Your Hotel May Be Lying To You About The Cereal At Breakfast [Roundup]

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About Gary Leff

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, 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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  1. I never understood the Jones act either but that’s Congress in a nutshell…..

  2. Thank you, Gary, for your View From the Wing article, “Your hotel may be lying to you about the cereal at breakfast.” I agree. The black things that look like raisins in Kellogg’s Raisin Bran could be something else. Here is a link to how much mouse poop the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows in your food. Bon appétit.

  3. I have my pension from Kellogg’s. We would give a big upfront bonus if they specified and displayed our cereal at any establishment that they own. The same with menu allowance with Kellogg’s logo on the breakfast portion. It was too hard monitoring all the individual units. The same with all products. Lipton buddy supplied $500 machines then restaurant would serve garbage.

  4. Wow, I didn’t know that Miley Cyrus had an airplane. Guess it pays to be a famous slut.

  5. The Jones Act was originally introduced to ensure only US vessels could transport goods from Seattle to Alaska. They didn’t want any Canadian competition. Still, some of the reason for keeping it still apply, such as keeping a ship-building industry and to produce experienced sailors. The downside is that it allowed US shipbuilders to become noncompetitive with international peers, so the only US ships built are only used for intra-US routes, and for international aid deliveries. At the very least, Hawaii should be allowed exemption from the Jones Act for oil and gasoline deliveries. I don’t think they need a general exemption, given that food and merchandise already have well established routes.

  6. The old hotel cereal swticheroo has been going on for a long time. When I was a poor grad student a couple of decades ago, I could only afford a Days Inn on one trip I took (Durham, NC). They had cereal dispensers very similar to that video. I tried several, and it was immediately obvious that the cereal being dispensed was not the name brand; the taste was distinctly different and inferior. It wasn’t old or stale; it was clearly a different set of ingredients from a much cheaper brand. I now just assume that what is displayed by a hotel in a large dispenser is not what is being served except perhaps at high-end hotels. (Same goes for various fruit juices, which are just as likely to be sugar water with fruit flavor or a marginal amount of actual juice.)
    You can only trust the individually packaged cereals and beverages.

  7. @Allen: When a hotel switches food brands without proper notice, guests with food allergies could die from consuming an unlabeled allergen. That would be a bad way to start your day and will ruin your afternoon. View From the Wing articles like this one exposing this problem may save lives.

  8. Thank you so much. I have no idea how I would get through my day without knowing every detail about Miley Cyrus’ day.

  9. Re the breakfast cereal scam, I don’t doubt that hotels may secretly substitute generic products for name brands; however I would never trust anyone who says “trust no one.”

  10. JorgeGeorge Paez – The Jones Act came about after WWI, when the federal government was sending troops and war materials to Europe. They found that many of the ships were owned by foreigners sympathetic to Germany who refused to transport troops or war supplies. This caused difficulties for the Federal government.

    If the Jones Act was removed, I think it would be a very short time before Russian Oligarchs purchased all of the shipping lines.

  11. @Suzie, @Jorge, While the issues with foreign shipping was the excuse, the Pacific Shipping Company appeared in front of Senator Jones’ committee complaining off Canadian competition, including transporting goods from Alaska to Alaska via land transport to Vancouver and then ship to Alaska. This was not the first protectionist measure, it started much earlier. In the mid 1800s, ships started being built from steel with coal burning engines, but with monopoly protection in the US, there was no strong push to convert from wooden sailing ships. International shipping on US flagged shipped is nearly zero, so the protection hasn’t worked except to keep shipping to Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico from the mainland on US built, operated, and owner ships.

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