Airlines are improving the value proposition of their in-flight amenity kits – handed out to first and business class passengers – by joining forces with high-end lifestyle brands.
Mutually beneficial, it gives the collaborator the chance to gain exposure among elite flyers, and means passengers get something better than a throw-away toothbrush and a pair of socks.
Last year saw the trend gain momentum with a host of new brand partnerships at the front of the plane; this year we will see it go mainstream.
In April, Qatar Airways revealed new first and business washbags by Giorgio Armani, as well as sleeper suits by Missoni. Amenities included Acqua di Gio perfume, Crema Nera Extrema Supreme Reviving cream and Armani Pour Homme aftershave.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said: “These brands are distinguished by their sophistication, superior quality, luxury and eminence – attributes that also define Qatar Airways’ signature service for our passengers.”
Turkish Airlines has partnered with an array of luxury brands – Cerruti, Chopard, Institut Karite and Furla, as well as Jaguar and Bentley – for its new range of amenity kits announced in June. You can read more on our sister website seatplans.com.
In August, United began filling its Global First and Business First kits, which are made by Tumi, with Cowshed skincare products from private members’ club Soho House. United’s senior vice-president and chief marketing officer said: “This is another step in enhancing our customers’ experience in flight and on the ground.”
A couple of months before, Delta Air Lines refreshed its Tumi packs with Malin + Goetz products.
In October, Etihad unveiled a new range of limited edition business class packs – each one comes with a Luxe City Guide, as well as toiletries by Scaramouche + Fandango. Calum Laming, Etihad Airways’ vice-president of guest experience, said: “Etihad Airways continues to reimagine the flying experience, setting a new benchmark for innovation and luxury.
“The introduction of these kits is part of a much bigger journey, which was started with the introduction of our flagship Airbus A380 and Boeing 787s, and the new service concepts introduced fleet-wide.”
At about the same time, rival carrier Emirates announced a refresh of its Bulgari sets for business and first travellers. Available in 16 variants depending on the sector, first class pouches are made of leather, while those for business class have a satin finish. Goodies include Bulgari body lotion, shave balm, body spray, face cream.
Terry Daly, Emirates’ divisional senior vice president of service delivery, said: “Bulgari and our team worked very closely on the designs to develop bags that were stylish without compromising on functionality.”
Other tie-ups in the past have included Alitalia and Salvatore Ferragamo, and Finnair and Marimekko.