Iâ€™ve selected the current international first class kit from United Airlines for my first amenity kit review. For a better description of each category, and the 7-point scale for scoring, please review my introduction post here.
Bag/Container: The nylon/canvas bags come in varied colors, include leather accents attached to the zipper, and a gold fabric United logo tag sewn into one side. The bag itself is functional and can be reused, but the zipper doesnâ€™t operate smoothly and the fabric just feels cheap. Score: 3
Skin Care: United chose the Murad line of skin care products for their current kits, and included a product information card explaining each item, as well as an offer to visit Muradâ€™s website for a free cleanser and free shipping with a purchase of $125 or more. The lip balm is flavorless and effective. The pomegranate body lotion is a touch greasy, but its scent doesnâ€™t overpower, and the skin perfecting lotion goes on light and blends in smoothly. In the lavatories, United stocks the same pomegranate body lotion in a pump, a refreshing facial mist that I really like, and another liquid skin cleanser. Also included in the kit is Purell hand sanitizer, so I feel United excelled in this category. Score: 6
Oral Care: I always appreciate brand name items, and this kit includes Crest toothpaste and Scope mouthwash with security seals intact. The toothbrush bristles are soft and while a full sized handle would be better, this does the job for its limited use. I would have liked mints as United had included in the past, and perhaps a toothpick, but otherwise this category was acceptable, and earned a slight bonus for the brand names. Score: 5
Comfort Items: The eyeshades are soft on the eyes and effective in blocking out the light without feeling heavy. Iâ€™ve had â€œnoisyâ€ eyeshades in the past, and these quietly shift as you move. The socks are good for single use and are big enough for all sizes. There are three facial tissues in the mini-pack provided, and are definitely softer than those found in the lavs. The earplugs are just terribleâ€¦ hard, rough and painful as they donâ€™t roll easily. Iâ€™ve read recent reports on Flyertalk that United may be in the process of changing them out, so I certainly hope so. Score: 3
Intangibles: While this kit doesnâ€™t scream luxury or exclusivity, it contains pretty much everything you need and feels substantial. The branding is subtle, not in-your-face, and I liked the wrapping of the socks and eyeshades with the tied gold ribbon featuring the United tulip and font. Although at a steeper price point, the bonus Murad offer is a nice touch. Score: 5
Total score & comments:
Overall, this amenity kit and those items stocked in the lavatories were good and served their purpose. While the bag itself felt cheap, the actual skin and oral care items were quality and I enjoyed them. Iâ€™m hoping United brings back the former Ear-brand earplugs, and I kind of missed that little package of Smints. The pen is handy for filling out the customs and immigration forms, but it is definitely single-use and feels incredibly fragile. All told, I feel the score of 4.45 is fair as this kit is smidge above adequate.