By Raymond Kollau, airlinetrends.com
September 2012 | To prevent frequent flyers from accumulating heaps of identical amenity bags, many airlines change their amenity kit designs on a regular basis, while other carriers work together with amenity kit suppliers to design bags that for example can be re-used as a pencil case or travel wallet.
As many passengers today carry a tablet computer (according to a recent TripAdvisor survey one in four passengers in the U.S. calls their tablet device carry-on essential, while another survey found that one-third of passengers say they use tablets while flying), several airlines have recently introduced amenity bags that can be re-used as an iPad case.
Rapidly growing Turkish Airlines is one of the few airlines in the world to provide passengers in all classses with a personal amenity kit, both on short- and long-haul flights. The airline earlier this year renewed its contract with amenity kit supplier FORMIA to introduce a new range of amenity kits, which includes a bag for passengers in Business Class that doubles as an iPad case.
The iPad case features Turkish Airlines’ logo on the flap and is made of a leather-look material that creates a high-tech appeal, while a ribbed texture creates a protective framework to the iPad. Each amenity bag/iPad case includes a drawstring pouch and a small pencil case holding a selection of items and cosmetics by Crabtree & Evelyn.
Says Elif Ergezen, Product Manager at THY, “Turkish Airlines highly regards the added value of providing a memorable amenity kit to its passengers. A souvenir of the trip that demonstrates an understanding of customers’ behavior.”
The new range of amenity kits has been available on-board Turkish Airlines flights since April 2012.
German leisure carrier Condor, meanwhile, has just launched new amenity kits designed and supplied by SkySupply. Since early September, passengers travelling in Condor’s Comfort (Business) Class receive an amenity kit that consists of a tin box, earplugs, socks, eyeshades and a dental set. Additionally passengers are handed an iPad bag, which in the airline’s words “will become a great collector’s item and can have a long second life with the passenger while travelling, or at home.”
According to SkySupply, with the iPad case Condor looks to follow the “zeitgeist” (many passengers nowadays travel with mobile devices), as well as increase the perceived value of the amenity kit by allowing for multiple usage. As SkySupply’s managing director Wolfgang Bucherl earlier told Onboard Hospitality Magazine: “The amenity kit is the only product passengers can take away with them, as a present for themselves or their loved ones, and remains a long-lasting reminder of a particular airline.”
Condor’s introduction of the new iPad amenity kit also ties in with the launch of a new wireless in-flight enterainment system, which lets passengers use personal devices to watch content streamed wirelessly from a central server. Condor initially announced the new IFE system in early 2011, but several delays have pushed back the introduction.
Following the introduction of a brand new cabin interior earlier this year on its new A330 aircraft and a refurbishment of its B747 fleet, Virgin Atlantic has also just introduced new amenity kits for passengers in all classes.
From early September on, passengers travelling in Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class (on outbound flights) have been presented with an amenity bag that is made from recycled plastic bottles and is shaped to hold tablet devices. In the airline’s words, “The new Upper Class cabin amenity kit is made from rPET, a sustainable material made from crushed plastic bottles. The fabric is dark grey with a black cherry silk lining – and to continue the recycled theme – doubles up as a soft tablet or e-reader case to use when travelling.”
Virgin Atlantic also promoted its new range of amenity kits in a creative way by hiding five Swarovski crystal-encrusted eye masks (each with a value of USD 4,000) in the Economy section on five of its flights.