“Will Singapore Airlines introduce an amenities kit in Business Class?”
It’s a question that’s been asked for a while now, to an airline that’s been historically resistant to the idea. Take this snippet from a 2015 AusBT interview, for instance:
“I ask myself, ‘Do I want to spend $6-8 million just on an amenity kit?”‘ poses Mr Tan Pee Teck, Singapore Airlines’ Senior Vice President for Product & Services
“At last count, I think there were 38 airlines with business class that gave amenity kits (but) you can’t really differentiate yourself through an amenity kit” Tan explains to Australian Business Traveller.
“And if you travel very often, this thing is just left behind. So we decided to pump the money into other things for business class, and just make sure that our bathroom is stocked properly.”
But if a year was ever going to surprise you, it had to be 2020…
Singapore Airlines’ new Business Class amenities kit
Buried amidst the excitement of yesterday’s Discover Your Singapore Airlines announcement was a little gem. Those who ordered the “Business Class Experience” from the [email protected] store would receive:
- a choice of meal
- a bottle of French wine or brut champagne
- a 22-piece tableware set with Narumi dining ware
- a pair of Penhaligon’s amenity kits
-record scratching sound effect-
A Business Class amenities kit? Yes, and a gorgeous-looking one at that. The publicity photo showed an emerald green top zip Penhaligon’s bag, with hand lotion, facial mist and lip balm from the Quercus collection.
Was this just a one-time thing for [email protected], or could it be a permanent feature? The verbiage on the website seemed to suggest the latter.
I put the question across to Singapore Airlines in black and white, and got the following response:
We are pleased to share that SIA has plans to launch an amenity kit for our Business Class passengers. [email protected] customers will get a preview of the amenity kit, depending on the package they opt for. More details will be announced in due course.
So there you have it:
Half-Life 3 Singapore Airlines Business Class amenities kit confirmed.
A Business Class amenities kit has been a long time coming
While Singapore Airlines has never publicly acknowledged the need for an amenities kit in Business Class, they’ve been keenly researching the issue over the past few years.
Back in July 2017, Singapore Airlines started distributing an amenities kit in premium cabins, featuring items from The Laundress, as part of its 70th anniversary celebrations. This wasn’t your typical airline amenities kit, focusing on laundry care instead of personal hygiene. Moreover, it wasn’t Business Class specific- passengers in First Class also received them (basically getting two amenities kits on long haul flights).
This went on until the end of 2017, and Singapore Airlines ran a survey among some of its frequent flyer members asking for feedback on the usefulness of the items.
And after that…silence. Most of 2018 went by without further developments.
This is why I was so surprised to receive an amenities kit in Business Class on the inaugural non-stop flight to Newark in October 2018. There was an audible buzz around the cabin as the stewardess wheeled the trolley down the aisle, inviting passengers to pick and choose items to create a kit of their own.
Yes, cynics would say it was just leftovers from the 70th anniversary kits, but it was still a step in the right direction nonetheless. Passengers could also add hand cream, lip balm, earplugs and dental kits to the existing range of Laundress products.
I later found out that the kits were part of a three month trial, and all passengers on Singapore Airlines’ ultra long haul flights to Newark, Los Angeles and San Francisco would receive one. As per Singapore Airlines:
The Business Class amenity kits were introduced in October 2018 on the ultra-long-range flights as part of a trial Singapore Airlines is conducting to better understand the amenities preferences of our Business Class customers. During these trials, the amenities were presented to our customers in a basket, and they are able to choose the amenities they prefer to include in their kit. The trial will continue till early January 2019.
Additionally, between now to January 2019, we are also providing amenity kits to all Business Class customers, except those travelling to and from Kuala Lumpur. This is part of a continuous trial that Singapore Airlines is conducting on amenity offerings
The trial ended in early January 2019, and after that, nothing again. I thought that Singapore Airlines had gone off the idea completely until the news broke yesterday, and it’s all the more significant they’re investing in the Business Class experience despite the hammering they’ve taken from COVID-19.
Amenities kits in Business Class are a virtual staple on most premium airlines, so it was always a curiosity that Singapore Airlines didn’t have them. To those who say it’s wasteful, well, you always have the option of declining to receive one. I think it adds to the overall experience and serves as a nice memento to boot.
In November last year, it was also reported that Singapore Airlines was looking at introducing sleeper suits in Business Class. There’s been no news on that, but this amenities kit development gives me hope we may see that soon too.
What do you make of the new Business Class amenities kit?