Amenity kit supplier Formia generously sent me several samples from its collection and I bring you Air Astanaâ€™s long-haul gentlemanâ€™s business class offering 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.
Your first thought might mirror my own: Air Who? The Kazakhstan-based airline operates several long-haul flights throughout Europe and Asia from its home base in Almaty. While not a part of any major alliance, itâ€™s a Skytrax 4 Star rated carrier and was named Best Airline in Central Asia and India earlier this year.
Bag/Container: Air Astana partnered with Chopard to provide its skin care items and the high sheen, metallic blue-silver zipper bag. The case sports the Chopard logo on the magnetic snap closure and Air Astanaâ€™s branding on a tag sewn into the lower right corner. It opens to reveal two equally sized compartments, one of which has a see-through plastic covering. Sturdily manufactured and ideal for reuse given its overall size, my only complaint is that it lacks the ability to be hung. Score: 6.5 out of 7.0
Skin Care: Chopard is a Swiss-based luxury watch, jewelry and accessories company, and it supplied the generously sized hand & nail cream and facial spray for the kit, in addition to the case described above. The lotion containing jojoba oil absorbs rapidly and has a pleasant and lightly masculine scent. I couldnâ€™t identify a particular fragrance in the facial mist, which is always refreshing to use in a dry cabin environment. A tube of alcohol-free instant hand sanitizer is also supplied. Score: 6.0 out of 7.0
Oral Care: I was pleasantly surprised to discover a high quality, full size toothbrush in the case, along with standard Colgate toothpaste and a huge (for an amenity kit, anyway) bottle of peppermint mouthwash. Nicely done, Air Astana! Score: 6.0 out of 7.0
Comfort Items: In addition to the usual airline style (and quality) socks with rubber grippers on the base and one-size-fits-all eyeshades, youâ€™ll find extremely soft earplugs, a plastic comb and a small compact mirror. The mirror is a unique item not normally provided in amenity kits, and before opening the round case, I thought it was going to be some type of shoe polish. Â Score: 5.5 out of 7.0
Intangibles: Air Astanaâ€™s long-haul business class kit evokes the exclusivity I designed this category around, and it blows some first class kits out of the water. For a previously unknown airline to me, I am remarkably impressed. Score: 7.0 out of 7.0
Total score & comments:
From the elegant case to the substantially sized amenities, a final score of 6.05 is well deserved for Air Astana and Formia. Iâ€™ll be interested to see how the separate womenâ€™s long-haul version and unisex short-haul business class kits compare. Stay tuned for those critiques.
â€“ Follow Darren Booth on Twitter, @FrequentlyFlyin, for more airline, hotel and travel industry news, reviews and opinions.