Posted by Rob Golledge (Head of Marketing Communications, Amadeus UK & Ireland)
As if flying in business or first class isn’t rewarding enough, before you take a sip of that pre-take off Mimosa you can’t help yourself from rifling through the posh amenity kit. In premium cabins you actually have room to decant the bag and admire its contents. In economy, the same act could easily be misinterpreted as a garage sale for passengers around you as the contents spill over onto their tray tables and invade their ‘personal space.’
That explains why economy amenity kits have been reduced to stickers inviting the crew to (1) slap you in the face when breakfast is being served or (2) leave you to dream about running away with the circus and becoming a contortionist. Don’t you think it’s funny how dreams often take cues from real life? I once remember hearing a siren in a dream, which was totally out of context. The horribly persistent noise eventually disturbed my dream and woke me up. That siren turned out to be my alarm clock. But I digress.
I expect premium passengers already have a bathroom cabinet full of toiletries (including long-forgotten pieces hidden in the dark recesses). But there is something almost primeval about getting your hands on a ‘freebie’ that thrills even the most seasoned traveller. Whether it is a cheap thrill or not depends on which airline you are flying.
CNN’s report on the third annual Airline Amenity Bag Awards ranked Turkish Airlines highly on the useful/beautiful scale with their Crabtree & Evelyn iPad case that doubles as a cosmetics bag. But for pure blingtastic appeal you can’t go wrong with Emirates’ Bulgari bag including Eau de Parfum. For male travellers, Etihad produce a snazzy designer black leather box with bejewelled lining and La Prairie skincare products.
However, you don’t have to travel in the front of the plane to bag a great give-away. Younger travellers sometimes get the best deal with their macaroni and cheese airline dinners and SpongeBob Squarepants lunchbox (which is theirs to keep) when flying Qatar Airways. Even first class passengers might turn their heads at that collector’s item.