Here is Singapore Airlines' long-awaited business class amenity kit

Created in partnership with Penhaligon’s, the kits will soon be available to Singapore Airlines' business class passengers.

By David Flynn, October 6 2020
Here is Singapore Airlines' long-awaited business class amenity kit

Singapore Airlines will finally begin handing out amenity kits to business class passengers, although the new kits will make their debut not in the air but on the ground, as part of the airline’s ‘dine at home’ experience.

Executive Traveller understands that business class travellers won’t see the kits – developed as a partnership with British perfumers Penhaligon’s – for some months.

Singapore Airlines' new business class amenity kit by Penhaligon's.
Singapore Airlines' new business class amenity kit by Penhaligon's.

Each of the unisex kits comes in a green Penhaligon’s bag containing lip balm, hand lotion and facial mist from Penhaligon’s Quercus range, which leads with citrus and basil underpinned by notes of jasmine, cardamom, lily and amber.

Singapore Airlines' new business class amenity kit by Penhaligon's.
Singapore Airlines' new business class amenity kit by Penhaligon's.

Founded in 1870 by William Penhaligon, the firm is a suitably premium brand for Singapore Airlines, which has long resisted following other airlines in offering business class amenity kits.

"I ask myself, 'Do I want to spend $6-8 million just on an amenity kit?”’ Mr Tan Pee Teck, then Singapore Airlines' Senior Vice President for Product & Services – and now Senior VP for Cabin Crew – told Executive Traveller in September 2015.

“At last count, I think there were 38 airlines with business class that gave amenity kits (but) you can't really differentiate yourself through an amenity kit, and if you travel very often, this thing is just left behind.”

“So we decided to pump the money into other things for business class, and just make sure that our bathroom is stocked properly.”

Singapore Airlines' new business class amenity kit by Penhaligon's.
Singapore Airlines' new business class amenity kit by Penhaligon's.

Although business class passengers have always been supplied with slippers, eye shades and socks, the airline opted to have its bathrooms stocked with a supply of shaving and dental kits, combs and the like.

That, of course, was then. Before Covid-19 reshaped the travel industry, Singapore Airlines was working away behind the scenes on this rolling refresh of its business class service proposition ahead of the launch of a new business class seat for the Boeing 777-9.

Read more: Singapore Airlines delays launch of new first class, business class 

This was also set to encompass changes to its popular Book the Cook service, which lets passengers pre-order their meal from a far more extensive menu than is offered on the flight.

“Like everything, the Book The Cook programme evolves,” Singapore Airlines’ Global Food & Beverage Director Antony McNeil told Executive Traveller in late 2019. 

McNeil cited the airline’s iconic Lobster Thermidor as a prime candidate for that evolution.

"The Lobster Thermidor is a perennial favourite but we're looking at opportunities to modernise that, whether it be a Lobster Thermidor-type of dish or something similar and lobster- themed which is a little bit more modern, a little bit more healthy perhaps.”

Singapore Airlines' iconic Lobster Thermidor.
Singapore Airlines' iconic Lobster Thermidor.

“People like lobster, but we're moving to an environment where people are becoming more health-conscious so maybe the creamy lobster dish is not the right one… maybe a beautiful grilled lobster with fresh asparagus or veggies might be another alternative, as long as we maintain the integrity of the dish.”

Another modern twist: vegetarian-friendly satays made from plant-based Impossible Meat.

The signature dish of business and first class still comes with that spicy peanut sauce, but the chicken, lamb and beef has been swapped out for a vegetarian-friendly equivalent created by California's Impossible Foods to deliver the same taste and texture.

Also under consideration was a ‘dine on demand’ meal service, which would allow business class passengers to select anything off the menu at any time during the flight.

Covid-19 has obviously thrown a giant-sized spanner into all of this, including the rollout of Singapore Airlines’ business class amenity kits, but at least they’re on the way…

Also read: We reveal Singapore Airlines' Airbus A380 first class concepts

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

07 Nov 2011

Total posts 2

More plastic waste :(

02 Apr 2015

Total posts 5

Any experienced business class passenger knows that the cabin is strewn with discarded business class kits at disembarkation. Passengers want the eye shades and the toothbrush and the rest is for landfill. The kit is for branding and for airline nerds to talk about and collect - this doesn't reflect the general population or their needs. SQ had the right approach with well stocked bathrooms to take what you need, not to be given products most people will not use. This is entirely a step in the wrong direction and sad. 

12 Aug 2019

Total posts 8

In my opinion going down this road is like quality car makers falling into the 'feature' trap.

12 Aug 2019

Total posts 8

I love a good amenity kit, but tbh I think their VP Products and Services was on the money.

Keep the bathroom well stocked, reduce waste and put the money into other facilities and services.

UA

09 Mar 2016

Total posts 53

Who needs it? I wish they’d spend the money on some decent mattress pads a la ANA so I can get a decent sleep. And if they have to do it Penhaligon? Really? 

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

02 Dec 2016

Total posts 32

What's wrong with Penhaligon ? It is a fantastic brand.

07 Nov 2011

Total posts 2

Yes, very good points!  I think SQ was previously on the money with well stocked bathrooms in lieu of kits. It's upsetting to disembark and see the cabin strewn with so much waste. Little of which is likely to be reused or recycled.

Here is one article that I found encouraging. https://amenitiesmagazine.com/top-eco-friendly-kits/

Wouldn't it be great if there were laws, globally, that mandated the provision of kits like the ones in this article?!  Also, if the cosmetics companies, especially the wealthy multi-nationals, could get on board with the development of sustainably sourced packaging.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

02 Dec 2016

Total posts 32

I am very happy that SQ is bringing back the amenity kit. If you don't want the kit, don't accept the kit then.

04 Dec 2013

Total posts 142

I always thought it was brave of SQ to hold out against this.  With any other airline people would whinge about it being a sub-premium experience, but at least they've got the overall cred not to worry about a few disgruntled airline nerds.  Even then - going back a few years my dad returned from a trip on SQ with an SQ Mont Blanc pen the hostie had given him.  Seems they had a few of these hidden away as a passenger gift if they chose to bestow it.   

I've got dozens of the amenity kits at home just occupying space in a cupboard.  Really should just chuck them.  And there's only so many you can give away or offload as pencil cases onto kids.  I fly first much less often and the kits are much better, but even then I've got a stack of them and I always feel guilty taking home something I really don't need.  At least the first class ones are still a bit of a novelty to give away.

11 Nov 2017

Total posts 13

I totally agree that these kits are just ecowaste and branding. But long before Covid, I was always a bit paranoid about handling the cologne bottle, the moisturiser bottle etc. I think I'd be happier with the individual stuff now

The eau de cologne was the only part of the SQ F amenities kit that was worth keeping, very handy to have a small spray to take with me. The scented candle was bizarre - quite pleasant but completely useless in flight. With the short-lived J amenity kit for their 70th anniversary the lip balm was nice. So hopefully they will be judicious about what to include so we don't end up with tons of rubbish.

04 Dec 2013

Total posts 142

I got one a few of those.  The included a "laundry freshener" and crease-removal spray.  Didn't bother trying it but interesting concept and probably a godsend to a lot of travellers if they did work.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

14 Mar 2017

Total posts 149

A topper pad and a pair of pajamas would have been a better investment.

The crease release spray from the 70th Anniversary kit was, however, the single best thing I have ever received on a plane.


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