I’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 I’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 Qantas’ 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, there’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 wouldn’t. Score: 4
Skin Care: Virgin Australia partnered with L’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 crème 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 I’m not a fan of L’Occitane’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 “brave” 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 can’t quite tell if they’re cotton or high-quality spun wool. I’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 – 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 don’t include their identity on the outside of the kits, especially if it’s not a brand name bag. It’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 “regular” 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?