JetReady.com is your window to a world of extraordinary travel services. Whether you’re a consumer looking for undiscovered travel tips, a business seeking to maximize the benefits of your travel spending, the media seeking quotes, or a provider looking to enhance your loyalty programs, this is the place to be.

Our unique travel calculus offers travelers the opportunity to enjoy the best of travel while saving money and receiving exceptional value. Our flagship resource, The Penny Pincher’s Passport to Luxury Travel, which established the standard for strategic travel, has educated and served travelers well since 1999.

Our flagship resource, The Penny Pincher’s Passport to Luxury Travel, which established the standard for strategic travel, has educated and served travelers well since 1999.

This exclusive no-holds-barred approach to travel and loyalty-building has been highlighted by such forerunning outlets as USA Today, Fortune, Forbes, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, The Washington Post, Money Magazine, and Reuters.

In addition, Jetready.com’s on-air portfolio includes CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CS, The Fox News Channel, The Fine Living Channel, The Travel Channel and Inside Edition among others.

We invite you to explore our site and gain the knowledge to take advantage of all the valuable benefits available to you in the exciting world of travel.

Joel Widzer is the managing partner of JetReady.com, an author of travel-related literature, an experienced consultant and travel strategist, as well as a trusted travel expert and media figure. He received his BS from Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., and earned his doctorate in Industrial Organizational Psychology from Marshall Goldsmith School of Management at Alliant International University in San Diego.

In 1999 he wrote the first edition of, The Penny Pincher’s Passport to Luxury Travel: The Art of Cultivating Preferred Customer Status (Travelers’ Tales Guides). (1999, 2004, 2008) (ForeWord Magazine—Book of the Year Awards-Finalists—2008)

Widzer pioneered writing about luxury travel at a discount. Previous to his work the conventional wisdom among travelers’ was to get the lowest priced travel without concern to experience. His efforts in seeking the value proposition of travel were precursors to what eventually evolved into a new body of travel discussing luxury at a discount.

Joel’s most notable value strategies on how to obtain first-class upgrades have been profiled in such print and media outlets such as USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and the TV show Inside Edition.

Joseph Micthelli wrote in his 2008 book The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company that Widzer put is best by saying, “We all work hard in whatever field of endeavor we have chosen, and so it is vital to reward ourselves whenever we have the opportunity. I have found luxury travel to be a well-deserved reward for hard work.”

And who better to learn from than an expert like Joel who travels approximately 200,000 miles annually, has visited 103 countries, and logged over 3.5 million lifetime miles?

Strive for luxury, take a tour on JetReady.com and enjoy all your future journeys!


Travel Fatigue Calculator

The JetReady Travel Fatigue Program is Your Passport to Managing Travel Fatigue. Based on both academic and applied research findings from the scientist of the U.S. Army and International World Bank, and tested on flight crews and NASA Astronauts, this program has been specifically tailored for airline passengers by turning complex scientific discoveries into practical and easy to apply strategies.

Get started today with our online Travel Fatigue Calculator.

A Commonly Overlooked Travel Spoiler Can Interrupt Your Summer Vacation Plans

A Commonly Overlooked Travel Spoiler Can Interrupt Your Summer Vacation Plans
What to Pack to be Prepared

If you're like most summer travelers, there's probably an item you're forgetting to pack...
laxatives...

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Avoid Jet Lag with New Travel App

Check out the New JetReady World Clock and Travel Fatigue Manager and tell us what you think.

Available on:
...

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Loylaty is Still the Key to Luxury Travel

Travel industry loyalty marketing and rewards programs have seen a 31.2% decline in active participation since 2007, according to COLLOQUY survey research on U.S. consumer attitudes and perceptions in the recession economy....

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5 ways to get an upgrade

With increasing numbers of travelers hitting the airports, hotels and roads, an upgrade can make a big difference in your travel experience. Here are five ways to up your chances.
1. Plan, plan, plan....

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The real danger

The recent dust-up over humiliating and invasive body searches by the Transportation Security Administration has fixated our collective attention on the wrong issue.
Of course patting down a woman's bra - a knee-jerk...

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The positive side of Spirit Air’s carry-on fees

The latest salvo against the airline industry came recently when ultra-low cost Spirit Airlines announced a sensible proposal to charge travelers’ for carry-on baggage....

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Should you change your summer travel plans?

I seldom buy into the latest travel hype, especially when it's negative, but I have to agree that this summer is shaping up to be a bad time to travel. Airfares are high, hotel rates are higher, the dollar is weak abroad, and...

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Going on a cruise? Not me!

I've never taken a cruise.
Friends rave about their relaxing days at sea experiencing cruise-ship luxury and fabulous food, but I don't see the appeal. I originally balked because being stuck on a boat for days at a time...

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Let airlines set baggage policies

Some have suggested that forcing airlines to allow one free checked bag will dramatically reduce Transportation Security Administration (TSA) airport checkpoint wait lines. That suggestion overlooks basic facts.

There...

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Be careful what you say

I have long extolled the benefits of customer databases, which help travelers and travel providers build mutually beneficial relationships. By tracking their best customers' preferences and purchases, providers can reward them...

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What The Airline Industry May Have Up Its Sleeve

Over the past week, the airline industry has been hit with a triple whammy. Oil seems to have settled into a comfortable range of trading at over $105 a barrel, three U.S. airlines bit the dust, and the annual Wichita State...

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When safety is more important than one person’s comfort

When safety is more important than one person's comfort
Imagine my surprise when the ticket agent told me that I did not have a first class seat.
What? I sputtered. But I confirmed that seat just an hour...

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Making a case for fees

Air fares normally drop faster than leaves during the fall. But this autumn, a series of ticketing fees promise to keep prices a little higher.
Northwest Airlines announced it would add a surcharge of between $5 and $15...

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Travel is a patriotic act

At the height of the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt took the occasion of his first inaugural address to remind Americans of their common enemy: fear.

So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief...

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Summer travel tips from a 3.5-million miler

Summer flying poses special challenges for travelers -- everything from airport logjams and full planes to severe weather, long delays and cancellations. It is 90 days of heat, crowds, sudden downpours and short tempers on...

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Airline Mergers? Forget It

A lot of noise has been made recently about the coming consolidation of the airline industry and the doomsday effect such mergers would have. In my typical style, if I can't add much more than a rehash of current events, I'll...

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Holiday Travel & Stress

Stay Regular on the Road This Holiday Season

Whether you plan to be on the road or celebrating at home for the holidays, you'll likely get caught up in the excitement and the frenzy the season...

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What's the status of your status?

It's time to give your elite status a boost.
I'm not talking about your frequent flier mileage statement - I'm referring to the number of points or miles you have that will provide you elite membership with your...

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A contrarian's best bet: Vietnam

Experience luxury travel at very affordable prices
I have traveled a lot this year. In fact, I have traveled 245,000 miles to 21 countries: Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Panama, Mexico, Canada, Spain, France,...

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Tips to fight the ills of long-haul flights

Tips to fight the ills of long-haul flights
Jets are great. They allow eager travelers and hard-charging business people to travel thousands of miles in a matter of hours.
Some of them get used to the...

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The Sky Isn't Falling

Mark Twain, renowned for his "rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated" remark, had he lived a century later, might have been referring to the airline industry. Perhaps more than any other sector, the airlines find...

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Forget A Travelers' Bill Of Rights

Airline travelers have been tempted recently by the lofty idea of a so-called "Passenger Bill of Rights." The premise of this new proposed legislation is that if Congress gets involved in the airline industry again, air travel...

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Travelers' hotel reviews: Are they helpful?

The Internet has certainly been a boon to travelers, especially those looking for a place to stay. Countless Web sites offer hotel searches and price comparisons, and many also offer pictures of hotels, online reservations,...

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No more worry about wine

Let's be honest: I have wine anxiety. Whenever I'm invited to a dinner party and decorum dictates that I bring a bottle of wine, I go into a little panic. Will I bring a suitable vintage? Will it complement the food? Is this...

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Backroom news on FFPs

I recently attended FFP 2007, the third-annual conference of frequent-flier program (FFP) executives, which was held in Vancouver, British Columbia, at the end of February. I was one...

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A contrarian's choice: South Africa

Also Available at MSNBC.com Finding the best contrarian travel opportunities requires a lot of footwork -- or in my case, seat time. This is because contrarian...

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What a difference a hotel makes

Also Available at MSNBC.com
London is a favorite destination for many Americans, especially those venturing off to Europe for the first time, but it has never much appealed to me. I had been there just once -- 14...

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Maxed out and still loyal. Am I crazy?

Also Available at MSNBC.com
It's a mere six weeks into the new travel year and I've already reached the top tier of the loyalty program with my preferred airline. That means that I'll retain the highest level of...

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ExpertFlyer: It can serve you well

Deciphering airfares is almost as difficult as understanding Peyton Manning's offense. You have fare bases, fare codes and buckets; refundable tickets, nonrefundable tickets, upgradeable tickets and not. And, oh yeah: A fares...

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How to book your vacation

In my last column, I wrote about my friend Maryam, whose trip to Hawaii was tarnished by several booking mistakes. Since that column generated a lot of interest, I thought I would tell a different story this time-- a story...

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How not to book your vacation

A new year inevitably brings about a list of resolutions, such as losing weight, saving money, living a less stressful life or taking that dream trip. Well, I can't help with the first three, but I can give you some advice on...

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When traveling, it pays to be active

Also Available at MSNBC.com
You've gone thousands of miles, so why not leave the beaten path?
Increasingly, travel is woven into our daily lives. Whether for business, pleasure or holiday merry-making,...

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Get the service you deserve

Also Available at MSNBC.com
Hotel hospitality often times makes or breaks a trip
The world is not wanting for world-class museums, historical churches or breathtaking views. Nor is it lacking in...

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Delta US Airways: No way!

After spending a week in Ethiopia with no connection to the civilized world, I returned to Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C., to see the most ridiculous headline of the year: "US Airways makes $8.76 billion bid for Delta."...

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Flying first class? Not today, sir

Also Available at MSNBC.com
When safety is more important than one person's comfort
Imagine my surprise when the ticket agent told me that I did not have a first class seat.
"What?" I sputtered...

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Make the most of your loyalty program

Deadlines are approaching: Don't miss out on your rewards
Are you a frequent flier, frequent car renter or frequent hotel guest? Have you checked the calendar lately? Important deadlines are fast...

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Are we safer now? You bet!

Don't buy into propaganda. The state of air travel has improved
By know we have all been inundated with reminders that we passed the fifth anniversary of 9/11 on Monday. Americans cannot and should not forget...

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A contrarian trip to Europe

Europe has not been on my list of top travel destinations this year, mainly because of the unfavorable exchange rate. My theory of "contrarian travel" generally takes me to places offering better value but, like many travelers...

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Has American Express lost it?

Starting Oct. 1, 2006, American Express will eliminate a valuable point-earning scheme for holders of its Green, Gold and Platinum cards when it stops awarding double points for "Everyday Spending," i.e. purchases made at...

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Gotta get me a cool car

How to get a sweet ride without breaking the bank
On a recent trip to Spain, I rented a BMW 3 Series car with Hertz's NeverLost GPS system and unlimited mileage for 92 euros a day. Yes, I could have saved 30...

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Forget Paris, skip school, other contrarian tips

These days, smart travelers are going off-peak and off the beaten path
My favorite column topic, by far, is the idea of contrarian travel, or traveling against the grain. It's my strategy for getting luxury for...

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For the best value, book direct

3rd-party sites have revolutionized travel, but their time has passed
For all their usefulness, third-party travel Web sites can be as much a burden as a boon. The conventional wisdom is to check three or four...

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Is your passport really in order?

Some countries require passport be valid for 3-6 months from start of trip
I was recently in the Atlanta airport, headed for a flight to Tel Aviv, when I noticed something odd: a young man and his 3- or 4-year-...

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Avoid the Middle East? On the contrary

Recent trip to Middle East a successful test of contrarian travel strategy
A key principle of my travel strategy, which I call Contrarian Travel, is to travel against the grain: Go off-peak, follow the dollar,...

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Summer vacation: fly or drive?

Think carefully about transportation for your trip: A few scenarios
Summer is around the corner and families are looking forward to their vacations. In summers past, families would load up the station wagon,...

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Airline bashing

Anyone who's ever opened a newspaper or flipped on a TV knows the national media is overwhelmingly anti-airline -- except, of course, for the flattering attention paid to the industry darlings: JetBlue and Southwest Airlines....

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Need a solution for travel fatigue? Click here!

Tips to fight the ills of long-haul flights
Jets are great. They allow eager travelers and hard-charging business people to travel thousands of miles in a matter of hours. Some of them get used to the stresses...

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Shut up!

The day is coming when the last refuge of serenity -- the aircraft cabin -- will become polluted with ring tones and annoying conversations.
While making bothersome mile-high phone calls on U.S. carriers still requires...

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It's easy to love Argentina

For almost 10 years now, I have been preaching the Gospel of Contrarian Travel: Buy direct, travel off peak, follow the dollar, build loyalty, look for bargains, expect to be treated well. The strategy has paid off, some times...

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Freedom of choice

For years, I have heard travelers and writers chastise the airline industry for poor management and too narrow a range of choices for consumers. When one airline finally steps up to the plate with a revenue-generating idea...

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What about employee satisfaction?

Should a bankrupt air carrier accommodate its crew in the fanciest hotel in town? At a time when the airline industry is bleeding red ink, that might seem like a waste of money. It did to one of my colleagues, who recently...

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10 tips for getting travel perks

The other day I was speaking with my friend C.F., an patent attorney with an undergraduate degree in physics -- a smart guy to say the least. C.F. has always liked travel, but after his first trip to Europe his enthusiasm...

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I'm sorry

In a recent article I wrote about travelers' propensity to complain about their travel providers. In that article I went so far as to say, "I have come to think that America's favorite pastime is complaining about airline...

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Time for a checkup

I sometimes think New Year's resolutions are too focused on the new when what is really needed is a hard look at the old. This is certainly true of travel loyalty programs. Since most programs reset the...

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Resolution: a great year of travel

With the dollar gaining value and airfares continuing their slide, 2006 should be a great year to indulge your travel bug. Here are five ideas to get you packing.
Head to the slopes. This winter's record...

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Did the Grinch steal travel?

I have come to think that America's favorite pastime is complaining about airline service -- especially service on the network carriers.
It amazes me how long we hold on to the misadventures that occur during our travels...

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The TSA finally gets things right

Four years after the tragic events of 9/11, the Transportation Security Administration is finally getting it right. The agency announced last week that it was changing its rules and procedures for security at U.S. airports. It...

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"Thanks" for the upgrade

For most Americans, the Thanksgiving holiday is synonymous with travel. And this year looks like one for the record books, with the American Automobile Association estimating that more than 37 million Americans will hit the...

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It's that time of year again

Are you a frequent flier, frequent car renter, or frequent hotel guest? Have you checked the calendar lately? Important deadlines are fast approaching. If you don't plan ahead, you may lose your chance for hard-earned rewards...

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Fuel ejection

A recent ploy by some airlines might cause you inconvenience as you travel this fall and holiday season. Under the guise of "fuel conservation," flights are being canceled - sometimes at the last minute. I suspect the...

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The union strikes back

Thousands of travelers and consumers criticize airline executives for their management of once-great companies. They look at management decisions from a distance and see what appears to be a group of inept executives...

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Second thoughts

Before I started writing a regular column, I would occasionally try out my viewpoint with a journalist. Only once did I receive a reply, from an arrogant Wall Street Journal travel writer who slammed me with a curt and...

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Why you should fly the big airlines

The future of American air transportation rides in the cabins of the nation's big airlines. For more than 70 years, airlines like American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines have proudly served the interests of...

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8 tips for great car rentals

How many car rental stories have happy endings?
Mine do.
Take this recent experience with a Hertz rental in Denver. I arrived at the airport, sauntered right past the rental counter, and immediately boarded the...

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Here's your moneysaving roadmap

I was a wide-eyed schoolboy when my grandfather, an active man of 77, told me with a beaming smile, "Travel stimulates a full life." At the time, he was off with my equally spirited grandmother on yet another trip, this time a...

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How to get the service you deserve

We all mess up sometimes. The world traveler may forget his ticket, and even a five-star hotel can lose your reservation. When mishaps happen, the best travel providers will often go out of their way to make amends. After all...

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Getting the best seat on the plane

Having the seat I want is important to me when I fly. It ranks right up there with getting my first-class upgrade. Many travelers leave their seat assignment to chance. That just makes no sense to me. Flying is, after all,...

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Lightening the load: 9 luggage tips

Travel with just a carry-on. Never lose a bag. Skip the noisy carousel and go straight to your destination.
For the air traveler, these fantasies rank right up there with getting a free in-flight meal or fawning service...

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The seven deadly sins of travel

You don't have to read Dante to know about deadly sins. The travel experience is filled with enough good -- and evil -- that it would probably inspire the medieval Italian poet Dante Alighieri to write a new volume of his...

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Good view = lousy service?

When I travel, I like to enjoy a nice view from my room. But over the years, I've learned that not all views are equal. Far too often, restaurants and hotels rely too much on their view and ignore what matters -- service....

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How to tell a duck from an eagle

Have you ever come across a hotel employee, airline crewmember or car rental agent who was either unable -- or just plain unwilling -- to help you? If your experiences are anything similar to mine, it's probably happen more...

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Upgrade lessons from Columbo

Looking for an upgrade? Be like Columbo.
Remember the TV detective who blundered his way from case to case? He often controlled his environment and the outcome of each case by what appeared to be dumb luck.
A...

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A stylin' summer vacation for less

Every year at about this time, the travel industry's talking heads pull out their polyester suits and go on TV to dish out the same tired advice about summer travel.
Check the pressure of your car's tires. Shop around...

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The secret of my upgrade success

My secret to getting travel upgrades is similar to Warren Buffet's approach to the stock market: simple and boring, but effective. I have flown over two million miles on more than 1,000 flights, and since 1994 I have been...

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Joel's tips on tipping

When you're traveling, it seems that every service employee is looking for a handout.
Your valet pauses for a moment after you hand him the keys to your car. Your luggage porter lingers after delivering your bags to your...

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You'll get what you pay for

The conventional wisdom is that the less money you pay for a trip, the better you'll feel about it.
The conventional wisdom is wrong.
How can you put a price on avoiding a long check-in or security line? Or...

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What's your loyalty worth?

At a time when every airline offers homogenous routes and services, is consolidating your loyalty with one airline still a worthwhile proposition?
I found myself pondering this 54 days into the New Year, when I had...

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5 contrarian travel tactics

Looking for great travel deals is a popular pastime. It seems everyone has a different strategy for reaching the holy grail of travel -- a great experience at a reasonable price.
That used to be pretty easy. Value-...

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3 overseas car insurance tips

If you're traveling internationally, should you spring for the extra car rental insurance?
Determining whether that friendly agent is offering you an optional policy for your protection, or just for the commission, can...

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4 reasons to switch carriers

Is it time to jettison your preferred airline?
If you're getting bad service, you've moved, you can't get an upgrade any more or your carrier is in financial trouble, the answer might be "yes."
Spend your loyalty...

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Psst! 3 SkyMiles secrets

I'm all for pinching pennies and paying the lowest airfare whenever possible. But the reality is that a few passengers account for a majority of an airline's profits.
Shouldn't an airline's reward program reflect that...

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SkyMiles defiled

Caving to the protests of its stingiest customers, Delta Air Lines is revamping its SkyMiles program to what it calls a more "customer-focused transformation meant to simplify the Medallion qualification process."
I've...

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Want an upgrade? Say 'thank you'

For most Americans, the Thanksgiving holiday is synonymous with travel. And this year looks like one for the record books, with AAA projecting that more than 37 million Americans will hit the road.
For me, Thanksgiving...

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The myth of bad airline service

Everyone talks about bad airline service. But what about good service?
The nation's newspapers, Web bloggers, and airwaves are full of stories about the plummeting state of flying. Every day, my e-mail "in" box fills...

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Shut up!

The day is coming when the last vestige of serenity - the aircraft cabin - will become polluted with ring tones and annoying conversations.
While making bothersome mile-high phone calls still requires approval from The U...

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Deceptively worthless miles

Why go for the miles when loyalty is what really counts?
Face it: miles are all but worthless. In 1999, I wrote how air miles have become akin to a second national currency.
Today, they are a global currency that...

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Web sites' brave last days

The days of third-party travel Web sites are numbered.
The biggest misconception in travel is that you have to shop around for the lowest rates and fares. This simply is not the case.
Right now, hotel and airline...

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Facing my critics

My past columns have stirred strong feelings among travelers. Whether you think, as one writer states, I'm "full of caca" or I am intelligently stating a case, it's good to have something to think about. My objective is to...

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Fighting their way back

The intensely competitive airline market and the success of the economy carriers are forcing traditional airlines into a reality check.
The biggest challenge for the legacy carriers has been to align costs with their...

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Network airlines: not dead yet

Open any major newspaper, listen to any financial report, or read any number of Web sites offering travel advice and you'll be sure to hear about the demise of the major network air-carriers. For years, travel pundits have...

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Shattering a low-fare myth

When a discount airline comes to town, how can we lose?
That's the question raised by a lot of so-called travel experts lately. The answer, they suggest, is that we can't: A no-frills airline lowers...

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JetReady.com maintains an advertising free site and does not have a financial interest or accept compensation from travel providers discussed on this site or within our commentary. Further, it is our policy not to accept, gratuitous services, commissions, or perks from travel providers. However, Joel Widzer occasionally accepts spokesperson and speaking fees. Further, our consulting engagements are fee for services. This maintains our full impartiality of opinion and advice that is neutral, fair and without prejudice.

This site is dedicated to consumers of travel seeking value added services.