On The Fly With JohnnyJet
(June 4, 2003)
For many travelers, navigating the Internet can seem like an endless sea of going no where. Thankfully, that's no longer the case as one book and its companion Web site offer a virtual compass to anything and everything travel related on the Internet.
"You Are Here Traveling With JohnnyJet.com" by Eric Leebow with John E. DiScala (aka JohnnyJet) is a book designed to compliment the
site. Both contain over 3,000 Web links, travel deals, tips, and dozens of chapters dealing with all aspects of travel. If there's a Web site dealing with anything travel related JohnnyJet has it. AnitaVacation.com sits down with JohnnyJet to gain perspective on what it's like to catalog the growing world on online travel.
AV: How did you get the name JohnnyJet?
JohnnyJet: Growing up in Connecticut my friends could always find me in the summer jet skiing on Long Island Sound. Everyone in my town called me Johnny JetSki; I even had the name written on the back of it. When I started to travel a lot it became natural for my friends and family to drop the "ski" and call me JohnnyJet. Even my niece and nephew call me JohnnyJet.
AV: What inspired you to write a book?
JohnnyJet: Eventually, I started getting emails from readers from around the world who wanted to know if I had a book. I never even thought of writing one until the emails became more frequent. That's where Eric Leebow (my co-Author) comes in. Around the same time I started to receive all those emails, I received a book proposal from Eric and his company
Yahbooks. I checked out his past books and liked what I read. I quickly learned that Eric was one of the savviest Internet guys out there, and he had three books and a weekly newsletter to prove it. What I liked about Eric was his enthusiasm and commitment. I felt those two qualities combined with mine, we could put together the ultimate Internet travel guide for people who wanted information quick and easy.
"There is not one Web site out there that has the best price or content that is why people need to shop around."
AV: What does your book (and Web site) offer that's unique compared to other Internet travel guide books?
JohnnyJet: I felt there were so many helpful and cool Web sites out there, but not one of them had everything I needed. I had so many travel bookmarks/favorites links that I couldn't even find what I was looking for. So, I cataloged and organized these links with the help of a few friends, and, voila... the JohnnyJet Web site was born!
The Web site is designed to help point travelers to what the travel world has to offer. There is not one Web site out there that has the best price or content that is why people need to shop around. Therefore, JohnnyJet.com really makes sense to be your first stop for travel. The book has reviews for each Web site -- something JohnnyJet.com doesn't have. It also lists our unique "Jet Code" technology. Each category provides a code that can be entered into a search box on JohnnyJet.com. The only people who have access to these codes are people who have the book. Using the codes makes finding what you want faster and easier. You don't even have to type the URL in and if the link goes bad, the code will take you to the updated ones.
"The book has reviews for each Web site - something JohnnyJet.com doesn't have. It also lists our unique "Jet Code" technology. Each category provides a code that can be entered into a search box on JohnnyJet.com."
AV: What are some of your best travel tips?
JohnnyJet: Buy the book! (Just kidding) I have thousands, but my best advice is to always be nice to everyone: reservation agents, gate agents, flight attendants, hotel clerks, etc. These people have the power to make or break your trip. A smile goes a long way.
AV: What Internet sites (besides JohnnyJet.com) do you feel offer a lot for the traveler?
JohnnyJet: I have about 1,000. That's why I created JohnnyJet.com. But I really like AnitaVacation.com (grin).
|"I buy most of my travel online."
AV: Gee, thanks Johnny! Do you buy your travel online, if so, what site(s) do you prefer?
JohnnyJet: I buy most of my travel online. I like shopping around for last minute weekend flights, so I always use
Smarter Living.com. I prefer
SideStep.com for air. The best deals for hotels and cars are found on Priceline and Hotwire, but first you need to use
BiddingForTravel.com as a guide.
What I don't buy online are package deals, cruises, first or business class tickets, and International tickets. I use my personal travel agent who is now available to the public at 1-800-JohnnyJet and JohnnyJetTravel.com. This new venture really makes JohnnyJet.com the perfect place to start when looking for travel information and quality service. It's a win-win situation for everyone.
|"...I would like to take a shot at TV and there is actually talk about making a JohnnyJet
AV: What are your favorite destinations?
JohnnyJet: I always joke with my girlfriend that I love it here, I love it there, I love it everywhere. With that said, there aren't too many places that I don't like to go. But some of my favorite places are: Hawaii, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York, Connecticut, Buenos Aires, London, Paris, Rome, Ischia/Capri, Sydney, Whitsunday Islands, Hong Kong and Taha'a. My goal is to visit every country in the world. I have my work cut out for me.
AV: What's your favorite airline(s) to fly on and why?
JohnnyJet: I fly United a lot and I rarely have problems with them in terms of service, cashing in frequent flier awards or getting upgraded. I recently flew Air Tahiti Nui which was probably the nicest, smoothest, and most comfortable plane I have ever been on. I also love Qantas, SAS, and Aloha.
AV: What is your favorite hotel, hotel chain?
JohnnyJet: Well who doesn't love Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton? But since they are usually out of my league I would have to say Starwood hotels.
|"...My best advice is to always be nice to everyone: reservation agents, gate agents, flight attendants, hotel clerks, etc. These people have the power to make or break your trip."
AV: Your love of travel shows through in your writing and your Web site. Do you ever get tired of traveling?
JohnnyJet: Very rarely. I don't like to be away from home for long periods of time. One month is about the longest I can be away before I need to go back and check the mail, change the underwear, and see my family and friends. But, after a day of being home, I can easily transition to the road again.
AV: What's next for JohnnyJet? Radio, TV show, movie?
JohnnyJet: I'm not sure. I'm just going with the flow. Right now, I do three weekly radio shows a week (I'm a call in guest) -- it's a lot of fun and I'd love to do more. I would like to take a shot at TV and there is actually talk about making a JohnnyJet movie, but who knows. Right now I'm just happy with what I have.
AV: Thanks Johnny!
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