Check out our new website!
Airline Numbers Dot Com JOHNNY JET'S
Great offers from British Airways

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 * Elliott's Commentary * Columnists * Other News * Yahoo * ABC News * CNN * MSNBC * Good to Know!

    TravelWords is for anyone who is looking to learn some basic Spanish, Italian, German and French. It's a screensaver that turns into a language learning tool. Users can learn basic vocabulary, pronunciation and sentence structure through listen and speak activities, self-tests, user-defined cues and more, making learning authentic language easy and fun. TravelWords is affordable at $19.99 for a single language and $39.99 for all four – all easily accessible via the TravelWords Internet site and powerful, yet easy to use.
Didn't have a chance to read last week's newsletter? Click here!

Bummer! Summer is over here on the east coast (more about this trip next week).  The weather had been amazing until Labor Day. Then the temperature changed instantly- it's now cold and rainy.  It was like Mother Nature flicked a switch. As you can imagine, I'm looking forward to going back home to Southern California, where it's endless summer. 

I left off last week at my first family reunion in Erie.  From there I jumped back on the Anderson shuttle for a measly $9.95 (read about Anderson Shuttle in last week's newsletter), and two hours later I was at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport heading back home to Los Angeles.  After a quick layover in Chicago I  was back in LA LA land!

I was only in L.A. for a day, but that was plenty of time to catch up on my errands (mostly bills, unfortunately). Remember my $107 Avis car rental last month in  ?  Well, I just received my credit card statement and guess how much Avis really charged me? $150! I was livid!  I logged on to , found Avis' 800 number and called them right away.  I asked, "Why was I overcharged by $43?"  Just as I suspected: The agent said for fuel. I said "Oh no...I went to the Conoco station right there at the airport like everyone else, and filled that puppy up to the rim.   I can fax you my receipt to prove it."  Surprisingly, the guy said, "No problem. I'll just credit your card $43." It was that easy.  I advise always matching your receipt with your credit card statement, just in case a car rental company tries to pull a fast one.
That evening I flew up to San Francisco, just for a night.  I was there to do the Call for Help TV show on Tech TV.  Call for Help is a great program that gives consumers all kinds of tips and tricks to make them more web-savvy.  I highly recommend it, and will write more about my appearance later.

I hadn't been to SF since they opened up the new BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station at the airport in mid-June. SFO (airport code for San Francisco International Airport) was in dire need of public transportation and it seemed like they were building this station forever.  It's finally completed, and BART's SFO station is located on the Departures/Ticketing Level (Level 3) of the International Terminal.  I was eager to check out the new service, so I followed the signs from baggage claim.  BART is easily accessed from any terminal. Just hop on the free AirTran tram that takes you to terminal 3.  From there, follow the signs to BART.  It's easy, and you don't have to lug bags up and down stairs.  There are escalators and an elevator.

BART (which is really a subway) costs a fraction of cab fare. BART is a $4.70 ride to downtown, compared to $40 for a taxi. You purchase your ticket from a machine, which can be a little confusing, but don't worry: There is an information booth, and an attendant will come out and help (as he did for the couple in front of me).  It was kind of late when I took BART, 9 p.m. A bunch of foreign travelers stood on the platform, and I thought to myself, "Maybe the locals know something that I don't? Maybe I shouldn't take it so late?"  But I figured I had made it that far and already bought my ticket, so I followed through. 

I'm glad I did.  I learned a lot.  First of all, SFO's BART station is not a through stop.  It's either the last stop or the first (depending on which way you're heading).  The good news, is when you get on at SFO you will be the only passengers, so don't worry about bumping into people with your bags.  The bad news is, the train is very drab. More importantly, there are no luggage racks or designated places to put your bags.  I plopped mine on the empty seat next to me. 

Maybe it was just me, but I found BART to be depressing. The lighting is gloomy, there are no colorful pictures or even ads on the tan walls, so the terrible whistling noise when you go underground sounds more eerie. When the train makes its normal stops, you can bet a bunch of freaks will get on like they did on my trip. Freaks?  You know, those scary people you see in every city -- the ones you would never go to dinner with. 

Don't get me wrong: I'll definitely take BART again, especially during the day.  It's an incredible deal, and not only saves you a lot of money, but time -- especially in rush hour.  The ride from SFO to downtown SF takes about 25 minutes.  It makes three stops in the city. I got off at Powell and Market.  That's where you wait in line to get on the cable cars.
From there I took a taxi to my buddy Rick's apartment (I saw Rick in Sydney a few months ago), which was only a couple miles away. Taxis are damned expensive in SF.  That short ride cost me $10 (it would've been half that in NYC).  Rick's apartment is in Pacific Heights and is soooo sweet.  He has an awesome 4 bedroom/bath bachelor pad. He was away, and it was little weird staying at someone's place without anyone home -- especially because I arrived late at night and couldn't find the lights.  It felt creepy walking around with the lights off, like I was in a scary movie.  I had my fist up, in case Freddy or Jason popped out.

The next morning I called for a taxi (unlike NYC, you can't just flag down a taxi unless you are in downtown SF).  I get a cool taxi driver who looked like an executive, but I could tell was once a hippie.  He told me most of his life story before dropping me off at Tech TV studio . That ride cost me a cool $20.  Ouch! 

I was a little nervous about doing the show because it was my first live nationwide interview.  But the guys at Tech TV were super cool, and eased my nervousness right away.  They introduced me to the stage crew, and we all hung out playing '80s video games on a machine that Roger, one of their hosts, made.  My segment was seven minutes long and when it was over I felt like I nailed it.  It turned out to be my best TV appearance yet. I was pretty proud and relieved. 

(Speaking of TV, did you catch Amber Airplane on the Food Network this summer?  She was in all of their summer Unwrapped promo commercials. She was the pretty blonde hanging out on the beach behind the host, Mark Summers.  How cool was it to see her?)

Instead of going right back to SFO as I originally planned, I decided at the last minute to surprise my cousin Joe who works downtown in a gym in Little Chinatown.  I took a $20 taxi to see him.  (Maybe I should've rented a car?) Joe treated me to a great Asian meal down the street from his work, at a place called Burma Superstar on 309 Clement St.  The food was excellent, but the service was a little slow.

From there I took another taxi to SFO. Guess what? I had the same taxi driver who told me part of his life story earlier in the day. The driver was amazed to see me again, especially in another part of town. He said it was the first time it ever happened to him. It was cool -- we knew each other by first names, and he finished his life story.  Pretty funny, huh?  It made the 25-minute, $40 trip to the airport go by fast. 
It was great to finally be home at the beach for a week. Amber Airplane and I caught up on our work and chores. Get this: She told me she was going to clean out her closet for Goodwill, so I figured it would be nice to pack up a bag for them. Check out all the clothes she ended up parting with: five trash bags worth. The worst part was about an hour later Ms. Airplane told me she needed to buy a dress for the birthday party we were attending that night. Are you kidding me? Why don't you just reach into one of those bags and pull out a dress I'm sure you never wore.  Don't get me started.

We got out of the house and went to the Manhattan Beach AVP (Association Of Volleyball Professionals) Open.  This tournament is the Wimbeldon of volleyball and is always fun to attend.  Trust me, it's 10 times better than it looks on TV.

Later that evening we went to the Santa Monica airport for my cousin Arty's birthday party.  Remember this place? It's where my brother ordered and ate a bowl of crickets. Actually, that's the downstairs restaurant (Typhoon). This time we were upstairs at Hump, their sister restaurant.  Hump serves Japanese, and is known for having some of the best sushi in L.A. (That's what I hear; I hate sushi ).   I can tell you the edamame and vegetable tempura were tasty, and it was surprisingly not too expensive. Check it out for yourself.  Hump , 3221 Donald Douglas Loop South, 3rd floor, Santa Monica; tel.: 310-313-0977.

The following day we were at another local airport, John Wayne in Orange County, to pick up Amber's sister's sister-in-law.  Did you get that? Well, do you remember crazy-driving  Jimmy from South Dakota?  Of course you do. This is his sister Jackie.  She had never been to California, and was starving when we got her. Therefore, the first place we took her was the Cheesecake Factory in Redondo Beach, 40 minutes from the airport. I know they have these restaurants all over the country, and I'm sure most of you have been there, so I won't bore you with a review.  But if for some crazy reason you are (I mean, were) like Jackie, then try one of their many dishes and massive portions of food. If you still have room, try some delicious Cheese Cake.  Cheese Cake Factory, 605 North Harbor Drive, Redondo Beach;  tel.: (310) 376-0466.

The next day went to Brentwood to see my childhood friend Timmy. He is a photographer, and was kind enough to take some last-minute head shots of me.  After a few pictures we got some din-din (lunch really) at Chin Chin.  $5.95 lunch bowls hit the spot, as did their chocolate-dipped fortune cookies. Chin Chin, 11740 San Vincente Boulevard, Brentwood, tel.: (310) 826-2525.

As you can see, it was another tough week in sunny California !  Next week pack your bags, because we're off to NYC for the MTV Video awards, a Yankee game, and of course some quality time with my family.

Happy travels,

Johnny Jet
  • What happened? Nancy and I were at Barnes & Noble in Erie to buy some books and we were pleasantly surprised to see your picture on a poster as we walked in promoting your book signing Sunday evening. I was very proud. I just happened to have on the JohnnyJet shirt you gave me with the black collar trim which was noticed and commented on by one employee.  "That's my son," I said.  Dad
  • Nancy and I both agree that this week's column was the best ever.  Funny thing but most artists, authors and sculptors are the worst judges of their own material. Ask Stephen King.  Love, Dad    
  • Dear John, Your newsletter this week was the best one that I have ever read! Thank-you for all of the nice compliments! I can't wait to show Tom all the great praise you gave him also! I love looking at the pictures and reminiscing of how much fun the DiScala's have together. We are very lucky!!! Love, Carol  
  • Just dropping a line to say that I loved the latest newsletter.  You seem to have such a wonderful family (as does Amber).  Your sister Carol is a good woman - from looking at the tent and buffet spreads, I'd say she did a great job entertaining.  And who would think to get the local nature center counselor to entertain the kids!  I'm an only child from a pretty small family, so I always find large families fascinating.  And even though I'd never even thought about vacationing in Erie, after this (and some of your other newsletters), I think it looks like a pretty cool place to visit. Keep on truckin' and writin'.  Robin S.
  •  I really enjoyed your newsletter this week, my favourite photo was of Cam jumping in front of the license plates.  That one has potential as a collector's item. Dan - Vancouver, BC
  • I just read the latest JohnnyJet letter and am very impressed. I was  especially interested in the TerraFly and researched 3 addresses of former residence. Incredible! I look forward to receiving more and it will be on my "must read list."
  • No way!  Erie?  I am from Girard originally, now live in DC.  Cool!! Taki's is supposed to be good, and it's ALL inexpensive there.  When rellies come to visit here they complain about food prices first and foremost. (that and parking and traffic). Quaker Steak is great.  Good wings.  Lake Erie was on fire once, so better not to swim in it...  ;-) Elizabeth A -D.C.
  • Q: Don't see much action from you in the South West; i.e., NM, AZ, etc. Too hot now, but the fall is great. Did you consider the Albuquerque balloon festival. It's the best in the good old USA. The trip up the Sandia tram is unique as is Santa Fe (margaritas in the La Fonda is a treat as is the hotel itself) and if you're in the mood for great Tex-Mex food the area is a must.  Burt - New Jersey REPLY: I have been to the ABQ balloon festival and it is amazing!  I hope to get to it this year!  We'll see.  BTW:  I was in Santa Fe last year with my brother.
  • My goodness Jake. Give that gal a little more whiskey and tell her to point that PIG-IRON somewhere ELSE!! HAHAHAHAA  Scott - Alaska
  • My wife and I drove across the SD state (from Minn.) and that was a trek; better to have been in a time capsule. Did you amble across the border to see the Devil's Tower? Really impressive, especially if you take the short walk around the base but I don't recommend climbing it unless you're really an expert. :>) Burt From NJ
  •  I was surfing channels here in Stockton and flipped past the Fox news channel and caught your interview about best and worst airport.....damn, you're going big-time!'re much better looking than Peter Greenberg.  Marc M - Stockton, CA

    *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.
Huge Savings banner1
VEGA$: Stay downtown and save a bundle! If you can do without a pool and other amenities the hotels in the Fremont Street area are the way to go! The casinos are within easy walking distance of each other and there is the Fremont Street Experience (light show) and free live entertainment every night of the week. Plus lots of good cheap food and drinks! You can take a bus to the Strip ($2.00 each way), a taxi, or rental car. For extra savings visit Sunday through Thursday. Join the Players Clubs at the casinos and get comps. Know the games before you play and know when to quit. -Jo Ann Barton

Have A Tavel Tip? (Send it to

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)
    Sick of Travel? Don't Overdo It
    My nose is clogged shut. My chest rattles every time I inhale. The back of my throat feels as if I tried to swallow a porcupine. I'm sick. What's worse, I'm on a business trip. Think you're immune? A recent survey conducted by Pepto-Bismol found that 62% of all travelers have experienced some physical ailment while traveling and that 20% of business travelers were forced to cut their trip short as a result.  Details in Power Trip.

    Balking at Bargains? You Could Be Sick - A Pox on Passengers - Ads Not Enough to Cure Travel Fatigue
AIRLINE TICKETS: Orbitz • Expedia • Travelocity • Hotwire • Priceline
HOTELS (UP TO 70% OFF): •1800USAHotel • • Priceline • Hotwire
CAR RENTALS: Auto Europe • Enterprise • Hertz • Hotwire • Priceline
CRUISES: Cruise Deals • Cruise 411 • Cruise Wizard • Cruise Direct
Save time and money with flexible airfare search tools

My brother in New York has always wanted to visit Alcatraz and ride the cable cars, so he's planning to visit San Francisco in October. Josh is pretty flexible; he doesn't care exactly when he travels, but, like most of us, he wants to be sure that his ticket is as inexpensive as possible.

If he sat at the computer to check the fares, he'd find literally millions of possible flight combinations. There are several dozen dates when he could depart, and several dozen more when he could return. He could fly out of JFK, LaGuardia, or Newark, and into SFO, Oakland, or even San Jose. He could fly nonstop, or he could connect in Chicago, Dallas, Denver, or a handful of other major cities. And he could fly on a big carrier like American or United, or a small one like ATA or JetBlue. Click Here For Story

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

Want to sign-up for this newsletter?
Just enter your email below!
Johnny Jet

Dan Woog

Dennis P. Kamoen