I remember the days when upper class travellers were subjected to a pouch filled with toothpaste and oily moisturisers. These days, deluxe toiletries and luxury extras are in store for our high-flyers. With private suites and gourmet meals practically passé, one of the few elements distinguishing high flyers from the rest of us back in economy are the designer vanity totes offered.
For those who are set on having the best at 30,000 feet, the few that caught our attention were Emirates, Etihad, British Airways and Qatar. Air Canada, Condor and Iberia would not exactly be on my fly list.
While most of the airlines have kits made in collaboration with luxury fashion houses such as Bulgari and Dior, Etihad and Garuda Indonesia are edging towards eco-friendly kits and products. Necessities are a given in all amenity kits but we like how Emirates and Qatar Airways includes a eau de parfum as well.
Cheapflights carefully examined first class amenity kits from the most popular airlines in the world, and we have picked the 10 best from the list considering the amenities, usability and of course style.
10. Garuda Indonesia
Garuda Indonesia has partnered with Spanish luxury brand Loewe for first class flyers. Passengers receive eco-friendly wooden hairbrush, shoe horn and toothbrush as well as dental flossing sticks, toothpaste, body balm, moisturiser, eau de toilette, lip balm, ear plugs and a black silk eye mask.
For those flying upper class, Icelandair kits, contain a woolly bag with eye mask, ear plugs, peppermints, socks, toothbrush, toothpaste, lip balm, moisturiser and hand cream from the Icelandic Blue Lagoon.
8. Turkish Airlines
Turkish Airlines sure knows to give that extra touch. With the do not disturb and please wake me for meal stickers, I feel this is one of the kits ranking high in comfort while not so much in style. Also included in the bright red envelope bag are non-slip socks, eye mask, foldable brush/comb, toothpaste, toothbrush, ear plugs, shoe horn, and Crabtree & Evelyn hand cream and lip balm.
From the Land of Down Under, Qantas fill sleek toilet bags with SK-II cosmetics such as cleanser, moisturiser and facial treatment essence as well as eye mask, ear plugs, toohbrush, toothpaste, deodrant, a mirror for the ladies and a razor and shaving foam for men. They sure know how to pair luxury with necessity.
6. Swiss Air
Swiss sure knows how to do style! With a Bally-designed bag filled with toothbrush, toothpaste, black cabin socks, eye mask, foldable comb/brush, ear plugs, tissues, Ricola throat lozenges, they’ve covered it all! Luxury items include La Prairie goodies including moisturiser, eye cream and hand cream.
5. Air New Zealand
Flying down south does have its privileges. Air New Zealand’s unisex kit is filled with an assortment of products ranging from novelty ‘Beware I sleep walk’ eye mask, Air NZ pen, ear plugs, Clarins HydraQuench cream and lip balm. Also included are a pair of socks in Air NZ cabin crew colours, toothbrush and toothpaste.
4. British Airways
British Airways goes the extra mile and distinguishes between our men and women passengers. With his or hers cosmetic bag coming our way, who cares about our personal kits checked into our Louis Vuitton trolleys. Along with the necessities, men are treated to Refinery products and Aromatherapy Associates products, such as rose cleanser and moisturiser, eye serum, orange flower hand lotion and lip balm for the ladies
3. Qatar Airways
Doha’s home carrier does not disappoint. With a lavish Dior bag filled with Dior products including aftershave, serum and moisturiser for men, women are treated to Salvatore Ferragamo Attimo products and Dior J’adore perfume. Junior flyers are not forgotten with Spongebob backpacks, colouring books and a soft toy that can be used as a pillow.
Arguably one of the finest kits – Etihad’s amenity kit has a cultural twist. With Etihad having worked with Sougha, a social enterprise that preserves the Emirati heritage and promotes local artisans – the generously sized Diamond first class spoils you with products by luxury New York brand Le Labo. Throw in a pair of socks, eye mask, roll-on pulse point oil, pillow mist, toothbrush, toothpaste, cotton buds, make-up pads, emery board, shaving kit and Voila! You’re fresh as ever when you arrive at your destination.
In my eyes, Emirates soars way above the rest with an in-flight attaché from the house of Bulgari. An elegant array of Bulgari products are provided to our globetrotters carefully arranged in a Bulgari designed dark brown leather bag. Take a look inside and you will find a body lotion, after-shave cream and a eau de parfum and of course your basic necessities – Gillette shaving foam, razor, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant and tissues.