JODY VICTOR®

Let's go on an adventure with Jody Victor!


Flaws in the design of the “smart” luggage made by Bluesmart Inc. is causing the company to close its doors. Several major airlines have banned the luggage due to its lithium batteries—which could ignite and set fire to cargo compartments.

The company was started in 2014 with an impressive $2 million crowdfunding campaign.

The lithium batteries in question powered a GPS that users could track through their cellphones—which is the major selling point of the luggage. The batteries, however, also acted as a charging station for other devices, auto-locking mechanisms and a scale the weighs the bag.

The design flaw isn’t so much the lithium battery itself—other manufacturers have stayed in business as their designs avoided the issue—but the fact that to remove a Bluesmart battery one has to remove four screws and unplug at least three wires. The other makers’ batteries are easily removed.

Overall, these kinds of smart bags become just normal luggage without a power source to run features like the GPS tracking.

The company has already come out and stated they won’t be responding to any requests for refunds or replacements and will not honor any warranties.

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Ashley Spencer, Philadelphia native, boarded a flight bound for Cleveland this past Saturday in hopes of having her eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA), an extremely rare autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in a person’s blood vessels, treated at the Cleveland Clinic.

As it turned out, it was Spencer’s severe peanut allergy that almost killed her. 28 year old Spencer believes the bag of chips she ate pre-flight may have triggered the allergic reaction. On board the plane she went into anaphylactic shock. Thankfully a Dr. Erich Kiehl was on flight and agreed to help Spencer. Along with assistance from a North Carolina doctor, Kiehl, of the Cleveland Clinic, gave Spencer four shots from an EpiPen to stem her allergic reaction.

Spencer was rushed to a hospital in Pittsburgh where the plane made an emergency landing.

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In the past, before a 2011 full-fare advertising rule, airlines were only required to display the base price of ticket excluding mandatory taxes and fees. Congress has now introduced the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 which could repeal this rule. It’s a large bill that includes everything from consumer laws such as this to funding the FAA and revisiting aviation rules.

Those in favor of repealing the 2011 full-fare advertising rule claims it will “enhance” passenger experiences. Others such frequent fliers, consumer advocates and other experts all agree this is clearly an unfair practice. Formally known as the Transparent Airfares Act, this will be the third go in the last five years the airline industry and their lobby have tried to get rid of the act.

The newly introduced law “is to ensure that consumers know how much they are paying is for the fare itself, and how much they are paying in taxes to the government,” says spokesperson for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Justin Harclerode,
It is important to note, however, the current law doesn’t disallow airlines from breaking down the taxes and fees so customers know how much of their money is going to whom.

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After ten years stuck in Dubai the historic Queen Elizabeth 2 becomes a hotel. The QE2 is probably best known from when it set sail in 1969, a floating monument to Great Britain. Over its 40 years of traveling—with something like 1,400 voyages to its name—the ship saw the entire globe 25 times, played host to well over 2 million passengers. It sailed an incredible 6 million (nautical) miles.

10 years ago, the QE2 made port for the last time in Dubai, where recession-stalled plans to turn it into a floating hotel sunk. The city has spent $100 million trying to make the ship into a grand floating hotel. Finally, the dream is reality, the QE2 hotel will open with 224 rooms and suites. 13 restaurants (if you can believe it). Other amenities will include a movie theatre, bars and a museum of the ships history.

Forever docked at Mina Rashid, non-guest visitors will be welcome to dine at some of the restaurants and explore public parts of the ships, including the museum.

The QE2’s sister ship, the Queen Mary, is also a floating hotel and tourist attraction. It has been docked in Long Beach, California, since 1972.

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King Tut’s tomb is arguably one of the most spectacular places one can visit in Egypt, however the tourism hotspot needed an upgrade.

On Tuesday, the Getty Conservation Institute of Los Angeles reported that nearly 10 year restoration of King Tuts tomb will be completed. The goal, to preserve an important piece of history.The project added a filtration system to prevent damage from humidity, CO2 and even dust. Also, barriers have been put up to prevent tourists from touching any of the paintings on the walls. There are also new walk ways and platforms as well as new lights that will be installed this autumn. These will illuminate the mummy of King Tut, Egypt’s Boy King, who is about 3,000 years old.

The project was launched in 2009 by the Los Angeles institute, known worldwide for its conservation work, in collaboration with Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities.

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