Singapore Airlines debuts Penhaligon’s amenity kit

These elegant Penhaligon’s kits are available on request from Singapore Airlines’ business class passengers.

By David Flynn, November 16 2021
Singapore Airlines debuts Penhaligon’s amenity kit

Singapore Airlines' all-new business class amenity kit is only available 'on request', but it's a request worth making.

Developed in partnership with British perfumers Penhaligon's, the kit is a first for the Star Alliance carrier, which has long resisted following other airlines down the well-trodden path of handing out amenity kits to business class passengers.

Instead, Singapore Airlines chose to stock its lavatories with essentials such as combs and dental kits – although Penhaligon’s made an appearance in 2017 with a selection of washroom amenities.

Now the highly-regarded Brit brand has stepped out of the lav and into business class cabin – a move planned several years ago, but delayed by the pandemic.

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

Betty Wong, Singapore Airlines' Divisional Vice President of Inflight Services and Design, tells Executive Traveller the kit was being developed "more than a year" before the pandemic hit.

"We were pretty ready to launch it with a big bang, but then Covid hit and dragged on for longer time than we all expected."

"So we soft-launched it on certain routes, and now we have launched it on most of our flights, where it's available on request as part of our new sustainability drive about reducing wastage," Wong says.

"So instead of us giving it to every customer and having them leave it behind, because we don't want to recycle things that people leave behind, we much rather a customer will ask our cabin crew for it because we know that they want it and they will bring it home with them."

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

And this is very much a product designed to be taken home, Wong explains.

"When we thought about how we want to position this and give something to our customers that they can take away and continue to use in their journey."

"it should look so pretty that you want to take it with you and reuse it, not just when you travel, but on your everyday life... it's a great size for your phone, your cables, and of course during travel your passport can go in there."

The elegant green zippered folio-style bag contains a trio of unisex products – hand lotion, lip balm and a facial mist spray – from Penhaligon’s oaky-green 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.

As a 'surprise and delight' touch, some kits also contain a small bottle of Luna perfume oil which is applied to the pulse points.

"We think the fragrance is pretty unisex and very fresh," Wong explains, "so it's a little bit of a 'market test' to see if this goes well with our customers, a hint that perhaps the next range (of kits) could have that fragrance."

Founded in 1870 by William Penhaligon, the firm is a suitably premium brand for Singapore Airlines, Wong explains.

"In looking for a business class amenity kit we wanted to be different from what I suppose our competitors are offering... we were looking for someone that was unique, with a rich history."

"We found that Penhaligon's was actually it's a pretty good match in terms of its philosophy and branding."

And the bags contain only that handful of Penhaligon's products – dental kits, razors and combs are still to be found in the washrooms, while eye shades and earplugs remain available on request from cabin crew.

"We have always believed that we need to put the right things at the right place for our customers," Wong says.

"You need different things at different points of your flight – if you need a toothbrush, you're going to go to the lavatory to use it anyway."

Also read: Singapore Airlines signs off on Boeing 777X first, business class

02 Apr 2015

Total posts 4

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 15

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

12 Aug 2019

Total posts 15

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.

07 Nov 2011

Total posts 1

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.

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 47

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 156

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.

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 156

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.

16 Dec 2016

Total posts 19

Yes, they work! I STILL use them to this day!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

14 Mar 2017

Total posts 152

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.

British Airways - Executive Club

30 Dec 2020

Total posts 2

On the ULH EWR-SIN flights amenity kits were handed out in J: crew would come by each passenger, offering a light brown leather bag and then the option to choose and select several items per passenger. For me that stroke the right balance.

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

12 Sep 2011

Total posts 335

Surprised the ybrought out a kit - a new thing for SQ!  But agree many kits are left discarded, destined for landfill - so why bother?  At least  on say United you can get PJs in Business Class, you just have to ask for them - no PJS on SQ

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