Major airlines have started to impose bans on ‘Smart luggage’ – luggage that can charge phones or be driven around the airport.
Effective Jan. 15, 2018, a number of major airlines will no longer accept as checked or carry-on luggage so-called "smart bags" or smart luggage with non-removable lithium-ion batteries. American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Air Lines and Alaska Airlines have all released similar guidelines that will prohibit these bags from being checked or carried onto flights, and others are reportedly considering joining them.
Smart bags with removable batteries will still be allowed if the battery can be removed on site and taken on board the aircraft with the customer, requiring customers to place spare lithium-ion batteries in their carry-on luggage.
Many smart bag manufacturers advertise their products as being approved by the Federal Aviation Administration or Transportation Security Administration, which may give customers the false impression that all smart bags are accepted for transport. To date, neither the TSA nor FAA have endorsed a smart bag as approved.
AIR CANADA'S NEW BOEING 737 MAX AIRCRAFT
Air Canada has 61 firm orders for the 737 MAX. They are to be delivered by 2021, with 18 due to enter the fleet by the end of 2018. Its first scheduled flights in North America include service to Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and Montreal. The aircraft is also scheduled to operate internationally to Keflavik, Dublin and Shannon starting in summer 2018. Air Canada has configured the 737 MAX in two cabins of service, North American Business and Economy. Features of the new aircraft include:
Premium comfort and ambiance with improved seats and innovative LED mood lighting along the ceiling;
An upgraded in-flight entertainment system with a sleek, new 15 language user interface. Coming soon, passengers will be able to stream video and audio to their own devices;
Faster Wi-Fi due to antennas with the highest bandwidth available in the industry, available starting in early 2018;
Upgraded overhead storage space compartments offer additional space for every single passenger to bring a carry-on bag;
The latest quiet engine technology for up to 40 percent less noise, meaning more peace and quiet for customers when flying;
The 737 MAX uses 20 percent less fuel per seat than the original Next-Generation 737.
SMART DEVICES BEING TESTED BY CERTAIN HOTEL BRANDS
Smart devices are becoming more and more prevalent in daily life, from televisions to thermostats to toasters. Devices with digital assistants, like Amazon’s Alexa or iOS’s Siri, are also expanding at a rapid pace. It makes sense that the hotel industry, with their focus on hospitality, would take advantage of this new technology to make their guests’ stays more comfortable.
Marriott, Best Western, and Starwood are only some of the brands currently testing digital assistants in hotel rooms. Guests who stay in a room with an artificially intelligent assistant can have the device perform a number of tasks, including tell the time, play music, order room service, and even open or close the curtains.
Marriott is using their Aloft hotel in Boston to test both Alexa and Siri to determine which digital assistant customers prefer. In addition to the features mentioned, guests can control their television, lights, and room temperature with their voice. That will make turning on the air conditioner from bed much easier!
One thing customers should not anticipate is the devices being used as marketing tools. Users have reacted very negatively toward unexpected ads coming from their digital assistants. Therefore at this time hotels are using them as a way to enhance the guest experience rather than increase revenue.