heard the people next door.  If you are fortunate to be one of "whales" (a big-time high roller) then you probably stay in their Mansion (29 private villas located in a secluded area next door).  Some of those villass are 12,000 square feet!  That’s a room fit for a whale!  There are no published room rates for the villas, but the regular rooms usually run between $99-$349.  I found mine on for $79 (of course I use my own site – doesn’t everyone?)  Deals are to be found; just shop around. Hey, that rhymes!
    The MGM is huge, which has its pros and cons.  The best thing is you don't ever need to leave; they have everything you could possibly want.  The worst is that it's almost impossible to find anyone, and the hallways to the rooms are so long you can't even see the end.  I'm not exaggerating.  They have elevators on each end of the halls, but guess where our room was?  Of course: right smack in the middle. Just my luck.  In case you don't believe me, here are the views looking East and looking West from our door.  Can you see the end?  Nope!  Bring your binoculars to see if the maid is coming.  

    When I first walked to the room, I was thinking idly how much it would suck if my magnetic key didn't work.  Well, of course I jinxed myself.  The key indeed did not work, so I trudged all the way back down with my bag to get a new one.  After standing in line for 10 minutes the lady at the counter said, "I'm sorry, would you like some of these cool limited-time Diva keys as a souvenir for your inconvenience?”  Since we were in Vegas for the Diva show and party, I said "Sure!”  You know I never turn down anything free.  Of course, you’re probably thinking the same thing I thought a minute too late:  “What the heck am I going to do with these keys?” 

    I walked back to the room pretty quickly, because I had to go use the little cowboy’s room.  I reached in my pocket to grab my key, and guess what I pulled out?  That's right: all 30 of the free ones.  I’m not kidding:  I had 30 keys, and no idea which was which.  I figured the good one must be on one of the ends, so I tried those first.  Red light both times.  Then I went through every single key like a madman, until I realized I couldn't be that dumb.  I checked my other pockets, and indeed I had been smart enough to put the original key separately.  But by that time I was stupid enough to throw off the code by trying so many different keys. That hallway seemed getting longer and longer.  I could actually see it growing.  Aaargh!  BTW: Did I mention that as I fumbled with all 30 keys the people next door came home and looked at me like I was a burglar?

    Instead of walking all the way back down I asked a nearby maid if she could let me in. "Oh no, you need to call security," she said. "How about for $20? "Oh no, I’ll get fired!" To amuse myself on the way back down, I counted the steps from my room to the elevator (184).   The same lady at the front desk apologized, and gave me a new key.   But guess what?  It happened again!   The freakin’ key absolutely would not work.  I kicked the door out of frustration, then looked down at the endless hallway and wanted to cry.  At that moment I thought for sure I was on “Candid Camera.”  

    My unfriendly neighbors heard the loud bang and popped their little heads out of the door.  They looked at me like I was a Martian, so I looked back at them like I was Charles Manson.  They quickly shut their door, and turned the deadbolt.  I walked halfway down the l-o-n-g hall, picked up the phone and called security. I said there was a  problem, and I would not be walking another 184 steps to the elevator, then 153 more to the front desk to wait in some long line to get my darn key that won't open my door. Fifteen minutes later the security guy strolled up and said, “You’re at the wrong door.” Hah!  Just kidding – I’m not THAT dumb.  What he DID do was solve the problem, and that leads to my Tip of the Week (if not the Century):  “When you have a magnetic key do NOT put it near your credit cards, ATM card or cell phone.”  I already knew all that – well, not the cell phone part – but here is the “key” (haha):  All of those devices can interfere with the room key.

    Alright, enough about the stupid keys.  Let's talk about the good stuff.  As I mentioned before I was in Vega$ to accompany  Amber Airplane to the VH1 Diva party.  I didn't see the show, but I did go to the after party out by the pool.  It was pretty amazing, because they had a huge gigantic TV replaying the show.  What’s so incredible about that?  Well, the show wasn't displayed on a screen; it was on WATER.  Don't ask me how they did that, but it was way cool.  The very best part was really the dessert table.  The worst part was when Bobby Brown walked by with his entourage and grabbed Amber's butt.  (He might have had “a few too many,” if you catch my drift.)  I would've decked him -- but she told me too late after it happened.  It was a typical Hollywood party, where you can’t carry on a decent conversation because the whole time everyone is looking over your shoulder to see what star is walking in next.  It's fun, but it gets old real fast.
    We did more than just go to the Diva party.  We had three nights in Vegas, and spent most of the time in our hotel (where else can you say that and not sound lame?).  We gambled of course, but we also checked out the free lion habitat at the MGM.  It's open from 11 a.m.-11 p.m.  (It closes because the lions go home for the night -- they live on a ranch 12 miles away.)  What's especially cool is that guests can be encircled by lions at any time via a see-through, walkway tunnel that runs through the Habitat, allowing lions to prowl above and below.  Our favorite part of the hotel, though, was a visit to the pool (keep reading).

    We did make our way out one night, and walked around the Strip.  We went to the Aladdin Hotel, because Amber needed to buy something at Sephora.  The Aladdin has an amazing mall, which was surprisingly empty.  I was shocked to see an ABC Store (I thought they were only in Hawaii).  It was a little disappointed to see them on the mainland, but on the other hand it was pretty cool to buy a 69-cent Guava Juice that I usually have only in Hawaii.  We had dinner in the Bellagio, and went the Coyote Ugly bar in New York New York.  We were looking for our friends, but they were at the Coyote Cafe in the MGM.  Confusing, I know.  The good news is we discovered the most unbelievable pineapple salsa around.  Mmmmmm -- was it tasty!  (Sorry, no photos – we ate it all up.)

    As I mentioned earlier, our favorite part of the MGM is the pool.  We happened to be there when the temperature started to heat up.  It was the first time it hit 100 degrees in 2003 which it was almost all the time (well, two out of the three days we were there).  When it's that hot, there's only one place to be: in one of the MGM's five pools.  It's a big party out there, and the live band only adds to the fun.  The coolest pool is the gentle flowing river. It is 1,000 feet long, and is the city’s longest ride of its kind.  Almost everyone rents the tubes – and not by the hour or half-day.  It's $14.95, period.   I know it's a racket, but believe me it's well worth it.   You sit on these babies and cruise around the pool, bumping into other people and going through sprinklers and water falls . It takes about 10 minutes to do a lap, and suddenly 100 degrees doesn’t seem so hot.  It was so refreshing that Amber Airplane got goose bumps.  

    MGM Grand Hotel and Casino Tel. (800) 929-1111, Front Desk: Tel. (702) 891-1111.

    TOO CHEAP TO BUY THE GREAT ALASKAN TOURSAVER? Join the rest of the world in the quest for a free book! Visit and share your TOP TRAVEL TIP! Roving travel menace...uh...I mean "shameless upgrade seeker" Johnny Jet and his staff will pick two winners for the top prize: A free copy of the Great Alaskan TourSaver! (a $99.95 value). It's packed with $25,000 in travel savings! Oops -- there will only be one winner. That's because Johnny himself grabbed one of the books for when he comes to Anchorage this summer. Why? HA! He'll be signing copies of his NEW BOOK: "You Are Here with".  It's a cool compilation of helpful tips and websites designed to help you get the most for your travel dollar. TOO CHEAP TO BUY A COPY OF YOUR VERY OWN? Stay tuned--we're giving away a free copy!  Send your best travel tips to .

    • Dear Johnny, I bought three copies of the book and distributed two to my children.  We all love it and congratulate you on this terrific accomplishment by you and Eric.  You are cookin' friend.  Keep up the good work.  You and Amber make our lives more fun. Alan, Connecticut
    • Johnny – another great story this week.  You gave away a “secret” about the Proud Bird.  A former Air Force friend of mine took us there when we were in LA to meet our sons returning from a trip to Japan.  I loved watching the planes land and was surprised that the restaurant is so close to the airport.  You literally feel like you’re on the runway as they planes come in to land.  The Sunday buffet is great – all types of wonderful food.  It’s usually crowded, so make reservations in advance.  Geof O’Connor  San Diego, CA
    • I've been receiving your newsletter/website for quite some time now and love it!  
    • We bought your book and loved it!  We're so proud of you!  You are on the travel listing at my work as a contact for travel reservations and that listing goes to every new employee here!  Patrick & Lolly - Los Angeles, CA
    • Hi Johnny, Love your newsletter -- unfortunately none of the links seem to work this week?!? Keep up the great work, Your fan, Neils REPLY: Thanks for the kind words.  We are having problems with our email provider, Topica. Try this link .
    • Good for Henry!  What difference DOES it make? Joan S.
    • I would not gloat about  "work my magic" this is as far as I have read so far.  Remember you're great appeal is your modesty and humility. The comment is not the Johnny Jet most people know and love.  Dad
    • Hi!  I love to read about your travels.  Where can I find your article about your trip to Hawaii earlier this year.  I've searced everwhere on the site.  I can't find it.  Thanks!  Alex Sansky
    • Wish you'd been around about 5 years ago when we first started traveling sans kids! Just returned from London where our oldest son and wife live (in Barnes) and returned to Kew Gardens after 2 years. What a disappointment! Many of the shrubs were dead both outside and in the conservatories, plus nothing much had been done to "clean up" the area. Don't know whether it's due to cutbacks, but there was no one in evidence on a Tuesday afternoon to even talk to (except at ticket booth and gift shop). We'd been to Chelsea Flower Show the Thursday prior so were probably overcome by the gardens there, but Kew's bushes and shrubs were in deplorable condition. Too bad.
    • Hope your sister did well in the Art Show. Keep up the great work and enjoy life along the way!   P.S. Ever do anything about off the beaten path in Maine. We have wonderful botanical gardens in Boothbay.  Pat S. - Maine
    • I leave for Scotland on Wednesday (the 4th)...and wanted to thank you for the tips you gave me or led me to...Thanks for your time! Constance
    • From Johnny: Here's a little Travel Humor What I'm in it for, by Philly Willy

    • *Please note that we reserve the right to post excerpts, perhaps edited, from your message on the Johnny Jet website and newsletter. We will not use your full name without your express permission. If you'd rather not have your message posted on the website or newsletter, just say so and it won't be.
    Hot savings for Spring!
    The other day I had to book a round trip flight for me and four of my colleagues to San Diego (attending NACAC in Long Beach.  It was cheaper than flying to LA - maybe I'll see you there).   On the USAir Website, I indicated that I was buying for 5.  The total cost broke down to something like $335/person.  I was surprised since I saw flights just a couple days earlier for $205/person.  I went in again and under "Schedule" typed in the exact dates AND TIMES needed for just one person.  I was given a cost of $295/person.  I tried something different.  I indicated that I wanted to search by "Price" instead of "Schedule".  After indicating the same exact date and time as I did under "Schedule", I was quoted the $205/person rate. 

    FYI - I think I got the last $205 (total with taxes and fees) for that date and time.  My colleagues got $245 - still not a bad fare.

    I don't know about the other airlines, but if you are "flexible" under USAir, you can get a better deal.  Hope all is well.

    Bob- Pittsburgh

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    • Top five low-season destinations for summer travel
    • Wi-Fi Blankets The U.K. From A Base In 3,000 British Pubs
    • Alaska, Boeing admit liability for 2000 crash
    • Low-fare ATA takes aim at US Airways
    • Southwest: Higher fees threaten Las Vegas flights
    • Delta rolling out the chow again
    • Southwest gets some flak
    • Airlines covet . . . Milwaukee?
    • Bright idea: Lock up planes
    • The best (and worst) amusement parks: It’s nearing summer, and one of the things Americans like to do in summer is go to amusement parks. About 320 million people visited amusement parks last year. There are only 290 million people in the country, so obviously people who go more than once and foreigners who come here just to go. People spend about $10 billion each year at amusement parks. Parks have done a great job with shortening lines and parks have gotten much cleaner and safer. But do you know where most of the money goes? Consumer Reports rated amusement parks in the country and Disney – which has more parks in the country than any other – managed to rank first and last. The highest rated park in the country was Epcot. Epcot has consistently pleased visitors and they keep coming back. Disney’s MGM is No. 2. Next was the Magic Kingdom, followed by Sea World in Orlando. Disney’s California ranked last. It’s all about perception of value. At just two parks – Epcot and Sea World (Orlando) – people felt they were getting their money’ s worth. From Clark Howard
    • The executive board of the Star Alliance on Saturday (May 31) approved US Airways' application to join the global airline family. US Airways already has a code-sharing partnership with Star member United Airlines. US Airways' full membership is expected to become effective in nine months to a year.  SkyGuide
    • A deer walked through revolving doors and made its way to the baggage claim area of Omaha's Eppley Airfield around 7A this week. A man waiting at the airport with his family tackled the female dear around the neck and got her to the ground. Others joined in to duct tape the animals legs. Airport police then carried the deer out of the terminal and took her to the nearby Missouri River.    
    • Come early: Starting on June 17, domestic passengers on Northwest Airlines who are flying out of Denver, Las Vegas and Atlanta must check in 45 minutes before departure, instead of the previous 30-minute requirement. Passengers to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean from any U.S. airport must check in 60 minutes before departure.
    • Accident Aboard NCL's Norway Kills Six Crew, Line Cancels Cruises
    • France: Smile? It'll never happen
    • Effective Tuesday (June 3) American Airlines and its American Eagle commuter affiliate are consolidating all flights in Terminal 4 at Los Angeles International Airport. From JoeSentme .
    • Boeing's new airplane, the almost-indistinguishable-from-every-other-plane-they-have-made that they are trying to position as a startling new development in airplane building, now has its own website .  There is a reader survey where you can vote on what you think is the best name for the new plane, with four choices.  One of them sounds like the name of a cruise ship (Dreamliner), one sounds like a dot com startup on drugs (eLiner), one sounds like a new warship (Global Cruiser) and the fourth sounds like a cross between an old WW2 bomber and a mountain climber (Stratoclimber).  Does anyone care what ridiculous name they call the thing?  Why not just call it a 787! From David Rowell
    • A new wrinkle has developed in recent days as some U.S. carriers have restored some international flights. Travelers originally booked on those flights, then shifted to others when they were cancelled at the beginning of the Iraq War, are being told they can't go back to their original flights without paying a change fee and any current difference in fare. What are your options? First, call your airline to check your original flights. If you've been rebooked by the airline, double-check to see if you original flight has been restored to the schedule. If it has, demand to be returned to your original flight without penalty. Should the airline balk, threaten to file a com-plaint with the Transportation Department and your credit-card company. That usually results in a no-fee rebooking on your original flight. From JoeSentme .
    Welcome to the Concorde by The Travel Scholar

    This trip report contains contains photographs and personal commentary about my experience flying British Airways Concorde service. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions about what you see here. Click on any photo for a larger view, and enjoy the report!!

    BACKGROUND: The dream of a frequent flyer...

    When I earned my first frequent flyer mile on a US Airways flight back in 1996, I had one thing on my mind: I was going to Disney World. But as my miles grew more plentiful and my flying grew more frequent, I began to have some great experiences in the sky. Passing through the first class cabin on that flight as a teenager, I never thought I'd get to fly in those bigger seats "up front." But thanks to complimentary upgrades to First Class as a frequent flyer program elite member, I've since managed to prove myself wrong, taking several long-haul trips (and short hops, too) in premium cabins. Even so, one thing seemed to remain completely out of reach: Concorde. For rest of story

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