Amenity Kit Review: Introduction

From time to time, I plan on offering up my review of airline amenity kits. For anyone who doesn’t know, these lovely little satchels are usually given to First and Business Class passengers embarking on a lengthy international journey. Some airlines still give them out in economy, but for most, they are an exclusive item either enjoyed or tossed to the floor by passengers forward of the curtain.

a group of different colored bags

I received my first amenity kit when I was 18, flying first class on United Airlines to Paris. It was a genuine leather zippered bag filled with some of the same items you’ll find today, such as toothpaste, lotion, eyeshades and socks. Sturdier materials and heavier branding seemed to exist 20+ years ago, but have now given way to lighter and cheaper products. I still enjoy receiving them, and to be honest, I hoard them. Not to the extent A&E needs to send a team to my house, but it is a unique collection to own.

And so, with having collected and used many throughout the years, I feel mildly qualified to present the following categories, weights and scoring:

a black and white image of a scale

I’ve broken out five categories for individual scoring, and weighted them based on how I feel each ranks in overall importance. First is the Bag or Container itself at 15% of the total score. What I look for here are things like durability, uniqueness and reusability. For both Skin Care and Oral Care, I’m hoping to find products that not only serve their utility, but also add a touch of elegance and perhaps go above and beyond. Skin care would include such items as moisturizing lotion, face cream and lip balm, whereas oral care would feature toothpaste, mouthwash, mints, etc. Next up are the Comfort Items, or convenience items such as socks, eyeshades and earplugs. Are they quality items that survive a flight? Some airlines hand out pajamas, which would fall into this category. These last three categories really make up the bulk an amenity kit, so they each get 25% of the total score. And finally the Intangible category. Here I’m looking at things like branding, overall impact and impression. Does it feel exclusive and luxurious? Does it strike you as useful? Or useless? This one is really subjective, so I only count it as 10% of the total score.

The 7-point scale should be self-explanatory and provides a bit more wiggle room than a 5-pointer. I hate the surveys out there with ranges from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree” or just a straight 1 to 10 scale which in my opinion tends to cause people to to focus on the extremes. Instead, my scale leaves room for a complete neutral middle ground of ‘adequate’ with extremes of ‘awful’ and ‘exceptional.’

Be on the lookout… I’ll be posting my first review soon.


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