Amenity Kit Review: United Airlines Business Class (Spring 2011)

It’s time for another amenity kit review and I’ve selected the current United Airlines Business Class kit this time around. For a better description of each category, and the 7-point scale for scoring, please review my introduction post here.

Bag/Container: The small zippered pouch is made of a metallically plastic material and feels rather cheap in my opinion. Several options in header colors differentiate the kits as they are found near your seat upon boarding, and include a fabric tab with United & the tulip branded on one side and the Murad logo on the opposite. I suppose it could be reused for receipts or to hold money, but otherwise I think it’s pretty useless. Score: 2

Skin Care: United chose the Murad line of skin care products for their current kits, and included a product information card with additional details, as well as an offer to visit Murad’s website for a free cleanser ($35 value) and shipping with a purchase of $125 or more. The lotion is nearly scentless (can’t determine its “flavor”) and contains enough for a couple of uses. If this were the only item for skin care, I’d rate this category poorly, but United stocks additional amenities in the lavatories including a pomegranate body lotion in a pump, refreshing facial mist that I really like, and another liquid skin cleanser. Score: 5

Oral Care: The difference between the First Class kit & this one for oral care is pretty significant. Here, United provides a downgraded toothpaste (Fresh Mint) and the small medium-bristled toothbrush. No mints or mouthwash for which I believe should be standard for business class as well. Score: 2

Comfort Items: This kit contains the standard eyeshades, socks & earplugs found in most business class amenity kits, but United does downgrade them a touch from the first class kit. The eyeshades fit snugly and are effective blocking out the light, but have a more plastic feel to them. The socks are also slightly cheaper but fine for a single use, and the earplugs are just terrible. These are the same ones found in the first kit and are hard & uncomfortable in the ear. Please, United, bring back the Ear® brand for the next version! Score: 3

Intangibles: Amenity kits in my opinion should feel substantial and emit a sense of luxury. This kit is so light that one could easily mistake it for a small neck pillow (or maybe not, but if you’ve received one you probably know what I mean). I think it’s cheap and fairly insulting especially if you had paid a business class fare. Score: 1

Total score & comments:

With the exception of fairly decent skin care products in the lavatory, I have a hard time finding much else good to say about this kit. In fact, I think this kit is a downgrade from the previous drawstring version. One plus, however, is United finally includes a pen with their kits, but again this one is very cheap and easily breakable. I’m hoping the new United business class kit will be a hybrid of Continental’s current version & United’s First Class model. As such, I feel the total score of 2.90 accurately reflects the overall impression this kit leaves with a premium passenger.

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Comments

  1. I think you couldn’t be more wrong about usefulness of this container. Not only do I have two in constant use (for holding high-tech trinkets that I need with my various devices which otherwise get lost in the depths of my computer bag) but I’ve given several to friends/co-workers who thought these were great for that use.

    I think one of the unique features they have is they are _see through_ and thus much more useful for containing things you need and can now quickly find.

    And it’s been more than two years of constant use and they are all holding up quite nicely.

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