Flying Fabulously: Airlines Indulge Pax Vanity With Luxury Products


    Emirates last month launched what it claims to be the world’s first interactive amenity kit. Image via Emirates

    APEX Insight: Flying can be stressful, and passengers are often affected both emotionally and physically during travel.  From massages and skincare treatments offered in lounges to Emirates’ interactive augmented reality kit, airlines are using spa services and products to help travelers feel as good upon arrival as they did at departure.

    Emirates last month launched what it claims to be the world’s first interactive amenity kit. In addition to an eye mask, toothbrush, socks and all of the amenities needed for long-haul comfort, the in-flight bags use augmented reality technology to allow passengers to access immersive content, including passenger health tips and curated playlists, on their mobile devices. The Dubai-based carrier may be one of the first to harness technological advancements to promote in-flight beauty and wellness, but other airlines are close behind with their own attractive offerings.


    Air France has partnered with Clarins to offer free professional spa treatments including massage and skin rejuvenation at its lounges at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport. Clarins products are also featured in the airline’s amenity kits.

    British Airways has partnered with British skincare brand ELEMIS to offer passengers a themed beauty menu at its departure and arrivals lounges at Heathrow and JFK. Treatments with inviting names – “Serenity,” “Calm,” “Energize” and “Rebalance” – are available to both men and women. ELEMIS is also featured in the airline’s Club World  amenity kits, while the first-class kits feature British brands Aromatherapy Associates and REN Clean.

    Virgin Atlantic offers skincare and massages at its Clubhouse lounges at Heathrow and JFK, while passengers at Gatwick are also treated to haircuts and manicures. Beauty brands featured include Dr. Hauschka Skincare, Truefitt & Hill men’s grooming and Shellac nail products.

    Middle East

    Emirates offers skincare and massage services at its Dubai lounges, Bulgari products in its amenity kits and a unique first-class shower spa on board its A380 aircraft. Etihad Airways offers customers grooming services along with spa services at its Premium Lounge at Abu Dhabi Airport. Its first-class kits feature Le Labo luxury skincare and fragrances, and its business-class amenity kits feature Scaramouche + Fandango products.

    Asia Pacific

    Cathay Pacific offers massage services at its Hong Kong lounges and even private cabanas at “The Wing,” its first-class lounge. The airline features Australian natural skincare brand Jurlique in its amenity kits. Qantas offers Aurora Spa treatments and products in its first and business lounges in Sydney and Melbourne and the brand’s skincare products in the airline’s amenity kits. Thai Airways offers Royal Orchid Spa skincare and massage treatments at its Concourse D and L’Occitane products in its amenity kits.

    United Cowshet amenity kit
    United Airlines added Soho House’s Cowshed products to its kits in August 2015. Image via United Airlines


    American Airlines features 3LAB Skincare products inside Cole Haan bags on its International First Class flights, C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries on International Business Class and Clark’s Botanicals on Domestic Transcontinental First Class. Delta Air Lines now features Kiehl’s beauty products in its TUMI amenity kits. United added Soho House’s Cowshed products to its kits, and JetBlue offers Mint passengers Birchbox kits for men and women.