Amenity Kit Review: Continental Airlines BusinessFirst (2011 version)

I’ve selected the current international BusinessFirst kit from Continental Airlines for this edition of Amenity Kit Reviews. For a better description of each category, and the 7-point scale for scoring, please review my introductory post here.

Bag/Container: The patterned gray, rectangular nylon/canvas zipper bag is branded with a navy blue BusinessFirst tag sewn into the lower right-hand side. The bag holds it shape well full or empty, and has two equally sized zippered mesh compartments inside the navy blue interior. A metal hook attached to a small piece of fabric allows the bag to hang while in the lavatory. It’s a functional bag, and although the zipper doesn’t operate smoothly, this bag is better than some other kits out there. Score: 5

Skin Care: Continental chose the Escents line of aromatherapy skin care products for their current kits, and included a small product information card, as well as an offer for $10 off an online order of at least $50. The hand and body lotion has an incredibly light scent (labeled as bergamot & honey), and absorbs into the skin quickly without being too oily. A retail-sized lime & peppermint lip balm is included, as well as a refreshing cleansing cloth (moist towellette) with hints of grapefruit. Nothing elaborately fancy here, but all items were of good quality, and a card noting razors and shaving cream are available upon request was included. Score: 5

Oral Care: A soft bristled mini toothbrush and Colgate toothpaste are included with this kit. Fine for a couple of uses, but nothing you’d really keep to reuse in the future. A little box of mints is also included. Mouthwash would have been nice, so this category simply gets an adequate rating. Score: 4

Comfort Items: The eyeshades fit snugly (a good thing) & are soft on the eyes and effective in blocking out any light. The socks are sufficient for single use, and the earplugs are soft. A package of three facial tissues, and a flip open comb & brush also come with this kit. These items are fairly standard fare for US-based airlines, and I’m edging the score in this category up a touch due to the softness of the earplugs and eyeshades. Score: 5

Intangibles: The branding is fairly insignificant with the exception of the BusinessFirst tag, and I would have liked to have seen the Continental globe incorporated somewhere on the kit. The color scheme matched throughout, including the Escents products. All of the items are useful for a long-haul flight and the kit feels substantial. Although the BusinessFirst product is a hybrid of sorts between Business Class and First Class, this kit leans toward being a decent First Class amenity. Score: 5

Total score & comments:

Overall, this amenity kit scored 4.75, which I feel is fair for the slightly better than average amenities. I enjoyed the Escents line of products, and particularly liked the lip balm. As always, including a pen in the amenity kit is very much appreciated and handy for filling out the customs & immigration forms. If the new United keeps a three-class configuration internationally, I’d like to see this kit remain as the business class offering. United’s current first class kit that I reviewed previously has a few stronger elements, and if they changed the bag, earplugs and pen, it would be my preference for surviving the merger.

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    • Hi Andy, I imagine we’ll eventually see a brand new kit and will probably lean towards being similar to this one as it seems just about everything else at United is being “Continentalized” (not necessarily a bad thing in some cases). I would have given oral care a 5 if it included mouthwash, so the total score would have been 5.0.

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