Amenity Kit Review: British Airways First Class (Spring 2011)

Non-U.S. airlines tend to invest more heavily in their amenity kits and the British Airways First Class kit reviewed below is no exception. For a better description of each category and the 7-point scale for scoring, please review my introductory post here.

Bag/Container: British Airways partnered with Anya Hindmarch to design the case for their First Class kits and it’s a gray Gladstone style bag embossed with the original ‘To Fly, To Serve’ coat of arms seen on British Airways’ aircraft tail livery present between 1984-1997. It’s made of sturdy leather and includes an Anya Hindmarch tag sewn into the inside of the self-closing bag (or “BAg” as is commonly used as a play on the BA airline code). Reusability is just average as the stiffness & moderate capacity is limited when compared to more flexible types of bags. Score: 6

Skin Care: The internal amenities are wrapped in a descriptive product information band, which contains full details of the REN skin care products. Sold here in the U.S. in Sephora stores, the kit contains separate hand & nail, face and eye creams along with a generous tube of lip balm. The creams are deeply hydrating, light in scent and feel, and contain an ample amount for a long-haul flight. My only minor complaint is the hand cream is just a touch oily, but I did notice it quickly absorbs after a minute or so. Even so, British Airways absolutely excelled in this category and deserves the full exceptional rating. Score: 7

Oral Care: A soft bristled nearly full size Dr. Harris & Co Ltd toothbrush is included along with mouthwash and a small tube of Marvis mint toothpaste. Both the toothpaste & mouthwash have security seals, which I always appreciate and the toothbrush’s plastic cover fits snugly after use. The mouthwash has an unusual aftertaste that I can’t identify and contained enough for only two rinses (not sure why I expect more, but I do). Nothing terrible, nothing stellar for this category and a package of mints would have been appreciated. Score: 5

Comfort Items: This is the first time I’ve encountered adjustable eyeshades (via a Velcro strip) and these are ultra soft and include a British Airways First logoed tag. Also incredibly soft are the socks that seem to be 100% cotton unlike some of the cheaper fabrics commonly seen in other amenity kits. The earplugs are also soft and comfortable, but I would have liked them contained in a separate case (a la Lufthansa) instead of sealed in plastic. Also provided to First Class passengers is a “night suit,” though I didn’t have one available for this review. Score: 6

Intangibles: The presentation of the case is impressive and it’s wrapped in a sturdy plastic band that denotes it as unused. It truly feels luxurious, ample and exclusive, but I was surprised there wasn’t a discount offer for REN products or some other type of exclusive notice to visit an online portal.  Score: 6

Total score & comments:

As I would have expected, the British Airways First Class amenity kit emitted a sense of class & taste. The branding is appropriate without being overdone and I’m happy to have added it to my collection. Call me strange, but I also like the little touches like the socks being tied with a rafia band. It definitely earns the near perfect rating, so the final score of 6.0 is well deserved. Nicely done, British Airways!

 

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Comments

  1. Terrific review!

    I loved the leather bag, the attention to detail, and the products (while a wee bit small) were certainly high class.

    The amenity kit really does make you feel like you’re in first class!

  2. Great review but are you seriously disappointed about the fact that BA didn’t include a coupon code in their amenity kit. An amenity kit is supposed to exude luxury not be filled with a bunch of 20% off coupons that the airline makes money off of. I hope the US carriers and their classless marketing tactics are not starting to rub off on you.

    • Well you know, I’ve grown accustomed to it and while I see your point, I think airlines have an opportunity to go beyond the simple discount offers for the brands inside, and could also encourage you to log on post-flight to select a gift for having been a first class passenger. This would probably be on the airline’s site directly, and given some of my background is in (classless) marketing, enticing further participation from high-yield customers could lead to revenue growth downstream.

  3. I was not at all impressed with the bag. Not very functional for future use. I do LOVE the sleeper suit. I fanged before we even took off. Very soft and comfortable.

  4. only problem with these bags is I never have room to put them in my bags, they don’t really collapse, so make sure you make some room.

  5. Thank you for your review. My wife and I are traveling from Sydney to Paris with Singapore stopover in February 2012 on BA First. I am a “big guy” (weight around 120kg) and wonder what my chances are of finding a sleeping suit which will fit. SHould I let BA know ahead of the flight that they have a heavyweight traveling with them? Cheers

    • Hi Bill,
      I’d shoot them an email to ask if they have XL or XXL sizes available. For what it’s worth, L-sized PJs I’ve received are more XL in my opinion. Those were from Lufthansa and Cathay Pacific, though.

  6. The kit looks great. I am in the Ukraine now and am awaiting the arrival of my lost luggage from IAH. The kit looks like a million dollars to me!

  7. what a brilliant amenity bag. We’re hoping to fly First Class (with Avios points) next year and can’t wait. Are the sleepsuits complementary or are they collected at the end of the flight ?

    • @Keri: I believe British Airways lets you keep them. And I think All Nippon Airways (ANA) is the only airline that collects them at the end of each flight.

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