They say it’s about the journey and not the destination, and while we don’t necessarily agree – hence our ever-expanding stable of highly-covetable city guides – we do think that getting from A to B should be a glamorous, hedonistic affair. Which is why we have a love for luxe airport lounges, first-class cabins and limousine airport pick-ups. One of our favourite things about travelling in style, however, is something so simple it’s often overlooked; the amenity pack you’re given on-board. These usually include essentials to help you freshen up before you land, or perhaps things you may have forgotten back home (read: taken off you at security). In a bid to please ever-more discerning passengers, airlines are now going all-out to make them as covetable as they can. Having tried-and-tested each and every one thanks to a non-stop lifestyle of international jet-setting – someone has to do it, after all – we count down our favourites.
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American Airlines – Best For Retro Appeal
While it’s certainly not the most luxurious out there, the amenity kit given out to first-class passengers on-board American Airlines flights is still one of our favourites. Looking undeniably retro, the zipper-pouch – available in red, blue and black – reminds us of the glamorous days of yesteryear when Jackie O-style passengers dressed up to fly and the cabin crew were impeccably turned-out and attentive to a fault. Having partnered up with Burt’s Bees for the products inside its kit, American Airline passengers can expect to find body lotion, lip balm, toothpaste, socks and an eyemask for all-important mid-air sleep. Simple, stylish and effective; a mile-high classic.
British Airways – Best For Designer Appeal
For its latest first-class amenity kit, British Airways enlisted the help of Brit fashion designer Anya Hindmarch to create the cleverly-titled ‘BAg’. Trimmed in cream and embellished with the ‘Born To Fly, Born To Serve’ coat of arms that appeared on BA tailfins in the 80s and 90s, the navy-blue kit is a must-have for style mavens everywhere. Contained within are products by family-run pharmacist D.R. Harris – which has been providing the British Royal Family with toiletries for over 80 years – and includes all manner of lotions and potions direct from its Bond Street store. But let’s face it – when a bag is this gorgeous, what’s inside is pretty much irrelevant.
Cathay Pacific – Best For Women
When in doubt, get a big-name brand on-board. And that’s exactly what Cathay Pacific has done – quite literally – by recruiting leading Italian fashion house Ermenegildo Zegna to design its brand new men’s amenity kits. The stylish black pouch is super-slick, and is packed full of high-end sandalwood skincare products by Acca Kappa – another luxe Italian label. The ladies’ kit, meanwhile, is designed by Ipa-Nima, a Vietnamese brand renowned for its vibrant colours and unique embroidery. Inside are super-expensive skincare products by Australian-based Aesop, which uses plant-based ingredients for super-soft skin. Exotic and designer; what’s not to love?
Emirates – Best For Range Of Products
As Dubai‘s national airline, you’d expect the high-fliers aboard an Emirates flight to be used to the finer things in life – and they are, which is why the airline’s first-class amenity kits come packed with high-end goodies. The men’s is our favourite, with Thé Rouge after-shave emulsion, eau parfumée and body lotion from Bulgari , a Taylor’s of Bond Street razor with a replaceable Shick three-blad razor, Gillette shaving foam, Oral B toothbrush, Colgate, Right Guard deodorant, Kleenex tissues and a brush to tame unruly mops. The bags themselves are just as stylish, with the men’s made from Italian leather and the ladies’ from brown suede. Bellissimo!
Oman Air – Best All-Rounder
High-end has a whole new meaning on-board Oman Air, which provides amenity kits so luxurious some passengers may decide to skip packing their own stuff altogether. Stored inside a sumptuous beige box, items include skincare from Amouage – a famed Omani perfumery – together with ultra-luxe socks and your usual sewing, toothbrush and box of tic-tacs. Only the foolish would leave it behind, with most stuffing it into their carry-ons before they leave their seat. It’s no wonder the kit won an award at least year’s TravelPlus Airline Amenity Awards. And yes, they have awards for amenity kits – and quite rightly so.