American Airlines Introduces New Amenity Kits

Filed Under: American

For the past couple of years American Airlines has offered amenity kits from Cole Haan, with products from 3LAB, C.O. Bigelow, and Clark’s Botanicals. While I didn’t really love the kits, they had products from well known brands, and they even had discount codes for buying those products.

Well, today American has announced that they’re completely changing up their amenity kits, and are partnering with new companies. To me this suggests that the partnerships American had weren’t working out too well, or else they wouldn’t switch them up so radically.

With these partnerships the airlines are typically getting the products at either a very low cost or even for free, given that it’s a way for companies to promote their products.

The press release about these changes is titled American Airlines Leads the Way with New Luxury Amenity Kits.”

Really, American? I mean, I’ve been waiting for American to take the lead on just about anything, though you have a lot to live up to here on the amenity kit front, given that Delta offers Tumi kits that you can even have engraved for free.

So, what are American’s new way-leading amenity kits like? The kits are designed by This is Ground, Athletic Propulsion Labs, and STATE Bags, and they feature products from Allies of Skin, Zenology, and Baxter of California. They’ll be available starting in mid-February.

American’s VP of Global Marketing had the following to say about these kits:

“American is always exploring ways to innovate and make our customers’ travel experience more relaxing and enjoyable, especially on long-haul flights. The changes we’ve made to this year’s amenity kits were driven by our customers’ feedback about what they desire and value while traveling. Our goal is to curate an elevated and restful travel journey, and our new amenity kits are an exciting piece of the onboard and our overall brand experience. We’re thrilled to partner with these brands and offer customers a fresh, modern collection of premium inflight products.”

Let’s take a closer look at the bags. American’s press release on this is downright puzzling, as the pictures don’t contain pictures of all the products, and they also don’t clarify that there continue to be separate kits for first and business class.

International Flagship First and Business

  • Kits designed by This is Ground
  • Features skincare products from Allies of Skin
  • A variety of bag styles and color rotations

The international first class kit will feature body lotion, facial moisturizer, lip balm, a dental kit, an eye mask, socks, earplugs, mouthwash, a pen, a tissue pack, mints, and a cart inset with discount codes.

The international business class kit will feature body lotion, lip balm, a dental kit, an eye mask, socks, earplugs, mouthwash, a pen, a tissue pack, and a card insert with discount codes.

Transcontinental Flagship First and Business

  • Kits designed by Athletic Propulsion Labs
  • Features skincare products from Zenology, an eye mask, FlyFit hydration pack, and earplugs

The transcontinental first class kit will feature hand and body lotion, lip balm, sanitizing wipes, a dental kit, an eye mask, earplugs, mints, a hydration pack, and tissues.

The transcontinental business class kit will feature hand and body lotion, lip balm, a dental kit, an eye mask, earplugs, a hydration pack, and tissues.

International Premium Economy

  • Designed by STATE Bags
  • Features skincare products from Baxter of California and two different color rotations

The premium economy kit will feature body lotion, lip balm, an eye mask, earplugs, a dental kit, socks, and a card insert with discount codes.

My take on American’s new amenity kits

To me these new amenity kits look totally fine but unremarkable. While the pictures as such don’t show many contents in the kits, it’s my understanding that there are a lot more contents than what’s shown.

As far as the quality of the kits as such goes, I’d have to experience them to know. American is using smaller brands this time around, which in general I’m a fan of, though I’m also not familiar with most of them. I do know Athletic Propulsion Labs, and they’re great, but the rest of them I’m not too familiar with.

Obviously companies love to exaggerate in their marketing, but I still have to point out how hilarious I find it that American is claiming that they’re “leading the way” with these kits. One has to wonder which way they think they’re leading?

For context, here’s what Delta’s Tumi amenity kits look like:

And here’s what United’s kits look like, featuring Cowshed products:

Bottom line

Personally I don’t think amenity kits are a big deal one way or another. The new kits look perfectly okay, but to me there’s nothing special about them, and it’s sort of comical that American claims that these kits are in any way “leading the way.”

What do you make of American’s new amenity kits? Are you familiar with any of the brands they’re collaborating with?

Comments
  1. Feeling “really” sorry for the folks who are forced to travel with any of the Big 3 crappy airlines. Once you experience 5 star Asian Airlines (Cathay, JAL, ANA …), you really can’t understand why so many passengers keep on accepting subpar experience from them

  2. Tumi is a piece of crappy plastic; it is the definition of unremarkable.

    The leather pouch and wire taco seem way better quality and much more useful.

  3. American leads the way in so many areas; late arrivals, cancelled flights, mechanical delays, surly employees, etc. I’m surprised they decided to add their amenity kits to this rich mix of accomplishments.

  4. Is that image really all the kits will include? No eye mask? No toothbrush? No face wipe? I appreciate that United’s kits actually have an eye mask that doesn’t push down on your eyelids (it’s way more comfortable than the standard flat ones), and they also have a face refreshing wipe (which is great along with the toner and no-rinse face wash they stock in the lavatories). Both United and Delta’s options seem far better than any of the American kits…

  5. Tumi is overrated garbage that people tend to go crazy over for no reason. The amenity kits look like a step up from the plastic cole haan bags and c.o. bigelow products, but it would be really nice to see them use more sustainable components. These amenity kits are all a bunch of plastic junk that will probably end up in a New Jersey landfill or, worse, in the ocean. Some foreign airlines have been using biodegradable toothbrushes, I don’t see any reason why the US3 can’t make a similar switch.

  6. Got one of these when they were piloting them, back in early Dec 2018, flying PEK-LAX in J. Very nice – the amenities but especially the case were quite a step up over the old kits. I’m hanging onto the case for future use, not something I often do.

  7. The photo suggests that the international first and biz kit will not contain eye shades or ear plugs. Could this possible be the case? Those seem like table stakes to me.

  8. IMO,
    These look fine. Low profile, easy to store, decent amenities. I’m sure eye masks and ear plugs are included too.

    The Cole Haan kits were mediocre at best. I got the transcon J and flagship international first kits and wasn’t super impressed. The flagship first kit was probably the best effort but the kit was still made of cheap vinyl, had no structure, and had a weird smell. The transcon J kit was finicky (that weird envelope thing) and completely disposable.

    The Tumi Delta kits are nice but not super useful once you’ve gotten more than a couple. I’d rather have a kit that is low profile and stuffs neatly into a seatback pocket or bag. Also nobody gives a crap that they can be ‘monogrammed.’

    Virgin’s Herschel kits (specifically the dual-zip pouch) takes the top honor for my favorite practical bag.

  9. Lufthansa’s F kits are the best because of the La Prairie Products (i.e. actual luxury products)…Air France F Carita kits looks really nice too, but I’ve never flown.

  10. “Leading the way”: how on earth do these shyster marketing executives get away with peddling this drivel?

  11. Why don’t they lead the way by treating their passengers like human beings and fixing the inside of their 737 MAXs? Sitting in a coach window seat on these planes is not even humane.

  12. If anyone wants to donate the AA First/Business case to my collection, I would sure appreciate it! I typically am stuck with United.

  13. I’m often compelled to remind people that this is no longer American Airlines but the cost cutting, penny pinching U S Airways that the American Airlines pilot demanded take the wheel of the new company. Enough said.

  14. Limited set of experiences here, but having flown both Transcon First and International First, I only ever received the business class kits. When asked, the FAs brushed it off as not knowing there was a different one for F, they weren’t loaded, or they ran out and as a favor found an extra in J. At least they’re standardizing the excuse!

  15. I am not too familiar with skincare and fashion brands, as such, but I have never heard of any of these brands. The look ok. I did like the Cole Haan business class kit, though, since I am a big fan of Cole Haan shoes.

  16. I’ve been flying AA International J class for three years now and LUS prior to that and I’ve never made a decision to pay the premium for a J seat on the basis of the food, drinks or amenity kits. I can recall a few nice kits on LUS flights and a nice kit in 2017 on AA but rest have been forgettable. This one has to be an improvement over the 2018 AA amenity kits which were so bad I wouldn’t even take them off the plane to give away to my nieces and nephews.

  17. I find the Rimowa Case my favorite and yes amenity kits is something I weigh in when flying on International carries. I’m with United for the most part and wish they will change their case more frequently. The current black case is too feminine to keeping. I do give it away to family, friends, or passengers who comment on liking it.

  18. They look nicer than what they are replacing and I bet the pictures of the kit do not include everything that’s in the kits. Looks like a net positive.

  19. @Brian

    There’s a removable leather flap that attaches to the snaps at the spine. You can see a photo of it on the cover of the little white booklet in the picture. From what I’ve seen, one side has a few vertical slots like in that photo, while the other side has a row of horizontal loops for holding the little tubes of lip balm, mouthwash, and lube they’re probably still handing out. You can unsnap this flap thing and remove it, and the pouch becomes a more useful little booklet for your papers and small tablet.

  20. After AA switched from Red Flower to CO, they continued to put Red Flower soap in CO Bigelow canisters. It was weird.

    Let’s face it, AA hasn’t had a good amenity since the Detmalogica days. And the recent amenity kits in biz that looked like a shower bag were a disgrace.

  21. @bobnl hit the nail on the head. It baffles me than any USA carrier has the audacity to refer to the cabins up front as first or business. Their offerings equate to junk bonds.

  22. I just hope the eye mask has adjustable velcro straps rather than the cheapo rubber one they have been using for the last few years.

  23. Of all the ridiculous things on which to waste time, money and management attention…does anyone really care about a $10 ammenity kit when the premium cabin food is inedible, the mechanical delays seemingly never-ending and the entire IT system seems dysfunctional? Anyone that routinely flies internationally probably has a closet full of these kits, and doesn’t really need another.
    And yet…AA has an “app” that routinely freezes and won’t even allow a ticket purchase. Departure delays that notify you only after scheduled departure about delays that can last for hours…but only updates the delay 20 minutes at a time. And lets not forget about a website that won’t even allow you to check your position on the upgrade list. Is it just me or does it seem that everytime AA announces an enhancement, it truly NEVER is. I guess those things take a back seat to the super important ammenity kits.
    But cartoons, animation and trivia games on the website? That they are good at.

  24. I am actually going to miss the current bags that AA uses in Intl J. Those things were useful (the bags themselves).

    The contents are pointless crap. And will still be.

  25. The current AA plastic Cole Haan bags are terrible and cheap feeling. These new international business amenity bags (and taco!) at least look like something I could use again.

    I also wish carriers would move to more environmentally friendly materials and reusable items. I still regularly use a nylon shopping bag that I got from Lufthansa as a business class amenity kit.

  26. I have received 4 different styles on 10 flights to and from Asia this year in J/F, the only thing I like to keep is the bag itself. The contents are worthless (donate to homeless that need premium eye cream). I’d rather a decent bag to hold something in, or a souvenir I want to keep (mini airplane for the kids?)

  27. The best kits (for me) were the Cole Haan ones that were tall and vertical with zipper on top. Perfect re-use for my tablet, cords, etc that I could bring at pre-boarding and during flight. I use it weekly for all my ‘stuff’ on pre-departure. Happy. Knapsack goes in over head and its a breeze with this re-usable pouch. When in coach, the knapsack goes under seat.

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