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Meet Johnny Jet of Manhattan Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Johnny Jet.

Johnny, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I grew up in South Norwalk, Connecticut. I only flew a handful times before starting high school but was always fascinated by it. I talked my mom into going on a dream trip to Australia but my asthma doctor put the fear of God in me about the long flight. I had a full-on anxiety attack at JFK Airport so I didn’t get on the plane and became not only afraid to fly for 3.5 years but at times, afraid to leave the house as well.

When I got over my fears, I went to college in California (Marymount College Palos Verdes and Loyola Marymount University). In college, I dated a girl whose parents lived all around the world so I ended up going on my first international trip. I caught the travel bug from that trip and after graduation, I took a job working as an admissions officer at Marymount College. It was there that I began mastering travel, as I was in charge of a 26-state district, including Hawaii.

I learned so many tricks of the trade and started my newsletter and website for fun. It all began when I e-mailed a few colleagues who wanted to earn as many miles as I did. We competed to see who could accrue more miles, and after kicking their butts, I decided to be nice and help my friends out. My first e-mails told them what numbers to call so they could earn double miles or points. Each week, I got more creative, adding new features like tips, web cams and helpful travel websites. My list grew and grew. I got e-mails from people I didn’t even know, asking to be added to the distribution list. When my list reached 500 subscribers, I decided to make a website. A few months later, USA Today made ‘Website of the Week’ and the rest is history.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
A smooth road? Not at all. The biggest struggle was getting over my fear of flying and traveling internationally. Then, it was creating a business that made money. It took years to become profitable. – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I’m known for my travel tips and sharing websites and apps that can save travelers time, money and headaches. That’s my biggest goal: To help people travel better and smarter and to encourage those who don’t travel, to get out there and see the world. I know a lot of people think they can’t afford to travel but with my tips, my hope is that they can find a way.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Nothing brings me greater satisfaction than when someone comes up to me and says, “Thanks to you, I went to X” or “I got over my fear of travel thanks to you.” If people travel more, I truly believe the world would be a much better place – my goal is to help them.

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Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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