I recently went through my stash of amenity kits and discovered I have quite a few oldies but goodies I failed to review before their retirement. While not in active use, I still think it’s worthwhile to review them to compare against previous and future versions each airline rolls out. So, here’s my review of the Bally First Class kit from Swiss International Air Lines active in 2010 for this installment of Amenity Kit Reviews. For a better description of each category and the 7-point scale for scoring, please review my introductory post.
Bag/Container: Manufactured by Bally (and logoed as such), the rectangular black nylon bag with leather trim around the zipper tracks is made exceptionally well. A tag with the SWISS logo is sewn into one side of the spacious interior next to four individual pockets holding the small skin care products described below. The opposite side has one pocket extending the length of the bag. Reusability is high given its flexibility and ample storage capacity. Score: 6
Skin Care: Rightfully selecting La Prairie, a Swiss skin care manufacturer, this kit includes tubes of cellular hand cream, time-release (face) moisturizer, eye contour cream and moisturizing lip balm. The lip gel is flavorless and glides on smoothly, and the eye cream also has no scent. Both the hand cream and facial moisturizer have what struck me as a feminine scent, almost “perfumey.” They’re quality products, but I was expecting something a bit more unisex in aroma. Shaving kits are available upon request. Score: 5
Oral Care: SWISS gets some props from me for supplying a full sized toothbrush with a plastic case that has holes at one end so the brush can dry out properly. And it’s a quality brush that you’d buy retail. A small tube of Colgate “standard” flavor toothpaste is also included. No mints or mouthwash, however, and I don’t know if the latter is stocked in the lavatories. I hope so, as I consider it a standard international first class amenity. For now I’ll assume not and only give them an adequate rating. (Readers, if you know they have mouthwash in the lavs, please let me know). Score: 4
Comfort Items: The standard socks, earplugs and eyeshades are included with this kit, as well as a folding comb/brush, shoehorn and a package of seven Kleenex. A nail file and sewing kit are available upon request and SWISS does provide First Class passenger pajamas, though I don’t have those for this review. The eyeshades really stuck out at me since they have a very soft cotton inner lining and an adjustable Velcro strap. Score: 6
Intangibles: First Class kits should emit a bit more luxury than their Business Class counterparts and this one is significantly nicer than the (yet to be reviewed) business offering. Branding is subtle and partnering with a design house to manufacture an exclusive bag gets points in my book. Score: 6
Total score & comments:
I’d be a bit disappointed if mouthwash were not available in the lavatories, so unless I hear otherwise, the oral care category is the only real let down. And my detection of a perfumed scent in the lotions wasn’t that appealing, but that’s just my taste. Overall, it’s a very good kit and it received a deserving score of 5.25.