When you enter a First or Business Class cabin there’s usually only one thing on your mind (after assessing your bountiful legroom, or the decadence of your lie-flat bed, that is)… the amenity kit. After all, nothing softens the blow of a long-haul jaunt than some designer toiletries and the chance to freshen up mid-flight.
But how do you know what kit suits you? We asked some of our favourite airlines to send us their First or Business Class amenity kits for the online and social media team – or rather: the dedicated amenity kit testing team – to try out. Despite being slightly off-balance gender-wise (four women to two men), we did our best to put each one through its paces. Here are the results:
Kit: Business Class
Contents: Jurlique products including hand cream, lip balm and day care cream; toothpaste; toothbrush; ear plugs; cleaning cloth for glasses; eye mask; socks with grips on the soles; discount voucher for Seventy Eight Percent.
What we love: “The day care cream is soft and silky without being greasy, and smells lovely,” tells Angela Griffin. “I really loved the socks in particular: they’re soft and cosy, perfect for snuggling up to watch a film or for keeping your feet warm while you have your in-flight nap. I thought having a glasses cloth was a great idea too – although it took me a while to figure out what it was!”
The verdict: This kit is ideal for the wide-awake flyer. Those non-slip socks will keep you grounded during any turbulence and you can keep your glasses clean throughout the flight, perfect if you want to finish that book you’ve been working on for weeks.
Kit: First Class – men’s and women’s
Contents: Eye mask; socks; ear plugs; toothbrush; toothpaste; pen. For men only: comb/brush, razor and Refinery deodorant, moisturiser, shave gel, eye gel and lip balm. For women only: travel hairbrush with mirror and Aromatherapy Associates hand lotion, cleanser, moisturiser, eye serum, deodorant and cotton pads.
What we love: Chris Steel was tasked with testing the men’s BA amenity kit. He said: “My favourite feature was the stylish zip-up wash-bag. Actually, it’s nicer than the wash-bag I usually travel with so I will be hanging onto this one. The kit also contained a classy, metallic ballpoint pen. A thoughtful inclusion that means, when the immigration cards get handed out, you will be spared those sheepish glances at fellow passengers who had the foresight to bring their own writing implement.”
What we love: Helen Winter tried out the ladies’ kit. “This kit is perfect for an in-flight pamper,” she says. “There are cotton pads and a rose cleanser to refresh you before a big flight, a moisturiser and lip balm to soothe dry skin after hours of air conditioning, an eye serum for after your nap, and the most amazing smelling hand lotion. It’s worth travelling First Class just for this: hats off to British Airways.”
The verdict: British Airways’ amenity kits are designed for primping and preening on-board. So chaps, if you forgot to shave before your 6am boarding call don’t worry: you can do it in the air.
Kit: Business Class – men’s and women’s
Contents: Same products for both sexes: toothbrush; toothpaste; ear plugs; eye mask; Aspar products including hand cream, lip balm and face moisturiser.
What we love: “The design of the ladies bag is wonderful,” says Alexandra Gregg. “It’s big, bold and bright – really eye-catching and definitely good for multiple uses. I found the ear plugs and eye mask particularly useful as I struggle to block out aeroplane noise and sleep on flights. Until now, that is…”
The verdict: You’ll certainly be turning heads with these Kate and Jack Spade designed bags. The ladies geometric print particularly stands out, as does its contents: the toiletries make this feel like much more than a Business Class offering.
Kit: First Class & Business Class
Contents: Toothbrush; toothpaste; tissues. For men only: razor, shaving foam, deodorant and Bvlgari toiletries, including body lotion, aftershave balm and a small bottle of perfume. For women only: big bottle of Bvlgari perfume, handy mirror with Emirates logo on the back and Bvlgari toiletries, including face emulsion and hand cream. Contents are the same for the First & Business Class kits – only the bag differs.
What we love: “What’s not to love?” Exclaims Phil Murray. “High quality aftershave, body lotion, eau de toilette from Bvlgari – the products are all great and in a reusable travel size which you can use for your whole trip, rather than just once. The bag is a nice size too and I especially like the three-blade razor from Truefitt & Hill, the World’s Oldest Barber Shop, for a touch of sophistication.”
The verdict: Emirates wins on style, sophistication and size, great for regular flyers. These kits are mammoth and packed with great – reusable products – perfect for using next time you fly First, Business, or even Economy, where you’ll be the envy of your fellow passengers.
Kit: Upper Class
Contents: Ear plugs in a cute little case; pen; toothbrush; toothpaste; Mentos handy pack; tissues; socks; eye mask. Oh, and the kind Virgin Atlantic team also sent us a special edition pyjama onesie which we put to good use on a chilly day in the office (see above).
What we love: “I actually really love the bag itself,” says Lauren Burvill. “It’s got some really clever little compartments and is perfect to reuse for future travel. The lip balm also feels really luxurious and smells divine.”
The verdict: This kit has all the essentials, but it’s the pen we love: purple and emblazoned with the Virgin Atlantic logo, it’s great for those wanting to get a bit of in-flight work done.
Kit: World Business Class
Contents: Pen; lip balm; socks; eye mask; toothbrush and toothpaste; ear plugs; comb.
What we love: Tess Watkins says: “My favourite item was the ear plugs – perfectly blocked out the noise and led to a very peaceful sleep! I enjoyed all aspects of the kit, the socks were very cosy and the lip balm was a nice addition.”
The verdict: The great thing about this kit is that it doesn’t look like an amenity kit. In fact, fashion-savvy could pass off the exclusively-designed Viktor & Rolf bag as a clutch bag or money wallet for both sexes.