Would You Eat This On Your Next Flight? [Roundup]

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Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. UA served something that could not be identified on SFO to EWR business first. But on a positive note we left a few minutes early & arrived 25 minutes early. These days that’s remarkable!

  2. Everyone wants to follow the science, but the dispensers that are replacing individual toiletries in hotel bathrooms spread diseases and viruses. It also sounds like IHG is eliminating bars of hand soap from its lower-end brands.

  3. Everybody want to follow the science when it supports their already established position, everybody tends to ignore it when the same science disagrees with their established position. I can list numerous scientific things that people across the spectrum, from right to left, ignore because it disagrees with their preexisting biases.

    If you don’t have to at least occasionally change your mind because science disagrees with you, you aren’t doing it right. People would rather dismiss the science than change their mind.

    Person indignantly claiming that their side ALWAYS follows the science, it’s the other side that ignores it, in 3…2…1…

  4. @FNT, “science” is shorthand for testing of hypotheses by the collection and analysis of evidence. Your hypothesis states these bulk dispensers spread disease. Bulk dispensers have been used at many hotels, and bulk soap dispensers at public restrooms, with no disease traceable to any bulk dispenser. Furthermore, viruses die quickly outside the human body. By the time an infected guest checks out and housekeeping has turned the room, the virus in the dispenser is long gone.

    Same with the other bathroom fixtures. Why don’t we replace the faucet between each guest? 😉

  5. There was actually a study that identified the presence of bacteria in bulk soap dispensers. But it was sponsored by Gojo who makes overpriced soap refills so I’m not sure how reliable it was.

    In any event, most of the dispensers used in hospitality lock anyway. I actually prefer having enough shampoo rather than trying to squeeze the last mL out of a plastic bottle after 3 days with no housekeeping.

  6. Bacteria are everywhere and that doesn’t concern the average traveler. Why is there so much concern over shared dispensers when we use so many other products, like pillows, that are certainly also shared? A porous pillowcase (laundered but then changed hands among housekeepers who have just cleaned the toilets) is hardly sterile protection against the buildup of previous guests’ sweat, drool, and what have you on the pillow insert.

    The sensitive traveler has a solution: BYO.

  7. SFO-BLR is not viable without using Russian airspace, and the likelihood of that being open to United by the end of the year seems very slim.

  8. Flying throughout the nonsense the past two years taught me to NEVER rely on an airline, or airport, to have food available for me. I’m now in the habit of hitting one of locally owned burrito joints and packing one for the flight. It’s cheaper, it’s higher quality then the slop an airline will feed me and it keeps $ in the local economy. Just be sure to pull it outta the bag at TSA. The smurfs at security ALWAYS pull my backpack for secondary (yes, even in Pre) to inspect the potentially lethal burrito if I forget to take it out.

  9. @Doug – According to gcmap, SFO-BLR is 8,701 miles, SFO-Sapporo-Seoul-BLR is 9,107 mi – that route avoids both Russian and North Korean airspace, although it probably requires a bit of adjustment to get by the Kuril Islands. I’m not an expert in aircraft ranges, but I think they can make the extra 400 miles, as JFK-SIN is 9,537 miles.

  10. At a Holiday Inn Express right now with very soft water and the Dove bulk products and bar of soap actually are ok for me because they wash off pretty well. Sometimes with soft water I still feel soapy.

  11. On bulk personal care items in hotel rooms, it’s nonsense to think that you’ll ‘get sick’ from using them. What’s next? Soaking your bedding in boiling water and bleach? If you’re worried, use some hand cleaner once you’re ready for the day. And if you’re THAT worried, you should not be travelling. Certainly travellers can step up here as we keep billions of plastic containers out of landfill and the ocean, not to mention wasting half the product in the little bottle. I am overly-protective of my eyes (with good reason) so I travel with a little bar of facial soap. I would not expect a hotel to have one in my room. Anyone can take care of themselves,, it just takes some thought.

    P.S. When do we get to find out what that mess was in the photo of an airline meal?

  12. If anything the only big drawback I’ve found to the bulk dispensers is when housekeeping fails to do their job and check and refill them regularly. I was in the middle of a shower at my boutique hotel last week right after checking in and go to use the body wash… empty. I bathed with the shampoo.

    The other thing was the products advertised on the bulk bottle were of a French company and then when I asked for more body wash they brought me up made in China stuff of a different brand. You have to wonder if they’re actually always refilling the bulk bottles with the product advertised or if they’re then cutting corners using cheaper stuff.

    I’m really not concerned about bacteria or viruses. But If some demented person wanted to( if the bottles aren’t locked) I suppose they could do some rather disgusting stuff for the next guest… the thought has crossed my mind because if you can think it, someone’s already done it somewhere.

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