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Upper class flight secrets

August 20, 2014 OTA News No Comments Email Email

Have you always wondered what happens on the other side of the curtain? 

The experts at travel search and flight comparison site,, have pulled back the curtain to give mere mortal travellers a glimpse at how the other half fly – rating the world’s top airline amenity kits for highflyers.

airline amenity bags 30Travellers might find it bit on the nose to learn that while the upper class kits are stuffed full of luxury brands from Loewe to Tumi, Chopard to Bulgari – and contain everything from eye masks and shoe horns to “pulse point oil” and “pillow mist” – fewer than 15 percent featured that most basic of personal items: deodorant.

Just 11 percent of kits featured perfume, only 7 percent included a nail file while fewer than 4 percent contained what many travellers would consider bare-basics – a hair band or make-up pads.

Surprisingly, none of the top-rated amenity kits came from European airlines – with only one US airline earning the full six-star “fly me to the moon” rating. In total, just five of the 27 airlines achieved a six-star review, with Middle Eastern and Far Eastern airlines dominating, as kits from Emirates, Etihad, Japan Airlines, Qatar and United came out on top.

Qantas and Air New Zealand each scored five-star “Edge of Space” rating with Air New Zealand’s eye mask being named as a prize inclusion in the dream amenity pack.

Lufthansa and Royal Brunei took joint top honours for the “Best Male Accessory”; Lufthansa for its German football kit-themed bag and Royal Brunei for its super luxury slippers. Polish Airline LOT grabbed “Best Female Accessory” for its nail file; while Qatar was – literally – the comfortable winner for the “Best Kids’ Accessory” with a Spongebob Squarepants backpack (in a Qatar captain uniform) that also doubles as a pillow or booster seat.

In total, the team of travel experts rooted through, tested, photographed and rated 48 economy, business and first class amenity kits from 27 of the world’s top airlines to reveal the “secrets of the upper classes”.

The Top Ten most popular items in the kits were brushes and combs; followed by eye masks, toothbrushes, then socks and earplugs.

Oonagh Shiel, Cheapflights travel expert (and chair of the amenity kits review panel) said: “For most of us, flying away on holiday is about bagging the best bargains rather than stumping up for the hallowed world of business and first class. At Cheapflights, we’re usually about putting the ‘cheap’ into ‘flights’, but in our bid to demystify the world of commercial aviation, we wanted to offer a glimpse of all those grab-able goodie bags in the front of the plane – and see just how good they really are.

“With hand-stitched artisan-crafted bags and high-end brands like Bulgari, Lowe, Tumi, Bally, Clarins and Chopard, it’s clear that all the airlines are battling hard for those highfliers who help subsidise the rest of us back in economy. But, if you do happen to have the cash and are looking for the best bits of kit in business or first class, our advice is that Emirates, Etihad, Japan Airlines, Qatar and United are fit to take you to the moon with their six-star ratings.

“These kits had us dreaming of the highlife – with bling-tastic bags, upper crust combs, luxurious lip balms, and sumptuous slippers – but we can’t help thinking a little bit more deodorant wouldn’t go a miss. And, please, more kit and caboodle for us women – it’s not just boys in business and fellas in first anymore.”

Cheapflight’s travel experts took the best bits from all the various offerings to produce the ultimate “up there with the best of the best” kit (with apologies to Top Gun). So here’s our run down of all the best bits from the best kits that go into theCheapflights Best of the Best Compilation Kit:

  • Coolest kit bag: Popular with men and women, our expert panel opted for Etihad’s limited-edition artisan bags based on the ancient Sadou weaving craft.
  • Top toothbrush: This had to be the sturdy and beautifully- designed Japan Airlines number. Our judges wouldn’t put anything else in their mouths.
  • Best brush: After combing the kits the panel went for Garuda’s plush traditional natural wood number – none of that foldaway nonsense for us.
  • Most excellent earplugs: Hear hear! Cheapflights’ experts chose Turkish Airlines’ two-tone ear plugs; they come with handy information stickers so you won’t be disturbed.
  • Matchless moisturiser: We suggest you smooth your skin with Swiss Airlines’ high-end La Prairie kit.
  • Pre-eminent eye mask: We thought Air New Zealand’s light-blocking “Beware I Sleepwalk” gave us the best shut-eye; with a smile on our faces.
  • Best Lip Balm: We loved the Chopard lip balm in the Vietnam Airlines kit.
  • Unsurpassed socks: Turkish Airlines’ footwear were the only non-slip ones of those we tried; a handy post-flight option.
  • Superlative shoe horn: The wooden shoe horn from the Garuda set eased us back into our shoes – and was eminently re-usable.

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