The Full Set of Outstanding New American Airlines Amenity Kits

American’s 2015 premium cabin amenity kits were super cool for anyone who loves the industry the way that I do — kits for the different airlines that together make up the company American Airlines is today.

There were 9 different kits honoring carriers like America West, TWA, Reno Air, and AirCal. American itself was initially founded out of about 80 different airlines circa 1930. And there were no kits for carriers like Trans Caribbean Airways, Lake Central, Empire, or Trump Shuttle (which became the US Airways Shuttle and now American Shuttle). The TWA kit was my favorite.

The next year brought decent products but fairly workmanlike Cole Haan kits. Last year’s new Cole Haan kits I thought were fairly uninspired.

So imagine my surprise when American Airlines sent me a set of new amenity kits they’ve rolled out across premium cabins that I actually really like?

What are Amenity Kits For?

Sure there’s some stuff you may use inflight and that’s part of the premium cabin experience, although historically Singapore Airlines didn’t give out kits in business class but stocked the lavatories with plenty of things you might need.

No one buys tickets on the basis of what amenity kit an airline is going to offer, but it’s something that contributes to the overall sense of the product which absolutely matters for reputation and repeat business.

However the kits also serve as a takeaway. I still use a first class ANA kit from 2016 as my shaving bag. It’s getting tattered but I’ve never found one quite as perfect for my razor, my electric toothbrush, and some allergy meds.

Not only is it a reminder of the flight, but it’s a cool giveaway that leads to telling stories about the flight and airline to loved ones at all, both spreading the word about the product and reinforcing positive emotions about the airline.

And since the kits go to premium customers, a highly desirable marketing demographic, airlines can get the bag brands and contents brands to contribute towards the cost.

You’re going to walk away from an Emirates first class flight with a literal haul, they give you an Emriates tote bag to take your amenity kit and other items with you. They clearly offer a message of luxurious abundance.

Singapore Airlines gives large sized amenities, not just small sample sizes, which I like and of course they’re premium brands. For years it was Ferragamo, hard to pick a more premium name. I really liked when they used to offer Ferragamo Tuscan Soul. Full-sized premium items are great for my home guestroom bath.

For avoidance of doubt American sent me these amenity kits unsolicited, I’ve had a look and already given them away.

American’s International First Class Kit

American’s international business and first class kits themselves are from This is Ground, a brand I wasn’t familiar with however others I’ve seen comment suggest it’s a premium name. Either way the kit has done one element of its job by introducing me to the company.

That’s because the bags themselves are quite nice. I’m not sure how functional some of the designs are for repurposing, the way I continue to use that 13 year old ANA bag as a shaving kit. But the bags feel incredibly nice, much more premium than I’ve seen from American in the past.

It has all the basics you’re going to want inside. Skin care products are Allies of Skin, another brand I wasn’t familiar with. I think you do want to go with premium recognizable names, even though those are less likely to fund the marketing of their products.

There’s moisturizer, chapstick, body lotion, a toothbrush and tooth paste, eye mask, socks, ear plugs, mouthwash, pen, tissues, and mint. Also inside is a discount code for purchases (more marketing) and an AAdvantage credit card ad.

Four International Business Class Designs

There are four different This is Ground bags being offered in international business class. They aren’t being rotated on a set scheduled or offered on specific routes. They are just different variants.

Like the first class bag I find they have a real premium look and feel. I don’t love latches that snap, and I don’t like the bag that opens up to all of its contents although arguably that has the greatest use potential after the flight. So the tan zipper bag is my favorite.

Here’s the contents of the kit, all four of which offer the same Allies of Skin skin care and other items: lotion, chap stick, toothbrush and tooth paste, eye mask, socks, earplugs, mouthwash, tissues, pen, mint — and marketing materials.

Transcon First Class

The transcon amenity kit bags are from Athletic Propulsion Labs, and the skin care products are Zenology.

Other than the bag itself, the contents of transcon first class and business class are highly similar. I don’t find the Athletic Propulsion Labs bags to have nearly the same premium feel as American’s new This is Ground international bags.

Inside are lotions, chapstick, wipes, toothbrush and tooth paste, eye mask, ear plugs, tissues — oddly no socks. And for some reason only the international business and first class bags contained credit card marketing.

Transcon Business Class

It’s funny but I actually think that the Athletic Propulsion Labs bag for transcon business class may be a bit more useful after the flight than the first class bag. Like its more premium cousin though it lacks the special feel of the international This is Ground offerings.

The contents of the transcon business class bag are virtually identical to the first class bag. For an airline that touts itself as the only carrier offering three-cabin first class between the coasts that seems like an omission or missed opportunity.

International Premium Economy

International premium economy gets a State bag, which is cute and compact, and Baxter of California products — another brand I’d never heard of.

It’s a nicely-stocked bag for premium economy, very functional if not particularly premium (as you’d expect).

American’s Amenity Kits Overall

I absolutely love the international This is Ground bags, especially the tan business class bag and the first class bag.

The transcon bags don’t feel nearly as premium and differentiating transcon business and first class bags more is a miss. Nonetheless they’re perfectly fine, and of course they’re given out on flights that usually hover around six hours, not 10 or even 14. Meanwhile the premium economy bag is nice and functional.

It strikes me as interesting that they’re introducing me to skin care products I wasn’t familiar with. I much prefer a kit that contains products with names that impress. I have to imagine these brands are making a play with marketing money to get in front of American’s affluent premium cabin customers.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »

Comments

  1. reminds me of the NW first class kits years ago, had a sewing kit with small blunt scissors in them, promptly taken away at check points if the ongoing flights were here.

  2. It has gotten to the point where the bags are leave behinds by many people, not as special or unique as they used to be or is it I have taken too many international flights. I still take them and send them to my niece and Nephew.

  3. I liked the cole Hahn recent kits as they were simple lightweight nylon with a good zipper. Great for keeping small items together (like charger cords and plugs) .

  4. Second that on the Cole Hahn nylon bag with zipper and handle – good for putting iPad and charger, cord etc in the bag together with a pen and small writing pad. Keep things organized.

  5. For me, the most useful kit post flight was the 2016 Alitalia Bulgari kit. The bag was just the right size to fit and cushion my IPod Air, and the kit was filled with Bulgari items. And those came in handy after Alitalia lost my wife’s luggage, and only delivered it 5 days later.

  6. I give these away, I buy my own choices of “amenities” for my personal item carry-on.

    My primary client (the U.S. Federal Government) encourages and facilitates donating these (and the hotel bathroom items) to shelters for the homeless.

  7. E Douglas Jensen has a great suggestion! Why not donate airline amenity kits to homeless shelters and charities that can use them?

  8. Looks nice, Use my Tumi DL kit for the past several years to carry my toiltries and my wife user her Tumi hard side for cosmetics but both are getting a bit old and beat up. Thought we’d get a good replacement last summer on BA but their bags sucked. Looking for AA Flagship Business this summer to replace our bags and these look as good as the Tumi ones.

  9. Less than a year ago I saw quite a number of Tumi amenity kit soft and hard bags for sale on eBay.

  10. I flew Business JFK to Rio yesterday and received a Coke Haan bag! When are they starting to give out the new bags? hopefully by March 4?

  11. It bothers me they discontinued the Earphone Covers for those of us who use the American Bose on overseas trips.

  12. SQ’s amenity kits and PJs reflect a dated and insecure vision of luxury that requires a European name brand. SQ moved from Ferragamo (nothing suggests Singapore like Tuscany, right?!) to Lalique (the French crystal manufacturer that seems to be slapping its name on everything, a la Pierre Cardin in the 1970s–now bath products and pajamas). The Lalique products are heavily scented, and the PJs have big tacky logos. At least CX uses a local Hong Kong shirtmaker (PYE) to provide its (logo-free) PJs. Its previous PJs from local firm Shanghai Tang were also stylish but too warm. CX’s amenity kit products (Aesop in first, Jurlique in biz) are excellent — and made by skin Asia-Pacific skin-care companies (in each case, Australian).

    Ironically, Allies of Skin is a Singaporean company.

  13. @ Jake

    I agree. Lufthansa still offers the earphone covers. I tried researching if American Airlines cleans the earphones after each use to no avail. I just use my own paper towel that I wet with the bottled water they provide and thoroughly wipe down the entire headphone and ear cushions and also wipe down the compartment I sit it on when I am not using it.

    On the Eze- JFk route they had the new black kits in business. Unfortunately premium economy had the old cole kits.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *