TALKING POINT | Almost every airline hands out amenity kits to business class passengers, but the more you travel the more selective ('fussy' would be a less-kind description!) you become about their contents.
As regular business class flyers, Australian Business Traveller readers have undoubtedly seen their share of amenity kits across airlines and throughout the years.
What began as a touch of luxe at the pointy end – with their little tubes of skin care products, dental kits and eye masks – continually run the risk of becoming normalised in the competitive market.
As a result, airlines turn to brand-name partners for everything from skin care to the bags themselves. Indeed, in some instances it's the bag itself which has the greatest appeal because it can be re-used for other flights or repurposed as a handy bag for make-up or digital doodads such as USB keys and phone charging cables.
(Of course, complete amenity kits are often gifted to colleagues, family and friends who only fly in economy for that once-a-year holiday).
But how many business class amenity kits really nail the needs of the frequent flyer?
We were impressed by Singapore Airlines' recent offering of a special amenity kit built around fabric care products from The Laundress range including a 'crease release' spray to remove "moderate wrinkles" from clothing; a scented antibacterial fabric-freshening spray; and even a 'wash and stain bar' to spot- treat stains and use for on-the-go handwashing.
This pack is especially notable because Singapore Airlines usually doesn't offer any amenity kit in business class – the most necessary items such as a comb, dental kit and shave kit and are tucked away in the business class lavs.
(It's only when flying in first class that you'll score the Singapore Airlines PJs and Salvatore Ferragamo wash bag.)
The most frequent flyers tend to favour a DIY approach to amenity kits, customised to their specific personal and professional needs.
For example, my own kit contains a few of the essentials – such as the mandatory toothbrush and toothpaste – plus moisturiser lifted from the kit of earlier flights.
(At the moment I’m on the last of the Payot men’s range from the older Qantas first class kit).
I’ve also added small travel-friendly sized tubes of Kiehl's eye firming gel, a facial mist, sample-sized fragrance spray, eye drops plus Aveda hair product and a comb to help me look and feel a little more human at the end of the flight.
The final ingredients: some herbal valerian sleeping pills to help nudge me off to sleep and a tube of Berocca for a pre-landing pick-me-up.
Of course, it should all fit into a single zip-lock plastic bag with no liquid or gel more than 100ml.
What do other travellers pack in their BYO bags? Eyeshades, lip balm, breath mints and roll-on deodorant are common items among regular travellers.
A nasal decongestant spray or Vicks inhaler can help defray the drying effects of air conditioning.
A shoehorn can be handy to wedge yourself back into your shoes when your feet have swollen at the end of a long flight, although I find slip-on shoes avoid this as well as being easier to take off for airport security checks.
What should airlines include in their business class amenity kits, and what do you pack in your personal inflight amenity kit?