Iâ€™m partnering up with Brad over at Upgrd.com for this installment of Amenity Kit Reviews. He recently flew V Australia, now Virgin Australia, from Los Angeles to Sydney in Business Class and posted an excellent review of the flight here. Knowing Iâ€™m a collector, he sent me a spare kit for my review. For a better description of each category, and the 7-point scale for scoring, please review my introductory post here.
Bag/Container: The 100% nylon gray zipper bag is designed by Buzz Products, the same outfit that supplies Qantasâ€™ First Class kits. This one, however, is really quite plain, but serves the purpose. A Virgin Australia tag is sewn into the inside and just underneath, thereâ€™s a loose pocket to hold a minimal amount of items separate from the larger area. The exterior of the bag has a small finger handle that can be used when hanging the bag on the lavatory door. Reusability is medium- to- high, in my opinion, but given it feels pretty cheap, I probably wouldnâ€™t. Score: 4
Skin Care: Virgin Australia partnered with Lâ€™Occitane for their skin care products, as many carriers do. I think Brad got shafted and had items pilfered from the one he received (see his review), but this one includes lip balm, hand crÃ¨me and a cleansing cloth. The hand cream goes on thick & heavy, or balmlike according to the information card, but I find it too greasy. It does have a pleasant scent, however (jasmine and ylang-ylang). The lip balm is effective & smooth and I appreciate having a full-sized container. All products included shea butter and/or extract, including the refreshing moist towel. Lavatories also included lotion as Brad noted and facial mist. Even though Iâ€™m not a fan of Lâ€™Occitaneâ€™s lotion, the additional amenities in the lav bump this category up a notch. Score: 5
Oral Care: A medium bristled mini toothbrush and Colgate toothpaste are included with this kit. Finally, an airline is â€œbraveâ€ enough to include mint-flavored toothpaste versus the standard tasteless versions I seem to experience all the time. As Brad mentioned, mints would have been appreciated and/or mouthwash. Nothing stellar, nothing terrible in this category. Score: 4
Comfort Items: The socks from this kit actually impress me and are definitely a heavier thread count. I canâ€™t quite tell if theyâ€™re cotton or high-quality spun wool. Iâ€™m actually considering washing and using them. The adjustable eyeshades are big and soft, and the 3M brand earplugs are nicely sized and also soft. Brad mentions the pajamas are a poly-cotton blend and noted they were very comfortable. The kit also includes a small packet of seven facial tissues and a comb, and the lavatories had cloth hand towels â€“ a nice touch. The PJs are definitely a notch up from standard Business Class fare and the mattress pad and duvet for sleeping really helped Virgin Australia excel in this category. Score: 6
Intangibles: The branding is subtle and I wonder why more airlines donâ€™t include their identity on the outside of the kits, especially if itâ€™s not a brand name bag. Itâ€™s an okay kit, but the additional items in the lav plus the pajamas really make a welcoming impression. A purple, color-scheme appropriate pen was also included with the kit. While not incredibly luxurious, I think the kit and the bonuses bump this kit above adequate. Score: 5
Total score & comments:
I actually would have expected a nicer bag/container from Virgin Australia as my expectations of the Virgin brand are a bit higher than â€œregularâ€ airlines. That said, though, it was acceptable. They definitely have an opportunity to improve oral care items and believe mouthwash or mints should be included for future versions. I think the total score of 4.85 is fair given my remarks above. Have you flown with Virgin Australia? What did you think of their amenity kit?